Wednesday’s Wild Chronicles brings us to one of the most nervous days of my life! One would think it was one of the happiest days, but I was petrified to have to go before a judge and await the decision that we were legally, forever a family.
I am not sure where the nerves stemmed from. Some of it was the trepidation of knowing I would have to talk in front of a room full of people. Some it was just the sheer unknown of what it would be like to be in a courtroom. I did not question that the judge would agree to the adoption, but I also disliked that I could not be in control of the situation. I did all I could do and now the finalization was in someone else’s hands.
The agency that was recommended to us was two-and-a-half hour drive, so we made it a daytrip. Our families joined along to celebrate with us. We got down there with a couple of hours to spare. We wanted to make sure we knew where the courthouse was and where to park. With that taken care of we met up at a little restaurant for lunch.
I am not sure that I actually ate anything. I remember spending a lot of that day trying to just focus on Turkey-Man. I knew if I could lose myself in taking care of him, I would not be so aware of my nerves.
With full bellies we headed to the courthouse to change clothes and freshen up. With the number of pictures we’d be taking I really did not want to be wearing spit-up stained clothing!
Our social worker and lawyer met us outside the courtroom. It was calming to have someone there that we had spent so much time working with. I took comfort in knowing that this was something they were so familiar with.
As we were called in I began to sweat. After the formalities of the judge entering, we took our seats. The judge before us was a sweet, disarming older man. Our lawyer asked some basic questions like “Why did I want to become a mother?” My mouth felt like cotton as I searched for the right words. As the hearing occurred during Turkey-Man’s naptime I spent much of it standing, bouncing and swaying with a fussy, tired baby boy. I remember being secretly grateful for the distraction!
Lots of pictures followed! I am pretty sure had we let him, the judge would have taken Turkey-Man home with him! He was so sweet with him!
We celebrated with a dinner at Cheesecake Factory (Yummy!) and headed for home. I was relieved to have it all behind me. No more people inspecting our lives or our parenting skills. No looming threat, however distant, of Turkey-Man being taken away from us. We were free to live life as a normal family.
Reflecting back, I really wish I would not have been so nervous! The judge was so kind! Our social worker and lawyer were quite competent. I knew in my heart that we were meant to be Turkey-Man’s parents. And, honestly, it is a good thing that I had never seen the inside of a courtroom!
With each type of adoption being so different, I know we got off easily with an infant domestic adoption where the birth mother willingly signed the paperwork and living in a state where birth father rights are terminated after a thirty-day waiting period. I would love to give the impression that this is how adoptions work, but that is not the case for all. We are very thankful that ours went as smoothly as it did!
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Congrats to you. I am overjoyed to hear about your finalization. What a great end to this part of your journey.