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In special ceremonies, former foster kids find ‘forever families’

Wow, this sure beats getting a turkey.

Some lucky parents went to courthouses in Olathe and Kansas City, Kan., on Saturday and took home a dozen even luckier children.

The adoption finalizations brought tears and balloons, photos and relief, cookies and grandpas’ smiles — a rush almost too much for A.J. Porchea to handle.

“I think I’m going to puke,” the 5-year-old said as he carried a waste basket into a courtroom.

His new mom smiled.

“He’s fine,” Sameano Porchea said. “He’s cute as a button and smart as a whip. He’s my baby and he’s the man of the house.”

The legal proceedings were part of National Adoption Day, the annual event to draw attention to the need for “forever families” to open their homes to the country’s 107,000 children who still await adoption.

Similar events were held Friday in Kansas City and Liberty.

On the steps of the Johnson County Courthouse, Judge Kathleen Sloan said the event was the best reason to open a courthouse on a Saturday.

“It’s not often that people come into a courtroom happy and leave even happier,” she told the crowd of soon-to-be parents, who gathered with family and friends.

Sameano Porchea, of Overland Park, looked pretty happy. She said she’d always wanted to be a mother.

“But I’m 36 and it didn’t look like I was going to be getting married any time soon,” she said.

So she decided to go the adoption route. She picked A.J. up at his grandmother’s house on Feb. 28. They went to the movies and then to Target to pick out things for his room. They never looked back.

“He calls my parents at night and reads them a bedtime story —

he’s 5

,” she said, a mother’s pride already kicked in. “We’re going to be good.”

Aaron and SuAnn Foote of Lenexa did what some parents are reluctant to do. They adopted a teenager: 13-year-old Elizabeth.

“She bright and beautiful, and she’s got this sense of humor that fits right in to this family,” SuAnn said.

Aaron Foote added: “And I got a girl who can throw a football.”

“Lizzie” smiled at both her new parents. “We’re all happy — and I get to stop moving around.”

Those words brought to mind a poem Sloan recited earlier, part of it read:

“The day you took my outstretched hand, a journey ended but our lives began.”

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