And this year, we did the best thing I could really imagine doing on Valentine's Day; we went to a close friends adoption finalization hearing for her little cutie! It was at the same court house Georgia's was at just over two years ago. G was really excited to go--really excited. We read her adoption day photo book the night before and talked about how cool it is for a family to get to have their adoption day and how special it is to be able to go and celebrate with them......especially for us........because we know exactly what it feels like.
Georgia had convinced herself that the judge was going to be putting on quite a show. She wanted to know what his costume would look like, what he would sing, and who his favorite princess was. I couldn't tell her how sorely disappointed she would end up being.
We made our way downtown......a little early......Georgia was just too excited to stay at home any longer. We hung out at the same big windows that overlook the street below as we did on her adoption day.
Here's a picture of Georgia and I at the same windows on her adoption day in December 2009. Ironically......I wore those same four inch heels yesterday--maybe not the wisest choice to go tromping through downtown on a rainy day while trying to hold onto an almost three year old who can't stop running away to exclaim to everyone at the court-house, "I'm adopted too......and so is baby Will!"
And all that excitement that she just couldn't keep bottled up inside made me so happy. I love to hear her talk with genuine excitement about her adoption as she's getting older and able to verbalize important details about her life, "I'm adopted, I love my mommy, my daddy is the best, I think Jesus really loves me, Fiona is my best friend."
She kept asking me questions like, "Did the judge talk to me when we were here for my adoption day?, Were we in this same building?, Was Pop Pop here?, Did Enna let me chew gum on my adoption day? (eerily--I think she did--I think she let her taste some), Did we sing songs at my adoption day?" And I could have answered those questions all day. Because she was reveling in the landmark that represents her adoption day. It's starting to mean something to her. She knows that building holds significance. Something big happened here, in this court house, back in 2009.
Landmarks are important. To everyone. Even little kids. And I don't know that we always acknowledge them for our kids. We tend to believe that until about the age of ten or maybe even older they're just floating along through life as we control the strings on them like puppets--but they remember. They need to remember. Landmarks are part of what makes them who they are and the identity they'll start to shape for themselves. This court house is a landmark for Georgia and I believe she really gets it as of yesterday. She wanted to hear everything about it in relationship to her own adoption day. She wanted to hear me be just as excited about it as she was getting.
There will be a lot more landmarks for her. Both figuratively and literally. I want to help her honor them and appreciate them. I think it's my job to help her cherish where she's come from and know how it makes her Georgia.
Georgia loves this little girl--baby Will's big sister--and she made sure to ask her to show her all around the courtroom. That's the cool thing about an adoption finalization ceremony--it's so loose. You can walk all over, talk, laugh, applaud, cry......it's the best! If you ever get the chance to go to one--don't miss it! The judges are so happy; a break from the usual heart-break they deal with in family court and the chance to officially make someone a family.
This takes "please approach the bench" to a whole new level. Somehow I don't think they mean, "climb all over it." But hey.............
Here's us back in 2009 in pretty much this same spot...........
Two little adopted cuties! I love this picture (and not just because Georgia is actually looking right at the camera for once!).
We headed to Will's adoption day party afterwards.......the best kind of Valentine's Day party there is!
And Georgia camped out here when she wasn't running around with all the other little girls......she wanted to keep an eye on the cake.
And once we got home we opened our own Valentine's Day presents. She's recently fallen in love with Disney princesses of all varieties--Snow White ranks high so I found this great little apron dress on Etsy.
And no joke, she said, "I got a book for ladies and daddy got a book for men."
Hope you had a great Valentine's Day as well! And I challenge you to figure out what the important landmarks in the lives of your own kids are. Take them there, talk about them, celebrate them.