KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Adoption dreams became reality on Friday. Adoptions were finalized in family courts around the country, including 40 children who now have permanent homes in Jackson County.
They were getting their faces painted, but the smiles don't have to be painted on, they're for real. Young Nico has been staying with Dereik Domerese for about two years now. They dressed alike for Friday’s official adoption ceremony, which finalized a six-month process for the two.
“It's taken a really long time to get here. So it's like everything else has been like walking up to the diving board. Now, it's like being in the water now. Finally!” Domerese said.
Jackson County started observing National Adoption Day in 2009. Those that have been a part of the ceremonies since the first year say it's exciting to see so many happy faces.
“It's such an upbeat kind of process we don't see every day in this kind of courtroom venue. But it's so exciting to see all these kids and adults making perfect families for themselves,” Judge Geoffrey Allen said.
Dereik said the adoption process can be challenging at times, even when the child's biological mother cooperates, as in their case. But he said challenges involving things like insurance and health care will be made easier after Friday.
“It’s been harder because without his birth certificate, with my name on it, or social security with my name on it, I don't have the ability to go in without other documents or other people's signatures.”
A bell heard in the video rings every time an adoption is made final. That would mean about 4,500 rang on Friday to signify how many were finalized.