This past Friday, January 24, 2014 was our court date for Caroline Faith's Mississippi "re-adoption"!
She is already legally our child, but this now allows her to get a Mississippi birth certificate, which will just make life a little easier for her along the way. And we will be able to change her name to Caroline Faith Letehiwot. Right now, her name is still officially Letehiwot and then Jody's full name. That's just how they always list it on their US visas after the Embassy appointment in Ethiopia before coming home. So really, the state re-adoption is not necessarily something that you have to do, but something we wanted to do for her.
We wanted her to officially be our child completely under our state law, and (after a very long morning in court) she finally is!!!
Jody and I had decided to bring the three older kids with us to court too since they had not been a part of anything in Ethiopia. It was a big day for our family, and we wanted all of us to be together. Great idea in theory, and I have no regrets, but I must admit...it was a little crazy that morning! I had no idea that just because you have a 9:30 am court date, that doesn't at all mean that you will see the judge at 9:30! :) Honestly, you would think I would have learned this from our court experience in Ethiopia!!!
I have realized that sometimes I live in my own world where I think things like this..."surely we will be first on the docket since we are just a simple re-adoption case, and we have 4 small children with us!" Ummm...nope! I need to clue in to how the real world operates, and I should have been more prepared! Oh well, you live and learn! :)
I had not brought anything in with me to court except our camera to take a picture with the judge. You can't have bags or cell phones or anything like that in the court room or back in the judges chambers. But in hindsight, I wish I had brought something in with us to the "waiting area" outside the courtroom because that is where the kids and I spent most of the morning. Big mistake on my part! And Jody had gone back with our friend and lawyer, Craig, to wait on the judge to call for us.
So, this is a little glimpse of my morning in court trying to keep 4 kiddos quiet! See for yourself how that went...
This little cute pink firecracker did not sit still (or stay quiet!) for 2 seconds! But look how CUTE she looked running around that chancery court building!!! Haha!
Needless to say, after 2 hours of this, I was worn out and on my last leg! Thankfully, a kind soul in the waiting area gave us some quarters for the vending machine to get a bottle of water and a few snacks for the kids! He seriously saved the day! I think they were all about to break down! Me included!
Finally around 11:30 or so, they finally called us back to see the judge! And after us raising our hands and taking the oath to tell the truth, she began to ask us all sorts of questions about our adoption process and Caroline Faith. She even asked the older kids a few questions too! :) But it went great, and after about 15-20 minutes, she signed the papers! And we started taking pictures! :)
Our family with the judge! Caroline Faith is now fully and officially ours under state law! Praise God!!!
And here we are with our dear friend and lawyer, Craig Robertson! He was so great in court for us...so kind and professional! We are so thankful that he represented our family so well! It meant so much to us!!!
And a little more running around, of course! :)
Daddy and his big girls!
Whew! What a morning! We left that courtroom and went to get some lunch before taking the kids to school! SO THANKFUL that our re-adoption is done! It was definitely a memorable morning in court! :)
"The Lord has today declared you to be His people, a treasured possession, as He promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments."