A chorus of third graders sang “Happy Adoption Day” for the crowd that gathered at the state capitol Monday afternoon.
Five couples from the Helena area finalized the adoptions of a total of seven children in front of judge Mike Menahan. Among them, Bill and Nicky Rook adopted six year old Ashley, their niece who’s lived with them for three years.
“You know, we just felt it was the right thing to do, provide that stability in her life, and we've grown to love her even more now that she's in our home 24 hours a day."
Nicky says Ashlee understands what a special day this is in her life.
“I think for a six year old as much as she can understand at this stage yes she seems real happy about it."
Montana’s Health and Human Services Director, Richard Opper, says the youngest children might not appreciate what a momentous thing it is to be adopted, but they will.
“They may not know now what you've done for them but they will when they grow up and I really need you to remember that when they're teenagers."
The annual adoption celebration calls attention to the need for adoptive families in Montana. This year the state certified 259 adoptions but that’s just a fraction of the nearly 2,800 children who are in foster care, waiting and hoping for a “forever home.”
Visit the Montana DPHSS site for more information on adoption in Montana