American adoption proceedings are a strange thing. They contain vestiges of legal lessons long ago learned. One is, you must wait and see how things work out before the adoption is finalized. During that time your social worker will come over, make sure you’re bonding correctly and that your new family member is happy and healthy.
As far as the parents go, they expect you to look like train wrecks and your house to be a mess. You’re exhausted, overly caffeinated and deliriously happy. We had seven months of being parents before the court made him officially ours. During those seven months we had legal custody and the birth mother and fathers rights were terminated. During those seven months we fed him, changed him, and loved him like we never knew we could love.
We saw his eyes open and focus on us for the first time. Listen to him burp and watch him spit up. We never looked back, even for a moment. We stopped worrying about how old we would be when he left home, or how many grand kids we’d get to see. We just worked at enjoying the hell out of our new beautiful son.
The judge at his adoption proceeding said of Tadg what someone seems to say about him every day. “What a beautiful smile you have! And what lovely eyes! You have just made my day!” Its so wonderful to see how full of love the world is for our boy.