While we are celebrating with parties today (or recovering from parties, as the case may be), let’s focus on a fun part of adoptive parenting – the finalization party! After all of the hard work you did to become your child’s parents, your family deserves to kick off your legal status as a family by having a party.
In my state, you do not go to court for the finalization if the adoption is uncontested. So, the paperwork just arrived in the mail one day with no pomp and circumstance. While that piece of paper was extremely important to me, there was nobody to celebrate it with. (Even my son was sleeping when it arrived.) So, we planned a party.
The adoption decree arrived in June, so an outdoor party was an obvious choice. We decorated the backyard with baby blue balloons, and I bought a cake that said, “Nicholas is home for good.” We made jokes about the bakery probably thinking that Nicholas was an ex-con coming home after a stint in prison.
I invited a bunch of friends to come over and celebrate with us. I made it clear that their presence was enough, but some brought over presents, anyhow. They said that this was an important day worth celebrating, so they decided it was a gift-giving occasion.
We have so many great pictures from that day. Even though Nicholas was just a baby, those pictures are so special to him now that he is older. He can see from the pictures that the adoption finalization really was a big deal. He can also see how many people cared enough to come over to our house and celebrate our coming together as a forever family.
Even though I had been my son’s mother for five months in my heart, that piece of paper mattered in the same way that my marriage certificate matters. That piece of paper tells the world that we are a forever family. I am not just babysitting this child. For better or worse, we are a true family in every sense of the word. That’s worth celebrating.
Photo Credit: Lynda Bernhardt