Journal Inquirer

Nov. 18, 2016

HARTFORD — Dierdra and Saul Vauchier held back tears Friday as a judge finalized their adoption of two siblings at Hartford Juvenile Court during National Adoption Day.
The Vauchiers, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, were among 57 families who adopted children during Connecticut’s Adoption Day. A total of 73 children — including 16 pairs of siblings — were adopted in ceremonies at 11 state juvenile courts as part of an ongoing partnership with the state’s Department of Children and Families.
Dierdra Vauchier said the couple is relieved they can finally care for siblings Jaziah Gotay, 5, and Jaylah Dasilva, 4. She said they are excited to finalize the adoption process for the children, who have moved among seven homes before the Vauchiers beagn caring for them 11 months ago.
“We are blessed to provide them a bedroom and a home they can experience for the rest of their lives,” she said. “I think we bring them as much joy as they bring us.”
Saul Vauchier said the long adoption process was worth the wait, as the couple has wanted children throughout their 18-year marriage.
“I didn’t think” the adoption process “would be as hard, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” he said.
The legal process isn’t always easy, said Judge Bernadette Conway, who settled the adoptions.
“I thank you for your patience and your perseverance,” Conway said.
DCF Commissioner Joette Katz, a former associate justice of the state Supreme Court, said Adoption Day raises awareness about the importance of adoption for children without a permanent home.
The annual event’s totals increase each year as the state finds new ways to choose families and keep siblings together, she said.
“This is really about helping our children find permanent, loving, and wonderful homes,” Katz said. “The joy is very evident in the faces of the children and families on Adoption Day, and it is a privilege to bear witness.”
Jennifer and Jeffery Hiller also finalized adopting their grandchildren Jude, 3, and Airela Johnson, 2, after a two-year process.
The new parents have cared for the children for nearly 1½ years in Boynton Beach, Florida, after their biological parents abandoned them, Jennifer Hiller said.
She said the family is eager to return to Florida and is glad the kids will have a safe home for the rest of their lives.
Jeffery Hiller said the kids would continue calling them “mom” and “dad.”
“We are lucky grandparents because we get the kids every day,” he told the courtroom. “We’ve been waiting for a long time — it was worth it.”
In the state courts filing adoptions Friday, 12 families in New Britain adopted 13 children, eight families in Hartford adopted 15 children, and nine families in Waterbury adopted 11 children, according to DCF.
DCF and the state’s Judicial Branch authorize between 400 and 500 adoptions each year. During the state’s 2015-16 fiscal year, 465 adoptions were finalized and guardianship was transferred for 251 children, DCF records show.
Adoptions and guardianship transfers provide permanent families for children, DCF officials said.
“We should be proud of the great strides we have made in improving Connecticut’s child welfare system,” Governor Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement. “At the same time, we recognize we have an urgent responsibility to find the permanent, loving homes that every child needs and deserves.”