For adoptive families, 2020 was the perfectly imperfect time to open hearts and homes

The four newest members of the Dubra family crowded around the screen, waiting for the judge to make it official.

“All right, everyone. I’m about to sign the decree,” Hennepin County Judge Amy Dawson told the smiling faces on the Zoom call last week. “What I’d like everyone to do is take your microphones off mute so we can celebrate together.”

Most years, National Adoption Day is party time at the Hennepin County courthouse. There are balloons, games, face-painting stations and crowds of kids and their overjoyed new parents, grandparents, family and friends.

But there’s a pandemic on, so this year the celebration moved online and spread itself out across the entire month of November. Dawson officiated at one Zoom adoption after another. The preschooler who instructed the court to address him as “Big King.” The family with so many members on the call, they filled two entire computer screens.

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