There was a princess and a monster and a very small bunny rabbit in the courtroom on Thursday, so the Fairy Godmother waved her wand from upon the bench and recited the magical words.
“It is hereby ordered and declared,” she said, and so it was done.
The unicorn clerk certified this new reality and behold, bestowed upon the small creatures and their larger guardians was a new title: family.
“Congratulations to you,” the Fairy Godmother said. She handed out candy and stuffed animals, and the children smiled very wide smiles and their mother shed a tear.
“It’s even better than what I thought being a mom would be,” said Bethany Overland.
Overland and her husband, Terry Green, had already adopted Sasha, 4, and Skyler, 3, a brother and sister whose birth mom had a drug problem. On Thursday, Sydney, who is almost 2 and their little sister, officially became a part of their family.
It was all part of the festivities in Clark County Family Court Judge Cynthia Giuliani’s courtroom. Giuliani started the tradition of dressing up as a Fairy Godmother last year to finalize adoptions on Halloween day.
“What better way to do it than with my wand?” she said. “This is the best part of my day.”
For the day, one in which she finalized eight adoptions, she dressed in a sparkly white gown and a silver tiara and she adorned her rosy cheeks with glitter. She carried a pink magic wand instead of a gavel.
She said that, festivities aside, what adoption does for children actually is sort-of magical. It takes often vulnerable small people out of limbo and puts them into a stable family. All of it done through a consortium of social workers and attorneys and moms and dads and, in the end, the wave of a Fairy Godmother judge’s magic wand.
“It is hereby ordered and declared,” she said again and again on Thursday.
There was the grandmother adopting her daughter’s baby, the couple who still had one more to get through the system, and there was Bethany Overland and Terry Green, with Sasha the princess, Skyler the monster and, now, Sydney the very small bunny rabbit.
It turned out that Overland, 35, couldn’t have children. The couple tried going to adoption agencies, but that was taking forever. Then they thought about foster care. There are always many hundreds of children in the foster care system who need temporary, and sometimes permanent, new parents.
Not long after they signed up, Sasha and Skyler came along. This was the right thing to do, Overland knew. “The second I saw them,” she said.
Sasha was 18 months then, and Skyler was 6 months old. Over time, Overland said, she came to know the mother. When the woman became pregnant again, she wanted Overland and Green to adopt the baby.
When Sydney was born at full term, she weighed only three pounds and had other health problems, Overland said, because the mother had no prenatal care and continued taking drugs. But she and her husband never hesitated. They knew they wanted Sydney in their family.
“It’s a blessing,” she said.
Contact reporter Richard Lake at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0307. You can find him on Twitter at @richardlake.