She's Ours

Adoption Finalization Photos
Words are hard to come by right now after such a fun weekend celebrating our "OFFICIAL" family.

My heart is full.
Adoption Finalization Photos
On Feb. 18th, 2013, we told our families about our intention to adopt.

Six months later, we held our daughter in our arms for the first time.

And almost exactly a year later -- on Feb. 21st, 2014 -- we finalized our daughter's adoption.

[Seriously. If that's not a God thing, I don't know what is!]

We've spent the past six months together as a family, but there's something to be said when the
court finally recognizes what we've felt all along:

We are Olivia's parents FOREVER.
Adoption Finalization Photos
"She is your child just as if she was born to you..." said the judge as tears started streaming down
my face.

She's ours!

Friday's court hearing was so special.

About 50 family members and friends from near and far packed inside the courtroom to witness our daughter *OFFICIALLY* become a member of the family forever.
Adoption Finalization
While we celebrated her joining our family, we also recognized and honored her brave birth momma by reading a letter she wrote.

[Chris had to read it because by this point, I was well into the blubbering cry...]

Here's what part of it said:

"First I would like to thank you for being the sweet people that I know.

Thank you for loving Olivia and opening up your hearts and your arms to her.
It makes me smile each time I see a picture of y'all holding her and smiling with her.
I have no worries because she is in the perfect place with the perfect people..."

After the court hearing, my parents treated everyone to dinner and drinks at the East Bremer Diner [and it wouldn't be a celebration without Scratch Cupcakes, too!].

It was a time for us to thank many of the people who loved and supported our family before we even knew Olivia.
Adoption Finalization
The hope is that our family's journey will inspire others to adopt or prayerfully support a birth mother or wrap their arms around an adoptive family.

And that people will recognize adoption not as a "second best" option -- but as a beautiful choice for families to grow.

Related content:
Our Daughter's Adoption Finalization [in Photos]
Why We Don't Celebrate 'Gotcha Day'
7 Adoption Pictures That Will Leave You in Tears

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