Thursday, October 8, 2009

GOTCHA DAY PICTURES

This past Monday, October 5th, we had the great blessing of welcoming Michael Reid into our "forever" family on GOTCHA DAY!  For those not involved with adoption, "Gotcha Day" is the term a lot of people use to describe the court hearing which finalizes a child's adoption - this hearing allows you to legally change their birth name, have a new birth certificate issued, etc.  It's a HUGE day... and one that we never want to forget.  

Our finalization hearing was scheduled at the Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio, so we headed down that direction on Sunday.  We got there just in time to meet Rex, Jen, Maddox and Lincoln for a little "adventure" along the riverwalk... 

Here we all are... it was just a little hot and humid down in San Antonio =)

Despite the heat, we had one happy boy!

Here's a pic of our hotel... definitely not the nicest in the world, but it was right across the street from the courthouse which was good on two fronts: 1) we didn't have to worry about extremely hard-to-find parking downtown, and 2) we had to be in court at 7:45am, so we wanted to be as close as possible!

The Bexar County Courthouse

Here's our little family of 3 walking in to the courthouse... it was so early that the sun wasn't even fully up yet...=)

Here we are meeting up with our attorney, Melissa Hines...

We were very blessed that both sets of our parents got to join us for Reid's Gotcha Day - what great memories!

While we were waiting for our court hearing we were just taking pictures =)

Me and the little man of the hour...


Love these two with all my heart...

This was even an early morning for Reider...sleepy boy...


Here we go!


There were four other adoption hearings that morning that we got to sit through...we were fourth to go out of 5... All of the other families used our same attorneys - two others from TX, one from California, and the last family from New York.  I think we started crying at the start of the very first hearing and didn't stop for most of the morning.  Such a special time for each family!  It's amazing the bond that adoption gives you with people that you have just met.  Even the judge was teary eyed through the hearings... he said the adoption hearings were the best part of his day.  After they are over, his cases go increasingly down hill with child abuse, custody battles, etc.  I can't even imagine doing his job... he truly was wonderful.

The start of Michael Reid's finalization...

...and the tears were flowing...



The judge signing Reid's official adoption decree!


He was so great and asked if we wanted to take pictures in his chair...uhhh, yes please! =)

Tear-stained faces from many happy tears...our first "official" family picture...

Talking with Reider...

Leaving the courtroom

Listening to our attorney explain one last (and final) round of paperwork...yay!!!

...sleepy boy...

...finally got his second wind!

With Michael Reid's adoption decree!

Telling our attorney goodbye and a HUGE THANK YOU... We seriously had the most amazing attorney's...our entire adoption process could not have gone more smoothly!  If anyone is looking for a referral, please let me know...I am more than happy to pass along their info.

Our clan in front of the courthouse...

Our "official" family of three!


Our road to (and through) Michael Reid's adoption has seemed incredibly long...  Anyone who has been through the adoption process will testify to the emotional ups and downs...the "unknowns" that keep you up at night... the scary thoughts that go through your head...  But every last part of the process has been so worth it.  Looking back now - almost a year to the day that we began our entire process - our adoption has seemed to FLY by... all of those little details that we worried so much about, worked out more perfectly than we could have ever imagined.  God is so good!  And we feel so blessed by a Creator who is passionate about every little detail of our lives - who loves us unconditionally.  After all, we were adopted into His family through Jesus Christ.  What a perfect example He has laid out before us - a perfect example of infinite, unselfish love.  We know that we are truly blessed!   Our little family has now grown to three with the most amazing baby boy (if I do say so myself)!  Your Mom and Dad love you so very much, Michael Reid!  We look so forward to our lives ahead...  and to the GOTCHA DAY PAR-TAY this Saturday!  (I will be posting pics, of course!)

Be sure to stay tuned... I will continue updating the blog with stories of Reider each week as he grows... but I have a sneaky feeling that adoption #2 will be making an appearance on here as well...eventually. (Hopefully sooner than later!)


8 comments:

Becky said...

SO incredibly happy for you three! Shelby and I read your post and looked at the pics and cried the whole way through...we have a bond with you, even though we've never officially met! We cannot wait for Georgia's Gotcha Day...I have a feeling it will be here before we know it!

Joanne said...

The pictures are amazing and so special. What an incredible day! Yall are so blessed and I'm so happy for yall. Yall have the cutest boy ever!

Jaime said...

So amazing, holly! That made me tear up. What a special, special day. You are all very blessed!

Sally said...

oh wow....what a special day, and such a long road ya'll have been on. CONGRATS!!! So happy for ya'll, god is so good!!

Tara James said...

Holly and Ben,
Truly my eyes are spilling with tears as I look at your pictures. He and you are both so lucky and blessed to have one another. I am so grateful for this incredible process that allows these amazing little creatures to find families like you... may our Lord continue to keep you in His arms and carry you down His path. Much love.

Lauren said...

I'm teary eyed in the library reading your post! We're mailing in our application for adoption this week and the road seems SOOOOO long! It's been awesome to watch your process. It gives me hope! I"m so happy for you guys! Congratulations! And good luck with #2-... :)

Tiffany said...

I cried my eyes out reading this! I am so happy for you three! Reid is SO precious!!! :) God is so good!

David and Bethany said...

Goodness! I am crying again as I reread your finalization day post! I wanted to look back on your pictures and read what you had written since I am so excited about Isaac's finalization next Monday!