Friday was a happy day for a number of families inside courtrooms all across Connecticut.
It was adoption day in Connecticut with more than 70 families expanding and officially welcoming new members.
In Waterbury, they had 20 adoptions finalized Friday and the staff said this is by far one of their best days of the year.
"It just feels like this has always been our family and everything about it,” father James McLaughlin said.
Five-year-old Bryson and 4-year-old Carter couldn't contain their smiles or their giggles.
"They actually moved in, the Friday of Father's Day weekend,” father Kevin McLaughlin said. “God, I can't pull it together, but it was the best earliest Father's Day present."
Five months late, for Kevin and James McLaughlin, it finally became official.
"I can't imagine having a connection that's more, even if they were our own,” James McLaughlin said.
Bryson and Carter were two of the 74 adoptions finalized on Department of Children and Families' adoption day in Connecticut.
Last year, 436 children were adopted out of foster care and as of September, more than 4,300 were still living in foster care.
There are so many children in any state that need placement,” Kevin McLaughlin said.
Kevin and James McLaughlin first started their family five years ago, when they adopted now 9-year-old Harry, who's looking forward to being a big brother.
"It’s happy because they get a family that they never had. I remember I got adopted, adoption day, that was really happy for me,” Harry McLaughlin said.
For this growing family, their expansion doesn't stop with its newest and littlest members.
“Their paternal grandmother and her husband are now part of the family too and they've welcomed Harry into their arms as one of theirs too so in a way, if you would have asked me two years ago, I would have thought I would have been uncomfortable with that, but it just feels really natural and they're part of the family now,” Kevin McLaughlin said.
"The first time we adopted, this finalization was the day the bow got tied on the gift and given to us and it was ours to keep, and that's what we did today,” James McLaughlin said.
For more information on adoption through Connecticut Department of Children and Families, call 888-KID-HERO or click here.
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