Last Thursday (March 4) we finalized our adoption of Little Man. Yes, it happened that quickly. Where we live, the birthparents sign their TPR in the hospital. They then have a 30 day period in which to challenge that decision (aka change their minds). However, if they speak to a judge on the same day they sign their TPR, they basically waive that 30 day right. S decided to do just that. So the day after Little Man was born, she signed her TPR and then spoke to a judge. She actually hung up the phone and said to Keith, “Congratulations – it’s a boy!” (I don’t know where I was at that point).
So here we are less than two months after his birth going to court to finalize the adoption. We were there (obviously) as were all of the grandparents (3 grandmothers, 1 grandfather). I bought a new outfit for Little Man, we all dressed up, and we travelled about 1 hour north to the county where our lawyer practices.
There were five families have adoptions finalized that day. We were scheduled for 1:00 – right after lunch. Judges either start their mornings or their afternoons with adoptions, because they find them to be joyous experiences, as opposed to the juvenile cases they try the rest of the day.
So the five families were waiting in the hallway and our lawyer arrived to “talk us throught it.” This was quite humorous. He had all of the families gather around and explained that the husbands would be answering his questions first. Then, the ladies had the hardest part, because we had to agree with everything our husbands said! Of course, my husband asked if he could add in a few questions! Our lawyer laughed and (thankfully) said no.
We all filed into the courtroom, and families went based on the the behavior of their children! There were a few toddler adoptions, so they went first. Of course Little Man was hungry in court, so I had to feed him. He is the noisiest eater ever (show mommy how the piggies eat) so our whole family was snickering. Then he belched. Loud enough they stopped proceedings and looked at us to ask if we were okay. I was a bit embarrassed!! There was another infant adoption to finalize. And then it was our turn.
The whole family trooped up to the front to stand in front of the bench. Keith and I were sworn in and the lawyer asked Keith a bunch of questions. Then he asked me if I agreed. I was also asked to introduce everyone who came with us that day. I did that, and the lawyer asked all of the grandparents if they would spoil Little Man AND his parents! Of course, they agreed.
Then it was done. The judge ruled in our favor (yea!) and everything is now official.
We got have pictures with the judge. First it was just our little family with the judge. Then the whole family came up behind the bench. I said something to the judge about how we had brought everyone with us, and he chuckled and said, “That’s good. That’s how it should be!” We snapped a few pics and headed downstairs to wait for our official paperwork. After that, we went to a very neat restaurant I’ve been dying to try and had a late lunch.
We’re not going to call it anything…it’s Little Man’s adoption day…and we will celebrate it every year. Hey – his birthday it so close to Christmas, I want an excuse to give him presents later in the year :). It will always be important to us, and he will know growing up that he joined our family on his birthday, but it became “official” on March 4.
Here’s the thing. In the two months that Little Man has been our son, I have not once questioned it. Not once. I’ve known – just known – from the moment we were matched that this is what God intended.
The best way I can explain last Thursday is like this: When Keith and I went on our first date, I knew we would get married. I just knew. But on our wedding day, I calmed down immensely when he showed up at the church. And I distinctly remember, on the way to the reception, in the back of his brother’s jeep, when everything was said & done & official…I just relaxed. It was “over.” The waiting…the wondering…it was all over. We were married – it was God-ordained – and it was over. And it was good.
Last Thursday, I felt like a knot deep down inside of me was untied. It wasn’t even a knot I was aware of. But I was SO relaxed at lunch. It’s official – he’s my son. And maybe I have finally bonded, or maye it’s just the subconscious awareness that this is the family God intended for me to have…but it’s over. Our adoption journey is over.
Now our life as a family built by adoption begins. And yes, now we have a piece of paper that makes it all legal.
But this is what God wanted for us…and it’s good. Because God is good.
Now…this past Thursday…vaccines. First shots. Yikes is all I have to say. There have been no bad reactions – just sleepiness and mass crankiness. But it hurt to hear him scream and see his little face turn purple when they stuck him. And I cried because I realize I cannot always keep him safe and free from pain. And that’s hard for a mommy to realize.
And for those of you who like stats: 25 inches // 12 pounds // “remarkable,” according to the doc!!
But it’s official. It’s for real. And it’s forever.
Because God has created our family this way.