JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- More than a dozen Duval County mothers adopted children in need of loving families. The Honorable David Gooding finalized the adoption of 24 children by 17 families in time for the children to spend their first Mother's Day with their new families. The children range in age from seven months to 17 years old.
Althea Gale is a new mother to Antonio.
"This is the best Mother's Day I could have ever asked for," said Gale.
Gale says she picked Antionio up from Shands hospital when he was just three months old.
"He couldn't even lift his head up because he was so malnourished," said Gale. "And, I knew from that day that he was my son."
Antonio's birth parents lost custody because he was unhealthy and weighed just nine pounds at three months old. However, Althea nourished him back to life.
"Everybody loves him...that smile when he wakes up in the morning and you hear him say, Ma!" said Althea. "That really makes my day."
Antonio's new brother, Willard, calls him 'Tony.'
"He's more than a little brother to me and I kind of feel like I am a father-figure to him," said Willard.
Antonio's new family is one of 17 families who are celebrating this Mother's Day.
Angela Wade adopted two young boys at the Duval County adoption day.
"These children have been through so much in their young lives and all I have to give them is love," said Wade.
Wade adopted her grandchildren, Corey, 4, and Trayvon, 2. She says the two boys were physically abused and often left hungry. Wade hopes the children can put that behind them and move forward in happiness.
"It's just like giving birth, really," said Wade. "Because, I've already had the pain of seeing them apart and abused."
The family Support Services is now hoping more Duval county families choose to adopt the 68 children who are in need of homes.
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