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Gotcha Day!

As many of you saw in Mack’s blog post on Tuesday, and even MORE of you saw on Facebook, Valentine’s Day was an especially wonderful one for the McG family this year. Feb. 14, 2012 was GOTCHA DAY! 🙂

A little backstory : Mack and I started dating when Jack was just a year old. We did break up for a little while when he was a toddler, but Jack doesn’t remember. What Jack DOES remember is that his entire life, Mack has been his Daddy. In every single way that matters at all, Mack is Daddy, and that’s all there is to it.

Unfortunately, it takes a bit more money work for the state to recognize what we all already knew. Even though this was a pretty-much uncontested step-parent adoption with no complicating factors at all, it still took a LONG time to accomplish.

Now, blessedly, wonderfully, FANTASTICALLY, we are all McGowans! Jack’s new birth certificate will arrive soon from Austin, and we never again have to worry that something will legally separate our family. I’m still so excited about it, I can hardly sit still. 🙂

Jack even got to bang the gavel!

Of course, since this was a HUGE day of celebration for our family, we did it up right. After court, our whole family (including grandparents and some great-grandparents) went to our favorite diner for a big breakfast. Then we dropped Dottie off with her grandparents and changed our clothes, and Mack and I took Jack off to DFW for a day full of fun!

If you know our family, it won’t surprise you to know that our first stop was the Fort Worth Zoo. It’s one of our favorite places in the world… definitely our “go to” for days off, celebrations, and other days that end in “y”. 🙂 And because it was a still-sorta-cool Tuesday afternoon, there weren’t many people there at all. Perfect!

Jack has an extensive collection of pressed pennies from all over the world, and we’ve gotten to the point where it’s impossible to pass by one of these machines. On Tuesday, we added a Fort Worth Zoo monkey penny to his collection.

Jack’s favorite animal is a meerkat (which he used to call “smearcats” when he was a toddler, and that was the CUTEST). Mine is the elephant. We spent LOTS of time at both of those habitats! We weren’t swinging the gear we’d have taken with us if shooting pictures of animals was really important, but I can’t resist sharing a few anyway.

This next picture was probably Jack’s favorite part of the zoo trip, although I can’t say it was MY favorite. We happened upon the eagle right after he’d been given his lunch… a fluffy white rabbit. Pretty gross. Just be glad you didn’t hear the SOUNDS… that was the worst.

After a snack of tortillas and queso at Blue Mesa and a drive into Dallas, it was time for the culmination of our celebration day… we were Kings’ Royalty at Medieval Times, with front row seats, yummy grub, and LOTS of pictures! 🙂

All in all, Gotcha Day was a wild success. We got to spend time with family, go to our favorite places, and have an all-around blast. But there’s no question as to what the best part of the day was… when Judge Jones declared Jack’s legal name to be Jackson Thomas McGowan, well, there’s nothing that could ever EVER beat that. Our family is finally complete.

Thank you all so much for all your prayers and encouragement through this process. We SO enjoy sharing our family’s special moments with you lovely people!

  1. megB

    February 17th, 2012 at 8:18 am

    The photo of the three of you in front of MT is absolutely priceless. Matchy blue eyes :))

  2. Danielle

    February 17th, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Such a cool day! I still remember pretty much every part of the day my adoption became final 15 years ago – congratulations everyone!!

  3. Chelsea D

    February 17th, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Thank you so much for sharing so much of you guys on this blog! I love seeing your family grow together and am so excited that you are officially all McG’s now! Hooray!!!

  4. MaryAnn

    February 17th, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I’d comment, except I’m too busy choking back happy tears for you all. 🙂

  5. Christian

    February 17th, 2012 at 9:32 am

    The day looks SO fun!! Tell Jack I am totally jealous 😉 Again, contratulations McGowans!! I am incredibly happy for you!

  6. Angela

    February 17th, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Oh my, these posts have made me cry! As a parent, I just can’t imagine going through what you must have to get to this place. So happy for you guys, and wish you the best!

  7. Kevin

    February 17th, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Love the medieval times family pic! Green knight rules!!! So happy for the McG family!!!

  8. Nicole

    February 17th, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I’m so happy for you guys!!! The legal process getting to this point took way too long! That pic of Jack in the circle window is so cool! (And I’m totally jealous you went to Medieval Times! It’s so corny but so much fun!)

  9. Lynne

    February 19th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Amazing shots – what an awesome memory for you guys to look back on – congratulations!

  10. Abby

    February 20th, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    These are some of my very favorite pictures that I have ever seen on the blog… I seriously cried sevvvveral happy tears for you guys. Other than being what they are, the pictures off all you guys are fantastic. The first one of just you and Jack at the zoo is perfect, the one of Jack in the dome is awesome! And I’m with Meg, the blue eyes in the picture of the three of you Medieval Times are amazing!! Love this post, and LOVE all of you!!!

  11. Misty

    February 21st, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    SO sooooooo happy for the McG family! YAY!!!!!
    WOW! that shot of Jack in the round window is amaaaaaaaazing! And YAY for the horsey shots at Medieval Times!

  12. Bella Pop

    February 23rd, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    awwww congrats guys! how exciting! I’ve been missing the zoo something bad. I need to stare at the hippos for a while (right next to your elephants) 😉 and that’s funny about the bird – that happened to us to… except she was perched above our heads and we looked up and something had fallen down! eww! lol – good times

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