"If you're thinking about adoption, go for it." That's the advice Casey Brown, a father of two, has for anyone who might be considering adoption.
Casey and his family were one of 10 families who finalized an adoption publicly at Thurston County Family and Juvenile Court's 15th Annual National Adoption Day ceremony. More than 1,000 children have been adopted in Thurston County since the county began celebrating National Adoption Day in 2004.
Thurston County Family and Juvenile Court's National Adoption Day ceremony began as a way to help raise awareness of the more than 2,167 legally free children in Washington State foster care awaiting a forever family. This year's ceremony was the largest to-date.
Casey, who was accompanied by his wife, son, adopted daughter, and many other relatives, beamed with pride when talking about his daughter. He said that she has had to overcome many obstacles in her young life, noting that her middle name, Lototele, is the Samoan word for courage.
"With adoption, you're not only changing [a child's] life, you're changing your life as well, and that's amazing," added Casey.
Angelica Brown, wife of Casey, gave one of the keynote speeches at the ceremony.
"Adoption is not a fairy tale. Adoption is a result of this broken world; it's messy," Angelica said. "But adoption is also a tangible, redeeming love that says you are wanted, you are chosen, and you are loved. So, at last, we are here today, and we get to go home together as a family forever."
Trudi Inslee, First Lady of Washington, also attended the ceremony to celebrate with the families.
"We feel that every child deserves a safe, stable, loving place to call home," Inslee said. "We want every child who needs a family to find a family, and you're just blazing the path for all children."
For more information about adoptions in Thurston County, please visit