He is Ours! | Our Adoption Story: Part 8

Ok… I finally have a few moments and thought I would write about yesterday. But to really explain it you have to have a little background info. So here goes (I know it is long, but I promise it’s good)…

In the great state of Utah, a birthmom can sign away her parental rights as early as 24 hours after delivery. This varies some from state to state. In Missouri (where we also spent some time living), the birthmom had to wait 5-7 days. As soon as the birth mom signs over her rights, there is no going back. I can only think of two reasons when this wouldn’t be the truth and they are as follows:

  1. You are seriously one of the unfortunate ones who have a bizarre adoption situation where the birth parents would still have rights for some unknown reason. (I’m not saying it can’t or doesn’t happen, only that it is VERY uncommon.) OR…
  2. You have adopted a baby that is part Native American. In this case, if the Tribe find outs and claims “Tribal Law” (which usurps Federal US law) they can, in fact, take the baby away from you and raise it (I won’t even offer an opinion on this one).

So our birthmom signed off her rights after 30 hours. To be technical, birthmom’s actually sign over their rights over to the agency (in our case Heart to Heart) who then makes us “co-guardians” yet custodians of the child. Make sense? Why you ask?

In Utah (and I would assume this is similar in all states), there is a law that requires that the adoptive child be in the home for six months before finalizing/legalizing the adoption. During this time period, there are three in-home visits by a social worker/counselor who verifies that the baby is thriving, the family is bonding, no abuse is taking place, and that the baby is being seen by a doctor, etc.

After six months, you can legalize/finalize the adoption. This means going to court and in front of a judge declare your intention to adopt the child. You need to have an attorney, the above-mentioned social worker will also be there, and you of course have to be sworn in. This hearing is also when you can change the child’s name officially and legally to your last name, or if you have chosen a different given name than the birth mom put on the birth certificate (remember… often she legally names the baby before signing over her rights). I have to be honest as it was my first time in court… it felt a little like being on “Judge Judy” or something, without the drama! LOL

So yesterday was our BIG day. It was the day that we got to take the little dude to court and legally make him ours forever! It was so awesome! We are good parents and have a good home, but to finally know that nobody could be looking for reasons to possibly take him away… it just feels great!

A photo of the whole family at the courthouse.

So let me tell you how it went:

We all arrived very early in the morning, they swear us in, the case worker testifies that we are good people and that the little guy is loved, etc. Then the attorney proceeds to question my hubby in front of the Judge. It goes something like this:

Counsel: Do you want to adopt the child?
Hubby: Absolutely

Counsel: Do you realize the child will be just like your other biological children?
Hubby: Yes

Counsel: Do you realize that the child will inherit?
Hubby: Of course

Counsel: Do you realize you can’t give him back? Even when he is 16 and wrecks the car?
Hubby: Yes (laughs)

Counsel: Do you realize if you were to divorce Mindy you would still be responsible to take care of the child?
Hubby: Yes

Counsel: Describe your relationship with the child.
Hubby: Very significant (smiles)

And so on….BUT then comes THE QUESTION:

Counsel: Why do you want to adopt this child?
Hubby: (Normally pretty tough… starts to tear up and gets emotional) “Because I love him”.

So you can all imagine that if I was doing well before this, now I am a complete mess… I’m getting teary, blinking a lot, trying to bite my lip, praying my nose doesn’t run all over my face, scoping for tissues, etc… anything to keep from losing it completely. Because now it’s my turn for questions…

I get a lot of the same questions from the counsel. But then comes THE QUESTION again.

Counsel: Why do you want to adopt this child?

Now in my defense, I think at this point I was so befuddled I wasn’t thinking right. I was so worried about losing it that I didn’t give the answer I wanted. All I said was…

Me: Because we love him.

Which is ok I guess. But really—come on–I could have done SO MUCH BETTER THAN THAT! I mean, I didn’t even use the singular possessive form and say, “I love him”. I said, “We love him”. And it was kind of a cop-out anyway since my hubby had just said the same thing. I had so many things in my heart at that moment and all I could think to say is that? SO LAME!!!

So I am here to declare, in my very public blog, to all my readers what I should have said! Because this, this, THIS is what I was thinking and feeling at that moment.

Why do I want to adopt him? Why wouldn’t I want to adopt him? He is perfection. Even before I knew him I loved the very thought of him. I wanted him, I prayed for him, I hoped for him. And THEN, I met him. I watched him gain life. I cut the cord that attached him to his birth mother. Almost like a physical representation of what was to come… one mother receiving a child from another mother. And yet not–because in that moment we were one. We both wanted him, we both love him, and we both wish for him to have the best life possible. And I realized that this child was so special he got TWO moms that loved him. And in that moment my feelings for him grew even stronger.

And now I watch him grow. I feed him. I take care of him. When he cries, I respond. I know his smells, his voice, his wants, his needs, his smiles. And he rewards me every day. He rewards me with giant slobbery kisses, his big browns (eyes) staring at me memorizing my face, with his hand reaching up to touch my cheek. He is the complete and perfect sum of everything I couldn’t give him genetically. From his beautiful soft skin, his arched eyebrows from his birth mom, his kissable lips, to his giant big brown eyes. He is perfection.

And so when you ask me why I want to adopt him I respond with, how could I not? He is now part of me. A little person that has somehow managed to leave me completely enamored with him. I could no more give him up then go without air at this point. I would protect him with my life.

Sure, I’m human. Sometimes there are long, exhausting days full of poopy diapers, tears, bottles, and sleepless nights. But then in quiet moments I look at him and wonder how I ever lived without him. I wonder what kind of brother, husband and father he will be. I look at him and wonder what my grandchildren will look like. And in those moments I know–he is already mine. In the grand scheme of life—I wouldn’t change a thing. He is my son, my heart, my future.

So the very short answer to this question is, I love him. But that doesn’t really say it all does it?

To read more, click Our Adoption Story: Part 9

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  1. Hi Mindy and the entire CGH family!
    I live in India and although I’ve been following you for over a year, I only JUST came to your website and read your adoption story and it makes me SO happy! I’m 17 and I know that I will adopt in the future. Adoption isn’t a very warm topic in India. I often speak to people about adopting and all of them (including my parents) have frowned on it and do not believe the need for adoption ‘if you can have more of your own’ and ‘you will never love them like your own kids.’ :'(
    It’s so disheartening to hear this! I just cannot emphasize on how much hope and courage your family gives my for my future! It gives my hope that one day I will find a man and have children who will be my side no matter what! You have no idea how much you have touched me! xx

  2. You are my hero!!! you are so amazing thank you so much for sharing this I loved you before but now I love you MUCH more!!!! we need more people like you!! <3 <3

  3. Sorry its going up fast. God bless you and greetings from switzerland. 🙂
    Miriam 35 years. Old. Then years married, 7 kids ( sometimes more). And happy that god has Patience with me.

    Sorry for my englisch,

  4. Sorry its going up fast. God bless you and greetings from switzerland. 🙂
    Miriam 35 years. Old. Then years married, 7 kids ( sometimes more). And happy that god has Patience with me.

    Sorry for my englisch,

  5. Hello nice Family,
    I was searching hair style, so i find you, and your nice Girls, and i was wondering ( more than 2) 🙂 and i See your home and than i read your Story and i was happy because i feel that is Not ” normal”. God bless you.
    We have 3 biollogically Kids , and wie have now 4 Others Kids that growing up with us in ouer home. I now what you mean When you say. Its Feeling right or the Story was prepared in god hands. I dreamt that wie become two Little Babys for the door. So i ‘m hoping and waiting and i be wondering to See what God has prepared .
    Thank you for Sharing your emotions.
    I wish you a Open mind and hearts and a Lot of Patience and Love, with yourself

  6. I found you on youtube after checking out hair dos for my daughter.. We have 3 children but long for more, I wish adoption was so easy in Australia!! I cried when you wrote your husband said he loved your little boy.. you are so blessed x

  7. Dear Mindy,

    I came across your website thru pinterest. I was really impressed with the girls hairstyles, and thought it to be a great resource.
    I saw the post about your adoption story and couldn’t stop reading. What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing, it made my day to see how such a hard situation for all involved became so right and happy. It’s amazing what an open mind and heart finds.
    I wish you and your family all the best 🙂

  8. I am very moved by your story. I know that this was written in 2009, but I wanted to make a quick comment in regards to something that you wrote about when a birth mother in Missouri can sign over her rights. You stated that in Missouri a birth mother can’t sign over her rights for 5 to 7 days. This is incorrect. Per Missouri Revised Statute 453.030(5), a birth mother can sign over her rights when the child is 48 hours old not sooner than that. I live in Missouri and work in the Courts and handle adoption proceedings. I just didn’t want someone reading your blog to become discouraged with Missouri about when a birth mother can sign over her rights. However until a Judge accepts and approves that consent, the birth mother can recind it. But once the consent is approved and signed by the Judge, the birth mother cannot recind the consent.

    Also I to have had the Mirena and have been unsuccessful in concieving a second time around. My first child was concieved with the help of clomid and it took 3 years. She was born in April 2008 and I had the Mirena put in, in June 2008. When I had the Mirena removed, August 2009, it lacerated my uterus lining. I am beginning to wonder if that is the problem in being unable to concieve this second time. I have taken the clomid again for a couple of months with no luck. I am having regular cycles though. I would love to hear your thoughts regarding this. I do have to say that I have an amazing OB and he is willing to do anything that ask or just answer all of my questions. He wanted me to try to concieve without Clomid, and my husband and I did try for about a year and then I called my OB and asked for the Clomid. Thanks. Karen

  9. I know exactly how that is to have a child that is so biologically distant from you become a part of you! I’m 15, and I’ve been bugging my parents to get a Tender Touch baby since I was 12. Tender Touch Haven is a Mennonite run foster care program, that keeps babies born in certain prisons in MO until the birth mom is ready for them. It is not state run at all, so the birth mom has a lot of say in what happens. We finally placed for one almost 2 years ago. We had to wait about 9 months before we got to the front of the line, and then we were joined up with a mother that had only 3 weeks left from her due date until she could get out of jail. Not many people want that short of a term, but we decided to take it since it was our first time, and we could ‘try it out’. Well, long story short, we had him a lot longer than 3 weeks!!! When he was about 3 weeks old, we found out that he was actually biracial. What an interesting twist, after we thought he was white.lol When he was 10 1/2 months old the birth mom said she was ready for him. That was SO hard to give him up, but we managed to do it. Soon he felt like a distant memory, as the birth mom did not contact us, and we couldn’t contact her. 2 months later, we finally got a phone call from her, and she wanted us to take care of him again for a while. He is almost 14 months old now, and he is just one of the family. He acts exactly like me, even though he doesn’t look anything like me. Before we got him, my mom though that adopted children could never be as special as biological children. (I thought there would be no difference.) She had to agree that I was right. My mom is 61, and my dad is 62, so if this little guy turns up for adoption, it will probably mean that I will be mostly responsible for him, but that’s fine with me! When we first got him we thought that adoption would be out of the question, but now, if he would come up for adoption, we couldn’t let him go, he belongs here!

  10. hi, im 17 (graduating senior and your story touched me) okay, maybe i should back up a little :). i was looking for a hair style to do for school 2morro for me and for my daughter (she’ll be 2 in july) and i found your video on youtube and being the curious cat that i am i cam to your website and ended up reading your adoption story.i am pregnant with my second child and my husband is very happy, but i was considering adoption (im only 17! two kids??!!)i was all ready for it, until we went to the ultrasound. this child will be a full blood relative to his/her older sister (we don’t know the sex yet) and when you mentioned features i began to think about that. i have always wanted to adopt a child and i have had second thought abput him/her being a different color or people saying remarks about my child because he/she is different.this gives me inspiration that i will adopt a child. i have a dream to have a daycare center in my home where my children can meet other children. me and my hubby have talked about adoption but he had similar concerns about the child being different. we decided we diddn’t care what other people say “‘cus you’ll spoil ’em no matter what they look like” he said to me. i said no, “i’ll love them no matter what they look like” i still haven’t decided on a hairstyle and i should be getting to bed but i just wanted to leave a comment first. i have to go now, little one is trying to drink her bath water. if you have any time email me at [email protected]. (btw your son is adorable 🙂 my daughter is a light caramel color so i can’t call her chocolate but im hoping this baby has a nice chocolate color like he does. )

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