Friday, July 20, 2007

Oh, Happy Adoption Day

When both parents travel to China together for an adoption, you take the oath of parenthood (I don't know if that's the official name of it, but it describes what you say) and promise you didn't lie on your paperwork in front of the consular at the American Consulate in China. If both parents don't go, you have to re-adopt the child in the U.S. to make it official and final. We both traveled to China, so our adoption was legal and final in China. And Marcie became a citizen when we all crossed back into the U.S. together through customs. But we decided to re-adopt Marcie in California anyway. Just a formality since she was already legally and permanently ours (unlike in Casey's adoption), but this will allow her to get a birth certificate here in the U.S.

We arrived at the courthouse about 15 minutes early, and Marcie hung out with Casey and with Grandma. Jason and I were there, too, of course.

We didn't wait long-- less than 30 minutes. The judge was running ahead of schedule, so he called us about 10 minutes before our scheduled hearing time.

Now, I know exactly one judge in the California courts personally. He was my criminal procedure professor for a full year of law school. I only had two professors for a full year of studies in law school, and the judge, Justice H., was one of them. He is an appellate court judge in California, and he prosecuted a very famous local case here when I was growing up. So imagine my surprise when we entered the court room and it was Justice H. who was all set up to formalize our adoption! Pretty neat, if you ask me. . .

I vaguely remember taking that parent oath when we adopted Casey. The courthouse was also much busier that day in September, but this time, things went very quickly. We signed the adoption decree, and we received our certificate. But we didn't have to make any new promises (though we were, of course, prepared to do so). This photo above is me signing my name. I forgot how long my name is to sign, being that I have two last names. And my brain is so jello-y lately, with the Bar exam a mere four days away.

I included this photo just so you could see what they do here in the jury box-- they fill it with giant, happy, stuffed children. Pretty neat.

After we signed the forms, Justice H took photos with us. We actually have a much better Polaroid version of this, but it gives you the idea.
Outside the court room we met another family there to readopt their daughter, Elizabeth. Elizabeth is from the Jangxi (did I spell that right?) province. She is 14 months old and they've been back in the U.S. for 4 months. We exchanged information so the girls can maybe get together . . .

Outside the courthouse, we took a family picture. Ann, Casey's godmother, also came to show her support for the adoption, and she was our photographer for the afternoon (thanks, Ann!). There is another picture with us all looking at the camera, but Marcie is actually smiling in this one, so I'm sharing this one instead.

The whole thing was over by 3pm. We'd planned to go to Emerald, a yummy local Chinese restaurant for a meal, but 3pm was too early. So we went to Cheesecake Factory for cake instead. Ann came with us, and despite missing out on half their naps, the kids were relatively well behaved.

Marcie's been part of our family for almost a year now. We don't even remember what life was like before her. We are so lucky . . .


Larry and Kyndra said...

I can't remember life without Cassidy either. Crazy.
GOOD LUCK on the bar- you will do great.

Anonymous said...

4 days and counting until the bar??? you will pass with flying colors!!!!

congratulations on marcie's adoption. the photos are great.

alison frm. dallas.

ann said...

great pictures! love the one of marcie and jason and of course, the one with me and casey. good luck tomorrow!