Pretty big day for us last week – Claire’s adoption was finalized! In adoption lingo it’s our “Forever Family” day. We were never worried about a disruption (Zeb, Rita, and the family members we’ve met have been nothing shy of amazing), and we’ve felt like a family for a quite awhile now – the rubber stamp and official decree didn’t do much for us on those fronts.
It was a hugely emotional day for Andrew and I, though. It was the perfect opportunity to spend a day celebrating our amazing family. It brought closure to the six long years of intense stress, grief, loss, anxiety, and gut-busting joy. We’ve gone through such a transformation since we first tried to have a family. Everything we thought we knew about our future was called into question. I often felt like I didn’t recognize myself anymore – or my husband – or our marriage. There were times I wanted to walk away and start over. It was overwhelming and seemingly insurmountable. But we kept at it. We’d take time away, then come back and chip away at the mountain. Repeat. Repeat. We’re still here, and today we’re better than ever. We no longer live our lives according to some arbitrary plan I had in high school – we take what comes and roll with it, knowing that none if it will last forever. Most importantly, we have two beautiful girls that make our world so much brighter. Time to celebrate, for certain.
This is when we get to send (another) thank you out to all those who have sat and listened to us over the years. We appreciate all those who shared their own stories and helped us feel supported. Thank you to Jason & Jeff, who told us about this agency that does such great work. Thank you to Lisa, who answered my initial call and made me feel a 1000 times better in ten minutes. A huge thank you to Maria, our amazing case worker who walked us through a very difficult and emotional process with confidence. Thank you to Tim, Deary, and your family for welcoming us. And the biggest thanks of all to Zeb and Rita for their ultimate vote of confidence.
Claire is amazing. Our adoption story has been incredible – it’s just unheard of to get so lucky. I cannot believe we get to be in her life – to watch her grow – to see her personality unfold and watch her chase her dreams. I’m beyond thrilled that Evelyn & Claire have each other. There are no words for the happiness when I hear them laughing together.
Andrew took most of the day off to attend the hearing, which took all of 15 minutes. We spent the rest of the morning hanging out down at the waterfront. Given that we were dressed up our options felt limited….so we chose the very logical adventure of some doughnuts, the Great Wheel and the nearby arcade for some good old fashioned family fun. It was awesome.
Finalizing our adoption didn’t help us to feel like a family. That happened months ago when we brought Claire home from the hospital. It did help Andrew and I pause to appreciate the journey and each other. Patience. Understanding. Unconditional love. Teamwork. Happily ever after, whatever comes our way.