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'A huge blessing': Four children were adopted into their forever families in Orange County Friday

One man formally adopted his younger sister after the death of their mother.

ORANGE COUNTY, Texas — A safe and secure home is no longer a dream for four children in Orange County. 

November is National Adoption Month. There are adoption events set to take place across the state that aim to spotlight the need for adoption and the many children waiting for a permanent family.

Friday was adoption day for the Department of Family and Protective Services in Orange. Four children were adopted into their forever homes in Orange County.

Judge Mandy Rodgers got the opportunity to turn hope into a reality. 

“Adoption days are always very happy, and then for me, as a CPS judge, you know, we always try to work to have the children that are removed from their families, to be able to be returned to their families,” Judge Rodgers said. “And if that's not possible, then this is the next best thing.”

Judge Rodgers' courtroom was packed with eager parents ready to complete their adoption. 

Robert Mershon shares a strong bond with the child he's adopting.

"Tiana is actually my sister, and our mom had passed away,” Mershon said. “And I'm obviously a bit older than her so, I think that if she were to live anywhere, it would be with me.”

After two years, the Mershon family will become whole. 

Angela Saldana and her husband also adopted children Friday. The two were happy to adopt, because at one point, they feared it was no longer an option for them.  

After their biological daughter, Brittany, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, the couple did not think they would be able to foster or adopt again. After Brittany died, the Saldanas turned to prayer for guidance.

"We just prayed about it, and we worked on getting licensed to foster,” Angela Saldana said. “And we got Mia Moo as a respite baby. We had no plans of adopting really and truly. My husband's like, ‘We're too old, we're not doing this.’ I was like, ‘No sir, you can't say this. You don’t know what's going to happen.”

Now the Saldana family has added two baby girls, who are biological sisters, to their family.

More than 5,000 Texas children who were abused or neglected were adopted from state care in 2021, according to the release. Texas DFPS representatives said more children enter the foster care system in Texas every day, so the need for families to provide children in state care with safe and loving homes has not diminished.

Anyone considering adoption is encouraged to visit adoptchildren.org to learn more.

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