(Fall, 2001) -- There is one last hurdle. Six months after Tessa’s birth, Lutheran has gotten us on a judge’s docket to finalize our adoption. Could these years of feeling powerless about becoming parents finally be coming to an end?
By coincidence (or some nudging by Lutheran), our hearing is in front of a judge who has adopted two children through our agency. My whole family is in the courtroom for the happy moment (which literally takes about a moment), and afterward the judge kindly comes down from the throne and allows us to take photos of him and our newly legal family. He also shares that he and his wife had been through a third adoption, which ended with the firstparents reclaiming the baby. He’s walked even farther in our shoes than we have.
He obviously takes delight in presiding over adoption proceedings. He explains that adoptions are the only cases when his courtroom is happy, unlike other civil and criminal cases.
We leave for a celebratory breakfast knowing that soon we’ll receive Tessa’s birth certificate WITH OUR LAST NAME!