Middlesex County News

Middlesex County, State Officials, Celebrate 18 Adoptions As Part Of National Adoption Day

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - When Gianni Dias-Raimundo found out at 8 years old that she was adopted, the revelation didn’t come out of left field.

Gianni had, until that moment, always found something to be amiss. For one, her parents, adopted brother and family were all white.

Years later, the now 17-year-old Elizabeth resident is a straight-A student, aspiring nurse and Rutgers School of Nursing hopeful.

Sign Up for E-News

Looking back, Gianna said she’s thankful that her parents told her early on that she was adopted.

“I understood,” Gianna said. “If I was a lot older, I would have overreacted.”

These adoption ceremonies are nothing new to Gianna, who is often invited to speak at them, including the one hosted at the Middlesex County Courthouse on the morning of November 14.

The county and state teamed up this particular ceremony on November 14; the ninth such ceremony held in observance of National Adoption Day, in connection with many more held across the country.

The program was started in 2000, according to Jim Nolan, an attorney for the Middlesex County Bar, and since then, over 60,000 children have been adopted.

On November 14, county and state officials celebrated National Adoption Day with the official ceremony for 18 adoptees; 17 children and one adult.

The actual ceremony was done in private, officiated by Judge Deborah J. Venezia and went into the afternoon. Parents and families waited in an adjacent conference room where they were treated to breakfast, gifts and different children’s activities.

“Adoption is a choice, a voluntary act, one that doesn’t have to happen, but does, because someone decides to open their heart and their home for another,” Venezia said in a public portion of the ceremony.

“The people sitting next to you, the mom with tears in her eyes, the mom and dad who look so joyous, you guys as a family have gone through an amazing journey together,” said Lisa Von Pier, Assistant Commissioner of Child Protection and Permanency.

The process of adopting and raising a child can seem arduous and confusing at first, and take many years to see the fruit of labor.

To demonstrate that point, Von Pier told the story of her 11-year-old, who was two when he was adopted, and in this particular instance, was trying to practice the trumpet, only to become frustrated and on the verge of quitting.

Von Pier coached her son for the next 45 minutes, and by the end, he nailed the progression of the six different notes on the trumpet.

“He was what we call cherry tomato cheeks, those were lit up,” Von Pier said. “Those are the moments we live for as parents, those 45 minutes when our kids have something they want to do, that they want to accomplish, and they try it and maybe don’t get it the first time, and we’re there with them, no matter how loud and squeaky it is, and we give them the confidence and encouragement.”

Other parents who were there said this was the happiest day of their lives, despite the challenges that may lie ahead.

Dawn Scotto Di Uccio and her husband, Antimo, picked up their daughter from the hospital at just 10 days old. The child, whom they named Alexia, was born addicted to drugs, because of substance abuse problems the mother had while pregnant.

She’ll be eligible for financial aid from the state for any treatment, and her parents intend to periodically monitor Alexia to make sure she’s healthy.

With the daughter now seven months old, the couple says things are looking up.

“We couldn't have children of our own, and we got married a little later in life,” Dawn said. “So we decided, I’m a teacher, I’ve seen kids come through the foster care system that I’ve taught and I thought, ‘maybe I could make a difference like that.”

Other people at the ceremony felt “relieved” for the process to finally be over like Joanne and Glenn Gaston.

The couple technically adopted 6-year-old Joseph Gaston after Joseph’s father, who was the son of Joanne and Glenn, passed away, followed by the mother.

“We’re excited and happy and relieved that it’s finalized and that he’s not a ward of the state,” Joanne said. Joseph has always been under Glenn and Joanne’s roof as a grandchild.

“Since birth I had him, we bonded with him from birth,” Joanne said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Milltown/Spotswood

67-Unit Six-Story ‘Mid-Rise’ Apartment Building Proposed

May 23, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - A development company affiliated with two apartment complexes near Neilson Street is now seeking approval for 67-unit, six story apartment building for a vacant lot on the Street that would cover the entire lot and would exceed the four-story limit permitted in the zone.

The Community Builders, a Boston-based company doing building as Stirlingside Urban Renewal LLC, is seeking ...

Amazon’s Career Choice Program Wins “Community Excellence” Award

May 23, 2018

EDISON, NJ - Amazon’s Career Choice program recently received the “Community Excellence” award from the New Jersey Community College Consortium for its impact on the local community.

Steven Johnson, Amazon’s Director for Associate Development, was on hand to accept the award and lead a panel discussion on how the program provides trained, motivated employees for ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, May 29, 7:00 PM

The Heldrich Hotel, New Brunswick

New Jersey's Environment - A Pivotal Moment: an ...

Sat, June 2, 8:00 PM

East Brunswick

Casino Night & Tricky Tray

Sun, June 10, 9:00 AM

Nomahegan Park, Cranford

Strides4Strength - A Walk to End Domestic Violence

Letter to the Editor: "We Seek Clarity, Support" from Mayor Regarding Development on Summerhill Road

May 10, 2018

Dear Mayor Cohen:  

Thank you.  Your issued statement last night regarding the current development plans for the intersection of Summerhill and Old Stage Roads - which will be under discussion at the May 17 zoning board meeting in East Brunswick, is a welcome voice. 

Like you, we have a vision for East Brunswick and share your desire for smart redevelopment that ...

Enrollment Begins June 2 For Lord Stirling's Summer Riding Lessons

May 23, 2018

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — The Somerset County Park Commission will be conducting registration for summer horseback riding classes and other seasonal programs at Lord Stirling Stable, located at 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, N.J.  

Lessons are offered to juniors (ages 9-17) and adults, and will accommodate first-time beginners through more advanced levels with jumping ...

TAPintoTravels’ Resident Haeringer Set to Judge World Championship of Salami Making in France Next Month

May 23, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Many in Chatham know Jean-Eudes Haeringer for his work as a handyman around town, as well as the set he built for the Chatham Middle School's production of Willy Wonka Jr.

But Haeringer is now adding a new skill that few can claim: Judge for the 2018 World Championship of Artisan Salami Making.

Haeringer, originally from Strasbourg, France, ...

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...