We often don’t think fairy tale endings happen in real life, but for one young girl in Grand Rapids, MI, however, that’s exactly what happened. And in a courtroom where her adoption was finalized.
There’s nothing dryer than legal proceedings, which is why 5-year-old Danielle Koning’s foster parents and caseworker, who were in the last stages of the long process last week, wanted the final proceedings to be special. Laura Mitchell, executive director for the Samaritas Foster Care Program, stated:
“It was a special situation that really snowballed out of a request form Danielle’s caseworker, who knew Danielle loved Cinderella so much. One of other caseworkers kind of looks like Cinderella, so she said, ‘Would you mind going to the hearing and dressing as Cinderella?'”
Several other adoption staff members at the agency also participated, which meant Sleeping Beauty, Elsa, Ariel, Rapunzel, and Prince Charming, among others, surprised Danielle on her happy day. Even the judge, Patricia Gardner, had a Snow White costume under her robe.
Danielle’s adoptive mom, Sarah Koning, stated why it was so important to dress up–especially being that the day was long-awaited:
“I think it’s really important to make that adoption day special for every kid in whatever capacity you can. No matter what, if kids have been bounced around a lot, it really helps them to feel the permanency and know that they’re not going anywhere now. It’s really important for kids to feel that security.
We’ve been waiting so long for it and it feels really good to be able to settle and be a real family. We have been a real family, but to not have that looming over our head anymore is a pretty amazing feeling.”
Watch the sweet video below here: