5 Tri-City-area children adopted on National Adoption Day

By Sara Schilling, Tri-City HeraldNovember 17, 2012 

Jayna Burris got a new teddy bear Friday.

More importantly, she got a forever home when she was adopted into a Kennewick family during an emotional ceremony at the Franklin County Courthouse.

Jayna, 3, was one of five Tri-City-area kids adopted during court hearings held as part of an afternoon celebration for National Adoption Day.

Similar ceremonies also were held this week in other courtrooms around the state.

Jayna, who was in the foster care system, has lived with Jason and Natausha Burris of Kennewick for months. "The moment we saw her -- she looked just like me when I was a baby," Natausha Burris said after the hearing. "We just knew."

Jayna, dressed in a red sweater and matching headband, was close by her mom, clutching the new teddy bear she got to pick out at the judge's bench.

The Burrises also have two older sons, Travis, 12, and Gavin, 10. The family planned to continue celebrating Jayna's special day by heading to Chuck E. Cheese's.

Bob and Sarah Stalcup of West Richland, who saw their family expand when they adopted Elizabeth, 3, and Micah, 18 months, on Friday, were planning a party later with family and friends.

The Stalcups are veteran foster parents, and Elizabeth and Micah "are the ones to complete our family," Bob Stalcup said Friday.

"We're so blessed," Sarah said.

The Huldt family of Kennewick planned to celebrate the adoption of Savannah, 7, and Destiny, 4, with a trip to Disneyland. The clan also includes dad John, mom Rebecca, and kids Redell, 13, Nathaniel, 12, Samual, 10, and Kevin, 8.

The Huldts wore matching yellow T-shirts to mark the special occasion. During a reception in the courthouse following the hearings, Savannah nibbled on a treat and said she was excited about her family vacation.

The car already was packed.

National Adoption Day started in 2000, and Benton-Franklin Superior Court has been celebrating it since 2006.

The event Friday included music from Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen Tayler Plunkett and guest speakers who related personal experiences with adoption.

Nicole Rainsberry of Kennewick told of adding daughter Gracie Mei, 6, to her family through adoption.

"We often have people ask us where Gracie's from. And my answer is always, 'Well, she was born in China but she came from God just like all of our children did,' " Rainsberry told the crowd that numbered around 50.

"We have had people say things like, 'Oh, she's so lucky to have you guys.' Those kinds of comments. We truly -- we feel like the ones that have been blessed."

"Adoption is just a wonderful way to build a family," Rainsberry said. "It's a great way to add to a family."

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