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There are many important dates in an adoption:
These are the most memorable for me, although every adoptive parent has their own. I’ve shared before about the importance of the date I chose for our finalization, but today I’m going to talk a little bit about the day itself.
I don’t remember what time we got to the courthouse, or how long it took to get inside. I don’t remember much of what the judge or the attorney said. It was an overwhelming day; I was overwhelmed with the feelings and emotions of exactly what that day meant.
I had heard stories about adoptive parents getting emotional during their finalization hearing, and I was determined to keep myself together. The judge asked if I agreed to “bestow upon him all the rights of a natural-born child?” With a lump in my throat, I nodded, yes. Then he told me we were bound together forever as parent and child, and the tears came. Nearly seven years of agony were over. I was a mother in every sense of the word.
This is the only picture I have of us with the judge. Sorry, the lighting was terrible…
There is something inherently different about adoption – with childbirth, no one asks you if you promise to love and keep your child, but with adoption, you make a verbal and legally binding commitment to the child whom you have chosen to parent. You stand before a judge, and numerous other county employees, and make a conscious decision to take on the responsibility of the life another human being.
It was the greatest, most selfless thing I have ever done.