I know some of you believe I've spent an enormous amount of time at this building, but it was actually only my second time at the court house, the first being at the retrieval of a marriage license to HH (Hot Husband). We came here on March 12, 2010 to adopt our third son, Connor (why, I cry even at this beginning paragraph).
If you know our story or have tons of time to review (look back at blog post "Connor" from March 2009), you'll know this was an incredible journey. The people on this path were all on it for the sake of Connor's best future. Connor's initial placement in foster care was due to his birth mom's struggles, but she cares so deeply for him and his future, that she desired a secure home for him. I had the pleasure of meeting his birth father, and Connor will be honored to share his roots with this amazing man.
Connor's birth, paternal Grandma Dawn (shown above before the adoption proceedings) and I originally met at the hospital after Connor's birth, and we formed a bond that made all of this possible. When I explained to Noah that we were adopting Grandma Dawn & Grandpa Gary as grandparents for all three boys, Noah patiently and politely explained, "Mommy, you can't adopt Grandparents, just kids". But now Noah is beginning to understand how someone's else's blood can run through your heart without the silly need for biology.
We had a gorgeous array of family and like-family who shared our joy with us on adoption day.
Judge Harris made it a relaxed and celebratory time (not at all Matlock-like).
When I was preparing Noah for what to expect at the "White House" (the place where Noah told several people we were making the adoption official), I told him Daddy and I would be signing some papers. Noah said, "I want to sign some papers too". So HH created some precious "brother certificates", which the Judge kindly had them sign during the proceedings.
The Judge explained that becoming Connor's official parents was a very important responsibility, but that the most important role was becoming his brothers. When the Judge asked Noah and Ian to give a thumbs-up if they accept this responsibility, our wonderful photographer, Betsy Gregory, captured this precious moment of Ian's consent.
Throughout this process, Seth and I were in awe at the abundance of people who were involved in deciding Connor's future (case workers, attorneys, judges, etc.) and how Connor had no comprehension of how his life was being directed by all those around him. Then my most memorable moment of the proceedings happened. When Judge Harris said, "Connor is officially a Hutchins", we all cheered and clapped, including Connor, right on time. Of course, my sentimentality believes that it wasn't just Connor enjoying an enthusiastic crowd, but feeling that all was now right in his world. My faith knows that God's amazing hand made my family complete that day.