Adoption Day Memories

We felt like we had been waiting for an eternity for the day to arrive.

It wasn’t an eternity, really, but it felt like it. He had been in foster care–our care–for 574 days.

My husband and I had no idea what to expect since this was our first adoption hearing. Was it going to be very formal? It felt like it should be, given the emotional weight of the situation.

I was worried about how our two older boys, who were six and five at the time, would behave. We told them they had to sit very still and be very quiet when we were in the courtroom. They didn’t quite understand what was happening, but they knew it was a special day. It was the day their little brother would officially become a part of our family.

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The tone of the hearing wasn’t formal at all. It was happy and light.

“I love adoption hearings,” said the judge.

I was called to the stand to give my testimony. Concrete dates and facts:

My name and birthdate.

Our address.

The names of the other members of our family.

Our son’s name and birthdate.

The date he came into our home.

His age at the time of placement.

I swore under oath that he would be a part of our family forever, that we would care for him and protect him always. But I wouldn’t have needed an oath or a courtroom or the authority of a judge to make that commitment. I had loved him in the most powerful, earth-shattering way since he was placed in my arms by his social worker. Unconditional love at first sight. I would have made the same commitment right then and there, at that very moment.

When my husband and I imagined growing our family, adoption wasn’t part of the plan. But we’re forever grateful and immeasurably blessed that we were allowed to be a part of such a miraculous, heartbreaking, messy, and beautiful journey.

The judge made one more speech. And just like that, it was done. (Except it wasn’t; little did we know that two years later we would be back in the same courtroom adopting our son’s younger sister. She would spend 546 days in foster care prior to adoption.)

It’s been nine years since that amazing day. The memories seem immediate and distant at the same time.

The toddler we adopted that day has grown into a funny, smart, kind, and thoughtful boy. He is gorgeous in every imaginable way. He is frustrating. He is an adorable smart ass. He is the embodiment of joy and light. He can be difficult. He makes us laugh, he makes us cry, he amazes us away with his beautiful, generous spirit, his thoughtful and sensitive heart. He makes us want to rip our hair out sometimes.

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He is the most loving big brother you could imagine. His little brother’s love for him is the purest I have ever seen.

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We worry about him. We pray and fear for his safety as he grows. We love him more than anything and we can’t imagine life without him.

When my husband and I imagined growing our family, adoption wasn’t part of the plan. But we’re forever grateful and immeasurably blessed that we were allowed to be a part of such a miraculous, heartbreaking, messy, and beautiful journey.

Meghann is the mom of 5 kids. She is a Lecturer at the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication and an Owner/Partner at Brand Driven Digital. Meghann was elected to the Coralville City Council in 2017 and is currently serving her first term. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Coralville Community Food Pantry (Vice-Chair) and on the DVIP Board of Directors. She is also a member of Johnson County's Juvenile Justice and Youth Development Policy Board. Meghann is passionate about her family, her community, and is a proud pop culture nerd.

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