Adoption Day in Northumberland County

SUNBURY, Pa. -- When people appear in front of a judge at the Northumberland County Courthouse in Sunbury, they typically aren't smiling. But this day is different. It's Adoption Day.

"It makes you feel like all the hard work that you do and the things that you have to deal with make it worthwhile to see the smiles on the foster parents, the adoptive parents, and the children's faces," Katrina Gownley said.

Adoption Day celebrates all the families in Northumberland County who adopted in the past year.

Children and Youth employees say it's the highlight of their year.

"They work hard all year-long with a lot of difficult issues and sad stories. This is just a great thing for everyone," Leslie Bryden said.

There were 30 adoptions this year here in Northumberland County, which Children and Youth employees say is a record.

"When I first started we only had seven and that was two years ago," Gownley said.

One of those adoptions is 14-year-old Issah Giles, who now lives in New Jersey. His adoption was finalized at this celebration.

"It's my whole world right now," Edward Giles said.

"The minute I came into the family I knew it was going to work out. Just to finally have it in place is exciting," Issah Giles said.

Stephane and Kurt Mabus of Millmont adopted Shawn and Luis.

"It makes me feel good that we're able to do this and help give them a good life. I love them just like I would have birthed them," Stephanie Mabus said.

Employees at Northumberland County Children and Youth hope adoption numbers here continue to rise.

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