Adoption Finalization: From Barrenness to Fullness

Photo Cred: TMDexter Photography

Phew! For “some” reason I’m finding it hard to find time to think through my inner thoughts these days let alone write about them. ;) But here I am attempting to summarize into words the past eight months.

On May 31 Jonathan’s adoption was finalized. What this means:

Jonathan is now legally our son in the eyes of the law as if we birthed him. We no longer need to meet with our caseworker once a month and we can now sign any legal documents regarding our son. But really what it means is immense peace of mind for me. Even though I pretty much knew everything would work out great, I always had those nagging “what ifs” in the back of my mind. It was hard to fully rest in the fact that Jonathan is our son. I now have that feeling of completeness and it feels GOOD!!!

So, let me tell you about the day of the finalization. It provided one final bump in the process that I did not expect.

We arrived at the courthouse early and waited for our hearing time. We were called in and took our seats in the plaintiff’s area, preparing to answer the expected questions from our attorney. We were sworn in and then answered a series of questions: “Describe your house”; “Do you have a job”; “Are you in good health”; “Why should Jonathan be adopted by you”… you know, simple questions like that. :) After about five minutes of questioning the judge was very silent, looking through our file. As he continued to shuffle papers, my heart beat faster along with the shuffle. What’s taking so long? Please just tell us that Jonathan is legally our son. Oh no, is something wrong?

After what seemed like an eternity the judge announced that one document was missing. After two years of paperwork and meetings and interviews, the court was missing one essential piece of paper! As he informed us that he can’t finalize until he has that paper, my heart was in shock. What does this mean? Is Jonathan not going to have his adoption finalized today? Will there be MORE waiting?!

He asked our attorney to have the office submit the paper and we would reconvene after lunch. It was so incredibly difficult to walk out of the courtroom, knowing that things were not settled yet. My body and mind felt numb. This was not the plan. This is not how these things normally go.

Long story short after a 90 minute break we were back in the courtroom with the judge holding the paper in hand. I was incredibly relieved to hear the pronouncement and the photos we took after our court hearing show it. However, it took me a few days to get over the shock of that missing paper.

I don’t know why we had to go through that final bit of stress but I suppose all great stories need a final crisis near the end. (ha!) It turned out that the paper was submitted by our agency but somehow lost at some point.

It has taken my mind some time to transition to the reality that Jonathan is fully ours. That I don’t need to think about checking with other people for things regarding our son. That we are solely his parents. It’s really quite an awesome feeling.

I am amazed when I reflect on the past eight months. Last October we went from waiting, hungering, and hoping to become parents to having our arms filled with a baby within three weeks. We had a most amazing birth experience with Jonathan and his very generous birth parents. We experienced the wonder and sleep deprivation that comes with having a newborn. We continue to watch with delight as Jonathan’s personality emerges. Over the past eight months we moved from barrenness to fullness. From grief to full joy. When we started this adoption journey over two years ago, I hoped but never expected God to put the details together so perfectly well. He did it.

I have a verse I’ve been clinging to throughout this process. It has been hanging on my bathroom mirror for two years:

“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.” (Psalm 37:5)

It is the most incredible thing in the world to see Him do it. Even in the midst of all of my doubts and anxieties and shortcomings to see in reality God at work. That is something to celebrate!

We are having an adoption finalization celebration next month. We feel the need to celebrate with family and friends at the ending of this adoption process and God’s incredible faithfulness! I am looking forward to that celebration and to watching God’s continued plans for Jonathan’s life unfold in front of me. I am so thankful to be Jonathan’s Mom. Thank you, Lord!

These days I think often of my friends who are currently in the season of waiting that we were recently in. I don’t understand why God writes our stories the way He does. I don’t get why we have to go through the excruciating pain of grief, barrenness, and heartache. But I do know that He is Faithful and He is Good and that clinging to those two truths even when they felt so very false made a huge difference in my mindset during the season of grief and waiting. I pray you will be able to cling to truth as well. And I’m here if you need to talk.