A 5-year-old girl with an affinity for Disney princesses got a special surprise at her adoption hearing. Her journey through foster care finally had a happy ending.
Sarah and Jim Koning recently completed the final stages of the adoption process for their daughter Danielle, who they had been fostering since March 2014.
The caseworker, Kristina Grey, built a strong rapport with Danielle and knew about her fondness for Disney princesses. Grey wanted to make Danielle's final adoption hearing special, so she recruited her co-workers to surprise her in court by dressing up like Disney princesses.
"She was shocked when the princesses first came in," Sarah told ABC News. "The look on her face was priceless."
During the hearing, Judge Patricia Gardner participated in the fun by dressing up like Snow White and allowing Danielle to bang the gavel.
Samaritas, a social services nonprofit, captured the hearing, including the big surprise, in this video:
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are over 415,000 children in foster care on any given day. While 50,000 children were adopted in 2014, over 22,000 children aged out of the system.
There are numerous ways to help children in foster care receive the attention that they deserve, including mentoring a child in foster care or becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).