JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The lives of 12 Jackson County children will never be the same again. They are all now members of several loving families, thanks to a mass adoption held Monday morning in chancery court.
Chancery Judge Chuck Bordis said it's one of the most enjoyable days on the bench. "Because the system really does work," he told the crowd Monday. "And today will be your opportunity to see how the system is very successful in the placement of these children."
Papers are signed and the process of creating new families begins. Three young siblings are now part of the Norvel family, and they are all smiles. Their new mom is Shunda.
"Well, I always wanted to have a bunch of kids so this is the way that I guess God blessed me to raise and bring up some beautiful kids," Shunda Norvel said.
For Nykeria Barnes, better days lie ahead now that she's been adopted.
"It feels good to have a mom and a dad. Someone to treat me well, someone to care for me and have a place to live," Barnes explained.
Youth Court officials work hard for this simple moment of joy. Sharon Sigalas is the Jackson County Youth Court Judge.
"This is what we look forward to," she said. "Children being adopted into loving families who offer them a home that all children deserve."
Many of the children have lived the lives of nomads, bouncing around from foster home to foster home. Finding a permanent, loving home now means the world to them and their future development.
"Adoption lets them know they won't have to be looking over their shoulders and if I'm going to be moved again," DHS Adoption Supervisor Sherba Hinton explained. "It helps them feel secure about their family, about their school."
Some new parents felt a higher power led them to this day.
"The Gospel is adoption, and adoption is the Gospel," dad Jonathan Blakeney said. "And we felt that this was a fulfillment of our lives in Christ."
Following Monday's ceremony, the parents and their new children were treated to a reception, featuring cake, punch, and even gifts and teddy bears for the children.