Eight-year-old Michael Clark Jr. got to share his special day with all of his closest friends who learned a valuable lesson about love and family on Adoption Day.
Stories about the day children are adopted are always heartwarming and tend to fill you with the warm fuzzies. Sadly, most adoptive children don't get to share their special day with anyone other than their adoptive parents. But not Michael Clark Jr. from Kent County, Michigan. On Adoption Day at the Kent County Courthouse, eight-year-old Michael finally found a forever home with former foster and now adoptive parents Andrea Melvin and Dave Eaton. He was lucky enough to have been surrounded by his best friends — his entire class from school. The class, including his teacher Kerry McKee, made a field trip out of the occasion and carried cute heart decorations to support little Michael on his big day, Wood TV reports. Michael was only one of the 37 lucky children who got adopted on Thursday.
17th Circuit Court Family Division Judge Patricia Gardner opened the court floor on Thursday with a warm welcome. She stated, "Welcome to the courthouse on this amazing day." The amazing day she was referring to was Kent County's annual Adoption Day, when dozens of children make their adoptions official. This year, in particular, 37 children found loving homes — and there wasn't a dry eye in the courthouse. "That’s so true," the judge affirmed. "On Adoption Day, there [are] so many emotional stories of how children come to families." One emotional story belongs to, of course, Michael, who was so excited about finally being adopted that he just had to invite his whole kindergarten class to be a part of the process.
Perhaps the only people he loves as much as his newly-adoptive parents are his classmates and teacher from school. Dave explained, "He loves Mrs. McKee. We asked him and he said, ‘You know, the class is kind of my family.’ And he wanted them to be there." All his friends piled into the courthouse to be part of his special day with him. Carrying sticks with heart shapes on them and showing them off as Michael's parents signed the court documents, they all celebrated his adoption. Though adoptions are typically a confidential process, Adoption Day allows families of all kinds to share and celebrate their stories. His classmates learned a valuable lesson from the "field trip," too. His teacher Kerry said, "The lesson is put a little love in your heart. We rise when we support others." The kindergarteners may not have realized it, but they gained an important life lesson that day.
Andrea and Dave first fostered Michael about a year ago. "We were thinking, ‘How can we build our family?'" Andrea shared. "And there [are] so many options, right, for building a family these days." The couple chose to go the adoption route, hoping Michael would let them love and care for him. Over the year they fostered him, they forged a bond and decided to officially become his parents. And Michael couldn't have been happier. "I love my mommy!" he shouted as his parents took part in an interview with Wood TV.
Currently, there are still thousands of children in the foster care system who require loving homes. If you would like to support a little one, Andrea thinks it's worth all the effort. She stated, "If it’s something that’s crossed your mind, you should consider it and get trained and just see what it’s all about." Michael found a forever home, but there are still many kids out there still looking for one.