Saturday, June 07, 2008

Adoption Day

May 30th, 2008 was the culmination of nearly 3 years of hard work - to actually become the parents of Bhargabi. It is hard to believe that this day finally arrived and that she shares our last name at last. Judge Cuthbertson proclaimed that from that day forward our sweet Indian princess would be legally known as Devi Rose Bhargabi Ross, the daughter of Patrick and Julie Ross!

Devi's Great Grandma Verna

To our surprise, our support team filled the court room that day, including my 92 year old grandmother, who has been ill for several months battling a nasty case of shingles. She is a dear woman, delicately balanced by her toughness, compassion and zest for life. It was an honor to have her there.

Uncle Dave, Aunt Obie, Aunt Joan, DeeDee, Oma, Uncle Bill

From the moment we entered the court room, Devi stole the show. The judge said this was her day so let her do what she wanted. Devi "visited" the lap of everyone there and became kind of sweet on the judge, so spent time
in his too.

After raising our right hands and acknowledging our intent to become Devi's parents, the judge asked us to explain a little about our adoption experience. In the millisecond of pause at the conclusion of his question came the flood of 3 years of emotion. Our highs and lows and the indescribable moments of ah, when we first saw her picture and when we finally lifted her tiny body from the white paint-chipped crib and held her in our arms half way around the world.

Not an easy crier, I just lost it. I was sobbing, unable to even squeak out a reply and looking for support from Patrick, who was standing beside me bawling too. In fact, the whole family, social worker, attorney, judge and court reporter were all watered up. This must happen fairly often as boxes of kleenex suddenly appeared in several places around the room. We mustered enough composure to finally make it through the questioning, but honestly I don't even know what I said :)

The Ross family with Barbara, our social worker, and Joyce, our attorney

At the end of the hearing, the three of us were asked to join the judge at his pulpit for a minute for a photo opportunity. Standing beside him, he told us he wanted to share that the way some families come together can not be explained, it is simply meant to be and he felt we were one of those families. It was such a sweet thing for him to say.

Afterwards, we all went to the Children's Home Society's celebration room for cake and Indian sweets from Punjab Sweets, a local Indian store I recently found. Hugs were given all around and we celebrated Devi through her first year with us in pictures. Amazing how fast she as grown even though she still seems like our little peanut.

Incidentally, the dress Devi is wearing has an interesting story. We were shopping on one of our last days with the Welser family in Calcutta. We read about this great place for Indian clothing so we all piled into a taxi and headed for the store. When we arrived, the store was filled with these very American looking garments. All beautifully hand smocked, just like the kind of dresses my grandmother made for me when I was a young girl, we just couldn't resist bringing a couple of them home. It was also in this store that an Indian woman approached me and explained that I was roasting my child. "We never put socks on our children in this heat!" My first bit of motherly advise, well taken :)


Michelle said...

Your daughter is beautiful! I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog, it brought back a lot of memories. We also have an Indian Princess. She is six and has been home for 4 1/2 years now. She brings much joy to our family.


Sandy & Butch said...

Happy Adoption Day! We are so thrilled for you! I guess I'm going to get to see you at Tyrel's wedding??? I can't wait to see you and meet Devi Rose for the first time!
See ya soon! love, Sandy

Amy said...

Congrats! What a great day! Your trip to Mexico looks amazing too!

Cindy said...

Wonderful NEWS!!!! I am rejoicing with you. I can't wait until Luke is ours (on paper). The day Emy became "ours" was a day to CELEBRATE!!

All the hard work and love and sweat and tears is worth it--just look at that sweet face!!! Devi is beautiful and you two are so blessed to have HER!!!! And I am sure she is blessed as well. . .

Karen said...

Congratulations!!! What a great day. All the pieces came together - all your hard work and dedication, all that time, all those hopes and dreams. She's YOURS! Forever and ever!

Jenya wore her hand-smocked Kolkata dress for her adoption day, too. Indian-made, American-style...doesn't that just say it all??

We're just so happy for you, and so glad that our families have "adopted" each other as extended family through this wonderful process with our little girls.

Much love,
The Welser crew

Sheri said...

Happy adoption Day! Devi is just beautiful. The whole family looks so happy!

The Labontes said...

Congratulations Devi Rose Barghabi Ross! So happy for you and your forever family.

Kristy and Max Rup

Peter and Nancy said...

You can count me in among the weepy ones . . . from all the way here in WI! Many congratulations to your family on becoming "official," and completing on paper what is already true for the three of you.
With love,
Nancy & co.

Nadra said...

Woo, hoo!! Happy Adoption Day!! What a wonderful day indeed. Great pictures of the happy family.

Shad and Maggie Alsworth said...

Congrats Julie and Patrick!!!