Adoption Day! What it’s Like to Finalize an Adoption

Finalization is a very special and emotional day for a family built through adoption. It is an end and a beginning. I told myself that finalization was going to be just another step in the process of this very long journey. I was definitely wrong.

The time between birth and finalization is a complicated and unique time for families built through adoption.  When we got home from the hospital, Chris and I were obsessed with this new little boy that we were going to raise.  We loved him unconditionally; getting to feed him, take him to his check ups, and swaddling him just right.  We love being parents.

The part that is different when you are building your family through open adoption is that simultaneously, you are adding more than a baby. I was overwhelmed by how many people my family grew by. During this time, I was in full on take care of everyone and everything mode. I was determined to make sure that Knox’s birth mother knew she was never going to be forgotten and that I was the very best mother ever chosen to be a mama through adoption in history. I was also planning the biggest and best Sip and See for all of our friends and family who supported us tirelessly and endured all of the waiting to meet our son.  I was balancing all of my new relationships, party planning, and managing all of the business around finalization. I was ready for it to be done.

When the actual day came, I was nervous. We were going to be in a court room before a Judge to be judged. Being judged is intimidating. It is really intimidating when a person is going to tell you that the family you have worked so hard for is really a family. It is also a surreal moment having the Judge announce that you are in fact the very best parents for your child, that he is in the right place, and you are all a family. It’s hard to describe. I imagine the level of joy and relief is similar to when your baby is born to you.  Stress and anxiety was lifted that I didn’t even know I was caring. We were a family. Not just any family, a real family.

Our Adoption Day anniversary is coming up. I don’t know if we are going to celebrate. I’m not really sure what you do on the day your family became legal. I became his mother way before finalization.  We were meant to be a family just like any other. I would, however, like a cake 🙂

Do you celebrate Adoption Day? What do you do?


  • Worth noting: The process for us in getting to finalization was clear, simple, and fast. This is not the case for many families.

Originally published on 8/18/16