Dozens of foster kids find forever homes in Winnebago County

Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 9:32 PM CST
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WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) - On National Adoption Day, more than 20 children were adopted by families in Winnebago County.

The nationwide effort to give foster children a permanent home is celebrated the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Miracle has been a part of foster parent Chris Lannon’s family for the last four years. But Saturday, the 17th Circuit Court finalized Miracle’s adoption, making her an official member.

“We’ve waited four years for our little girl and today was our day,” says Lannon, “I’m just relieved and glad we finally did it and she’s ours. She’s a good girl she’s just worth every bit of the last four years.”

Miracle isn’t Lannon’s first foster child. This is her seventh adoption and tenth kid overall. While she didn’t expect to be a mother to 10 kids, she says people like Miracle remind her how rewarding it is to adopt a child.

“She just tells everybody ‘she’s my mom and I love her and she loves me.’ And that’s the way it’s been.”

“It does take a little bit of time. It’s a commitment but worth it because it makes a huge difference in our community and the families we work with,” says Noelle Schamberger, who works with local foster care organization Children’s Home and Aid Society.

Schamberger says although it may seem overwhelming to adopt, anyone can connect a foster kid with their family.

“You don’t have to be a nurse or doctor to work with some of our kids or a therapist to work with kids who may have specialized needs. Take in the information you need and use that in your parenting, just like you would if you were parenting your children.”

Lannon says patience is important for parents who wish to adopt because it’s a long process but the vital role you play in their life makes it all worth it.

“They need to be a part of a family just like anybody else and that’s what’s important they need to know they belong and they have a family they can count on.”

Schamberger says kids of all ages are looking for a family. They range from children to teenagers. Interested parents must meet several requirements, which include a background check and a home visit.

This is the 18th year Winnebago County’s 17th Circuit Court participates in the nationwide effort. Since then, local families have adopted more than 400 kids.

Families interested in adoption can reach out to foster care agencies like DCFS or Lutheran Social Services for more information.