YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Jason Stimpert is 7 years old and loves Spiderman — so much so, he got a new middle name Monday: Parker. But, that’s not all he got. He also got his forever home.
“Adoption granted!” Jason yelled out as he hit the judge’s gavel, making his adoption official.
Jason has been with the Stimpert family for the past three years as a foster child, but his parents said they knew he belonged with them forever.
“He’s been special from the very beginning,” said Mark Stimpert, Jason’s dad. “We’ve been truly blessed to have him, and we’re looking forward to new adventures.”
Jason is the sixth child the Stimperts have adopted, they also have several biological children. They say Jason will be their final adoption.
“The baby of the family, and he loves everybody. He’s part of the family since the beginning, and he just fits right in like he’s always been there,” Mark said.
Julie Stimpert, Jason’s mom, says although the paperwork makes it legal, Jason has always been a part of the family.
“In our hearts, it’s always been that way, but having the legal piece to protect him and know that he’ll always be ours forever and ever and ever,” Julie said.
Judge Robert Rusu says Mahoning County’s Adoption Day, where they celebrate adoptions and finalize some adoptions, is a day he enjoys being a part of.
“This is my ninth annual Adoption Day, and I started my first year on the bench I took office in July of 2014 – something I want to continue the rest of my career,” he said.
Also adopted on Monday was Corrie Jazmin Mager. Corrie’s parents are no strangers to fostering and adopting as well, and Corrie has found herself a forever home with brothers and sisters to always love her.
“There is a great need, so we need more families to possibly consider adopting children out of the public children services and foster care,” said Jennifer Kollar, Mahoning County Children Services public information officer.
“It doesn’t matter what you are or who you are,” Rusu said. “You just have to be willing to love a child, [take] them into your home.”
There are about 75 kids adopted each year in Mahoning County. Currently, at least 30 children in the county are in need of permanent families to take them in.
Kollar says anyone interested in learning more can reach out to the agency. More information is available online.