The public health crisis of 2020 hasn’t reduced the number of kids in foster care who need a forever home. Despite social distancing requirements, testing protocols and upended plans, Family Support Services (FSS) continues to find forever homes for kids of all ages. That’s our vision: for children to grow up connected to their heritage supported by quality families.

On Mother’s Day weekend Judge David Gooding, Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit, officiated adoption proceedings formally welcoming 14 children into nine families. But instead of a courtroom setting, the proceedings were held virtually.

Tameka Kinney was one lucky parent that day. Though she’s been taking care of her 1-year-old niece for some time, she told News4Jax she’s excited to officially become a first-time mom.

Another new adoptive parent, Emily Smith, agreed. She and her husband “knew from the moment we met Taylor that we wanted to be her mom and dad,” she said. “Taylor began wrapping the strings of her heart around ours. During one of our visits with her therapist, Taylor looked at us and said, ‘Will you adopt me?’ That was it.”

“Everyone needs a family,” Judge Gooding said in that extraordinary adoption event. In fact, FSS has facilitated 128 adoptions between March 19, when the agency closed to the public, and July 20, 2020.

Do you know a similarly inspiring story of adoption? Share it on social media. It shines a spotlight on FSS and its partner agencies—and helps the community celebrate and recognize foster and adoptive parents throughout the community.