NEW BRUNSWICK — Since Noah Rosado was four-years-old, Rick Rosado stepped in as a father figure.
Fast forward 13 years later, Noah and Rick are father and son, which was made official during National Adoption Day held at the Middlesex County Courthouse on Nov. 14.
Jenny Perez-Rosado said her son Noah had always written “Rosado” as his last name in school and in eighth grade he asked his parents and school officials to have his last name as “Rosado” on his eighth grade diploma.
“Noah made it a point that he wanted Rosado on his high school diploma,” she said. “He’s a senior now [in high school].”
Two years ago the Rosado family, of Woodbridge, began the adoption paperwork.
“This is great,” Noah, 17, said, as he sat between his parents. “I’m glad [the day of adoption is] here.”
Rick, with tears in his eyes, said he was honored to adopt Noah.
The Rosado family spearheads toy drives during the holiday season through the David’s Touch Foundation, a non-profit organization, in honor of Jenny’s younger son David, who passed away in 2005. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2004 at the age of 8. Rick Rosado serves as vice president of the foundation.
James P. Nolan, Jr. served as the master of ceremonies, welcoming all the families. He was joined by Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Alberto Rivas, assignment judge, Superior Court Judge Deborah J. Venezia, presiding judge in Family Division, Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald Rios, Kevin J. Hoagland, Middlesex County surrogate, and Lisa Von Pier, assistant commissioner for child protection and permanency with the state Department of Children and Families.
Gianny Raimundo, 17, who was adopted by her foster parents weeks after she was born, shared her story with the families. She said her adoption was the best thing that has happened to her.
For her Girl Scout Silver project with Troop 40608 in 2014, Raimundo shared her personal story in a book.
National Adoption Day on Nov. 18 is a collective, national effort to raise awareness of more than 110,000 children in foster care waiting for permanent and loving families.
Since its inception in 2000, the annual one-day event has made the dreams of nearly 65,000 children come true.
In 2016, approximately 4,700 youth in foster care were adopted by their forever families during the 17th annual National Adoption Day celebration
A coalition of national partners — Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, the Alliance for Children’s Right and Children’s Action Network — sponsor National Adoption Day.
The celebration in Middlesex County was filled with smiles, hugs and tears.
Rivas said when he became the assignment judge in July; National Adoption Day was one day he was looking forward to.
“Generally 50 percent of the people who come to the courthouse leave unhappy,” he said. “Today, everyone is leaving happy.”
The emotions of the day brought tears to the judge.
“I’m Latin …we’re very emotional,” he said.
Nolan, who is an attorney, told the new families that he and his wife adopted their daughter six years ago.
“I know what you are going through,” he said. “The time, money, apprehension, the overwhelming paperwork and traveling … we started our journey in China, we had to get visas, we had to hire a lawyer, ironically … looking back at it all, the reward is endless … today is the payoff and it will continue for the rest of your lives.”
Omer Aziz and Mariam Kahn, of South Brunswick, officially adopted their son, 13-month old Kamil.
“We had been trying for a while to start a family,” Kahn said describing their journey as emotional when they hit roadblocks. “Then we made a decision to adopt. The application paperwork was the most difficult. We adopted our son from Morocco … in the end it has been an amazing journey.”