The Yuma County Juvenile Justice Center celebrated National Adoption Day in a big way. Judges Stephen J. Rouff and R. Erin Farrar presided over 17 adoption hearings which took place every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Nov. 20. “It’s one of the happier things a judge does,” said Rouff. He noted that the average time a child waits is around 402 days because it takes time for parental rights to be severed. While adoptions take place throughout the year, plenty of families wait to partake in the national celebration. The courtrooms were emotional as plenty of people came to celebrate with the families. Organizations such as the Arizona Children’s Association, EasterSeals Blake Foundation, Arms of Love Foster Care and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) provided information on resources for foster care and adoption. “Unfortunately, there’s a lot of children that need good parents,” said Rouff. “More than 1,666 children are waiting to be adopted.” In light of this, Sandy Garrison from CASA expressed that the celebration is “the happiness at the end of the rainbow” as finding homes for children is the goal that the system works toward. With costumed characters, facepainting, a visit from the fire department and more, the celebration was palpably joyous.