The language of the “Decree of Adoption” is short but very powerful ~
(the following is a small portion)
“… previously known as Baby B, is hereby declared adopted by Mykel and Camille Henrie as their child and hereafter he shall be regarded and treated in all respects as their natural and lawful child and there shall exist between said parties all of the rights, benefits and privileges instant to that parent/child relationship, together with all responsibilities and duties of a parent to their child and of child to his parents.”
The day after finalization at a party with our family.
“That petitioners (us) shall hereafter jointly share the relationship of parents to said children and shall have all of the rights, and shall be subject to all of the duties and responsibilities of that relationship. That said minor adoptive children shall have all of the rights, and be subject to all of the duties and responsibilities of the parent/child relationship.”
At a restaurant in California on Christmas Day 1998
The adoption finalization before a judge only lasts a few minutes ~ You raise your right hand and answer questions about why the children should be allowed to be adopted by you, why you want to adopt them and you swear to be a responsible and good parent.
(Shouldn’t ALL parents be required to answer these questions?)
After the adoptions were finalized, it was if an entire new part of my heart was opened up to the boys that had been closed before. I (unknowingly) hadn’t allowed myself to fully and completely love them because I was so afraid of losing them. They were finally “mine” in the sense that they couldn’t legally be taken away again;
Our first Christmas morning together!
We moved to California as soon as the adoptions were finalized. We were only there for a few short months, but we enjoyed our first Christmas together, feeding seagulls on the beach together, and getting stares and rude comments for “having our children so close together.”
We didn’t stay in California for very long though…the possibility of Bryan joining our family would be much easier realized if lived closer to Ruth, so we moved back and that possibility became a reality a few short months later.