In true clown car fashion all seven of us piled into a cab. Down town court house, sir. We arrived two blocks away with enough time to unload and run to the hearing and make it just in time.
We knew something was up when we didn’t have to wait for the elevator and the halls were empty. Get on the phone to the lawyer and find out why no one is here.
“Angie, you have to come to another court room two blocks away in the Orion building. You know the one. But you have to know they are suspending your court appearance. We are going to plead and beg for them to fit us in some time this week. Two of the people who are supposed to be here didn’t show up because it’s Women’s Day.”
Deflated we march and weave our way to meet our bearer of bad news. She is apologetic and laughs at our bad luck two months in a row. We stand around lamenting. She tells us to follow her into the judges chambers for the official postponement.
We get our wiggly Washington troops all settled in the echoing, stark office. A book stand in the corner. A desk for the clerk. The judge’s big paper piled desk. A noisy fan. And the frown shaped row of chairs we all filled.
A solemn discussion ensued between the four decision makers present.
That is when heaven heard all your prayers and moved on our behalf. The judge looked for a brief moment intently at Kaitlynn cuddled on my lap. The clerk began to read. The judge did some talking to the parents (that’s DaRonn and me). The lawyer and the other official lady in the room spoke. Moments later we were all saying our goodbyes.
Out in the hall I asked the lawyer what we do now.
“That was the last court appearance,” she said as a relieved smile parted her lips and squinted her eyes shut.
This is the jumping up and down cue, right? This is the hooting and hollering bit, correct? I think I was too stunned. I just stood there gaping as she said what would happen next. I had her repeat it three times so I understood clearly. Then I confirmed.
“No more court appearances?”
“No more. Just paper work from here on out. Oh, and do me a favor…”
What followed was a list of preferences of the different people who made this all possible. Gifts would be given in thanks of helping us get this done.
In three days from now the judge will make his final decision regarding our case and issue the declaration. The three days following his declaration is the window should anyone desire to appeal his decision. After the cumulative six days are complete we will have the document in hand that allows us to get her birth certificate with her new name. Once we have the birth certificate in hand the lawyer’s job is done. Then we start on her U.S. paper work.
DaRonn asked, “So is she a legal Washington yet?” I had to say no. There are just some formalities to dispense with in the next few weeks. Based on the judge’s behavior today there should be no reason that he would not issue a positive declaration.
I know I should be more relieved than I am right now. Maybe it was the absence of a gavel crashing down putting a mark to the end? Maybe it was the suspense and uncertainty? Maybe it is just that I have become so hardened anticipating a blow that I don’t know how to react when the good news comes? Maybe it just hasn’t hit me yet? Maybe I am just exhausted!
I am happy.
All is well.
P.S. Amidst all the fuss and confusion I did not take one picture. Oops!