Paper Is Supposed To Be The Gift For The First Year Anniversary

The seasons are changing and moving along just as they should.


And so it goes for our family as well.

With the coming of fall brings the anticipation of many milestones for the (soon-to-be) Doughertys.

First, it’s back-to-school time for our foster kiddos. We purchased an entire office products store of supplies. And, of course, two reams of paper. Both of the kids were chattering with excitement as they sat at our dining room table, labeling each paper folder, copy book, and box of tissues. For these little ones, the start of a new year with new teachers and (hopefully) a new set of friends in their classroom brings such high hopes for normalcy as they continue to settle into our home. Bond to us. Foster daughter told me at the crosswalk this morning as we walked to school that her belly “feels kind of funny.” I assured her, “There is no need to be nervous, sweetie. You are going to have a great year with your new teacher. I just know it.”

Secondly, in a few short weeks my husband and I will be tying the knot. Officially. On paper. We will be married. For real. No butterflies this time. No funny feeling in the belly because we, of course, had the big ‘do’ in 2006. This is maybe just formality (a really big formality), but we have waited so long for this piece of paper, so it is a big deal.

The kids have always enjoyed talking about our first wedding, but there have been hints of jealousy that they weren’t there to be a part of it. With this event, they are excited that they will be included for our small event, planned with immediate family at a small venue in Philadelphia.

Sorry nieces, your duties as flower girls are being replaced by someone equally as special. I’m sure you’ll understand. The grooms are also excited to have a ring bearer who can’t wait to walk down the aisle with us.

Of course, I will have to fill out many pieces of paper in order to make our family official, as I will be changing my name so that we are all the same. On paper. Social Security, DMV, passports, banks, credit cards, my employer/payroll, post office, utility, mortgage and insurance companies (auto, home, life), schools and alumni associations, doctors' offices, voter registration office, investment account providers, my attorney (to update legal documents, including our will), etc.

So much paper, but it will be so worth it.

Finally, if all goes our way, we will be pleased to announce that our case with the county could be moving along quicker than we originally thought.

We are all full of anticipation for that one last piece of paper this fall.

After typing that MY belly “feels kind of funny”. The anticipation to end to this race, with the finish line so close in our view, has us all eager to add closure and permanency to these kids’ lives. To heal and move forward with dignity, hope and love.

As much as Aaron and I have waited for a day to call each other “husband”, on paper, the fact that we will also be able to expand our family…on paper….by having us named as “Dads” to these two kids…?

THAT will be the paper for all of us to cherish.

Such a gift after 19 years together.

Be a Part of Our Story

Join our continuously growing community of dads, families and industry experts. We’ll provide education, anecdotes and advice for wherever you might be in your journey to fatherhood. Sign up to our newsletter:

Sign up to our newsletter