This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

There are many important dates in an adoption:

“Gotcha” Day (as some refer to the day you bring your child home)
The .26 Hearing (the day parental rights of the natural parents are terminated)
The Signing (the day legal papers are signed before the adoption can be finalized)
The Finalization (The final court hearing when the child is legally yours)

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…

A group of people posing for the camera with a baby boy

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.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

Free Email Series
5 Secrets to Dinnertime Sanity
Free email series with tested, tasted & terrific dinner recipes!

You Might Also Like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Katie says:

    Wow, girl the blog looks great. I may need to enlist in your help. I am just not getting it, plus since now I have to make everything from scratch I don’t have the time to research how to do everything… and I am impatient.

  2. Linda says:

    So beautiful! I am glad you have that picture…what a wonderful memory!

    We have an adopted granddaughter who is so very special to us too. And we will love her always and forever!!!!!!

    Happy Wednesday.

    Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

  3. Grace~The Mommy On the Bus says:

    I loved this post!! It made me tear up when I read that the judge said, “Bound together forever”!

    You’re right, adoption is a different experience! We have never adopted (yet!) but I know this because of how the Lord Jesus adopted me (Romans 8:15, 23 and Ephesians 1:5)

    What a blessing to know this gift so personally! Thanks for sharing this on Jenilee’s meme!!!

    (I thought I commented earlier, but it must not have gone through, oops!)

  4. Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries says:

    What a beautiful, precious memory. Tears fill my eyes as I read your words. Thank you so much for sharing this…