Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Adoption Day: The details

The adoption hearing was set for 8:15am, which, in my opinion, is pretty early for such an emotional event.  And I was so excited that I even forgot my morning coffee.  Nevertheless, we were there by about 7:50am, just to make sure.

Then we waited.  

And waited.

Apparently there were 2 emergency hearings before us that got scheduled that morning.  Normally, I don't like having to wait, but I figured that being part of an "emergency hearing" at the courthouse couldn't be good, so it gave me some compassion.  What I probably should have been doing was taking a moment to pray for those people, but I confess that it didn't occur to me in that moment.  

Anyway, we all filed into the courtroom, Dave, Isaac, me, and our attorney in the front row, friends and family in the back row behind us, and different "official" people in various places about the courtroom.

Then came my faux pax of the day: even though our lawyer reminded us of court protocol, I forgot to stand when someone yelled, "All rise!"  At the very last moment (as everyone else was sitting down), I shot out of my chair, then sat back down, with my cheeks a bit red.

Thankfully our judge seemed pretty forgiving of such blunders.

I was asked to testify first, and it was....emotional.  I was actually doing pretty well at first - you know, eyes just a bit misty, until I looked at Isaac, and HIS eyes were tearing up.  That was the end of it, and I was a mess from that point forth.

I could hardly get any words out without tears coming with them, and it made talking difficult.  I had all sorts of flowery things to say that would convince the judge I was a fit parent, but didn't get much of it out through the tears.

Dave came to the stand next, and I have to admit I'm a bit jealous, because of the two of us, I have more public speaking experience than he does (and, let's be honest, I just like talking more), and yet, I was a mess and he was completely composed. He had the perfect combo - eyes a bit moist, but eloquent and wonderful.

Sigh....maybe next time I can hold it together.

Isaac was called to the stand next.  He was hilarious.  I actually have a video of when he kind of showed up the lawyer, but I'll save that for another post.  He was also very touching when he told the judge he wanted to join our family, and I was so proud of him.

His adoption worker was the last to testify, and she surprised me.  I have truly enjoyed her, and was confidant that we would get her vote of approval, but I did not expect the heartfelt testimony she gave in support of our family.  It was touching, and meant so much.

After that, the floor was opened for comments, and my dad spoke, followed by Dave's dad, both incredibly supportive.

After that, the judge started wrapping things up, and decreed the adoption to be final.  She even let Isaac come up to the stand and pound the gavel to finalize it!

And that was the moment we officially became a family of three.

Time for celebration!


  1. I can't wait to see that video!!

  2. Oh, my, Kelli! I'm just sobbing over here reading this. I have so, so, so many stress-filled memories in our courthouse given the legal battles we've had trying to keep custody of my three stepchildren...my husband's ex-wife has filed suit after suit attempting to strip him of all legal rights to the children. The courthouse is such a horrible place for our family...and then I see your photos and read your words and am so moved by what a beautiful experience you had in a similar courthouse...joining your family together...how amazing. I am so happy for the three of you and so delighted that such blessing can occur in a building that also experiences such dark moments...and I would assume that Isaacs past is haunted by some dark courthouse experiences. You have changed that for him forever! What a miracle!

  3. Jen - I'm so, so sorry for all the sadness and pain you've experienced in your courthouse, and I can't imagine the amount of stress that must cause for you.

    You're right - Isaac's life has been touched by some fairly dark courthouse experiences as well, but we are so thankful to be on the other side of that, in such a happy, joy-filled place. I am praying, even as I write this, that you also will experience great blessings, that your story will have a wonderful, joy-filled ending of a family that stays together.

    And in the meantime, as you continue on in your battle, I'll pray that God reminds you constantly of his unwavering faithfulness, and that you are able to taste, and see, that the Lord is good.

    My prayers are with you!