Well, the adoption is finalized. All three kids are legally ours, finally! The process drug on, and on, and on, and on. In February we had the termination of parental rights (TPR) hearing, and the court ruled to revoke both bio-mom and bio-dad’s parental rights. After 30 days the right to appeal for their bio-dad expired (mom had signed away her rights previously, so I don’t think she could appeal). We figured things would move quickly from there … but not so much. The county has plenty of kids to keep track of, and our kids were safe, stable, and so there seemed to be no rush. Then our agency caseworker was let go, and her supervisor took over. She was wonderful, but was taking us on in addition to her normal duties. Also, the agency was understaffed, so it took longer for them to get their paperwork filed. We had paperwork too, some of which took longer than we should have, and then our physicals and such expired (must be re-done each year), and we had to fit that into the spring schedule. Finally, everything was starting to come together, and we picked an adoption lawyer. Except they were short one assistant, and in the covering the hole, rehiring, training, etc. the filings got delayed, and things got pushed back further. Eventually we received the date, 1 Sept 2009. A day we will celebrate forever!
We had the hearing Tuesday, 1 Sept 2009, and the kids are now officially ours. No more caseworkers stopping by each month to see how the kids are doing, ask questions, give us more paperwork to sign/fill out, and update us on the progress (or lack of it) in the last month. No more having three kids with three different last names (the youngest had her bio-mom’s last name, while our son had his bio-dad’s last name, long story there …), they are now all officially “Wilcock” children. It is so amazing to feel the wholeness in the family. To have the closure of the state’s official blessing just cements the connection that God has already made in our hearts. We are so blessed, and from day 1 have felt a deep connection to these kids. Praise the Lord for His blessing us with them, and them with us as a forever family. Abby is so happy to have a little sister and brother, and they just love her (and often fight over whose she is). God is so good.
I have so many reactions and thoughts to the whole process, but those will wait for another day. Today is a day to celebrate and rejoice!
Oh, and we have told our foster/adoption agency to put us on their hold list for now, but that we plan to keep our certification … 🙂