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Madison Co. family shows the way to adoption

Published: Nov. 22, 2013 at 5:38 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 26, 2013 at 7:11 PM CST
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The Sorrells have extended their family several times over through foster care and adoption.
The Sorrells have extended their family several times over through foster care and adoption.

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The Sorrells already had a full house. They had nine children of their own and one daughter they adopted internationally when they decided to give fostering a try. It wasn't easy.

"You have to be open to having a broken heart because you don't know how long the kids are going to be there," said Donna Sorrells.

Eric and Donna Sorrells took eleven children into their foster care over a number of years, not necessarily intending on adopting any of them. Then, things changed.

"We felt, I guess, that if we ever had a foster kid that didn't have a place to go, then we didn't want to turn them loose or have them in permanent foster care," said Eric.

Two years ago, they adopted two sisters, Faith and Mercy who are now nine and seven.

"And then later on, we had a brother and a sister," said Eric. "And then later after we had them in foster care for about four or five months, a third sibling was found."

So, last year, they adopted all three - Joseph, Rose and Noelle are now just part of the family.

If you're thinking about starting a family or adding to yours, Alabama Pre and Post Adoption Connections estimates 275 children in Alabama are available for adoption right now. The process is pretty straight forward.

"Typically, you go through DHR, which is the state or county-run organization," said Eric. "And they'll give you the criteria, the training classes and requirements and then go through the various background and paperwork."

"From start to finish, it could be anywhere between six and 18 months, just depending on the situation," said Layla Niemann, a family counselor with Alabama Pre and Post Adoption Connections.

APAC can get you started on that road and answer your questions before and after adoption.

"There's a lot of need, and a lot of kids wanting a forever home or a forever family," said Eric Sorrells. "It's something we take for granted when we're in a family."

For more information regarding fostering and adoption, consult Family Adoption Services, Villa Hope, and AdoptUsKids.

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