Some days are just really special. Some days have vivid images and feelings that stick to your soul and you know that they aren't going to go anywhere anytime soon. The day I got married was one of those days. The day I watched my son come into the world was another one. And then came the day I got to watch my best friend stand in the court of law and become the forever mother of her two foster children. There were no flowers or expensive dresses or doctors and nurses yelling "push push!" There wasn't even an audience. Just me and my camera.
The session was mostly just mundane paperwork, signatures, and agreements to transfer custodial care. My friend had to take an oath to promise to love and care for the children (she later told me that she felt like she was taking an oath of marriage and I kind of agreed) and there was a lot of sitting and standing at appropriate times. But the stick-to-your-soul part, that came after the court officials did their official duties and the stacks and stacks of paperwork had been signed and the adoption was technically completed. The judge took off her glasses and leaned forward.
"These papers don't make a family. The people who sit here before me are the ones that a family.
And what a beautiful family it is."
No truer words have ever been spoken. Family is so much more than genetics. Family is love. Family is people. Family is whatever and however family happens. And then everyone cried.
After the adoptionThe judge embraces the child's face and congratulates him on his forever family
First stepsThe new family leaves the courthouse and takes a walk outside