In the Yavapai Superior Court Juvenile Justice Center Division 6 courtroom, on the Friday before Mother’s Day, May 10, 2019, 16 families adopted a total of 21 children. The atmosphere was festive with the courtroom decked out with balloons, stuffed animals, books and, best of all, handmade quilts donated by local quilters. This “Carnival” themed event was filled with festivities for the children and families including, two bouncy houses, hotdogs, cotton candy, games and the best entertaining balloon artist in the Southwest, Cody Williams! Joyous tears flowed for those who were being adopted into their forever homes in a courtroom that was filled to the brim with people for this momentous occasion.
Judge Young shared, “Judge Debra Phelan, Judge Rhonda Repp and I had a great time helping the children become a part of their forever families. And in a personal first for me, one little girl had me sign certificates making her stuffed animals (who were listed by name) officially a part of her new family. It was a wonderful event and the families were so thrilled to be a part of it.”
CASA Manager, Quinci Castleberry, stated, “I love being able to celebrate with children and families on their special day. So often a person’s interaction with the courts is negative and, on this day, it’s all positive and everyone is smiling. I also appreciate all the CASAs, facilities employees, JPO staff, and community partners, who help in making this event happen. It truly is a joyous day!”
Deputy Court Administrator, Shelly Bacon, said, “This is one of the largest events we’ve put on to date. It seemed there wasn’t a dry eye in the house each time a family welcomed in a new member(s). The children’s faces just beamed with pride and excitement as they were officially made a part of the family that loved them for who they were. The Court doesn’t see a lot of happy times so this event is a very special one because people are excited and happy to come see us!”
We’d like to thank everyone who participated and helped to make this event the best one on record. A special thank you to the Mountain Top Quilters and the Thumb Butte Quilters for donating all the beautiful quilts so each child had an extra special memento to mark the occasion. We’d also like to thank the Yavapai CASA for Kids Foundation for providing the funding for the bounce houses, stuffed animals and all the food as well as Chili Bean the Clown (aka former CASA Laura Hamblin). Laura has been a part of our Adoption Day events for four years, and entertains our little ones and their families, at no charge. The Prevent Child Abuse Program generously provided a copy of “Oh the Places You’ll Go” for each child who was adopted. We couldn’t have pulled this off without the help of the volunteers who spent their time helping decorate and making sure the event went off without a hitch.