Where to begin. There are so many layers to Mason’s adoption that when I started to write this post it felt overwhelming. I’m a newly adoptive parent and have so many thoughts to process in regards to that new role. Those layers , the good and the bad, will come eventually, but for now I’m excited to share our Gotcha Day. April 18th, 2019. It’s a day we will never forget as a family, and a day we will always celebrate.
Our court hearing was at 8:30am so I was up early to make sure the family would be ready to go. Zach’s family was in town to celebrate with us so we had extra hands on deck to get everyone ready. I had picked out outfits weeks before, so the morning wasn’t quite as stressful as I thought it might be, and we were able to take in all the sweet moments. And yet, I remember feeling anxious to get going, even though we had plenty of time. I could feel the butterflies in my stomach all morning, mostly because I wanted everything to go perfectly. I had to keep rechecking myself, because most of the things I was stressing over, really didn’t matter in the long run. I chose to focus on the bigger picture , the fact that we are were about to become Mason’s forever family. If the little details didn’t fall into place, so be it. But God is so good and gave us such a smooth day to enjoy with our family and friends!
We arrived at court around 8:10 for our 8:30 appointment and weren’t even the first ones there. Our family and friends were READY TO GO. We had over 40 people come to court to celebrate our adoption. We were the largest finalization our agency workers had ever seen! We tend to live life big. There weren’t even enough seats in the courtroom – with many of our friends squeezing in just to stand. It was awesome. We also had 2 cameramen- yes we had 2- in the courtroom with us, as well as 2 photographers. But really do you expect anything less from Zach King :). Thankfully the judge loved it, and was cracking jokes as they set up their equipment.
After everyone was settled, the judge welcomed everyone, and proceeded with the case. The ceremony itself was fairly short, maybe 20 minutes total. We were soaking it all in, and then it was time for our part. Our attorney looked at us and asked us to confirm our voluntary decision to move forward with the adoption. We vowed to love Mason just as we would love biological children, no matter what, and to raise him well. Physically speaking those words, and then receiving approval to adopt was one of the most emotional moments of my life. The beautiful reality that we were his forever parents hit hard. After that, the exciting announcement came from the judge as he said “I grant your adoption petition” . So much excitement!! There were plenty of tears from the crowd, but mostly shrieks of excitement and celebration as the judge announced MASON KING. (I’d like to point out that our moms cried from start to finish; they had enough tears for the whole room : )). The best part was when the judge invited Mason up to slam the gavel himself, making it official. Mason slammed that gavel down and everyone cheered, which encouraged him to slam it five more times . Ha. It was so surreal and perfect.
We continued the day with our family and friends as we ate breakfast at Mason’s favorite spot, and played at his favorite park. It was a fairly simple day, so that we could fully embrace what had just taken place. But it didn’t end there. We threw a huge fiesta the following weekend to continue the celebration with everyone who couldn’t be at the courthouse.
It has been over 2 years of loving this boy, all the while uncertain of the future. But in that courtroom, for the first time, we had stability. But even more than us, Mason now has a guarantee. He’s too little to understand it fully, but I think he knows to some degree. Nobody can move him again. His life cannot be turned upside at the drop of a hat anymore. He can plant his feet and really start to grow, knowing we will be there every step of the way.
We are forever grateful to those who have prayed for us throughout this journey, who have leant an ear or shoulder to cry on over the past 2 years. It wasn’t an easy journey- foster parenting never is- but every moment was so worth it.
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