Horry County family celebrates statewide adoption day: ‘It really showed me how to love and grow’

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 7:00 PM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Getting kids in Horry County and throughout South Carolina out of foster care and into permanent homes is the goal of one state department, and has worked hard to make that happen this year.

On Monday, families across the state celebrated, and WMBF spoke with Horry County families who are now benefiting from the milestone.

The Jones family said it’s something that takes both love and patience.

“I’m adopting this lovely young lady and her little brother,” said Jacqueline Jones.

Jacqueline and Jonathan Jones opened their home to Vada and her younger brother, Brantley. Jones said it started out temporary, but it’s now permanent.

“My husband and I have been trying to have kids and we couldn’t have any, so we started fostering and then we got attached, so then we decided to adopt,” she said.

Four courts across four counties in South Carolina from Horry, Charleston, Greenville, and Sumter are finalizing adoption cases.

State Director for Department of Social Services Michael Leach said the state is recognizing Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, as adoption today, and November as National Adoption Month.

“What it means is that we have young people in foster care who are going to their forever homes to their forever families today, and it’s an exciting day,” said Leach. “We have 75 children across the state today being adopted. we have 17 right here in Horry County.”

This year, the state is on track to finalize more adoptions than it has in the last 5 calendar years. With more than 3,461 kids currently in state custody,14-year-old Vada said she’s grateful for the Jones’s.

“It just means I’m stuck with them, there’s really nothing different, I’ve been with them for almost two years,” she said.

Throughout the process from foster to adoption, the new family said there were days they needed patience but the journey has been well worth it.

“There’s a lot of kids out there that has been through a lot that need love and care,” said Vada.

“I’ve really grown as a person,” said Jones. “It really showed me how to love and grow, and I think it’s wonderful. I think everybody should try it.”

Leach said after Monday, the state will have more than 600 adoptions which is something that hasn’t happened in South Carolina in the last 10 years.