On June 13th, we drove to Houston (for hopefully) the last time for a while to make our adoption official in the eyes of the court. We knew this day would come and we felt it was official on December 12, 2012 when his birthparents signed the relinquishment papers, but we had six months to prove that we were capable of parenting and we finally did it! For the first time, we stayed the night instead of driving straight there and back. The main reason being that we had to put baby boy in a suit and we did not want to do that in the car. A friend from college allowed us to stay at her house and we had a blast playing family games with the kids. The next day we woke up early and drove to Richmond County to attend our court date.
The whole morning was event free until we got to the courthouse. Nathan could not tie his tie and as you can see in the pics, the matching ties was a big thing to the outfits being perfect. He got so frustrated! I tried to help, but know nothing about ties and then time just started ticking until we had to just go inside. When my beautiful husband gets mad, he tends to just withdrawal in his frustration, so here I am holding a baby, a purse, a baby bag and trying to get through court security while wearing an A-line skirt and heels. In addition, Houston heat is humid so I am sweating like a girl in a sauna and so is my baby in his suit. The love of my life is only holding his jacket and tie…the security and random strangers are all holding things for me and opening doors as they see me struggling. I don’t think the hubs was trying to be mean, but he was frustrated and panicked and not thinking. To be fair, I also have a “I can do it by myself” attitude, but I was sweating which was uncool. In all that madness, I left the court information in the car (not going back in that heat) so we had to read every screen to find our name until we found it at the last screen in the hall. Nathan ran to the bathroom to finally get his tie on correctly and while he was gone, they called our name. I stalled by not going in, texting his phone and praying that the judge was patient. When I finally saw him, I told him to run just as the lawyer came back out to call our name for the second time. Nathan acted like it was no big deal, but the good girl in me felt like we kept the court waiting.
Once inside, we had to raise our right hand and swear to be honest and then they asked us questions such as:
4. Has the child resided in your home for at least six (6) months?
5. Has the child fit in well in your home?
6. Have you developed an emotional attachment to the child?
7. Do you feel that it is in the best interest of the child for you and your husband to adopt the child?
8. Do you understand that you are to give this child the same love and affection of any other child in your household or to ever come into your household?
All of which I answered with an “absolutely”, “of course” and “most definitely”. On #6 I began to tear up because they have no idea and on #8 I just thought “Lord willing…” I think of all the details of this adoption from the God given timing to the setbacks and failures that came flooding into my mind. The key events that put me and his birthmother into perfect timing and the realization that this whole journey was God’s plan to meet our son. How God’s amazing grace had the best plan ever even though I felt He was failing me by not being pregnant. The truth is He never forgot about me, I was always with Him and He is faithful even though He knew what I needed more than I did. In spite of all my failures, He still loves me so much that He found our family and created this perfect kid for us to raise. I just sing in my heart Matt Redman’s song “Never Once” whenever I reflect on this journey.
The judge made the adoption official, gave him Adolphus the Adoption bear which he loves and then allowed us to take a pic in her courtroom. The whole thing took 5 minutes, but I tried to soak in every moment even though I am still sweating and carrying a 19 pound six month old (he is in the 80th percentile of weight but 44th percentile of heighth…short and chunky kid).
It all feels complete even though it is far from over. We still have this amazing task of raising a son, navigating the waters of adoption, growing as a married couple and whatever else we will experience God willing. I am most thankful to not be driving back to Houston next month and not filling out paperwork documenting our progress. Our son’s birthparents no longer live in Texas, so I am uncertain of our visits with them in person, but we are still in close contact online and through letters. They will always know of his progress guaranteed and they will always be family. Needless to say I am one blessed mom!
The good news is: I am unsure where this blog goes from here. Infertility still exists, but raising this boy has caused me to look passed it. Adoption is always interesting, but it feels mostly done except the random things that will pop up as we speak about adoption every day of his life…no secrets and no treating it like a bad thing. It is our normal and how this family was happily created. I am not a mommy blog kinda person except for just random updates of parenting and funny stuff. So who knows where this will go from here. What I do know is that I love looking back on this blog from the beginning a year ago and seeing it all unfold. Thankful that I started this after the Lupus diagnosis, but before the adoption so I could share all the moments of waiting for our child. Look forward to good things ahead as we deal with are we one and done or building for #2? Who knows!!!