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Democracy Trailblazers ignite enthusiasm among teen voters; CA monster blizzard batters Tahoe, Mammoth, Sierra amid avalanche warnings; MN transportation sector could be next in line for carbon-free standard; IN teachers 'stunned' by lawmakers' bid to bypass collective bargaining.

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Nikki Haley says she may not endorse the GOP nominee, President Biden says the U-S will continue air-dropping aid into Gaza and more states look at ditching the electoral college for a national popular vote.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

MI families begin new futures as National Adoption Month ends

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Wednesday, November 29, 2023   

Many parents complete their families through adoption, and November has been the month to encourage awareness, recognize those still waiting to be adopted and celebrate those who have grown through the process.

More than a hundred families finalized their adoptions at eight County Family Courts across Michigan this year, while more than 75,000 in 400 communities did so nationally.

Julia Hampton, an adoptive parent who works for Walmart, said it is important to look at the benefits offered by businesses when growing your family through adoption.

"Look into the programs available through the company you're employed with, because it may be they have a program set up to reimburse you for legal fees for the adoption," Hampton recommended. "Then you still get a bonding time, to just spend some one-on-one time with them."

Walmart ranks 46th on the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption's annual ranking of the Top 100 Adoption-Friendly Workplaces. It is also in second place for the "Best Impact Breakout," among companies with more than 1,000 employees, providing the most financial reimbursement for adoption to the largest number of workers.

Alyssa Harp and husband Jason Harp finalized a rare adoption of older teens at a Michigan Adoption Day ceremony this year. Alyssa said growing her family with the two teen brothers has been rewarding and fulfilling.

"Their hearts are good. They want a family. They bring so much to our lives. They're such good siblings," Alyssa explained. "We're just really excited to be able to help them have a safe place to become amazing adults."

Rebekka Krul, adoption specialist for Legacy Adoption Services, said National Adoption Month is a time for awareness of the many children in foster care waiting for their forever families, which should not end when the month is over.

"You don't have to be rich or married, or you don't even have to have a house," Krul pointed out. "As long as you have a safe space and you have love in your heart for kids, we'll welcome you."

Nationally, more than 113,000 children are waiting to be adopted from foster care. They include more than 10,600 in Michigan.


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