The journey continues…Jason had a Bulgarian passport and a U.S. Visa good for 1 year. So, the adoption needed to be finalized in the states. It takes about 3-6 months to get papers filed and the court date set after your child arrives home.
It was a beautiful sunny morning in Fort Worth, Texas when my parents and I walked into the family court with my son– wow “my son.” It was family court so the judge presided over divorces, adoptions and other family needs. He decided that he wanted to start his day off with something positive and so we were first on his docket.
At this point in my life, I had never been in court before (not even as a juror) so it was a bit weird. All of this seems surreal to me. I started this process in the spring of 1995 and it was now the fall of 1999 and here I was in court finalizing the adoption.
Then the judge called my name… my attorney, my parents, Jason and I walked to the front. (Thankfully no limp noodle from Jason- he was as mesmerized as I). The judge asked me to introduce myself and asked a few questions to make sure I understood the adoption process.
THEN the judge looked at me and said “Are you sure about this? You know that this is a lifetime journey?” My inside voice... “WAS I SURE???? Do you know what it took to get him here sir?” But my calm prevailing outside voice.. “yes sir, of course.”
I raised my hand and promised to take care of Jason.
The judge said it was his pleasure to sign the adoption decree and he hit his gavel. He welcomed Jason to America! The courtroom applauded and we took pictures with the judge. We could now get him an American passport.
When I look back on this day, it is still sometimes hard to believe. But as I have said many times– I hired the right adoption agency and the right attorney . Both the agency and the attorney take such personal pride in being a part of this journey.
U.S. citizenship here we come!
It was a beautiful sunny day here in Dallas as we headed to the immigration office. Ceremonies were held every other month- so you had to file the paperwork well in advance. I walked into the immigration office and there were kids everywhere! As I have mentioned before this was such a personal journey for me that I often sometimes felt like I was on an island with my family doing it alone. But time and time again, I was reminded that I was part of a bigger community and this would be one of those times. New families and new additions to families were being made here in this room! These people had been through a similar journey and I felt such a connection to them.
They sat us in alphabetical order by country— YES! Bulgaria was first and ironically he was the only one from Bulgaria. It was a beautiful day as we took the oath (of course I did on his behalf – he couldn’t speak English) and was given an American flag.
Although I knew and better yet.. felt it many months ago. It was now OFFICIAL in every way, he was legally my son and an American citizen.
Next.. it takes a village…