Hearing Date: May 14, 2004
Trial Judge: Honorable Cheryl Allen
JUDGE ALLEN: And, as I said, this is really a blessed and joyous occasion, and I just wanted to say a few words before we started the adoption proceeding, because I have known Faith Allen -- Faith Elizabeth now for, I guess it's been about three years or so. Who's counting? And I want to reflect today, not just because of the newspaper article, but I guess I have been thinking about this for the past several weeks.
And I began to think about the fact that many people would say that this adoption is something that is just occurring by happenstance, but I don't believe that to be the case, and this is not a typical every day, ordinary adoption, so it's not -- so, I'm not going to say typical every day, ordinary things, but I've known Faith for approximately three years, and I know that Faith has been through a lot, and the type of childhood that she had, most of us would have never survived, but Faith is a fighter, and she is a survivor, and I can say that for all the trials and all the tribulations and all the abuse and all the difficulties you have been through, Faith, you know, what the enemy meant for bad, you managed to, through your faith, use it for good, and that is why you are here, or we are here today, because everything that you have been through, as difficult as it was, it has served to prepare you for just such a time as this.
Many people who have experienced what you've experienced, and who have the type of history that you have, have become bitter. Many of them, unfortunately, having been victims of abuse, have gone on to become perpetrators of abuse . . . you have been able to turn your trials and tribulations into a testimony, and it is because of your openness and your willingness to share your story that you will serve as a blessing to many people.
I know you have been a blessing in my life. You have been a blessing in Masha's life, and will continue to do so, and I believe that there will be many people blessed by your testimony and your experience, and I also believe that only a wise and all-knowing God could have taken a young girl from Georgia and connected her with a young girl from halfway around the world and brought the two of you together, and I know that -- I don't know everything that God has in store for you, but it must be something pretty awesome, because so many things have tried to come against this day coming to pass, as we know, but we are all here for you.
. . . .
NICOLE MANISON FOR ALLEGHENY COUNTY: I have no further questions.
JUDGE ALLEN: The court has no questions.
MANISON: Your Honor, the County has no further witnesses and would request that the Court grant CYF's petition for adoption.
JUDGE ALLEN: Very well, the Court will grant the petition fer adoption, and Masha Elizabeth Allen, before we proceed any further, I just wanted to ask Judge McVerry if he would like to say anything.
FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT JUDGE TERRENCE MCVERRY: Thank you your Honor. I would only like to say that I very much appreciate Faith Allen's invitation for me to attend today. I'm so happy, Masha, for you and I hope and pray for you to have a happy life with Faith, and I'm sure that that will come to pass. Anything we can do to help you, I will be more than happy to. Congratulations.
JUDGE ALLEN: And Ms. Lee, Masha's attorney, do you wish to say anything?
LINELL LEE OF KIDSVOICE: Yes, I would like to say that Masha is an incredible little girl, and she's been very strong, and she's a survivor too, and I only see a bright future for her with Faith. Kid's Voice is happy to see this day!
JUDGE ALLEN: And finally I'm going to ask Masha's Godmother if she would like to say anything.
PASTOR WINNIE POLLARD: I've had the pleasure of knowing Faith in her recovery and aiding her through some of her most difficult hours. She is all that you said she is. She's a blessing. Her strength inspires anyone who knows.
There is, without any question, that the two of them are going to be a story worth watching to see how their lives are going to effect so many others. They are a sign of hope in the City for everyone that has struggled liken unto Faith and every child that is in need of help liken unto Masha.