We got up early today and went to the Dakota County Courthouse to officially finalize Milo’s adoption in the United States. This is one of the steps in the finalization process and is essentially the United States government recognizing the adoption, granting us official parenthood, officially changing Milo’s name and issuing all the important paperwork of citizenship. We were already officially Milo’s parents, but this gives him a Minnesota birth certificate and then we can apply for proof of citizenship and a Social Security card. Plus, we can claim Milo on our taxes. In some ways today was just a formality, but it is an important legal step and was pretty exciting.
We’ve heard that most judges love doing adoptions, and in our case it was no different. Judge Richard Spicer greeted us at the probate window and talked to Lexi while we were checking in. During the hearing he read over our home study and asked us a few basic questions, more or less getting to know us and making sure everything was in order.
Lexi talked pretty much the entire time, pausing only to spin her office chair. Judge Spicer thought it was hilarious and near the end when he was making the official decree he said, “based on the evidence I’ve heard today—or tried to hear—I officially pronounce…”
It was quick and easy and actually went by in a blur. I went with the ellipses above because I can’t even remember exactly how he said it. While we were taking the pictures—something Judge Spicer seemed very excited to do—Lexi apparently exclaimed, “We’re a family!” I must have been so wrapped up in the moment I didn’t even hear it. Abby told me about it while we were having our celebratory breakfast at Keys.
We still have some paperwork to file and pay for (you think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not—it truly never ends) that will get Milo proof of citizenship and a Social Security card, but we’re almost there. This process has taken over two years now (we started in August 2007) and it’s so good to be nearing the end. Thanks for everybody’s help and support!