The lives of four families changed for the better Tuesday morning at the Rusk County Courthouse. 

With spirits high, amid the chatter of joyful onlookers, four families excitedly approached the bench of Judge Chad Dean. 

After the briefest series of questions for new mother and father, and statements from CPS, DFPS, and CASA representatives, Judge Dean proclaimed each adoption final. 

No matter how many times this proclamation was announced, applause erupted from the packed seats of the onlookers. 

A reception was held at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center dining hall immediately following court proceedings. Refreshments were served and gifts were given the newly expanded families. 

The Reynolds family, Kalon and Jennifer, adopted little Judah Austin Reynolds. When asked how they felt about the day, Kalon Reynolds said, “Awesome is the only word I can think to describe it.” 

James and Angela Wisdom added Kaitlin and Anna Marie Wisdom to their fold. “It’s nice for it to be official,” Wisdom said, “I’m Mom, he’s Dad, that’s just how it is. Now everybody else has to notice that also.” 

Carlyet and Tina Johnson are now the proud parents of Emmanuel, Kaitlyn and Elijah Dean. Regarding her feelings about the day, Tina Johnson said, “Today is a happy day. We have closure now as well as the children. We can move forward now.”

Ivory Dean Smith can now, officially, call Dewones and Brittany Smith, mommy, and daddy. “We feel really, really blessed by today. I’m privileged to have a daughter. She loves me, she always has so she feels right at home.” said Dewones Smith about his emotions following the court proceedings. 

Those interested in becoming a foster-to-adopt parent can log onto to the website. This website provides information on where to attend an adoption meeting and it spells out the requirements to become a foster-to-adopt parent. The process begins with attending an Adoption Information meeting, where after a short presentation, prospective parents can ask questions about the process that can forever change the life of a child. 

During the past fiscal year, more than 6,000 Texas children found their forever families. 

If you think you can be a forever parent for a child in Texas, please visit our website at or call 1-800-233-3405 for more information.

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