Best Friends of the Furry Kind


He’s not even two years old yet, but Miles already has two best friends: our old English lab and our middle-aged mutt, his constant companions.  They have both adored him from the start. Now that he’s running around, he plays ball with the lab, (which is hilarious) chases the mutt, and snuggles up with (or sits on) them all the time. He makes sure they eat pretty good these days, too, dutifully sharing both his favorite snacks and his least favorite vegetables.


Our dogs have been a part of Miles’ life ever since the day he was born. When we drove from Virginia to Texas after getting the call that Miles’ birthmother was in labor, we packed up the car and brought the dogs because we had no idea when we’d be back (and we only had one day notice that we were about to have a baby!). So they knew him right from the start and immediately went into protector mode.


We ended up being in Texas for an entire month, and were very happy to have the dogs with us on the most important trip of our lives (after all, they were our babies first). When we were feeling stressed over ICPC or the frustrating Texan adoption agency we had to work with, we would look at sweet, sleeping Miles, and then pet the dogs. When we had no idea if we were ever going to be able to go home, I would put Miles in a baby carrier and walk the dogs. We both remarked several times on that trip how glad we were that they were there (even if they added an extra layer of complexity to the situation).

I love that I have photos like the one below when Miles was four days old and we were living in a hotel room (was that ever an adventure) and then from the porch of the sweet little house we rented on AirBnB for three weeks.



Having a pet has been proven to be great for your health by lowering anxiety and stress levels. Dogs are there for you always, whenever you need them, absolutely unconditionally. Even though they are not humans, their company makes us feel less alone. If you’ve ever wrestled with a stressful, sad, scary, depressing situation, you know how isolating it can sometimes be. Dogs are soft and furry, which in addition to getting hair all over your couch and black pants, also provides comfort that’s hard to beat. To simply pet a dog or cat is to lower your blood pressure as much as lowering your sodium intake.

Look, see — Miles doesn’t appear stressed at all, does he?


In the same way that I want to equip him with a love of nature and the outdoors to help him when he struggles, I also want him to equip him with a love for animals.

Having a dog has helped me through so many hard times in my life. My dogs have been on the receiving end of my tears too many times to count and have never once backed away from offering a furry shoulder to cry on.

When Miles is going through his teenage years, and in young adolescence when he tries to make sense of his adoption and racial identity, I want his dog to be sitting next to him. I want him to be able to pet that dog and calm himself and know that that dog is his–his best, most loyal friend, his companion, his protector. When he feels that there is no one in this world who understands him, I want his dog to lick his face and beg him to play ball or go for a walk. I want the responsibility of caring for a dog to bring him back to reality if he ever starts to spiral into darkness.


This is something that Miles’ birthmother also wanted for him. Our dogs were one of the reasons that she chose us to be his family. She never had the chance to have a dog, but she said that she thought every little kid should–and she loved the thought that he would have two.

I’m pretty sure that he would agree with that wholeheartedly.




One Simple Thing We Can All Do to Improve Race Relations

“Empathy may be the single most important quality that must be nurtured to give peace a fighting chance.” –  Arundhati Ray

As part of an effort to educate myself about black culture and racism, I’ve been reading websites and magazines written for black audiences. I think all transracial adoptive parents have a responsibility to learn about their children’s culture and the struggles they will face both as minorities and as adoptees.

A few weeks ago, I was scanning the Atlanta Black Star website, a news site with a mainly black audience, when I saw an article about a white guy from Georgia named Gerod Roth who posted a selfie standing next to a beautiful black child on his Facebook page. The Facebook post was soon riddled with racist remarks from both Roth and his friends and it ended up being passed all over the internet.

The Black community in Atlanta and around the country was outraged (rightfully so), and the people behind Black Twitter dug up the guy’s personal information and he and at least one of the commenters ended up being fired from their jobs (also rightfully so).

Gerod Roth

Like other people who read it, I was upset by the photo and comments on the guys’ Facebook page. Then I scrolled down to the comments section of the Atlanta Black Star article and read what black people were saying about it–and that made me feel even worse. Things like, “White people don’t like us. Period.” Or, “White people will say this stuff about us but then smile to our faces. My buddy used to call it the fake white girl smile.” Or, simply, “This is why we will never be safe.”

In people’s minds, the rude comments of this overprivileged jerk and his ignorant friends were just another terrible thing in a long line of terrible things that white people have done to people of color. This wasn’t just about one white guy and a handful of idiots–to some of the people on that site, it seemed likethis guy spoke for all white people.

That made me so incredibly sad, because my smile is not fake and it breaks my heart that people might think that. (Not that I would blame them. How can black people trust us when things like this continue to happen?) Suddenly, it seemed impossible to me that we would ever be able to move past racism when there are people like Gerod Roth out there spewing hatred into the world. Feeling helpless, I looked at Miles and his beautiful black skin. How am I going to explain all of this to him? How is he going to feel about my white skin when he learns about racism? What can I do?

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eye for an instant?”  – Henry David Thoreau

I never comment on news articles, but I left a comment on the Atlanta Black Star article that day, saying how awful the story made me feel, how sorry I was that this happened, and how sorry I was for all of the terrible racist things that black people have to face each and every day.

What happened next amazed me. I started receiving friend requests from people in the black community who read my comment. Lots of them (400+ people) started leaving replies on that comment and sending me messages that said things like “Thank you for recognizing this,” and “You made my day,” and “This means so much,” and “This is sweet. It’s too bad the majority don’t feel this way.”

It was nothing. I simply acknowledged what I was feeling; that this was terrible, that not all white people are like that, and that I felt badly about it, too. But it apparently meant the world to a community that never (or very rarely) hears these kinds of things from white people. For some, it seemed like the only time in their entire lives that they had ever heard a white person express empathy to them in regards to racism. If you read the comments on that article, you’ll see what I mean.

Black people are used to white people denying that racism exists–not acknowledging that it does (even though we wished it didn’t). One commenter said, “White people can see vampires, ghosts, aliens, UFOs, werewolves, and zombies, but can’t see racism, oppression, or white privilege.”

From what I’ve seen and heard and learned about racism over the past two years, that is not far from the truth. Because white people have never experienced racism and don’t have to deal with it on a daily basis, it’s easy for us to think that it no longer exists. It makes us uncomfortable to talk about, and people often even take offense to it because they don’t think they, themselves, are racist. But imagine how frustrating that must be for the people who face the real-world consequences of our systemically racist society?

I think the reason we can’t seem to figure out a way to move past racism in this country is because too many of us refuse to even agree that it’s a problem.

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein

I made new friends by leaving that comment, all because instead of remaining silent and wishing that racism didn’t exist, I expressed the feelings that I’ve been carrying around inside. It didn’t solve anything, but imagine what would happen if we all said “Yes, racism is real and it’s not fair and we want to help do something about it.” Imagine the change that we could create.

What if we all made it a point to learn about racism and then to reach out and express empathy for the struggles our black neighbors have faced for generations? Why don’t more of us do that? What are we scared of? I know there are so many white people that feel the same why I do. If you’re reading this, surely you are one of them. If you believe that racism is real and care about ending it, find a way to express that.

We’ve got nothing to gain but friends and nothing to change but everything.



Nature Heals: Why I want my adopted son to be outdoorsy

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Miles loves to be outside. When he was a teeny tiny thing and crying for one reason or another, I could always take him outside on the porch at our old house to calm him down. One look up at the trees surrounding our yard and he would quiet right down and go to sleep. Even now, if he’s restless, agitated, or upset, a trip out to the yard is just the thing to turn his day (and mine) right around.

We’ve planted the seeds early for a life-long love affair with nature and the outdoors by taking him hiking ever since he was big enough to fit in the backpack. This weekend, he was able to take a substantial hike for the first time on his own two legs. I was amazed at how far he got — he walked more than a mile, smiling and laughing as he stepped over logs, picked up sticks, and kicked fallen leaves. He absolutely loved it and I’m psyched to have a new hiking partner that I don’t have to carry the whole way (I’m also psyched that he slept for three hours afterwards).


Nature has always been my antidote; there is nothing like a walk in the woods to cure me of everything from anxiety to stress and even loneliness and depression. The Great Outdoors has been proven–with actual research--to lower blood pressure, decrease stress hormones, and act as an anti-depressant on the brain, boosting serotonin and other feel-good hormones. Being outside, surrounded by trees and grass and feeling the wind and sun on your face is just plain good for you.

Being in the forest, whether I’m walking, running, horseback riding or just sitting under a tree–calms my mind and reminds me that I am connected to something much bigger than myself. Being outside, and especially in the woods, is an escape from all the noise. Surrounded by nature, I can breathe. Fresh air, trees, and wildlife fill me with love and gratitude and remind me what it means to be alive.

I believe that it’s especially important for children (and adults) who have heavy things like adoption on their hearts and minds to seek connection with nature. I know that as an adoptee, especially a transracial adoptee, Miles will undoubtedly experience confusion and sadness related to adoption that I won’t be able to resolve for him. So it’s important for me to equip and empower him with the one thing that never fails to lift my spirits: a deep and lasting love of Mother Nature.


When his adoption causes him to wonder who he is and where he belongs in this world, I hope that he will always find comfort in going to the woods. I hope that spending time in nature fills him with a childlike wonder like it does me, and reminds him that that everyone and everything is connected. I hope the sounds of the birds and the wind rustling through the trees will dull any sadness he feels and give him the confidence to soldier on through even the darkest of days. Because no matter what else is going on, the natural world is always a magical place–and he belongs to it just like it belongs to him.

p.s. I believe in the power of the outdoors so much that my day job is all about connecting people to nature. A few months ago, I interviewed Dr. Scott Sampson (from PBS’ Dinosaur Train) about his new book, How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature for The Trust for Public Land’s blog. If you have kids, this book is a great read and has cool ideas on ways to nurture a love of nature in your children–whether you live in the city or the country. Little known fact: Dr. Scott and his wife adopted a child, too.






5 Ways My White Friends & Family Can be Allies for my Black Son

My family is different–and I love that. Having a child of color has enriched my life and expanded my emotional intelligence in so many ways. But as the mother of a Black son, racism is on my mind nearly every day now. I have learned so much about it and I want to share some of that with you on this blog because I know how much you all care about Miles, too.

Here are 5 ways that you can be an ally, not only for Miles, but for all kids of color:

1. Don’t pretend to be colorblind. You can say that Miles is black. (You don’t have to say African-American, although that’s OK to say, as is person of color or kid of color.) Black is not a 4-letter word. It’s his race. I’m proud of it and it is absolutely crucial that he is, too. I don’t want him to think that it’s something that he should be ashamed of. Instead, celebrate his Blackness with me. He’s a perfect, cuddly, beautiful Black baby boy and I couldn’t be prouder of that fact.

2. If I bring up racism or white privilege, please have the courage to talk with me about it. This is my life now. I know that talking about race is uncomfortable for you–it was uncomfortable for me at first, too. But my child–and every Black child in this country–needs white advocates who aren’t afraid to learn about and talk about racism because, unfortunately, it is still exists. Trust me when I tell you that it definitely does. By acknowledging it, maybe we can create change.

3. Your white children will have privileges and be able to do things that my son won’t be able to do. This is the unfortunate reality of every Black parent in the country and now it is mine as well. And it just plain sucks. When you’re teaching your son to assert his rights when questioned by a police officer, I will have to tell mine to put his hands up and eyes down and try not to get shot. I’m going to have to teach him things–really sad, awful things–about the world that you will not have to teach your child, and when he’s a teenager I may just go absolutely insane with worry every time he leaves the house. Tell me that you get it and that it’s not fair. Help me think of ways to make it better.


4. I can’t tell you how much I would appreciate you being intentional about teaching your children and/or grandchildren, nieces, or nephews that other races are just as beautiful and worthy and strong as ours. I think white parents sometimes forget to do that or don’t know how to go about it. But kids start to notice racial differences at a pretty young age and as parents, we have the ability to shape how they feel about those differences. Expose them to diversity in culture, books, toys, entertainment and look for opportunities to show them heroes and great men and women of color so they know that strong, good people come in every color and not just white. Something this simple can help shape our children into loving and empathetic adults.

5. Use your privilege to push for diversity (both in student bodies and in teaching staff) and equality for kids of color at your children’s school. As a white parent, you have a lot of power. Stand up and say something if you see racism happening. Ask the school to recruit more Black teachers. Black children historically have a really tough time in school because of systemic racism. This article from The Washington Post talks about how racism is pushing more Black parents to homeschool their kids. I’m actually considering homeschooling Miles–not at our home (I’d screw him up for sure!) but in a homeschool community coop for kids of color where there is an actual, accredited teacher in charge and I can be sure that he will be treated with respect and surrounded by children and teachers that look like him.


Thank you for reading, for going on this journey with me, and for all of your love and support!

My Adopted Son is My Real Kid

After thinking about this for what feels like forever, I’ve decided to change the name of the blog from Adopting Charlie to My Real Kid. This new name feels more fitting for a couple of  reasons, not the least of which is that we ended up naming our son Miles and not Charlie. And also because even though our family was formed through adoption, he IS my real kid.


When you adopt a child that doesn’t share your skin tone, everyone wants to know the details. Everywhere we go, we are the center of attention. People are curious, and I’m fine with that. Ask anyone who knows me; I’ve never shied away from being the center of attention. I’m a total ham. So, I’ve never been bothered by the stares that we receive because they are usually accompanied by smiles. I always answer questions that people ask. “Where was he born?” is one that I hear constantly, and everyone is always surprised when I say Texas. Not a big deal–happens all the time.

But once and awhile someone will ask me a question like: “Do you have any “real” kids at home?” or “Where is his “real” mom?”

This happened the other day in the checkout line at the grocery store. The cashier was well-meaning (people usually are) but totally clueless. She kept using the term “real” even after I corrected her with: “No, I don’t have any biological children. Is that what you mean by real?”

I understand what she means by “real” and it doesn’t make me feel bad. I wouldn’t mind if it was just me that she was talking to, but now that Miles is almost 19 months old, he understands everything we say. He’s starting to answer questions and follow directions and it won’t be long before someone implying that he isn’t “real” is going to hurt his feelings.

I don’t want to answer questions from strangers about his birth family in front of him or why his birth mother decided that adoption was the best thing for him. And I don’t want to have to defend the fact that he is quote-unquote real. Imagine how that would make you feel if you were a little kid? (Not to mention the fact that he is 100% my real kid. I’ve changed just about each and every one of his diapers since the day he was born. I sit up with him at night when he’s cutting teeth. He runs to me when he gets hurt or scared. He makes me carry him (the entire time) while I vacuum. Trust me, this is as real as it gets.)

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So now when the cashier at the grocery store asks me if I have any “real kids” at home, I’ll just tell her to read all about it on my website… That should shut her up! :)

Anyway, I hope you will continue to read as I navigate the next part of my journey as a transracial adoptive mom (and maybe another adoption soon!). I learn something new almost every day about what it means to be a parent and especially the adoptive mother of a Black son. Although, full disclosure: most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing and am totally winging it–aren’t we all?

Cheers, and thank you so much for reading!

p.s. will redirect to so hopefully people will have no problem finding the site with its new name. MyRealKid will house the entire archive of Adopting Charlie posts–just consider it a facelift. I’m not entirely sure what will happen if you follow the blog, so it would be great if you would hit follow blog button again to be sure you get updates.



Adoptive Parenting: Matching genes not required

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A few months ago, I listened to a friend tell another friend who is pregnant that there’s nothing like becoming a mother. “You’re making a tiny copy of yourself,” she said. “He’s going to have your DNA and be your own little mini-me. It’s amazing.”

I just smiled and nodded and took a sip of wine. “That is cool, but it’s equally as amazing if they don’t look like you,” I said. “Becoming a parent fills your heart with a love so true and pure that it absolutely rocks your world.”

To me, that love is what parenthood is all about–that selfless, do-anything-for-you type of love that one only feels for their children. I felt it the very first time I saw my son–this newborn baby who looked nothing like me, who I didn’t carry in my belly, who doesn’t share my genes. My love for him was not conditional upon biology. It simply didn’t matter.

I get it–I understand the primal urge to pass on your genes and to procreate with your partner. I felt it and grieved it. But that is a distant memory now. That wound, that pain, has long since healed. And I can tell you that there is no possible way that I could love my son any more–even if I had given birth to him. The moment I laid eyes on my child, I became his mother, unconditionally and with my whole heart.

Once and awhile someone will ask me if I still want to have a “child of my own.” I tell them that I already do have a child of my own and that no, I do not feel any need or desire to have a biological child. And I mean it, 100%. But some people have a hard time imagining that I could not possibly want a baby that is “biologically part me and part my husband.”

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The thing that people don’t realize is that my son is absolutely part me and part my husband. We are the ones who nurture him daily, we are the ones teaching him how to be in the world, how to act, how to love, how to treat other people. He doesn’t look like us or share our skin color, but everything he knows about the world he gets from us. We are his parents, his role-models, his family. Simple as that.

I even felt this way before Miles was born, after we started the adoption process. I worried that if I became pregnant that we wouldn’t be able to adopt. Once we made the decision that adoption was the way that we would create our family, I never looked back. It felt right and it felt good–in a way that trying to get pregnant never had. I put down the pain and disappointment of endless negative pregnancy tests and picked up the joy and hope of adoption and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

To me, motherhood has nothing to do with sharing the same eyes as your child. Becoming a mother (or a father) is about so much more than that. It’s about truly unconditional love, always putting your child before yourself, and just plain being there to raise, hug, comfort, encourage, nurture, and adore him or her no matter what.

And that is more than enough for me.

Fall fun at the corn maze + pumpkin patch

I’m just a giant kid masquerading as an adult, so, naturally, Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it: pumpkin patches, corn mazes, scary movies, (pretty sure I’ve seen every single one ever made), caramel apples, jack-o-lanterns, dressing up, trick-or-treating, and, of course, candy (bring on the Snickers and the Nerds!). One of the best things about having a little kid now is that I can do all of that fun little-kid stuff without people thinking I’m a total weirdo. 
IMG_8262I could never drag my husband to a pumpkin patch when it was just him and I, but now he has no excuse. I wanted to go big this year, seeing as it was Miles’ first real Halloween. (He was so little last year that it didn’t really count.) So, I was excited to discover a farm called Liberty Mills, home to the biggest corn maze in Virginia. It’s on 25 acres (25!) and this year it had an Alice in Wonderland theme.

There are actually four mazes of escalating difficulty, but we only made it through two–that backpack is heavier than it looks. And Miles wasn’t quite ready to enjoy it as I had imagined he would… you know, running through the corn stalks with a huge smile on his face having the best time ever. Really, he just looked confused the entire time: Where the heck are we and what are we doing? But I still had fun!

IMG_8243Jamie was much better at navigating the maze than I was. Miles would probably have been better at it than I was. I got us totally lost. And it started getting pretty hot in there without any shade. Good thing we had a map!

The mini corn maze for kids was more Miles’ speed. It was more of a corn tunnel, but he l-o-v-e-d it. I think he may have loved playing in the huge pile of straw even more, though.

Driving the tractor was a huge hit, too. What a little farmer–ear of corn in one hand, steering wheel in the other. IMG_8340

When it was time to pick our pumpkins, we had to stop and check out each and every one. Hmmm, which one shall I choose? Big decision!IMG_8344

It took awhile, but we finally found three perfect ones. I know Miles will probably never remember this day, but I always will! IMG_8352

What should I write about now?

IMG_8068I’ve been doing a lot of writerly soul searching lately… what should I be writing about? Is it OK to blog about my son? How much of our story is mine to tell? Now that our adoption is finalized, is Adopting Charlie’s journey over or should I write about our lives together? We’re talking about starting the process for a second child soon – should I blog about that?

I *think* people are still finding this site useful. I get a few new readers now and then and I love reading comments when they come in. But I’m having a bit of writer’s block when it comes to Adopting Charlie. I’m not sure where to take it next, if anywhere. So, I thought I’d ask you all.

What do you want from this site? What would be helpful to you in your own journeys?

Please leave a comment with any ideas or inspiration. I’d love to hear what you’d like to see me cover and/or if you think I’ve said all I should say.

Thank you so much!


A letter to my (adopted) son on his first birthday

It’s so hard to believe that you are already one year old. It feels like just yesterday you and I were wheeled out of the hospital together. You were so small and I was so blissfully happy to finally have met you. Time has flown by the past 365 days, even as I wished for it to slow down. You have brought such incredible joy to our lives during your first revolution around the sun. Being your mama is an honor and a privilege and I hope that I can always do right by you.

One thing’s for sure: I will spend the rest of my life trying.


Now that you are a toddler, your personality is really beginning to shine. You are funny and sweet and brave and determined. You make people smile everywhere we go. I cannot tell you how many lives you have touched. Even on a simple trip to the grocery store, you melt hearts, lift spirits, and give freely little blessings of happiness and laughter. Making Daddy (Daaaaaaaa) laugh is your favorite thing to do, along with growling and panting like the doggies, vacuuming on Mommy’s hip, taking clothes in and out of the washing machine (yes, you once LOVED to do chores), and crawling around in that adorably cute hybrid walk-crawl thing you do. You love to be outside. I mean, love it. You could watch the leaves blow in the breeze all day and be perfectly content. You are also smitten with books and cannot get enough of them. Your favorite book is called My Love for You. (pssst…it’s mine, too.) Every time you see that book you light up like a Christmas tree. It can pull you out of the crankiest of moods.


You and I just love spending time together–we savor our long walks in the park with your doggies, Gracie & Taylor, and love hanging out on the back porch and in the yard listening to the birds and the horses next door. You are fascinated with birds and point at every single one that flies by. When you need me, you yell “NaNaNa!” at the top of your lungs. That’s what you call me, and it’s music to my ears. Every morning, you spend an hour (sometimes two when you get up really early) playing with Daddy before he goes to work and I suspect that this is the highlight of his day. I believe it may be yours, too. The love between you two is something to behold. The love between the three of us is a force to be reckoned with.


You only had two teeth when you turned one–both on the bottom–but there is one on the top that is starting to poke through (ouch) and you are already (pretty) good at chewing food. Your favorite food is fruit–cantaloupe, pineapple, and watermelon–and we just discovered that you love chicken noodle soup like Mama, and ham and cheese like Dad. You refuse to eat peas, but most other things are fair game. It’s so fun watching you get better at picking up food with your sweet little fingers and trying to use a spoon. You try so hard at everything you do and eating is no exception. I have no doubt that you’ll be wielding your own utensils soon.

You don’t realize that our skin doesn’t match yet, but I know you probably will soon. And even though we have been together from the moment you were born, you had another family first, before you came into the world. I will tell you all about your adoption when you’re a little older, and I know that it will probably make you sad. You may have doubts and fears, but I want you to know that Dad and I are 100 percent your “real” family and that we would do anything for you. I also want you to know that you can talk to me about all or any of this at any time and I hope you will always feel like you can be completely honest with me. My feelings won’t be hurt if you need to cry. I will cry with you. Your first mother chose us to be your parents because she loved you so much. She knew that the three of us would make one happy family, and she was right. She is a strong, courageous woman and will always have a special place in our hearts.

We may be different in some ways, but we are the same in so many other ways. Like the fact that you and I are both Aries–our birthdays are only one week apart! I’m already noticing the similarities in our personalities. You’ll see – we’re a lot alike, buddy. You’re a lot like Daddy, too. Our hearts match and that is the important thing. We were brought together by love and devotion instead of blood and biology, and the way I see it, that’s even more special. We were brought together by something bigger, and you are, and always will be, a Ferguson through-and-through. You are the very heart of our little family. You have brought us joy beyond measure, and I count my blessings every day.

I have so many hopes and dreams for you, but the greatest is that you will be happy and always know how much you are loved. Your smile can move mountains and you can do anything, and be anything, you set your mind to (like that walking thing you’ve almost mastered). Your Dad and I will be here for you every step of the way–when you fall down, when you get up, when you fail, when you succeed, when your heart breaks, and when it soars. Happy birthday, my sweetest thing. Here’s to a hundred more.

I love you more than I ever thought possible.



p.s. eat your peas!

Finally finalized + our adoption video

A lot has happened since my last post! Miles’ adoption was officially finalized on March 5th, 2015. We didn’t actually know until the end of the month, though — can you believe no one told us? There was no court date and no appearance, which was a bit anti-climactic. It was just a judge signing some papers. And our attorney failed to tell us when the papers had actually been signed. This was really surprising because he was so great, and an adoptive father himself. I would have assumed he knew how important it was to us. Anyway, the adoption is now official in the eyes of the law (even though it has been final in our eyes since the moment we held our sweet boy) and we couldn’t be happier.

I had been saving this video to share when we announced our finalization (didn’t think it would take this long!). A wonderful local photographer created this film for us and we think it’s a super sweet memento of our first year together. Miles has brought us such joy and I can’t imagine our lives without him. I thank my lucky stars every day for the tremendous honor and privilege of raising this cuddly, sweet, smiling baby boy.