Friday, April 30, 2010

Adoption Day!

It's official! Ava is now and forever a Kolman. We had our adoption finalization on Wednesday morning amidst a whole host of family and friends who insisted on coming all the way to Denver to be a part of it. Initially, I always feel a little sheepish about that. I mean, the ceremony itself is all of about 5 minutes and it's not like, once the ceremony is over, things feel any different. In our hearts and in the hearts of our family and friends, Ava has been a Kolman since the first moment we heard about her. Nothing really changes in our eyes.

But, what I've come to realize is that, for my children, even though they are too young to really know it, that ceremony changes everything.

In that short ceremony, several key things happen. First, Loren and I agree to be providers of all that our children need. What a privilege, as one friend put it, to "take vows before your child, promising your life to her." If only all people were required to verbalize their commitment to love and provide for their children. *sigh*

Secondly, the court legally changes their names to reflect the name we have given them as well as our last name, and they are given all the rights and privileges of an heir. For better or worse, they officially become identified as a Kolman on that day. It's a good name to have, and brings with it an incredible legacy of service and compassion towards others and deep commitment to knowing Christ. But, as proud as I am to bestow that name on my kids, in that moment, what always makes me tear up is the fact that God has taken this child, separate from us in many ways, and placed them in our family. He has grafted each of my children into this family and somehow made them so fully ours that it is overwhelming.

Finally, the judge declares the final adoption order irrevocable. It's forever, and I don't need to reiterate the significance of that. It just is.

So, yeah. This ceremony. It's a real big deal. And I need to stop apologizing for thinking that. It seems only fitting that we, along with our family and friends stampede the courthouse, go through security and insist on bringing in cameras even when they aren't allowed, overwhelm the courtroom, cheer when it's over, require the judge to take a picture with everyone, and have a sweet little celebration party afterward. It's the least we could do!
All of us with the judge

The spread. My friend, Amy, offered to host all of us for our celebration. Brave...very brave. Thanks, Amy!

Ah...early signs of love. We are praying that at least one of our girls picks a Paschall boy as a mate. :)

Some of the women who make me a better mom...and who also act as surrogate moms, amongst plenty of other things. Love these girls and missed the ones who couldn't be there. You know who you are.

The girls with all the grandparents. They all traveled big time to come. So sweet.

Thank you to all of our family and friends who made it to the courthouse and to those who we know wanted to come and just couldn't. We are so grateful for your presence in our lives and for your commitment to us as well as to Ava. She is one lucky little girl to have all of you.


Melodie said...

You described finalization day better than I've ever heard it before. Nothing changes in the heart, but such a significant day for a family. Love you all and would have loved to celebrate with you.

Jess said...

Amazing! Your post and pictures brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy for your beautiful family! By the way, your girls are BEAUTIFUL!!!

The Milfords said...

I have tears. What an amazing day!

Anonymous said...

Love these pictures. So precious!