A Big Token of Appreciation for a Judge with a Big Plan: Implementation of National Adoption Saturday in Nebraska

A Big Token of Appreciation for a Judge with a Big Plan: Implementation of National Adoption Saturday in Nebraska

Monday, November 20, 2017

Judges of the Separate Juvenile Court in Omaha surrounded Judge Wadie Thomas at his final official adoption day press conference to present him with a fitting parting gift – a big “adoption day” teddy bear.

The judge who brought National Adoption Day to Nebraska – Judge Thomas -- will retire just after the first of the year, January 2018.

Teddy bears are a big item on National Adoption Day across the county.  Bears are given to adoptees by judges for the children to love and care for, as they will be loved and cared for in their new forever family. The State’s founding father of Adoption Day now has a bear of his own. A big bear given with big appreciation.

As is typical of Judge Thomas, he downplayed his own role and extended his first round of thank yous to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and to the Nebraska Families Collaborative and the many volunteers who make each celebration possible. He continued by thanking his colleagues on the bench, their respective staffs, his court administrator, Ray Curtis, and the administrative staff. In Thomas’ words: “All agencies … everyone has risen to the occasion.  Your work is unbelievable and without all of you this wouldn’t ever have been possible.” 

In his remarks Thomas noted, “We do many adoptions throughout the year – the reason we open on Saturday is to allow families to celebrate together and attract media attention for the need for foster adoptive parents.”

During a post meeting interview, Judge Thomas told a news reporter, “To me it is about the families being recognized – a lot of people have made this special.  It is not about me.”  When asked if he would return to the ceremony after retirement, Thomas told the reporter, “It’s too great of a day to just walk away from…It’s one day in this line of work that is always a happy day.”


  • Separate Juvenile Court Judges gather at the press conference podium to thank Judge Wadie Thomas for his dedication to National Adoption Day. (L to R) Judges Wadie Thomas, Chris Kelly, Vernon Daniels (at podium), Doug Johnson, Liz Crknovich.  Staff members joining in the thank you (left of podium) are: Cheryl Phillip and Eren Lopez.
  • Judge Wadie Thomas thanks National Adoption Day volunteers.
  • Judge Thomas’ first adoption of the morning: Grandparent adoption of three.