There are more than 13,000 children in Michigan's foster care system. Today, the courtroom decorum in Jackson County was one of smiles and celebration for some families.
Each year hundreds of children are adopted on Adoption Day in Jackson County and across the state.
Judge Diane Rappleye oversees all kinds of cases but on adoption day she can't help but smile. "That child finally has permanency and that is the best feeling in the world. Because I know those children will always have a place to call home" said Judge Rappleye.
With the signing of documents and the banding of the gavel. It's official.
What was suppose to be a temporary stay has become so much more for the Murray family.
"I'm just glad there's finally closure today. Everything is all done, it's permanent, it's official" said Shannon Murray.
For the past three years, the Murray family has been sitting at the Jackson Courts. Adding another addition to their family.
"I can't imagine life without these guys. When we got that phone call a few years ago, my kids were just becoming teenagers and life seemed pretty figured out and easy" Shannon said.
Shannon and her husband have two kids of their own.
The family became foster parents to then 3 year old Ava when they became the process of adopting her.
"There was no other option. I mean she was ours. She was our baby girl. And then when her siblings came along, when the boys were born it just seemed natural to keep the siblings together" said Shannon Murray.
Friday the Murray came to the courtroom again and completed the final process of adopting the youngest.
Adopting one child can be difficult but the Murray's welcomed three into the family.
"There's time people say how are you doing it and what are you thinking. It's just natural they belong together" said Murray "You know there's no doubt the family has a strong connection, sibling connection. I just think it's wonderful to keep all the kids together."
The entire family will be together, officially, just in time for the holidays.