It was a ‘bear-y’ special National Adoption Day last Saturday for 30 children in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties who were joined to their forever families. As part of the adoption ceremonies, each child received a Duffy Bear to take with back to his or her new home.
From toddlers to teens, the children stood before the judge hugging their Duffy bears as they were officially announced a family. For several, such as the Sharp-Canavan family, it was a happy ending, long in the making.
“We’re officially a family now – the judge said so!” said Evelyn Canavan of her adoption of Anthony and Aulbree Sharp. “We thought it was awesome they received a Duffy Bear. It filled their Christmas wish!”
Over the past two years, Walt Disney World Resort has provided nearly 1300 Duffy Bears to Community Based Care, an agency that oversees foster care and adoption services in Central Florida. Each child who enters the foster care system or is adopted, receives a bear.
Karla Radka, vice president of community impact and leadership development for Community Based Care, has seen how the cuddly bears have had a positive effect on the children.
“Disney has been such a great support of our organization,” said Radka. “The Duffy Bears are a forever memory each child will have to remember this special day when they joined their forever family.”