Over the years, one of the great experiences of the Iowa's Child program has been being able to be in an Iowa courtroom when the adoptions of 'waiting children' are finalized.
In the Polk County courtroom of District 5 Associate Judge Odell Mcghee, last Saturday's National Adoption Day was a special one for Central Iowa Kindergarten teacher, Wendy Reed, and her two foster children, 3-year old Serenity and 5-year old, Robert.
When this court hearing concluded, Serenity and Robert left the Iowa Foster Care system for the final time. Reed legally adopted the two kids, whom have been with her as foster kids for more than a year.
Van Meter attorney Amy Skogerson, an adoptive mom herself, is representing Wendy in adoption court on this day, while Des Moines lawyer and Gilbertville native, Michelle Saveraid, is the court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem for Serenity and Robert.
"The Guardian Ad Litem's role is to advocate for the best interests of the children," Saveraid said. "We also, sometimes serve the dual role as acting as their attorney, but, primarily, to advocate for what we see as best for the children."
The courtroom is packed with Reed's family and friends, including her father, Joe. Because it's the culmination of what can be months or sometimes even years of getting the children to this moment, an adoption finalization hearing can turn emotional.
On the witness stand, Reed is asked why she wants to adopt Serenity and Robert.
"I don't remember my life without them," she responded.
Thanksgiving is always great day to count your blessings, but, with so many waiting kids out there, perhaps there's even more for you. For information on how you can become a foster or adoptive parent, contact IowKidsNet at 1-800-243-0756, or find IowaKidsNet online at: www.iowakidsnet.org <http://www.iowakidsnet.org>.
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