DENVER – Five families were honored for fostering and adopting within Colorado, during a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion on Saturday.
Denver7 reporter Amanda del Castillo spoke with a Commerce City couple who recently adopted a group of five siblings.
Ben and Heather Gonzales have been foster parents for the last eight years. The two had no intention of adopting, but feared the five siblings would be separated in the system.
"Keeping siblings together is so important," said Heather, "Because siblings are the only stability children who have been in foster care can count on."
Like the five children, nearly 283 others in Colorado are awaiting an adoptive family.
Reggie Bicha is the Executive Director of Colorado’s Department of Human Services. He’s worked in social work and child welfare for nearly 30 years. Bicha said the day an adoption is finalized is one a family never forgets.
Another unforgettable feeling, according to Heather Gonzales, is watching children begin to heal and grow. She said watching the process is indescribable.
On Saturday, the Gonzales kids posed for a picture with their new family. This is something they were unable to do prior to the adoption.
Foster-turned-adoptive parents Ben and Heather were able to watch and support their children -- something they’ve done for the last two years.
“You love them like your very own and you don’t want to do wrong by them, you want to teach them right and teach them to be good people,” said Heather. She added, “It is just so wonderful to see them grow.”
For the Gonzales family, adoption and foster care run in the family. The Gonzales children have two other biological siblings who were both adopted by Ben and Heather's relatives.