After years in foster care, Alex Reyes was adopted on March 20, 2020, to the theme of “Star Wars – A New Hope.” The 12-year-old had been with his now-adoptive parents in Montana for a year before the adoption was finalized and they had made plans to use Star Wars as the inspiration in the courtroom well before COVID-19 shut down the nation.
Reyes and Judge Greg Pinski battled it out with two lightsabers, each wearing a Darth Vader mask before Pinski finalized the adoption. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope played on the television screen. Though the courtroom was a bit quieter than usual due to social distancing rules, the jury box was packed with almost a dozen siblings, eager to welcome their new brother to the family.
“By the power vested in me by the Force, by the Empire, I’m going to approve your adoption, alright?” Pinski asked Alex. Pinski himself had filled the courtroom with Star Wars memorabilia that he had purchased during a recent trip to Disney and allowed Alex to take home with him. The family had asked Pinski months ago if he was willing to do the adoption as Darth Vader since Alex is reminded of the Star Wars villain when he sees Pinski in his black judge’s robe.
“Everybody needs something positive in their life right now, and I can’t think of anything more positive than to have this family come together,” said Pinski. “Notwithstanding everything that is going on, this is their time to celebrate, and I couldn’t not be a part of their special day.”
According to MSN, adoptive parents Pamela and Philip Reyes have been married for nearly 10 years and had a blended family of five boys when they made the decision to become foster parents. They had no intention of adopting, but as the children came to their home, that all changed.
“We just started fostering kids because my husband thought there was a need within the community,” explained Pamela. “And here we are.”
The couple has adopted other children, has guardianship of one child, and is in the process of adopting three others. The other adopted children get to have themed adoptions as well. One chose a princess theme and another is choosing an 80s theme for when she “punks out of foster care.”
“With everything that’s in the headlines and just the crisis that we’re going through right now collectively as a community,” said Pinski, “to know that there’s good things that are happening, it just warms your heart.”
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