The search for a forever home ended this week for three area children as they officially joined their new families during Harrison County’s National Adoption Day set Thursday.

As a special treat, Presiding 71st Judicial District Judge Brad Morin invited all of the children, which included a toddler boy, a preschool-age girl and a 7-year-old boy, to sit in the “big chair” as the guest of honor.

“My job absolutely does not get any better than it does this afternoon,” the judge beamed.

The adoptions were celebrated with a colorful sea theme titled: “It’s OFishAl.”

Witnessing the happy occasion were representatives from the District Attorney’s Office, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Martin House Children Advocacy Center, Child Protective Services and the Harrison County Child Welfare Board.

LaDarius Carter, president of the child welfare board, presented the new families with congratulatory gifts on behalf of the board and the district attorney’s office.

“We want to congratulate you with your forever family,” Carter said, sharing how excited they are about the families’ willingness to step in and give the children the love and nurturing they deserve.

The adoptees were all in the care of Child Protective Services. CPS representatives along with guardian ad litems from CASA happily gave their blessings, agreeing that adoption was in the best interest of the children.

“We do this once a year,” Mallory Brown, the CPS conservatorship supervisor in Harrison County, said of the National Adoption Day observance.

“Of course, we do adoptions all year long. It’s just that it’s National Adoption Month so we try to do just a little more over the top this month,” she said.

The special occasion was celebrated with a special reception, offering cupcakes and other sweet treats.

“This is like one of our happiest days of the year,” Brown added. “It’s a day to celebrate. These children are officially a part of their forever family.”

Not only is it a happy occasion, but it’s also a good time to remember that there are kids in the foster care system that want to be adopted, said Brown.

“Every child deserves a forever home and why not you; why not now?” she said, stressing the need of more prospective forever homes.

“We need parents of all ages, all gender, all races,” said Brown. “We need parents who want babies; we need parents who want teenagers; we need parents who want sibling groups.”

The parents at Thursday’s National Adoption Day gleamed as they proudly took an oath took to support their adopted child, just like they would their own, and to love them — unconditionally — with all their heart and soul. The children were mutually grateful as they expressed their love and appreciation before the crowd.

“We’re soooo happy,” the 7-year-old boy joyously proclaimed as he sat in the judge’s chair, cheering following his adoption proceedings.

“It will be my honor,” he said of becoming a member of his new family.

Shari Pulliam, media specialist for Child Protective Services, also highlighted the need for adoption, noting that throughout this month, special activities and events are taking place across the state to help highlight the need for adoptive parents.

“Some of these children have special medical, physical, or emotional needs; however, their biggest need is that of a loving, forever home,” she indicated.

Pullium said those interested in becoming a foster-to-adopt parent can log onto to the www.adoptchildren.org website.

“This website provides information on where to attend an adoption meeting and it spells out the requirements to become a foster-to-adopt parent,” she advised. “If you think you can be a forever parent for a child in Texas, please visit our website at www.adoptchildren.org or call toll-free 1-800-233-3405 for more information.”