Provided by Prince William County
Happy tears were shed, and laughter and applause filled a courtroom at the Prince William County Judicial Center during a National Adoption Day ceremony. Seven Prince William County children who were adopted in 2019, and the four families they were adopted into, were recognized. The dignitaries (including some adoptive parents) and families present shared their thoughts.
Prince William Circuit Cudge Carroll A. Weimer, Jr.
Prince William Circuit Court Judge Carroll A. Weimer, Jr. presided over the ceremony. He said it was his pleasure to celebrate “adoptions, adoptive families, found families and forever families.”
Weimer, an adoptive parent himself, told the parents they were the lucky ones and congratulated the children and their new families. “All parents know that children, no matter their age when they come into your lives, are a blessing. For those of you whose adoptions we celebrate today, we are here to lend our stamp of approval and to officially recognize your legal adoption.”
Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe
Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe, who is also an adoptive parent, was the master of ceremonies for the event. “The beautiful thing about adoption is that adoptive families choose each other. They choose to love one another. They choose to make themselves permanently bonded to one another… All of this is really to celebrate something that you already understand, and… we’re creating new forever families today and bringing together people who were always meant to be together.”
Jan Roltsch-Anoll, Chief Judge of the 31st Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
Chief Judge of the 31st Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Jan Roltsch-Anoll, also spoke at the ceremony. Roltsch-Anoll said that the first National Adoption Day was held in 2000. Since Prince William County started recognizing the day, which is held every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, more than 125 children have been adopted.
Roltsch-Anoll said all adoptions were meant to be. “There are no unwanted children. There are just unfound families. Today, we celebrate those found families.”
The Midlin Family
Melanie Midlin agreed with Roltsch-Anoll. She and her husband, Christopher, adopted their daughter Alexandra this year. “Alexandra was in foster care in Prince William. She came to our group home in Richmond in 2018; I was a teacher there at that time and that’s how we met. When I met Alex, I knew she was supposed to be part of our family; and I went home and I told Christopher, ‘There’s this girl at my school. She’s got to be ours.'”
Alexandra said she cherishes her adoption. “It means a lot because now I have a family.”
Christopher Midlin said he enjoyed the celebration. “The ceremony is a great way to recognize us officially becoming a family.”
Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Brad Marshall
Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Brad Marshall is president of the Prince William County Bar Foundation. He said that courtrooms are usually about winners and losers, but National Adoption Day is different. “National Adoption Day is one of the bar foundation’s proudest days because, in many ways, the court system is about prosecution and defense. The shining exception to that is adoption. Adoption is something where absolutely everyone involved wins…”
Town of Dumfries Councilwoman Cydny Neville
Town of Dumfries Councilwoman Cydny Neville told the children at the ceremony that adoption and foster care cure lonely hearts. “You children truly make the magic happen and allow us grown folks the ability to experience one of the highest forms of love through parenting… I just want you to know that’s really important.”
Prince William County Executive Chris Martino
Prince William County Executive Chris Martino closed the ceremony and said that adoptions were one of the most important things county government can do. “In local government, we provide many programs and services to a whole lot of people over a big geographic area. Out of all the things we do, adoption is really the most positive thing we do. Making it possible for the children and parents to find each other and come together is really a blessing.”
The Hymes Family
Dr. May Hymes’s daughter Aminata had her adoption finalized Saturday She said that adoption means having someone to “unconditionally love forever and ever.”
Hymes said the ceremony was important to the 14-year-old Aminata. “My daughter feels that that piece of paper is the most important thing for her. I think this is going to help her from today on. Today was monumental and a big piece to her future success.”
Aminata said everyone benefits from adoption. “Both sides win because they love each other in the end, and that’s what adoption is all about.”
For more information about foster care and adoption in the county, visit pwcgov.org/dss.