Adoptions Recognized at Prince William County Courthouse

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Every year, on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Prince William County Courts join other courts across the United States and opens its doors for National Adoption Day, when adoptions from the previous year are recognized and celebrated, adoptions are finalized, and families in the process of adopting are recognized.

This year, adoptive families gathered at the Prince William County Courthouse to celebrate the adoptions made final earlier in the year, finalize three adoptions, and recognize families in the process of adopting.

Foster children are unmoored from the support a steady family provides. National Adoption Day heralds the end of that insecurity. “They live with the unknown, the fear of potential violence. They’ve been there. They’ve done that. They do it,” Jan Roltsch-Anoll the presiding judge of the 31st District Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court said at the ceremony. “They are so strong. They are so brave. We love that we get to come here and see them start over and have a beginning that they should have had, and so, on this very important and special day, together with all of the 400 other courts in our country that are doing this, welcome to National Adoption Day,”

Presiding Judge Carroll B. Weimer, of the Prince William County Circuit Court, told the adoptive families and guests that National Adoption Day was a happier day than most in court. “It’s nice when people can come to court, and they want to be here. It’s unusual for people to want to be here. It’s with great pleasure that I preside over this celebration of adoption. We celebrate the love and support of families. We celebrate adoption and adoptive families.”

Weimer, an adoptive parent with his wife Susan, congratulated the adoptees, but had some words for the parents who he knew were filled with joy and fear at the same time. “I know that when my wife Susan and I met our daughter Kate, I was as scared and as happy as I’ve ever been.”

“People will tell you today and for the rest of your lives when they find out you’ve adopted someone how great it is that you chose to adopt,” Weimer said speaking to the parents. “You decided to give your child love and opportunity. I know, as an adoptive parent, your secret. People think the child is the lucky one today. I’m here to tell you. You know it and I know it, that the parents are the lucky ones.”

Weimer invited each adopted child and their family at the ceremony to join him on the bench and sign the paperwork acknowledging their adoptions acknowledge their individual place in the process.

Brad Marshall, president of the Prince William County Bar Foundation, which sponsored the event, said the social workers, counselors, guardians, foster parents, attorneys, and judges who are all involved in adoptions were also proud to witness the glad occasion at the courthouse. “Our justice system is designed as an adversarial system, one party versus another, winners or losers, but adoption is truly different. There are no losers, only winners. Every single person who participates is uniquely awarded. That’s especially true of course for the wonderful kids that we have here with us today and their new parents and siblings.”

Timia and Nathan Coffman, the adoptive parents of toddler twins, Marcus, and Christopher, said they were looking forward to raising the twins. “We’re happy to continue this journey with them moving forward and watching them grow.”

Robert Wilson Jr. and his brother Josiah Wilson came to the ceremony with their parents Raine and Robert Wilson Sr.

“I’m just happy. I got a new family,” 9-year-old Robert said.

“I got a family that loves me, and I know they’ll take care of me forever,” 10-year-old Josiah said.

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