These Wisconsin students are truly a class act.
When 10-year-old Abby Novotny’s foster mom officially adopted her at a ceremony Aug. 29 at the Milwaukee County children’s court, a bunch of the girl’s classmates were there to help celebrate ― even though this was also the first day of the new school year.
Family members and teachers also turned up to support Abby, along with the 24 students from St. Coletta Day School, a program for kids with cognitive disabilities. Their presence made the day all the more memorable for Abby.
“Everywhere Abby looked there were kids, teachers, siblings, aunts and uncles,” said Anne Novotny, now Abby’s adoptive mother, in an interview with ABC News. “She could hardly stop smiling.”
At the ceremony, the kids showered Abby with cards, presents and hugs. One gift was a painting of the girl’s new name along with a heart and the special date, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted.
The fun didn’t end there, either. Afterward, some students and other loved ones headed out for a celebratory picnic and some swimming.
Though it was the kids’ first day of classes, the courtroom was where they “needed to be,” St. Coletta teacher Rachel Lustig told local TV station Fox 6.
The special moment was a long time coming for Abby. For the past three years, she’s lived with Novotny, a social worker who has one biological child and had adopted seven others before Abby. When Abby found out about the adoption a year ago, she couldn’t wait to tell her fellow students.
“Abby got up in front of her classmates and teachers and announced ‘I’m going to be a Novotny!’” the school’s administrator, Bill Koehn, told ABC News. “Big smile and bouncing up and down.”
Now, the name is officially hers. And the day after the ceremony, Abby returned to school and discovered her desk labeled with her new name, making for a beautiful start to the school year.