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December 26, 2012

3 families adopt 8 children on Christmas Eve

PLATTSBURGH — Christmas came a day early for three North Country families — and especially for eight young children who now have a true home.

Clinton County Family Court Judge Timothy Lawliss presided over the adoption ceremonies Monday morning, calling it “the best day of my career” as he began formal proceedings.

TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP

Bill and Nickie Walker of Granville began the festivities as attorney Kevin Peryer helped them through the formal paperwork for their three adoptees: Deonna, 10; Kyia, 8; and Isabel, 6.

Nickie’s biological daughter, Natalie, 8, also participated and acted as family photographer during the ceremony.

“The girls came from such a long way to be where they are today,” Nickie said before the official ceremony. “They were so excited that they couldn’t sleep last night.”

The girls wore festive holiday dresses and red and green ribbons in their hair. Each sat between their new parents as Lawliss individually signed the formal adoption papers. The large group of friends and family in attendance gave each child loud applause upon completion of the adoption.

“It’s very exciting,” said Mr. Walker, who is planning to adopt Natalie in the next few weeks.

He is actually Deonna, Kyia and Isabel’s biological uncle, as well as uncle of three girls’ siblings, who were also adopted during Monday’s ceremony.

Those 3-year-old twins, Christopher and Chloe, were adopted by Robert and Valerie Cioffi of Plattsburgh.

“We received a call in April of 2011 that two children required foster care,” Robert said of his first contact with the twins. “We took them in and went through the regular procedures for adopting children.

“Today, we’re receiving our Christmas present early.”

“After seven years of wanting to be a family, now it’s complete,” Valerie added.

FAMILIES LINKED

The five siblings, all sporting bright blond hair, have also united the Cioffi and Walker families, who have become close since they all became responsible for the children.

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