Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The legal stuff… Surrogate Side

Our post-birth order hearing was scheduled for Monday, January 6th, 2014 at 8:15am.  It was a super-rainy morning which created highly icy road conditions.  Again, I would be traveling in nasty weather.  Can a girl catch a break??  Geesh.  

Because I wanted to allow myself enough cushion to be on time in case anything happened, I arrived early to the District Court.  I parked in a nearly empty parking lot.  I wondered to myself if the court had closed due to the weather.  As I sat in my car, another car pulled alongside of me.  I looked over to see a well-dressed man and wondered if he was my attorney.  (We had only spoken to one another over the phone.)  Hmm, lol!

I waited until 8am to head into the building.  The man who parked next to me also began walking toward the doors at that time.  I asked if he happened to be Chris and he said that he was.  We introduced ourselves as we made our way to the front door.  When we finally reach the door to go inside and get out of the rain, the door is locked.  

Did I mention that it was torrential downpours with heavy wind?

Two separate security guards saw us standing outside waiting to be let in.  They clearly knew the weather outside.  Chris and I (and another woman) stood out in the rain for nearly 10 minutes before they opened the doors for us. (I know what you're all thinking;  why didn't you just go back to your car?  In our defense, the parking lot was pretty far out and our cars were not nearby.)  So, here I am, heading into court looking like a hot mess.  Good thing I took the time to straighten my hair……

When we were let inside, my attorney reviewed some questions that he would ask me in an effort to plead my case to not be listed as Charlie's mother on his birth certificate.  He also took a minute to explain what could possibly happen in there.  Best case scenario: the Judge smiles at us and asks where to sign.  Worst case scenario: the Judge denies our request again and we appeal (again) and request another hearing that could potentially take a year to get through.  Chris was pretty confident that we wouldn't have to do that.  

The Judge that originally stalled our attempts at getting a pre-birth order has since retired.  (Just goes to show you that he was not up-to-date with modern medical technology and, not to mention, most likely a stubborn old grump.)  My attorney, however, was unsure of whether or not he would be finishing out his cases before he officially retired.  There was still a chance that this Judge could deny our request again.

When we were invited into the courtroom, I could sense that both my attorney and the attorney representing K&J (who wouldn't be in attendance) were anxious to find out who the Judge would be.  I was just a little bit nervous.  

Because we were not the only ones in the courtroom, Chris got the bailiff's attention to remind her that our case was "sealed"; meaning that it was not public and no other individuals could be in the courtroom during our case.  The bailiff had the other case go first as we sat there in the "audience".  I listened to what was going on and then turned to my attorney to ask if this was a divorce??  He said that it was.  I was baffled!  I felt like I was intruding on their privacy!!  I felt horrible.

When they left the courtroom, we were called up to the Judge.  He told us his name and he was not the Judge who kept denying our requests -- WooHOO!  He asked us a few questions and my attorney explained the situation.  Chris thought it would be a good idea to go through our statement and questions just to have it on record.  This judge turned out to be very open and supportive of modern technology.  He told me that what I did was a beautiful thing and shared that his grandchildren are adopted and they were all at the hospital for the birth.  

He signed our paperwork and granted our request for the post-birth order.  Hallelujah!  Charlie's birth certificate would have the rightful parents listed the first time; just like it should be.

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