Courtrooms aren’t the most magical places; in fact, they can be quite scary for a kid. For 5-year-old Danielle Koning though, one day in court turned out to be one she’ll remember forever.
Danielle was in the courthouse with her foster parents Sarah and Jim Koning to attend a court hearing to finalize the Konings' adoption of Danielle and a 1-year-old named Neveah. To celebrate the happy occasion, Danielle’s case worker came up with a plan inspired by Danielle’s love of Disney princesses, particularly Cinderella.
The case worker asked a co-worker, who resembled the glass slipper-wearing princess, if she could dress up as the princess at Danielle’s hearing. The plan turned even better because the other case workers decided to join in, too!
And so on the set day, Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Snow White, Rapunzel, Elsa (Frozen), Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Ariel (The Little Mermaid) and Cinderella came to Danielle’s adoption day.
Laura Mitchell, executive director for Samaritas Foster Care Program, explained that they really try to make children’s finalization days for adoption as special as possible.
“It’s obviously a very meaningful day, a joyous occasion,” she told ABC News. “The hearing is definitely a celebration that the kids now have forever families. And it shows the love and compassion that our case workers have.”
Prince Charming was there, too, and even the judge, Judge Patricia Gardner, was dressed up as Snow White.
The Konings welcomed Danielle into their home in March 2014 under a foster-care arrangement. It wasn’t long after that the husband and wife fell in love with her.
“She is just outgoing and got such a good spirit,” Sarah Koning told MLive. “So loving and really wants to help people and make people happy.”
“We've been waiting so long for it, and it feels really good to be able to settle and be a real family,” Sarah told ABC News of the adoption.
“She's finally starting to call us mom and dad every once in a while and that's really exciting and makes us feel good,” she told MLive. “She's finally settling in and she doesn't have to go anywhere and she's safe.”