Gardner’s bejeweled Santa Claus earrings set the tone for the court’s annual Adoption Day, which happens the month after National Adoption Day so Santa and his elves can take part in the event, USA Today reported.
Gardner banged her gavel, read declarations of adoption to weepy, smiley parents and dabbed her own eyes with tissue as 37 children were welcomed into new homes.
“I understand we are joined by Michael’s kindergarten classroom and teacher,” she said when it was time for her to review Michael’s adoption, WOOD TV reported.
Awe washed across the childrens’ faces at her words when the judge acknowledged them.
Michael was suited in khakis and a two-tone blue vest over a checkered shirt with a purplish bow tie to complete his Adoption Day look. He appeared ready to sit next to his dad, David Eaton. The boy had been fostered for about a year by Eaton and his wife, Andrea Melvin, before becoming a permanent family member Thursday, according to WOOD TV.
Michael’s classmates waved pink and red hearts attached to sticks to show their support.
When it was time to bang the gavel with Michael’s parents on the judge’s bench, they cheered and waved their creations more vigorously. Michael smiled.
The kindergartner asked his mom and dad if his classmates and his beloved teacher could watch him officially become their son, Eaton told WOOD TV.
“We asked him, and he was just like, ’You know the class is kind of my family.’ And he wanted them to be there,” Eaton told the station.
Kerry McKee, his teacher, told WOOD TV that the class lesson that day was clear: “Put a little love in your heart,” she said. “We rise when we support others.”
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