HAMBURG, NY (WKBW) — A Hamburg family is making history. They appeared Thursday in a virtual foster family adoption.
“Laila and Aurora Clark - a forever family,” declared Hon. Sharon LoVallo, judge, Erie County Family Court.
Judge LoVallo provided a drum roll and balloon drop as she oversaw the proceeding through Skype as the family adopted two young girls.
The judge said this was her first-ever virtual foster care adoption conducted from her home as Family Court remains closed because of the pandemic. But the judge says the Hamburg family waited through a long progress to adopt the girls.
“They’ve gone through a long process of supporting and loving these children,” stated Judge LoVallo. “They've been a family for a long time. Today we make it official and we make it forever and the ability to do that — is incredibly special.”
Maria and John Clark already had four boys. Now the boys have two new little sisters, three-year-old Laila and two-year-old Aurora.
“Our sons — have the capacity to love back. It’s really amazing to welcome these little girls into the family and love them from day one,” Maria Clark said tearfully.
Maria is a mental health care worker for the Erie County Mental Health Department. John has been a New York State Trooper for 23 years. Together they share a strong passion for a big family.
“For her and me — we're like yin and yang — I’m mean literally,” John Clark described.
“Just listening to them negotiate, listening to their imaginations, listening to the stories that they're telling each other, every parent’s dream,” responded Maria Clark.
Now the Clark’s are now mom and dad to children who range in age from 2 to 24.
The Clark’s said they have family members from as far away as Japan watching the Skype adoption proceedings.
They say they receive a great deal of support from family, friends and work.
The Clark’s said they want to be foster parents because there are so many children who need “somebody to love them.”
When asked what the biggest challenge is bringing up a family of six, the parents responded, “we have run out of seats in the vehicle.”
“What's the best part? What's the most fun?” asked Buckley. “The noise — yeah — yeah. When our house is full when we are happiest,” replied the Clark's.
“What's for dinner tonight?” Buckley questioned. “That's a good question. We’ll worry about that later,” laughed the Clark's.
And although the Clark's now have six children, they tell us they plan to adopt more in the future.