National Adoption Day creates new families for more than 300 kids

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Amy Flanagan with her seven children on National Adoption Day By Christina O'Haver Amy Flanagan with her seven children on National Adoption Day By Christina O'Haver
Gabby, one of Flanagan's adopted daughters, plays at Maricopa County's National Adoption Day event By Christina O'Haver Gabby, one of Flanagan's adopted daughters, plays at Maricopa County's National Adoption Day event By Christina O'Haver
Gabby, one of Flanagan's adopted daughters, at Maricopa County's National Adoption Day event By Christina O'Haver Gabby, one of Flanagan's adopted daughters, at Maricopa County's National Adoption Day event By Christina O'Haver
Gabby, one of Flanagan's adopted daughters, at Maricopa County's National Adoption Day event By Christina O'Haver Gabby, one of Flanagan's adopted daughters, at Maricopa County's National Adoption Day event By Christina O'Haver
Gabby, one of Flanagan's adopted daughters, at Maricopa County's National Adoption Day event By Christina O'Haver Gabby, one of Flanagan's adopted daughters, at Maricopa County's National Adoption Day event By Christina O'Haver

PEORIA -- Amy Flanagan, of Peoria, is a single mother with seven kids, five of whom she adopted.

"Did I start the process to adopt five? Oh, heavens, no," she said. "Am I glad it worked out that way? Absolutely."

The child Flanagan most recently adopted, 1-year-old Grant, officially became part of the Flanagan family at Maricopa County's National Adoption Day event Saturday.

More than 300 children participated in the event at the Durango Juvenile Court Center in Phoenix.

Maricopa County judges, commissioners and court staff volunteered to run the event.

Presiding Juvenile Court Judge Colleen McNally said National Adoption Day is meant to be a celebration recognizing the importance of finding homes for orphaned children.

The event included cake and ice cream, a visit from the Phoenix Suns gorilla, games and other kid-friendly activities.

This isn't the first year Flanagan has participated in National Adoption Day.

When she became a single mother eight years ago, she decided she did not want her biological son to be an only child.

"It doesn't matter if they're blood related, not blood related, you put them in the same house, they're brother and sister," she explained. "They behave just like they are."

Flanagan said she has fostered more than 30 children over the past eight years. She currently fosters one child.

"People think I'm crazy," she said. "The biggest challenge is probably juggling our schedule."   

Flanagan works from home a few days per week and receives support from family members.

She thought her family was complete after she adopted a brother and sister last summer. But when Child Protective Services asked if she could take the children's young sibling, she was determined to keep the family together.

"I didn't start the journey to be doing this for eight years, but I wouldn't change it for the world."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.