Thanks to the kindness of students and staff members at a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, day school for children with intellectual disabilities, 10-year-old Abby Novotny didn’t have to miss her first day of class to attend a formal court adoption.
Abby had been living with her foster mother, Anne Novotny, for three years and the family had an appointment to finalize the adoption on August 29 – the first day of school. Instead of having to miss one of these two special days, Abby was accompanied by all 24 of her St. Coletta Day School classmates, who showed up to the courthouse with her.
“It was incredible. The kids were so well-behaved but their faces, right when they saw Abby, gave her the homemade cards and gifts… It was so thrilling for all of them. Everywhere Abby looked there were kids, teachers, siblings, aunts and uncles. She could hardly stop smiling,” Anne told ABC News.
“Abby felt like a princes,” Anne told Inside Edition.
Abby is the eighth foster child that Anne, a social worker, has adopted.
“I foster and when obviously with foster our goal is always to get them a home, and when they can’t go home we just grow a little more,” Anne told WISN.
The mother says when Abby moved in she immediately “loved her.”
“We worked with helping her become a better person. She was behind in some areas. We brought her up to speed, we found her resources at St. Coletta Day School. That school has brought her an immense amount of growth,” Anne tells ABC News.
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St. Coletta Administrator Bill Koehn led a caravan of vehicles driven by staff and parents to Children’s Court in Wauwatosa.
“It’s just a great way to start our first day back. I have attended one of Anne’s other adoptions, but we’ve never come as an entire school before,” Bill told Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
Abby, surrounded by her friends and classmates, couldn’t stop smiling as she sat in the courtroom waiting for the adoption to become official.
According to Inside Edition, when everything was finalized in the courtroom, Abby turned to her teacher to ask: “Does the name tag on my desk say Abby Novotny now?”