On June 7th, 2013, the Johnston County courts officially declared Elizabeth “adopted for life”.  When I read those exact words in our decree of adoption, I had to smile.  Because, while her “readoption” here in the States was legally necessary for a number of reasons, we certainly did not need our county court system to tell us that Elizabeth is ours forever.

It does feel pretty crazy to be completely done with all of her adoption paperwork.  With all of the legalities.  Did I mention all of the paperwork??  Truthfully, this readoption was pretty anti-climactic.  We didn’t even get the chance to dress cute and celebrate together in front of a judge in the courthouse as I had imagined (or as Victor’s adoption in Parenthood suggested.  Because clearly all reality is based on the fictional show and my latest-obsession, Parenthood).  No, our social worker met with the clerk of the court (and without us) one rainy Friday afternoon to sign the final paperwork, and that was that.  Just like that, the U.S. formally recognized Elizabeth as ours, officially changed her name, and granted her citizenship.  Yes, that’s right..  Y’all, meet one of our newest citizens.


Oh my gosh, couldn’t you just eat her up?  Just between us, I had to bribe the kid to hold these flags for this picture.  She didn’t want to have anything to do with either of ’em, but her stubborn mama had in her mind that she WOULD get a picture to commemorate the occasion.  We’ll just pretend that this was completely volitional and that she gladly waves the flags of both nations.

But flags or no flags, she’s about as official as it gets.   And about as Allison as they come.  Elizabeth, we love to you the moon and the stars (and Congo) and back.  And nothing could ever, ever change that.