You know life is good when you’re blowing out the candles on your birthday cake and you have to struggle to come up with something to wish for. Especially when said cake is in celebration of your 39th birthday, an age that stereotypically speaking prompts bouts of anxiety or self-doubt.
But that was me recently. So full of things that I’m grateful for that it actually took a couple of seconds to form a wish. Considering that my last ten years of b-day wishes came true with DJ’s arrival, it’s hardly surprising that this year’s wish was for him to stay as happy & healthy as possible.
And the icing on the cake, DJ used my birthday card to announce that he was going to take our last name. Best. Birthday. Ever.
But the family celebrations didn’t end there. On April 30, the adoption was finalized! I was actually in the park supervising DJ’s “wrestling club” consisting of him and a couple of kids from the neighborhood when I saw the voicemail icon on my phone. Our lawyer was calling with the good news that the judge had ruled a few days previously and DJ was now officially adopted.
Even now, a little over a month since I got the call, tears are running down my cheeks as I type this. Not that I love DJ any more than I did before because that’s simply not possible, but there’s a sense of permanency and relief that just wasn’t there while we were waiting for finalization.
I no longer have to identify myself as the foster mom when I’m filling out forms for school or the doctor’s office. And as unrealistic as it was, there’s no longer that small fear in the back of my head that at any moment all of this could fall apart and we could lose DJ to another adoptive family.
This is real. This is forever.