Mr. Ken waited at his desk, the rest of the afternoon, hoping Bill would call and let him know what Judge Richards had decided. He was as antsy as a man waiting for his first-born child to come into the world. Mr. Ken almost started to pace back and forth, like an expectant father, but he stopped himself from doing that. He went and got a cup of coffee instead.
The boys were already home and having their after-school snack and there still was no phone call from Bill Jackson. Mr. Ken got worried that the adoption wouldn't happen that Friday and 'dad' and 'son' would have to wait until next Friday to make it all happen.
Robert stopped by the Study to ask if his 'dad' had heard anything about the adoption, and with 'dad' Ken not having anything to tell the teenager, the lad went up to his room to get his school work started. The other lads also stopped by the Study to say Hi and ask about the adoption. They were all disappointed when 'dad' Ken had nothing to tell them.
The phone finally rang in the Study just before dinnertime. When Mr. Ken looked at the Caller ID, he saw it wasn't Bill Jackson. He was inclined not to answer the phone and let the answering machine take the message. But something inside him told him he should answer it, and he was very glad he had.
"Three Finger Cove," answered Mr. Ken.
"Mr. Ken, my boy," Mr. Ken heard over the receiver.
"Judge ... Judge Richards? To what do I owe the pleasure of your call, if I may ask," said Mr. Ken.
"Ken, Bill Jackson stopped by today to tell me the great news. That you are wanting to adopt young Robert. I think that is awesome that you would take him as your lad and raise him as your own. I saw what you did with Collin, so I know this is a good match," said Judge Richards.
"Judge, may I ask why ... why you called?" said Mr. Ken.
"Ken, Bill had asked for a meeting with me for today, and I had no earthly idea why he'd want to talk to me, the County Juvenile Court Judge. He has no real dealings with me or my court, so ... well, I was curious as to why he wanted to talk to me. That was why I took his meeting. I was curious. It was when he asked me if I could hold an adoption ceremony this Friday afternoon that I had to ask him a ton of questions."
"Bill and I talked for almost two hours and when we finished, I asked him if I could be the one to call you instead of him and tell you the good news. Ken, I would be more than pleased to hold your adoption ceremony of Robert this Friday afternoon. What say we hold the ceremony at 2 PM? You can invite anyone and everyone to the ceremony; we'll do it up big. This will be one of the best adoption ceremonies I've ever done," explained the judge.
"Judge Adam, I can't thank you enough for taking your time to schedule this adoption for me and Robert. He came to me last January and ..." started Mr. Ken when the judge stopped him.
"Ken, I know the story. That was why your lawyer and I talked for almost two hours. Bill told me the full story and I think this is the best thing for this young teen. He also told me you had your investigator, Jules Diamond, contact all Robert's relatives on both sides and had them sign some papers relinquishing their claim to the boy, err teen."
"I know you will both be very happy when you are Dad and Son. So, I'll see you at my courtroom at 2 PM on Friday. I can't wait to tell my wife, Kathleen. I know she will be very happy for you," finished Judge Adam Richards.
"Thank you, judge. Two PM Friday afternoon will work out fine for me. Well, actually for all of us, which includes my other three foster sons, as well. We'll all see you Friday then, Judge. Thank you so much for calling and telling me," said Mr. Ken. Then the man hung up the phone.
As soon as Mr. Ken placed the handpiece in the cradle, there was a loud clapping that came from the Study's doorway. The four Cover lads were there listening in. They had stopped by the Study on their way to dinner to get their 'dad', but when they saw he was on the phone they hung back and waited for him to finish. Of course, they could hear his part of the conversation, and they could tell from what they heard that they knew Robert's adoption was going to happen.
Robert ran to Mr. Ken, soon to be his new dad, and hugged him and thanked him for doing this for him. The two hugged and the other three foster sons came over and got into the group hug.
When the Covers hadn't shown up for dinner on time, Momma Maria came looking for them. She knew they usually were in the Study, so she went there first. When she got there, she heard part of the conversation between her boss and the boys, but wasn't too sure of what she heard.
Momma knocked on the doorframe to get their attention and it was then Mr. Ken told her that he'd just gotten off the phone with Judge Richards and he was going to adopt Robert that Friday. Momma Maria couldn't contain herself and she ran over to Robert and hugged him tight.
After dinner, Momma Maria talked with Mr. Ken about what he was going to serve after the ceremony. Momma wanted to be a part of the festivities, but Mr. Ken had other plans. He wanted her there, at the ceremony, and not back at The Cove, cooking. Momma Maria was surprised that her boss wanted her there. It was then that Mr. Ken told her that she was just as much a part of The Cove as anyone, and that he was going to have Four Corners prepare and serve finger foods and drinks. Momma Maria cried happy tears all the way home that evening.
The boys talked to 'dad' Ken the rest of the evening discussing what would happen on Friday and what they would wear and could they call their friends now.
But it was Robert who had all the bigger questions. He asked his 'new' dad if he could change his name. Mr. Ken told Robert he should think about it and try out some new names and even talk it over with his Best Friend, Eric. Mr. Ken told Robert that he didn't have to decide until Friday afternoon, when he talked to the judge, so he could take his time.
Mentioning the judge made Robert ask why he'd have to talk to the judge, and 'dad' Ken told the teen that the judges usually talked to all the kids before the adoption is finalized to make sure that is what they want, and if they wanted to change their name. 'Dad' Ken told the teenager that whatever he chose, he would support him. Robert hugged the man before going up to his room to get ready for bed.
The next day at school, the word around the school grounds was that Robert Harrison was going to be adopted by Mr. Ken. All of Robert's friends were happy for the teen and congratulated him on soon becoming Mr. Ken's son. Hearing that word, 'son' from others made Robert feel very special.
Even Charles' friends came over to Robert to congratulate him for becoming Mr. Ken's son. They all patted him on his back as they acknowledged his newfound status.
But there were a few of Robert's classmates who didn't care that the Cover lad was being adopted by the richest man on the lake and in the area. Joanna Schwimminger and Kaelyn Farlow, along with Skyler, Nora and Callie all sauntered by Robert to tell him what they thought about it.
"Well, Robbie, so you're finally getting a family. Couldn't you find a regular family with a father AND a mother?" laughed Joanna, who was joined in by her other clique followers.
"I don't know what your problem is Joanna, but I thought you would have learned your lesson last year when Brody was just using you for sex," returned a critical Logan.
"At least I have a mother and father. All Robert got was 'borned'," laughed Kaelyn Farlow. "Then, he had to find someone to take the little orphan boy in and adopt him. What, Mr. Ken can't make his own kids?" added a laughing Kaelyn, who was joined in by Joanna, Skyler, Nora, and Callie.
"You know what? You girls are pathetic!" called back Robert. "At least I won't have a police record before I get out of Junior High, Joanna, and you too Kaelyn." That said, Robert and his friends all walked away.
At The Cove, Mr. Ken was busy making a list of all the people he could think of so he could invite them to the adoption ceremony on Friday afternoon at 2 PM. He started with the people very close to him: Momma Maria, Chris Dominions, Judy Turner, Bill Jackson, Stewart Russell, Wayne Mitchell, Lt. Dan Fischer, Mary Taylor, Doctor Doug Jennings and Doctor Richard Powers.
His second list contained the people he often crossed paths with. That list included, Jules Diamond, Harry & Carol Fletcher, John & Barbara Sullivan, Sheriff Matthew Barnes, Lt. Brandt Matthias, and Sgt. William Roberts.
Mr. Ken's next list contained the people he considered close acquaintances. This list consisted of Julie Anderson – Logan's mom, Judge Joseph Barnneby – County Commissioner, John Ostrowski – School Board President, Joanne Kirby – ER Nurse, George Lamake, Markus Arnolds and Jamie Jones – Volunteers at the Lake Water Safety and Rescue Team Headquarters, Owen and Nathan and their sons who he recently met at SeaWorld, Commodore Jeffery Wilson – The Lake Commodore and Emma Foster – Todd's mom.
Once the owner of The Cove made his lists, he remembered to call the Four Corner's Restaurant and talk to his manager, Ed Henry, and have him set up some finger foods and refreshments for Friday afternoon. Once that was completed, Mr. Ken began to make some phone calls.
Mr. Ken had gotten through his first list and had started on his second one when he remembered the men and women who worked for him in his travel, construction and architecture groups. He knew he'd already named 29 people to invite, and he hadn't even asked Robert if there was anyone he wanted to be there.
Mr. Ken found himself in a quandary. He needed to decide if he should invite another 30 plus people and overfill the courtroom or just invite the people who had a more direct involvement with him and Robert and his other foster sons. He decided to wait until Robert came home and ask him what he thought. He knew he couldn't disinvite the people he had already called, but he could cut back the number of people on his third list if need be.
Robert took some more harassment from the same girls at lunchtime. He ignored them and his friends ran interference for him, so the girls didn't get too close to continue to hassle him. Dan Chassen saw what was happening, and he went to Principal Chadwick and told her what he saw was going on.
Principal Chadwick called first Joanna and then Kaelyn in separately into her office. She asked each of them why they were harassing Robert over his pending adoption. She also asked them why they weren't happy for him versus making disparaging remarks. Neither girl had any answers for their principal.
Abigail Chadwick reminded them of what happened last school year and explained to them they did not want to continue in that direction. The principal warned them both that they were on thin ice with her and they could find themselves in big trouble if they did not stop their bullying.
When the boys got home from school, they met Momma and had their after-school snack. Then they went looking for 'dad' Ken.
"'Dad'," started Robert, "we need to call Collin to tell him the ceremony is tomorrow at two."
"Robert, I don't think he'll be able to come to the ceremony. He has classes and his studies, so to take the day off might be difficult for him," explained 'dad' Ken.
"I know 'dad', that's what he told me the other night when I called him to tell him you were going to adopt me. But I told him we'd call when we knew the day and time," said Robert, back.
"OK, I'll call him while you guys all go get your homework done before dinner. Also, I want you all to look through your clothes and set aside your best stuff so you can wear them tomorrow to the ceremony. Now, go, get your schoolwork done and we'll talk more about this after dinner," instructed 'dad' Ken.
After dinner, the Covers all took seats in the Study. Mr. Ken told Robert he called Collin and the older 'brother's' reply was he wasn't sure if he could make the ceremony, but wished his younger 'brother' good luck tomorrow.
'Dad' Ken reminded the boys, he would pick them up at lunchtime and bring them home in order to get cleaned up and to change into the good clothes they were supposed to have picked out earlier, when they went to do their homework. He then asked Robert to go up to his room and to try on his suit to see how it fit. Robert jumped up and headed up to his room. Less than ten minutes later Robert came into the Study dressed in his suit. When he entered the Study his 'brothers' all laughed at him.
"I guess it is too late to go out and buy you a new suit," laughed 'dad' Ken.
"If you say so, 'dad'. I guess I grew some over the summer," laughed Robert, as he stood there with the sleeves of his suit jacket almost four inches up his arms and his pant legs high enough that it let his ankles show.
"Ok, 'son' you can wear a shirt and tie instead. Or did you outgrow your dress shirt too?" chuckled 'dad' Ken.
"No, I think I can wear that. It was big when you first bought it. You told me that I would grow into it, but I bet in a few weeks I won't be able to," laughed Robert.
The next thing Mr. Ken told Robert was who he had already invited to the ceremony tomorrow. He told the teen and wanted to know if there was anyone, in particular, he wanted to be at the ceremony. Robert told his new 'dad to be' that, besides Collin, he would like Eric there. Mr. Ken told him that would be up to Ms. Judy to decide, but he could call his Best Friend and ask him.
"Robert, is there anyone else you'd like to be there?" again asked 'dad' Ken.
"'Dad', I just never thought this day would ever happen. I never thought about who I would want to be there, if I ever did get adopted. I know the ceremony is tomorrow, but ... but who can I ask? All the kids at school can't skip class, can they?" asked the teen with hope in his eyes.
"Robert, 'son', you can ask whoever you want, but it will be up to their parents if they can skip school to be there. I already told you who I invited and if you want to invite your friends all you have to do is call them up and tell them they can be there if their parents will let them get away," suggested 'dad' Ken.
"By the way, here is the rest of my lists. Take a look at them and see if there is anyone there, that you want to be there, that I haven't invited yet. I can call them if you tell me who you would want," added 'dad' ken.
Robert looked at the lists and saw which names his 'dad' had already crossed off, meaning he had called them. The teen looked the rest of the names over and then told his 'dad' he didn't care if they all came. The soon to be adopted teen was just happy he would have a new place to call home and would never be sent to another foster home. Robert then hugged his 'dad' and began to cry.
Mr. Ken hugged the teen for a few minutes to allow the lad to wash whatever it was inside of him that needed to get out. Robert was very emotional over knowing he was going to be adopted. The other Cover boys just sat back and watched as their older 'brother' smiled, laughed and then cried over his pending new life.
The twins then asked 'dad Ken' what they would have to do at the ceremony. 'Dad Ken' told them and Charles they were to just look cute and stay out of trouble. Mr. Ken then laughed. The three lads attacked Mr. Ken for teasing them. The four wrestled on the Study floor for a few minutes before they got back to business.
"Boys, I have no idea what you'll do. I think that since it is just Robert and I who are becoming Dad and Son that I think all you will get to do is just watch. Judge Richards might take Robert back into his private office to talk to him to make sure this is what he wants. Then, they'll come out into the courtroom and the judge will say a few words and then gavel that Robert is now My Son," said Mr. Ken, as he smiled at hearing his own mouth say 'Dad and Son'.
With nothing else to talk about, Mr. Ken started calling the rest of the people on his three lists while Robert went up to his bedroom to call all his close friends and invite them to the adoption ceremony. The other three Cover lads went down to the Theater and looked for a movie they could watch.
When it came time for bed, Mr. Ken walked up to the boys' bedrooms to check on them and ask them about their homework. He then had them get ready for bed and when they came back from the bathroom and got into bed, Mr. Ken tucked them in and kissed their foreheads and wished them all a good night's sleep.
Friday morning, the excitement of Robert's adoption was in the air. The boys were all hyper and even Momma Maria was smiling ear-to-ear. They all talked about the adoption and hoped the weather would stay nice. The mornings had been cool which meant the boys needed a light jacket, but as they came home from school they were usually carrying it.
At school that morning, all of Robert's best friends, Eric, Brad, Chuck, Trevor, Logan, Gordon, and Cody came over to him to tell him they were going to be at the courthouse. That put a big smile on the teen knowing his friends would be there to watch and celebrate with him his being adopted by Mr. Ken.
Many of the other boys and girls came up to Robert and congratulated him on his gaining a new family and they all wished him well. There were, however, a few teen girls who wished they could do something to stop the adoption, if only for a few days and just for spite.
Mr. Ken spent much of his morning answering the phone and accepting congratulations from many of his friends, even if they were going to be at the courthouse later that afternoon. Chris stopped by the Study and asked his boss if he had a present to give to Robert as a 'Welcome to the Family' gift, as a remembrance the lad could keep as a celebration of his adoption
Mr. Ken told him he hadn't even thought of doing something like that, and he didn't have any time left to do that. Chris told Mr. Ken he could do that for him if he trusted him. Mr. Ken told him to go for it and he'd see him at the courthouse or over at the Four Corners restaurant. Mr. Ken then thanked the man for thinking that far in advance.
Mr. Ken found himself running around The Cove with so much to do and so little time to get it all done. He watched the time so he wouldn't forget to get the kids from school around lunchtime. He had planned to get his shower before picking the kids up, but he figured they had a good 90 minutes after they returned to The Cove to get cleaned up, dressed and off to the courthouse.
Robert and his 'brothers' couldn't wait until the lunch bell rang. They knew their 'dad' was coming to get them and then they'd be going to the courthouse to watch Robert get legally adopted by Mr. Ken. When the lunch bell finally did ring, the four Cover's headed to the school office to await their 'dad'.
When Mr. Ken came to sign his foster boys out of the school, Principal Chadwick wanted to talk to him, but he told her they were on a tight schedule and needed to be at the courthouse before 2 PM. Mr. Ken told her to take a late lunch and meet them at the courthouse. She said she'd think about it.
When the Covers arrived at The Cove, 'dad' Ken, told the boys to go take a shower and change into the clothes they set out the night before. The man then told them to get some of Robert's cologne and splash some on and then meet him in the Study when they were ready. Mr. Ken headed to his en suite, and the boys headed upstairs to get cleaned up.
As they loaded into the truck to head over to the courthouse, Mr. Ken commented on the strong smell of cologne they boys had on. He laughed and told them not to take a shower in it the next time, but to only put some on their neck because the smell would linger on for hours.
The Covers arrived at the courthouse around 1:30 PM and they had to go through security. As the lads went through the metal detector, the security guard commented that someone was going to have a great day. After going through the machine, Kyle turned to the guard and said, "Yep, our older 'brother' is getting adopted today."
Hearing it put the way Kyle said it, the guard was perplexed. He began thinking, "Why would they adopt 'out' their older brother and not the rest of them." The guard began asking anyone he knew if they knew what was going on with the adoption that afternoon. As more and more people started coming through the security checkpoint, the guard kept asking them if they knew about the older 'brother' being adopted and the younger boys not being taken too. Most of the invitees to the adoption ceremony didn't understand what the man meant, either. He finally got his answer soon thereafter
It was when Judy Turner, the Director of CPS, came through the checkpoint with Eric that the man got his answer. Ms. Judy told the guard that the boys were all foster lads in the same house and the older one was being adopted by Mr. Thomas. That brought a big smile to the guard's face and the other guards were glad the man got his answer as they were tired of him asking everyone that came through the area.
When Eric and his mom entered the courtroom, and Robert saw his Best Friend, he immediately went over to him, hugged him and thanked him for coming. While the two were talking, more and more of Robert's best friends were arriving with their parents. The party had already begun, but the ceremony had yet to happen.
By the time the appointed hour had arrived, all the invited guests, who could be there, had arrived and were taking seats in the observation or public area of the courtroom. Mr. Ken, Robert and both Bill Jackson and Stewart Russell were seated behind their table while the Director of Children's Protective Service and the lawyers representing CPS were at the other table.
At exactly 2 PM, the bailiff called out, "All rise" and everyone in the courtroom stood while Judge Adam Richards walked into the courtroom. The judge went up to his chair behind his large court bench. When the judge sat down everyone else did.
"Well, now ... we are all here to observe Robert Arthur Harrison be adopted by Mr. Kenneth Richard Thomas. I want you all to know that I am honored to be able to preside at this wonderful occasion. I know Mr. Ken, err, Mr. Thomas ... and what he did for his first foster son, Collin and ... I am sure he did and IS doing the same not for only Robert, but his other three foster sons, as well."
"This adoption will give the new teenager a forever home, where he can grow up and mature and not have to worry about ever being moved to another foster home. Today is a happy event, that I am sure will remain in his young mind forever. Now ... before I can continue ... I will ask Robert to go with me, so we can talk about his adoption before I approve it and sign the final adoption papers. Bailiff ... please show Robert where my chambers are."
"All rise!" shouted the bailiff. Everyone in the courtroom rose while the judge exited.
Robert followed the bailiff to the Judge's Chambers. The bailiff showed the young teenager into the room where Judge Adam Richards waited.
"Come in, come in, Robert, and have a seat," offered Judge Adam, as Collin used to call him.
Robert walked in and the bailiff closed the door. Robert then waited until the judge was seated before he took the seat that was positioned in front of the man's large desk. The two looked across the desk at one another.
"Robert ... I wonder if Collin ever told you about the first time he was left alone inside my office. I'm glad you aren't as untrusting as he was, that first time," chuckled Judge Adam.
"Oh, well, we talked that day, back when Judge Terryman was arrested, so I knew what it was like to be inside your office," spoke up Robert. "And, I knew you're a GOOD guy from what Collin and my 'dad' told me."
"Yes, yes, we did talk once before. Well, did Mr. Ken tell you why you and I are in here talking?" asked the judge.
"Well ... he told me you'd' want to ask me a few questions about the adoption and ... and if I want to change my name. Things like that," replied Robert.
"Good. Many kids come in here with no earthly idea why they are here, and then they are also scared about being in here with me ... alone," chuckled Judge Adam. "Just as Collin was that first time.
"OK, the first thing I need to ask you is, what do you feel about this adoption. Is this ... is this something you really, really want to happen, Robert?" directly asked the judge.
Robert immediately answered, "Oh, yes, Judge, this is what I want to happen. I had no other family member who wanted me after I was put into the foster care system. Mr. Ken is the first foster parent that really cared about me and what I want. He didn't take me in because of the money he'd get, he did it so ... so that I would have a chance at a better life than I had ever since my parents were arrested," got out the teen before he began to cry.
Judge Adam let Robert cry some in order to get out whatever demon was there. He'd seen many kid's cry because their parents didn't want them or were now in jail and had no other place to go. The judge knew that both of Robert's parents were in jail and that they would not be out until well after the teenager graduated from high school.
Robert knew he had to get control over his emotions over what his parents did to him. He knew that there was no going back, that Mr. Ken was giving him a chance at a new life and he needed to take advantage of that. As he was thinking about all that, he started to take that control and he stopped his crying. He then sat up more straight in his seat and he apologized to the judge for his crying.
"Robert ... there is nothing wrong with crying. My take is ... that you remembered the why you are in this position and it pains you. If it didn't, I'd be concerned. But ... I do need to learn if you are entering into this adoption freely and are not being coerced into doing this," said Judge Adam Richards.
"NO WAY is anyone MAKING ME be adopted by Mr. Ken. He ... he's the best thing that has ever happened to ME ever since I was placed into the foster care system. He has LOVED ME right from the beginning and he cared about ME! He put everything he was involved in on the back burner for ME. He showed ME how to set aside some of the hurt that has happened to ME and encouraged ME to begin focusing on my future. Mr. Ken has done everything he could for ME," angrily yelled Robert back at the judge.
The judge was surprised at Robert's vehement defense of the man who was going to adopt him. The judge knew that Ken Thomas would be at the top of any list as the lad's new dad. As Robert calmed down, the judge began to smile.
"I take it by your defense of Mr. Ken this is something you really, really want to happen?" said Judge Richards.
"Yes, it is, judge. I've lived with 'dad' Ken since ... well, since right after the Holidays and I've gotten to know him and him me. None of the other foster parents cared about me. They didn't talk to me, they yelled at me. They gave me terrible food and clothes. Mr. Ken ... well, he made sure I had the right clothes for school. He has Momma Maria there to cook for us and she makes the best food. You should come over for one of her meals. You'll love it," started Robert.
"Oh, that sounds good to me. Is that an invitation, young man?" teased Judge Adam.
"Oh ... I guess I did invite you, huh? But, I am sure as a new member of The Cove I can swing that invitation. Ahh ... I AM going to be that ... that NEW member of The Cove, Judge Adam?" hesitantly asked the teenager.
"Yes, Robert, you are going to BE that NEW member of Three Finger Cove," replied the judge.
"We call it The Cove, now, Mr. Judge," spoke up Robert.
"Yes, yes, The Cove ... it is hard to change your view of something you knew as Three Finger Cove, young man. When Collin lived there, we talked a number of times and I visited there a few times, as well, but old habits are hard to change," said Judge Adam.
"Now ... the next thing I need to talk to you about is ... do you want to change your name? This is something that many children want to do, but ... but sometimes ... they want to keep their given names and not take their new family name. Some will hyphenate the names and some don't care. They only care that they will have a home they can go to every day and have a roof over their heads, good clothes to wear and decent food to eat. So ... have you thought about what you want to do about your name?" asked the judge.
"Yes, I have. 'Dad' told me the other night that is something I will get to do and that he didn't need the answer until we came here to the courtroom. I guess he knew you'd ask me that, so he asked me to think about it before I came here," replied Robert.
"So, have you decided, what you want to do?" asked Judge Richards.
"Yes ... I want to change my last name to Thomas. But, I also would like to keep my other last name," explained Robert.
"So you want to hyphenate it, then?" asked the judge.
"No, I don't want to do that. What I'd like to do is ... what I'd like to do is have two middle names and change my last name to Thomas. I want to be known as Robert Arthur Harrison Thomas, if I can?" tentatively asked Robert.
The judge sat back some and then looked at the teen. He put his hand to his chin as if he was thinking. Then the judge leaned forward and said, "Why not? What say we go back to the courtroom and tell them what we are going to do?" OK?
"All rise," called out the bailiff, as the Judge and Robert walked back into the courtroom.
Judge Richards went up to his chair behind his courtroom bench and Robert went over to Mr. Ken and the two hugged. When the judge sat down, the people in the court did as well.
"Well, Robert and I had a good long talk. I had to make sure he really wanted to be adopted by Mr. Ken. Seems like he does," laughed the judge.
"Ok, now that it was decided, I asked Robert if he wanted to change his name. It seems the lad has thought about this for a few days and he has made his decision. Robert Arthur Harrison will be known as Robert Author Harrison ... Thomas. Robert wants to have two middle names, but he also wants to be a full member of The Cove and be a Thomas. The teen also asked NOT to hyphenate his old last name and his new one. So, he will be Robert A. H. Thomas."
"OK, now that I have done my part of the adoption ceremony," started Judge Adam Richards, "by talking to the adoptee and determining that he definitely does want to be adopted, and that he also wants a name change to match his new dads. Thus, by the authority vested in me as the Presiding County Juvenile Court Judge, I hereby approve the adoption of one Robert Arthur Harrison Thomas to one Kenneth Richard Thomas. Let them be known as Dad and Son from this point forward."
With that said, Judge Richards slammed his gavel down on his bench and began signing the finalized adoption papers. The observers in the courtroom burst out in applause and those close to the new dad and son began congratulating them.
It was just as the judge put his pen down, after signing the adoption order, that the courtroom doors abruptly opened and a man hurried in.
"I OBJECT!" yelled the man.
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