Silver Anniversary of Christmas Adoptions for Local Judge
A holiday tradition that dates back a quarter-of-a-century took place in an Ingham County courtroom Tuesday morning.
The judge describes it as a magical moment: making "forever families" official.
For the past 25 years, Ingham County Judge George Economy has cleared his calendar for one day in December to preside over the final step in the adoption process.
"I think to myself, 'where did 25 years go by?' But I see all these cute kids - everytime it's a magic moment for me," Judge Economy says.
Christmas adoption gift number number one was seven-month-old Graycin. And with the bang of the gavel, it's official: Graycin is handed over to his proud new daddy.
For Jeff and Carolyn Waite this marks the end of an emotional two-year adoption journey.
From seven-month-old Graycin to 17-year-old Amber. Amber's journey to Judge Economy's courtroom is complicated, but no less gratifying.
"I've been through a lot in the last 17 years, and for me to finally have a family is pretty good. I'm on cloud nine right now," Amber says.
And with the whack of a gavel, Amber is now the proud daughter of Marya and Dave.
Uniting families for the holidays is a Christmas tradition Judge Economy looks forward to every single year.
"Families getting together - it's pure love. It's just special," he says.
Judge Economy tells us of all the interesting parts of his job, this day is his favorite.