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Thursday, December 20, 2012

FINAL

On Monday, December 17th, 2012 Kate's adoption was finalized.  While it was only a formality stating what we have known in our hearts all along, Katherine Leigh is now officially a Rambler.  Her last name has been changed, her birth certificate is being reissued with the name change and placing our names upon it, and she will soon be able to get a social security number.

It was so neat to see the other families there doing the same as us.  Since we were the second-to-last family to go before the judge, we offered to take photos of families as soon as they exited the courtroom.

One of the most special scenes I witnessed was of a family of SEVEN - Dad & Mom (both Caucasian), three Caucasian daughters, a young AA son and young AA daughter.  They were all dressed so wonderfully and had huge smiles on their faces as they emerged from the courtroom as an "official" family.  They all hugged and smiled at one another.  The Mom then stopped, closed her eyes, and began to weep tears of relief and joy.

Being an empathetic crier, I teared up with her before jumping from my seat to take a photo.  They were so appreciative and my heart warmed with the love they all had for one another.  Our family just beamed with them, knowing we were feeling the same way.  What a special moment for everyone that will always be in etched in my brain and heart.

We got a few photos taken before we were called.

Kate with two of her sets of grandparents - Papa & Gran (my dad & stepmom) and
Grandpa & Grandma Linny (Todd's dad & stepmom).

Daddy & his little girl.

Along for the ride, but not overly interested!

Our lil' family. I love Kate's WubbaNub paci hanging out of her mouth!

Our time finally came to enter the courtroom.  Kate had fallen asleep (not long after sharing her pterodactyl cries through the echoing hall outside the courtroom!), and I was carrying her.  Our attorney was inside and we were asked to approach the bench.  We asked if our family could join us, and everyone said yes with smiles on their faces.  The attorney began to petition the court for our adoption, we were sworn in by the judge, and the legal talk ensued.

Our attorney then asked Todd a series of questions related to our adoption, submitted documentation to the court (home study, criminal backgrounds, etc.), and then asked if I concurred with all of Todd's answers.  Whenever the judge responded, she did so with a sweet and happy voice.  We knew this must be the best part of job as a judge in the juvenile courts of a large urban county.

As the discussion got underway, so did my tears.  They were the silent and thankful type of tears, unlike the many loud and painful tears cried through the over five years of waiting for our baby.  When the judge declared this adoption official and binding, that this daughter will always be ours, she said it through a smile.  My smile returned hers, albeit a little stained with black mascara streaks.  (Why did I think I wouldn't cry that day??!!)  The sweet judge then gave Kate a little stuffed bunny as a gift and congratulated us and our family.  We took photos of OUR family now.





Yes, for the record, I photoshopped out most of my mascara streaks.
I was under oath, so I have to tell you.

Just a small section of Kate's family and a minute section
of the many who love her.

Our precious daughter was really and truly and finally ours.  In our hearts, on paper, legally, to the world - ours.  It's not that she wasn't before, but now we could breathe just a tiny bit easier knowing that no matter what, she would be with us forever.  Joyous relief filled my heart.  What a journey it has been to get here.  And what a journey it will be.


"For this child I have prayed . . . " 1 Samuel 1:27

11 comments:

The Writer Chic said...

2012. I knew it would be the year of the baby girl. YOUR baby girl! Love you guys!

Amanda said...

Congratulations!!! What a beautiful, special day! May God continue to bless you all. =)

Shanny said...

My heart smiles...
Congrats on making it formal for those court people ;)

kate said...

Crying big, huge, fat, ugly tears of joy over here. Thank goodness I haven't put on any makeup today. So, so, So happy for all of you Kekis!

kinsey said...

SO thrilled for y'all!!!!

cjdubs13 said...

we had to wait six months to finalize! Lucky you got to do it in three. Enjoy your holidays with your sweet girl.

Meg said...

So thrilled for you! Your road has been long and painful and full of heartache but I'm sure you wouldn't change a thing seeing the outcome! Blessings for a beautiful life!!

Ashley said...

Happy tears are rolling down my cheeks reading this.
So happy for you and your long awaited baby girl to be legally, officially, on paper- yours!
What a blessed day :)

ashley

Janna said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I know she has always been yours since the day she was placed in your arms, but there's NOTHING like hearing, "I am pleased to grant your request to adopt..." That's when the tears flowed uncontrollably for me. I couldn't even squeak out a, "thank you," to the judge. Just wait until you hold that birth certificate in your hands and see YOUR NAMES! My heart leaps for joy with you. I know this Christmas means so much more now that Kate is in your lives. What a blessing!!! I know you have endured great struggles to get to this point, but I know beautiful Kate was worth the wait! Merry Christmas to you!!!

AmandaMqn said...

What a wonderful post, I cried reading it! Congrats, I am so dang happy for all 3 of you!! :-)

Jamie said...

I LOVED reading this!! Great pictures. So happy for you, my friend!!

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