William Anthony came along and shot photos of the event, for which we will be eternally grateful. This post is full of the teasers he sent us yesterday.
The familiar formula was followed, we gathered outside to wait our turn and connect with the darling folks who came out to watch and celebrate with us.
We swore to love, protect, and provide for our sweet girl until adulthood and beyond. This judge was much less sentimental about the whole thing than J's judge had been, so our lawyer managed to work in some touchy-feely stuff himself, asking the whole room if they would also swear to love and support us. And provide free childcare.
The kids had fun playing on the benches and generally enjoying each other. It's fun to see how much bigger the older three are since J's adoption proceeding almost two years ago.
|I've been her mommy since the moment I met her, but it feels good to know that the connection is legal.|
I remember being surprised at J's adoption hearing, at how it really did feel different and important. We'd been a family for almost a year when we finally got to finalize J's adoption, but going to court still meant something. It was similar this time - a short and dry court hearing, not wasting anyone's time. But it didn't stop me from feeling overwhelmed with emotions - grateful, happy, lucky, and so special to be able to hold this particular person in my arms and call her daughter forevermore.
As we were leaving, our lawyer handing us the final paperwork for us to file away and guard with our lives he shook my hand and then looked around at the crowded courthouse hallway. S was being passed around happily to various grandparents. J was barefoot, having rebelled against the shoes I bought her for the day, and chasing her cousin Cub around and around. My sweet friend D was chatting with other family members. "I've done a lot of adoptions,"our lawyer said. In fact, he's probably done thousands - he is the most active adoption lawyer in our city. "But both times, you have probably brought in the most supportive crowd I've seen. Such a support network you've got here."
And he's right. I don't always feel it as deeply as I did these past couple of days, but on some level I am always aware and deeply grateful for the love our little family recieves from the people who surround us with care every day. On the days when it's hard to be a parent, when I feel like I'm screwing it up, I take comfort in the fact that my kids don't just have me alone loving on them. But I think that I have fewer of those days than I would without our village around us, and I thank God for that.
So welcome, sweet sunny girl. You belong with us.
|our family members who attended!|