As we are at the beginning of the holiday season, this time of year serves as a reminder to hold our families a little closer, a little tighter and celebrate our precious time together.

Through the work of a dedicated team at Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS), we have 11 more reasons to celebrate this month. Just in time for Thanksgiving, 11 children joined their forever families through adoption on November 18—and we are very thankful for each of these families, now expanded through adoption.

During the past year, CHS’ adoption team assisted nearly 100 kids achieve permanency and stability by becoming part of a loving, caring family.

Adoption has a special meaning for all of us who’ve been forever impacted. Specifically, the month of November—designated as National Adoption Month—is particularly special for my husband and me, holding a sacred place to my heart.

As an adoptive parent, I know firsthand the rollercoaster of heartbreak and triumphs these families experienced as they formed, stormed and then found their norm to come together. I know the excitement that surpasses all understanding as you step into the courthouse on adoption day.

And, I know the overwhelming sigh of relief and tears of joy when you leave hand-in-hand with your child.

It has been said of adoptive parents that our children may not grow in our bodies biologically, but they absolutely and undeniably grow in our hearts. My hopes and dreams of raising children—family chores, first days of school, graduations and matriculation to college—came true because of adoption. And, my children truly are the loves of my life.

In my role at CHS, it’s an honor to bring this blessing full circle, as I now have the opportunity to support others in their journeys. As an organization, our roots are firmly planted in adoption — a 117-year legacy that has brought together more than 50,000 forever families throughout Florida, including right here in Tallahassee.

Among our many other services that empower families to succeed, this is a legacy that we proudly continue today.

It is a special calling – both for the families and for the professionals who bring them together. It is no secret: the children we help along their adoption journeys have experienced sorrow and uncertainty in their search for stability.

Yet, despite their unique circumstances, they shared a common thread: holding on to the hope that the right family was waiting, out there somewhere, to embrace and envelop them with love and support.

As we celebrate our many local families brought together through adoption, we must also remember the children still waiting for the day they’ll find their forever home, too.

At CHS, we will not give up on our kids—never, ever. We believe they all deserve a place to call home and a family to call their own. Our team is working day and night to find the right family for every child. However, we cannot do it alone.

If you pull back the curtain on adoption, you will see the incredible community working behind the scenes to bring these families together and support their continued success — loving foster parents, case managers, counselors, support groups and more. They are the placeholders for the moms, dads, brothers, sisters who will welcome these children into their fold.

Today, there are children in our community still waiting to find it—the sweet spot of the perfect family for them. They are waiting to find them…somewhere, out there.

If you’ve ever considered adoption and would like more information on how to do it, please call (850) 488-0506 or visit today. The blessing isn’t just for the children—it just may be for you, too.