Yesterday, thirteen members of my family gathered at the courthouse in Sevierville. I was grinning as we got out of our car. Then I realized all the other people in the parking lot were not smiling and I remembered that a trip to court is only very rarely a reason to smile. But our contingent of 13 had plenty cause.
We were there to witness the finalization of my niece's adoption. She's been home with her Mommy and Daddy for six months now. And her name now officially matches what we've been calling her all this time.
I believe it was particularly poignant for John and Theo and I. We were in the same building six years ago swearing to continue being a family as we had already been doing for the two years before that. That was six years ago. And John remembers the event.
When we told him where we were going yesterday morning, he asked, "Oh, like when we did my adoption... when I went up and hugged the judge? -- Of course, everyone probably does that."
No my dear son, I don't believe hugging the judge is a normal course of action in any proceeding.
After we pledged to be John's "official" parents, an almost four-year-old John rushed toward the front of the courtroom. Our flabbergasted attorney managed a quick "Your Honor, May John approach the bench?!"
He flew around the bench, climbing into the judge's lap and hugged his neck and uttered a breathless "Thank You!" Our fast-thinking DCS worker snapped a photo.
And let the record reflect that no one remembered John at the courthouse yesterday by name or looks. But as soon as we mentioned the hugging of the judge... both the judge and the attorney grinned as widely as we were and insisted they indeed remembered the event. No John, you rarely do anything that everybody else does. And that's only one of the many things we love about you.
Thank you Addie for sharing your adoption day with us. You and John will always have this special way of entering our family to share.
Pictures from John's Adoption Day: August 13, 2003 In the group photo, Addie's parents are on the far right second and back row. :D They had no idea they'd be back there for their own child in six years.