Saturday, November 15, 2008

Our Trip to Becoming Legal

For a long time there were only your footprints
and laughter in our dreams,
Even from such small things,
We knew we could not wait to love you forever.
Brian Andreas 2002 "Such Small Things"
This poem was sent out in the e-mail announcement that we sent that K- had arrived. In the days that followed, our schedule was filled with placement workers, social workers, and homefinder visits. We took K- to her first doctors appointment. The county requires that children placed in your care be seen by a doctor within the first week of placement and though it was literally right at Christmastime, our pediatrician's office was kind enough to squeeze us in on December 26. The pediatrician on call asked us what we would be naming our child. (We didn't keep her birthname.) We told him and he continued to call her K- for the rest of the visit. Then, he announced, "Congratulations! You have a healthy baby girl!"
I cried.

You see, K- was born cocaine positive. Her first mom had been in and out of jail, homeless and generally not making good decisions for herself. Again, we will be forever thankful to her for going to the hospital, having K- and leaving her behind with folks that could take care of her.

We had court in January. The county had been named K-'s temporary guardian.

We had court in March. In a turn of events, right before court we were called in to bring K- for visitation with her first mom. I admit that the prospect upset me greatly, since she hadn't attended any other hearing and I almost wrecked the car pulling into the facility. It turned out that she had a medical condition and had been temporarily released. The facility hadn't called the county to let them know.

We had court directly after. It was stressful and I had to go up on the stand, remembering what dates she went to the doctor, weight and -- REMEMBERING TO CALL HER THE RIGHT NAME! Oh, yes! That wouldn't have gone well! This hearing was for permanent custody, which was granted, but then appealed by the opposing attorney due to the lack of ability to hand paperwork in on time on behalf of our Guardian et Litem. Oh, was I mad. It wasn't until August that the appeal was overturned by the judge and we were under adoptive status.

Then we received the official letter. Her adoption day was December 20, 2004-- her first birthday and the last adoption day of the year! I was so excited! Hubs was at work, out in the woods stringing a fake flying bat up in preparation for their Halloween program, when his extremely pregnant co-worker decided to hike the mile back to tell him.

So it came. And so did the snowstorm. And the bitterly cold weather. We left for court almost 2 hours early for a half hour drive. I had K- dressed up in her gorgeous dress, snowpants underneath, hat, coat, scarf, and blanket overhead. I wore my dress with the Timberland boots and changed into heels once we got inside.

And I gave our friends wrong directions. But, they made it. Oops. I'm directionally illiterate.

But the day was ours. Given the funky weather, there weren't many of us. My mom came with us. My sister-in-law and niece flew in from Chicago and came with my in-law's. A couple of my friends and their babies came.

Then we stood before the Magistrate and were legally pronounced a family.
(That's Hubs, K- and Me off to the right. Hubs' mom is next to him. My mom is in the red next to me. My father-in-law, sister-in-law and niece are off to the left.)
It was a great day. It still is a great day. We celebrate every year her adoption and Happy Home Day (December 22.)

We are so blessed.

Happy National Adoption Day!

Other posts to reference about our journey to adoption are found under the 'adoption' subject on the side bar, but those directly related to this post are:

Thank you so much for coming over to read our story!  

1 comment:

Michelle said...

what a wonderful story! I'm sorry to hear K was born cocaine positive, but it sounds like her birth/first mom at least was thinking clearly enough to do the right thing for K and place her for adoption; knowing another family would and could take better care of her. How special that her adoption day fell on her first birthday to! Thanks for sharing your story.