From the moment he moved into our home last July, he has been a member of our family. He calls us "Mommy" and "Daddy" and refers to the teenagers as his brother and sister. He even argues with us all as if he's been in our family for years! But his last name is different than ours and that is what this decree will change.
It has been a long time in coming.
We were told we could file for adoption in early October, except we were waiting on other people to get their paperwork in order and that didn't happen until early January.
Then when we filed, there were problems with how the paperwork was filled out (not on our end) so the process was delayed while those things were corrected.
It's a 30-90 day process and when it's all over, I think we will hit over 80 days... With the way things sometimes go for us, that was expected by us even when no one else thought it would happen that way.
By the time we have the decree in our hand, it will have been 2 years from when we first made the phone call saying we were interested in adoption through foster care. To some, that may seem like a long time, but it really isn't. There were countless hours of training (and we have more to go to keep our foster care license current!), homestudy visits and meetings.
It was actually pretty fast in the adoption world because from the day we submitted our list of children we were interested in learning more about until our first meeting about our soon to be son, it was only 6 weeks!
From the day he moved into our house until the day the adoption is final will be right around 9 months... Just like a regular birth!
We plan on having a small family celebration once that decree is in our hand... Some take out from a favorite place and a cake that my friend is going to make that will show our new family.
I'm sure some of you are wondering if we're going to do this again. And I can give my answer with great confidence.... MAYBE! I have my eye on a young boy on the website, but I'm afraid that with the uncertainty of the healing of my broken foot, we won't be able to pursue anything right now. So, who knows.... maybe later this year? Maybe next year? Maybe never.... God only knows at this point. We do hope to do some respite care (taking care of someone else's foster child for a short period of time) and maybe even foster again.
So, what will I miss from this process?
- Our wonderful therapeutic and adoption social workers.... We have laughed together and they have been with me through pneumonia and a broken foot...
- Paperwork! Oh my goodness, just when you think the pre-placement paperwork is over, there's the therapeutic paperwork! In our state, there are 2 levels of foster care- family and therapeutic. You get different amounts of reimbursement and so there are different levels of work involved. With therapeutic care, there is daily medication paperwork, daily behavior paperwork, monthly contacts and monthly information, including what activities you have included the child in. I will NOT miss this aspect of things!
- Asking permission to give OTC meds, take him out of state, etc. I understand WHY we have to do this, but it's still a pain to have to defer to others who may not care what our choices or plans are. Thankfully, his worker has been very accomodating.
- Training, training, and.... MORE training! I also understand the need for training, but at some point you realize they're saying the same thing over and over again...
We're looking forward to that day when it is all official!