Families gather at Mill Mountain to celebrate Roanoke City adoption

The Star City has one of the highest numbers of adoptions in Virginia

Kelsey Harrington and her partner adopted Mason last summer. (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

ROANOKE, Va.There are more than 600 children who are ready for adoption in Virginia. They are ready to find a permanent and loving forever family. 10 News is profiling one child who needs a home every day at 6 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. in 30 Days of Hope. The children are all ages and races and were put into foster care due to no fault of their own. 2021 marks the fifth year 10 News is doing this series.

Celebrating adoption. That’s the goal of an event that was held for the first time in a few years due to COVID.

“Having a community of other foster parents has been wonderful,” said Kelsey Harrington, who adopted with her partner last summer. “It is probably the hardest thing I have ever done, but also something that I have felt has made a really big impact both on my life, and the children’s lives.”

Each one of the families attending the celebration on Mill Mountain adopted through Roanoke City over the last five years. Together, this group of adoptive families are celebrating and supporting each other.

“We really truly appreciate our families and our kiddos. We want to make sure that we are a community, and that we are doing things together, and we are showing that appreciation. There are so many children that are waiting for adopted families, and being able to show families that after you adopt you are not alone. There are others that you can commune with,” said Carrie Guzman, Roanoke City Family Services supervisor for adoptions.

Guzman says they have more than 200 kids in foster care. It’s one of the highest numbers in Virginia, but the city also has one of the highest numbers of adoptions.

“The majority of our children are adopted by their foster parents, and there is just this great need for fostering,” said Guzman. “We are always looking for that next amazing foster family to step forward so that we can find those homes for the children.”

“We are able to get them some permanency quickly and get them back into families, and that is a really important thing because children belong in families,” said Steven Martin, Roanoke City Director of Human and Social Services.

Harrington is also fostering a teen and plans to adopt more children in the future.

“Know there might not ever be the perfect time, or you will never feel fully prepared, but that you have to keep learning as you go,” said Harrington.

If you have questions about foster care/adoption, contact VDSS Division of Family Services, Juliet Baldwin, Adoption Recruitment Coordinator, at adoptioninquiries@dss.virginia.gov.

To see other 30 Days of Hope stories visit us here: https://www.wsls.com/topic/30_Days_Of_Hope/

We also have a list of frequently asked questions about foster care and adoption including the cost, training, etc in this link.

About the Author:

You can see Jenna weekday mornings at the anchor desk on WSLS 10 Today from 5-7 a.m. She also leads our monthly Solutionaries Series, where we highlight the creative thinkers and doers working to make the world a better place.