EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A heartwarming story on the adoption journey of an East Grand Rapids family is about to be released as a children’s book.
The family’s story captured international attention and went viral on social media when an entire kindergarten class came to the adoption ceremony.
The story of Michael Clark Jr. and his parents, Andrea Melvin and Dave Eaton, is chronicled in the book “Love Rules: A Family’s Ture Story of Adoption and Unconditional Love.”
In December of 2019, News 8 cameras were rolling and documented Michael’s adoption in front of Clark’s extended classroom family.
“It was so cool to see Michael with his classmates all kind of celebrating at the courthouse,” Eaton said.
The story quickly gained shares on social media within minutes, capturing hearts across the country and around the world.
“There were like 4,000 shares … in the span of a few hours,” Eaton said.
The family was approached to write a children’s book and nearly two and a half years later it is about to be released. They hope it fills a void they discovered when looking for a children’s book to cover the subject.
“Although there was some great books about adoption, we didn’t really find one that really kind of spoke with us and we were kind of looking for something about blended families and older children going into foster care,” Melvin said.
The parents wanted to make sure their son was involved in the writing process.
“We talked to Michael about it a fair bit as well. Kind of remembering some of those moments and what they meant to him,” Eaton said.
“He goes through his whole experience kind of from the start, meeting us and through the journey all the way to that big old adoption day that happened that was so special that was shared with the entire world,” Melvin said.
They selected illustrator Danielle Parchment, who is from Jamaica, to tell the visual story.
During National Foster Care Awareness Month, the family is reflecting on how their adoption began and is encouraging others to become foster parents.
“Fostering can be a very rewarding form of parenting and we really just couldn’t have had a better experience,” Eaton said.
The book will be released on June 7 and is available for preorder.
The family will be holding a book launch event at Schuler Books on 28th Street in Kentwood on June 16 at 7:00 p.m.