Mass Adoption Ceremony Brings Smiles and Tears of Joy


What a day!

Twelve children joined six families today in our Mass Adoption Ceremony. It was a tremendous day and every time Judge James Cissell proclaimed an adoption final and established a new family, the news was met with a great round of applause, plenty of smiles and even some tears of joy. 

The children were amazing. Some of them were so articulate and it really touched your heart when they described why they wanted to be adopted. I am humbled that our agency could play a part in making their dreams come true. 

Below, you will see links to some of the coverage of the event. I hope it touches you like it did me. And, if you are thinking of adopting, remember we still have about 200 children available for adoption. You can watch videos of many of them on our web site,







Adoption Ceremony May Put a Lump in Your Throat

I am getting excited about our upcoming mass adoption ceremony on Nov. 22. We hold it every year to celebrate National Adoption Day and it always results in an emotional validation of the work we do here at JFS.

When you work in the field of abused and neglected children, there are a lot of tough days. The thousands of children we work with each year have really sad stories behind them.

Nov. 22 is going to be a positive day — a day of celebration. Fifteen children will forever join seven families. Believe me when I tell you that what happens in that ceremony will put a smile on your face and, possibly, a lump in your throat.

I wrote about the ceremony in our latest edition of Update. You can read what I wrote at

We are livestreaming the event. I hope you will join in the fun!

Adoption Day News Coverage

We received great coverage of our mass adoption ceremony! I am excited because getting the word out helps generate interest in the children we still have waiting for loving families. Take a look at some of these news clips:


Adoption Day: Emotional and Fulfilling




What an incredible day!

I was fortunate enough to participate in an event where 13 children joined seven families, forming bonds that will last for the rest of their lives. Our Mass Adoption Ceremony was an emotional event that left me fulfilled and even more committed to the children and families we serve.

Seeing the joy on the faces of both children and families brought smiles to everyone in Judge Cissell’s courtroom. Hearing their stories and how they felt about their new families left many with tears in their eyes.

All four Cincinnati television stations covered the event and will run stories tonight.  I thank them for that because I think it is important the community see this joyous event. I hope to post clips to the coverage here on my blog early next week.

You can also find out more about the event on our website,

If you are moved to adopt after watching the stories, please visit for more information and to see pictures, videos and biographies of the 190 or so children we have available for adoption. After seeing what I saw today, I am eager to find a happy home for each and every one of them!




Miracles will Happen on Nov. 16

Below is the column I wrote for this month’s issue of Update, our community newsletter. It discusses our upcoming mass adoption ceremony, which is one of the most powerful and emotional days of the year here at JFS.

(You can find the column and much more news about our agency here: Please, if you are interested in our agency and what we do, subscribe.)

It is rare that you can predict a miracle, but I know of several that will take place on Nov. 16.

That is the day we hold our mass adoption ceremony to celebrate National Adoption Month. Several families will welcome our foster children into their homes and lives permanently, forming loving families out of what was a foundation of abuse and neglect.

To me, that is a miracle.

I always circle this day on my calendar. To call it “inspirational” doesn’t do it service. This is life changing for these children.

I watched a 13-year-old boy break down in sobs last year as he tried to articulate what his adoptive family meant to him. The boy’s life had been tragic: his mother had died and, after he went to live with his grandfather, his grandfather passed away, too. He then lived with an uncle who suffered medical issues that prohibited him from caring for the young boy.

Left all alone, he found love with a new family. His sobs told a story I could never tell in this newsletter.

Nov. 16 will be a celebration. Finalizing an adoption is always the culmination of a tremendous amount of work by our staff. Pairing a child with specific needs with a family that can meet those needs is difficult. But when you get it right, the reward is great.

This is our fifth annual mass adoption ceremony at Hamilton County’s Probate Court. Judge James Cissell will preside. Seven families will adopt 13 children. If you would like to watch it live, we will livestream it over U-Stream. Look for details later this month on our website,

We have nearly 200 children awaiting adoption. You can see their stories and watch their videos on another of our websites, Seeing their faces is both sad – a reminder of the more than 5,000 reports of abuse we investigate every month – and inspiring, because they have not been broken and their spirit shines through in their videos.

Each has been the victim of abuse and neglect and, despite great efforts, cannot be reunited with their birth families. Now, we are trying to locate the right “match.” That sometimes takes months or years.

We don’t give up. Even as they turn 18 and become adults. Everyone needs a family throughout life.

One other way we are celebrating National Adoption Month is with a recruitment event where prospective adoptive parents can meet and spend time with some of our children. Later in the month, we will hold a celebration for all families who adopted children throughout the year.

We do what we can to encourage and celebrate the adoption of our children. We have stepped up our efforts in the past few years and received additional help this year from a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids’ grant that allowed us to add recruiters. The Nov. 16th ceremony is but a symbol of our year-round efforts. So far this year, we have had 77 adoptions. We hope to surpass last year’s 112 and 2010’s 105.

Children available for adoption come from a variety of backgrounds, neighborhoods, economic circumstances and living situations. They may have varying levels of medical, emotional or behavioral problems. They all bring their own personalities, strengths, interests and gifts.

What they need most? Love.

Can you answer the call? Do you have what it takes? If so, visit our adoption website, to learn more and feel free to contact us by phone, (513) 946-1000, or e-mail,

New Adoption Day Videos

Please check out these three videos of our Adoption Day ceremony. This event is always a highlight of our year!