27 children adopted around Knoxville in time for Christmas

27 children adopted around Knoxville in time to have Christmas with family

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This was the first Christmas picture taken of Laura Mitchell and her new son, seven-year-old Jacob. She's been waiting 19 months for the paperwork to be complete. This was the first Christmas picture taken of Laura Mitchell and her new son, seven-year-old Jacob. She's been waiting 19 months for the paperwork to be complete.
"It is just the most perfect Christmas gift ever. We have waited so long," said Laura Mitchell. "It is just the most perfect Christmas gift ever. We have waited so long," said Laura Mitchell.
"What's your favorite part about your momma?" 6 News asked. Jacob said, "That I get to spend time with her." "What's your favorite part about your momma?" 6 News asked. Jacob said, "That I get to spend time with her."
According to Helen Ross McNabb Center employee Tiffani Debord, who specializes in foster care and adoptions, there are 7,000 children in Tennessee who need to be adopted. According to Helen Ross McNabb Center employee Tiffani Debord, who specializes in foster care and adoptions, there are 7,000 children in Tennessee who need to be adopted.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Attorneys and Department of Children's Services case managers have been working around the clock to make some wishes come true for almost 30 kids in and around the Knoxville area. Twenty-seven domestic foster kids were adopted on Monday.

Laura Mitchell has waiting 19 months for the paperwork to be complete to adopt her 7-year-old son Jacob.

"I can now say he is officially adopted today and he is officially Jacob Andrew Mitchell," said Mitchell.

Mitchell's close friends and family were at the courthouse to celebrate the adoption. Jacob had fun playing with his new forever family.

"It is just the most perfect Christmas gift ever. We have waited so long. Never really actually dreamed we would have a court date really by the end of the year, let alone two days before Christmas, so it really is the best Christmas gift ever," said Mitchell.

Mitchell works full time, is a foster parent and is now a single mom to her new son Jacob. As a foster parent, she has had 19 kids live with her for different periods of time.

"What I found was the need was so great for children who needed homes. They needed someone to love them. They need somewhere to be safe and protected," said Mitchell.

According to Helen Ross McNabb Center employee Tiffani Debord, who specializes in foster care and adoptions, there are 7,000 children in Tennessee who need to be adopted. She says the state pays for most of the domestic adoptions. A significant amount of research and paperwork is done before approving an adoption which lengthens the process, but Debord says giving a child a forever home is worth the wait.

"The kids, just seeing their little faces when they finally feel accepted and they know that there's a family that loves them that much. It's wonderful seeing them just become one," said Debord.

Mitchell says she is excited to start her life with her new son Jacob.

"He is just the most special little boy ever. He has the biggest smile, the biggest heart, the most grateful heart of any child I've ever met. I fell in love with him and am glad to call him my son," said Mitchell.

"What's your favorite part about your momma?" 6 News asked. Jacob said, "That I get to spend time with her."

If you are interested in fostering or adopting a child, call the Helen Ross McNabb center at (865) 544-5000.

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