St Johns County hosted the inaugural Adoption Day Ceremony yesterday morning at the County Courthouse. Eight foster children have permanent homes after they finalized their adoptions with six local families in a ceremony Friday to celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month.
Case managers and adoption specialists got emotional during the ceremony, which was a special day for Robert and Laura Ellis. They legally adopted the 1-year-old daughter of Robert’s cousin, after circumstances led to the cousin losing custody.
“We stepped in, and she’s been a blessing for sure. She’s got me wrapped around her finger,” Robert Ellis admitted to local Historic City News reporters. “Everybody needs love, deserves love, and it helps them grow, helps us grow.”
Robert and Laura have cared for little Aubree since she was a few days old. Now she will be a permanent part of their family. Laura Ellis said adoption doesn’t just change the child’s life, but the parents’ and siblings’ lives, too. Love really has helped the Ellis family grow. They’ve adopted five children, have three biological children and have fostered more than a dozen children.
“It’s stability, you let that child know that you’re going to be there no matter what,” Robert Ellis said of the importance of adoption.
Ceremonies for the county’s inaugural event and reception were presided over by Judges Howard McGillin and John Alexander. St. Johns County plans to continue the adoption event every year to celebrate new families.