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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Victory for Humanity: 15 Kids Get Adopted Amid Amazing Halloween Finalization

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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.

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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.”

He wasn’t the only one moved by the doubly celebratory circumstances. Petion told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she didn’t “think there was a dry eye in the courtroom.”

“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.”
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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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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking