Today was a very important, memorable day for our family – the “BIG” family, not just the Papens. My niece Sydney Marie was officially declared the daughter of my sister and her husband. They lifted their right hands, took the oath, answered a couple of mandatory questions, and wam-bam-thank-you-Your-Honor our little Syndey is here for good! It has been a long journey for everyone involved, but we couldn’t be more thrilled to have the little cupcake’s quest for a family end with us! Click here for ALL the photos
Sydney is one of the most amazing babies I’ve ever interacted with – happy, funny, observant, and yet full of life….oh, and never stops dancing and talking! Syndey, I love everything you’ve brought to your family, and can’t wait to see the beautiful person you grow into! Your face lights up the room, and your little giggle is contagious. Be sure to remember that Auntie Missy will always be available for you, and will jump on a plane in a second if you need anything. You’re in my heart forever, and have open access to the deepest well of my love! Welcome to the family, Sissy!
That being said…….things didn’t go as smoothly for ME as I had hoped. The trip from Portland to San Jose was more than a bit stressful, and settling into the apartment took a bit more than I thought it would. After a good night’s sleep, we headed out with plenty of time to get to the court house. I arrived at 10:05 am for the 10:30 am ceremony, and walked up to the front entrance. It was there that I was informed that I was at the WRONG courthouse, and needed to drive another few blocks. Ellie and I walked back to the car, as quickly as we could…all the while I was trying to figure out how in the world I would manage to feed yet another street meter with enough quarters to avoid a ticket.
“Mom!!!!!!!! WHERE THE HECK ARE YOU GUYS?!?!? The address Hannah gave me was WRONG!” I yelled over the phone.
“191 N. First St., Darling. I’m looking at the building, and that’s the correct address.”
As I drove past the same building I had just been at, I saw a second building tucked behind it. “Is there a rose garden???” I asked my seemingly imperturbable mother.
“Yes, there is.” she said patiently.
Suddenly, there was a “WOOOOOOOP-WOOOOOOOOP!” screeching out behind me. Both mom, standing in front of the courthouse, and I, in my little Prius, heard unmistakeable sound of a siren.
“!#@*(&#%$(*!&, MOM! I’M GETTING PULLED OVER!!!!!!!!” I was practically screaming hysterically at this point. In fact, before I had even moved to the side of the road, I was bawling. The officer had no idea what he was walking into. The minute the siren went off, I realized that I had been so intent on finding the damn courthouse, I had cut off a tram………I also knew that I really WAS going to miss Sydney’s adoption ceremony. As the officer walked up to my window, I tried to pull myself together at least a tiny bit. I looked at him, with genuine tears streaming down my face, Ellie Graye screaming in the back seat.
“I’m sorry, Officer,” I sobbed, “Can you just do this as fast as possible so I can get to my niece’s adoption ceremony? In fact, can you help me find the damn building???” I was gasping for air in between sentences. When I said I was bawling, I wasn’t kidding, exaggerating, or by any means trying to gain his sympathy. I was just ridiculously stressed, disappointed, frustrated, and emotional.
“Give me the address, your registration, and your driver’s license and I’ll see what I can do.” When he walked away, I just resigned myself to the hefty ticket I knew I was getting, and let myself cry. I figured I’d been needing a good hard cry for a long time, and so-what if my mascara was running – at that point, I thought I’d just be lucky to make it to the courthouse before they left for lunch.
As the officer stood back at his car deciding my fate, a perfect parking spot opened up just in front of us. It sat there open, taunting me as I counted the change in the bottom of my purse, hoping to buy enough time for the proceedings. “DAMN IT!” I only had two quarters left, and a crap load of pennies.
“Ok, ma’am,” I heard through my window. “I’m just going to give you a warning this time, but be sure you pay more attention next time – and remember you have your own child in your back seat. Park right there in that spot, and I’ll point you in the right direction.”
“I would,” I said, “but I used the last of my quarters on the last parking spot and don’t want to get a ticket!”
“Hold on,” the officer said. He walked back to his car, scrounged around a bit, then returned with $2 worth of quarters.
I started crying again. “Now hurry up and go find your niece.”
Shocked, I thanked him profusely, and headed over to the courthouse where the baliffs rushed me through (my mother had apparently warned them about the frantic lady with the two year old who was late to her niece’s adoption finalization), and I walked in just in time to be invited into the judge’s chambers for the ceremony – where tears came again, of course!
Yes, indeed, a memorable day! The only thing that could have made it a little better would have been if I had a picture taken with my niece, but oh well. We’ll get one another time.