New Castle News

November 19, 2012

Photo Gallery, Story: A look at Adoption Day in the county

Sam Luptak Jr.
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The circus came to town Saturday at Lawrence County Children and Youth Services.

That was the theme of the agency’s third annual Adoption Day festivities at its offices in the former Almira Home on East Washington Street.

Dozens of children and their adoptive families showed up to play carnival-style games, make crafts such as picture frames and necklaces, jump in an indoor bounce-around and enjoy fair food ranging from popcorn and cotton candy to pizza and hot dogs.

Everything was provided to the families at no charge, thanks to a variety of sponsors, according to Megan McConahy, one of the event’s organizers.

Saturday’s celebration was part of National Adoption Day, an effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. Overall, National Adoption Day has helped nearly 40,000 children move from foster care to a forever family, and the observance also celebrates those matches.

One such family is the Pilch family from Union Township

Cheryl and Greg Pilch already had two children of their own when they decided they would like to be foster parents. CYS asked them if they would consider taking two siblings instead of a single child.

Cheryl Pilch said that she and her husband had decided that whatever God wanted them to do, they would follow, meaning they would say “yes” to whatever CYS asked of them.

“I asked how old they were,” she said. “They said, ‘well the one is 13 hours old.” Surprised to be receiving one so young, she asked about the other.

“Oh that one’s a little older,” she recalled the CYS worker saying.  “Thirteen hours and six minutes.”

And so, twins Brooklyn and Brayden – now 7 years old -- came into the Pilch family and never left. The adoption was finalized within 10 months, and they have been a part of the family literally since the day they were born.

“They were,” Pilch said, “the best Christmas present I ever got.”

Communities across the county celebrate National Adoption Day on the Saturday before every Thanksgiving. This year, the National Adoption Day Coalition estimated that 4,500 children in foster care would be adopted on that day.