Well, we completed the year-long wait that our State requires once a child is officially placed in your home. And on Monday, September 14th at 9:16 am, our sweet little munchkin was officially named Gianna Elyse Lewis and her adoption was finalized. So now the State has declared what we have know from the very beginning....Gianna Elyse is our daughter - forever and ever. AMEN!
Iain & I were a surprised by how little we were affected by the approach of the big day. I guess, for us, it just really doesn't change anything. I'm sure our past court memories of failed adoptions and unjust outcome may have clouded it a tiny bit - and appearing before the very judge that presided over the other case was certainly not our ideal situation. But we weren't nervous....we just stood before him with our heads held high.
There was actually one point when the judge asked me if there was anything else I wanted the court to know. Oh how I fantasized of what I would say if given the opportunity!! It would have been an awesome, dramatic scene out Law & Order PMU (Pissy Mothers Unit). You can imagine I had a script ready for that answer...and Lord knows I was tempted to give him an earful. But instead, I kept my mouth shut and smiled. (Miracle, I know.) I figured being held in contempt of court would not be a good adoption present for my daughter. :)
We're glad to have everything finalized. We're glad to finally have paperwork to coincide with our reality. We're anxiously anticipating the new birth certificate that will be issued by the State with OUR names as mother and father. But overall -- it just was a day. A really good day. A reminder of our miracle and blessings day. I guess that IS pretty special.
One of my good long-time friends (who is also be a priest) was with us at the courthouse and shared with us that very day was the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. What a perfect day to celebrate this momentous occasion. We've had embraced many crosses over the last five years of our marriage - including our adoption journey. What a beautiful reminder from our Savior that even though it doesn't feel like it in the midst of it all - there is always triumph in the Cross.
We were so pleased to have beautiful weather, family and some special friends, a super short waiting period before we were called....and a positive court experience. Here are more pictures of our Adoption Day: