The Adoption of Emmy
Tammy Brodowski Mott
On a summer day at the end of June 2008, the phone rang. It was Ellen Miller from Catholic Charities. She called to tell us about a baby girl that needed a home. The home she was currently in was for temporary foster placement.
“Would you be interested in taking her in as a pre-adoptive foster placement child?” She asked. The family she is staying with needs someone to take her for a weekend in July while they go away. Could you do respite (temporary) care for them?”
I was so excited. It had been eighteen months since our first pre-adoptive foster child returned to his birth parents. I had prayed very hard for another child.
“I will have to talk with Denny, but I am pretty sure he will say yes.” I replied.
I couldn’t wait to meet what could possibly turn out to be our new baby girl. I contemplated how I could love someone so much since I haven’t even met her. Mom and I took the minivan to pick her up. I was anxious and nervous as we drove down the street looking for the house. We pulled up in front of the house to the curb. They opened the front door and brought out this baby girl to us.
“Oh mom, look at her, she’s so beautiful’ I excitedly exclaimed.
She looked like an angel all dressed in white. She had the most beautiful sun kissed golden color to her skin. Her dark brown hair was short and straight. Her eyes were the biggest eyes I had ever seen. With their distinctive black rims around the iris’s and vivid reddish orange around the pupils that made them look dark brown. They slanted slightly but were so full of expression. She was plump and round. She had huge rosy red chubby cheeks. Her most distinguishing feature was her beautiful smile. I took one look at her and couldn’t help but smile back. I knew I wanted her to be mine forever. I settled her into a car seat, smiled at my mom and said, “I’m keeping her, she’s perfect”
We all fell in love with her. It was hard to take her back after that weekend. We counted the minutes until the day we could bring her back home with us again. Days went by that turned into weeks. Weeks went by. We waited with anxious anticipation. Then, that day came on July 25, 2008. It was 29 days, 20 hours, and 30 minutes. Or maybe it was 32 minutes, from the time she had been with us. We were so excited. However, the worrying would just begin. We had been through this before and in this position. We knew of the lengthy adoption process. We knew that there was a possibility her birth parents could receive custody. This whole emotional roller coaster process was something we were willing to ride again.
The legal proceedings progressed according to the courts schedule. In November 2008, the court changed the legal goal to adoption. This meant that the birth parents visits would discontinue. We knew now that things were moving in the right direction. In June of 2009, a hearing occurred for termination of parental rights. The judge granted thirty days for a fact-finding hearing before he would make his decision. This whole process caused a lot of anxiety for us all. It had already been eleven months! We knew nothing was permanent until the adoption was final.
Denny and I discussed possible girl’s names prior to the adoption. It took a long time to come up with a name. One on which we could both agree. We chose Emily after Denny’s great-grandmother and Katherine after my great-grandmother. Her nickname would be Emmy Kate.
The waiting was excruciating. Finally, after thirteen long drawn out months, in the middle of August 2009 we received the important phone call. The judge had terminated parental rights. Now we could move forward with the adoption. Two weeks later, September 2, 2009, was one of the best days of our lives. It took only 15 minutes and twenty seconds, or was that 30, for the adoption to be final. The attorney asked, “What name are you choosing for this child?” We replied, “Emily Katherine Mott.” The name “Kate” never seemed to stick and she simply became our beautiful Emmy.