AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thirteen-year-old Destiny O’Karacalrke has waited for this day for a long time.
On Thursday, she, along with 43 other children crowded into a room to celebrate Austin Adoption Day. Among the children were the 30 families opening up their arms to welcome the children as their forever families.
As of September 2017, nearly 4,000 children are waiting to be adopted in Texas. In fiscal year 2017, 5,395 children were adopted from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
For O’Karacalrke, the process, while hard and long, has led her to where she is today. “I met so many people that they’ve become my family too — my caseworkers, Marie, Mary, Tonya, and just everybody else — I’ve just been very thankful for them,” said O’Karacalrke.
The sobering number of children like her who have not been adopted is not lost on her. “Four thousand kids that need to be adopted, you know they have a day that’s waiting for them like this too,” she said.
During her speech to the crowd, the teenager even made it a point to thank her foster family. “Children, they need foster parents that’ll take them in and love them, like they did me.”
To learn more about how you can become an adoptive parent, click here.