Sunday, July 8, 2007

Readoption in the U.S.

Since CrazyMom and I did not travel to Ethiopia before we brought our new kids home, they entered the country on an IR4 visa. Adoptive parents then have to readopt their kids in the U.S. Last week we had our readoption day.

That morning, I was trying to convey to K.D. why the whole family was getting all dressed up and ready to go. While our kids' English skills continue to improve rapidly, the legal process of readoption is a tough thing to convey. After a fair amount of explaining, K.D. was finally getting the idea that we had to go do something since he would be staying with us here in America. He seemed to think this was a good idea because he liked America.

"I like America . . . because . . . in Ethiopia . . . no toys."

Hmmm. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but I could see that he was not done. More words were forming.

"In Ethiopia . . . house short. I like house America."

OK. So we have toys and big houses in America. But what about me, CrazyMom and all of these great new siblings? Wait - more is coming.

"In Ethiopia . . . no cars," he said, by which I assume he meant his family did not have a car and he really likes cars.

I let go of my expectation that this was going to be a phenomenal bonding moment for us and decided to simply enjoy the few peaceful moments we had together as he finished getting dressed.

As we drove downtown, K.D. kept pointing out all of the "castles". After a bad parking experience, a security check, and a high speed elevator ride to the twenty-something floor, the eight of us finally arrived in front of the right desk in the right castle. We were ushered to a "courtroom" to wait alone for the magistrate to come and hear our case. The room was just a little bigger than a living room with a high ceiling, an official looking, albeit small, judges bench at one end, two tables with two chairs each in the middle, and about eight chairs along the back row. The highlight for the kids was looking out over the city from the windows.

When the magistrate started the hearing, he was upfront about what we were doing.

"Since this is a foreign adoption, no matter what the decision is of this court today, these children are still your responsibility until they are 18. Today what we will be doing is producing a piece of paper that a lot of people like to read."

This comment endeared me to the man although he gently mocked me the entire time since I could not come up with the date that CrazyMom and I were married. How was I supposed to know that I had to study for this readoption thing?

The court approved our request and we are now even more officially a family of eight. And by the way, I heard the best way to remember your anniversary is to forget it once. I now can clearly recall that ours is July 17th.


Karen said...

Personally I think as long as you didn't forget to tell your wife happy anniversary on your actual anniversary, you're all good. And it might have been a good thing that this appointment was before July 17th...:-)

Sophie said...

congrats! Your kids are beautiful, and you even got an anniversary reminder! you have a few more days to get ready... :)

Innocent Observer said...

Hey, our is July 17th too! I remember it because on our second anniversary I was sitting on the beach with my mother and sister, having left my dear husband at home. I received a text message on my pager saying "Happy Anniversary" and I thought, "how sad that someone sent that to the wrong number. About 20 minutes later my sister said, "hey wait, I think it IS your anniversary!" Oops. Figuring that my husband and I should spend our second anniversary together I sped home. He had forgotten as well! My dear friend Jen was the only one who remembered!

Congrats on your final, final adoption!

MIchele said...

Hi, I just found your blog last night. So powerful. We feel that we have been called to adopt from Ethiopia. We have just started. Did you go through CWA ? please e-mail me,, if you have time. I have bookmarked this site, but I am not great at navigating on the computer.

Sally said...

Our anniversary is July 17th, too!! It was great meeting you and your "Big Crazy Family" in St.Louis. Really enjoy your blog!

Anonymous said...

great story. now you have time to go/make/deliver a great anniversary card and or present! :-) happy anniversary and congratulations on the readoption. jcn

Lisa said...

Congratulations friends! We are still working on our readoption - hopefully it will be soon. The courts want us to redo our paperwork with different margins - apparently ours were too large, details, details.

Glad to see all of your smiling faces!