Joyful families share smiles with children on Adoption Day

Published: Nov. 24, 2014 at 11:23 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 4, 2014 at 11:23 PM EST
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SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Allyson Mitchell has spent more than 1,000 days in foster care.

Now at the age of 18, she finally has a home on Adoption Day.

"I can breathe now," Mitchell said. "I can go to sleep happy knowing I won't have to be moved again and I will be in a secure place."

She's not the only one who can breathe easy. Her new mom and dad are relieved, too.

"I told her, as long as I have breath in my body, I was going to fight for her and that's what I did," Evelina Taylor-Mitchell said.

For Jon and Erica Ludovina, Adoption Day allows them to take a big step and expand their family by four.

"For the get-go, we weren't thinking four," Jon said. "We were thinking two – a sibling pair – but then when we met the four, we really fell in love with them. So, splitting them up wasn't an option."

"At one point,"Erica added, "one of the youngest kids said, 'Mom, I'm going to be really sad when I have to go to a different home and have a new mom.' We were like, 'No,honey. You get to be with us forever.'"

Stability isn't something these children have known.

"We had one child today," Judge George McFaddin said, "22 placements and, finally, she has a home."

Judge McFaddin enjoys Adoption Day because he says it's the one day he can make everyone happy.

"It's a redeeming day for me to know there are good people out here who still want to help people and adopt children and give them homes."

The parents cannot take their roles and new responsibilities lightly. They are entrusted to raise and to love forever.

"It's a sacrifice that worth it," Jon said. "What you get to give the kids is worth anything it will cost you in the long run."