From left, Bonnie Waldron, Terence Waldron, David Morales and Teri Christian. CONTRIBUTED

On Nov. 19, adoptive families past and present gathered at Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters to celebrate as four children officially became part of three new families on National Adoption Day. With Judge Sharon Hamilton presiding, attendees enjoyed a day of family celebration as they took in the sights of the aquarium. The day was made possible through a partnership with Wesley House Family Services, a Keys not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing the safety, well-being and development of children by educating, supporting and meeting the needs of families.

Wesley House director Tiffany DaSilva, left, presents Aquarium Encounters’ Kirsten Marques with an appreciation plaque.
Judge Sharon Hamilton, right, signs the paperwork to make one of the four adoptions official.
From left, Aliana Uribazo Hernandez, Maritza Hernandez Luperon, Judge Sharon Hamilton, Analia Uribazo Hernandez and Jorge Uribazo.
From left, Dennis Diage, Judge Sharon Hamilton, James Diage and Gretchen Diage.
Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.