For first time mom Connie Mazur, this day couldn't come soon enough.
She beamed as Judge Laura Kiessling signed adoption documents making 9-month-old Kaitlyn an official part of her family.
"I always wanted a child, and I thought we could be very good parents," Mazur, an Ellicott City resident said. "I keep thinking what a miracle and a blessing she is."
The Mazurs, along with eight others, expanded their families as part of the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court's sixth annual National Adoption Day ceremony. In total, 11 children found permanent homes.
The day is part of a national effort that's helped nearly 40,000 children move from foster care into permanent homes since 2000.
Connie and her husband brought Kaitlyn home in August with the intention of adopting her. Mazur said she hopes Kaitlyn will thrive in Ellicott City, and that she grows up kind, loving and makes the world a better place.
Ten-year-old Paige wished to be adopted when she pulled on the wishbone from her Thanksgiving turkey this November.
On Thursday—less than a month later—she and her 6-year-old brother Camden officially became part of the Jones' family.
"They are our Christmas gift," Tamara Jones said.
The Jones' road to adopting Paige and Camden was a lot longer —social services brought the kids to the Hanover couple three years ago for what was intended to be a temporary basis.
William Jones said for the first year there was a lot of debate about whether the kids would be separated or returned to a biological family member.
Camden is autistic, and William Jones said some biological family members were willing to take Paige, but not Camden.
"They said he was a wild child, and they couldn't control him," William Jones said. "I think some of it was due to people just not wanting to understand him."
Social services eventually decided it was in the best interest of the children to stay together, and the Jones decided to adopt them.
Kiessling asked the kids how they felt about being adopted before signing their paperwork, and Camden said he was happy. The question was especially important for Paige. Because she is 10, Maryland law states that she had to consent to the adoption.
"They give me everything, and they love me," Paige said. "When I was with my other family, they were mean to me and stuff. But not my new family, they love me."