The road to finalizing the adoption was longer than we anticipated. In all reality, it wasn’t that long. After Blue had been with us about 3 months it was time to move forward. From the point that the workers began to move toward adoption (as opposed to just foster care), start to finish was 5 months. I know, I know, that’s not very long, but in our minds it was taking forever. We just wanted to be done.
One of the things that held us up was a name. Blue wanted to totally change her name. It is incredibly difficult to pick a name for a teenager who has definite opinions on what her name should be! After a couple of weeks, we finally settled on a name – one that we could all agree on. Then, it was just waiting on state workers. Parental rights had been long terminated, so that wasn’t an issue. Just state workers…
While we waited, we learned a lot, grew a lot and loved a lot. Parenting/adopting a teenager is hard. Developmentally, teen should be breaking away from their parents and gaining independence. We wanted Blue to connect to our family, bond, stay close. It’s an interesting line to walk. We faced some effects from Blue’s past. We learned what it mean to be mother and daughter (still very much learning). Racer and I became a better team. We made mistakes – still do – but grow in faith and love most days.
Finally, it came. Adoption day came. We invited the Fosters, our pastor and his wife, and two other friends to be with us that day. We dressed up. Girlie was excited to wear a new dress for our “special dress-up day.” Blue picked out a new, blue, top. She looked beautiful. Professor was so excited to leave school early that he was all packed up, cleaned up and ready to go before his class went to lunch.
We went into court, waited through two divorce proceedings (weird juxtaposition huh?) and then it was time. We didn’t realize that we would be in judge’s chambers, so our friends wouldn’t be able to watch. It was short, sweet and Blue came out glowing. It was official. She was now a permanent part of our family! We went for ice cream to celebrate.
What was even more special in many ways came in just a few days. On Easter Sunday, Blue was baptized under her new name. She cried, A LOT. I smiled. Now all of our children had been baptized on an Easter Sunday. The pastor we love, who will be retiring shortly, got to perform the baptism. It was a beautiful ending to a journey of faith and love.
Not that our journey is over. Really, the fun is just beginning. We now have an entire life to watch how God continues to weave our family – the journey of love and faith and grace and beauty – together. I look forward to watching Blue grow into a woman of faith who sees God working in her life. I can’t wait to see what God does next.