Families celebrate as they grow on East Tennessee Adoption Day

Local News

Thursday was filled with celebrations as a number of families in East Tennessee grow. It was Adoption Day, which means courts in downtown Knoxville were open, finalizing adoptions of children from foster care.

Earlier this year, WATE 6 On Your Side highlighted the push to save a very special doll for a little boy in the foster system.

More: Community comes together to help foster child after beloved toy is damaged

At the time, the Meier family shared that their foster son’s toy, Woody from the Toy Story movie, had been damaged but new friends made sure the doll was repaired.

On East Tennessee’s Adoption Day, the Meier family adopted that little boy and his two older sisters.

“The girls have been with us over five years and Eli has been with us over two years,” said their adoptive father, Russell Meier.

With 14 other families, the Meiers sat in the City-County Building to adopt 4-year old Eli, 6-year old Mahayla and 7-year old Alexia.

“It’s our adoption day,” said Mahayla.

The Meier family made a decision years ago to open their home and their hearts.

“A lot of ups and downs. It’s rough going through the court system but in the end what’s best for the kids is the main thing. We’re very fortunate, we’re blessed to have them today, call them ours,” added their adoptive mom Renee Meier.

The young sisters saying their adoption day is exciting, “It’s like having a real family and having fun and being happy,” said Alexia.

Adoption Day in Knoxville came with all kinds of emotions and at the heart of it, finding peace.

“It’s quite a journey, quite an experience, a learning experience, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Renee Meier.

A total of 31 children were officially adopted during East Tennessee’s Adoption Day. The Meiers say they’re in the process of adopting another child and plan on keeping their hearts open to adopting more.

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