Will you raise a glass with me tonight?
Today I was at the adoption of two little girls, there to give it my blessing. My blessing is largely a formality by the day of the hearing, but a great job to have none the less. Every adoption is special, and its a privilege to have a front row seat. At this adoption, though, I was not only honored to tell the court I supported the adoption, I was proud.
Today quite simply would not have happened without my colleagues and I. It was a hard fought adoption, two years of slogging through a bureaucratic maze that often elevated form over substance and defended incomprehensible delays. I held that file in my hand for the last time today and thought about the hundreds of phone calls, the tense meetings, the Motions to Compel. I thought of all the days I fought not to raise my voice as I listened to yet another excuse, and the days that I lost that battle. I thought of all the court hearings I left wishing for an aspirin, but instead sitting down to explain to a bewildered adoptive mother why we still didn't have an adoption date and what I was going to do next. Two years.
Today, it was all smiles and high fives. Tears from the grandmother, now the mother of the girls she's raised since birth. The 13 year old telling the Judge that, yes, she wanted the woman who has always been her Mom, to be Mom. The 5 year old hiding her face in the stuffed giraffe I gave her and then peeking around it to see the Judge declare they were now mother and daughter. High fives with my colleague and the case manager.
And as I held that file for the last time, I thought about all of that and it was worth every headache, every minute. Every bit of it. We couldn't make it work like it was supposed to, but in the end we made it work. So tonight we raise a glass to the new family of three.