Once upon a time, six months ago, Matthew's contested adoption was settled. It seemed surreal and it's only on looking back that I realize how deep my denial ran, how difficult it was to believe that the battle was over. Being that everything on the California end was settled, we called our attorney here in Utah--the one who hadn't done much in the 13+ months that our case sat in the California court system--and asked him to start the ball rolling for our Utah adoption. We never could have dreamed that it would have rolled so quickly.
On our way home from the west coast we celebrated by taking the boys to Excalibur. We ate at the buffet for dinner, played games--both boys brought home a new stuffed animal--and we ate McDonald's for breakfast in our hotel room.
Of course, none of that held a candle to the air conditioning unit. At least where Matthew was concerned.
We went before a judge, in his chambers, and he asked us several questions. Will you love this child as your own? Yes. Do you understand that this child will receive full rights and be considered your heir? Yes. Will you strive to meet his each and every need? Yes. Are you 100% sure you want to adopt this child. More sure than you could ever, ever, begin to imagine.
And then the judge legally joined Matthew to our family.
Six months ago today we posed for this photo. Six months ago Garrett walked around beaming because he was no longer afraid of losing his brother. Six months ago, our little family celebrated at The Olive Garden. Six months ago, I was still in denial.
I'd spoken to our attorney in California. I'd asked him if it was finished. Was it really, truly, over or could something happen to make it not over? He told me that nearly every mom was like this. Nearly every mom held her breath. Nearly every mom had held so tight to the fight that when it was over she couldn't believe it. Nearly every mom swam around in the limbo of denial.
But as spring turned to summer I crept out. Slowly. A glimpse at my sons playing together would pull me a bit. A tired toddler climbing up onto my lap and whining, "Mama," would tug me further. Finally, I wasn't afraid. Finally, I felt the grip on my lungs release.
A month ago Matthew's birth certificate came in the mail.
A few weeks ago I received a message from Matthew's father. "My son got a beautiful mother...and I'm talkin about u."
A few nights ago Matthew fell asleep cuddled into me. He sighed and snuggled and I kissed his head. "Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, but still, miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, you didn't grow under my heart, but in it."
Six months ago.
It seems but a fleeting moment...