Friday, November 24, 2006

Final Adoption Day - The Story

I have mentioned the Adoption Day a few times so far on this blog, but I haven't told you about the day and what it means. This special occasion deserve a lot of blog space because of its significance to our family.

Isabella was adopted from Guatemala in March and entered the United States on an I-4 visa. This means that she is a permanent resident of the U.S., not a citizen. In order to gain citizenship for Isabella, Kevin and I had to re-adopt her in the states, have a new birth certificate issued by Ohio in our names, change Isabella's name from Gersel Marina Kramer to Isabella Gersel Kramer, and file for citizenship with Homeland Security (immigration). Isabella's final adoption took place in Summit County court Oct. 30. Her name was legally change and we applied for a new birth certificate which we received this week. Now we can file paperwork with immigration to change her status from permanent resident to citizen.

The court proceeding was an exciting experience for the whole family. Kevin, Isabella and I were joined by Grandma & Grandpa Kramer, Grandma & Grandpa Gaylord, Aunt Melissa and Aunt Julie. Four families adopted children at our proceeding so the court room was full of happiness and love.

The judge called us, along with our attorney, up to her bench, asked Isabella if she knew who mommy was and who daddy was - Isabella just stared at her in her inquisitive way - asked us if we were able and willing to care for her and to confirm our names and birth dates for the new birth certificate. We got to stamp our final adoption decree and get our picture taken with the judge. The grandparents and we celebrated with dinner at our favorite dinner, Dontinos.

Lots of pictures to follow!

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