Monday, February 2, 2009

It's Official! Again.

Friday afternoon the entire family went to our local court to re-adopt Marlie. Why? Well, she became our daughter legally in Ethiopian court in July 2006. The way it usually works with Ethiopian adoption is that you file a power of attorney and someone else attends court in your place. Then once the child is legally yours, you travel to Ethiopia to pick them up. Since we did not see Marlie before we adopted her, she came to the U.S. on a different kind of Visa and was therefore NOT automatically a U.S. Citizen upon arrival. Laws vary by state, but most states then require you to re-adopt the child later in a U.S. Court of Law (after post-placement visits and reports by Social Workers, mountains of paperwork and fees to everyone and their brother). During this re-adoption is where you can legally change your child's name and qualify them to receive an American Citizenship. In Marlie's case, she will also be issued a California Birth Certificate. It will be much easier for her to get certified copies of her birth certificate from the State of California than from Ethiopia if she ever needs to in the future.

Also, there is the matter of changing her name. Though she's been "Marlie" to us in the 2 and 1/2 years we've had her, that was not her legal name. In Ethiopia, a child's last name is their father's first name. When we adopted her, she went from "Faranje Fayye" to "Faranje Marshall our last name". Now, she is officially "Marlie Faranje Fayye our last name".

Last time we went to court was to adopt Seamus. With Seamus, it was totally different. The judge was actually making Seamus our legal son. It was very emotional and Marshall and I were crying. This time, it was just a formality to change our daughter's name, make her a citizen and give her the CA Birth Certificate. But this judge was asking us the same questions the other judge asked us for Seamus' adoption.

"Do you agree to treat Marlie as your daughter, as if she was born to you?"

"Do you agree to provide for her and to love her as your own?"

I was sitting there with a "yeah, yeah, yeah", practically rolling my eyes at the questions because they were silly to me. She was already our legal daughter. This was just a formality. But then I glance over at Marshall and he's all teary and emotional. I'm sure the Judge was wondering what kind of callous, non-feeling mother I was. Thankfully, she approved the re-adoption and everything is official. Again.

While I could show you the usual posing-with-the-judge picture that everyone takes at these events...

You'd probably rather see the photos we took just before they let us in court. Because when we arrived, the court was still in session for another case and they asked us to wait on the balcony, which looked remarkably like a prison yard.

So like any good parents, we had our kids line up. You know, to practice in case they ever need to participate in a prison line-up.



And then we told them to do a "silly" line up, and this is what they gave us...




Yeah, those are much better than some silly, sentimental picture of us with the Judge.


38 comments:

  1. Hooray! Again. I agree that the last pics are way better than some stuffy judge pictures. They will mean more to you later, too.

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  2. Congratulations! Second time over. :D What a special day!

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  3. BAHAHAHAHAHA I love the wall photos! Oh my gosh, is Marlie dancing again in that last one? I love her dancing!

    I have a confession to make-- when I saw the post title on my blog roll I thought you were going to say Marshall got word he'd be working on New Moon. Man, I am SO lame!

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  4. Those are fun pics. What a great day that was for you guys, even though you are an "unfeeling" mother. lol You are a great mother!!

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  5. No turning back now! You better start saving your pennies. She is gonna be a heart breaker!

    Congratulations


    Robbin

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  6. Oh, all your kids are such hams! (I wonder where they picked that up from...) Congrats, you have a wonderful family. :)

    Also, GFP walked in while I was reading this. After explaining that these were Mommy's friend's children ("LA Julie's?" she asked) and using this as an opportunity to explain about adoption to her she got to the heart of the matter: "When can I go see LA Julie's kids? I wanna visit them!"

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  7. That is just the sweetest thing ever!!!
    I love the prison line-up photos...your kids are darling!!!

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  8. Congrats to you on a milestone day! And you're right, the line up pics are so much more natural (LOVE the face Seamus is making at the end-- what a CUTIE).
    Your kids are gorgeous!

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  9. I agree. Great photos. You'd better start being nicer to Marlie now that she is your daughter. (;

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  10. Your kids are as goofy and fun as you are! And yay for being official (again)!

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  11. Love the Line Up Photos...and your reaction to the questions...as well as your DH's...how appopriate both of the reactions are to an occassion like this.

    Happy Re-Adoption!! And yay! She can now vote in a decade +!

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  12. Cute pictures! You guys are fun parents!

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  13. Carolyn (carolyneatta@sympatico.ca)February 2, 2009 at 10:48 AM

    Congratulations! The line-up photos are fantastic...your kids always look like they are having fun.

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  14. Julie I am so happy for you and your family! I have gone back and read your earlier posts one night and you are truly a great person! This little kid is going to have such a wonderful life because of you! Adoption is a great thing! :) She is such a pretty little girl.... like her mommy!

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  15. Congratulations!!

    We do the same thing a week from today. But not sure my photos will be able to top the wacky lineup shots - those are awesome.

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  16. Yay!

    And I am convinced that that IS actually how you all looked in the courtroom!

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  17. Those pics are the best! We waited a pretty ridiculously long amount of time to "re-adopt" Max after he came home.

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  18. Congratulations on Marlie's re-adoption. I honestly got a little goosebumpy when I read the questions. So sweet. You have the most beautiful family!!

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  19. I thought that's how it worked Julie, our SW got her facts crossed during our homestudy visit. She told my husband he needed to go to ET to show up for court - couldn't argue her effort in getting him on the plane.

    Besides, who wants to argue with a SW who is responsible for writing things about you? I pretty much smiled and let her gab away.

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  20. Congratulations on making your official daughter officially yours...again! LOL!

    CUTE pictures!

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  21. Congratulations!
    You are hilarious with these pictures! Too cute.

    Kristy

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  22. Hooray! And I love the lineup pictures. The perfect ending to my long day. I giggled out loud. Your kids are adorable!

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  23. Thanks for sharing--our readopt is next Weds. Now I have an idea of what to expect. We aren't inviting anybody or even bringing our other 2 kids because we feel the same, Eben is already ours and this is just another hoop (and bundle of $$) to jump through, we also thought it might confuse the other kids. Oh well, it is a good excuse to go to Little Ethiopia for lunch while Dan has the day off.

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  24. These pictures are precious! LOVE it!

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  25. Could your kids be any cuter?? I think not.

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  26. Awww, that was awesome!!! I just wish I could've seen your face! :(

    Congrats!!!

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  27. Yay!!! Those unposed pictures are adorable. :)

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  28. Great pics of all three. Hello 2009 Christmas card!

    Congratulations on officialness. And um, has Haven grown like a foot since last he appeared on the blog?

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  29. i love these pictures against the wall!! your kids are absolutely adorable!

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  30. Congrats, Julie! I get what you mean about not getting all sentimental because you've already done it. I'd be the same way. I think. Ok, maybe not :) Either way, I love the pics your kids gave you!

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  31. Oh they are great great pictures! Much much better!

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  32. that's precious.

    i'm loving your blog.

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  33. The pictures are hilarious. And it looks like Haven has grown another foot in the last month. He looks so big!! The kids are adorable.

    Way to go on readoption - we still need to do that.

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  34. You need to come visit soon. I want to see your children!! And you and Marshall of course.

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  35. I LOVE this blog.

    I laughed and laughed at the cat videos (ninja cat and the fat cat with the small box). I almost cried when I read what that horrid lesbian- husband trawling- tramp said about you. I love your purple house. And most of all, I love the story of you and your three kids! These pics totally sum them up, I feel. Am I right, or am I right?

    I'm going to post a link of your site to my girlfriends (esp those who love purple).

    I feel quite sad that we don't have the possibility of adoption like this in Australia... I'm too 'old' to adopt from OS and most aren't allowed here.
    Nevermind, I'll just 'adopt' your blog for a while!

    cheerio, Louise (Sydney, Australia)

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