Friends, So much has happened in my blogging absence. I’m so sorry to have kept you waiting so long. Truth is things are pretty stable and I’m ok.. I’m good.. We’re good. (I’m afraid to actually say the h-@-P-p-? word) Sunny and I have been through a lot in the past few months up to our adoption. Temper tantrums, emotional manipulation, lying, bed wetting, bickering, screaming fights, the whole gamut. Hopefully I will get back into the habit of blogging and write about some of it. There has also been bonding, teaching, cuddling, laughing, playing, note writing, inside jokes, overall a lot of that H word I mentioned earlier.
Here’s our adoption story.
First of all, her middle brother was adopted the Monday before our adoption so we were able to attend. We called it the “dress rehearsal” for our own big day. At the courthouse, we went through the metal detector and Sunny asked a lot of questions. The brother was acting a little weird I thought. Kind of off by himself and at one point lying down on a bench while we were waiting. We waited a long time but finally were called into the courtroom which was huge and there was a lot of happy nervousness. The lawyer asked the foster parents a lot of questions like where they lived and other stuff for the record, then went into questions about the child. Asking if they understood that in case of divorce there would be custody and support agreements. Foster mother joked there better NOT be a divorce. She asked the brother some questions too. And then the judge made a little speech about how this family had been on her radar for a long time and how glad she was to be able to preside over the adoption. Pictures were taken and that was it. It took less than 20 minutes.
Sunny was kind of tearful later that day and a couple days after. Finally, I got her to tell me she was worried her brother wasn’t her brother any more. I assured her that her brother would always be her brother and that the three of them were the only ones with the same set of memories about her parents and family, that she could still call and see her brothers anytime she wanted. I told her that her family was only getting bigger by adoption, not smaller. Although we had talked a little about it beforehand, I hadn’t anticipated this being so difficult for her.
Three days later was our adoption. We were both so excited and nervous and happy. We were going to have a little reception in our church basement so she and I went there first to set up tables and decorate a little. We ended up being way a head of time and MB came to hang out for a few minutes and be giddy with us.
Off to the courthouse… I walked in trailing our entourage of 20+ people. We were in a different courtroom which was very small so a lot of people had to stand. Also, a few people had trouble passing through security because of lighters, soda, etc in their purses. My mother was one of them and so was late. The judge was ready a few minutes early so it was kind of a rush to get every one in. It was kind of a nervous time. I didn’t want to be adopted without my mom there. Nobody offered and I didn’t think to ask someone to stay by the elevators to let the late comers know which courtroom we were in. Anyway, they waited and eventually every one made it into the courtroom except MC who’d gotten stuck in security.
Sunny was just so bright eyed sitting next to me in the court room. Seemed like we couldn’t believe it was happening. I was asked to sign a paper. The judge came in and started asking questions of a young man who I’d never seen before. Eventually I figured out it was the kids’ guardian ad litem. The judge asked him if he’d checked out and researched the homes. I immediately got uncomfortable because obviously he hadn’t. Shelly said she’d never met the man. He answered that he didn’t see the home himself but had gotten reports from social workers and CASA workers. The judge was the brother of SC, a long time friend of mine. He asked me a little about where I was living and commented on how long he’d known me. He said a few things about how wonderful it was to see a successful story like this after so many that don’t turn out so well. He made a couple very dry jokes and to me he was the image of his father who I’d grown up hearing shout down the stairs that our slumber party at SC’s house was getting too loud. That was about it. It was a little anticlimactic to tell the truth. Sunny actually turned to me afterwards and said, “Is that it? Are we adopted?”
Luckily, everyone who was there crowded around with hugs and laughs and tears. Pastor J offered my mom a tissue from a wad of soggy ones in her hand. We took photos with the judge. The 15 year old brother actually smiled. The courtroom next door sent someone over to tell us we were being too loud. My lawyer herded us downstairs to wait for paperwork.
The whole thing was very surreal. I kept thinking about my little boys and being their mother and now becoming Sunny’s mom. Such a journey. I was happy… I mean I was smiling and laughing and talking to people and hugging and keeping my hand on Sunny’s shoulder but I have to admit there was this feeling of something in my chest. Like a bubble of pure happiness that just sat there. I couldn’t seem to release it all the way. Very strange and it stayed with me for days. Really it’s still with me a little now…I’m hoping journaling will help me feel the full emotions.
Afterwards everyone trouped to the church and we had adorable little bluebird cookies with ice cream and lots of gifts for Sunny. Many of the gifts were sentimental. My coworker and her grandson made a stepping stone with our names and the date on it. The one that got me crying was a Willow Tree figure from SC. My friends had given me one when Greyson died and I spent a lot of time looking at that sad little angel. Now I have a mother/daughter one and Sunny has a little girl one. Such a silly thing but it really touched me.
In the days that followed, Sunny was very clinging and it was totally obvious how happy and relieved she was. We tend to forget just unsure their lives are. She is now working on calling me Mom. So far this summer my name has officially been, “Paige, Watch This!”, now it is, “Paige, Paige….Mom”.