By Jo Mathis
It was an emotion-packed day Nov. 16 at the Jackson County Courthouse as 10 families made it legal on Michigan Adoption Day.
"It's a boy!" shouted Laurence Day after the adoption of two-year-old Jackson.
It was sometimes hard to tell who was the happiest in the courtroom: the new parent, the adoptee, the extended family, or the judges.
After one of the hearings, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Steven Markman told The Legal News that he and his colleagues are honored to participate in adoptions across the state on Adoption Day.
"On the Supreme Court, we basically see lawyers every day, and it's really inspiring on Adoption Day to go out into the counties and see people who are blessed with the opportunity to adopt a child and give that child the opportunity to make the most of himself or herself," said Markman. "The fact that it's right before Thanksgiving is also very moving. We hope this is the first of many great Thanksgivings these children have."
Two-year-old Jackson Day had been placed in four foster homes within his extended family for the first 11 months of his life.
"We found out that he needed a placement because his great grandma was having a hard time taking care of him, and we were recently married, and she asked, `Can you guys take him?'" recalled Monica Day.
"Being a parent is life-changing. You're never the same. Through a baby's eyes, you see the world anew. It's truly been miraculous for me, being a mom."
Troy Wrozek of Spring Arbor legally adopted his 12-year-old stepdaughter, Alexis, while his wife, Kim, wiped away tears.
"I've been her dad for nine of her 12 years, so it was about time," he said. "It's a very special day. Something I've been looking forward to for a long time."
At any given time, Michigan has more than 19,000 children in foster care, explained Terralyn Brown, Jackson County's adoption coordinator. While some will eventually return to their homes or be placed with relatives, thousands more need of permanent homes.
Jackson County Circuit Judge Richard N. LaFlamme said that presiding over an adoption is one of the most fun, special things he does as a family court judge.
"So much of what happens in a courtroom isn't so pleasant for many of the things involved," he said. "Adoption Day is in many cases a happy ending, and it's also a happy beginning."
Published: Thu, Nov 22, 2012