Adoption Day brings joy to courtroom, families

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- PHOTOS BY CYNTHIA PRICE

By Cynthia Price

Adoption Day is a time when the courts can leave behind their heavy burden of decision-making and just delight in bringing children together with new parents who will care for and love them.

The Hon. Brenda E. Sprader, judge in the Muskegon County Probate Court, was privileged to preside over a docket full of adoption cases on Nov. 22, and Michigan Supreme Court (MSC) Justice Brian K. Zahra – who said he considered it a deep privilege as well – joined her.

The MSC has sponsored Adoption Day for 17 years, encouraging courts around the state to participate. This year, more than twenty counties held Adoption Month events, ranging from mass adoption finalizations to parties for children who have already found their forever families; thirty counties participate all told. (Some counties celebrate Adoption Day at a different time based on earlier traditions.)

Justice Zahra joined Judge Sprader to preside over several adoptions, all of which were joyous occasions. They included the Schullo family which adopted tiny Charlie Rose, renaming her Callie, to become a sibling to their 12 other children, most of whom were also adopted. Justice Zahra commented, “This could be the poster family for Adoption Day.”

Judge Sprader chose the theme of Superheroes to honor the parents and everyone involved in the adoption process. “The parents who adopt are superheroes in our community and children love superheroes, so I felt this theme was appropriate for our annual Adoption Day Celebration here in Muskegon County,” she stated earlier.

She said during a break in the fairly informal hearings that she truly loved being able to facilitate the formation of new families.

Justice Zahra told everyone the story of how his family adopted a second sister for him, and he learned a lot about love from that experience.
Families were invited to a party after, with cake, face painting and many community resource booths.

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