HIGHLIGHTS + OTTAWA COUNTY
Highlights—Michigan Adoption Day in Ottawa County, “giving thanks for families”
Published November 22, 2023
Written by Adams
Photography by Simply American
“We do not need to know the beginning of a child’s story to change the ending.” —Judge Paul Kraus, 20th Circuit Court, Family Division
Ottawa County Board of Commissioners
Tuesday, November 22, 2023
On Tuesday, November 21, 2023, the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed the Resolution declaring Tuesday, November 21, 2023 as “Michigan Adoption Day in Ottawa County.”
The Resolution for “Michigan Adoption Day in Ottawa County” reads as follows:
WHEREAS, the state of Michigan recognizes the importance of giving children permanent, safe and loving families through adoption; and
WHEREAS, more than 10,000 children are in the Michigan foster care system in 2023 and, of these approximately 250 children are awaiting adoption; and
WHEREAS, to help these children find permanent, nurturing families, the 20th Circuit Court of Ottawa County will open its doors on Michigan Adoption Day, Tuesday, November 21, 2023, to finalize the adoptions of local children and join other organizations to celebrate all adoptions; and
WHEREAS, this effort along with similar celebrations around the Country will offer children the chance to live with stable and loving families and encourage other dedicated individuals to make a powerful difference in the lives of children through adoption; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners does hereby proclaim November 21, 2023 as Michigan Adoption Day in Ottawa County, and in so doing, urge all citizens to join in a national effort to raise awareness about the importance of adoption; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all resolutions and parts of resolutions insofar as they conflict with this Resolution are hereby repealed.
Once the Resolution passed, the Board voted to recess the meeting to allow the commissioners and people in attendance to observe the Adoption Day Ceremony at the Ottawa County Family Court.
Mark A. Feyen, Chief Judge of Ottawa County Probate Court, introduced each of the commissioners, mentioning that they had never had that many commissioners attend the ceremony.
Commissioner Sylvia Rhodea, an adoptive mother, had the privilege of reading the Resolution that had passed the Board moments before:
“Today we celebrate families and children who embrace the beauty and the hard that is adoption. There is a pain that brings us to adoption, but there is also so much love and joy. We also celebrate siblings who are a part of adoption stories and lifelong relationships.
This time of year is always special to me, as my son’s birth parents told us right before Christmas that we had been chosen to be his family. The following year we were participating in Adoption Day as we finalized his adoption.
When we adopted our son, we wanted to grow our family and help a little one, but I didn’t realize how much God would use my son to change and bless and grow me. I wish and pray the same blessing for the families here today.”
Other speakers included: Justice Elizabeth M. Welch, Michigan Supreme Court, and Brett and Carissa Morton, adoptive parents.
The closing remarks were given by Judge Paul F. Kraus, 20th Circuit Court, Family Division.
Giving Thanks For Families
It may have been a cold, wet day outside, but the inside of the courtroom Tuesday was warm and joyous.
In her remarks, adoptive parent Carissa Morton shared a quote from Fleur Conkling Heyliger:
“Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of bone, but still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, you didn’t grow under my heart but in it.”
Morton also reminded the children being adopted that, “You are loved, you are wanted, and you are chosen.”
Simply American would like to thank all those who attended, and wish a special blessing over the families who opened their hearts and homes to these special children.
“There really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child.” —Anne Lamott