Entire kindergarten class comes to celebrate classmate’s adoption


Michael Clark’s classmates joined him in 17th Circuit Court in Grand Rapids as he celebrated his adoption to Andrea Melvin and Dave Eaton. (Dec. 5, 2019)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Andrea Melvin and Dave Eaton became Michael Clark Jr.’s foster parents about a year ago. On Thursday, they became his forever parents.

“We were thinking, ‘How can we build our family?’” Melvin said before her new rambunctious kindergarten-age son cut in.

“I love my Mommy!” Michael said.

“And there’s so many options, right, for building a family these days,” Melvin continued.

Michael has gained a very large family.

“I understand we are joined by Michael’s kindergarten classroom and teacher,” Gardner announced from the bench as Michael’s adoption came up.

Dozens of Michael’s kindergarten classmates from Wealthy Elementary in East Grand Rapids held up hearts on sticks to celebrate their classmate’s big day.

The kids may not realize it, but they were part of a special lesson you won’t find in any textbook.

“The lesson is put a little love in your heart. We rise when we support others,” said their teacher, Kerry McKee, who has had an obvious effect on Michael.

“I love Mrs. McKee,” Michael said.

“He loves Mrs. McKee,” his dad Dave Eaton agreed. “We asked him and he said, ‘You know, the class is kind of my family.’ And he wanted them to be there.”

Usually, adoptions are kept confidential. But on one day a year, they’re celebrated and shared.

So is a message: Right now, between 4,000 and 5,000 children in Michigan are in need of foster care. For Andrea Melvin and Dave Eaton, fostering Michael was a calling.

“If it’s something that’s crossed your mind, you should consider it and get trained and just see what it’s all about,” Melvin said.

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