WAILUKU, Hawaiʻi – Courtrooms are typically serious environments, but that wasnʻt the case when the Second Circuitʻs ʻOhana Adoption Day was celebrated with 15 children transitioning from foster care to their forever homes.
The Childrenʻs Law Project, along with attorneys, state agencies, volunteers, and court staff celebrated the adoptions of children ranging in age from 11 months to 15 years old. The keiki received monogrammed backpacks stuffed with blankets, books, personal essentials, and teddy bears. Child Welfare Services created T-shirts with “It takes a village” on the front, and a peace sign on the back with the words, “Peace Out Foster Care!”
“Although we do many adoptions throughout the year, this was our first collaborative ‘Ohana Adoption Day with the Children’s Law Project,” said Second Circuit Family Court Judge Adrianne N. Heely. “We are so grateful to the Childrenʻs Law Project, their attorneys, including Valerie Grab and Madeline Tomasino-Reed from Hawaiʻi island, CLP paralegals; DHS Child Welfare Services led by Maui Section Administrator Annie Reneicke; CES Permanency Social Worker Anne Fitzpatrick and CWS’ dedicated hard working social workers Leslie Armstrong, Dani Eggberg, Anela Cairns, and Andrew Fukuda; state Deputy Attorneys General Adriel Menor and Terrence Herndon; and our own staff, including Marsha Yamada, KariLynn Wakakuwa, Kelli Haaf, Michelle Tanno, Alysha Stephenson, and all the dedicated volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates and Guardian Ad Litems.
“It really does take a village, collaborating and working so hard to support these children through some challenging times,” Judge Heely said. “To see the smiles on the faces of the children and their forever families was priceless.”