Families Make Adoptions Official At Children's Museum

For Michelle Norwood it was a two-year process to adopt the three children

Michelle Norwood, a 50-year-old single mom, created a new family on Friday morning.

"If you love kids, adopt," she said.

Norwood has spent 19 years as a social worker in agencies focusing on troubled youth.

When her niece started having children and needed help, Norwood began babysitting.

In 2009, she'd come pick up then 4-year-old Shaniyah for the weekend. Eventually, the state removed Shaniyah and her two brothers, Delvonte, 7, and Heavion, 2.

"I wanted to make a change for them," said Norwood, on deciding to adopt the children.

Still, it took months of stressful court trips to bring the family together.

The Family Resource Center helped guide Norwood through the process.

"It's a blessing," said Executive Director Oren Wunderman, grateful the siblings could stay together.

Thanks to the organization, Our Kids, Norwood joined other families in going before a judge at the Miami Children's Museum to make the adoption official Friday morning.

Dr. Wunderman notes the state covers all costs of public adoption, and parents receive a stipend to support their care.

He said there are 160 children in Miami-Dade and Monroe County waiting to be adopted. To see their pictures, and learn how adoption works click here.

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