Kindergarten Class Attends Classmate’s Adoption Hearing


Mahle Gangi, Staff Writer

On Thursday, December 5, Michael Clark Jr. had a very special set of guests attend his adoption finalization. Michael invited his kindergarten class to the hearing in Grand Rapids, Michigan and they showed their support waving colorful paper hearts from behind him. Kent County officials said on the heartwarming scene, “There is not a dry eye in Judge Patricia Gardner’s courtroom.”

The idea to attend Michael’s adoption hearing came from his teacher, Mrs. McKee. After suggesting it to Michael’s adoptive mother, she set things in motion by obtaining a school bus and scheduling the outing as a field trip. Michael has been living with his new parents since last Thanksgiving when he was brought into their home as a foster child. The couple has been married for 10 years and had never hosted a child before Michael. They are astounded by how outgoing and friendly he is and told the media that he loves to dance, swim, play basketball and soccer. 

Michael was not the only child officially adopted on Thursday, as December 5 acted as Kent County’s 23rd annual Adoption Day. Besides Michael, 37 other children’s adoptions were finalized. The families attended 30 minute celebratory hearings to conclude and officialize things with special festivities, including a visit from Santa Claus. Kent County is very proud of all the happy families who finalized things today.