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Extraordinary adoption: Family opens arms to five new siblings

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Extraordinary adoption: Family opens arms to five siblings, a Butte first

The five new La Piers wait for their adoption to be finalized in Butte district court Friday morning. From left, Eric and Heather La Pier sit next to their newly adopted children — Madyson, Jeremiah, Kaylee, Jessie and Hunter.

Excitement could be felt as soon as the Butte courthouse door opened Friday morning. Children’s laughter and chatter echoed down from the third floor.

Five exuberant, beaming kids aged 4 to 10 sat anxiously but composed. They were dressed to the nines. This is actually a very fitting description being that the La Pier family now boasts nine children.

The moment was not only awe-inspiring for the five brothers and sisters but also for the officials involved in the process. It is rare for siblings to be adopted into the same home, let alone five.

“It is my quintuple pleasure,” attorney Mary Kay Starin said. “This will be the first adoption of five” in Butte

district court.

Starin said she has never walked into the courthouse when it was filled with such animation and vigor. Judge Brad Newman’s courtroom is a place normally filled with criminal trials and divorces, but on this morning it was a joyful spot.

“I think this is the best day we’ve had in court since I’ve been on the bench,” Judge Newman said.

Friday’s hearing was nearly three years in the making. Eric and Heather La Pier first took the five siblings in as foster children and then started the adoption process.

“I’m relieved that it’s all done. It was a long time. I am very happy,” Heather La Pier said following the court proceeding. Family and other loved ones filled the seats at in the courtroom. She thanked all for their support.

“I’m just so proud of all these kids,” Heather La Pier told the group.

The La Piers took in the five children, who are relatives of the LaPiers, after Child Protective Services removed the children from their birth parents’ home. Attorney Kathleen McBride, who acted as the children’s court guardian, said keeping the siblings together is “truly the

triumph.”

For the La Piers and their three children who live at home, the five siblings were already in their hearts and it wasn’t a hard decision to take them into their house. Even if they all have to share one

bathroom.

Starin said officials have been working on the logistics for the family to make it work financially. She affectionately compared the household to the old woman who lived in a shoe.

“We got the math to work for these folks,” she said.

The family had to upgrade to a large vehicle to accommodate more passengers and make some sacrifices. The most important part is “the home they’re in is filled with love,” Starin said.

Jordyn La Pier, 12, expressed her feelings in the courtroom.

“In August 2011, when you first came to live with us I never thought we’d be here,” Jordyn told her new siblings. She then broke into tears and was unable to finish her statement. “I love you all,” she added.

“We have a very big tribe,” Jordyn added after the hearing.

Madyson La Pier, 10, said she sobbed a little bit when her new sister spoke.

“I teared up because … I don’t really know why,” she said. “Because I was feeling good.”

Newman, who has handled the case since the beginning, choked up a little as well.

“I need to catch my emotions here. I share the emotions of your daughter,” the judge told the family. “Good luck to your extended, small family.”

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