There is no standard form for the letter, only the requirements that we state her birth name, date of birth and, if you are changing the child's name, what the name should be on the amended birth certificate.
As I was writing, my mind started racing to all of the little things she does that melt my heart. When she's particularly happy, she will pat my shoulder approvingly. She's always liked cuddling, but the best is when she sits on my lap, wraps her little arms around my chest and squeezes like she's afraid she'll never get to squeeze me again. When she started daycare, I was careful the first few months when I went to pick her up because she would start running toward me the second she saw me and her balance isn't always the best.
I couldn't help but reflect on just how much she's grown in the six months she's been in our home too. The Kid has always been a happy kid, with big, expressive, beautiful brown eyes. She was learning to crawl when we met her, now she wants to run everywhere. She was eating pureed food at every meal, tonight she ate tortellini in a marinara sauce with her fork (yes, it was messy).
Rather than bore you with all the legalese, here is an edited of the letter we sent to the court:
The Kid has been in our home for six months, and our hearts have grown immeasurably since then, filled with love for her. She is a loving, compassionate, spunky and energetic little girl. Her spirit makes our little family feel complete.
Like any first time adoptive parents, we wondered if she would bond with us. Any doubt we had was quickly erased, as she fell asleep in Gladys’ arms on the day we met her. As we started visiting her in her foster home, she started recognizing us when we came to the door, eventually clamouring to leave with us as the duration of our visits grew longer and longer.
Since she’s been with us, we have been able to witness many of her firsts. Her first steps, her first birthday, her first trip to the beach and her first parent/teacher conference at daycare. We are close to hearing her first words too, as she loves to talk and sing but has not quite figured out how to do it on our language. Her personality is beginning to blossom and we are enjoying watching her bloom.
The Kid also turns to us without question when she needs her Mama or Papa. When she is excited, she looks to share her joy with us. When she is sad, she looks to us for comfort. When she is unsure, she looks to us for reassurance. We are her parents.
We are not saviors. We are not doing anything more special than people who have children naturally. We simply wanted to be parents and were unable to do so on our own. Adopting Abby is giving us the chance to understand the joys and heartaches of parenthood.