A Michigan boy’s entire kindergarten class showed up for his adoption hearing this week. Five-year-old Michael Clark, Jr. became the official son of his foster parents, with the support of all of his classmates in the Grand Rapids courtroom.
Michael’s kindergarten class sat in the audience behind him waving big red hearts mounted on wooden sticks to show their support. Michael was one of 36 kids to join their “forever families” during the county’s annual Adoption Day, but his hearing was extra-special.
Michael’s adoptive father Dave Eaton told CNN his favorite part of the hearing when was when the judge asked everyone present in the room to explain what Michael means to them. His classmates chimed in with touching answers like “I love Michael” or “Michael’s my best friend.” He added that the judge said it was the first time she’d ever hosted a whole kindergarten class in her courtroom.
Michael’s new father and mother, Andrea Melvin, have been married for nearly 10 years, and he’s been living with them as a foster child since last Thanksgiving, almost exactly a year ago. “We didn’t have any kids prior to that, and things got pretty chaotic in a hurry,” his father said.
Melvin told CNN his teacher, Kerry McKee, had proposed the “field trip” idea. McKee knew the adoption would be finalized soon, and the two planned a way to make his big day extra special.
McKee scheduled a school bus and organized the whole class outing, from hearts-on-sticks to prompting the kids’ thoughtful messages. Michael’s parents say they’re amazed at how many friends he has, and his father says it’s been a beautiful experience to see so many children “welcoming (Michael) into their homes and onto play dates.”
Watch the heart-warming court video below.