It’s official!! Today we finalized Kayliana’s adoption. She is ‘officially’ a part of our family!
What’s funny is I really didn’t think it would feel any different. We’ve known since December 22nd (when birth dad’s rights were officially terminated) that she was ours to adopt and that no one could get in the way of that. And since day one, when she was placed in my arms by her extraordinary birth mom (at two days old, Nov. 17th), she felt like ours. I never once questioned it. But I still experienced a major sigh of relief today. There was a cathartic release (especially joy-filled tears once we were home afterwards and now as I write this). It’s like I’ve been holding my breath for the last year and a half without even realizing it. (That’s how long it’s been since we started the adoption process, and 13 months since we entered the Child Search phase).
All along I knew this day would come. I never doubted that we would have the perfect little girl come into our family, but it still stinkin’ blows my mind just how beautifully everything worked out. (Yes, it was stressful at times, but all things considered, it went amazingly well). Even if you’re not one of those God-believing types or a fan of the whole fate-destiny thang, I think it would be impossible to go through the adoption process without faith. We’ve received two cards – darn those Hallmark people for totally ‘getting’ it – that so perfectly sum up the process.
One simply says, “Isn’t it amazing? There are millions of babies in the world, but you got the one that fit perfectly into your loving arms.”
And the other says, “Your Beautiful Daughter Is Here: Nothing on earth could’ve stopped you – not the mountains of paperwork, not the home studies, not the wondering where you’d find the money, not even the waiting and waiting. You’ve chosen this journey will all its joys and fears – because you were meant to become a family.”
Today, in the courtroom, the Commissioner asked us why we came to the decision to adopt. Those that know me would be extremely proud that my answer actually stayed under a minute. (I do have the three hour version, if you’re interested). Then he said his whole, “By the power invested in me by the state of Washington it is my immense honor to declare Michael & Jennifer…blahblahblah…the legal guardians to Kayliana…blahblahblah.” And then that jolly fellow (he did remind me of Santa a wee bit and he certainly made our dreams come true), grinned from ear to ear and said, “I can tell the amount of love in your family already and it is such a privilege and an honor to do this for you. She is not only a blessing to you, but you are equally a blessing to her.” (Dang it! As if I wasn’t tearing up already).
The kids were all so good. The boys were fascinated by the courthouse, security check-point (I even got wand-checked to their utter glee) and an ambulance pulled up on the street down below which was, of course, quite distracting. Matthew had wanted to wear his police uniform but we explained that impersonating an officer is a serious crime. He grudgingly agreed to wear his nice “church clothes.” They did get sheriff badge stickers though! Kayliana was a perfect baby for her big day too. She was awake the whole time (slightly bored at times as you see in her yawn-photo) and smiley and coo-ey. The first thing she did as a member of our family was show biggest brother Matthew who’s boss (by punching him in the face in one of the photos with the Commissioner). I have a feeling this little girl will keep us on our toes for sure!
Our home is full and our hearts are full. Our family is complete. We are so blessed with our children: Matthew, Zachary and…Kayliana!