Back in April 2009, the minute Hope entered in the United States, she became an American citizen. We handed the documents to a customs agent and her visa was placed into affect.
But wait, there's more! In order for the State of California to recognize that Hope is ours, we have to go through a re-adoption process. Yes, as if the 4 years of adopting Hope wasn't enough. We PAY an additional fee and submit more papers and go through a hearing with a judge.
On November 18, 2011, which happened to be National Adoption Day, we had an hearing with the Honorable Mark H. Pierce, judge of the Superior Court of Calif., County of Santa Clara. The courthouse was full of adoption advocates and media. In one of the assembly rooms, they had refreshments, blankets for the adoptive child. A photographer for adoptive families and a picture framed craft for the kids.
Thank goodness we had a good friend whom we affectionately call "Aunt Joanne" help us take pictures and be there for moral support. We signed papers, we swore an oath and teared up (well, I teared up, Owen never does). Faith even missed school, so she can support her little sister in this "official" day.
Besides the fact that Hope had a little "pee" accident, everything went well. The security line was so long, poor Hope just couldn't hold it. Poor Owen too, she sat on his lap most of the time because the extra change of clothing was IN the car.