IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the petition be granted and said minor child is now the adopted child of the petitioners, S and R, and shall be in the custody of said petitioners and be regarded and treated in all respects as their own lawful child; that they shall sustain toward the child and the child toward them the legal relation of parent and child, and each respectively shall have all of the rights and be subject to all the duties of natural child and that the child shall take the name of G and be known as K, the adopted child of S and R.
Executed on February 18, 2005.

I've said this before - I did not know this was to be the end result of my first foster care experience. But I do know that life throws curves and it's our job to either catch or miss them. We caught this one. GOTCHA!

One of my dear friends from work joined us for our big day, and brought with her a "gotcha" bracelet. I, being not quite the internet surfer I probably should be, given my occupation, had not a clue what it was. There are some great adoption sites out there - a little late, but now I know!

Here's what the card with it says:

The history of the gotcha charm comes from the Chinese tradition of placing a red dot in the middle of the forehead of a child waiting to be adopted to bring it good fortune. Americans have adopted Gotcha Day as the day the child was placed in their arms.

I knew the moment I saw it, that it would be our special heirloom. I will wear it and cherish it until little K is ready, then it will become hers.

It's an interesting bond, this adopted child and parent thing. I couldn't love her more if the biological cord were mine, yet there is a difference. It wasn't always a given that we would grow up together. Even though we tried, and her bio father definitely tried, we were pretty sure the family reunification plan wasn't going to be successful maybe as much as 2 years ago. It took me a little longer than my husband to get on board this adoption track. I have seen my 50th birthday - and while I don't feel "old", this wasn't part of the retirement I envisioned... I didn't see this coming - at least for quite a while. I thought we would provide this safe harbor for many children until they either found a safe place with their parents or adoptive parents. I didn't think that ultimate safe place would be my home.

But I wouldn't change a thing. If I had had adoption on my mind earlier on, I don't think our visits with bio father would have been the same. I was trying to cultivate a bond between them - would I have done that if I had been planning to adopt? I know he tried to change his life and provide a safe home for the children. Would I have been as open to seeing that if my ultimate goal was to adopt her myself? When the time comes that she wants to know about her bio parents, I will be able to tell her without a doubt that she was wanted. No, I wouldn't change a thing. Except maybe I would have liked to have played the waiting game a little less. Her bio parent's rights were terminated one full year ago today, and that was a full year after "services" had been terminated, which was 6 months longer than the county says is their goal... the adoption was finalized 361 days after rights were terminated. Why so long? I'd love the county to work on that.

So little miss K joined our family on 2/18/05, but really, she joined it 3 years and one day earlier when we picked her up at Alta Bates and gave her that first kiss.



high school??

One of my least favorite shows was on last night - One Tree Hill. Unfortunately, I watch it way more than I'd like because it's on after one of my favorite shows - Gilmore Girls. We watch precious few TV shows on a regular basis, and I absolutely hate reality shows... so that's one of the shows I really try to watch.

anyway back to my least favorite - it's becoming more and more bizarre to follow this thing - these "kids" are in high school. (maybe 5 or 6 years ago they really were, but we're supposed to believe that anyway). One couple is married, and she just left him last night to try to make it in the music world. A couple of seasons ago, this girl was the smart, anti-popular one who tutored other people. ok. I'm trying to buy it...

Another couple has an unwed father, who just got back from running away with his infant daughter so her loser of an older woman mother wouldn't take her. hmmm. there's more. A popular cheerleader type went after him to bring him back, and now they are apparently shacking up together, since they cuddled in the same bed with the baby between. HIGH SCHOOL!!!??? What the heck high school is like this? I realize my vision is clouded by not being brought up in the inner city, but these are not inner city portrayals, either. I'm pretty darn sure my two who finished high school and the one in it now have no contact with anyone remotely living these kinds of lives.

The poor little rich girl is trying to run for president. (And I thought they were seniors last year - what's she running for - president of the high school alumni association?) If they're not even seniors yet, then she was one of those head cheerleader types as a freshman. I know freshmen girls - they don't look, sound, or act like this... even the "fast" ones.

And our hero, Luke, (played by Chad Michael Murray who hasn't seen a high school in at least 5 years, and looks it. But I digress again...) is now dealing with living with some kind of heart ailment whose acronym I didn't even recognize, but he wants to keep it a secret from his mother, so he's moving in with his wicked and wretched oaf of a biological father who didn't acknowledge him for 20 years. oh yeah - oops, he's still in high school... anyway, I know I've been out of the direct caregiver part of healthcare for a while, but couldn't they come up with something most of us could recognize?

So I guess you just have to suspend belief if you want to follow these shows, or, if you're like me, a better option is to find that damn remote before Gilmore is over and just turn it off!



address labels - I'll never have to buy another address label for as long as I live. ...at this address, anyway. Let me warn you - if you donate anything to the leukemia, alzheimers, breast cancer, heart association, or MADD, you will get labels. and labels. and labels. I think I've gotten SPCA and other labels as well, since I seem to be on the "give her address labels - it works" list. Just cuz I sent someone some money sometime... but hey, if you're in need of labels - give one of them a try - you can never have too many Ziggy or flowers or whatever in your drawer.