COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Thirteen children in Franklin County now have a permanent home after six families officially adopted them out of foster care Wednesday on National Adoption Day.

One was Amanda Jackson. She formally welcomed Nathan, Auston, Jayden and Hayley into their forever home today. Jackson is no stranger to a full home, who has five daughters of her own and started fostering kids in 2013.

“Usually all of my foster kids have always moved on,” said Jackson. “Someone always came forward or something happened but with them, they just didn’t go anywhere and I just kept hearing these are yours. They belong to you. So I’m keeping them.”

She feels the work she’s doing with these kids is part of her calling. She understands what it means to the kids, too.

“I think if we are in places to give them and provide them information and stability, they make good choices and come out to be good people,” she said. “Give people an opportunity. I think it gives kids an opportunity to become a different person on a different path.”

National Adoption Day is rooted in central Ohio, starting 22 years ago by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

“It is amazing. We love our partnership with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption,” said Franklin County Children Services associate director of adoptions Cassie Snyder.

National Adoption Day takes place all over the country and highlights the need for permanent, loving homes for children in foster care throughout Ohio and the United States.

“It’s an amazing day for us in the adoptions department at FCCS. It’s like Christmas. We love it. It is the best day of the year for us to see these families become permanent partnerships and connections for these children,” Snyder said.

Currently, more than 3,000 children in Ohio’s foster care system need homes and more than 115,000 nationally are waiting for their forever, adoptive families, according to DTFA.

“For more than a decade, we have had strong partnerships in the state of Ohio and Franklin County that have helped change the lives of hundreds of children lingering in foster care,” Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption said in a release. “We believe every child deserves a safe, permanent home and are thrilled to celebrate that the dream of a loving, forever family came true for 13 children today in Franklin County as part of National Adoption Day.”

Over the last 22 years, DTFA says more than 75,000 adoptions from foster care have been celebrated on National Adoption Day.

“For the young people [in foster care], just one permanent connection, one strong, supportive adult can change the course of their life after the adversity they’ve experienced being involved in our system,” Snyder added.

Learn more about fostering a child or foster adoption from the FCCS Adoption Division at (614) 341-6060 or here.