KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It's one of the few times families can walk into a court room and it be the happiest day of their life.
“For us to be able to not only help grow our family through adoption but to do it on such a special day has been really special to us,” said Leah Lunsford, a mother who finalized the adoption of her 13-year-old son Demaun on Friday.
“As soon as he came to our house, I've considered him a son," Demaun's father Ken Lunsford said. "Just coming here is kind of symbolic, I think."
Demaun was at one time considered to be unadoptable, but that's no longer the case after the Lunsfords walked out of Jackson County Family Court on Friday. Demaun was one of more than 40 children who had their adoptions finalized.
31 families were in attendance -- including Chrystal Jones’ family.
"Just understanding that as a six-year-old that he can stay and have a permanent family -- that's a big deal," Jones said. "And that's a big deal to all of these families here today that they have a solid place to call home."
Jones and her husband adopted their second child, six-year-old Darren, and will be giving their new son a stable home for the very first time.
“I made a comment one time that 'When you're grown up and you get married and have your own house.' He said 'Mommy, I thought I could stay with you forever?' And I said 'Baby, you can stay with me forever,'" Jones said.
And for the Lunsfords, Demaun had already brought changes to their home long before taking the family name.
“We've also seen a lot of growth in our other children," Leah Lunsford said." We have three other boys, and to see them slow down and use compassion and consideration of others that have different needs than them has been really impacted my heart."