Welcome to our corner of the web! Here you will learn about our family and our journey of a family member adoption. In July of 2010, after 9 years of trying to add to our family and 5 years after we started our adoption journey, we welcomed baby Emily Rose. Emily's birth mom is Sharon's adopted sister. We look forward to someday adopting more children but for now, we are enjoying our time together as a family of 4!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's Final!!! (Sort of)

I know I need to do Emily's 6 month post. (Can you beleive she is 6 months!) But I wanted to write about what we did today.

Last week I got a call from our most awesome lawyer. Dean Ellis is his name. If you are in Utah and need an adoption attorney, look no further. Dean rocks! Seriously! He was on vacation in southern Utah (seriously, it was freezing here, gorgeous weather there, can you blame him. I was a little jealous, I'll admit it). Anywho, Dean had a court date for us. It was today. I couldn't beleive it! Well, we went to court today and found out (per the most awesome judge we had) we actually could not finalize today. Before you can finalize in our state, it has to be 6 months after placement. Placement should have been July 27th. So we should have been able to finalize today. But because Emily was in the hospital for a week, and because of Kristina's long, horrible, labor, that resulted in a c-section, and Kristina herself having some health issues after delivery, Kristina wasn't able to sign until August 2nd. So technically we couldn't finalize until around the 2nd or 3rd of February. It's an oversight. It was no ones fault. It happens. This is why a friend told me, that you shouldn't schedule your temple sealing for the same weekend you are set to finalize the adoption. (Especially if like us, you have people who may be coming in from out of town.) That, and court could always be rescheduled, this is part of the reason why our sealing isn't until the 19th of Feb. I wanted to give leeway if we needed it. Turns out we did.

When we found out we couldn't finalize today we were also told we may need to come back next week. Our awesome lawyer talked to the judge who allowed us to go ahead and be sworn in, give testimony today, and sign papers today. So here's how it went down.
We made it downtown in really good time (20 minutes, which is awesome in rush hour traffic! And I didn't break a single traffic law to get us there. :D). We found the courthouse, parked, went up to the courtroom and waited outside. Dean got there shortly after we did and took us into a private room to go over the paperwork with us. We were then brought in to the courtroom to find out that the judge would be meeting with us in her chambers.

(Jacob and Emily waiting to go into the courtroom)

We got back there and found out the judge wasn't in yet. So we were taken into the jury room to have a seat until she was ready for us. It was there that we found out that we couldn't finalize today. I'll be honest, my heart dropped a little. We were then taken into the judges chambers. I don't know what I was expecting. But whatever it was, it wasn't what I found. We walked in and the room was very inviting. Sitting behind the desk was a very sweet, pretty woman in a business type outfit. I was surprised she didn't have on robes. Then I realized she wanted to put us at ease. She certainly did. There was some joking and I was pleasently surprised to find out that not only is she an adoptive mom as well, but her daughters name is Emily too. How funny! We took our seats and were sworn in. She was going to allow us to give testimony and sign the forms so we didn't have to come back. She would sign on the 3rd and file the paperwork then. So our adoption will actually be final on the 3rd, but all the paperwork is done.

Anyhow, after we were sworn in I was asked some questions. I had heard about some of the questions, so I thought I was prepared, but truth be told, I was still emotional. Questions like,

"Do you understand that by entering into this adoption today, it will be irrevocable?"

"You've have 6 months of taking care of this baby, do you feel that she is a good fit for your family?"

"Do you feel that you are able to care for this child, financially, spiritually, physically?"

"You understand that by adopting this child, that she will be as if she was your natural child, like she was born to you?"

In all, there were about 15 questions that I was asked. Then Jacob was asked a few questions. Afterwards the judge declared that once she signed the papers on the 3rd, that her findings would be that it is in the best interests of Emily to be adopted by us. That she would be legally our child, as if she was born to us. It was surreal. After the proceedings we talked a little more, she showed us pictures of her kids. We talked about how her son is into photography as well. She applauded my choice of camera. She is a Canon person as well when it comes to cameras. Then she posed for a picture with us.

(from left to right: Jacob, Me, Emily, Judge Atherton)

The judge then put her robes on and headed to the courtroom to start her regular day. Our lawyer led us downstairs the back way so that we wouldn't disrupt the court. Once we got downstairs I realized we hadn't gotten a picture of Dean. So he was kind enough to pose for a photo with a very tired Emily.

(Dean Ellis, a.k.a., the most rockin' awesomest adoption attorney around! Holding our sweet Emily.)

Emily fell asleep on the drive home so when we got home she was all smiles. Here is a picture of Emily in her oh so cute dress that Tamara picked out for the occasion. (Tamara was at school in case you were wondering.)

(Our Girl after court today January 27, 2011)

So it's not technically official, but she's ours!!! I didn't think it would matter. I mean, to us, Emily has been our daughter since day 1. But to be honest, to have it recognized legally, that she's ours. It's a really HUGE deal! Next stop, the temple! YAY!!


Ron and Jessica said...

Awesome news! For our first adoption I didn't realize how quickly court things can change. We had our temple sealing scheduled for two days after court - I was sweating! But it all worked out for us. Glad you had been told to plan it a little further apart, though.

hope2adoptbaby said...

Congrats! Must be such a great feeling to be so close to being official! :)

If you wouldn't mind sharing, would you mind emailing me about your attorney? Did you like him? I have no idea how much an adoption through an attorney is, and we're very interested...THANKS.