The reality of the day gave me such a feeling of peace and relief. The reality that all of our legal paperwork is final; the reality that he is now ours in the eyes of both the Ethiopian and US courts. This is the end of one part of our journey to our son - we crossed the finish line, so to speak. But it's only the beginning of much to come and much to look forward to.
Samson and I began our day together by taking out his traditional Ethiopian clothes for the first time since we returned from our trip. These were the clothes the Care Center had him dressed in for the going away ceremony. The events of the day, when he came into our arms forever, flashed through my mind as I stared at these beautiful clothes. I prepared to sit down and tell him stories of that day, like when he drank from a bottle of pop; like when the girls held him tight in the back of the bus; like when we chanted his name when he paraded down the stairs with the nannies and other children; like when he got his hand print in a book at the Care Center.
But before I could say anything, Samson looked at the clothes with an inquisitive look and said, "Mommy, what's that?"
I said, "These are the clothes you were wearing when you joined our family".
Still a little puzzled but with a look of a little recognition, pointing at the clothes, he asked again, "Mommy, what's that?"
I said, "These were the clothes you were wearing when you cut the cake at the care center?" (It's tradition for the oldest boy and girl being adopted each week to have the honor of cutting the cake together)
Then he said, "Meazi, mommy?" "Meazi cut cake?"
Meazi was the oldest girl adopted within our group, therefore, helped Samson cut the cake. We have shown him video of this just a couple times but it's been a while. The clothes must have jogged his memory. He remembered his friend all on his own! He remembered cutting the cake with her. This was already an emotional day for me, so when he spoke his friend's name, I lost it!
Then all the way to the courthouse he kept asking, "Mommy, where is Meazi?"
I said, "she is home with her mommy and daddy".
He said, "Mommy, is Meazi OK?"
I replied, "Oh yes, Meazi is OK. She is better than OK. She is home with her family who loves her dearly and takes very good care of her."
This was the conversation all the way to the courthouse.
My handsome boy who officially became my son!
The family waiting for our turn in court.
The judge declared Samson ours forever!
After the court hearing, I returned the girls to their schools and Steve, Samson and I met at a favorite local restaurant where Samson enjoyed chicken strips and fries. He was extra happy yesterday. I truly believe he understood the importance of this day. The rest of the day, he gave mom a lot of extra attention, hugs, kisses and smiles.