Today at our monthly social worker meeting we were presented with the kids full file. This happens when they are legally free (so we've been waiting for it since July). It gives us all the information the department has on the kids. This includes the social workers notes from each monthly visit, supervisors reports of visitation, and all the info they have on the birth parents. The stack of paper work is no less than 8" thick. I can't even imagine where we're going to store all this along with all the paperwork we already have.
I of course can't and don't wish to share any of the information it contains but I want to hurry and finish this post to get back to reading it. The process is such that we have to sign a release stating we have read all available information on the case before we proceed with negotiations for Adoption Support from the state. The information in the files could give us insight into something we might need support with. Once the support is negotiated, which we think will be done in the next two weeks, we submit all the paper work with our lawyer and get a court date to finalize.
November is National Adoption Month and there is a HUGE mass adoption that will be happening in our county the week we'll be in Hawaii. Our lawyer is really busy getting everything in order for other families to make that date so we're holding off since we can't be part of it anyway. It's looking like we'll be going to court in December if we get a court date then.
We're a bit of a unique situation when it comes to the paperwork. Many kids have been bounced around to several homes or have several reports from CPS before the kids were removed from their home that remain classified. For us, we've had the kids since my son was released from the hospital so we know just about everything in the paper work. It is pretty interesting reading Social Worker notes about us and detailed reports of what happened at the few visits the kids had.
Part of the plan for their birth Mom to get the kids back was her requirement to have a full evaluation with a psychologist. It is a comprehensive 16 page report of her responses and observations by the person who conducted it. I devoured each page, eager to learn anything I could about her and her thoughts on the whole situation. I'm sure I'll read it many times over. It struck me that the feelings of devouring each word and mental images of physical appearance and body language it caused me to be thinking about would only be heightened for both kids. In a sense it's the closest they may ever get to their birth mother. It's incredibly sad thinking about that. I can't imagine my only connection to my birth parents being though words on paper and the one photo we have.
All of this is sinking in and I want to do all I can to ease the emotional battle my kids are sure to face. It's yet another thing I wish I could spare them. I plan to talk about their Birth Mom often so she will not be a mystery. Answer any question I can. Most importantly, honor her in the role she plays in all of our lives. No matter what reports say and the negative picture some of them may portray, She is part of them and they are part of her. Therefore we all love their Birth Mom, just in a very different way than most.