Skip to main content

Another milestone reached and I'm grateful for the reminder

One of the hardest things about adopting, at least for me, was the visitation process.  I understand why it exists, especially with older kids. Everyone needs to time to adjust to the idea that they're about to become a family. But dropping The Kid off at her foster family's house after a visit was always a heart-wrenching experience for me.

Today marks one year since the day The Kid went home with us to stay.

365 days ago, we transitioned into a phase where we given the power of attorney to a child of the State of Michigan. We literally had papers we needed to carry with us everywhere to prove we could sign for her care.

It sounds so cold when I think of it in those terms, which is in stark contrast to the memories I have of that season. We picked her up that night from her foster family, tears were shed all the way around because it was a big transition for all of us. The next day Gladys came down with the flu, I battled a sinus infection and The Kid felt fine.

I remember feeling horrible physically, but being so excited because we were starting the next phase of our relationship with The Kid. I was also a little scared, partially because I was becoming Papa and that is a huge responsibility. But I was also scared because we had no rights when it came to The Kid during the next six months.

Our social worker came to visit every week for the first month, then every other week for the next few months and we wound down to once a month as our adoption date drew near. We were nervous for each one of those visits because everything could end on that visit. If one thing was out of line, we could lose the little girl we had fallen deeply, hopelessly in love with and have no legal recourse to get her back.

We were her parents in body, mind and soul. We were fully financially responsible for her. But when we wanted to take The Kid to Florida to meet Gladys' family, we had to ask permission to take our daughter with us. And each day we drew closer to our adoption day, our hearts became more attached and our fear that one miscue could delay or scuttle the legal recognition of our family weighed a little more heavily on our minds.

Obviously, our adoption was finalized and we are now happily a family. And I think that haunting feeling that our family could disappear from me so quickly helped me. Not a day goes by where I don't stop and watch my daughter, pausing to remember how grateful I am for my loving little family. I take that time because I know it could all be gone in a moment, and I am grateful I was given that reminder early in my adventures in fatherhood.

Popular posts from this blog

My fourth Father's Day

This Father's Day is a happy one while being a great day for personal reflection. The Kid could hardly contain her excitement waiting for me to wake up so she could give me her gifts. Church, lunch at the Original Buddy's Pizza and kayaking on Lake Muskoday made today happy.

I also can't help reflect on the past. Four years ago today, we were at Lincoln Hall of Justice, Family Division in front of Judge Christopher Dingell to finalize The Kid's adoption.

It was a strange day. Our adoption could have been over a few weeks before if we had opted to have Wayne County Courts mail us her new birth certificate, but we decided we wanted to hear it from the judge himself. What we assumed would be a joyous occasion wasn't, the Judge was annoyed we wasted his time and told his clerk as soon as he decreed our adoption final that he never wanted to do another hearing like that again.

Still, it was a joyous day. Adoption Day unintentionally fell on my grandmother's birthda…

The value of keeping an old-school journal

I started journaling a few years ago as a way to get some of the thoughts in my brain out in a less public way than a blog. I focused my journal on writing letters to my daughter about everything from my own childhood to her loving attempt to serve breakfast to our family this morning. The journal coincided with my decision to wind down the number of blog posts about her, mostly because she deserves to tell her own story when she wants to tell it and in the way she wants to tell it.

I also want to save the embarrassing stories for when she starts dating.

Lately, I have done a lousy job keeping up on my journal. Until a few nights ago, I had not updated it since mid-June. Life has been hectic, trying to balance a demanding job with an exacting MBA schedule, family, and my want for being involved in city politics. Putting off journaling has been easy, there is always something that seems more pressing on my plate.

Finally I made the decision to wait one more day before finishing a pape…

Year one with The Kid, the start of an amazing life as a family

One year ago, I was running to the Target in the Eastland Mall because we needed a camera fast.  I woke up that morning, realizing that we would always want to remember that day with better photos than we would get from our smartphones. I was on a conference call for work as I ran through the store, half paying attention because I needed to hurry back to pick up Gladys so we could get to Catholic Social Services of Wayne County in time for our meeting.

I didn't want to be late for our first chance to meet The Kid.

Gladys and I were both nervous. We had seen a few pictures during our last visit with our social worker, and we had the family history the agency was allowed to release to us, but we didn't know a thing about The Kid's personality. Was she shy or playful? Would she be scared or was she curious about her surroundings? Would she cry when she met us or would she warm up to us? Would she like us?

We agreed to try playing it cool when we met her. We wouldn't rush…

Ebates

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back