OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. - It's been said there's no place like home for the holidays. On Tuesday in Ottawa County, ten foster children became part of their forever homes as part of Michigan Adoption Day.
It's an annual event held every Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Confirmation hearings made the adoptions final at the 20th Circuit Court Family Division.
Adoption Day has become holiday tradition to highlight the importance of adoption and the needs of children in foster care. In Ottawa County, year-to-date adoptions have increased 22.6 percent compared to this time period in 2017.
At any given time, approximately 13,000 children are in foster care in Michigan. About 2,400 of these foster children will go on to be adopted. Of those, 2,100 kids have an identified adoptive family, leaving 300 children in need of a forever home.
Inside Judge Kent D. Engle's courtroom, a large group of friends and family gathered to watch as Brian and Nikki Currier adopted two-year-old Maria.
"It's a commitment," said Engle. The confirmation hearing ends months of hard work by court staff and those representing child protective services. "This whole effort is the most gratifying part of my job," said Engle.
Maria is the Currier's eighth child. "One biological, one international, and six foster adoptions," said Nikki.
The Holland couple have been foster parents for a decade. Each of the family members wore shirts with a family tree including all their names on the back and "family ever after," on the front. "This tree represents our story," said Nikki. "A huge blessing," added Brian.
Their children range in age from 9-months-old to 19-years-old.
"We are a loving and stable family," said Nikki. "We have the ability to care for these kids; it has been a blessing to care for them."
"Every child deserves to have a family," she added.
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