WACO, Texas — Friday is National Adoption Day. Many children throughout Central Texas now have a forever family right before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Eli Anthony Ashworth is one of many kids in McLennan County who were adopted Friday. His mom and dad always knew they wanted to adopt him.
"Before I even met him. I got the call and I said hey we are doing this," Tara Ashworth said.
Eli is 17 months old. He has been a part of the Ashworth family since he was an infant. The Ashworth family also adopted his brother Ty and T.J.
"We love children, always have," Chris Ashworth said. “There is a need out there for a kid who need home. If we can provide that, we will always do it."
There were 29 being adopted into 21 families across McLennan County. What is usually a large-scale celebration at courthouses across Texas had to be done virtually because of COVID-19.
"2020 has been a tough year for everybody. I think coming out of this year a lot of people would be happy to leave it behind,” Mark Wilson, Media Relations Specialist for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said. “For the Ashworth’s and others like them, 2020 is not going to be the year of COVID-19, it is going to be the year their family became whole."
After three adoptions the Ashworth’s said they may adopt again. This time a little girl. At the end of September 2020 there were 16,065 Texas children in foster care, including 344 in McLennan County. Most of them are able to return home or be placed permanently with a relative. However, thousands cannot go home and need loving, forever families.