I just knew there had to be something somewhere that tied an adoption to the Halloween holiday. Sure enough. From LINK> Good Morning America dated Nov 2 2021.
Day care owner, Angie Sheppard (already the mother of 5) first met Shyla when she was 6. Two years later, on her Oct 29th birthday and dressed as a bailiff, she banged the judge’s gavel at the end of each of 15 adoptions finalized that day. The adoption ceremony was called “Home for Halloween.” All the kids were dressed in costumes for the event.
According to Jenn Petion, president and CEO of Family Support Services of North Florida, ceremonies like “Home for Halloween” are not just fun celebrations but important tools to help kids who are newly-adopted move forward, especially around the holidays. “The holidays can be a particular particularly challenging time as they remember the family that they didn’t have and the pain of of not being able to be in a safe and loving home,” she said. “So to have a finalization event that’s tied to a holiday really starts to change those memories and allows them to symbolize the start of forever, the start of something new, and that they really can have that wonderful happy ending.”
Seeing some of the kids dressed up as superheroes was especially memorable for Petion. “I always think of our foster kids as superheroes, because they really have been through some of the most unimaginable things in their young lives. They are always superheroes in disguise.”
Angie Sheppard said she never expected to find herself in a courtroom adopting a daughter. “She is the life of the house now. Everybody just fell head over heels in love with her.” Shyla had actually asked Angie to be her mom.
National Adoption Awareness Month is recognized annually in November and is intended to bring attention to the more than 400,000 children are in the foster care system.