Tears and tight hugs trademarks of Jackson Adoption Day – MLive.com

JACKSON, MI - A simple sentence elicited joyous tears and tight hugs in a Jackson courtroom on Friday.

I now pronounce you mother and children, Circuit Judge Richard N. LaFlamme said to Amanda Dietrich and her new son David, 6, and daughter Abigail, 9.

After LaFlamme had the kids strike the gavel, Dietrichs adoption of the two children was officially finalized. The single mother wrapped her arms fully around her new children, as well as her biological son Elijah.

Her family, plus three others, all grew as a part of the 17th Michigan Adoption Day on Nov. 22. LaFlamme, as well as Michigan Supreme Court Justice Steven J. Markman, presided over adoption hearings at the Jackson County Courthouse.

Adoption Day is very appropriately (timed), as it always occurs around Thanksgiving, Markman said before the Dietrich hearing commenced. Theres so much thanks to be given.

Since Michigan Adoption Day started in 2003, about 4,000 children around the state have found new homes, LaFlamme said. Terralyn Brown, the courts adoption coordinator, said she reached out to about a dozen adoption agencies in the area to find the families for Fridays proceedings.

Dietrich started pursuing the adoptions of David and Abigail in August 2018, she said, adding that Dietrichs work through a lengthy process speaks to her determination and hard work towards caring for her children.

Shes a single mother taking care of three kids, said adoption coordinator Amanda Goetting, of Catholic Charities, which serves Jackson, Lenawee and Hillsdale counties. So it was just making sure we had the proper resources for her to help her parent the kids, (including) family therapy services and extra ones.

Mary Lewandowski| MLive.com

Amanda Dietrich smiles at Abigail Dietrich, 9, before finalizing an adoption during adoption day hearings before Circuit Judge Richard N. LaFlamme and Justice Stephen Markman at the Jackson County Courthouse on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

Theyve all decided they are sleeping in my bed tonight, Dietrich said of her new children.

David and Abigail said their favorite part of their new mommy is that shes funny.

According to Adopt US Kids, there are more than 100,000 children nationally that are waiting in the foster care system for an adoptive family.

One of those children who found new parents was Duane Marshick Cole. The 17-year-old had to leave Jackson after his grandfather died in 2017. He now lives with his new parents Wendy and Tom Marshick in Farmington Hills.

My husband and I have adopted teenagers before, Wendy Marshick said. Duane fit every category that fit in our family. He likes humor. He likes (the University of Michigan), even though half of our family doesnt. He likes math, and he wants to be a teacher...like me.

Duane plays a variety of sports, including bowling. When asked what hes most looking forward to with his new family, he said he already has everything he wants.

I have a family now, he said.

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Tears and tight hugs trademarks of Jackson Adoption Day - MLive.com

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