12.08.2011

Official

So everything with our adoption was official when we landed in DC in April.  Our kids became US citizens, the adoption was recognized by the US government, and we were finally done with adoption paperwork - woohoo!  Well, then we found out that there's a little thing called readoption, or more precisely, domestication of a foreign adoption.  It's sort of a formality, but it does ensure that all 50 states will recognize our babies as ours, it allows us to officially change their names, and will allow us to have new birth certificates issued, which will allow us to apply for social security cards, so we can do taxes.......so in short, we were not quite as finished with the paperwork as we thought!
The cousins came to show their support.  I think we spent longer in the waiting area than we did in the judge's chambers.
We had a great discussion about everyone's pretty dresses.  My sweet little redhead looked over and said, "Gus, where's your dress?"  Poor boy is surrounded by girls.
 Since my little brother moved near us with his new wife, Gus has taken a liking to him.
 My dad, who we call "PoPo" is always a favorite.
Once we were in the chambers, we were sworn in, asked a few questions, and that was it!  The baliff looks very serious here, but he was a total sweetie with my kiddos.   
The judge was also very nice and took the time to pose for a photo with us.

So yesterday our kiddos were Risko and Berisa.  Today they're Lula and Gus.*  And officially, unquestionably, in the eyes of everyone, they're what we've known them to be all along -- ours.
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*I've heard mixed thoughts about changing an adopted child's name.  In our case, it was what we felt was right.  Because of their stories, and because of some arguments made in Adopted for Life, it just made sense for us to give them new names.  I understand there are good reasons for keeping kids' names, but this is just what we chose to do.