The following is a piece I wrote this morning. It’s cross-posted from my other blog; primarily because I’ve got nothin’ that I’m willing to share at the moment. See you later.
Five years ago today, we were rushing around the house trying to get ready for The Longest Day Spent in a Courthouse. I’m guessing the only other people who can say that are either employees of the court system (yes, that includes lawyers and judges) or people who are, um, actively involved in a trial of some sort. Our day was a little different.
We finalized our adoption on this day five years ago. I should say at the beginning that we don’t celebrate this day much anymore. By the time this day had happened, the only thing it meant to me was that we wouldn’t have SW visits anymore.
The day started off at the courthouse at lunchtime. There was a luncheon/photo-op with roughly 25 other families, all of whom were placed by our agency. Truthfully, I don’t remember a whole lot about the luncheon. There was an awful lot of cold cuts, which I loathe, and an awful lot of people there who seemed hypnotized by our daughter’s hair. By this time, her hair had started growing back in (she was almost 7 months old) and it was spiky. Really spiky. Like Laurie Anderson in the 1980’s spiky. And for some reason, it was irresistible to other parents who should have known better.
After the luncheon, we had a 2 1/2 hour wait for our court appointment. We spent at least part of it on the interstate, running back to the house to change School Girl into her fancy dress. When we got back, we waited. And waited. And waited some more.
We were the judge’s last family of the day. The family court judges in our jurisdiction serve 5-year rotations, and this was her last rotation before hearing other types of cases. She talked a little bit about how much she enjoyed her time in family court, and how much she would miss all this. Then we got down to the business of the day.
It was over in 15 minutes. We answered the judge’s questions…As it turned out, all three of us answered the judge’s questions. Looking back, it really was kind of cute, but back then I was pretty embarrassed. Then she pronounced our adoption finalized in the eyes of our state, and we went downstairs to complete some paperwork. And that, as they say, was that.
It’s also why we don’t celebrate this day. I know that a lot of other people do; our friends in PA celebrate every year with a big barbeque/party, and they’re not unique. It just doesn’t seem as…momentous as our placement day. So that’s the one we focus on. Having someone tell you that you are officially a family is nice, but it’s not entirely a happy day. Our happiness has always been dependent on someone else’s misery, and this day just seems to bring that home once again. So here it’s just another day for us.