The day had finally come when the adoption of Brian and Faith would be finalized. I had told the kids the night before that they could sleep in because they would be skipping school. Both of them woke up early. I let them watch some cartoons for 1/2 hr. in their pajamas. I cooked up a special breakfast of maple sausage, fried eggs, and toasted english muffins with jelly.
When I got ready to go for my morning walk, Kirk decided to go with me, and the kids rode ahead of us, on their bikes. They were able to get to the park ahead of us, and had time to play on the playground, before we turned back for home. By the time we got back home, it was time to get dressed and head to the court house which would be about a 40 minute drive away.
Brian was a little nervous about going to the court house. He was afraid that bad memories would surface. The court house was the last place he had seen his birth mother. We did what we could to reassure him that we were going to the court house for a good reason. On the drive there, he kept giggling, which is his sign that he is having a hard time dealing with the emotions he is feeling.
When we got to the court house, we went through security and met our attorney, AASK case worker, CASA (court appointed special advocate), and DES case worker by the court room where our case would be held. The attorney went through the procedure of the case with Kirk and I and made sure the kids were comfortable with the procedings too.
When we were finally called, we went into a very small court room. We sat together at a table that faced the judge. The questions were asked and then the judge asked Faith and Brian if they were good with the adoption. Faith said, "yes". Brian said, "definitely!" The judge and recorders smiled. When the judge asked them their names, Brian introduced himself with his entire name, including new middle and last name. He is very proud of his new name, and introduces himself that way very often.
After the case was done, we had pictures taken with the judge and our case workers.
Faith and Brian's CASA, who had worked with them since being put into care, took our family out to lunch at the Olive Garden. At lunch, she gave the children and Kirk and I gifts. Faith opened her's first. She pulled out a printed paper that read: "Faith is going to Disneyland", and an admission ticket was attached to the lower right corner. She just stared at the piece of paper.
I said, "Faith, what does your paper say?"
"What else does it say?"
"Faith is going do Disneyland."
She continued to stare at the paper.
Brian pulled his out and looked around at everyone with a puzzled expression.
Faith started to smile.
Kirk and I opened our gift. The casa had framed a family picture, given us tickets to Disney and a 2 night stay in a hotel. When we showed Brian and Faith our tickets, they suddenly realized that they were really going to Disneyland. This was not just a trick.
Faith smiled and laughed. "This is the best day of my life."
Brian was excited too. It was hard for him to stay seated at the table. Fortunately we were in a quiet corner, so Brian was able to get up and walk around a little bit. On the way home, they could hardly contain themselves.
We made a quick stop at the library, and while we were there we got their library cards switched over to their new names. Both of them signed their cards and included the middle initial of their new middle names.
That night we had dinner at Aunt Lisa's. You could tell the kids were happy and relieved that this process was finally over. I was kind of out of it. I had underestimated the emotional energy that this day would take.
It was a good day. It was great that now we didn't just "feel" like a family, we were a family.