Retired Surrogate Court Judge Joseph Mattina oversaw about 10,000 adoptions in his decades on the bench.

He receives cards every Christmas from adoptive parents; and when he goes out in public, someone inevitably pulls up a child’s photo on their phones or from their wallets.

But a few weeks ago, he opened a four-page letter, written in cursive.

The letter was from Lynette Grandits, a (Franciscan Associate and) a single mother of two, both adopted from India. She wrote Mattina to thank him for saving the adoption of her second daughter, Rachel.