“Something that was lost has now been found,” said Henrico Circuit Judge Gary Hicks as he finalized the adoption of Nehemiah Christopher into Terrence and Bridget Allen’s family on July 16.
Upon entering the courtroom, no one could have guessed this little boy had ever been alone. But in August 2009 someone left him naked and abandoned on a front lawn in Henrico County. Nehemiah first came to the family as a foster child. “Nehemiah was meant for us,” said Bridget Allen.
Social workers and the Allens’ extended family and fellow church friends packed the courtroom. The family’s many supporters believed that Nehemiah finding his way into the Allen household was no coincidence, but divine providence at work.
As Nehemiah officially took the “Allen family DNA,” Hicks applauded the parents for their courage and love for Nehemiah. Hicks told an inspirational story about a little boy throwing star fish back into the sea. Ending with a moral of no matter how long the task, no matter how many other star fish there are, he told the Allens, “you made a difference with that one.”
Throughout the ceremony Nehemiah was all smiles. Jane Crawley, Director of Social Services for Henrico County, and Martin Brown, Commissioner of Social Services for the State of Virginia, also came to witness this very special occasion.
By Kelly Dohnal