A New Start for Two Young Girls on National Adoption Day

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Hamblen County (WVLT) -- Some East Tennessee kids have new names, new homes, and new permanent families.

In East Tennessee more than 1900 children were in state custody last year.

Nationwide, more than half a million are in foster care.

Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy shares the story of two girls who are getting a new start on National Adoption Day.

A brand new portrait for a brand new family.

"I got a new hairdo, new clothes, and a necklace. And a new family," said Bethany Williams.

As of today, the 11 year-old's last name is officially Williams.

"That means I'm going to start of a new life."

A new life with her new adoptive parents.

"She's just one of those kids that get your heart. We've had a lot of kids . They all don't get your heart. We take care of them, but there are ones that really grab you," said Beulah Williams.

Today, the adopted Bethany in Hamblen County's 4th annual ceremony for National Adoption Day.

"The most important thing is love," said Beulah's husband, Claude.

Bethany has lived with the Williams as a foster child for five years.

Before that, she says life with her biological parents wasn't all smiles.

"All kinds of abuse, and hunger," said Beulah Williams.

"It was really hard. They kept on beating up on me and my brother," said Bethany.

Now, she says that's her old life.

"It feels good," she said.

Victoria Edington is also grinning ear to ear.

Shana and Kevin Edington made her their fifth child.

"It's been a great experience, the whole time. We're just thrilled to be adopting her," said Shana Edington.

And their boys are ready for another little sister.

"She screams a lot, but she's fun to play with," said Sam Edington.

Bethany is not the Williams' first foster child.

"42. He kind of keeps track of them. I don't. He said 42," said Beulah Williams.

But with Bethany they say all the pieces came together.

"This is the most worthwhile thing I've ever done in my life," said Beulah.

"They make me happy," said Bethany Williams.

A new family who plan to take plenty more happy pictures together.

The Williams already have eight children of their own.

They say if anything happens to them, their children have agreed to raise Bethany.

Hamblen County has helped 34 children get adopted during Adoption Day ceremonies over the last four years.

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