It all started when I wasn't quite yet two. I don't remember it, because I was too young, but I've been told the story so many times that I know it like I know the back of my hand. My mom and I were at church walking through the corridor when a man that we didn't know spotted us. He said at that moment something "clicked" and he realized that his life was never going to be the same.
He and my mom began dating shortly thereafter and when I was three they married. My biological father had never been in the picture and therefore had made it possible for my dad (as I now called him and looked at him as) to begin the process of adopting me. Funds were tight, however and it became impossible for my parents to finish the adoption process.
I never knew the difference. When I was five we welcomed my first brother, and when I was seven we welcomed my second and final brother. Our family was complete. My mom, my dad, and my brothers. My childhood was full of love, laughter, and fun.
Again, in my teen years my dad started the process to adopt me, but in one of my explosive teenage tirades I had told him in so many words not to adopt me. I didn't mean it and it was out of immaturity that I spoke, but it was hurtful and he respected my request.
Over the years my dad went above and beyond the call of a father. He exemplified unconditional love and support. When I was upset he spent time talking to me to calm me down, when I was being ridiculous, he would tell me, when I looked for him he was always there, and to this day he still is. I can't imagine what my life would look like if it weren't for him and I thank God for putting him in my mom's and my life. We are so incredibly blessed to have him.
In the Spring of 2012 my husband and I started seriously looking into fostering. We told some select people and we went to some meetings, and we gathered a lot of information. We ended up getting pregnant and putting the process on hold indefinitely. It wasn't the right time and we felt God's leading elsewhere for the time being. With all the reading that we had gone over and the information that we had been inundated with I had come across the information that adult adoptions were possible. To be honest, I was pretty surprised.
I turned this information over and over in my head for a couple months, until one day I said to my dad, "I'd like you to adopt me. Adult adoptions are possible. You're my dad."
His response to this was more than what I anticipated. He not only responded emotionally and with happiness, but he took it and ran with it.
Yesterday started out like most days, but after all the normal motions took place my husband and I gathered our children up into our car and drove down to the courthouse, where we met my mom, my brother, and my dad. We waited outside the courtroom and chatted with other people who were there adopting. I overheard a man ask a woman who worked there "What's going on? Why are there so many people here?" she responded by telling him that these were adoptions taking place. He smiled hugely and said, "Wow... how cool."
When we entered the courtroom the judge and the woman in charge of adoptions went over all the formalities of stating the date, asking us our names, looking over our requests to be adopted and to adopt, having us check documents and sign them. In the end the judge said, "So if I am to understand this correctly when you say that Alan has gone above and beyond what a normal father would and that you see him as being a wonderful dad, what you mean is that he is an exceptional father. Is that right Melissande?" And to that I replied, "Exactly."
So, yesterday my dad adopted me. I cannot in words give credence to how this makes me feel. The only thing I can think to say is that I feel overwhelmingly and incredibly loved. I feel immensely blessed, and I believe I have the best dad in the whole world.