Human Rights

Home for the holidays: 11 children adopted in Mississippi Christmas ceremony

Eleven children will be celebrating Christmas with their forever families, thanks to an adoption ceremony recently held in Mississippi.

The Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services held a “home for the holidays” campaign, with a goal of finalizing 250 adoptions between October and January. 129 children have been adopted in December alone so far.

One family had been fostering their daughter and said it was a big relief to finalize the adoption. “Izzy was actually our very first foster placement after getting our license and she’s been with us a little over a year now, and we got termination rights about a month and a half ago, and we have been waiting for this day ever since so we are very excited,” a member of the Parker family told WXXV. “A big ole weight is just off our chests just knowing that she’s ours forever now and nobody can take her away from us now, so it’s just a very awesome and amazing feeling.”

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Another couple, Jaqueline and Jerry Waits, adopted their grandchildren. “It’s been a long process, but we’re happy to be a part of the mass adoption process today,” they told WLOX. “It’s been a special day, like I said, it’s been a long time coming. We’re happy to get it done and this is really nice what they did.”

Patience Wolfe was another participant; Lexi had originally been her stepdaughter. But with the adoption ceremony, she’s now officially her child. “Meeting a new stepmom or lover of a parent is difficult, but in two years, we have made a good relationship,” Wolfe said. “We are in a good place. This was the final step for our family to be whole.”

Judge Neil Harris, who presided over the ceremony, said it was especially meaningful to him, as his sixth grandchild was gained through adoption — and that this event is just the beginning for the state of Mississippi.

“I spoke to Chief Justice Randolph several weeks ago, and he and I talked about his goal of having 1,000 adoptions in Mississippi for 2023, and Jackson County is on track in this district to do just that,” he said. In another interview, he added, “We’re making life changes and since I’ve had adoption in my family and have gotten a grandchild, then it is personal to me and I know how personal it is to these families. Most importantly, today we had a Christmas miracle.”

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