Jafta's Adoption is Final . . . . Finally!

After three years, the courts upheld what we have been praying for the last three years - Jafta is an official member of our family. It was an incredible day. I can't explain how surreal it was to drive up to the LA family court knowing that we were going there to finalize the adoption. We have made that trip so many times in the last three years, and every time it has been a feeling of dread and anxiety as other people made decisions about our son's future. On our way there, I realized it was the first time that I didn't have a stomach ache due to worry as we approached the courts. It was the first time I wasn't petitioning God in prayer as we waited for our name to be called.

It was also a stark contrast inside the courtroom. We have always felt so alone and so intimidated in that courtroom. Today, as we literally had a room full of family and friends there to back us up, we felt so confident and supported as a family. It was overwhelmingly emotional. As soon as she had us raise our right hands and state our names, we were fighting the ugly cry. And losing.
We were asked to confirm that we wanted to adopt him, and then asked if we vowed to love him and treat him as we would any biological child. As we sat there with India, our little surprise in the midst of this journey, I knew full well that we did love Jafta as if he were our own biological child. When she announced he was now officially Jafta Jordan Howerton, the room erupted in applause.
When the day was done, we wanted to check in with Jafta to find out how he was feeling and what his thoughts were. This was his reply:

"It was a big day. We went to the court and we waited and waited and waited, for a really long time. And then finally, Ryder came!! And then everybody clapped for me. And then Ryder went down the elevator and I was sad, but then I saw him again!"

Leave it to Jafta to measure the gravity of the day by how much Ryder hangage he got! Love the 3-year-old brain.
As we process the end of this long road, we feel incredibly grateful for our son and for the friends and family who supported us and prayed us through this adoption. We can't even begin to say the weight that has been lifted off our shoulders, and it has struck me in big and small ways over the last 24 hours. He's ours. If someone had told me when we were placed our baby son that he would be in preschool by the time we finalized, I probably would have run screaming for the hills. But somehow, day by day, we got through it, and Jafta has been a gift worth waiting for. He teaches me daily with his ability to be in the moment, find the joy in small things, and live life with a zeal and energy that is inspiring (and yes, occasionally exhausting). We praise God for his hand in our family. Jafta, YOU ARE LOVED.


  1. Congrats on your special day. My friend is adopting her 2nd child from Korea and hopes to have her here before the end of June. It's an amazing thing to watch a family grow through adoption. Enjoy your blessings.

  2. How wonderful! What an amazing answer to prayer.

  3. Congratulations, that is wonderful news.

  4. I was crying yet again on your blog. Thank God for his faithfulness and I am so happy that Jafta is all yours! :) You're a great mother and he is lucky to have you.

  5. Yep, this had me a little emotional too. There are so many kids in need... I wish we could clone your family. You guys are so lucky to have Jafta, but he's super fortunate to have you both as parents, too. Great job keeping the patience without going completely postal on the CPS system. ;)

  6. So happy for you, for us, for our whole family! WE LOVE JAFTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So incredibly thankful that this process is finally DONE!!

  7. We are so happy for you Kristen! I am seriously crying! What an answer to prayer!

  8. YIPEE! Finally! Congratulations Howerton family, all of you!

  9. Kristen,
    Wow, what an amazing experience with such a wonderful happy ending!

    Also, I LOVED reading about Haiti...you documented your visit so well. Wish I could have gone with you guys, maybe next time. Im just dying to go and miss it so.

    Keep us posted on Keanans adoption, were praying for files to MOVE!!

    Keep in touch,

  10. Liberty6:29 PM

    Kristen, I was crying at this post. I recently found your blog, and I've been going backwards through your posts. You are a wonderful person, and your children are beautiful. People like you make me smile in a world that so often makes me frown.


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