Tuesday, June 25, 2013

and it is FINAL!

at 3pm June 24, 2013 (yesterday) we met our lawyer, stepped into this little courtroom and waited for the judge to rule the finalization of Nyla's adoption.

the questions started off easy, are you Jessica Penick? yes. Is (this) your current address? yes. Is this your signature on this form? yes. Then the questions got a little less straight forward. Were you convinced or coerced in any way to adopt this child? no. do you realize that after today, nyla will be your legal daughter and any costs associated with her, including medical fees, will be your responsibility? absolutely.

after a few more questions the judge looked at Micah who was sitting on Curtis' lap and said, "You must be the big brother. What is your name?" to which micah nervously and shyly started biting on his fingers. We responded for the court record, "this is Micah David Penick." The judge then asked, "Micah, how do you like being a big brother?" It was at that moment that micah smiled, turned to Nyla and said, "I love Nyla!" It was the perfect response to what each of us was thinking and feeling. She is our daughter and has been since the moment we heard she was ours on December 19, 2012, three days after she was born.

After the judge was through with his questioning, our lawyer asked us a list of questions, mostly yes or no, for the record. It was an interesting, but also a surprisingly short hearing for how monumental it felt for us.

At the very end he pronounced that Nyla Grace Penick's adoption was officially final. She would be given a social security number (instead of an adoption ID number) and her original birth certificate would be sealed and she will be issued a new birth certificate that has our names on it under mother and father. How amazing is that. On paper (and in our hearts) it's as though she was biologically born to us. so awesome!

We then took photos with the judge, which you can see above. Our lawyer took the shots as Curtis made a passing joke about her photography fees costing $750 like her services did.

Then we left with our friends who came to support & celebrate with us and headed out in the blazing heat to celebrate with ice cream.  then we said our goodbyes and headed back to Cleveland to start our new post-finalization life together.

And that my friends is the end of Nyla's adoption story. She is no longer our adopted daughter. She was adopted. Now she's just our daughter.

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