Thanks to a record number of adoptions, there are tons of new family members taking a spot at the Thanksgiving tables in America’s heartland.
In the courtroom of Judge Robert Blink in Polk County, Iowa, a laughing group of children got forever homes on National Adoption Day.
“It’s rare to have a decision where everybody wins,” Blink told the happy throng of those finalizing adoptions Saturday.
A record number of 70 kids found permanent homes in Polk County, where families gathered at the courthouse to celebrate with balloons and toys.
Valerie and Mike Stubbs were there to formally adopt two foster toddlers. "They’ve been with us for a while now. We love them, they’re ours, but there’s the reality of it that sets in on a day like today,” she told KCCI-TV.
“We’re so blessed to have them joining our family,” her husband added.
Blink, who is known to don a Cat in the Hat chapeau while making official adoption declarations, also hand crafts wooden toys that he distributes to kids appearing in his courtroom.
“It takes a toll on the judge, so you need something that nourishes your soul,” he said of his woodworking side job.
“I want to hear those loud wooden wheels going on that counsel’s table or banging into something,” he said.
Kaci O’Day-Goldstein, executive director of the Iowa Foster & Adoptive Parents Association, told InsideEdition.com Wednesday that the annual celebration is a heartwarming sight.
“Some people [adopt] to add to their family, and some people do it to complete their family,” she said.
She and her husband know first-hand – they have adopted three children, all of whom were foster kids living with the couple.
“For us, it was just simply we had been caring for the kids for so long, we just couldn’t imagine our life without them,” she said.