Adoption obviously lasts a lifetime, but the process in which potential adopters go through to become parents culminates with the celebration day.
Our celebration day was a chance to formally welcome our son into the family, and celebrate a new start for him, and a welcome close for us.
Two important people
We were incredibly lucky in the final stages of the adoption process. The people involved in our son’s life have become folk we are now very fond of. We wanted to invite these important people to our celebration day, and it was with tremendous fortune that they were able to attend.
The boy’s foster carer, and social worker were deserved additions to the day, and I would like to have conversed with his foster carer more but was regularly beaten to the punch by her emotions; competing, as it was, with a tirade of tears. Bless her.
The point was she was there, and that meant a lot, and with the wee man’s social worker and various members of our collective family, we piled into a court room for what was effectively a photo shoot.
Not all of us were celebrating
As I sat in the court room, waiting for the judge to stride in, I did feel an over bearing sense of guilt. It was my first time in court, and save for another celebration day, hopefully my last. The room is very imposing, and I must say technically advanced.
When the clerk finally asked us to rise to welcome in the judge, I was compelled to shout
“Guilty your honour”
stopping myself only at the last moment.
Whatever I felt though, the boy had it ten times worse. It is safe to say, he is not a fan of court rooms. His distain was such that from the moment the judge walked in, to the moment we left, he engaged a heck of a tantrum. I can only hope his dislike for these rooms serves him well enough to avoid them throughout his life.
With the boy causing merry hell, I strained to hear the judge’s heartfelt speech about family and adoption, the bits I did catch though, were very profound.
Celebration day or photo shoot?
The day was ultimately a chance to take a number of photos. The speeches were short; the formalities… well, informal.
The day was about the boy, and we took full advantage of the opportunities presented to us. My father sitting on the judge’s chair with the official wig on was worth the petrol money alone. The cameras flashed, and we had a lovely time.
The end of the adoption process
The UK adoption process can be all consuming. A process that takes years to complete, and I suspect years off your life. But we had done it.
The celebration day marked an end to shared responsibility, an end to compulsory social worker visits, and an end to childlessness.
That isn’t what it is about though. For all the aspects that we see as adoptive parents, the celebration day is always about the children.
Our son is now a full member of our family. His life in the care system has ended. He now has a chance of a life that he may not have received before.
His trauma may surface in years to come, and we will face some tough times. We will also ensure that his early life is not forgotten – it is an important part of his life after all.
But the celebration day is evidence of one thing. It is tangible evidence that adoption works.
To everyone who helped – a heartfelt thanks.