KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some call it a day when families are made complete.

National Adoption Day falls on Saturday this year, but on Friday, families in the Kansas City area visited courtrooms to finish the long adoption processes, which can often take years.

Jackson County Family Court employees know it’s one of the sweetest days they see all year. This time around, 12 Jackson County families entered courtrooms, adding 18 children to their various families.

Three-year old Russell Mavis is one of the stars of this show. His new parents, Blue Springs’ Auston and Ashley Mavis, finished the legal process, making Russell a permanent part of their family. A court official mentioned Russell has been living with the Mavises since last February.

Auston Mavis said they first met the toddler when a foster parent brought the tot into the pediatrician’s office where Ashley works, seeking a wellness check.

“He’s now part of the Mavis family. He’s going to remain there. He has a spot for life. He’s our love now,” Auston Mavis said.

Jackson County Judge, the Honorable Kevin Harrell leads the family court, and most of the cases his judges hear don’t have happy endings. Missouri state officials report more than 1,400 Jackson County children are in foster care, awaiting their forever families.

“It’s a holiday every single time we do it. No one ever gets tired of holidays and it’s a holiday, and especially during this time of year, it makes it even more special,” Judge Harrell said on Friday.

The Mavises said it’s a joy welcoming Russell into their family on a permanent basis — and they’re already thankful to him for the joy they’re received.

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