TAMPA, Fla. - Tampa Judge Miriam Valkenburg took the bench with a team of teddy bears by her side.
"I’m not used to walking into a courtroom and seeing a bunch of smiles usually people are very unhappy," Valkenburg said as she greeted the gallery.
It was the happiest day at the Tampa courthouse, because it was National Adoption Day for dozens of children. After Friday, 27 children are finally with their forever families just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Greeted by a friendly judge and a jury of teddy bears, 17 Hillsborough County families adopted children today. One of them was the Felix family, which grew by two.
After losing their mother to illness six-year-old Finnley and two-year-old Quinnlen have new parents they know well.
"We were their godparents," Father Anio Felix said while addressing the court. "We were their godparents. For us, it was a blessing to have them added."
The boys got to hand-pick their favorite cuddly toy once their adoption was completed.
Felix said having the two boys be a part of his growing family is a true blessing.
"Oh my God its amazing, everything was finalized, the adoption went well, everybody that helped us through this process was beautiful it was a journey, but we're happy," said a gleeful Felix.
Mother Tiffany Felix said the process took a couple of years, but it was all worth it.
"Now, we are a family of seven, so it's big," she said with a smile.
The entire Felix family will have two more at the dinner table this Thanksgiving and couldn’t be happier.