May 3, 2012 by greenhouse04
I thought this day would never come.
Now that it’s past, its implications have still not sunk in.
These children are mine! Their adoption is final. Final. Nothing more to be added or done. It cannot be changed. They are forever ours’!
April 23rd, 2012 began with two very stuffed-up people (yes, we had colds) getting two mostly-oblivious children ready for one of the biggest days of their lives. Carefully-planned clothes were donned, breakfast eaten, and the four of us, plus Mr. Green’s parents and brother, climbed into our van.
I don’t remember being particularly nervous or excited as we drove to the courthouse (maybe my stuffed-up nose and ears prevented that), but when we pulled up and tumbled out onto the courthouse steps on that sunny morning, my heart began to flutter a bit.
We were delayed momentarily in the courthouse foyer while several men in our party had to use the little boy’s room. While we waited, my grandma (MuMa to the kids) arrived. We all crowded into the elevator and rode it to the fourth floor.
When we exited, my parents were waiting for us, plus a glum-looking group who were likely waiting for a member of their family to receive a verdict. There was another mysterious man who sat on a bench the entire time, and was still there when we left the courthouse.
Soon, the waiting area on the fourth floor filled with a few people who came to share our big day. My cousin Julie and baby came, plus Tish, Jean, Jack & Sharon, the CASA worker Ann, and the adoption caseworker Jennifer. I was happy to see Sonya and Susan, the kids’ foster caseworkers whom had we worked with for over a year. We talked and laughed and took pictures while we waited.
Presently, our attorney came out and explained something to Mr. (I don’t remember what). Then, the young man who had been receiving a verdict in the courtroom came out wearing a chain and escorted by two cops. The glum-looking family left with him. It occurred to me that a joyful group probably doesn’t appear in the courthouse very often.
Then we were led down the narrow hallway to the courtroom. I had a bit of deja vu as we walked, remembering that the last time I entered this very courtroom was a year ago, along with Emma’s birth-parents, to hear if her case would move toward adoption or not.
We filed in to the small, paneled, low-lit, well-furnished room, Mr. and I with the kids and our attorney taking seats at the table in front of the judge’s chair. I can’t remember if the judge was already there – I think she was – but it was all very informal. The judge was a different one than I expected, the regular one being sick. I had seen this particular judge before, once at a jury selection in which I was almost picked, and once after that in JCPenney’s with her teenage son. She was all smiles, and I was glad we could give her a happy, satisfactory case over which to preside that morning.
She briefly introduced what would happen, asked if anyone had anything to say (no one did), then explained that she would carry on the regular judge’s tradition of doing a drum-roll. She got the adoption decrees ready, told us to start, and we all drummed the tables and chairs with our hands. When she was finished signing, she threw up her hands and we all said “Ta-da!”
Then we all laughed and looked at each other with shy glee. We all knew this was a momentous moment, a “profound” one as my mom said, but few of us had ever experienced it before and knew quite what to do with it.
I was simply overwhelmed by the love and good-will present in my family and friends who had come to share the moment, and a little air-headed trying to comprehend it all.
And it was over. Final. We all made our way back out of the courtroom, down the narrow hall, and to the waiting area. Now we were laughing, talking, taking pictures, and hugging. Our attorney took us aside for a moment and handed us the Adoption Decrees, plus uncertified copies in case the certified ones got lost, plus a stack of papers leading up to this day (medical records, records on birth-parents, etc). Yay, more papers to file!
The adoption caseworker said she’d be emailing something, and I asked what to do with their “blue books” (notebooks foster parents have to keep up-to-date with information about the kids). She just shrugged and said, “whatever you want. You’re the parents now.”
We’re the parents now! No more State custody! Hoorah! My next blog will detail the difference it makes to be the parents.
And that is the story of our Adoption Day.