I sit here with a cup of coffee in the quiet house before kids are awake. It's a big day at our house but in another sense it's not. The kids are too young to understand the importance of today. They won't understand why we're at a court house and will probably just be squirmy and cranky. Today marks the end of our time in "the system". It means we no longer have to fill out incident reports and send them out in triplicate every time the kids get a mark on them. We don't have to attend all the various social worker meetings every month. And finally what I'm most excited about is we can share photos of our kids online.
One might think this is the happiest day of our lives but it really doesn't hold a lot of meaning to me. The day I'll remember and celebrate is the day we met and were given the awesome responsibility of being parents to these incredible children. Walking in the door to the previous Foster Mom's house and seeing this sweet little girl with a head full of glossy dark curls and a binky in her mouth is what is etched into my mind as my happiest day. I recall studying her while trying not to scare her, drinking in every detail. I remember the tears of joy I cried in this woman's living room as she placed a tiny bundle into my arms. The gravity of responsibility that started to settle in as I realized we'd be leaving this house with these two little beings and we were now responsible. Driving away with them both tucked into their car seats was surreal. That my friends was the best day of my life.
The fear of loosing the kids is not entirely gone. There's no legal risk of them being taken away and I haven't worried over that since August. Now it's my fears of their birth parents finding them that comes into play. Before their rights were terminated we had the state to hide behind with no contact. Now the contact is our choice. They have no vested interest in trying to play by the rules because there's no chance for them to get their kids back. I do want them to have contact with the kids but I don't know what that looks like or when we'll be ready. There is no instruction book on this so we have to go with what we feel is best. I think we'll take a little time off on thinking about that for now.
It's been a year and a half since that wonderful day we were united as a family. It's going to be strange to hear us pronounced as their parents because we feel as if we always have been. Hearing Zoe proudly and possessively announce to people "My Mommy" and "My Daddy" is one of the best things in the world. I hope she tells the Judge that today because there's nothing he could say that we all haven't known in our hearts for quite some time. There is no finish line in parenting, we're just moving on to the next phase with open arms and thankfulness in our hearts.
Updated: today held more meaning than I knew. It caught us both off guard and we nearly started crying in court. It was emotional in the best kind of way...all in all a perfect day.