16 Foster Children Get Forever Families in Group Ceremony | Community Spirit

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16 Foster Children Get Forever Families in Group Ceremony
16 Foster Children Get Forever Families in Group Ceremony

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Crystal Tyler has been waiting for this day for three years.

With family and friends surrounding her, Judge David Gooding announced that 10-year-old Rashad was officially her son and the court room erupted with applause.

"I am so ready to be his mama," she told the judge in front of a room full of soon-to-be new mothers and fathers.

Sixteen foster children in all were adopted today in a large ceremony at the Duval County Courthouse. "Adoptions are always heartwarming and exciting," Gooding said.

"But this ceremony will be particularly special for the new mothers, what better way to celebrate mothers day."

Tyler was Rashad's foster parent several years ago. But when she took a job with the state, she said she had to give up her fostering license - and Rashad.

"The state took him and gave him to some of his relatives, but that didn't work out and he disappeared," she said. "I tried looking for him, because I wanted him to be my son, I looked for two years with no luck."

But one day when she was visiting family court, she overheard a judge call out Rashad's name. He was still in Jacksonville, and still in foster care; she immediately started the adoption process.

"It was a long process, but we did it," Tyler said. "He's been with me for three months, and today everything is official. He's mine."

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