This afternoon Jay and I went to a meeting with a state adoption social worker. He walked us through some paperwork, explained the benefits available to us post finalization, the negotiation process to determine the benefits, and what happens next. He said all told he thinks we could be finalized in about two months.
We just need to wait for the final termination of rights for the unknown father(s) for the kids to be legally free and ready to adopt. That court date hasn't been set yet but it's expected to be at the end of May or early June. Once that happens and if rights are terminated (as they expect to happen) we'll be given all information they have on the kids. For the most part we already know everything since they've lived with us almost their whole lives. But I am curious to read what the reports say about us and what happened at visits!
Then our lawyer will file for a petition for adoption and we'll be assigned a court date. This usually has a 2-5 week wait time and they happen every Monday. While we wait for that we'll work on the mountain of paperwork (no biggie really) and just wait for the dates to roll around.
In talking with them tonight the reality of the situation sunk in. From the start of thinking about this type of adoption, or any for that matter, the concept of open adoption has been on our mind. Each one is unique so there's no telling what it will look like for you in the end. Our hope was an exchange of letters and photos and possibly a visit once or twice a year. Today we learned it will be nothing at all. To many I'm sure that sounds like a relief and in some ways it is but it also complicates things. We want our kids to know where they came from and who their birth mom is as long as that's a safe relationship. Now it's completely up to us what kind of contact there will be if the opportunity ever presents itself. We'll see what time brings and always keep what is best for the kids in the forefront of our minds. I'm sure we will face some hard decisions down the road. But that's Future Jay & Sarah's problem so I won't dwell on it now.
It's starting to get so close we can taste it!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
We are close to the end of our days as Foster Parents. The reality of that hit home today when I realized there would be no more visits for the kids and their Birth Mom. That is until a Judge determines what visitation will look like if at all post adoption.
I'm not going to miss the stress of getting the kids extra cute, packed, and transported each week. Waiting on pins and needles to see if the visit is confirmed to happen and then if it actually does so we know where to pick the kids up that evening. Even though there was a lot of stress involved, I'll actually miss the interactions I have with their Birth Mom.
The worst part of the visits for me was the fear of losing the kids in that it was a show of interest on their birth Mom's part. This meant the case could turn and we could loose them. Now that she's no longer a risk I really just feel sorry for all that she's missing out on. She's only spent about 18 hours total with Little Dude his whole life and nearly all of that was while he was sleeping. Now that he's cruising around and charming us with his babble and dimples I can't help but think about how sad it is that she doesn't know him and him her.
I of course want that safety net that they are coming home with me if we have the visits. True all the things I mentioned might just cause her more pain if she does know what she's missing. It's just so bitter sweet I can't even explain how I feel. People have said this is because I'm compassionate. While I strive to be I would challenge anyone to not feel the same way when they see their birth Mom in obvious pain at missing her kids. It's easy to ignore what she has lost when she remains just a name. I am forever grateful to her for giving us the greatest gift and the family we have dreamed about.
I know without a doubt we are able to give the kids a life they never could have had with her but the very same thing can be said for what they give us. We didn't decide to adopt through Foster Care because we wanted to help the thousands of kids in the system but because above all we wanted a family and this was a way to do that. The perks of helping the kids out are a bonus but it's kind of like really wanting to go to an exclusive event hosted by charity. Yes you're giving money, time, whatever to be there but you can't get the same experience any other way. We just feel like we've been given so much more than we're giving the kids we'll be forever grateful.
What next? There will be another trial in about 1-2 months where their Father(s) could step forward and establish rights. That would mean an extended process but the chances of us not being able to adopt would still be slim. There could also be the random family member that steps forward and wants to adopt. We're praying there will be no curve balls or delays to the process. We can't wait to share their beautiful faces and names with everyone! Thanks again for your support.