There’s a tremendous sense of joy when a child is officially adopted into his or her “forever family”. The court procedure that approves an adoption is less of the typical dry, stiff red tape, and more of a genuine celebration.
A friend of mine & her husband had their official court adoption date two years ago to finalize their son’s adoption. On their video, there is nothing but sheer joy and happiness on the face of nearly every person in the courtroom that day… including the judge.
Beaming smiles, hugs & love aren’t often seen in your average courtroom, but adoptions are a special exception.
For many families, their adoption day is as significant as a birthday, & is often celebrated with family & friends.
And that’s just what one boy decided to do.
A kindergarten student was so excited to celebrate his official adoption by his foster family that he invited his entire kindergarten class to the ceremony- and they came.
Michael Clark, Jr. of Grand Rapids, Michigan had been living with his foster parents, Andrea Melton & Dave Eaton, since last Thanksgiving.
The couple were eager to adopt their sweet, charismatic little boy, so applications were filled, and eventually a date was set.
Michael was obviously psyched to be adopted, & had asked his parents if his class could attend the proceedings. As he told his father -cue the ugly cry- according to NBC News:
You know, the class is kind of my family.
When Michael’s mother spoke to his kindergarten teacher, Mrs. McKee, his teacher did what amazing, angelic teachers do: she made it happen.
McKee organized the entire outing by obtaining parental permission, organizing school bus transportation, getting both school board and court approval.
And not only that: McKee also had the students make special heart signs to hold up once the adoption was legally approved.
(*cue MORE ugly crying*)
The class was there to show support and love to their friend during one of the most meaningful moments in his entire life.
An especially meaningful moment came when the judge asked if anyone in the room would like to speak up on Michael’s behalf, these sweet little youngsters were more than happy to volunteer.
A few brave kids stood up and offered sentiments like:
I love Michael.
Michael’s my best friend.
Can you imagine the courage it takes for a five-year-old to stand up in a formal room full of adults to speak up??
But they did. And they did it for love.
It’s a heartwarming moment, but it’s also a powerful lesson for the young children who were given the unique opportunity to be present for Michael’s adoption.
As teacher Mrs. McKee eloquently put it:
The lesson is put a little love in your heart. We rise when we support others.
Michael’s heart was lifted by the love of his new parents, and by the loving support of his peers.
But the hearts of his parents, his classmates, the judge, and the court staff were also lifted by this powerful example of children showing compassion & love.
It may take a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to love a child- and the villagers come in all ages.