Michael Clark Jr. was officially adopted by his parents on Thursday, while his classmates sat in the back holding up paper hearts to celebrate his joy.
An adorable little boy from Michigan, who decided to invite his entire kindergarten class to his adoption hearing on Thursday. Kent County, Michigan, took to its Facebook page to share this heartwarming account along with a picture which shows Michael Clark Jr. sitting beside his foster parents, while his classmates sat in the back holding up paper hearts. Michael, who was initially fostered by Andrea Melvin and Dave Eaton for about a year, according to a report by WOOD-TV. Michael brought his entire kindergarten class with him today to witness his adoption, read the caption of the post.
"Welcome to the courthouse on this amazing day," said Patricia Gardner, 17th Circuit Court Family Division Judge, as she began the hearing. Thursday marked Kent County court's annual Adoption Day where a total of 37 children from the foster system were adopted and Micheal happened to be one of them. Speaking about this moving day where no eyes were left dry, Gardner said, "That’s so true. On Adoption Day, there’s so many emotional stories of how children come to families."
"I understand we are joined by Michael’s kindergarten classroom and teacher," said Gardner addressing the presence of Michael's supportive classmates from Wealthy Elementary in East Grand Rapids as his case came up. "We were thinking, ‘How can we build our family?'" said Melvin before her enthusiastic new son interrupted and said, "I love my Mommy!"
"And there’s so many options, right, for building a family these days," continued the new mother who couldn't wait to legally adopt Michael. The boy's father then shared how Michael wanted his kindergarten friends to be there when during the hearing. "We asked him and he said ‘You know, the class is kind of my family.’ And he wanted them to be there," shared Eaton. Even his teacher Kerry McKee was present who revealed, "The lesson is put a little love in your heart. We rise when we support others."
"I love Mrs. McKee," said Michael expressing his affection for his teacher. "He loves Mrs. McKee," said Eaton agreeably. Michael who has gained a rather large family had the complete support of his friends who help up heart-shaped paper cut-outs to celebrate his special day. While the process of adoptions is usually kept confidential, on one day of the year it is shared with everyone to encourage others to do the same. Currently, there are between 4,000 and 5,000 children in Michigan also who need foster parents. Luckily, for Michael, Andrea Melvin and Dave Eaton gave it a go. "If it’s something that’s crossed your mind, you should consider it and get trained and just see what it’s all about," said Melvin.
Amazing. Shoutout to this kindergarten teacher for creating a family within her classroom. https://t.co/5EWvFbAUMp— Katryne Myers (@MsMyersNH) 6 December 2019
If you wish to learn more about foster care, you can contact West Michigan Partnership for Children.