Local Judge grants Christmas wishes

Posted at 8:49 AM, Dec 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-22 08:49:04-05

Five-year-old Ashlee has been in and out of courtrooms for years. But Monday, it was the only place she wanted to be.

In the days leading up to Christmas, Judge Economy acts as Santa Claus by granting a few wishes.

"I think it epitomizes the spirit of the season. We get caught up in the materiality of this season and sometimes we forget what it's all about. It's about love. It's about family," said Judge R. George Economy.

For 29 years, Judge Economy has made hundreds of adoptions official, and bringing families a priceless gift.

"It takes me away from a lot of the sadder things I have to deal with. And this lets me just appreciate," Judge Economy said.

For John Antes, Monday was a wish come true. "it's been a long, long journey, almost 3 years since she first came into my home."

Ashlee has always been John Antes' granddaughter, but after a few family disputes, John wanted to adopt her. Making him her adoptive grandpa.

"Being retired now being a single parent, I don't know what I would do with all my time if I didn't have time to spend with her," said Antes. "I'm sure I would find something but nothing as joyful as being with her."

Antes says Ashlee has the ability to lift everyone's spirits no matter what.

"She's a blessing, an unexpected blessing. I didn't expect to be a parent again at my age, but good things come in small packages and she's the best," Antes said.

Sometimes the best gifts happen unexpectedly.