Last week did not go at all like I had planned and I’m so glad! Every two months I have 2-3 super busy deadline weeks at work (then 5-6 normal weeks). Knowing last week would be one of those slammin’ busy weeks, I scheduled all my daily blog posts in advance. I like to plan ahead so things operate smoothly. Ahem…
Mid-Monday morning our attorney called with the news we’d been waiting to hear since January. We were finally on the docket for Precious’ adoption finalization—ON TUESDAY! Less than 24 hours notice meant a barrage of texts, emails and phone calls to notify my boss, my co-workers, our family and friends, Jason. Not in that order. I tried Jason first but he was in the air on his way home from Canada. I had planned on having a big adoption party/open house the day of the adoption but it was just too short of notice. I had planned to hire a photographer to go with us to the courthouse but there wasn’t enough time…or so I thought. My awesome photographer friend Beth Rose and her husband Josh were able to pull some strings so that she could be there with us to document the big day.
Monday I was an emotional wreck as I tried to pack in a 12-hour work day to make up for missing work Tuesday. When I finally shut off the computer at 11:00pm, I started to really mentally prepare for adoption day. I wrote Precious a letter. I wrote out the lyrics to a song that was so important to me early on in her time with us. I wrote her a card to go with her adoption day gift. I tucked a $20 bill in the card that had been a meaningful token of God’s provision for us through her adoption. We found it in the parking lot of the courthouse the day we got custody and found out we’d have to come up with money for a private adoption—I no longer need it. I cried as I reflected on this wonderful, miraculous journey. The tears were a release of the last little bits of fear that I had been suppressing, fears that something would go wrong and our adoption wouldn’t get finalized. We had finally arrived!
The actual adoption was a blur. We arrived at the courthouse at 9am Monday morning—Jason, me, my parents, his mom, our friends Leila and Jeremy, their boy Jaron. Waiting for us there was our photographer Beth Rose with her daughter, our sister-in-law Ginger, our niece Eliza, and our attorney Jennifer. We were the second hearing on the docket.
I don’t know the exact time but somewhere around 9:30 or 9:45 we went in and the whole thing was over in about 15 minutes. The judge was all smiles and eager to give all the babies Tootsie Roll pops as soon as it was over. He wanted everyone to come up for pictures afterward. It went by so quickly—like my wedding—I hardly remember anything that was said! I’m so thankful that Beth Rose took photos for us so we can look back on this day for years and show Precious as we tell her about it. Speaking of “Precious,” I think it’s time that I tell you her REAL NAME.
I’m so pleased to introduce:
Miss Alianna (“Ali”) Mae Ahlbrandt!
Here’s a portion of the letter I wrote to her on the night before her adoption:
My dear, sweet, beautiful daughter,
It’s almost midnight on August 6, 2012, the night before your adoption day. Tomorrow, our relationship is made permanent. When the gavel hits the block, that’s it: we’re forever mother and daughter. Finally! What a journey this has been! I would do it all over again. You are absolutely worth every tear, every fight, every phone call, every form we’ve filled out, every hour of classes we’ve attended, every home visit, every medical check, every hoop we’ve had to jump through—you are worth more than all of it. My precious, amazing child…Happy Adoption Day!