It’s official! At 2:15 pm today, Jo Jo became my legal daughter. Henceforth, she sheds her blog name and will simply go by her initial, “M”. Sorry if that’s a lot to get used to… but she really is not a Jo Jo in real life, and it feels more natural to call her by her first initial.
Tears came to my eyes when the judge read off the court order, that M now be for all intents and purposes my daughter, and that she is discharged from her status as a ward of the state. The judge even let M go up and sit in her chair and bang her gavel! She showed me the stacks and stacks of neglect and abuse cases she is working on (really, it looked so overwhelming) and I couldn’t help but be so happy at the fact that M’s case will no longer be one of the folders in those stacks!
The judge thanked me for my service as a foster parent. I spoke for a minute about how much joy I felt on this day, and how grateful I feel to M’s birth mom for creating this marvelous being. My grandma spoke a few words, and my aunt, and the foster worker and adoption worker. We took a ton of photos and then went out to an early dinner, complete with a rainbow cake that said “Home Forever”!
I have so many more posts in the works, but it will have to wait until another day. I’m exhausted! Trying to keep M in one place as much as possible, or posing for pics, or away from all the paper and stuff in the court room was no easy task. She melted the judge’s heart, though, as she clapped her hands happily with the rest of us, and waved and blew kisses, saying “bye BYE!” as she walked out of the court room. The judge said it was obvious that we were very bonded and that she is as loved and adored as any kid could possibly be.