EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A very special day for eight South Texas children as they were officially adopted into their forever homes.

Jessica Garcia said she was blessed to officially become a mom to the baby girl she’s been caring for since she was a newborn.

“We adopted our daughter. We have had her since she was three weeks old, she was four pounds, four ounces,” Garcia said at the ceremony held Monday at the Hidalgo County Courthouse. “We have gone through a lot with her, so we are blessed to have her.

Five families, overwhelmed with emotion, came together on National Adoption Day in Hidalgo County. They packed the courthouse auditorium where dozens of friends and family gathered to celebrate the creation of forever families.

Gustavo Garza Jr. shared what was going through his mind as he became a father.

“From the first day that we got her, through hospital stays, doctors, dentists. Every little thing. When she first called me dad, the first time she crawled, everything. We love her to death!”

Smiling faces and tears were seen as Judge Carlos Villalon Jr., Associate Judge for the Child Protection Court of the Rio Grande Valley West, finalized the adoptions.

“She was our missing piece. Now we have her little sibling, so we’re looking forward to forming a bigger family. But she is our whole world,” Garcia shared.

Adoption supervisors like Alexandra Hernandez say there are still many children waiting to find a permanent home.

“We have about 2,400 kids in the State of Texas that are still needing a home to be adopted. Here in Hidalgo County, we have specifically 28 children that are still in need of a forever family,” said Hernandez, who is the adoptions unit supervisor in the Rio Grande Valley.

Hernandez said the adoption process can be lengthy.

“It can be for numerous reasons. Either one when they first came in it took a while to terminate parental rights or two, once their rights were terminated it just took a while to match the children.”

For Garza and Garcia, it was worth the wait and extra special for them and the other families that they become forever families just in time for the holidays.

“We love her to death. Forever,” Garza said.

“She completes us. Our family, she completes it. She’s just perfect,” Garcia said.