National Adoption Day changing the course of local children's lives

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - At the Bay County Courthouse, in Criminal Courtroom A, only one type of sentence was handed down Tuesday morning.

Tusday nine children were legally adopted into their new families. (WJHG/WECP)

A sentence to give children a better life.

"Today is a very emotional day, it's been a long journey to get here, but it's a really, really special day," said Shannon Colavecchio, a new mom.

Colavecchio is now a mother of two boys, 9-year-old Colton and 6-year-old Caden.

"I fell in love with them immediately, and here we are," said Colavecchio.

She represents one of six families going through the same exciting day, changing the lives of nine little ones.

"I mean it's a chance to just have everything that they need and to give them safety so that they know that they are loved and that they don't have to worry about the things that they might have had to worry about before," said Colavecchio.

For many new moms and dads, they say it's a day like this that's making the holiday season a little sweeter.

"We have our first family Thanksgiving trip that we're taking next week, yeah, it's a really good Thanksgiving," said Colavecchio.

While Colavecchio says the journey to get here is no walk in the park, she's encouraging others to go through this rewarding experience if they can.

"It's totally worth it, if you can even just help one child, even if they don't stay in your home forever you've made an impact on their life," said Colavecchio.

An impact that will change the course of a life, for a lifetime.

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