I am not even sure if we are correct in using the term "gotcha day" but it seems to be a phrase that people understand. Maybe it's because they celebrate it on the show "Jessie" or maybe it is a word that is easy to remember. I know it is typically used to describe a foster situation but I do know some parents who have adopted newborns that refer to the day that the adoption in finalized as "gotcha day". My mom heard it from a friend and got super excited about the term and my Niece and Nephew are huge "Jessie" fans so adopting the phrase to fit our situation just seems right.
It was a day of mixed emotions for me. Of course I am beyond thrilled to share our last name with our baby girl. I have been her mommy from the day I helped deliver her so it is kind of anticlimactic. Yet it feels wrong not to celebrate. It is certainly a milestone but I don't know if it feels right to distinguish the day the adoption was official from the day she was born. Also, the fact that another woman suffered a loss in order to make us parents does not escape me. I am sad for C. She posted on fb about going for a walk and feeling great because time heals everything and it made me a little sad.
The day itself seemed to reflect my feelings. It started out sunny and beautiful. And then there were clouds and a few raindrops. The sun came out again.....bright as can be for a little while. Soon enough, the wind picked up and the sky was dark once again. On and on like that all day. It was a big topic of conversation amongst the people we came into contact with throughout the day. The weather, not my comparison.
Speaking of people, G had quite the fan base at the courthouse. My parents wanted to there and our lawyer was there. Baby girl's court appointed Rep was not required to be there but asked us if she could attend so she could see G again because she was do cute and charming the 1st time they met :) even the super serious Policemen waving the metal detector wand up and down our bodies couldn't help but smile and get playful with her. Family court is not a very happy place from what I understand, so when smooth infant adoptions are on the docket it makes everyone happy.
It was so quick. We basically had to verify our signatures and confirm that we wanted to parent our girl. She was a little fussy in the courtroom (a very rare occurrence) so a part of me had to wonder if she felt like she sensed that the day was an end of something as well as a very happy beginning. I really hope that H and I can do justice to the miracle that is adoption when we speak about it to G. I don't ever want her to make feel like she was unwanted. I hope we can effectively communicate how blessed we all are to be a family without making her feel sad about her bm.
The judge was amazing...a man who has personal experience with adoption. He gsve our baby girl a (beany baby) seal in addition to his official seal and our lawyer presented her with a sweet toy elephant. We all posed for pictures and the room was full of such joy and smiling faces. My mom had a special bell made with the date, G's name and the quote "Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings". 15 minutes tops to represent the nearly 9 months we waited to be officially called G's mommy and daddy. Fine by me! We ran out of there.
We commemorated the day by grabbing lunch with my parents at a place called Johnny's where busboy girl had her 1st taste of chicken (with the carbonnara sauce licked off but she still got diarrhea the next day). Then in the evening my sisters and their families joined us for pizza and cake that said "Gotcha". I am not sure if we will celebrate every year but I know I will never forget this day. Nor the fact that it was 2 days before mother's day.