Adoption day- so much joy mixed with recognition of the grief and loss that our son and his birth family experienced for this day to happen. Such an arrangement of emotions to hold and a deep reality that all can be felt all at once.
I think the best way to describe this day is explained through a letter that we wrote to the judge a few days before finalization and a letter I wrote to the world the day our son was adopted.
To the judge:
..There is such joy in bearing witness to a kid transitioning from
surviving to thrive. We want to acknowledge the resilience that he holds and the fact that we are not responsible for instilling that within him but simply giving him the safety, security and space for it to emerge. D is full of life and light and given the opportunity, it has shown so brightly. As finalization approaches, it feels surreal. Although nothing changes in our hearts, the fact that the court is recognizing it and establishing legal permanency is significant.
D’s desire to belong has always been evident and although he found a sense of belonging the minute he stepped into our home, the finality of the paper will make it real for him. He is one of the most relational kids we have ever met and being here to assist him in navigating what it means to find human connection, to have empathy, and to care, is one of the greatest gifts we have ever been given. Although challenges remain and we are constantly navigating them as a family, we have never felt more honored and privileged to be given a responsibility such as this. Thank you for trusting us to be a guiding voice and walk alongside him as he navigates the past and future joys and heartaches of life- he will never again have to do it alone.
His journey has been one of trial and tribulation and although that does not end with adoption, it does give opportunity for a sense of belonging, dignity, and hope that he so deserves. He has so gracefully walked through these difficulties on his own and emerged on the other side which is a testament to who he is. However, it gives us a little more room to breathe and fills our hearts knowing that he will now forever have a village of the family behind him. We will always be in his corner, freely advocating out of fierce love. Forever.
To the world:
A Letter from An Adoptive Mom-
364 days he’s been my son. But today, the courts recognize it.
They say it’s true.
There’s finality in that.
2,293 days of questioning when he will be moved, where he will go next, and what will be expected. Today, the questioning ends.
He is home.
To my partner- you have been my voice of reason while embracing my heart on this journey. Thank you for holding me, walking beside me, and loving me unconditionally every step of the way. I am the mom I want to be because our kids have you as a dad.
To our daughter- You have a brother, and you are better because of him. Biological or adopted, siblings are linked. Today, you are linked. Your bond is beautiful and healing.
To our village- Thank you. You’ve shared in our moments of joy, of challenges, of frustration, of laughter. You’ve remained steady.
Family is more than blood- it can be chosen. You are ours.
To his birth parents- Thank you for bringing an extraordinary person into the light.
To my son- light, and strength you have always carried within you. We have the honor of creating space for it to emerge, and we have the opportunity of allowing you to share it with the world. I hope you never question your right to take up space, your worth, and your belonging. Thank you for choosing us. You are one of life’s greatest gifts.
As D put it, today is just another ordinary day in so many ways. And yet, today is also a day that holds a lot of significance. A milestone in our family history. Another mark on this journey.
“Family isn’t defined by last names or by blood: it’s defined by commitment and love. It means showing up when they need it most. It means having each other’s backs. It means choosing to love each other even on those days when you struggle to like each other. It means never giving up on each other.”
All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.
He is a part of us.
Now and forever.
I love that I have a son. I honor and hold space for the sadness of what was lost for him to find us. What a beautiful and significant day that will forever hold all of these emotions at once.
We hold onto the joy and continue to recognize and remember the grief and loss. I don’t believe that adoption can be one without the other.