I'm so glad that you all enjoyed the story. It's so dear to my heart that sharing it this time of year always seems the right thing to do - the "Ma" thing to do. And Dad didn't stay our step-dad. He adopted my sister Linda and me in 1983, when we were both married ladies with kids of our own. From the time they were born, my half-sisters Lori and Bev and my half-brother Ron were that in name only - they were simply our brother and sisters to Linda and me, with no "half" about it. That May day, with all of our families present in the courtroom, rates as the single most powerful I have ever experienced.
But Dad, being Dad, had to lighten the mood a bit. First the judge said, "Well, Ron, I guess we can dispense with examining the usual investigation into your fitness as a parent." Dad just grinned. Then the judge asked, "I have to ask you, why did you wait so long?" Dad shrugged and replied, "Well, I wanted to make sure they turned out alright. Besides, I didn't want the other three to inherit all I had by themselves....those debts should be shared equally among all 5 of them." But the truth is, it took him years to get into the position of being able to afford to do the one thing he wanted more than anything else - to make the two little girls he'd raised and loved truly his forever daughters. His words, not mine.
turtles, I can so relate to the unpleasant visitors! But I gotta admit you were more resourceful than we were at handling it - I'm jealous!
Rachel, darling, the expression is "killing TWO birds with one stone" for a reason..jest sayin'