Thursday, March 26, 2009


There's a lot that goes into an adoption, including a lot of legal work. The day after his birth, Dawson's birth mom signed over her parenting rights to Erin and me. That court-ordered decree lasts for a bit over 30 days, before another hearing in which the adoption is made final and irreversible.

So yesterday, I sat on a witness stand for the first time in my life. Questions like "are you ready, willing and able to fulfill the duties of parenthood?" Yes.
"Do you realize that from now on, this child is your responsibility?" Yes.
"Do you realize that if he were to become sick or handicapped in some way, he's still your responsiblity." Yes.
As well as "What is your address" and some other basic questions.

After Erin testified, the judge read the final decree. Here's the last part of that decree.
The Court further finds that the said minor child is in the physical custody of the petintioners, and that all investigations, reports and all other things necessary and proper to be done for the legal adoption of said child, and all requirements relative thereto, have been fully complied with.

The Court further finds that the Petioners are persons of good moral character adn reputable standing in the community, and are possessed of suficient means and ability to maintain and educate said child properly, that said child is suitable for adoption, and that it is for the best interest of said child, that said petition be granted and that the child be adopted by Petioners as their own, and that the Petioners herein are entitled to a final decree of this Court for the adoption of said child and that the neame of the child should be changed to Dawson Patrick Miller and that said petition for adoption should be granted.
IT IS THEREFORE BY THE COURT ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the consensts to the adoption by the Petioners be and the same are herby approved.
IT IS FURTHER BY THE COURT ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the petition of Donald Levi Miller and Erin Kathleen Miller, husband and wife, for the adoption of Baby Gordon, a minor male child, as their own child, be and the same is herby granted, and that the name of said minor child be changed to Dawson Patrick Miller.

I had to fight back tears as I heard that decree read.


Emily said...

I responded via text but can't help but write here as well...I am glad that the legal system has finalized what was already final in your heart!!!

And of course a bit of sarcastic humor...I'm glad you didn't change his name, so I don't need to change his blanket! Phew...kidding, I would have!!

Tons of love!


Rachel Shaffer said...

Dawson looks happy about it in the picture. :)
Was Gordan the name you were originally thinking about that Brianna liked?