21 will always be a special number for me. At 21 I felt as though I had become fully grown. I felt liberated and free and ready to show the world how mature I was. But 21 has now taken on a new meaning for me because I adopted a sweet, wonderful little girl on the 21st, and my world has changed. In addition to being a wife and business owner, now I’m also a mom. We had visited each other for two months, and then, on the 21st day of September, my daughter was placed in my home. I remember like it was yesterday how her face lit up when she put all her things in her room. We put on some music, organized her things, hung up her clothes, put up her dolls, and then we stood back and looked at each other. The 21st was the start of my new life as an adoptive mom. A social worker visited each month, and we had to wait six months for the adoption to be final. Each month brought different adventures and challenges that we had to face together, but each 21st brought us closer to legalization.
It’s amazing how time seems to stand still when you are waiting for something to happen. March 21st couldn’t come soon enough. As we grew closer together in our roles- her as daughter and me as adoptive mom- we counted down the months. Because things were moving smoothly and going so well, my daughter’s social worker recommended the adoption take place one month earlier than normal. We were excited to be moving forward, and then we were told it takes at least 2 months to get a court date to finalize an adoption. We set the date for April 28th, which was still 3 months away. We were a little disappointed, but we were still progressing. Then I received a call from my lawyer stating that he could get us an earlier date, and we could finalize the adoption in two weeks.
Of course that was just wonderful! He proceeded to give me directions to the courthouse and he said, “Oh, by the way, it will be on the 21st.” My daughter legally became part of my family on February 21st but she was my daughter from the first day she moved into my house. 21 was the age I became a legal adult in the eyes of others, but the 21st of February was the day that completed me, as I was no longer just a woman- I was also a mom. Oh how I love the number 21!