On September 11th around 4 pm, our little Maggie was officially deemed a Fisher in the eyes of the court! We had our finalization hearing in Greenville, SC and were accompanied by Grandmama and Papa to this special event. Ray Godwin, our attorney who helped us with both Riley and Maggie's adoption, was present as well as our Guardian ad Litem, June Bond (who was also appointed to Riley's court appearance as well back in October 2010). What we have known to be true in our hearts since the moment we met this precious girl was verified by Judge Jenkins; Margaret Grace will forever be a part of our family! The 15-20 minute proceedings included Chris giving his testimony about why we wanted to adopt, how we will continue to meet Maggie's needs emotionally and physically and how we would honor her cultural background. I then took the stand and verified that I agreed with Chris' remarks. I was asked to describe our marriage and to which I replied it was based on faith, love, and hard work. The judge seemed impressed by the fact that we were both teachers and talked about how 1st and 2nd grade teachers especially leave a lasting imprint on how children remember school. Towards the end of the hearing, the judge asked Riley to approach the bench and he gave him a lollipop. Riley couldn't have been more thrilled! We were able to take a few pictures with the judge and have him sign Maggie's baby book. He signed his name and then wrote: "May God bless your family!" He certainly already has and I know He'll continue to do so!
Now, I've been collecting some funny phrases for a few weeks and finally have some time to share them. Here they are in no particular order:
- While eating spaghetti one night, we asked Riley how he liked his noodles. To which he replied, "It's not noodles, it's pasta!"
- He dives right into eating supper now and we have to remind him to stop and pray. He's still doing his usual "Dear God, Thank you. You're welcome. Blessings. Thank you for the food. Amen." prayer and as soon as he finishes he adds loudly, "Let's eat!" and picks up his spoon or fork and digs in again!
- With all his crazy antics, we often say, "Riley, are you a silly goose?" Every single time, he answers, "No, I a Big Boy!"
- A week or so ago at dinner, Riley was eating his chicken and dipping it in ketchup. Once he finished those, he ate his apples and because he loves ketchup so much, he started dipping THOSE in ketchup up too. Once his apples were all gone, he picked up his spoon and started to eat the ketchup all by itself. When it was gone, he turned to us and said, "More ketchup please!"
- Sometimes we'll say, "Riley, you are hilarious!" He's started picking up on this word and will see something that's funny himself and say, "That's rare-ri-ous!"
- His language continues to build at a rapid speed. The other day, he was playing upstairs with Daddy. There's a certain Little People toy that Riley is especially fond of and has nicknamed "Person Boy." Chris asked Riley, "Is Person Boy going to drive the car?" Riley responds confidently, "Of course, he will!"
- Our church had a fundraiser at Bruster's ice cream not too long ago and had some special visitors dressed up as Snow White and Cinderella. When we introduced the characters to Riley, he was particularly fascinated with one of them and kept asking to see "Cind-umbrella" again and again.
- While playing football or any other kind of ball with Daddy, Riley has invented a new game in which he falls down on the floor every time that the ball is thrown back to him and announces: "Riley get tackled." I think someone has been watching a few too many sports!
- Bedtime has become a more drawn out procedure in recent weeks as our little rascal has learned new stalling tactics. He must first gather at least 6 different toy cars, trains, or trucks to sleep in his bed with him. In fact, he even has a matching set of twin dump trucks that he calls "the Brothers" and they are frequent visitors in his bed. Other guests include Grover, Thomas, Henry the red train, Mater (Tomater from Cars movie), and a hodge podge of other vehicles he has managed to collect over the years. Next, he has to make sure he has he green and blue blanket in his bed and ask that you "cover up" his body with it. Then he might say he needs a drink or remind you to "leave door open". And 9 times out of 10, once we're all settled downstairs we'll hear a little voice start crying out "Mockingbird song, Mockingbird song". I didn't realize he would grow so attached to this silly little song, but he knows all the words and when Daddy tries to change them or make up his own version, Riley is often quick to correct him! The trick after we finally get our dear boy to sleep is figuring out how to keep him asleep. Riley's internal clock has somehow been waking at 5:45 or 6 am and no amount of trying to convince him to go back to sleep, it's dark outside and the toys and TV are still sleeping work. He eats repeating the same thing: "Go downstairs, eat breakfast. No Mommy and Daddy's room." We also were unsuccessful in putting him in our bed and trying to get him to fall back asleep. So for the time being, we're all very early risers right now.
- This precious child loves to make us laugh! And I'm not sure where he got it, but he has learned to do a really deep laugh and cover his mouth with his two hands when he thinks something is really funny. David (our friend/neighbor down the street) loves to egg him on with this! We have to admit, we think it's pretty cute ourselves too!