Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Finally! A legal family!

After seven years of being their mom in every facet of their lives, Bub was finally - legally - appropriately made their mom on paper.

The pre-family: After going to court for another lesbian couple who were splitting up, our OB/GYN asked us both to sign documentation stating that we were entering into parenting together and had every intention of accepting responsibility for any children that might result from her help.

The beginning: The boys arrived too early, and we both spent every possible minute in the NICU as we possibly could.
The nurses loved Bub. (Well, everybody loves her...) She actually got to drive Peanut home on her own while I stayed at the hospital with Meatball.
Then, the diapers, the bottles, the snuggles. Don't forget the inability to keep food down (Peanut) and the squirrel-cheek like storage of food he didn't want to eat (Meatball). The crawling, the giggling, the babbling, the walking, the first words.

Growing: Learning to read, vacations in Florida, camping, starting school. Trains, music, books, computers, a strange fascination with weather occurrences. Tummy aches, sore throats, fevers. Scrapes, biffs, scuffs, stitches. Great grades, good behavior, compliments for their manners.

Spoiled: Loved by Papa and Nana who let them pretty much do whatever they want. Loved by Granny and Grandpa who won't tolerate them in a car without brand new tires all the time or with no less than three different swimming suits every summer or more toys than all four of us can play with.

So, it was certainly time to make it all legal!
After living in limbo for ten months - not knowing if our marriage would remain legal or not - the courts finally decided that we could remain legally bound to each other. (They couldn't tell us anything about love - love cannot be legislated!) In October, we would be recognized by our state! It was at this point that the adoption work really started. However, "work" is probably not the right word. Our lawyer did everything, and we had to do almost nothing.

Even though it was not his specialty, our lawyer (Mr. Corporate Law) did everything possible to move our case along. However, in the state of Utah, you have to be married for a year in order to complete a step-parent adoption (regardless of whether or not that step-parent has been around since before the children were born). So, between October and December, all of the appropriate forms and documents were submitted and a date was set for December.
(We had an opportunity to wait until the 23rd - then our adoption date would be the same as our legal wedding date - but we chose the earliest date just in case I got hit by a bus or something!)

We woke up on December 9 and got all spiffed up and got more excited/nervous as the minutes ticked by.
We were the first people on the docket - possibly the only adoption of the day?
The grandparents arrived.
Our photographer arrived.
Our lawyer and his wife arrived.
Then we had to wait around for the judge.....

While waiting, the bailiff - gruff in looks only - made us all feel comfortable, and he joked around with the boys.

Finally, the judge arrived, and the proceedings started. Still not sure if the judge was happy about the whole thing - he seemed sort of put out - but hey! We didn't care! The US Supreme Court said that it was fine.

And, it was so fast! Like 15 minutes! (Here's Bub with tears in her eyes as the judge was verbally granting her adoptive parent rights. It makes me cry every time I look at it.)

Then, we went to breakfast! We told the boys that they could have whatever they wanted. They both chose pie!

Congratulations, honey. I'm happy that you're their other mom. So are they. Nobody could love these kids more than you.

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