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November 19, 2011

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Attend an Adoption Finalization

Every year on National Adoption Day, thousands of adoption across the country are finalized. It's an open event, so you can show your support by attending a local finalization.

Adoption Finalization Time

I have attended two adoption finalizations, both for my daughter, Elle. Her first finalization was held in a Russian courtroom. Although I was thousands of miles away from home, the courtroom and court procedures weren't all that different from a court in the United States.

The judge was a woman and she sat at the bench high above the courtroom. She presided over a courtroom divided by a center aisle. I sat on one side of the aisle with my mother and a translator. And, on the other side of the aisle sat the orphanage director and her assistants.

Through a series of questions directed towards me regarding my desire to adopt Elle, the judge ruled I was a good candidate for adoption, and with a bang of a gavel I had a daughter.

The second adoption finalization occurred in a Kansas courtroom. Like the last time, there was a judge presiding, although his perch from the bench wasn't quite as lofty as his Russian counterpart.

This state finalization didn't have anything to do with me or my rights as an adoptive parent, I was still Elle's mother, but this proceeding had to do with my husband's adoption of Elle in a step-parent adoption.

This finalization was an opportunity for my husband and Elle to experience the excitement I felt in a Russian courtroom. And as before, with the bang of a gavel, our family of two because a family of three.

November 19 is National Adoption Day. Many courts across the nation will open their doors on this day to celebrate the adoption finalization of thousands of foster children. So, grab your kids and make a special trip to your nearest county or state court and share in the joy of watching forever families being formed with a bang of a gavel.

Contact your local courthouse, adoption agency, or foster agency to find more information on the time and location of an adoption finalization in your area.

Lanita

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