The atmosphere at the courthouse was electric, a good anxiety. “It was like waiting to meet your favorite music artist. Everyone seemed to have jazz hands on,” Kristi Jansen, adoptive mom to Kase and co-creator of, explained of her experience on National Adoption Day in 2010. “It really was a special day,” Kristi said. “We had not set out with the goal of adopting on National Adoption day but, the clerk at the courthouse suggested we join the celebration. Participating in National Adoption Day allowed us to move our adoption date up about 30 days.” But Kristi said that more importantly than the date change was the opportunity to have such a special day in the life of their family happen on a day that would be filled with so much hope and happiness for so many families.

Photo 1 Jansen Family at adoption

Jansen Extended Family on National Adoption Day.

When the Jansen Family arrived at courthouse, they were pleased to see the courthouse had set up a large celebration for the participating families. It was truly going to be a party. The courthouse was decorated everywhere with balloons. There was face-painting, bounce houses, and snacks. Each family received a gift bag with a few small gifts and special picture frame engraved with National Adoption Day and the date. Kristi shared, “It was those details that made the day feel extra special.”

Kristi’s extended family had shown up to be part of the celebration. “We were so lucky because we also had Kase’s birth mother’s family there with us to support us.” This was one of the exceptional moments of their open adoption. Kristi shared, “It is was such a cool thing to have not only our immediate family members along to participate in this moment, but also to have our new extended family with us made it feel more complete.”

Photo 2 Kristi Jansen and birth family

Jansen Family and Birth Family with the Judge

It was magical and exciting when it was finally their turn to meet with the judge. Kristi shared, “Our group settled into the courtroom and the judge walked in. She commented on the huge number of family that had come along to support us. The judge then asked us to tell her why we wanted to adopt Kase. During our explanation we pointed out that three of the family members there that day were Kase’s biological family members. The judge was surprised. She smiled. ‘Kase is obviously very loved.””

“After the Judge finished her official statement about Kase becoming ours, I started to cry happy tears, and in return the judge got teary eyed and sincerely congratulated us on becoming his official guardians and parents. It was a sweet moment and everyone had huge smiles on their faces!”

When asked if she would suggest finalizing on National Adoption Day to additional families, Kristi quickly said yes! “It really was such a happy, positive, exciting atmosphere.” This wonderful family was blessed to grow through the miracle of an open adoption and, yes indeed, it became clear while talking to Kristi that Kase is obviously very loved.

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