Well, it's official...legal and binding. Asher is ours. Our family has been in what is called a supervisory period for the past 7 months. Since placement, and when Asher was two days old, we were given physical charge over him. Or in other words, the adoption agency transferred physical custody of Asher to us, as his prospective adoptive parents. During that time, we assumed all legal and financial responsibility for his care, nurture, support, and protection...as if he had been born to us. However, during this supervisory period, the agency claimed legal custody and guardianship of our son. Which meant that at any time during the supervisory period, they had the right to take him away from us. Of course, I was never worried about that. We have always know that he was meant to be with us...that he has always been a part of our family. I have always felt that it was in Asher's best interest to be placed with us. We have done our best to ensure a loving home environment for him. We have cherished him, and cared for him, loved him, and delighted in him..as if he were ours...because he is ours. We have done, and still do, all in our power to see that he's happy, and comfortable, and safe. We had three supervisory visits subsequent to placement; and I'm fairly confident that our love for our son, as well as our capacity to meet his needs as his parents, must have been apparent to the case worker each time she visited our home. So even though I never feared that they might take him away from us, I still anxiously awaited the day that we would take him to court and have the judge declare him ours.
Our dreams were finally realized last Friday, as we entered district courtroom W49 of the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City. We were actually escorted through the courtroom, and directly into the judge's chambers , which made the whole experience a bit more personal and intimate. After our family members filed in and everyone got settled, John and I, as well as the social worker representing the adoption agency, were placed under oath. Our attorney, who is also a dear friend of ours, proceeded to ask a series of questions to both the social worker, and then to us. We were asked such questions as When were you married? Are you still married? When was Asher born? When was he placed in your care? and Are you both at least 10 years older than him? Then came time for us to sign the Consent and Agreement of Adopting Parents. And that's when the emotions set in...not just for us, as his parents, but for most everyone in attendance, including Jeri, our attorney. By signing this agreement, she said, you are stating that you are willing to take upon all rights and responsibilities of being a parent to Asher. YES! we said in unison. And this is what you want? YES! And you're desiring to do this of your own free will and choice? YES! And you understand that once you do this, he will be your own natural child, and will be treated as such? YES!
She then asked Ruby if she wanted Asher to be her brother, and thankfully Ruby nodded her head in the affirmative. I couldn't even believe how happy I felt when the judge granted the adoption (based on the documents and our testimony), and declared it final. It was one of the neatest, most tender moments of my life. And what's crazy, is that it's almost as if our little mister knew what was happening, and could sense the significance and importance of the day's events. He was just as happy as could be the entire day...so proud to be all dressed up in his little suit...smiley, and bouncy the entire time. And in true Asher form, he even threw up all over the judge's desk. It, of course, wouldn't have been official without his bonafide seal of approval.
with the honorable Judge Peuler, in her chambers
with Jeri, our attorney