Valentino Warr, 5, smiles while holding his certificate of adoption during National Adoption Day at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Valentino Warr, 5, smiles while holding his certificate of adoption during National Adoption Day at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

On National Adoption Day, 11 Snohomish County families grow by 1

There were tears of joy in the county courthouse on Friday when Sean Myers, 8, was adopted Friday.

EVERETT — It was a tearful but joyous day in the courtroom for Robert and Emily Myers.

On Friday morning, they formally adopted their 8-year-old son, Sean.

The Myers family obtained Sean three years ago through the foster system.

The family was joined by the couple’s four adult daughters and son-in-law.

“Sean was a severely neglected baby and to be placed in our family with all the girls, all he got was attention,” Emily Myers said.

The Myers were one of 11 families Friday celebrating National Adoption Day at Snohomish County Superior Court, formally adding one name to the family.

The annual event is a partnership between Superior Court, the county clerk’s office and the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program.

Emily Myers said the family has felt so much support through the adoption process.

“I feel very, very blessed,” she said.

Friends and family members cheered — along with Sean’s second grade classmates watching via Zoom — as Judge Millie Judge made his adoption official.

“This is one of our favorite days of the entire year in the courthouse,” Judge said.

Adoption Day was founded in 2000 by a coalition of child welfare organizations. Now it’s celebrated in courts across the country.

Adoption hearings are typically private, but Friday’s event was open to the public. Its purpose is to raise awareness about children in foster care who need permanent families, Judge said.

As of 2021 in Washington, more than 8,000 children were in foster care. More than 2,000 were waiting to be adopted, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Brian and Margaret Warr adopted their son and only child, Valentino, 5, on Friday. He had been placed with the Warrs as a foster child at 18 months old.

Margaret Warr said it was “life-changing” to see Valentino become a Warr.

At Andrew and Susan Bramlett’s hearing for their son’s adoption, Joseph, 3, proudly sang the ABCs through the courtroom microphone before Judge Judge certified his adoption.

After Judge went through the standard questions, verifying the family can provide their child a loving and caring home, the adoption was finalized with a certificate and a formal name change.

Judge said: “I hereby declare you to be one family under the law.”

Jenelle Baumbach; 360-352-8623;; Twitter: @jenelleclar.

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