Okay, sorry this post is so late, but I'm in the thick of the semester, and grading, real estate, and teaching has me all tied up most of the time. Anyway... let's move on to the reason for this post:
Sunday morning, we left for our 8 hour car trip to SC. A lot of states will allow phone/video finalization if the family lives far away, but SC does apparently does not... even though we asked several times. I was happy about the idea of finalizing in the courtroom; I was not happy about the idea of driving 8 hours. I don't like being trapped in a car, and riding in the backseat next to the carseat for the four hours I wasn't driving, in our tiny car, was ridiculous! It truly is like being caught in a trap. I could barely move.
Anyway, after we arrived, late at night, we ordered pizza, showered, and went to bed. Our court hearing was scheduled for very early in the morning. I slept okay, except that I was sick again... but a different type of sick this time. (UTI, bladder, and kidney infections). For whatever reason, anytime something important is about to happen, my body loses control. I've always been one to get sick if someone just breathes in my direction. But to get three severe infections in such a quick amount of time, just before a big event... GIVE ME A BREAK!!!
Thankfully, I was on some pain medicine for the severe kidney pain, and I was on antibiotics for the rest. This kept me from running to the restroom every two minutes at the courthouse the next day.
Speaking of the courthouse... ;)
Once there, we met our guardian ad litem and attorney. They were both very nice. Then, they called us into the courtroom. Of course, just before going into the courthouse, Meerkat decided to spit up all over her dress. Thankfully we got it all cleaned up. But then, she decided it was time to be fussy. So, all through the hearing, she cried and cried and cried. I felt a little bit like I was under the microscope, because I wanted to be the "perfect mommy" who soothes her baby by just cooing at her... but that didn't happen. She wanted to be bounced, and rocked, and wiggled, and stood up. But, in a serious court hearing, it's difficult to do those things and pay attention. We managed. And the judge and stenographer were smiling at her as she played and fussed.
Nick answered his questions first, and I felt the tears behind my eyes as he talked about how Meerkat "is the best thing that's ever happened to us." So, I knew I was going to have trouble when it was my turn...
Oh did I! I was fine for the marriage questions. I was fine for the nursery questions. I was fine for the education and finances questions. But when she asked me "Why do you want to adopt this child?" I couldn't hold it back. I don't even remember exactly what I said, but it's a very emotional question to answer. It's hard to express to someone the love I feel for Meerkat. It's indescribable. That child has my heart wrapped up in her tiny fingers, and I'm so thankful.
At the end, the smiling judge explained his happiness for us, and told us that he couldn't wait to sign the papers. He was going "to make legal, what is already true," -- that we are Meerkat's parents.
So, dear judge: thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being so sweet and happy. You made our court experience easy and stress-free. Your joy for us was evident, and helped us to feel comfortable and happy.
Finally, it was over. Our adoption journey (the first one anyway) is over. Meerkat is our child, in every way but genetics. So, back to home we headed. We stopped off for a quick bite to eat, as a celebration. Meerkat enjoyed her fingers while we ate.
And then, we drove 8 hours home. By the end of the car trip, we were all getting cranky and tired. Meerkat hated the last hour of the trip.
She didn't want to be in that carseat anymore... And, I can't blame her. It was a 16 hour trip that felt continuous, since we pretty much woke up and got back in the car.
Despite the long, frustrating car ride, it was a wonderful trip. I would do it again today for Meerkat's sake. I would do anything for that baby. My daughter. :D
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