“There are still some tough times but no matter what, I know Mom and Dad will always be there for me,” said adopted 16-year-old, Sonja Dye. November is Adoption Awareness Month across Canada. Even though recruitment efforts are made year-round, during November families are encouraged to consider adopting a child. “Last year 125 children and youth were welcomed with open arms and loving hearts into their new families,” said Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse. “That is great news but there are still more children who find themselves in need of a caring, loving place to call home so I encourage all Nova Scotians who want to have children to consider adopting a child.” The Department of Community Services provides information and training sessions to families when they make the choice to adopt. Ongoing support and financial assistance are also available to families who adopt a child with special needs. “We have a wonderful staff of people who are there to work with families, answer their questions, provide support, and make this a positive experience for both the child and the parents,” said Janet Nearing, manager of adoption. There are currently 160 children and young people waiting to be adopted into a loving home. Today, most children waiting to be adopted are school-aged but the ages range from infants to teenagers. “Being the parent of an adopted child isn’t always easy, but being a parent of any child isn’t easy,” said Kelly Dye. “However, it’s been a very rewarding experience. Sonja is a gift to me and my family.” More information about adoption, including how families can take the first step towards adopting a child in Nova Scotia, is available by watching the adoption video series at www.gov.ns.ca/coms/families/adoption or by calling 1-866-259-7780.