Then on January 9th, we found ourselves in the courtroom again, this time with joy and excited anticipation for our little boy Christian. The judge and everyone in the courtroom was so accommodating and friendly. To them this was a celebration day.
I could not help but flash back to my own court day for my brother Kevin and me years ago in the Steuben County Courthouse, Bath, New York. All I knew about the court room was what I saw on television--you know the typical courtroom drama where the judge would bang the gavel shouting, "Order in the court!"
From what I remember, my own adoption hearing was pretty straightforward, and we officially took on the Kraft name. My mother then asked Judge Purple to use his gavel to humor my brother and me. He was a good sport and playfully banged the gavel and shouted, "Order in the Court!" I was thrilled!
Not too long after that, we got to pick out our own names. I wanted something different, so I chose a name wasn't all that popular back in the day, Cory. I first heard of the name from a popular television series at the time called Julia. It starred Diane Carol, an African American single mom--one of the only black people I remember seeing on tv at the time, raising her son by that name, and I wanted it. The only catch was that it had to be spelled with a K because my siblings were named with Ks.
I remember stepping into my classroom soon after, and my teacher announced that we had a new student. I looked around, expecting to see an unfamiliar face, but I didn't see one. Then she said, "Mike, would you like to tell the class your new name?" I was terribly shy and muttered, "I was adopted and my new name is Kory." The class cheered and congratulated me. My teacher had a big smile on her face and tears in her eyes.
During Christian's adoption, I had tears in my eyes and was full of amazement at the process, and the journey. My biological name was Michael, and when my name was changed, they kept that as my middle name. It was very important to Jennifer and me to keep my name with our children. Sophia's middle name is a variation of mine because while she may not always be a Kraft, she will always now carry her daddy's name. Christian will always and forever be a Kraft, and as a tribute to my biological mother and our passion for adoption, we added Michael to his middle name. I didn't think it was a big deal when we first decided, but when the judge read Christian's full name. paying homage to his birthmother, my birthmother, and my family, I cried.
It was a happy day, and the judge even acknowledged our first child, Sophia. It is a day that I hope that they will one day remember when they are adopting their own children.