A 'forever home' of their own

Antonio and Katie Marchena beam minutes after formally adopting three brothers who they fostered for the past year. Judge Walter G. Armatys, center, conducted the adoption hearing in his 328th judicial district courtroom inside the Fort Bend County Justice Center on Friday, which was National Adoption Day. From left are Noah, 5, Jacob, 4 and Elijah, 1. Antonio and Katie are educators with LCISD.

Judge Walter G. Armatys typically hears cases involving, well, the tragic side of life: murder, robberies, thefts, illegal drugs.

On Friday, however, he was involved in a truly heart-warming case — the adoption of three brothers, Elijah, 1, Jacob, 4 and Noah, 5, by two Lamar Consolidated ISD educators.

“We fell in love with them,” said first-time parent Katie Marchena, 39, executive director of teaching and learning for LCISD. “They were such sweet boys we couldn’t help but want to keep them for ourselves.”

Katie and husband Antonio, 43, have been fostering children for the past seven years — 12 kids in all.

“We fell in love with numbers 10, 11 and 12,” said Antonio, the math and science coach at Smith Elementary School. “In the year we fostered them, they brought a lot of joy to our lives.”

The adoption event, one of 13 adoptions to take place at the Justice Center on National Adoption Day, was arranged in part by Child Advocates of Fort Bend County.

Armatys, along with Judge Janet B. Heppard and Judge Kali Morgan, helped make the lives of more than a dozen foster children richer and the lives of their new parents fuller, Child Advocates of Fort Bend executive officer Ruthanne Mefford said at the conclusion of Friday’s ceremony.

“This is the most wonderful day of the year, the day all these children found their forever homes,” she said.

Helping to sponsor the event were Bikers Against Child Abuse, Fort Bend County Child Welfare Board, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Exchange Club of Rosenberg, Fort Bend Bar Association, Fort Bend Behavioral Health, Fort Bend County Attorney’s Office, Fort Bend Lawyers Care, H.E.B., the Fort Bend Court Team for Maltreated Infants and Toddlers and local attorneys.

Armatys told the Marchenas that their efforts to bring happiness to the three brothers will also bring happiness to themselves.

“By blessing others, you bless yourselves,” he said, adding, “If not for you, where would these children be?”

In a video appearance, Congressman Troy Nehls and Fort Bend County Judge KP George applauded the couple’s decision to adopt children.

Adopting children “is the greatest act of selflessness and kindness,” George said.

More than 125,000 adoptions were arranged to take place nationwide on National Adoption Day.

Statewide, Court Appointed Special Advocates, the parent agency of Child Advocates of Fort Bend, helped arrange for 19,000 of those adoptions.

In the hallway outside Armatys’ 328th district court, the new parents took a few minutes to let the boys open gifts from their new grandparents: personalized quilts with each of their names.

Afterward, they joined the other families at the Child Advocates of Fort Bend offices in Rosenberg for a drive-by celebration.

Armatys told the Marchenas that their efforts to bring happiness to the three brothers will also bring happiness to themselves.

“By blessing others, you bless yourselves,” he said, adding, “If not for you, where would these children be?”

In a video appearance, Congressman Troy Nehls and Fort Bend County Judge KP George applauded the couple’s decision to adopt children.

Adopting children “is the greatest act of selflessness and kindness,” George said.

More than 125,000 adoptions were arranged to take place nationwide on National Adoption Day.

Statewide, Court Appointed Special Advocates, the parent agency of Child Advocates of Fort Bend, helped arrange for 19,000 of those adoptions.

In the hallway outside Armatys’ 328th district court, the new parents took a few minutes to let the boys open gifts from their new grandparents: personalized quilts with each of their names.

Afterward, they joined the other families at the Child Advocates of Fort Bend offices in Rosenberg for a drive-by celebration.

Helping to sponsor the event were Bikers Against Child Abuse, Fort Bend County Child Welfare Board, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Exchange Club of Rosenberg, Fort Bend Bar Association, Fort Bend Behavioral Health, Fort Bend County Attorney’s Office, Fort Bend Lawyers Care, H.E.B., the Fort Bend Court Team for Maltreated Infants and Toddlers and local attorneys.

Richmond attorney David Perwin represented the Marchena family.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.