KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Parents and children gathered at the Kalamazoo County 9th Circuit Court Friday to finalize their adoptions.

Twelve children were adopted into seven families on Adoption Day.

Judges officially completed the adoptions with a celebration that brought together all the people who helped with the process. The families had their first official photos taken by a professional photographer. The children got teddy bears and balloons and were allowed to climb into a firetruck and visit with a police officer on horseback.

kalamazoo adoption day
Teddy bears lined up for newly adopted children in Kalamazoo. (Nov. 1, 2019)

Jon and Anna Ha adopted their two grandsons, 4-year-old Dylan and 3-year-old Hunter.

“Unfortunately, our oldest boy lost custody of them and so we didn’t want the grandkids to go through the system, so we told (Children’s Protective Services) that we would take them instead because they were planning on separating the two boys and we didn’t want that to happen,” Jon Ha said.

Tonya Klemm, a program supervisor with Bethany Christian Services, helped guide the Ha family through the process.

“It’s just such a special day for these kids, and it’s not just Adoption Day but every day that we’re able to finalize an adoption,” she said.

She said it was exciting to watch the adoptions become final.

“It has been a long road for the Ha family,” Klemm said. “The children have been in foster care for over 1,100 days and it’s just so exciting to get to this point and they have worked tirelessly for these children.”

kalamazoo adoption day
The Ha family poses for a photo after completing the adoption process in Kalamazoo County. (Nov. 11, 2019)

The Ha family hopes their story will inspire others to consider adoption.

“You get these children in your home (and) they just sort of take your heart and it becomes so rewarding,” Anna Ha said.

Michigan has about 13,000 children in foster care and more than 3,000 looking to be adopted. Around 300 have no identified adoptive family. For more information on how to adopt or become a foster parent, visit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website.

kalamazoo adoption day
A family is all smiles as they complete the adoption process in Kalamazoo County. (Nov. 11, 2019)