Furries 4 Fosters: Adoption Day marks new start for 23 local kids at courthouse

National Adoption Day was Nov. 17 and November is national adoption month. Over 23 kids, ages 3 months to 14 years, were adopted on 17th at the courthouse in Waterloo from 1-4 p.m. How amazing is that?

For many kids, such as my brother Tysean, being a foster child is a terrifying thing. With the foster system falling to part, kids flailing through the cracks left and right, and social workers not having enough time, pay and staff, many children don’t have an option but to sit and wait with strangers in a home they do not know.

Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart honored and celebrated with adoptive families and children within those short hours.

Hart said he felt as though he needed to be out there in order to support the families and young people, saying that the stories of each of the adoptions was very heartwarming.

“There is no other place I’d want to be than here, celebrating with these amazing people. I consider these people to be our heroes, our modern day heroes, and bringing families together is an awesome experience,” Hart said.

On my brother’s adoption day, glee filled my body, and warmth devoured my heart. We finally made it to our goal. I had always wanted a brother. There had always been a missing piece to our puzzle.

We decorated Ty’s wall with signs, made his a countdown for his big day and presents engulfed the room where Judge Block struck our family with the gold heart of Tysean Duane Tournier. My entire family and friends sat anxiously in the room watching each of our eyes glisten with excitement.

When my siblings and I found out that we were finally able to adopt my baby brother, I knew I had to use my talents and put them to work for his day. Rewriting and memorizing parts, I came up with a letter to Tysean and the people that surrounded our family that brisk March day.

My palms were sweaty, and when it came for the final moments of my speech, tears stung to my eyelids and soon dripped down everyone’s faces after reading an emotional and love-driven letter to my brother.

With thousands upon thousands of little children to teenagers to young adults waiting to find a family, their forever home, national adoption day and month is to attract potential foster homes, raise awareness of how much help and love is needed and ultimately piece someone’s puzzle back together.

Cedar Falls Mayor Jim Brown was spotted in the midst of everyone’s festivities and happened to be celebrating an adoption that he was invited to by a friend.

“What started as friends, coming and celebrating with them, turned into a nice event to see how it alls happens, and it’s wonderful to be here,” Brown said.

Since Ty arrived Dec., 4, a monkey has been attached to him at the hip. His name is George. And, the bond within stuffed animals has only grown since that first day. That is how my younger sister, Aaliyah Tournier, sparked the idea of Furries 4 Fosters.

Furries 4 Fosters is a nonprofit organization that collects new stuffed animals and blankets for all ages of kids in the foster care system. The mission is to help foster children’s transition to foster homes be more comfortable by giving them a new token for life.

My sister’s goal was to be able to give each child a blanket and stuffed animal for adoption to go along with a tote bag with the logo on it. As the children filed in to celebrate together, their faces lit up, and my heart felt that same warmth as my family’s own adoption day.

Nov., 17 is a day of happiness, awareness, celebration and a bond of a forever family. My mother, sister and I had an opportunity to experience 23 adoption day celebrations. Smiles, hugs and giggles filled the room, and I had never been more happy to be a part of the foster care world.

I felt so much support and love in that moment of my brother’s official adoption. March 9 is a day that I will never forget, and Nov. 17 is a day that will be imprinted in those 23 families’ hearts forever as well.

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