BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - On Thursday, a News 4 employee showed just how important it is to make a difference in someone's life.
Tears of joy were flowing at Judge Szczur's Family Court chambers as Diana Threet made a commitment to provide love and care forever for her 9-year-old foster child, Brandon.
"This is the best Christmas present I could ever receive. It's been three years, but today is probably one of the happiest days of my life that I've been blessed to mother this delightful child. I'm grateful to God and, grateful for everyone who has been part of this journey," Threet said.
Threet, who serves as our WIVB/CW23 Traffic Manager, first took on the task of foster parent several years ago. That process came full circle with Thursday's adoption.
Currently there are 23,000 children in foster care statewide, and 900 in Erie County. Brandon, originally a Gateway-Longview client, is one of many that are still looking for good homes.
Threet said, "It's probably the best decision that I've ever made in my life. The opportunity to foster a child and to change a child's destiny is just one of the greatest things that anybody can do."
After that decision is made, the actual adoption processes may not be as difficult as one might think.
Gateway-Longview Foster Care Director Michelle Federowicz said, "It's free. That's what the agencies do, they help you do the paperwork, make sure that everything is in check and that's when we move forward to days like today with Diana."
And the process becomes even easier when a single parent or couple has already served in a foster capacity.
"Yes, because a lot of those kids are already in that family. They know the kids, they know their birth family. That comes along with the adoption process," Federowicz said.
Adoption families attend classes that help with the transition and the entire process usually takes an average of six months. If you are interested, contact Gateway-Longview. They're aware of all the children eligible for adoption in the area.
For Threet, the rewards have been great.
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