Reunited families celebrated at Berrien County Courthouse
You may have heard of Adoption Day, but not all foster kids end up being adopted. Some end up reunited with their parents, and today those families are being celebrated.
The celebration is nationwide. June is National Reunification Month.
On Friday Michigan held their second annual celebration in Lansing, and Berrien County decided to join in the party.
For many, the Berrien County Courthouse is not remembered for happy Memories.
For Jason Taylor, the courtroom is where he spent months working to reunite his family.
"We wound up going through family therapy, parenting classes, seeing counselors. A lot of it was coping and learning new techniques of how to handle a child,” said Taylor.
That work is being celebrated. The courthouse is now a place for a party, as all six Taylor children are back under one roof.
Judge Mabel Mayfield, Berrien County Trial Court Family Division, says it's possible to celebrate both adoptions and reunification because every foster case is different.
"I had to stop and think, how does that work for me? How can I be as equally excited about an adoption day process as I can be about a family reunification process? The bottom line is it's really about the children. It's an outcome that is best for them."
Mayfied says she hopes other families know the court system is there to help
"If you can get back to that thing that says this is most important. I value my children above everything else. Above another relationship, above everything. My children are number one. When you get that focus, the court is certainly there to assist."
Berrien County is one of the first counties in Michigan to host their own celebration. The state says they hope the day becomes a tradition and that more counties get involved next year.