Kent County Celebrates Adoption Day

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- Over two dozen children were officially welcomed into new homes, Thursday. The Kent County Circuit Court celebrated it’s 16th annual Adoption Day in Downtown Grand Rapids. The occasion, which is traditionally recognized in Michigan during National Adoption Month in November, is a way to spread the word about the opportunities of fostering children.

While it is not unusual to see tears in a courtroom, these tears had a special meaning for the Mason family.

“You will now be called Cassie Jo Mason,” said Judge Daniel Zemaitis.

Never has the sound of a name brought smiles and tears of joy to so many people. Family applauded as 14 year old Cassie Jo Mason heard her new name, made official by Judge Zemaitis during her adoption hearing, Thursday.

“We’ve bonded just with the needs that she has and the connection between mother and daughter,” said Cindy Mason. Cassie’s adoptive mother. “The connection is just there.”

Cassie came to live with Cindy and Mike Mason back in 2009, but the road to adopt Cassie has been a year and a half in the making. She has spina bifida and is confined to a wheel chair. The Mason’s, who already have four biological children and are fostering two more, wanted to make sure their house was handicapped accessible.

“Just a lot of modifications to her bedroom to get everything prepared,” said Mason. With her having some special needs, we had a bathroom put in to make it more accessible for her.”

Cassie sat with her parents while Judge Zemaitis briefed the teen on her rights. Then, it was time for Cassie to sign the papers.

The adoption hearings are a special time for families and judges, made even more meaningful during the holidays.

“I’m just happy it’s done,” said Cassie, as she fought back tears and clutched her new teddy bear, given to her by the judge. The adoption process is an emotional one for everyone involved.

“The last family she had in the legal sense has come to a close and this family has come to an open point,” said Ashley Oosterbaan, with Lutheran Adoption Service. “There’s a lot of transition and a lot of emotion that goes into that.”

There will be a slight adjustment period, but the Mason’s are looking forward to spending Christmas together as an official family.

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  • Abused Swan

    This year we also added a crisis hotline that Maria Melinn takes care of. Please remember this mother had her back broken by her abuser and sometimes is not able to respond as quickly as she would like to. Maria has Judge Kevin Cronin of Allegan County as her judge. See the Lawless America video of her judge, Bill Windsor promises to make him a star in his show. -If the name Deanna Kloostra sounds familiar, that is because Deanna ran for Kent County Commissioner this year. She is friends with Brian Downs and Charles Cavello who ran against Hillary and Gardner in this year's election. Deanna also networks with John Stedman who ran for Kent County Sheriff. Parents in Kent County are refusing to allow their families and yours to be destroyed. Will you support them in their efforts in 2013?

  • Abused Swan

    This year Abused Swan focused more on mothers losing custody to abusive fathers, so they brought in Dennis Lawrence to help with mothers losing custody in the foster care system. Dennis is a grandparent who had custody of his grandchildren when the system took the children from his daughter. Then the foster care system took the grandchildren from him. He is the leading person in Michigan dealing with foster care corruption. Dennis also video tapes families' stories on how their children were removed from them illegally. Dennis has two older grandchildren that were placed with a friend of Judge Patricia Gardner's when foster care removed them. His grandchildren call her Aunt Patty. If anyone knows how the system is failing and destroying families, it is Dennis. We are so lucky to have such a great person helping us!

  • Abused Swan

    Adoption day means we will soon have more clients at Abused Swan. Abused Swan started to educate mothers who had lost custody of their children to their abuser. Then they realized that there were a lot of mothers whose children were put into foster care and being adopted out. These mothers have the same judges in the family courts as the foster care system. Our website grew out of the corruption of the Kent County Courts, Judge Patricia Gardner, and the founder of the site knows firsthand how Judge Daniel Zemaitis works since he currently is her judge.

  • Momof6

    At first glance it seems nice that kids found "forever" homes. It seems like adoption was a good thing for the girl in this article, but what a heartbreaker to read the comments and learn that many good parents lose custody of their children through no fault of their own.

  • Dennis

    In family court it is a preponderance of evidence for taking a child out of the home and clear and convincing to terminate a parents rights. Many of these parents have a court appointed attorney that is not aggressive and does not present any evidence on the parents behalf. Many of these children taken have not been abused. You will see that most of these cases do not end up in criminal court for prosecution, as child abuse is a crime and is punishable in criminal court.

  • Jamison

    preponderance of evidence… in our case they didn't even present evidence, just their own BS theories and conjecture… that they argued around in circles for over a year, only to have the judge conclude that after a year a 6 year old child was better adjusted where she was at. It's a joke, legalized kidnapping by the state for the state… on trumped up charges supported by blatant lies on the stand, corrupt social workers.

  • Abused Swan

    We hear this all the time Jamison about Kent County and courts all across America. Deanna was a host on the show Slient Voices by Dennis. Parents would bring in their evidence and show us. What most people do not realize is that Child Protective Services gets $4,000 for every child they adopt our and another $2,000 if the child has a mental or physical disorder. What we are currently noticing is that the childrne are taken from good parents. About six months the children start acting out. Child Protefctive Services will then have a psychologist put them on meds and give them a mental disorder.The money comes from the Federal government under Title IV D …….Do you know what that is? Social Security………………..they are taking our children and they are taking our retirement all at the same time. Seriously, we do not want to hear your thoughts about the subject, we want you to take action. TODAY!

  • Really

    Clearly Ms Abused Swan needs to move on and get a new hobby. This day is not about birth parents. They has their chance and it is rediculous to think that a parents rights are terminated to no fault of their own. That is a blanket statement to make! How annoying.

    • Tired,

      I believe you are so right on this matter,Really I know why Maria Melinn lost custody of her children.She has had a hate fb account for a long time now,and continues to attack slander and lie.The fact is she claims a broken back and accuses her ex of doing it and domestic abuse actually there is evidence of her having a Domestic assault charge on her, a little piece that has been left out.This group of women Maria,Deanna,and Dennis seem to have no life other than commenting on anything on the news in hopes they will have their 5 min fame.Maria spends most of her days along with Deana posting and hacking and what ever else unemployed do when they receive SS.

  • Abused Swan

    Well, Robin when we protested in front of Cooley Law, the assistant Dean stated that Judge Kevin Cronin, Maria's judge, is a father's rights judge. I am sorry that you slept with Maria's former spouse and he gave you Herpes, but you should not take it out on her. She does not have herpes and did not give them to you. I guess you did not like the 10 Billion law suit she filed last week either in Kent County.