Adoption Day Creates Forever Families in Sumter

Sumter, SC (WLTX) -- A Sumter judge spent the day completing families and giving children permanent homes.

"Thank God it's over. We're finally where we want to be," said Jeff Slagle, he and his wife Katy finalized an adoption of a brother and sister.

"A huge sigh of relief I just wanted to cheer," said Katy Slagle.

Their family of three is now officially a family of five after almost four and a half years of waiting.

"A little too long, I was in foster care for 6 years," said 11-year-old Martin Slagle, describing the process.

Martin and his sister, 12-year-old Lilliana, have lived with the Slagle family for the last three years, and their adoption marks a new beginning with the family and their biological son, 9-year-old Kyler, who was anxious for some siblings.

"When I was little I kept saying, asking where my brother and sister were," said Kyler.

Lilliana, the oldest of the kids, was bit more shy, but no less enthusiastic about the day.

"Excited and happy because it's been a long time," said Lilliana.

One by one, families appeared before Judge George McFaddin, for one of the year's two annual adoption days. The docket is blocked off just for the cases to allow the uncontested adoptions to move forward more quickly.

"It's a happy day for me also. I don't have to make decisions that bother people or make them feel bad about themselves, perhaps. But it's a good day for everyone and especially this time of the year when they have new additions to their families that are permanent instead of temporary," said McFaddin.

Janice Keisler and her husband and two daughters, welcomed two small additions into their family. She says it took more than a year and a half to make it to this point.

"Everybody's excited that we've got extra kids, more kids coming in," said Keisler.

Now, as Thanksgiving approaches, these families say they have got even more to be thankful for.

"They've been our kids since they moved in so this just makes it legal, make it official," said Katy Slagle.

About 14 families adopted around 20 children Monday. Since 2011, DSS says its Adoption and Foster Care team has found forever families for 1,694 children.


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