ABILENE, Texas - Seven families received early - and very special - Christmas gifts Thursday at the Taylor County Courthouse.
Local adoption ministry Christian Homes & Family Services organized the "Super Adoption Day" with the cooperation of Judge Aleta Hacker of the 326th District Court and local family law attorney Paul Rotenberry.
Seven families finalized their childrens' adoptions during consummation hearings.
After the hearings, the adopting family and their guests attended a consummation celebration.
"The moment that he came into our lives, we knew that he was the child we prayed for," said Paula-Beth Toller of her son, Gabriel. "He was the person. He was the son that we had wanted and that we had asked God to give us," she said.
Today's adoptions were finalized just in time to qualify for the Federal Adoption Tax Credit, which expires at the end of the year.
"The Federal Adoption Tax Credit makes it possible for families to adopt children that might otherwise be in foster care," said Sherri Statler, president of Christian Homes & Family Services. "It's a credit against federal income taxes that they've already paid."
That tax credit could go away if nothing stops the U.S. from going over the "fiscal cliff."
Less money could mean more children in foster care.
"If they don't reinstate the tax credit, I absolutely think it will affect the number of children who are adopted," said Statler.
Statler said each of the seven families today qualified for the tax credit. Without it, adoption wouldn't have been a possibility.