A journey of 796 days came to an end with the adoption of two young children, and another began for the children and their new family.

Monica and Nathan Jastrow of Whitehouse officially adopted the children they have loved and cared for as their own for the past two years during the National Adoption Day event on Friday in Tyler. With that adoption, their biological daughter Abigail, 7, also officially became a big sister to Anthony, 4, and Aaliyah, 3.

The adoption may finally be official, but the Jastrows knew they wanted to give the siblings a family almost immediately after the children were placed with them.

“We knew about a month after placement,” Monica Jastrow said. “As soon as children are placed with you as a foster parent, you instantly fall in love if you’re doing it right.”

Nathan Jastrow said it was a long road, but Anthony and Aaliyah are worth it.

Now the Jastrows said they are going to focus on giving all three of their children everything they deserve and more.

The theme of the event was “Ohana,” which means family in Hawaiian. Nolan Smith of the Smith County Young Lawyers Association said 10 children officially became part of new families at the event, which was held at Green Acres Baptist Church.

Smith said the event is hosted each year in partnership with Smith County and the Department of Family and Protective Services, in order to let friends and family be present and celebrate.

“We do this every year because family is very important to Young Lawyers and the Smith County court system,” Smith said. “We want to promote the family unit.”

In the past year more than 6,000 children have been adopted in Texas, according to the DFPS.

Families looking to adopt can go to AdoptChildren.org for more information.

Cory is a multimedia journalist and member of the Education Writers Association, Criminal Justice Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has appeared on Crime Watch Daily and Grave Mysteries on Investigation Discovery.

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