“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending”.
If you have not heard my testimony click here before you continue…
October 7, 1994 – In the Kitsap County courthouse, I listened as the judge spoke to my mom, him and I. I didn’t want to be there. We were there because he was adopting me. He was giving me his last name, an unwanted gift…
A few months prior, the three of us stood around the dining room table. He and mom asked me if I would like to be adopted. Deep down inside I wanted to say no. I was scared, I could feel him giving me a look. I didn’t know what he would to do me if I said I didn’t want to be adopted. So I simply said “Yes.” Inside I felt gross, I felt ashamed of the fact that I let him get his way. I was also scared of telling my mom the real reason I said yes.
Fast forward twenty three years. Mom and I were talking one day after I was able to share my truth. She said “I wonder if you can have the adoption reversed? It might be something to look into.” I put it on the back burner for a while, I was living on this high of new found freedom. I eventually started researching, trying to find a lawyer that could help me. My case is unique. Not many adoptees want their adoption reversed, or even have that option to do so. I found one, and made an appointment for my consultation. He answered my questions:
- Is it possible to be reversed or dissolved? No, my biological father would have to re-adopt me.
- What’s the cost? About $1200
- Whats the timeline? Pay the fee, they draw up the paperwork and send it to dad to be signed within a week. Once they receive it back, they’ll call me to come to sign for consent. Then they file. Once we have a court date, we go and make it official.
I called my dad and told him, and for whatever unknown reason we put it on the back burner, again.
July 26, 2020 – Three years of freedom! I woke up feeling so great, I felt like I was on top of the world! I shared my weekly “Happy Sunday Y’all!” post on my social media accounts with what that date meant to me, then my family and I loaded up and headed to church, a church we had only been attending for about a month. Let me just tell you right now, that service from beginning to end Was. For. Me. Worship was ALL about freedom. I was in tears. In the middle of one of the songs-whew I have chills typing this-in the middle of one of the songs the worship leader says “It doesn’t matter whose name is on your birth certificate…”(I tuned out the end of that because I was trying to process what I had just heard.) Instantaneous chill bumps. No. Holy Ghost bumps. He didn’t know me or my story or my struggles. He didn’t know that I had been wanting to go through this process of re-adoption.
I was cleaning a few days later and found all of the paperwork I needed for the re-adoption: birth certificates from both birth and the previous adoption, previous adoption papers, and his death certificate. I decided I needed to get the ball rolling, and called the attorney. I had misplaced my notes from our previous meeting and needed to ask a few questions. The secretary said it would just be easier to come in, so I made an appointment for the following day. I called dad and asked him if he would be available to take a call the next day while I was with the attorney.
I woke up excited, I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew it was going to be a good day. I got to the attorneys office, the secretary handed me some paperwork to fill out and because my case is so unique I had a hard time filling it all out. I mean, who can say their adoptive father will also be their biological dad? I filled it all out as best as I could and turned it all back in. I was then called back to the conference room. The attorney came in and asked a couple of questions. I asked if I could call dad and put him on speaker so he could be there as well. Once we got dad on the phone, he ran through the process and asked us if we had any questions. Dad says “Yeah, who do I give my card info to so we can get this process started?” Three days later, we received the paperwork via email. Because dad is a truck driver we had to wait for him to get back home to get it printed signed and mailed back to the attorney.
- September 3rd, we received the conformation that the attorney received the paperwork back.
- September 18th, my adoption paperwork was filed with the courthouse after I went and signed the consent to file.
- September 23rd, the attorney’s office notified us of our court date. Adoption day will be October 21st!!!
October 21, 2020. Adoption day. Armed with support from my husband and kids, my mom, my sister and her kids and one of my very best friends; my dad and I walked into the courthouse. I met with the attorney to go over paper work, and then we waited. The bailiff said “All rise” and I started trembling. We were the only case to be seen that morning. The attorney stated who we were and verified why we were there and what we wanted to do that day. The judge then spoke and asked who we had with us, and I introduced my entourage. Then he asked me why I wanted to go through with this process. Unbeknownst to me, my mom was sitting behind me shaking her head as if to say “Don’t ask her that.” Here comes the flood gates. I told him, through lots of tears, that I had suffered years of sexual abuse from my previous adoptive father. That was all he needed to hear. He reached down and grabbed his pen and signed my paperwork immediately. I’ve never seen a case come to a close so quickly. In and out in less than ten minutes! Why had I not done this any sooner?!
Tonight, after a beautiful day spent those who love me most, I took all of the extra copies of my previous adoption papers and birth certificates and Lit. Them. Up. It was a final good-bye to my past and to any connection I had to him.
I am now FREE!