Adoption day is already a much-celebrated event for many families as they welcome new members into their permanent homes.
These positive court days generally feature people dressed in their Sunday best, and each family has a different way to commemorate the event.
But on Friday at the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida, the adoption proceedings were even more festive than usual as a special exception was made to allow the kids and their families to dress up in Halloween costumes.
The courtroom got its own makeover and was decked out in banners, balloons and adorably spooky decor with treats for the kids.
Family Support Services of North Florida Inc. was behind the special event and dubbed it “Home for Halloween.”
“The holidays can be a challenging time for children who are waiting for a forever home,” the group posted on Facebook, “as Family Support Services’ President and CEO Jenn Petion explained, so ‘to have a finalization event that’s tied to a holiday really starts to change those memories and allows them to symbolize the start of forever … they really can have that wonderful happy ending.'”
There were police officers, ninjas, cowboys and wizards, and it was certainly a day to remember.
“It was really exciting and fun to see all the kids dressed in costumes and there with their families,” adoptive parent Christopher Littles said of the event. “The biggest takeaway is there are definitely kids out there who need a loving, caring home.”
“I always think of our foster kids as superheroes, because they really have been through some of the most unimaginable things in their young lives. They are always superheroes in disguise.”
“As an adoptive parent myself, I know how impactful this day was for both the children and their forever families,” Petion added, according to Fox News.
“Everyone present will cherish these memories for years to come.”
In all, 15 children were officially adopted into 11 families that day.
“Having an opportunity to oversee adoptions throughout the year, and be part of an extraordinary moment for each of the new families coming together, has been a joy,” Judge Michael Kalil, who presided over the adoption ceremony, said.
“So many children look forward to this time of year specifically because of all the holiday events they can participate in,” Kalil said.
“I hope we’ve been able to bring that same level of happiness to the 15 children and 11 families we’ve brought together at today’s Home for Halloween event.”
Paul Chance, whose adoption of nearly 2-year-old Lacy was finalized after the family had cared for her since she was a newborn, told WJXT-TV, “If you can foster, please. If you can help your community and help the children — foster.”
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