Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Beautiful Things, or Why I Was Glad I Didn't Have a Typed Order

I had court this morning on a minor matter, in which I was successful. Incidentally, my husband and I were double-scheduled in front of the same judge at the same time this morning on wildly different matters. The judge was asking me -- I was in first -- if there would be any difficulty with the double-scheduled attorneys and I said, "No, your honor, I'm married to the other one. I get to go first." The bailiff glanced out in the hall where my husband was conferring with his client and said, "Yeah, she can go first." I had to go out into the hall after the judge's decision in my case, to draw up an order by hand -- I hadn't expected so quick a decision so didn't have a typed order ready -- while the next couple cases went in after me. The order took me about 10 minutes, then I went over to sit with the other waiting petitioners near the courtroom door so I could pop inside between cases and get my order signed. The case being heard was a closed hearing.

"What sort of case?" another loitering lawyer asked the bailiff.

He glanced at his docket. "Adoption," he said. Ah, closed hearing, closed hearing, we all nodded.

I waited a few minutes more, bouncing my leg with eagerness to move on with my day, get my order signed and get back to work. At last the door opened.

A girl, maybe 11 or 12 years old, dressed very prettily and formally for court, spilled out the door, her eyes absolutely shining, unable to keep from grinning while she clutched an order to her chest. She looked like she was about to fly. Right behind her were, I presume, her new parents, whose grins were almost as big as hers and who had tears standing in their eyes.

You often get to see the joy in new parents' faces when they greet their child entering the world. But it's a rare privilege to see that joy in the child's face as well.


debra said...

Thanks for sharing. It's nice to hear a story where children are loved and cared for. :)

Anonymous said...

Way cool!

knight in dragonland said...

Yeah ... you're a blasphemer. Feh!

Great story, E.M.

Anon E. Mouse said...

I have been seen that look in each of my own kids.

My oldest kids practically demanded that Judge G. bang the gavel and say "Case Closed!"

My youngest son didn't seem convinced until we were in teh clerks office and getting the papers notarized. He sat on the counter to watch them work on the papers and put the seal on them.

All the while he was watching them, my youngest daughter, age 2 at the time, sat patiently on the counter under the sign that says "Small Claims." (we got the picture)

HeartShadow said...

That's still beautiful.

and I hope they always feel that joy in each other.

Chef Kevin said...

I occasionally watch the news on TV. It should be labeled "bad news" or "roll your eyes" news. And when there is a good news story, it is usually "sappy" or kinda hokey. This is GOOD HAPPY news.

My sister is a foster mom. The stories she tells. It is great to hear that a child gets to permanently go to a good, loving home.

Anonymous said...

E.M. I am in juvenile court a lot for work. My favorite court is adoption court. We call it "happy court" because no one is ever in trouble and the results are always positive. I had one child who had severe behavioral problems and had suffered horrific abuse by his biologicla parents but once that gavel went down, it was like a light switch and everything disappeared. He was a normal child again. I have seen Judges put small children on their laps and have then use the gavel. It really closes a chapter of some children's lives when adoptions are finalized. I have seen some of our toughest judges relax and smile during adoption court. It's a beautiful thing.