Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Yesterday morning we went to court to readopt Ephraim. This is a concept that has baffled me until this week. No one has really explained it to me in a way that made sense until I read a little paragraph in the book Raising Adopted Children by Lois Ruskai Melina. Let me break it down for you:
So we adopted Ephraim in Ethiopia. Our case went to court over there on December 16, 2009. That is the day we became his legal parents. The U.S. recognizes this adoption as valid. However, because it didn't go through the U.S. court system, the state courts can always challenge it. So you "readopt" or "finalize" your adoption in the U.S. once you've been home 6 months. During this hearing, the U.S. courts rule that you are the adoptive parents of your child. Done. Wham bam. Fin.
Anti climactic. That's how I would describe our hearing yesterday. It took about 5 minutes. The judge explained to us what being a parent entails (which is good because we didn't know :) ), we agreed to do it, he said, "his name shall be Ephraim Girum Feierbach" (because until yesterday his legal name was still Girum), and he informed us that he'll send in the forms to get us a U.S. birth certificate listing us as his parents (another perk of readopting). "Congratulations," he said with the first smile that had graced his face yet.
"Thank you," we said before getting up and walking out.
And that's it.
But our families were sweet enough to celebrate with us over dessert last night. Because after all, it is another big step done. And that feels good.