I smile as I watch Joey sleep in his carrier. It’s been seven months since Aiden was born. And I can honestly say it’s been the best time in my life. Of course, it wasn’t always easy. I had a really hard time in the beginning finding a balance between taking care of Aiden and taking care of myself. But Steve was a huge help and now I’m happy to say I am getting this parenthood thing down. Of course, it does help that I’m not working anymore. I quit to take care of Aiden full-time, a decision that I couldn’t have been happier with. At some point, I know there’s a chance I might want to go back, but for right now, I am happy being at home with him.
“Hey,” Steve says, snapping me out of my thoughts. “They’re ready for us.”
Shooting a smile up at my husband, I stand up, grabbing Aiden’s carrier as I go. Taking Steve’s hand within mine, we walk hand-and-hand into the courtroom. Margie is already standing in the courtroom in the front row of seats. We give her a nod as we walk up to one of the tables in front of the judge.
I set Aiden down on the table and sit down, Steve’s hand still in mine. Once settled, I look up at the judge and take a deep breath.
This is it. Today, Aiden becomes ours. Forever.
Margie told us that once a quarter a judge from the county would come in on a Saturday and clear out all of the waiting adoption cases. And so here we are.
“Mr. Rogers-Matheson and Mr. Matheson-Rogers,” the judge calls, his loud voice making me jump. The judge is a very large man with a grey beard and tiny reading glasses. He reminds me of my high school principal. I was terrified of that guy.
Thankfully, I don’t have to say anything as Steve replies in the affirmative.
I am expecting the worse as the judge starts to speak, but it is all in vain. I can only listen as the judge talks about our records. He commends us for adopting and the wonderful job we are doing raising Aiden. I can’t help but blush as he goes on and on about us. Maybe this guy isn’t so scary at all.
“Well, everything seems to be in order,” the judge concludes. “It is clear no one has legal rights over the parenthood of Aiden and the two of you are clearly doing a wonderful job. Therefore, I am honored to declare Mr. Steve Rogers-Matheson and Mr. Joseph Matheson-Rogers the soul parents of Aiden. They are now legally responsible for his physical, mental and emotion well-being and will be recognized as full parents in every legal way.”
I clutch Steve’s hand a little tighter as tears start to well in my eyes.
“Furthermore, I approve Aiden’s legal name change. He will now be known as Aiden Matheson-Rogers. Congratulations.”
A tear slips out of my eye and the judge and everyone in the court applauds. I look over to Steve and see he is crying too. I lean over and place a gentle kiss on his soft lips. As the applause dies down, the clerk comes over and hands us a copy of the official order and a teddy bear for Aiden, who is still sleeping, completely unaware of everything that just happened.
Steve takes the paperwork and the small brown bear, while I take Aiden. Margie is waiting in the aisle for us and together we all walk out into the hallway.
“Well, this is it,” Margie says once we’re outside the courtroom. He’s yours. You don’t need me anymore.”
“Thank you so much,” Steve says, holding out his hand to shake hands with Margie.
“No, thank you. I wish I could guarantee all of the children in my care such a happy ending. And if you ever decide you want another one, give me a call.”
Steve and I nod, but we both know it could be awhile before that happens. Then together, we walk out of the courthouse, a true family in the eyes of the law.
Well there's part 22. I hope everyone liked it. I'll have a new part for everyone next Monday. Until then, have a great week.