Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Official!

First of all, I would like to ask everyone reading this to take just a moment and say a prayer for my fabulous Heather (Nina's godmother) and Michael (Nina's godfather). I know that most of you don't know them, but I also know that the blogging community is so supportive and that when prayers are requested, they're given. And they work. Heather and Michael or so important to our family and they can use as many prayers as can be said right now.

Heather's water broke on Saturday. She's 24 weeks pregnant with a female gymnast (seriously, that baby flips around in her like nothing I've ever seen!) I simply ask you to say a prayer for the baby to stay strong and safe for a few more weeks and for Heather and Michael to be strong and stay positive.

On Saturday (National Adoption Day) we were able to finalize Nina's re-adoption. Re-adoption is required in some states. Arizona is not one of them. However, it was important for us to do it for two reasons:

1. It covers us should we ever move to a state in which readoption is necessary.

2. It allowed us to legally change Nina's name from Rahel David Lyons to Nina Rahel Elizabeth Lyons. This was most important, if for no other reason, because I'm getting tired of people calling and asking for the mother of Rachel!

We honestly expected it to be a rather sterile experience, but it was anything but that. Our judge was the kindest woman. She was so genuinely thrilled to officially declare Nina our daughter according to Arizona law. She said 21 judges volunteered their time on Saturday to preside over these hearings.

We can now apply for Nina's citizenship! This process, admittedly, stirs mixed feelings in me. Of course I want Nina to be a U.S. citizen and it's what her first mother wanted for her as well because of the opportunities she knew it would afford her. However, the U.S. does not recognize dual citizenship. So, to get U.S. citizenship, Nina has to renounce her Ethiopian citizenship. Now, Ethiopia does (I believe) recognize dual citizenship. So, until she's 5 (when her Ethiopian passport expires) I believe that Ethiopia still recognizes her as an Ethiopian citizen. But unless I want to travel back over there with her when she's five to renew that, she'll lose her Ethiopian citizenship then. And that makes me sad. I so wish she could have both forever.

Anyhoo, here are some recent photos:

Henry and Nina (don't you just want to eat her?)

This is her "What you talkin' about Willis?" look

All of us with Judge Eileen Willett at Nina's re-adoption

As you can imagine, Henry had 18,000 questions. Judge Willett answered them all. I told him that all he needed to know was that he needed to ask all of his questions now because this was the only time we intended for him to see the inside of a courtroom.

Judge Willett congratulating David

Grace in the judge's seat. The judge was taking off her robes so Grace could wear them, but Grace declined. Her exact response was, "Maybe next time." David said, "Yeah, there isn't going to be a 'next time,' so it's now or never!"

Judge George

Judge Henry

Judge Jack

Listening to the judge declaring us a family


Jana said...

Ok Liz, here's the deal, she is crazy cute!!!! We go to pick up Elias in 4 days and I can hardly stand the suspense. I hope he is at least 20% as cute as your little lady!!

jody said...

Congratulations!! Oh my goodness, the hair-I LOVE it!!!!!

SBreemes said...

Hi Liz,
CONGRATULATIONS! What an exciting day for all of you. I am keeping Heather, Michael and the baby in my prayers.

Hugs to all 7 of you!

Easties and Co. said...

I missed this post. What an awesome experience with the judge! Nina is sooooooooooooo stinkin cuuuuuuute!! (as are your other sweet babes!)