Today is the day that the government recognizes us as Eva’s parents. You may have already read some of the details in my lawyer post, but here’s the short version. Our adoption agency is the legal guardian for Eva right now. We’ve petitioned the court to be her guardians, and the judge will decide if we are fit to be her parents and grant us guardianship if so.
You may notice that I didn’t say that we’d become her parents. We feel no government can tell us that which we already know. We’ve been her parents since day one. Just like most couples feel that they were married during their ceremony as opposed to when they signed the marriage certificate.
No, this court date is more….legal. The marriage certificate helps in the most romantic of occasions, such as property dispersal after a death or divorce, and lets you not testify against your spouse in court. The adoption decree by the court will do similar things for us.
I make it sound so procedural, but there is some massive joy in it. There’s the acknowledgement of our parenting ability. There’s the approval of all our pre/post adoption classes and verifications. No longer will we have to notify our social worker if we leave the state. She will officially have our last name. Most important of all, it’s the removal of that last dangling rock hanging over our heads. Once approved, it’s final. No one will be able to take our child. She will be forever ours.
We may have told you that there’s nothing to worry about, but without it being final there is always something to worry about. The one that sits in my head is “What if Steph passed away before court? Would they approve an adoption to a single father?” There are other ways it could go wrong, granted the odds are somewhere between winning the mega lotto jackpot and the Vikings winning the Super Bowl (slim to none). We are good parents, we’ve met every obligation, we’ve passed every test, and there will (probably) be no one objecting at the court date. The judge (we’ve heard) is fantastic, and loves doing these adoption cases. However, he has full power to decide whatever he wants. We are putting our heart in his hands.
No matter how dire that last paragraph was, and though we worry about that 0.00000001% chance of disaster (like most parents do), I’m fully confident that tomorrow you will see nothing but joy in us. For today is the day where final means forever.