April 8, 2014. A random Tuesday, but for us the end of part of a long journey to finding our family. Judge Dillon presided and Ryan, our trusty attorney, led us through the court process. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I thought the "formal adoption" questions they asked were a little silly considering all the information we'd given them over the last year and a half. Things like, "Are you 10 years older than the minor child you will be adopting?" and "Are you at least 21 years of age or older?". Really?, that's what you're going to ask? My favorite moment was when Ryan asked Dean to "please state the date, place and TIME you were married". He hadn't meant to say "time", but the look on Deans face was priceless as he tried to remember the exact time we were married.
And then it was over. Their official names were read, Alan Blake Marturello and Sarai Jane Marturello, the judge banged her gavel, and there were 5, FIVE, 1,2,3,4,5!! official Marturello's.
Ben, Alan and Sadie all got to adopt and name their own animal. A sweet gesture from the State.
Cristina Duke, Alan and Sarai's case worker...the expression says it all.
Waiting for paperwork to make it officially official.
Dean says, "we got the pink slip!" ...The title to our children.
The place where it all went down and the family who was there for support. It was a small court room, and the judge laughed when we all just kept filing in. We wish we could have had everyone there who has supported us these many months.
A family dinner at the Sonora Grill. Mexican food is kind of like Guatamalan food, right? Some words from Grandpa Dave about his own adoption experience (sniffle) and a tres leches cake were the perfect end to a beautiful adoption day.
A "sort-of end". An end to caseworkers, and home visits, and paperwork, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of phone calls and emails. It doesn't feel different. Life goes on, it's just that it's our life now and we don't have to share it with any government agencies. Hooray!!
A temple sealing is in our future and I think then we might feel a little closure; when all is safely gathered in.