Sometimes little kids can truly floor you with their uncomplicated kindness. With the way they're so guileless in their love for their family and friends. The way they show up to support each other, like how this sweet little kindergartner's entire class supported him at his adoption hearing in Michigan. If this is not the most beautiful example of kindness, I just don't know what is.
When 5-year-old Michael Clark Jr. walked into a courthouse in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Thursday to finalize his adoption with his foster parents, his entire class was there for him. Holding cut out red and pink hearts they were waving around on sticks to show him how much they loved him.
Michael's teacher Kerry McKee had come up with the idea for the class to attend his adoption hearing and she discussed it with his mom, who had been fostering the little boy for a year along with his dad, according to local ABC News affiliate WZZM. The two agreed that this would make Michael's day extra special. McKee then arranged for a school bus to bring the kids to the courthouse to witness something truly special for one of their classmates.
These lucky little kids were able to see the beginning of a new family being formed on their field trip as Michael became the son of David Eaton and Andrea Melvin, as USA Today reported. The smile on Michael's face alone was worth the field trip, I think.
It was something of an interactive field trip as well; according to CNN, when Judge Patricia Gardner asked people in the courtroom to tell her what Michael means to them, they stood up and shouted things like "Michael is my best friend!" and "I love Michael."
A local reporter told Global News that "there wasn't a dry eye in the place" during Michael's adoption. He was one of 36 children finalizing their adoptions in Kent County during the 23rd annual Adoption Day, and his classmates weren't the only special guests at the event. Santa Claus was also there to greet all of the children and make the day even more memorable.
There are more than 125,000 children in the United States waiting to be adopted, according to the Dave Thomas Foundation. If Michael's story of love and support and community does one thing, I hope it encourages people to see what a positive thing adopting a child can be. That this child could open up not just your life but everyone else's around you too. That there is a whole lot of joy to be had with an adopted child. Just ask Michael's classmates.