YES – it is true, Sara and I are now the proud Mom and Dad of Luke Given Bastian!
This was one looooooooooooooong day! I am so exhausted as I sit here after midnight to type, BUT we had so many people praying for us, and I got soooo many e-mails asking how it went that I just have to tell the story before I go to bed. Not that I could sleep now anyway, I am so excited! Here is the story of Luke’s Adoption Day, of course, with pictures! We will be printing out all the e-mails we have gotten and putting them in a book for Luke to read someday so he can see just how many people all over the country we praying for him during his adoption! What a blessing you all have been to him! (e-mail Luke link)
Here is Luke this morning, wide eyed, when I explained to him that we would be traveling downtown Chicago today and that he would be served by a Sherif and then appear before a judge! It was a COLD day and our day took us in and out of four buildings all day, for a total of eight separate trips! Each time bundling Luke up and hiding him under blankets as we hurried through bitter cold winds trying to keep up with all the steps to complete our mission today – adopting Luke!
Fortunately, all the buildings were within a block or two of each other, so after finding parking downtown in the lawyers building, we headed to the Daley Center where Sara and I got finger printed. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate getting my hands messy. I use more napkins at a restaurant than a family of five! My mom reported that I would come in crying from playing if I got a speck of dirt on my hands… so I was not looking forward to getting INK on my hands!
Well, I was relieved to learn that the days of ink are long gone! Finger printing is now done quickly and easily with a fancy scanner machine that scans your hands. (Though I did have to put some yucky lotion on my hands first!)
Then it was off to another building to do some other filing details of which I won’t bore you with. There were tunnels between the buildings, but most had only revolving doors which made the stroller impossible, so we had to cross streets out in the cold. We didn’t find downtown to be very “baby friendly” but then, there probably aren’t many babies being wheeled around very often in these government buildings! After more paper work it was off to the lawyers office…
We met with our attorney who did a wonderful job throughout the whole case. She prepped us for the time at court as well as met with the birth mom about the process of her giving consent to the adoption.
Then it was off to the Daley Center where Luke got ‘served’ with papers. I think he was hoping to get served some milk and cookies. I was curious how they ‘served’ a baby, and they actually do present the baby with legal papers that reqire him to appear in court at a certain date and time (only minutes away) and then they literally just touch his arm with the papers to ‘serve’ him. It is kinda fun to be going through all this complicated traveling from building to building and office to office (writing check after check) and all this activity is swirling around a little baby who has no clue that all of this is all about him and his future. (I’ll avoid rabbit trailing into how much God is doing in and around and for us that we are clueless about, but still benefit from!)
Then it was finally off to court! There were a few cases before us so we waited in a side room, but it was very nice. They had a kid-friendly room all set up for families with kids. I wish I had pictures from court, but they were not allowed.
We were finally called into court. Out of respect for the birth parents I will not post much detail other than to say that the birth father’s rights were terminated (he’s never had nor demonstrated any desire for involvement in the baby’s life) and the birth mother gave her consent to the adoption (in person before the judge). The amazing thing (and sweet) was that throughout the entire proceeding, Luke was clapping and cooing and acting so incredibly happy. Everyone in the court was looking at him and smiling. Of course, as we heard the judge making his final judgements, we all cried for joy. I half wondered if the court recorder took down all the noise Luke was making. He is generally a very happy and pleasant baby, but he was honestly the happiest and loudest he’s ever been for such a long period of time; it was almost as though he knew what was happening. In just a few moments we were being transformed from merely guardians with the emotional titles of “Mom and Dad” to his legal parents. I can not begin to describe the feelings that flooded our hearts and minds in that court room. We are so happy to see this finally happen! I’ve wanted to be a dad ever since I was a young boy who loved being a son to my dad.
Luke was so amazingly good the entire day. He spent practically the entire day in a car seat, or the stroller or being carried – and never fussed. We never even had a moment to give him the toys we brought along. He was such a trooper – as though he understood that today was just a busy hectic day, but that would result in many peaceful happy days loungin’ and playin’ in his new home. I marveled at his countenance all day long. What an answer to prayer.
If he doesn’t look too happy above, we woke him up for a picture at the Daley Center Christmas Tree, and then he went right back to sleep. But we wanted a picture in the hour after he was adopted into our family. On a technical note, the adoption is not ‘officially final’ until January 8th – five weeks after today, while the FBI does back ground checks on us and other paperwork is filed etc., but for all practical purposes, the legal process is over, and Luke is now OURS.For those who have followed Luke’s adoption story from the first post, thank you for your prayers through this difficult and long process. (See all the past Baby Luke links in the right bar of this blog!) In five weeks it will be finally and officially over. Our prayer through this whole process was that Luke might be ‘ours’ by his birthday, January 21st, and it looks like on that day we wil be celebrating OUR SONS first birthday after all! Thanks for your part of the journey!
If you haven’t yet, watch the video I made when we first got him and see how much he’s grown in the eight months we’ve had him: