Local News

December 26, 2012

3 families adopt 8 children on Christmas Eve


They vowed to continue that relationship to allow the kids to stay close throughout their lives.

“It’s great; it’s great,” said Bill Walker Sr., the biological grandparent of all five children. “I’m not losing any grandchildren; I’m gaining a son- and daughter-in-law.”

Lawliss, who was especially lighthearted and jovial throughout the proceedings, talked with each child during the individual ceremonies.

“Natalie,” he said after signing Deonna’s and Kyia’s papers, “should we stop where we are or go for a third child?”

Natalie nodded her head.

“All right, we’ll go for a third.”

As the Cioffis took center stage with Christopher and Chloe, Lawliss noted that he thought the two families had done a wonderful job keeping the five children in close touch and mentioned that Family Court does not always see such a strong effort.


Christopher, meanwhile, had become a crowd favorite with a steady series of 3-year-old-type comments during the ceremonies. Lawliss offered him a special, handwritten document that he could sign to agree to be adopted, as a playful measure for the energetic youngster.

Christopher picked up a pen, marked something on the paper and said, “That’s it,” to a burst of laughter from the audience.


Theresa Rock was the final parent to sit before Lawliss, with three children: siblings Margaret, 4; Allison, 3; and John Patrick, 16 months.

Accompanying Theresa were her two other boys, David, 7, and Robert, 6, brothers whom she adopted four years ago.

“They just needed a loving family,” Theresa said of her decision to adopt pair. “They were in several foster homes before I had them (as a foster parent for nearly a year). I wasn’t going to let them go anywhere else. They needed a permanent home.”

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