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Nat’l Adoption Month celebrated at Berrien County Courthouse

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:03 PM EST
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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) - Several Berrien County children are united with their forever families as the State of Michigan continues to celebrate National Adoption Month.

On Monday, 8-year-old Serenity Lacey was living up to her name.

“I’m really, like, energetic inside but, like, not outside because, like, I’m trying to take this calm,” said Lacey.

Monday was also mind-blowing for Serenity’s biological aunt, Laura Kinzler, of Watervliet because sitting in a courtroom with a child at her side never crossed her mind.

“It was something that was never in the plan for me,” remarked Kinzler.

Those plans, of course, changed over the last six-and-a-half years for Laura and her husband, Rick, with Serenity gracing the picture.

“We have had her really for so long, and at this part of the package, [it was] meant to be,” said Rick.

The Kinzlers adopted Serenity on Monday morning at the Berrien County Courthouse where several families also finalized adoptions, a meaningful experience for Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Welch to witness.

“There are many ways to be parents. There are many ways to have children be supported. And I think what we saw today was an example of a family that has been - done that, they have figured it out. They have discovered what it is to love a child in a way probably they hadn’t even thought they could before,” expressed Welch.

As Serenity says, adoption means having a real home.

“We know that socialization is important. But like, you’ll also need to learn stuff. And that might mean going to schools, and like, you can’t just, like, hang out with kids all day and learn nothing. You actually need to have a home to live in, eat in, and survive in. It’s like shelter,” she said.

It’s love that Serenity will never have to question.

“I feel honored to get to be her mom. I feel like she’s the best gift I could ever get in the whole world,” said Laura Kinzler.

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