51 children adopted in Winnebago county Saturday - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

51 children adopted in Winnebago county Saturday

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The life of a child in the foster system is not always an easy one. Some jump from house to house several times in a month. But for some lucky children, that pattern ended today with adoption.

After today, the Oldham family makes 11. Six are Jerry and Tammy Oldham's biological children. The other 5 were foster children, until today.

"It's going to double, it's neat, it's a little bit of a culture shock at first bringing two families together, especially two large separate families," says Jerry Oldham

After years of waiting to finalize the adoption, the Oldhams joined dozens of other parents at the Winnebago County Criminal Justice Center Saturday afternoon for a 'National Adoption Day' event.

In total, 51 children, who were previously fosters, were adopted into more than 30 Winnebago county families.

"All of these children come from situations where there was abuse or neglect within their original home, so all of these children already have had experiences that were traumatic for them," says Melissa Johnson, Senior Supervisor for Lutheran Social Services of Illinois.

The Stultz family is happy to break that cycle with the adoption of their two girls, ages 6 and 4.

"Ever since I was a child I thought about adoption, probably because I've been around families who've adopted and it just seems like such a wonderful way to grow your family. and so it just seemed natural for me and I'm thrilled that my husband and I get to be part of that," says Lois Stultz.  

Over the last 10 years, nearly 250 Winnbago County children have been adopted into their permanent homes on National Adoption Day.

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