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Thousands of Indiana kids need homes, some were officially adopted Friday

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Posted at 5:10 PM, Nov 18, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — Thousands of Indiana kids are in need of a home.

More than 20 of them got that on Friday as a judge made it official for families in Marion County.

The courtroom was decorated with balloons, streamers and banners as families, loved ones, case managers and others gathered in the courtroom to watch.

It got emotional as teens and young kids alike had their documents signed by the judge.

For 4-year-old Jeremiah McMallum, it wasn't his first rodeo.

He was adopted back in April. On Friday, his biological brother Ozias was adopted.

"I like to play with him," Jeremiah said. "I think I could love him."

Ozias and Jeremiah's parents, Julia and Kevin McCallum, said they feel blessed to call the boys theirs.

"They're ours now. He was mine from the moment I laid eyes on him, from the moment he came into our home," Julia said. "Today is very special, we know that they are McCallums and we know this is where the Lord meant them to be."

Kevin said the two were watching TV four years ago when they saw there were thousands of Indiana kids in the foster care system and they felt compelled to help.

"How important it is for children to find a place to be where they can be loved and supported and have a future for themselves," Kevin said.

Julia is no stranger to adoption; she was adopted nearly 50 years ago in Marion County.

"Almost 50 years ago, I was given up for adoption here in Marion County. My biological mother said she wanted something more for me, something she couldn't provide," Julia said. "I wanted to give back. It's about paying it forward and keeping on with the blessings I received as a child."

Magistrate Rosanne Ang said it was special to see cases through.

"Just being able to say yes, I can tell you 'yes, this is going to happen today' — it's an honor," Ang said. "To be able to say here are your roots, you can root now and go on with things and not worry about things you can't control."

The McCallums weren't the only family in the courtroom Friday.

The Bookers adopted their two foster daughters, Dazyrae and Maddy.

"It means the world to me. I didn't have girls; I had all boys. Now, the world has blessed these two girls to come into my life," Carolyn Booker said. "They both came to me broken, I hope that what I have done for them is given them life."

The couple said Friday was overwhelming.

"We love them very much and we're glad to have them in our life," Roderick Booker said.

After all, it's not blood that makes a family. It's love.

Firefly, an organization that works to help children and families, says more than 1,500 kids are waiting for adoptive homes in the state.

That doesn't include the thousands of foster kids in the system.

For more information on adoption, click here.