Adoption Saturday: Dozens of families finalized adoptions while others share hardships, blessings of adoption

JOHNSTON, Iowa -- The Saturday before Thanksgiving is National Adoption Day. Des Moines celebrated at the Polk County Justice Center Saturday morning watching multiple different families finalize their adoptions.

Over in Johnston there was an adoption conference, Hope 2018, for families who've already adopted, are in the process of adoption, or are considering to adopt.

One couple, Pamela and Jeff Mueri, adopted their five-month-old Lilly back in June, but say one of the greatest hardships of adoption is the cost. This year they received a $2,000 grant through the organization "Beauty Amidst the Ashes" to help them officially adopt Lilly.

"Adoption is a blessing but it can also be a really big financial burden. It can be really expensive," Pamela said. "So Beauty Amidst the Ashes is so generous to offer those kind of grants to families that are wanting to adopt but might need that financial help."

"I mean every day you wake up and you see her and it's just that realization that 'wow, what a gift we were given by a wonderful woman.' So we are just blessed to have her and we cherish every day with her," Jeff said.

Adoption Saturday specifically focuses on the foster care side of adoption. According to NationalAdoptionDay.org more than 117,000 children in foster care are waiting for permanent and loving families.