Well, folks, our adoption has been finalized.
We no longer have to call CAS when someone requires stitches (hasn't happened yet) or an ER visit (has happened once, and nearly happened again the night before finalization due to a head-first tumble down the stairs while playing ghost, with multiple blankets blocking all sense of direction).
We are a full-fledged, independent family now, for better or for worse.
In our area, finalization happens in court, in person, so we have known the finalization date for a while now. While I am quite glad to have had the opportunity to attend court - the day had that feeling of graduation, or similar events, complete with all the photos - there was no big feeling of anticipation or resolution for me. I have a subtle sense of awareness that we are a regular old family now, which feels good. I am also aware that I continue to experience lingering adjustment/attachment issues of my own that I hoped would have more fully resolved by this point. The kids, of course, have essentially no concept of the significance - which makes total sense as we have been a family for one year now. This likely also explains some of my nonchalance about finalization. And, we had a great relationship with our social worker - what parent wouldn't mind someone supportive popping in for free every few weeks to hear you vent, and to offer new ideas?
Anyway, the photos will be a meaningful way for me to look back, and will hopefully be a helpful keepsake for our kids, as they get older and begin to explore their story more. We enjoyed the company of immediate family and one set of foster parents in court, and had a few other friends join us later. The weather was fantastic, and we spent the afternoon casually hanging out in the backyard, for a BBQ lunch and snacks. Ok, I have to admit that putting together fun, coordinating outfits for us all was a highlight as well. And then I went and forgot to have anyone take a family photo in our backyard (we at least have some with the judge...complete with the overly-glowing yellow indoor lighting issues, which I have edited as well as possible).
And there you have it. An official ending/beginning/continuation. Family.