the M7 is official

The first nighttime went so. much. smoother. than we had anticipated.  Natalie made it quite clear that she would be sleeping with Kylie, but as soon as she saw we weren't going to fight her on that, she laid down and went to sleep rather quickly.

When morning came we wondered if she'd wake up with that "Oh, you guys again?" expression, but as soon as she caught sight of her siblings, she started calling to them and was happy as a lark.  We showed her the dress that would coordinate with what her sisters were wearing and offered her the choice of wearing it or the clothes she came to us wearing.  No hesitation at all, she wanted that navy blue dress!

After successfully navigating the breakfast buffet, it was time to head back to the civil affairs office to make her an official member of the family.  She was sitting on my lap in the van and as soon as we pulled up at the office, I felt her little body begin to tense up.  She stopped smiling and became rigid in my arms as we went upstairs and when we walked into the room, she began to whimper.

We tried all sorts of distractions, but she was clearly distraught.  Thankfully it appeared that she was worried that she'd switch back.  We were quickly called to have our photo taken for the adoption decree.  The photographer, Amy, and Hannah all tried their best to coax a smile out of Natalie, but she was having no part of that.

Thankfully smiles aren't a requirement.  Next was to the official where we confirmed with our interviewer that we were happy with Natalie and wanted to officially complete the adoption.  After answering a series of questions, Ian and I stamped our right thumbprints over our signatures in red ink.

Then came Natalie's turn...with her entire right hand.

Not sure how she could have understood the significance of the moment, but it seemed that she did...

...and she flashed one of those sweet smiles.

Next stop the notary to seal the documents.

Then there were officially heart overflows!

And then we were free to go.  A newly formed family of the traveling grandmas of course!

What to do to commemorate the occasion?  A celebratory lunch of course!

Natalie enjoyed some local specialities (as did the rest of us) and then accepted a little lovin' from her big sisters.

Our spirits were so high that we didn't even mind a little drizzle on the walk back to the hotel.


Rita and John said...

Congratulations! Love seeing your family of seven.

Laurie said...

Oh man, I totally missed this post earlier. You're doing a GREAT job documenting, Kristi! LOVE all the rainy day pics, and of course love the "officialness" of the day. YEAH!!

Traci said...

Oh my, it makes me so sad to see her tense up at the civil affairs office. I know we can't begin to imagine what goes through their little minds. Love the smile after her hand print though! :) Glad she went to bed easily! That is awesome!

Amy Murphy said...

I'm loving all the pictures!!!

kim barnette said...

Wow! Love reading your post. I admire your willingness to follow Gods call for your family. Natalie is so lucky and blessed as your family is for having her. Cant wait to hear more. Keep writing. You inspire me so much. Wonder if this might be in Gods plan for our family.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations family of seven!

kimberly said...

this made me smile so big.. what an amazing adventure in God's Grace and Love and faithfulness!! Awesome!!!!

Brad said...

Your family has done it again. I have tears running down my cheeks and am so happy for the 9 of you. Love you guys and can't wait to meet Natalie and hug all of your necks.

TanyaLea said...

Kids are SO smart... it saddens me to think she thought you were taking her back... but that smile when she put her handprint on the official document was PRICELESS!♥ Love seeing all of you together at last... the grandmas are the icing on the cake!!♥♥ CONGRATS!!!!