We have been working on finalizing a step parent adoption for the past little while. McKay has wanted to adopt Gabriel from day 1. They bonded instantly when we (Gabe and I) moved back to the mainland and have been inseparable ever since! I am eternally grateful that they adore each other so much. I couldn't ask for a better husband or for a better father for Gabriel. McKay is really the best there is. I promise.
Gabriel's biological father has never come around. Ever. I left the door wide open for him to visit/see Gabriel, but he never did. There were several times that he promised he would pay child support...but he never did. He has done nothing but lie and neglect and break promises and I refuse to subject my son to that kind of "parent" (if one can even call him that). I swore to myself that I would give Ray until Gabriel was two years old to man-up and be a father to his son. That's TWO YEARS, people (more, if you count the pregnancy time). Not once did he make any sort of effort to be there for him. No financial, emotional, or moral support - EVER.
So I was done. The door I left wide open? Shut. Completely.
And now it's official!
Yesterday, we met with Judge L. and finalized the adoption. It was just the three of us, the judge, and two court clerks in the courtroom. Judge L. (awesome, sweet, amazing Judge L....) gave Gabe license to run amok during the proceedings, which he fully took advantage of.
It was a pretty cut-and-dry case. No home study needed since he resides with a biological parent. All laws/statutes complied with. Consent and Waiver signed and notarized by the biological, non-custodial parent. Adoptee is a minor and has lived with the adopting parent for over a year. Easy peasy.
It was a pretty short and simple hearing. We were each asked a handful of questions and papers were signed and that was it!
My two favorite parts of the proceedings:
Judge L. asks McKay to discuss his relationship with Gabriel:
McKay- "He is MY SON. He is. I love him...[etc.]"
I got a little choked up at this. McKay has never seen or discussed Gabriel as anything but his child. HIS child. He is offended when people refer to him as anything but. It hurts his feelings when people make comments like "I bet you're so excited to be a daddy!" (referring to the impending birth of our daughter--his first biological child) and he always responds with "I already am a daddy..."
---Judge L. is reading through court paperwork aloud (meanwhile, Gabe is running around in the jury stand, playing peek-a-boo with the court clerks):
Judge L. "Adopting parents are present - yes. Adoptee is present - yes....and how!"
Gabriel was a little hilarious ball of energy and he just melted their hearts. All three court officials were female and they absolutely adored him. As far as he is concerned, he has three new
So there you have it. McKay is officially, legally--ON PAPER AND EVERYTHING--Gabriel's father. We are ecstatic. Nothing has really changed. There was no magical spell that brought them closer together after it was finalized. That happened the moment they locked eyes at the airport. All that changed was the court's view of their relationship and Gabriel's name. He is now a Rogers.
I love my boys.