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Milwaukee County sees a record number of adoptions: 'Adoption gets kids out of the system'

Six years ago, Jeffrey Berens and Michael Endter met Didi and held her in their arms. 2,352 days and Friday was the day... Adoption day.
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Posted at 3:47 PM, Nov 18, 2022

MILWAUKEE — No more court dates, no more appointments or home visits from social workers for 43 children who found their forever homes today.

Six years ago, Jeffrey Berens and Michael Endter met Didi and held her in their arms. To them, she's always been their little girl.

"Always kept our focus on Didi and her well-being and she's doing great and she's excited for today," said Michael Endter.

2,352 days and Friday was the day.

"Adoption day," smiled Didi.

In her beautiful blue Elsa-inspired dress, she became, Didi Elsa Berens-Endter.

This isn't the first adoption for Jeffery and Michael. In fact, they've adopted all of their children through the Foster-to-Adopt program.

"There are great kids out there that need a helping hand through this kind of journey," Michael said.

We met both of them last year when they adopted little Winston.

"We lucked out because we got pretty four amazing ones," Jeffrey smiled.

Didi was among 43 other kiddos who found their forever homes, marking one of the largest celebrations ever.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, at any given time, as many as 7,000 children are in need of forever families.

Kelly Davis with Children's Wisconsin Adoption and Foster Services said Friday was life-changing.

"Adoption is what gets kids out of the system, so they don't have to continue to go to court hearings," Davis said.

For the Berens-Endter family, it's the beginning of forever.

"We're just looking forward to being a happy home together," Michael smiled.

But for now, Didi is looking forward to one other thing.

"Shopping," Didi shouted.

To learn more about adoptions in Wisconsin, visit the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families' website.

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