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!