Commissioners Court Proclaims November 18 National Adoption Day
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – On Tuesday the Hays County Commissioners Court paid tribute to families who adopt as well as to those who open their homes to foster children and help them transition to adoption, by proclaiming November 18 as National Adoption Day in Hays County.
Adoptive parents Andrew Mendoza and Jennifer Stevens told the Court how they had always hoped to adopt siblings since it is often harder for two children to find a home together. Following a chance meeting with a Greater San Marcos Youth Council (GSMYC) case manager, they met Eddie and Chayla, a brother and sister who were waiting at the shelter for their forever home. The adoption was finalized in September.
“They have integrated beautifully with our biological children,” Stevens said. “We’re so grateful and we feel like we are the lucky ones.”
Mendoza noted when watching their children (Ethan, Jonas, Chayla, and Eddie) play together it seems like Chayla and Eddie have always been part of the family – the one big family that he and Stevens had wanted.
“Thank you for working with children in our community and thank you for opening your hearts to these children,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant said to the parents and GSMYC Executive Director Julia Ramsay New.
The couple and GSMYC staff worked together through the adoption process. GSMYC operates a small, residential care home for abused and neglected children where they live in a home-like atmosphere. New said that unlike some shelters, GSMYC is able to keep siblings together, lessening the stress on children who have already been through a lot of hardship.
“We have a great shelter here in our community that we should be proud of,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell said.
“Your commitment and funding makes this sort of thing possible,” New told the Court.
National Adoption Day was established in 2000 by a coalition of national organizations to recognize a
day each year when courts and communities come together to finalize thousands of adoptions. To date, more than 40,000 children have found permanent, safe, and loving homes on this special occasion.
The Court also recognized its support of the “No More Black Trash Bags for Foster Children” campaign, which seeks to add dignity and privacy to foster children by providing suitcases for their possessions rather than the typical “black trash bag” that many must use to move from foster home to foster home.
National Adoption Day provides an exceptional opportunity to raise awareness of the need for more families to consider adoption and of the importance of helping children in the foster care system feel valued and respected throughout the transitions they undergo.
For more information about how to help children in foster or shelter care visit www.gsmyc.org.
Left to right, Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones, Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, Greater San Marcos Youth Council Executive Director Julia Ramsay New, adoptive parents Jennifer Stevens and Andrew Mendoza, Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant celebrate naming November 18 as National Adoption Day in Hays County.