Pandemic doesn’t stop Fort Myers couple from adopting son

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The Maggard family

While a lot of things are on hold right now because of the pandemic, adoptions aren’t.

Though the hearings may look a little different, the love behind them is the same and one Fort Myers couple didn’t let the pandemic get in the way.

The Maggards’ Easter miracle is Ethan, described by his mom Alicia as “very energetic and loving and kind; he has a lot of energy.”

Alicia and Andy Maggard became Ethan’s foster parents right after he was born over a year ago. They were overjoyed when the opportunity came along to make him a Maggard.

“Today we are blessed to say our home is now his forever home, so we just couldn’t be happier,” Andy said.

When they got the news that his adoption hearing couldn’t be in person, their reaction was bittersweet.

“I think at first it was disappointing. We have thought about this for a long time and we would have loved to have our family and friends actually gather around us physically, but you know, we have to look at the positive right now,” Alicia said.

So instead of heading to the Lee County Courthouse, they booted up their computer and gathered for Ethan’s adoption via video chat.

Judge Carolyn Swift presided over the hearing and said it’s important for adoptions to continue so that children can have a permanent home.

“I had the pleasure of doing five today, which is the best part of my job. They went great, lots of tears even through the video conferences,” Swift said.

For the Maggards, the moment was still just as emotional.

“It’s a great day, a great day, a celebration,” Andy said.

“Ethan has just been as much of a blessing to us as we hope that we will be to him.”

The Children’s Network of Southwest Florida said they’re in need of foster and adoptive parents. To learn more, call at 1-855-933-KIDS or visit

The Maggard family said they hope their story will inspire more couples to foster or adopt.

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