Family adopts longtime foster child

Published: Aug. 28, 2022 at 9:28 PM CDT
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CALLAWAY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - One family got a gift of a lifetime Sunday morning.

The Phipps family welcomed the community to join in their foster daughter’s official adoption ceremony at One Life Church in Callaway.

3-year-old Bella came to the family more than two years ago.

An attempt was made to reunify the little girl with her birth mom, but it failed.

Bella’s adoptive parents said they are blessed to welcome Bella with open arms.

“It was very emotional, very emotional,” said adoptive mother Nichole Phipps. “We just feel the love from everyone in the room. We had people from the very beginning come out to see Bella join her forever family.”

Bella’s adoptive parents said the ceremony served a greater purpose, though.

Thousands of kids in the U.S. are in need of foster care or adoption.

The Administration for Children and Families reports there were more than 400,000 kids in the foster-care system at the end of fiscal year 2020.

The same outlet says more than 115,000 children were waiting to be adopted during that same time.

“There are so many children who need homes forever and temporarily,” Phipps said. “We would really like to see our community get involved and reach out to Northwest Florida about fostering and adopting children.”

Phipps said Bella is one of seven children in the family.

She isn’t the first child to be fostered and adopted in their household.