MONTEREY PARK (CBSLA.com) — Dione Washington and her two little girls were definitely ready.
CBS2’s Kristine Lazar said they even dressed the part. The three were in matching mother/daughter outfits.
The adorable little girls are not Washington’s biological children, but they are her children.
And Friday — the 17th annual National Adoption Day — a judge in Monterey Park made it official.
Washington is now, officially and legally, the proud adoptive mother of Maya, 5, and Amora, 2.
“I’m elated. I feel blessed,” said Washington.
The sisters were born to a teenage mother who was homeless and drug addicted. Washington, a community college teacher, initially stepped in to temporarily watch the youngest.
“The baby came into my life at the time my mother passed away. I thought it was the end of the world, so it was just like a new lease on life for me,” Washington said.
Maya soon came to live with her as well, and what was supposed to be a two-week stay turned into two years and Friday, a lifetime commitment.
More than 230 local children celebrated their adoptions at the children’s court in Monterey Park. The day is designed to bring awareness and dispel the myths surrounding adoption.
“A lot of people think that only married couples can adopt a child from the foster care system; it’s absolutely untrue. Another myth is that it costs a lot of money to adopt a child from foster care system, but there are virtually no costs,” said Margaret Marrow of Public Counsel.
Washington is a single mother who didn’t think she’d ever have children of her own.
“If you have the room in your heart and the room in your home and you’re dedicated and you want to make a difference, this is definitely the thing to do. And it’s so rewarding. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world,” Washington said.
For all the happiness of Friday, Lazar reminds, that for every one child adopted, there are two more who are waiting for forever homes.