The state of Michigan recently held its 12th annual “Adoption Day,” seeing dozens of children across the state officially joined to their forever families.
Adoption Day, which is a tradition every Tuesday before Thanksgiving Day, is co-sponsored by the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan Department of Human Services, the Child Welfare Services division of the State Court Administrative Office and Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange.
A number of counties across the state observed the occasion, with several Christian couples adding new members to their family.
Ottawa County Family Court Judge Kent Engle hosted the perhaps most highlighted adoption ceremony in the state last week, as five couples beamed while they spoke of the joys of adoption.
“We are truly blessed to have these boys in our family,” Amy Van Buren told the Grand Haven Tribune.
“We knew it was always a possibility to adopt,” her husband, Michael, added. “God gave us the abilities and the means to be able to open our home to kids in need.”
The couple opened their home to two toddlers, Colton, 3, and James, 2.
Another couple, Art and Tonya Tolsma, adopted D.J., 10, and Megan, 9. In 2008, the children stayed with the couple for a period of time as foster kids, and returned earlier this year after an adoption with another family did not work out. The Tolsmas decided to keep the children for good–now becoming siblings to teenagers Nola and Areal, who attend Christian school.
“We said, ‘We’ll take them, and we’re going to keep them,’” Mrs. Tolsman told reporters.
In Bay County, Dan and Kendra Durga adopted 14-month-old Cooper.
“This is a monumental occasion,” Ron Benson, the family’s pastor, stated. “This is a yes to life, a yes to love … and a yes to adoption. It’s an affirmation of God and His love for us.”
“It’s wonderful to see children who were born into extremely difficult circumstances find a permanent home,” added probate court Judge Karen Tighe. “It always amazes me when I do adoptions and how good of a fit the child and the family are. Even though this is a civil court and the rule of law abides, it’s worth mentioning that this family feels God had a hand in finding a fit for this child.”
A similar ceremony was held at the Michigan Supreme Court Hall of Justice, where Carrie and Casey Schrock were among those celebrating new additions to their families.
“God has led me straight to you girls,” Mrs. Schrock said to her newly-adopted daughters Natalie, 5, and Renea, 9. “I am yours and you are mine.”
Missie Potter and her husband Michael have eight children, and welcomed Mylie, 5, into their home. They told the Lansing State Journal that that their Christian faith likewise moved them to adopt and care for children.
It is reported that there are an estimated 2,000 children in Michigan alone that are waiting to be adopted. Nationwide, over 100,000 children are still praying for forever families.