Today we got the best news we could have hoped for, the kids are legally free and now it's just a matter of time until we're able to adopt. This was my first time going to court, I usually prefer Jay goes because I'm too nervous and emotional. He had some commitments at work so I went today. Let me tell you about what it's like.
They tell you court starts at 9:00 but that's really just them trying to get everyone there on time. You walk through the metal detectors and then wait in the lobby for the court room to open up. Everyone sits there nervously looking around, many who are clearly out of their element dressed to impress. It's actually some prime people watching and eavesdropping. I sat there facing the entrance to the building and next to the door to the court room so I could keep my eyes peeled for the kids alleged father who I've never met. I was also within ear shot of the info desk so I could listen for his lawyer.
At about 9:15 you can start going into the court room and by the time I walked in it was already crowded. I grabbed the last two seats for myself and our social worker. There were just two rows of seating and about 20-30 people waiting for their case. beyond the little wall divider was a long curved table facing the bench where there were about 10 lawyers sitting and sorting their papers. There were about 10-15 more lawyers and state social workers walking around and sitting behind them.
Everyone is talking in hushed conversations which really just makes the whole room loud. Even after the judge came in people never shut up. They then just have a lawyer at the table start talking which is barely audible on the microphone because you guessed it, everyone is STILL talking. It's a long list of questions directed to the social worker sitting at the same table as the lawyer..."Was X served on X date?" "Yes". And on and on. It's pretty much all yes or no questions and then the defendants lawyer if they have one makes a quick statement of if they support whatever motion is being discussed. Finally the judge makes his quick ruling never looking up from the papers. Done. In a matter of minutes the course of peoples lives are changed and mean while everyone in the court room is still talking.
We got lucky and were the second case to be heard. It lasted all of 3-4 minutes since there was no one but the state there. The judge said the motion was granted and he found the alleged father in default. A few words from him but words that mean the world to us. This is a momentous day for our family and it seems so weird it all just happened in a noisy room filled with people dressed in ill fitting suits and huge black briefcases to carry around files. No I didn't expect the sky to part but I guess I did expect it to be semi somber and at least hear all that was said. No matter, it's done and went better than we hoped.
This means we'll be assigned a state adoption case worker and there's no risk of us losing the kids any longer. We get first dibs to file for an adoption motion. Yes we still have about a month or two left of the kids being in the system but it's nothing. Just the monthly visits from all the people that see the kids but no threat of birth parent visits. We no longer have to worry about what the birth parents are doing to get the kids back because they can't. It's a sad day for them and I can't help but wonder what they were doing today while those decisions were being made. Did they wish they were there but for what ever reasons they couldn't be or did they even realize the significance of today at all? It's done and after we finalize I will reach out to their birth mom through the only method I have, email. I'll explain my hopes and dreams for the kids and a little about us as parents. I feel she should know this just the same as if she had chosen us. I want her to know they are in good hands and are loved beyond words.