SPOKANE, Wash. --- Each year hundreds of Spokane County families are able to officially adopt a child they have fostered.
And Friday on National Adoption Day those connections were celebrated. Adoptions are being finalized all over the state.
David and Nicole Needham and their five foster children Realynn, John, Keyonna, Skyla and Gabriella were excited to share this day with other families. Two-year-old Gabriella’s adoption was finalized.
"It's very overwhelming but we are very excited to be here today and share this with our family and friends,” said David Needham. “It's been a long road and it has come to a conclusion and it's just an amazing feeling."
He said it took them two years to get to this day.
"Gabby did go home for a time and we were just very exciting for that opportunity for her mom to raise her daughter. It didn't work out so well, but she's back with us now,” said David Needham.
Needham said Gabriella will continue to have a relationship with her birth mother.
Kate Schmidt, Department of Social and Health Services Children Administration adoption supervisor, said their main objective is to keep children with their birth parents but sometimes adoption is necessary.
This Spokane County family's adoption is finalized. It took the Needham family two years to get to this day. pic.twitter.com/gbscFATJxw— Alexa Block (@KREMAlexa) November 18, 2016
"Our primary goal is always unification, so a majority of children do go home. In an event that they can't safely go home, the court will order another permanent home and that could be adoption,” said Schmidt.
Right now there's about a thousand children in foster care in Spokane County. Schmidt said that number can fluctuate as children go home to their parents, or are adopted by relatives or their foster parents.
“Today is really about our families, and creating forever families, and safe homes for our children,” said Schmidt.
Schmidt said they continue to look for foster and adoptive parents. As well as encourage family members to adopt.
"It's worth it. It's worth it to be a foster parent. It's the hardest job you'll ever love but it's worth it,” said Nicole Needham.
"The kids are amazing and it has been a long road but it has been a beautiful one to travel. We're just so very blessed by these kids,” said David Needham.
For more information on how you can become a foster parent go to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services website.