Smiles filled the Jackson County Chancery Court on March 10 when it placed 21 children with their forever families in an annual event known as Mass Adoption Day.
The official court procedure took place under the rule of Chancellors Neil Harris, Tanya Hasbrouck and Mark Maples.
More than 300 people packed the Jackson County courtroom showing support for the 14 families who adopted one or more children. The audience included extended family members, friends, church family and members of the Jackson County Youth Court and Child Protection Services.
On hand were Jackson County Chancery Court Clerk Josh Eldridge, Deputy Sheriff John Ledbetter and Commissioner Andrea Sanders of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services.
“Family means a lot of things to different people but to a child it means everything,” Sanders, who was adopted 53 years ago, said.
Dr. Mike Barnett, senior pastor of Ocean Springs’ First Baptist Church, gave the invocation and Dr. Ric Sawyer, Pascagoula’s First Presbyterian Church choir master sang The Star-Spangled Banner. The Junior Auxiliary of Ocean Springs-Biloxi provided refreshments as well as signage inside and outside the courthouse announcing “Adoption Day.”