“If I asked most women to recall the day, they became a mother, it would probably start out somewhere in a hospital room. They may even back track to earlier in the day when out of nowhere their water broke. Or maybe they were scheduled for an induction or c-section and they spent the night before not sleeping because they were too anxious to sleep.
I often pondered – will I need a c-section, or will I be able to deliver naturally with my first child? Will my water randomly break, or will I need to be induced? I envisioned being in a hospital room with my husband by the side of my bed giving me his hand to squeeze tightly with each contraction. My closest family and friends waiting anxiously out in the lobby ready to meet the new member of the family.
This is what I envisioned it would look like the day I became a mom, but I became a mom in a courtroom.
Much like my earlier visions of becoming a Mom, my husband was right by my side. My closest friends and family were all surrounding us with the rush of emotions enveloping me.
What I didn’t envision was that I would be waiting with anxious anticipation for the judge to sign the order making me officially a mom, and our son a permanent part of family versus his ‘arrival’ into the world. I didn’t imagine I would already have loved and known my baby 13 months before officially becoming his mom. I didn’t envision that I would be holding him on my hip the very moment I became his mom. I didn’t think I would be choosing ‘adoption day outfits’ but instead thought I would be choosing a ‘newborn coming home outfit.’
But the day I became a mom, my family and I all awoke with excitement for what we would celebrating later in the day. We all dressed in our Sunday best and headed to the courthouse. We were running late (of course) because we wouldn’t be us if we were not running late! We had to park at the back of the parking lot, and I was carrying a baby in heels in a hurry – fun, right? Oh, did I mention we lost the ‘P’ from our letter board announcing his name from exiting the car to the security line? All insignificant things in the grand scheme of it all, but of course, I would let all of this stress me. Kind of like if you forgot a certain pair of PJ’s for the hospital, but the baby would still be born and everything would be fine in the end…but as a woman, you won’t live down you forgot those jammies that probably matched an outfit you bought for baby. So ‘P’ or no ‘P’, the day moved forward.
Finally, we walked into the courthouse that we had graced a few other times regarding our son’s case. This time it was much different. We were walking in to close a chapter we had so fervently prayed over for the past year.
Once we arrived on the second floor and began walking down the hall, I saw the decorations from floor to ceiling. I looked on in amazement. Our family and friends were standing and waiting right under a large sign that read ‘Our Next Story’ – to go along with the Toy Story theme. Our next story, ‘The Plunkett’s – party of 4,’ is all I could think with my heart swelling with pure, overwhelming joy.
Wouldn’t you know, my Dad swooped in after not being with the group only to find out he went all the way back to the car just to find the missing ‘P’? Sometimes in life, things don’t go exactly as planned, but it all works out in the end. This I have learned through big life moments like growing my family, and small life moments like losing a stupid ‘P’ off of a letterboard!
Walking in the courtroom, there were twelve other families waiting with the same excitement as we were. Some with matching shirts, letterboards, signs, and all kinds of things to commemorate their special day. The judge, dressed as Woody from Toy Story, walks in to officially kick off the festivities.
As our case was called and we stood in front of the judge, the attorney proceeded to ask me an array of questions. ‘You understand this is a permanent proceeding and he would be yours and Jonathan’s as if he were born to you?’ he asked. This is the moment I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. I rarely, if ever, think about Ian not being ‘born’ to me. Not that I never think about his birth mother, because I do. But the bond that he and I share makes it feel as though I knew him from the very beginning. I can only speculate this feeling is because I truly loved him before I even met him. I asked God to send me a baby to love, and just that He did. I am also fortunate that his birth mother shared with me some very precious and personal moments that were hers to keep forever if she so chose. She sent me a video of his first cry at birth. She showed me all of the photos from birth and in the hospital. I even have some ultrasound pictures. I will forever be grateful that she shared with me those moments.
The day I became a mother may have not been what I envisioned from the time I was a young girl, but it felt absolutely what I envisioned becoming a mom would feel like. Stress, nervousness, excitement, joy – everything all wrapped in to one.
My son may have not listened to my heartbeat for 9 months from inside of my womb, but he has heard my heartbeat as he has laid on my chest every day since 3 days old. Some would argue that I became a mom the day he came into my life. Maybe that is the case, but I wasn’t ‘officially’ his mom. You see, I was only his foster (temporary) mom. He had a beautiful birth mom that would cry when she saw him and talk about how much she missed him. Now, some of you may recognize that I said ‘had’ a birth mom – he still has a birth mom. His first mom. That she will always be. But something changed along this beautifully broken journey before the adoption was final when she said ‘No Jessica, YOU are his mom. God had different plans for him, and I only carried him.’ When she recognized me as his mom too, my entire world shifted. What an honor it was to feel acknowledged and accepted by the very person that got to have that coveted title from the moment she saw the pregnancy test come back positive. That she would share that with me.
Finally,’ It is my honor and privilege to introduce, Ian Lane Plunkett’ the judge said, as everyone in the court room clapped and cheered.
This day will forever be etched in my memory and heart as one of the best days of my life so far – the day I became Mom. In a courtroom. In front of a judge. On National Adoption Day.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jessica Plunkett, 30, of Lumberton, Texas. Follow her on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read Jessica’s back story here:
‘I am pregnant. I know you’re the best thing for him. He’ll thank me for this one day.’: Birth mom unexpectedly shows up to court, surprises couple by ensuring they’ll adopt son, ‘he is the most loved little boy in the entire world’
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