On Friday, a dear friend adopted the nine-year-old twins her partner gave birth to before they were a couple. In the adoption, the twins also gained a sibling, Caroline. After the decrees were signed, the judge called the twins to the bench and had them deliver the decrees to their new mom. Then, in lovely gesture, he asked their six year old sister, Caroline, to come behind the bench, where he let her bang the gavel to adjourn the court. Pretty cool thing for a little kid.
I adopted Nature Boy in a similar proceeding when he was less than two years old. He doesn't remember, so he watched everything with eagle eyes, and tonight we talked about all we had seen. He thought it would be strict, like court on TV, but the judge was kind and funny. He wanted to know if the same things had happened when he was adopted, and we told him how his grandfather had testified that he was glad I would raise his grandchild, how his brother and sisters had spoken to the judge about wanting to have him as a little brother, and how glad we are to be a family. He was quiet for a moment and then said, "There's one thing I don't understand. Why did the judge let Caroline knock the gobble?" It only took us a minute to understand that he meant bang the gavel, and we all laughed.
Here is the concluding language of the case that made second parent adoption possible for children in our state:
In fact and therefore in law, what does matter in the best interests of both Peter and George is that Gene Hart and Burke Shiri live in a loving and long lasting committed relationship. In fact and in law, what does matter in their best interests is that Peter and George have already begun to reap the benefits of the love of these two men and have, even in their tender years, returned it in kind. In fact and in law, what does matter in the best interests of Peter and George is that they are thriving in the environment created by Gene Hart and Burke Shiri.Amen. Knock the gobble.
Having stated the above and for reasons stated on the record the Court
concludes that it is in the best interests of both Peter and George to say in the
eyes of justice and law what is already in fact - namely:
- Peter Hart - shall be and is HEREBY the adopted child of Burke Shiri.
- George Hart - shall be and is HEREBY the adopted child of Burke Shiri.