August 8, 2007

Happy Adoption Day . . . again.

Today we had our court appearance for the girls' re-adoption. This process adds the State of Illinois' stamp of approval on top of the existing adoption. Plus, and probably most importantly, it will give the girls Illinois State birth certificates. And why, you may ask yourself, do they need Ilinois State birth certificates? Well, imagine when they want a driver's license (OK, that made my heart skip a beat) and they go the Department of Motor Vehicles and explain to the clerk that yes, that funny looking document they're handing her is in fact a birth certificate . . . Also, it would be next to impossible for them to get duplicate copies of their current Chinese birth certificate if they need them in the future.

We first had to go to the Sheriff's Office so the girls could be served. (Because this is a legal process they have the right, just like any citizen, to be told that they're part of a legal process.) It was kind of cute because the Sheriff actually handed each of them the papers and then gave them a little toy Sheriff's badge. (We were allowed to take pictures in the Sheriff's Office but not in the court room so the photo of the four of us above was taken in that office.)

We then were off to another floor in the building where we waited in a playroom to be called into court. While we were waiting, I took Michal to the bathroom and she was playing around and pulled on the front of my dress exposing my bra to the world -- at least the world in the bathroom. I offhandedly said to her, "Don't pull on my dress. Not everyone wants to see Mommy's b**bs." Let me just formally state here that you should not say anything to a three-year old that you don't want replayed back to you at the most inopportune moment in the future.

About 15 minutes later we were called into the small courtroom and Michal was just in rare form, doing her best preschooler standup. She started by loudly asking, "Where's the judge?" And then continued to make funny little comments that had the judge laughing. And the more he laughed, the more antimated she became. (Just give the girl an audience . . .) Kenna meanwhile was being somewhat shy, except when she and Michal figured out that the courtroom echoed loudly and they proceeded to copy whatever sound the other made just to hear the echo.

The crowning moment though came when Michal reached for the front of my dress and I softly told her, "no." She responded by saying, "Not everyone wants to see your b**bs Mommy. See your b**bs?" So there I am, standing 10-feet in front of this judge, hoping with every ounce of my being that he can't hear what she's saying. In a desperate attempt to distract her I said, "Michal, you can sign a song." And she did. She burst into a rousing version of the "ABCs," complete with an improvised ending that included a very high note for dramatic effect. The judge just kept smiling and laughing. I was just plain relieved she'd moved beyond trying to undress me in the court room. He signed the court order and the girls each got a lollipop.

We went to a fancy lunch to celebrate. I don't think I'm wearing that criss-cross dress again any time soon.

And today is my dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Papa!

(Kenna has the green bow in her hair and Michal's bow is pink.)

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