42 children adopted in Western Pa. in special 'National Adoption Day' event
Melody Kief couldn't hold back the tears Saturday as an Allegheny County judge finalized the paperwork making her nephew, Kyle Cochenour her newly adopted son, but Kyle wasn't having any of that.
“Suck it up,” Kyle, 9, said with an impish grin, setting off a burst of laughter in Judge Paul Cozza's courtroom. “Save it for your pillow.”
Kief, 43, of Bridgeville, wasn't alone in creating a new family Saturday. Her brother, Mark Cochenour, and his wife, Kimberly, adopted their niece, Lexi, 3, who is Kyle's sister.
In all, 32 families completed 42 adoptions as part of National Adoption Day, according to officials with the Allegheny County Children's Court.
“I can't imagine life without her,” Mark Cochenour of Kittanning said of his new daughter, who is now part of a family with three adult children. “I don't think any different of her than our other children.”
For Cochenour and Kief, taking in children is in their blood. Their mother, Shirley, of Troy Hill, was a foster parent to nearly 30 children, they said, adopting two of them.
One adoptee, their sister, had three children, including Kyle and Lexi.
Kief, a special education teacher, took in all three more than 21⁄2 years ago because of suspected abuse by their sister's boyfriend. Kief is a single mother, so Mark Cochenour, an IRS agent, and his wife took in Lexi to help out. The third child is with a biological father.
Kief said her sister's problems were too much to overcome, so the siblings adopted the children.
“I always felt like he was kind of mine anyway,” Kief said of Kyle. “I've always been his go-to person.”
Sarah Kief, 7, Melody's daughter, is excited about the transformation of her cousin.
“I'm happy because I have a new brother, because he's nice to me and a whole bunch of stuff,” Sarah said.
After finalizing Kyle's and Lexi's adoptions, Cozza played catch with the children, tossing each of them a stuffed bear with their names written on them as a memento of the day.
“It's a good day,” Cozza said.
So far in 2012, Allegheny County finalized 148 adoptions.
Marc Cherna, director of Allegheny County's Department of Human Services, said that when children are removed from their homes because of abuse or other problems, the social service agency tries to reunite the family. However, he said, sometimes the family has disintegrated beyond repair, and adoption offers a child more permanency than being in a foster home.
“It's important that they have that stability that all children need and deserve,” Cherna said.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Nearing season’s midpoint, Steelers still have issues to sort out
- Buffalo Township grandma pleads guilty to selling hundreds of pounds of weed
- Rossi: Fleury is, and will remain, Penguins’ soul
- Police: Gunfire in Canadian Parliament after soldier shot
- Peduto, Harris compromise on $1.6M for North Side community center
- Lawyer: Steelers center Pouncey, brother won’t be charged in July fracas
- Woman accused of hitting Pittsburgh officer at PrideFest pleads guilty to harassment
- Ross brothers ordered to pay fine, remove debris from Christmas display
- Corbett: $2.5M grant will keep Children’s Hospital ‘a national model’
- Police seize phones of some Norwin High School students
- Steelers film session: Watt kept under control