What a weekend it has been! On Friday we had our adoption finalization hearing. What a fun day! We celebrated with family and had cupcakes and apple cider and took a ton of pictures. We took a wonderful family photo with the judge.
I have spent the last four and half years going in that court room and spent most of those years imagining our adoption ceremony in there. But when I walked in and set up with the kids in the front, sitting at the table, all I could think about was the fact that their birth parents sat in those very same chairs years ago when I sat in the back. I recounted a handful of hard court hearings and all of the waiting and ups and downs in the case. At times, I doubted we would ever get to this day.
It worked out that my husband was off that day, as were the kids. So we woke up and everyone crawled into our bed and we took our time starting the day. We sang "Happy Adoption Day to you!"
As we made our way downstairs I began picking outfits to wear and getting everything together.
Along with the pictures and cupcakes to celebrate I brought to the court house, two books. One for each child being adopted. We did this with my other son a few years ago at his adoption. We bought children's books on adoption and asked everyone to sign the inside cover and blank pages. It was such a treat to have the judge and counsel and everyone who had spent the last few years working with these kids, sign their books. :) We brought them to the party the next day and put them on our welcome table for everyone to sign as well.
This is the book we bought for our son.
This is the book we bought for our daughter.
And just to share, this is the book we bought for our son at his adoption two years ago.
Yesterday, the day after the hearing we had our big circus party to celebrate with everyone!
Here are some of the fun pictures! I really had a great time putting it all together. :) I joke that it was a self-serve circus because I wanted everyone to have fun and play without having a ton of people work at the party. All of the food was ready without any continue prep needed during the party.
Originally I was going to use circus peanuts but I had a hard time finding them. However, I was super excited to use swedish fish and make my It's O-FISH-AL sign! In celebration of our adoption finally being official. :)
This was so sweet. We had several people mark a special verse to share with our kids. I loved reading through this after I got home. What a treasure.
Grab a nose and clown around! These were so fun! I got them at Oriental Trading Company.
I had two buckets of mini circus animal bean bags, also from Oriental Trading Company. They were a fun party favor for the kids to adopt and take home.
This was pretty simple to make! I was given a box from a dishwasher and I cut the holes and put baskets inside from the Dollar Tree. I hot glued them in place so they kept an angle that allowed the balls to stay inside. Having the paper on the floor with feet to mark the start of the line really helped let everyone know where to stand. Again, going with the service of self serve, kids, and adults, could play this game all on their own.
Ping Pong Toss. I had another box, also similar to the one above and I cut one whole side off and painted three colors on top. After it dried I hot glued plastic cups on top and that was it! Super easy and quick.
We had a coloring station with free circus pages that I found online.
This was a lot of fun. We had a photo booth and a lot of props to go with it. I got some pretty awesome pictures! With halloween just around the corner it was a perfect time to get a great selection. Plus, my kids dress up so much at home that adding to our collection was another bonus.
These were pretty easy to make, I found cut outs to print and I hot glued them to thin dowels.
Have I mentioned I love my hot glue gun?
So many projects, so little time.
Thankfully between my mother-in-law and I we have these awesome pieces for serving drinks. We did lemonade and water, again keeping it simple for refills.
This was my favorite part to put together. The popcorn bar!
These bags were super fun to make. I got them at my local Cash and Carry and cut them down to size with a fun pair of scissors I have. I found these two stamps in my Close To My Heart collection and put them together. "Yummy in my tummy" was perfect! I decided to do these instead of the typical red and white striped bags because they don't stand up on their own and with so many kids there would have been a lot more spillage. :)
Regular and Chicago style popcorn...both from Costco, in big bags, ready to serve.
And then there were LOTS of candy treats to mix in.
We were given wonderful balloons from the caseworker, attorney, and our certifier. So sweet!
We were able to rent an amazing space. here is a picture of all of the tables while we set up.
I didn't get a great photo of our center pieces but we did big mason jars full of peanuts and loosely wrapped tickets around them on the table.
We had a big photo display on the wall with over 200 photos of the kids. They really are our happily ever after.
"Hugs and Kisses from our kids."
More party favors! I found hershey's kisses and chocolate hugs to put in these little snack size zip lock bags.
I have been so touched by the love and support we have received, not only this weekend but for the last several years. It has been a long road and one that has brought me closer to God.
I love all five of my children so much and I feel so lucky to be their mom. I get a front row seat to watching them grow up and discover God's will for their lives. :)