When our children came home and their precious little feet hit U.S. soil, they automatically became U.S. citizens and received their Certificates of Citizenship.
But authorities also recommend that you readopt your children in your state. This is a legal proceeding that solidifies the adoption further, and gives them a Certificate of Foreign Birth, which is the equivalent of a birth certificate. This is a document they will obviously need throughout their lives.
We finally met with our attorney and scheduled a date for Charlie's readoption. It took place on Friday!
The kids marched up the courthouse stairs in anticipation of our court hearing at 9 a.m. sharp. We were there a half-hour early for safe measure. We were joined by Grandpa Murphy and Miss Suzanne along with Aunt Sheila (Charlie's Godmother) and cousin Murphy.
Though Charlie knew the whole ordeal was about him, I think he really didn't grasp what was happening, and the "unknown" made him a bit uncomfortable. He was pretty squirmy.
Judge Barkdull was great. You could tell he was a kind family man. He took an instant liking to big sister, Madi. The judge questioned Jimmy and I both, under oath, about our intentions for Charlie and our desire to adopt him officially.
Then he asked Madi to raise her right hand, which she did. Judge Barkdull asked her questions like, "Do you promise to be a good big sister?" and "Do you understand that your little brother might frustrate you at times?" Jimmy and I chuckled knowing that Madi's already well aware of that fact!
Madi, of course, responded favorably to every question and promised to teach Charlie and to be patient with him, too. Madi's facial expression was classic. It's a certain look that Jimmy and I see on occasion, and it's a perfect blend of pure joy and feeling really special.
Then, Judge Barkdull asked Madi if she wanted to go sit in his chair! What an honor and a treat! Our daughter had the most priceless smile on her face. We took some pictures of her, and then took some group shots with Judge Barkdull and our attorney, Weston.
We were done with the whole proceeding in about fifteen minutes, and most of it was just plain fun. We were thankful for a terrific and memorable experience, and now we have all the necessary paperwork we need to enroll Charlie in preschool this Fall.
One BIG thing to cross off that list:)