L.A. kids adopted on National Adoption Day

LOS ANGELES It's a big day for 2-year-old Preston and his foster parents, SharRon and Gregory Banks. Friday afternoon their special bond was sealed in the eyes of the law as his adoption becomes official.

"You don't have to say that word 'foster child' or 'secondary' -- he's yours. He may not have my blood but he has my heart, my spirit," said SharRon.

Preston is among 200 foster children who were adopted Friday at Children's Court as part of the /*National Adoption Day*/ celebration, an event that got its start in Los Angeles 10 years ago and is now recognized in 350 communities across the country.

"This is a very, very exciting day for all of us," said Ralph Boyd Jr., president and chief executive officer of Freddie Mac Foundation. "This afternoon in the Los Angeles County Children's Court, 150 families will finalize adoptions of 245 children, creating permanent loving, forever families."

Academy-Award-nominated actress Nia Vardalos, an adoptive parent herself, hopes to spread the word about how easy and rewarding it is to become an adoptive parent to a foster child.

"We had been trying everything, everything we could to be parents nad after everything had fallen through, the fost-adopt system was so simple and compassionate and wonderful," said Vardaolos. "And so this is why I feel it is my responsibility to talk about it."

As for the Banks family, Preston is their third adoptive child. In all they have seven children and by all accounts enough love and patience to go around for each and every one of them.

Friday they were full of gratitude for Judge Michael Nash, who founded National Adoption Day and officiated over every one of their adoptions.

"For him to allow us -- I'm not going to say technically 'the little people' -- but the everyday person to adopt and make sure that they go into a good home, no matter what our status level is -- that's an amazing man," said SharRon.

For more information on how to adopt or foster a child, call the /*L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services*/ at (888) 811-1121.

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