Maureen McMullen, Published November 23 2013
Fargo event celebrates National Adoption Day
On Saturday, the Lausch family, including biological daughters Elleanna, 10, and Ariella, 6, welcomed new additions Emily, an 8-year-old, and Scott, a 7-year-old.
“I’ve learned as painful and as complex as the process is sometimes, it’s really worth it in the end,” Amanda Lausch said.
The Lausches were one of 11 area families who officially welcomed a total of 19 children into their family in a ceremony at the Cass County Courthouse.
In honor of National Adoption Day, Fargo was one of 400 cities across the U.S. that opened its doors on a Saturday to officiate the adoptions of 4,500 children.
Starting at 9 a.m., Cass County District Court Judges John Irby and Lisa Fair McEvers finalized the adoptions.
“It is such a pleasure for me to be part of this process,” Fair McEvers said afterward. “I know how important it is for children to have the love and support of their families.”
While some families welcomed their first adoptees, Sheree Vetter, is no newcomer to the process.
Each of Vetter’s four children, Robert, 13; Isaac, 12; Hannah, 8; and Joseph, a 10-month-old, were adopted. Joseph’s adoption was finalized on Saturday.
“People talk about ‘my real family,’ or ‘not real family.’ I don’t think that’s the terminology that I ever want to use in my home,” Sheree Vetter said. “They are my children whether they are adopted or biological, and I don’t know any different.”
Although the Vetter family eagerly welcome Joseph, finding a good match for a child isn’t easy.
“One of our challenges is finding families for tougher to place children, like older children or larger sibling groups,” said Sonja McLean, supervisor for the North Dakota branch of Adults Adopting Special Kids, one of the organization involved in the event.
AASK, a program contracted by the North Dakota Department of Human Services, provides adoption and foster services for children as well as home assessments for potential families. The program serves 400 children statewide, 23 of which are in the adoption process.
Saturday’s event concluded with a balloon-letting ceremony. Twenty-three white balloons were released to honor North Dakota children being placed, while each adoptee received a colorful bunch to let free.