CPS children officially unite with ‘forever families’ in time for holidays


by Shern-Min Chow / KHOU 11 News


Posted on November 22, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 8:20 PM

HOUSTON—This Thanksgiving will be extra special for some 80 Houston-area Child Protective Services children. They got their ‘forever’ homes Friday as part of a mass-adoption event.

After the Judge granted the adoption requests and name changes, each family snapped pictures in the courtroom.  

Shelli LeBret fought back tears.

“We have three total that are adopted, and we have one biological as well,” her husband James Sledzik said.

CPS kids are children of abuse, addiction or abandonment. Seventy-five percent are minorities.  More than a third of them are 10 to 17 years old. 

Many of the adoptions are cross racial.  Ron Whitworth, who is white, held a young African-American boy and introduced him with pride.

“My son’s name is Isaiah Whitworth,” he said.

Turns out, Isaiah is the ninth CPS child the Whitworths have adopted.

The parents open their homes and lives to scrutiny and they learn how to manage children born into troubled circumstances. 

John Toussaint, 66, and 59-year-old Ruth Toussaint were empty nesters and thought they’d give foster parenting a try with three young sisters. 

“We had this house and said, ‘Let’s give some kid a chance,” he said. “It was an ongoing adventure. We fell in love with them from day 1, it’s been like 5 ½ years.”

Right now there are over 1,500 CPS children in the Houston area awaiting adoption. Twenty-eight percent of them are siblings. 

Today’s children are done waiting, because the law now officially recognizes what is in their hearts: they have a family.

For more on adopting CPS children go to: www.adoptchildren.org or call 1-800-233-3405.