On December 20th, we took our younger boy to the court house to wrap up this adoption deal and make him legally ours forever more.
Of course, a few pictures before we left the house.
Bates was a very proud big brother!
Brodie however, was not feeling picture time. It was naptime and poor baby just wanted to go night night!
We gave Brodie his copy of Happy Adoption Day! We will be reading this book to him every December 20th in celebration of this big day! A present seemed to pep him up a little.
But then, he didn’t want mom to read it and ran to the hall and parked it.
Off to lunch before the big court appointment. Food always cheers Brodie up!
Then off to the court house!
Poor Brodie, I told him this was a big day for him and he looked a little nervous. I don’t blame him, last time he had a “big day” he ended up with new parents and a new home, new language, and a new culture. But this big day wasn’t as traumatic!
The hallway was packed and I was nervous we were going to be waiting awhile. Entertaining two toddlers in a quite hallway is a bit of a challenge. Especially since I was not allowed to bring a bag in! Don’t they know every momma needs her bag of tricks!
Peeking in the courtroom!
Our lawyer arrived and told them we were here and right at 2:00, our appointment time, we were ushered in the court room.
We were asked to come up to the front. I was holding Brodie and Nick was holding Bates.
The clerk asked us to raise our right hands. Nick and I both raised ours to get sworn in. I glanced over and Bates had his hand raised too. His left hand!
Brodie was looking at all of us and next thing I know, he had both hands in the air. And I’m not talking just a little bit, I’m talking arms way above his head!
I was cracking up- there we all stood, Nick and I with our right hands up, Bates with his left hand up, and Brodie with both hands up. The sweet girl swearing us in couldn’t keep a straight face and the judge, our lawyer, and the other clerk were all trying not to giggle.
It was such a sweet time. Just our family, our lawyer, the two clerks and the judge. Nick and I purposely just wanted our small family to be in the court room for both finalizations. So much of both adoptions were a public event, that we wanted this moment to just be a private time for our family.
They asked us a few questions, basics, when we got Brodie, where he was from, how long we’d been married (I defaulted to Nick! ha!). And then just like that he was legally ours! One piece of paper signed and JaeJun became Brodie William JaeJun, our son. Our legal heir, a member of our family, and our son- “even unto death”. That’s my favorite part, that these bonds can’t be broken, not by life nor death!!!
All the while, Brodie is making faces and “doing his eyes” at the judge. He was shouting out and belly laughing. The judge commented that he thinks Brodie might want to be a lawyer. I assured him that he was just a hot mess, that was our Brodie boy- I expected nothing less of him!
Then a few pictures with the judge.
And with our fantastically wonderful lawyer! I cannot say enough good things about her! If you are in middle TN and need an adoption lawyer- she’s the best (she just happens to be an adoptive momma too!!!)
Then the judge wanted the boys to sit on the rail. He remembered doing Bates’ finalization. He said, “that wasn’t that long ago!” Um, yes judge, just about a year ago! I told him we would try to stay out of the courtroom next year.
Then off to the office next door to apply for a new birth certificate and order our adoption decree copies (I got 5!) Brodie was charming all the women in the office. He was “doing his eyes” at all of them. They were all coming out of their back offices just to see our cute boys and Brodie loves an audience, so he was putting on a show. Whewee, that boy is a mess.
What a day! I had always dreamed of having two kids by the time I was 30. Just two short years ago, that seemed like a dream out of reach. But here we were the day before my 30th birthday and I was legally the mother of the two most incredible children in the entire world!
To us, today was just a formality. It made legal what God had ordinated before the earth was formed. It made binding what we knew the moment we saw his face.
With Bates finalization, I felt the same way… but I felt that this simply started the next chapter to bringing our next child home. Nick will be glad to know I did not feel that way this time. I am not chomping at the bit to start the process again. (don’t hold me to that feeling too long though!)
I did feel a bit of sadness though, I thought of Brodie’s birthmom. She had no idea in a small courtroom, a world away, on a raining afternoon, her son legally changed names. And of his foster mom, who loved him as her own son, who would have kept him, and loved him, and raised him. Brodie’s journey home is complete, the women who had a hand in loving, caring, and giving life to our boy can know that he is home. Home where he belongs!
Happy Adoption Day, Brodie!