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!
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.