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Published November 19, 2011, 05:32 PM

17 Kids Adopted in ND, 7 in Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - It was a special Saturday for thousands of families. National Adoption Day helped 17 children find new families in North Dakota. Seven of those adoptions were finalized in Grand Forks.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - It was a special Saturday for thousands of families.

National Adoption Day helped 17 children find new families in North Dakota. Seven of those adoptions were finalized in Grand Forks.

"It's a big day to finalize on National Adoption Day. It's really cool, so it'll be something we kind of celebrate every year," Ashley Lizakowski said after she finalized the adoption of her new son.

Lizakowski has many blessings to celebrate.

"It's surreal," Lizakowski added.

She added a new member to her family when she adopted her three year-old nephew Gunyr.

"I feel like he's always been mine. It's just that today it's actually finalized, everything is done and so yeah, it feels really good," Lizakowski said.

More than 35,000 kids have been adopted thanks to National Adoption Day, and this year in North Dakota 17 more kids will be adopted from foster care and find a loving family.

"It creates awareness of all the children that are still waiting for their forever families, as well as recognizing and honoring all the families that have been united through adoption," AASK adoption worker Trich Heck said.

Saturday was all about family for Ashley and Gunyr. Gunyr is her sister's child and when he was put in foster care, Ashley knew she needed to something.

"I didn't really have to think about it, I just knew that I wanted him to stay with family and that I needed to step up to the plate and I wanted to," Lizakowski added.

Now the two will celebrate their own family together.

"It's been a long road so I'm kind of excited for today. But I'm also excited to start life and kind of go on from here and have our own life together," Lizakowski said.

Ten children were adopted from foster care in Fargo as part of National Adoption Day.

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