(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!!