WAXAHACHIE — Six families adopted nine children in celebration of adoption day at the Ellis County Courthouse Tuesday.

Jillian Locke, Child Protective Services advanced specialist in the intensive adoption unit, handles all adoption cases in Ellis County and reached out to judge Jim Chapman to see if he’d be interested in hosting an event where the families could finalize together. Chapman then set the date for Ellis County’s Adoption Day.

“So we had several families that have been working towards adoption. The children had to live with them for six months and so they were all getting close to finalizing adoptions near the same time,” Locke said.

Locke said the last time Ellis County was able to celebrate this number of adoptions at once was in 2009. Locke’s unit, which consists of nine counties, handles 150 cases on average at one time. Though, a total of 137 children were adopted last year from the unit.

“It’s an exciting day because their adoption day is special for the families anyways. But to be able to celebrate so many families growing through adoption, it’s an honor. It makes it a bigger event for the kids, so hopefully it will be more memorable as they grow up, their story of adoption,” Locke said.

One family at the event celebrated their fourth adoption, a 2-year-old girl. The family requested to remain anonymous since the child’s biological family resides locally.

The father explained his emotions behind Adoption Day and that he simply felt “scared.” As he described what he was going through mentally, he couldn’t help to not get choked up.

He said, “Adoption for me is terrifying. We put a lot of faith into everything. We say that they are our blessing, but sometimes I think it’s the other way around. It’s enjoyable chaos I’d say,” the father added, “Raising a child that’s not from you is totally different, but I wouldn’t change anything.”

The 2-year-old has lived with the family since May, as have her four sisters, who were previously adopted by the family.

“We raised them like ours since the first day they were in our home. My wife is extremely excited. Me on the other hand, I’m very emotional. But it’s another day and just part of the process we’ve got to go through,” the father added.

The father and mother said they both come from large families, so it’s in their nature to want that for themselves. The family has now adopted four of five children from the same mother. “We believe in keeping family together,” the father said.

The family had t-shirts made that explain how they live their lives day-to-day. The backs of the shirts were marked with the dates they finalized the adoptions for the other girls as well as the wedding anniversary date.

The parents have poured their hearts into the family they created and live their life through their children.

“The love, faith and chaos, that’s it every day. You can’t look at them and not love them. They are themselves and that’s why we love them so much. So every day is a world of chaos. But it’s a world of love and blessings at the same time.”

The adoption celebration was concluded with a superhero-themed reception.