I can't tell you how many times I've prayed for this day. It's a lot. All week it has seemed like a dream knowing that it would finally be official and Isla would be ours forever. That morning I got up early, or rather, Isla got up early. We sat in front of the Christmas tree and looked in awe at it's glowing branches. I decided that this is my favorite Christmas of all. That afternoon we put on our Sunday best and headed over to the court house. I was a little nervous, never having been in court before, but Ben assured me that it would be better than any of the times he had been before.
We invited Cassie to come and witness the occasion, it only seemed fitting since it was her miraculous decision that made all of this possible in the first place. After all we've been through together it would have seemed strange to not have her there. Have I mentioned that we love her forever? Yeah, we do.
The court was running late that day and by the time it was our turn Isla was completely asleep and missed the whole thing.
Our lawyer headed to the stand and called us up to be seated before the court. We swore to tell the truth and nothing but the truth so help us God. And then our lawyer proceeded to examine the witness, who also happened to be our caseworker from LDSFS. He asked her if all our paperwork was complete and correct. Then he began to interrogate us with questions like, "Do you love this child as your own?" and "Will you care for and love this child for the whole of your lives?" and on and on until we were all a crying mess. The judge said that he had read our homestudy and subsequent reports and that they reflected well on us as parents and that they were very positive. Then he said those magical words we have been waiting months to hear and ruled that we are now the lawful parents of Isla Grace Garner. I wanted him to use the gavel at that point, but no such luck. ;-) He did agree to a picture though, and mentioned that his grandson was also adopted and that he had a special place in his heart for adoption.
Aunt Claire and Isla's sweet little cousin Olive came to see us become a family too.
I love this picture. Can you see any resemblance? Um, yes. We always knew this day was coming, but I think that Ben and I are both able to breath a little easier now that it's done. It didn't hit me until later that night when our heads finally hit our pillows and the events of the day settled in. Tears filled my eyes in the darkness and I struggled to express the gratitude I was feeling, though my heart was on fire. Sometimes, words just aren't enough.