Reunification Day

Judge Marcy Klaus celebrates “Reunification Day” with local families. 

GLADWIN – National Adoption Day is widely known as a celebration of the coming together of “Forever Families”. In recent years, we’ve highlighted the moments in which local families and children are officially united together through the process of adoption. 

On Wednesday, June 21, another celebration for local families emerged. Through the DHS and local court, families are brought back together and reunited through a celebration called “Reunification Day.” 

Judge Marcy Klaus greeted all guests in attendance at the Gladwin County Probate Courtroom. 

“It gives me great pleasure when we can return children to their moms and dads,” said Judge Klaus. “In the past, we have had the privilege of celebrating adoption day, but that can be bitter sweet. So, I am so glad that the State encourages us to celebrate reunification days.” 

Theresa Walters, a local foster care supervisor, spoke about the effort that these families put in so that they can make their families whole once again. 

“When the judge presented this, I thought it was a great idea,” said Theresa. “Parents get overlooked who work so hard to be reunited with their children.”

Keith and his daughter Emily were the first to be recognized for their unification.

 “Every time we see her she has a smile on her face and we couldn’t be more happy,” said Theresa. 

Alyssa and Dustin were the next to be recognized. The couple worked close to a year in order to be reunited with their young son. 

Next to speak was caseworker Mike Smith who worked close with a woman named Dawn, a mother who was being reunified with her three young daughters. 

“I believe very strongly in family reunification and these families here exemplify what we are supposed to be doing,” said Mike. “Dawn did a tremendous job in overcoming overwhelming barriers in getting her daughters home.” 

Dawn, the special guest of the celebration, shared the fact that the DHS and local court were not only instrumental in reconnecting her with her children, but also getting her life back on track. She thanked those who cared for her children when she could not. 

“I would also like to thank Judge Klaus and Norm Gage for their patience,” said Dawn. “If not for them I wouldn’t be standing here today and my girls would not be home. I’m proud to say that my kids and I have never been happier. Reunification is awesome!” 

Finally, Renee Dyer was recognized as an instrumental service provider in her work as an infant mental health specialist. Renee was extremely grateful for the honor. “It really means a lot to me and it’s a privilege to be able to work with the families of the community.” 

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