Hon. R. George Economy celebrates Christmas adoptions

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By Roberta M. Gubbins

Legal News

Christmas joy came early to eight families in Hon. R. George Economy's Lansing, MI. Probate Court. It was December 13th, the day that each of the families adopted new members and became whole.

Judge Economy began his Christmas Adoption tradition 24 years ago giving adopting families the option of finalizing their adoption close to Christmas thus "giving them the best gift of all." Each year families come to his probate courtroom on this special day, not to argue but to unite children with their permanent family. This year ten children were adopted.

The joy of the adopting families filled the courtroom with laughter and tears of joy. It was impossible to tell who had the biggest smile--the children acquiring a permanent home, the couple becoming a family, the family members watching the proceedings, the Court staff taking pictures, the social workers who followed the families through the long process of adoption or Judge Economy who had the biggest smile of all.

Each family had a story to tell. Carolyn and Jeff Waite adopted Graycin, who was placed in their home immediately after his birth. Corey Mettler, case worker with Bethany Christian Services, the agency arranging the adoption, noted that the Waites were the first and only choice of the Graycin's birth mother.

As is his custom, Judge Economy asked the parents to bring Graycin to the bench while he finalized the adoption, signing the documents making the child a permanent part of the Waite family. Jeff Waite held Graycin while the judge accepted the caseworker's recommendation and the signing of the documents.

Amberlynne, a 17 year old high school senior, became a member of the Finet/Sosulski family. She came to the bench to sign the necessary consent to her own adoption. She admitted she was so excited that "I feel like I will jump out of my skin." Amberlynne admitted she has "been through a lot," having been in foster care most of her life.

Marya Sosulski, Professor of Social Work, Michigan State University and David Finet became Amberlynne's permanent family. "She is exactly what we were looking for," said Sosulski, explaining that Amberlynne had been living with them for six months. Jennifer Land, caseworker from Spaulding for Children, recommended the adoption.

Judge Economy noted that there are many children in our community who need families. If a family is interested, they can get more information from Michigan Department of Human Services.

Published: Mon, Dec 19, 2011

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