Court and Dedication
Not the greatest picture… but hopefully you can see the little tooth that has come in on the bottom. She doesn’t let us look at her teeth at all, so I can’t be picky when trying to get a picture 🙂 She has two teeth right now (top and bottom), but two more are coming!
It is taking me a little longer to keep things up to date on here… but I eventually get to it! Soon after I posted the last update, we went to court. This was the final step to making the adoption final. The birth parents would not be a part of this, they have already gone to court at the beginning. So, this was just to make it final on our end. We weren’t really sure what to expect and were a little nervous. Turns out, it was more of a celebration than anything else. We arrived at the court house downtown Grand Rapids, at about 2:15pm. We met our case worker by the courtroom that we were assigned to. When we entered the court room, the judge was not in the room, but one of the court workers was. She thought Marissa was so cute… she had to gather other court workers to come and meet her 🙂
We found out through our case worker that each judge gets one day a month that they get to finalize adoptions and it is a highlight of their month. When the judge, Kathleen Feeney arrived, she started by sharing many things about adoption and how beneficial it is. I wish I could remember everything she said, hopefully Tim remembers and I can fill in more here. One thing I do remember is that she shared a poem with us. She said that the poem is shared at every adoption finalization and has been for many years. I was brought to tears by this poem – I’m not going to share it all, but it ends with this:
- Not my planting,
But by heaven
My own child
I was blown away that even here they acknowledged that Marissa is a gift from Heaven above! Awesome! I was really emotional at this point. I felt (and continue to feel) so blessed that we have been allowed to raise Marissa. At the end, she invited us up into the judges area and she gave Marissa a stuffed bunny. Marissa smiled only once… when she got the bunny! Then as she declared it final, she asked me to bang the gavel.
After this, we all came down into the courtroom area where we were able to take pictures with Judge Kathleen Feeney and our case worker Corey Mettler from Bethany Grand Rapids Office.
One other thing I wanted to share that has happened in these past few months. Mother’s day was memorable in many ways. We were able to dedicate our Marissa to God, the one that has blessed us with her. It was a great morning. Dedication is an acknowledgement in front of everyone that we plan on raising Marissa to love God and serve Him. Marissa was mostly just fascinated with the lights on the stage. 🙂 It was great to have all our family there to celebrate mother’s day!