Our final adoption order was granted a few weeks ago. We are now ‘legally’ Lucy’s parents. It was a big day. We were happy.
Understandably there were more mixed feelings for Lucy. You could tell she was happy that there was a security and permanency attached to it all, but at the same time she was clearly upset that this seemingly closed a door to going back to her birth parents, or even seeing them again until she is much older.
Which just left one thing – our ‘Celebration Hearing’.
This was a chance for us to go to court with family / friends and have this decision confirmed. I must admit this whole thing initial felt rather odd to me. Maybe it’s because there are two sides to adoption. Clearly I was happy that we are now legally Lucy’s parents. But it also seemed odd to be ‘celebrating’ her not seeing her birth parents again until she’s an adult (if she so chooses). It’s the kind of thing people tend to forget when they say ‘she’s so lucky’. I’m not sure I’d see being removed from my birth parents and siblings and (in some instances) not seeing them again as lucky. It may be right, and the best thing for a particular child, but I don’t think I’d call it lucky. What brought me around to enjoying the day however was Lucy. She was excited about it. She was excited that we were getting to go and see a judge and that her grandparents and aunty were going to be there too. The fact that a larger family gathering was then going to take place later – our adoption party – where she would be the centre of attention also made her happy. She even helped bake and decorate the chocolate cake for it.
The ‘Celebration Hearing’ itself was short and sweet. We went before the three judges and they made a quick speech, gave Lucy a teddy to ‘adopt’ and then let us take some photos to remember the event. All very nice and relaxed. Got the feeling that this was a task the judges also enjoyed. They also gave us a certificate to say it was all now official.
I also made a version for the teddy she brought with her when she came to us, to recognise the fact that he had been adopted too.
So, that’s it. No going back.
All this also, of course, means an end to regular social worker involvement in our lives. This will actually be quite odd in some ways. After almost three years of involvement in our lives it has become all rather normal. We will still have some ongoing contact around ‘contact letters’ each year, but essentially that will be it.