The Adoption of Sofia

by Don Meyer, Ph.D. | Aug 29, 2015

“Adopting one child won’t change the world but for that child, the world will change.”

I never would have thought that Court Room #16 on the sixth floor of the Chester County Court House could be holy ground but on July 21, 2015 that is exactly what happened when Sofia became Steve and Amy’s legally adopted daughter. This is her story.

Just over a year ago Steve and Amy became aware of a single, expectant mother who only had a few weeks left before her child would be born. She needed to choose a family to adopt her unborn child. Steve and Amy knew that one day they wanted to adopt a child, but they had not even started the adoption process. They knew this child was being placed in their lives for a reason. Amy was able to be in the delivery room and support the birth mother through the delivery of Sofia. Due to some health issues, Sofia had to stay in the hospital for a couple of weeks. Steve and Amy cared for her as though she was already their own. 

Evie and I visited them in the hospital and we got to hold Sofia for the very first time. We could already see that she had won her way into Steve and Amy’s hearts. 

The day came when Sofia could go home and Steve and Amy became her legal guardians. The adoption process began. Adoption does not happen quickly. There are papers to sign, legal steps to take and documents to be filed. At any point along the way one small glitch could stop everything. 

Over the months, Steve and Amy never stopped believing that little Sofia would one day legally join their family. Those of us who watched their love for her grow ached inside knowing there were no guarantees. But they kept praying and loving Sofia more and more.

Finally, their special day arrived. As Evie and I sat in Court Room #16 we looked around at over 20 family members and close friends who were, like us, sitting on the edge of their seats ready to share the moment of a lifetime. The drama was palpable.

With the words, “Will everyone please rise,” the proceedings officially began. After Steve and Amy were sworn in, the judge asked each of them and their attorney many important questions. 

The judge was clear. “Do you understand that once I sign this final decree, it is in fact final? For all intents and purposes, you will be the father and mother of this child just as though she had been born into your family. You will be responsible to not only nurture and support her; you will be responsible to financially care for her. She will become your heir at law just as though she were born naturally to you and when you are old and decrepit, she will care for you.” And the judge smiled.

After more formalities, gentle questions and caring counsel, the judge officially signed the document. Then she reached down and took a short stick with a star on top (her “magic wand”) and waved it for baby Sofia to make it official and said, “I don’t put the paperwork through until I get to hold this precious baby.”

There was hardly a dry eye in the room as the judge lovingly held little Sofia, the official daughter of Steve and Amy. 

We all stood outside for pictures on that beautiful summer day. It seemed like God was also smiling. As we finished, Steve and Amy took their little Sofia to have her ears pierced to commemorate the joyous beginning of her new life with them. 

Someday Sofia will say these well-known words that so many other adopted children have spoken: “I was chosen. I was wanted. I was cherished. I grew in their hearts. I was the missing piece. I was loved. I was adopted.” 

Think about it.

Dr. Don Meyer is President of  
University of Valley Forge, Phoenixville, Pa. 
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