What, you might be wondering, is gotcha day? Well, in the adoptive family world, it's the day the adoption becomes final or the day we officially gotcha! Gotcha day tends to mean more to families that adopt older children (or at least families that don't have custody of the child from birth), but it still means a lot to us and I hope we are able to celebrate it in the future with a family outing such as a zoo trip or a fun dinner.
The best way to describe the days leading up to gotcha day is that it was a sunny day where we were, but their was a dark cloud looming on the horizon that could cause a storm at any minute. The moment the judge signed our final decree of adoption, the clouds disappeared and the sun shone a little brighter than before. Even though she hadn't given us any reason to believe she would, I had a fear that we would arrive at our final court date only to find out that birth mom had changed her mind. Luckily, that didn't happen and we can breathe a little easier now knowing that Joseph is officially a Parks.
Since our court date was at 9:00 a.m. in Lawton (three hours from Stillwater), we decided to stay the night before at my dad's house rather than leaving the house super early with a one month old baby. I didn't do the best job documenting the day with pictures, but here's a quick recap of one of my top five best days ever.
Our first officially a Parks family photo (Sam had already changed out of his court clothes into much more comfortable driving home clothes).
While we were at my dad's house, Joseph got to ride in a tractor (actually, it was a swather) for the first time (does it count if he slept through the whole ride?).
On our drive home, we decided to take our time and enjoy the first completely care free day we have had in a while. Since Sam had never tried a Meer's burger, we thought that would be a fun place to eat lunch. When we got to the Wichita Mountains, it was still a little too early for lunch and Joseph was starting to get hungry, so we stopped at Medicine Park to enjoy the scenery and give Joseph a bottle. While we were there, Sam broke out the camera and started taking pictures.
We even sat up the tripod for a couple of family pictures.
After a delicious lunch, we moseyed on up to Oklahoma City where we stopped by the fertility clinic to introduce Joseph to the doctors and nurses that played a major role in our journey to have a family. Even though they weren't the final step in us having a family, they were still very excited for us. More than once they told us that their goal is a baby and they are excited however we get that baby. I really wish I would have thought to take some pictures while we were there.
For an afternoon snack, we felt it appropriate to stop at Wendy's for frosties since Wendy's founder Dave Thomas was adopted thus they are strong supporters of adoption (it doesn't hurt that frosties are good!).
After our frosties, we made a quick stop at the mall to order new glasses for Sam then headed home. All in all, it was a pretty amazing day!