Children, parents celebrate adoptions

CENTER CITY - November 13, 2009

5-year-old Kaseem Hairston is celebrating family love.

His foster family of nearly 3 years finalized his adoption today.

"They cook good food. and they always, always hug me," Kassem said.

He is one of 21 Philadelphia children whose adoption papers were signed at Family Court on this national adoption day.

"Children who previously have been in situations where they weren't safe, where they weren't cared for and we were able to find the right match for them, the right family for them," DHS Commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose said.

The families celebrated their invaluable milestone with fun, food, and music.

6-year-old Kieseem is now the baby of the family he joined 2-1/2 years ago.

"My brother Dave, my mom Debbie and my brother Donavan," Kieseem said as he pointed out to Action News his family members.

"He came as an emergency placement. and never left. We got attached to him and he never left," Kiessem's adoptive mom Deborah Childs said.

"Now it's like my best friend's living with me forever," Keissem's adoptive brother Donovan said.

"We're a complete basketball team now. At first ,it was 4 boys now we've got our fifth man," Desmond, another adoptive brother of Keissem's, said.

Connie LaBouff of South Philadelphia was able to adopt Gavin, the son her partner carried, officially becoming his other mother and offering an added measure of parental protection.

"If he gets hurt, I can be there. If something happens to me, my benefits can go to him. It's wonderful," Connie said.

4-year-old Amya feels safe with adoptive parents Deborah and Dennis. She wants to do a doctor when she grows up.

"Because I can keep kids safe," Amya said.

More than 450 Philadelphia children have been adopted so far this year.

Thousands more are awaiting permanent families across the Delaware Valley.

Families that could make all the difference in the world.

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