A Florida daycare owner adopts a child she cared for in a Halloween-themed ceremony. A group of 15 kids celebrated with their new forever families in a special Halloween-themed adoption ceremony at the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville. One of the children was Shyla Sheppard, who turned eight the day of the ceremony. Shyla was dressed as a bailiff and banged a gavel at the end of each adoption.
Shyla’s new adopted mother, Angie Sheppard met her two years ago when she arrived at the daycare she runs. The two hit it off and Shyla asked if Angie could be her new mommy. So when the opportunity came up, Angie, already a mom of five, started the process to adopt Shyla. “She is the life of the house now,” she says. “Everybody just fell head over heels in love with her.”
President and CEO of Family Support Services of North Florida Jenn Petion says ceremonies like this one aren’t just about having fun, but also help new adoptees mark a new chapter in their life. For many adoptees, holidays don’t bring back great memories and this is an opportunity to reframe that. Petion also thinks it’s appropriate that some of the children are dressed as superheroes for the event. “I always think of our foster kids as superheroes, because they really have been through some of the most unimaginable things in their young lives,” she says. “They are always superheroes in disguise.”