On Saturday, one of our neighborhood MOMS clubs put on an Easter egg hunt at a park. It started at 10am on a cold, dreary morning when we all slept in. We pretty much missed the hunt. When we arrived at the field, the last group was scrambling for the last set of colorful eggs. I quickly grabbed one and tossed it at Ali’s feet. She was not getting the concept so she had no sense of urgency. And thankfully, because she had no idea what an Easter egg hunt is, she wasn’t disappointed that she only got 1 measly butterfly eraser.
She was much more interested in “slide!” Her favorite playground activity.
She’s also an excellent climber now and determined to climb structures designed for kids 5-12. (Jason is spotting her.)
She’s fearless, my girl.
We took Precious to the playground for the first time last week since the weather has been reaching into the upper 60s and low 70s more frequently here in Nashville. She seemed to really enjoy the swings. Not much reaction to the slide and that’s about all she’s big enough for yet. So lots of swing pictures pictures…
I haven’t given an update on our adoption situation in a while, mainly because not much is happening. Later this month we’ll be celebrating our 6-month familiversary (a term I got from the Foster Parent Podcast) and Precious will be 8 months old. We were anticipating being able to finalize her adoption around the 6-month point but now it seems we’ll be waiting two more months…until the beginning of May. At the earliest. We did everything we were supposed to do. Got our home study done in less than a month and our attorney submitted everything to the court. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, the judge’s clerk got back to our attorney to let us know they would start the process of publication* in order to terminate Precious’ biological father’s parental rights. This week. And the process takes 8 weeks. It feels like the papers were just sitting around in a stack in the courthouse for over a month. It’s frustrating to be stuck in this waiting period—just hanging out in limbo—for an indefinite amount of time.
But we could be in such a different situation that we’re in right now, and that perspective keeps us in thankful mode rather than impatient mode. We have full custody of Precious, she’s with us everyday, we’re her parents, we’re not in any real risk of losing her—we’re very blessed. Situations don’t often turn out this rosy. But that finalization is going to feel so good. Everything will be permanent and official then. We’ll get a new birth certificate for her with our names on it as her parents and a new name for her—which I plan to reveal here once it’s a done deal. She’ll take our last night, get a new middle name and keep the same first name. We’re just changing the spelling of her first name slightly because her biological mom gave her a beautiful name and we’d like her to keep it. But a little modification will allow us to incorporate in our favorite family name as well as honoring her original name and her history.
*In case you’re really interested in adoption and foster parenting technical processes, here’s an explanation of “publication” as best as I understand it here in Tennessee. When a biological parent is unidentified or his/her whereabouts is unknown, every effort needs to be made to find him/her. There is a Punitive Fatherhood Registry in Tennessee where a father can post that he is looking for a biological child. A child’s information is submitted and if it matches a father on the list, more information/testing can be done to see if they’re a match. If there is no match there, the next step is to run an ad in a public newspaper for 4 weeks. I think the ad says something like, “If you are looking for your child, born on blank, please contact blank for more information.” Pretty vague for the child’s protection. The parent has 30 days to respond to the ad. If no one comes forward and no match is found any other way, the adoption process moves forward and the biological parent’s parental rights are terminated.
So that’s where we’re at. We’re just waiting. Hanging out. Having fun. Going about our day to day lives with our precious 7.5 month old little sweetie pie. And being thankful everyday. She makes my life much richer, messier and so much more joyful…