Another first for me this weekend. I was honored to witness an adoption. After all the requisite steps and hoops, the judge stood at the podium and asked a few questions of the family sitting at the table in the courtroom.
“Is this adoption in the child’s best interest?”
“Are you able to provide for this child?”
“Are you prepared to be a good father to this child?”
And it was done. My nephew had adopted his stepson. A road long taken had wound to it’s end.
The necessary photos were posted to Facebook and gushing, celebratory congratulations ensued. Of all the many messages, two seemed to me particularly poignant. One read, “Well, I never knew he wasn’t biologically his.”
Yeah. It would’ve seemed so. My nephew and his son never seemed otherwise.
The other response was from my other nephew, the now Official, Legal Uncle. He wrote, “K has always been my family, but now there’s not a single person on the face of the earth who can say otherwise.”
And there it is. The Righteous Truth McNugget. What changed is both simple yet not, profound yet unnoticed. My nephew and his lovely wife have tied around their family a tight little bow.
It won’t erase any questions that K may have, it won’t tie off all the loose ends. And he may eventually seek some answers. But he’ll do so knowing what it’s like to have a Dad. A Dad who coached his soccer team. A Dad who taught him, who made sure he only had to look ahead because Dad always had his back. A Dad who stood before a judge and promised to love him and look after him.
My nephew stood up and said to the world, “This is my son. He’s mine. And whatever happens from now on, this will always be so.”
After the judge declared the adoption official, I went to my nephew, hugged him and shook his hand. I hope he understands that in that hug and handshake were not just respect and affection, but admiration.