For 18 Monmouth County families, Friday marked the end of the adoption process and the beginning of a new family life.
Friday, Dec. 7 was Adoption Day in Monmouth County. A crowded jury assembly room in the Monmouth County Courthouse was the staging room for the families as they waited to be called into a judge’s quarters for their court hearing and official adoption.
According to a press release, 22 children between the ages of two months and 13-years-old were officially adopted last week. One of the 22 children adopted was Lucas Cole, who was coming up his first birthday. His parents, Jennifer and Anthony Fajardo of Hazlet, explained that while the adoption process was a long one, it was worth it for them.
“The whole process took about 12 months, but we can’t remember our lives without him,” said Jennifer.
The Fajardo’s explained that they had Lucas since he was born last December. They weren’t expecting him for a few more weeks but one night they got a call that said Lucas’ biological mother had gone into labor five and a half weeks early. Although he came earlier than originally expected, the Fajardo’s were ready for Lucas to become apart of their family.
“Lucas has a great biological mother, she is a super person,” said Anthony. “She made a real sacrifice, without her we would not have Lucas, we love her as much as we love him.”
While each child adopted means the world to their new family, Adoption Day as whole shows that Monmouth County citizens are taking steps to care for all area children.
“When we adopt we come together as a community to raise a voice for our children,” said Judge Lawrence Lawson. “The annual Adoption Day program helps to enrich our community by promoting permanency for children in caring homes. This memorable and meaningful event also defines our commitment to increasing awareness of adoption and honoring adoptive families.”