One year ago today, we snapped this photo.
It had been a long day already. We got the kids up early and took them on a really long drive for a visit with Martin's birthparents...our first with both of the birthparents there. Martin was exhausted after all of the excitement.
Olivia was also exhausted but also a bit charged up from trying to steal the spotlight from Martin. It is really hard for a first child, I think, to give up the limelight to a second child after spending 4+ years as the "star" of the family. Even harder for her that day, I believe, when the sole purpose of the events of the entire day were centered around Martin and not at all around her. After a few near-meltdowns from Olivia at the birthparents visit as she was trying to steal the spotlight, we talked through the court proceedings with Olivia as we drove from the visit to the courthouse. We explained that this would be very, very formal and all about Martin, and it was OK to let him be the center of attention for once. We told her that Mommy and Daddy would be called upon to speak, but she was to sit still and listen throughout the proceedings.
Let's just say we were a little nervous about whether she'd be able to follow those instructions.
I really wish I had a picture of what she looked like in that chair sitting at that table watching as each of her parents were called up to the stand to "testify". We were asked a series of questions which amounted to agreeing that Martin was ours and we were his, etc. We each had to go to the stand for our round of questions separately while the other sat next to Olivia at the table and held Martin (who had fallen asleep). And I remember looking over at our big girl, who sat quietly and listened intently, giving me a "thumbs up" when she caught my eye.
She was just so proud to be in this very grown-up position and behaved beautifully. I don't know for sure, but I think she felt the weight of this day, just a little. She has always loved her brother and thought of him as her own. But now he would be legally recognized for that which was already a reality in our hearts. We are family.