Local parents speak out about joys of adoption

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - With the holidays coming up, some children may ask for toys or video games, but others simply just want someone to call mom or dad.

About four years ago, Isaac Hasty and his parents Brian and Cassidy became a family.

''It's been one of the greatest blessings we could have ever done," Cassidy said. "Isaac is definitely a joy in our lives."

The couple decided to adopt after they discovered it was impossible to have biological children.

"Isaac was born and he was in foster care for six weeks," Brian said.

Experts with the Life Management Center say many kids needing a home start off in foster care.

"Bay County is currently in a crisis for foster homes because there's over 300 children in Circuit 14 that have been removed from their parents and placed in out-of-home care," Jenn Jacobus, foster parent mentor specialist with Life Management said.

There's also a need for adoptive homes. More than 30 kids in our area are on a waiting list to find their forever homes.

"They don't have an identified home, so that means they're in foster homes, group homes around the state," Blair Bell, adoption recruitment specialist with Life Management said. "In our entire circuit, we have about 178 children awaiting adoption."

Statistics on AdoptFlorida.org report approximately 800 children are currently available for adoption including teenagers, sibling groups, and children with medical needs.

"We truly believe that God really orchestrated our son coming into our lives," Brian said.

The Hasty's say having Isaac has been one of the biggest joys of their lives. They plan on adopting again in the future.

"One of my concerns was that I wouldn't love an adopted child as much as I would love a biological child," Brian explained, "and it was a fear that I had and I know nothing could be further from the truth."

Last year, almost 4,000 children in Florida found their forever families.

November 18th is officially recognized as National Adoption Day in the state. The entire month of the November is recognized as Florida Adoption Month.

For more information about adoption and foster care, click on the links on the side of the page.