In arguably the most adorable courtroom proceeding ever, 5-year-old Michael Clark Jr. invited his classmates from his kindergarten class to attend his adoption ceremony last Thursday in Grand Rapids, MI.
Michael had been living with his foster parents, Andrea Melvin and Dave Eaton, for the past year. Along with 36 other children, they were attending a hearing on Thursday to become an official family on Kent County court�s annual Adoption Day.
Dozens of children filled the benches inside the courtroom when it was Michael�s turn to appear before the judge. The kids all held cut out paper hearts and took turns introducing themselves and telling the judge how much they loved their classmate. Michael was referred to as �my best friend� by nearly all of the students.
As you can imagine, there wasn�t a dry eye in the courtroom as the judge declared Melvin and Eaton as Michael�s official guardians. Wearing a snazzy vest and a bowtie, the boy was so excited that he could barely stay in his seat during the hearing. He even got to help bang the gavel once the court�s decision was finalized.
After the hearing, Melvin told reporters that her and Eaton had been considering alternative ways of starting a family.
�We were thinking, �How can we build our family?�� she told WOOD-TV.
�There�s so many options for building a family these days.� – Andrea Melvin
Along with his parents, Michael has gained a larger family with his classmates and kindergarten teacher, Mrs. McKee, which is why he asked his parents-to-be if they could be a part of his adoption ceremony.
�He loves Mrs. McKee,� Eaton said. �We asked him and he said, �You know, the class is kind of my family.� And he wanted them to be there.�
Aside from getting out of the classroom to take a field trip, the kids learned an important lesson that day in the courtroom.
�The lesson is put a little love in your heart,� McKee said after the hearing. �We rise when we support others.�
If you�re interested in fostering a child, you can check out the National Foster Parent Association (NFPA) for more information. Most cities have a number of local organizations that you can get in touch with to get the necessary certification and training to care for a child for a few days, months or forever. Most agencies will also help with the adoption process should you decide to officially make the child a part of your family.
If you�re not in a place where you can foster a child, just showing support for those around you is a great way to show kindness and bring joy to others. As the wise kindergarten teacher Mrs. McKee said, �We rise when we support others.�
(Source: images NBC Nightly News)