This past Saturday, Deonte was adopted by the Kerns family of Lincoln, Nebraska. But the family went all out for Deonte's adoption, dressing up like classic comic book superheroes.
"The HHS caseworkers suggested that we bought their National Adoption Day t-shirts with our names on the back to wear to court; we felt that was a bit of a waste of money for us. We were thinking of wearing something dressy for the occasion. Deonte wanted us to wear the super hero costumes since he thinks we are all 'super,'" Tory Kerns, Deonte's adopted mother, told ABC.
"We have talked a lot about who (real and pretend) is adopted that he knows. Plus, it was right after Halloween, so the timing was great."
Kerns' family has been familiar with Deonte's for many years now. Tory's parents were the foster parents to Deonte's biological father. "We have changed titles now- aunt, uncle, cousins -to mom dad and siblings," Kerns said.
Dubbed the "suburban justice league", the soon-to-be family dressed up for a photo shoot by photographer Lexie Ehrisman at the Nebraska state capitol rotunda on November 11. Deonte dressed up as Robin, with Tory Kerns as Wonder Woman, father Will Kerns as Superman, and Deonte's new siblings Jake as Captain America, Thea as Batgirl, and Benny as Batman.
"(Deonte) did not believe what he was seeing. Not an excited face, stunned. Once I asked him if he wanted to dress up too, he was all smiles! The poses and super hero persona came very naturally," Kerns said.
The photos of the superhero family have received an unexpected but positive reaction, including the front page of the Lincoln Journal-Star and being shared on Reddit.
"We just wanted to have our photos taken to document a fun day of our new lives together, and use them as a Christmas card or something. We were contacted just a day or two prior to our photo shoot about having the story/photos in the paper. Again, NO idea that we would be on the front page!" Kerns told ABC.
This past Saturday was National Adoption Day, where Deonte's family was of 35 Nebraska families who would be adopting a child, Cindy Lange-Kubick of the Lincoln Journal Star reported.
Kerns says that Deonte has been fitting in greatly with his new heroic family.
"He is happy knowing that we will always be there for him, he will never have to leave our family, and will be included, held accountable, learn manners, responsibility, and what a family bond feels like," Kerns said. "He doesn't hold back on the hugs, and did not ask me this morning when I dropped him off for school, 'who is going to pick me up today?' He already knows the answer.... his forever family!"
You can check out the family's super photos at Lexie Ehrisman's blog below.
Superhero adoption photo shoot by Lexie Rae Photo.
Lexie Rae Photo website.