'Adoption Day' a happy one for Tampa 17-year-old - WFLA News Channel 8

'Adoption Day' a happy one for Tampa 17-year-old

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Craig McKeehan and Charles Quiroz adopted Nicholas Mullins, middle, on Adoption Day Craig McKeehan and Charles Quiroz adopted Nicholas Mullins, middle, on Adoption Day
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

It's been a very active Adoption Month for Tampa Bay, with dozens of children being adopted.  Hillsborough County celebrated it with Adoption Day, as Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn declared on November 15.

Among 22 foster children adopted at the Edgecomb Courthouse on Friday, there was Nicholas Mullins, who turns 18 in 11 days. Mullins would have aged out of the system had he not been officially adopted by Craig McKeehan and Charles Quiroz.

"Originally I was put into foster care at 18 months old," Mullins said.

He met his future parents at an event for foster children in Tampa earlier this year, "and they just decided to come up to talk to me and we just kept talking," he said.

"It started off as mentoring in the beginning because he didn't want to be adopted," McKeehan said, "there came a point when his is the one who decided that he wanted to be adopted and wanted to live with us."

Mullins' story is just one of 22 that ended with smiles, hugs and kisses as area foster children were legally recognized as the children of their new parents.

The number of children in foster care in Florida ranges from 8,000 to just over 14,000. Mullins says he hopes to one day adopt children of his own.

"I believe foster kids deserve something that I didn't get when I was younger so I'd rather have them have that," he said.

Don’t miss out on the day’s top Facebook conversations http://on.fb.me/18y81Cl

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