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As the E Family crossed the road heading to the courthouse, they looked like any other family. (Any other well-dressed family). They were dressed for a very important day at the courthouse. And like any other family, they held each other’s hands crossing the road, reminding their kids to look both ways. The mother listened to her daughter beg to be picked up as they ran across the road. And the father waited to make sure everyone made it safely. The snow fell silently as the family headed up the stairs, the youngest and soon-to-be adopted daughter slipped a quick glance back at me, curious about who I was.

As we entered the elevator, I watched the kids pile in and huddle close to their parents like little ducklings. The father told me about their history of fostering, having fostered fourteen children and now adopting their third. I was so inspired by their love and spacious hearts.

As the judge entered the courtroom, she gave an easy smile and she proceeded with the utmost empathy. The E family told their story of adoptions and proceeded to explain their love for their youngest and their desire to make her an official part of the family. As the judge swore them in, the little girl tucked her head into her mother’s neck and raised her hand. As the proceeding continued, their two girls fidgeted, as kids do, and started drawing with some markers and paper to keep themselves busy. But within 10 minutes, the proceeding ended. And a family that walked in as a family of four left as an official family of five.

 

family crossing street mom holding daughter family entering spokane courthouse girl hidiing behind dad running to bathroom girl struggling to get paper towel girl holding up sign family waiting by door kids climbing into chairs family swearing in family listening to judge daughters drawing daughter drawing daughter meeting judge family with judge kids at door kids fighting around dad kids at candy machine kids at candy machine daughter chomping candy daughter sneaking away getting on elevator family leaving one last pose as full family