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How this judge changed 20 families' lives in one day with a special ruling.

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Posted at 7:11 PM, Dec 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-23 21:36:27-05

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — While most families never want to step foot in a courtroom, some of them have waited years for this particular day.

But that would simply be because this was not an ordinary day with a gavel in a docket in Circuit Court Judge Darrell Scarlett's court. His docket centers around one kind of case: adoption. Judge Scarlett ensures foster children have the family they've searched for throughout their lives.

"You go by Unity? Alright," Scarlett said to a child in his courtroom.

"And Miss Unity, do you want this to happen today?" he asked the child.

Unity replied with a one-word answer: yes.

"I’m happy to approve it, congratulations," he said to unity and her new parent Rachel Jones.

All 20 families in this courtroom started the same way, as foster parents for the child they are standing with beyond the bench.

"We looked around, and we’re like, we have room in our home, we have room in our hearts? Why don’t we step in and do something?" said Crystal Paine, who adopted a child that day.

The Paine family realized their lives just weren't complete without David permanently tethered to them.

"He’s just become family to us, we can’t imagine any other, he’s just ours," the Paine family said.

The judge joked their house would never be quiet again.

For the Boldens and Serenity, they made shirts for the occasion. The letters on the shirt spell out: Out of my way, it's finally adoption day.

"You gotta give them your good smile, Renny. There ya go," said Marcus Bolden to his new child Serenity.

It all serves as a beautiful reminder — that one judge's ruling can completely change a life.


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