National Adoption Day celebrated in Orange County

40 families mark new beginning

ORLANDO, Fla. – National Adoption Day marked a new beginning for 40 families in Central Florida who left the courthouse with their children.

Single mother Diana Bonilla called her 22-month-old daughter, Madison, the greatest blessing she could ever have after a long journey.

"Just to hear her say, 'Mommy,' just grabs my heart. It's just -- it's amazing," Bonilla said.

The new mother said the process to become a foster parent lasted several weeks, but the same day she received her license, a child was already waiting for her.

"I was on my way home from work, and they said, 'We'll be there in 20 minutes with a 9-month-old," she recalled with a smile.

But just days after meeting her first foster baby, the child was in a hospital and Bonilla was forced to say goodbye because of an unknown medical condition.

"I literally walked over to her crib and said, 'I saved your life and now I have to save another child's life,'" said Bonilla.

Now, more than a year after she met baby Madison, they are officially mother and daughter. Bonilla said she still maintains a relationship with Madison's biological mother.

"I don't want her to ever question where she came from, and I want her to know that her mom didn't give her up, she gave her more," Bonilla said.

There's still a huge need for foster families in Central Florida.

Nicola Bailey, with Community Based Care, said about 50 kids in Orange County are still waiting to go home. 

"They're in your Orange County public schools, they're on your football teams, they're cheerleaders. They're wonderful, wonderful kids. All that's missing is a forever family for them," Bailey said.