The Kent County courtroom turned into a classroom as Michael Clark, Jr. squirmed in his chair, with his supporters from Wealthy Elementary in East Grand Rapids holding up hearts on sticks and peeking over the bench to watch his foster parents, Andrea Melvin and Dave Eaton, become his adoptive parents, FOX 8 reported.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the courtroom, specially when Michael, 5, said he loves his mommy and daddy.
“I understand we are joined by Michael’s kindergarten classroom and teacher,” 17th Circuit Court Family Division Judge Patricia Gardner told those gathered on Thursday, which happened to be the annual Adoption Day.
“Welcome to the courthouse on this amazing day,” she said.
Eaton said Michael wanted to have his teacher and classmates there because, as the boy explained, “You know, the class is kind of my family.”
Kerry McKee, Michael’s teacher, said: “The lesson is, ‘Put a little love in your heart.'”
That day, 37 children, all from the foster care system, were adopted in Michigan.
“There’s so many emotional stories of how children come to families,” Judge Gardner said.
Upwards of 5,000 children in Michigan are in need of foster care, a call Melvin and Eaton answered through Catholic Charities.
“If it’s something that’s crossed your mind, you should consider it and get trained and just see what it’s all about,” Melvin said.