Inside the courtroom as four sisters get adopted

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- Last Feel Good Friday, we brought you the story of a Madison County couple who decided to adopt four sisters that were once separated and victims of abuse.

In this week's Feel Good Friday, we're taking you inside the courtroom as it all becomes official.

Emotions were running high as Zeyna, Michelle, Ashley and Jade entered Albemarle County Circuit Court.

"I'm really looking forward to it, because I didn't want to get separated again," said Ashley Gardner, one of the younger sisters.

The four girls are all excited to get adopted by their foster parents, who took them in about two years ago.

"The first time I came here, I just had my sisters," said Michelle Gardner. "We're pretty close and we have been through a lot together."

And together, they are about to take the next steps into their young lives.

Judge Cheryl Higgins enters the courtroom and swears the girls in, "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help you God."

Higgins heard emotional testimony and granted the adoption, signing the necessary paperwork.

It wouldn't be official without the traditional bell ringing. A bell inside the courtroom is rung one time for each of their ages, so for the girls, it was rung 54 times and could be heard throughout Court Square.

The girls are looking forward to moving on and new opportunities like college, which wasn't a thought before.

"We are going to raise these girls to be the best they can be," said Janice Gardner. "We just want the best for them."

The Gardner family adopted the four sisters, but they also have one other foster child and three biological children of their own.

Afterward, there was a big celebration, where the entire family got together to celebrate the union of two families. The girls and family are looking forward to Christmas and going on a Disney cruise.

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