This has been one of the best days of my life. I took DW to the airport as she is going to visit her brother in Atlanta for a few days. It is an opportunity for (S) and I to have some great quality time together.
After I left the airport, I checked out the court web page. YAHOOOOOOOOOO. I couldnt believe when I saw that the court had finally finished the case and made a decision. THE BIGGEST HURDLE IS OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have been waiting for this day since December and it has finally come. The feeling is unbelievable.
But I didn't have (DW) to share it with. Of course I shared it with everyone else whose cell number I had by sending a group text. (actually a few group texts because I can only send a text to 10 people at a time).
I had to share this with DW though and she was on a plane. I quickly called the local check-in desk of the airline and explained that I had to get this message to my wife. She said she would do what she could. The first stop in her flight was Detroit and she wasn't going to be there for 3 hours. I had to wait that long to see if she got the message. Indeed she did!!!
The pilot got the message and wrote it on some kind of a paper checklist and gave it to the flight attendant who found DW and read it to her.
"The case is over, we can now move forward....Jump for Joy."
Of course she is saving that message for the scrapbook. I spoke to her in Detroit and we are both happier than you can imagine........work to be done.....
I called the case worker and left a message that I wanted to set up an appointment for our disclosure meeting and to take care of the other paperwork that needs to be done before we can file at the probate court.
She called back and when I spoke to her she asked me how I found out because she had to call the GAL to confirm what I had seen. I told her it was on the web-site and she said she couldn't find it. Wonderful.....Anyway, I told her I wanted to set up an appointment for next week. She is busy next week.........Another delay. I made her make two appointments with me in case one isnt going to work. The first one is for August 5th. Two weeks from today.
So how does the process work now....Well for those of you who don't know how this process works at all, I will take you from the start as to how things have gone in our state (Maine) with (S):
- December, 2007 there is a court order determining that (S) is in jeopardy and needs to be removed from her family along with her 4 siblings.
- We get a call asking if we can take a 26 month old little girl for a couple of months. We say yes. It is December 11, 2007 (2 weeks before Christmas)
- There is a plan developed to reunite the family and the biological parents agree to the plan working towards reunification.
- In September 2008 visits in their home are started and there are some that are unsupervised.
- December 2008 reunification is about to begin there are many unsupervised visits and we are starting to mourn the loss of (S) in our home, but happy that she will be where she belongs, with her family. I start this blog
- January, 2009 reunification abruptly comes to an end. bio-dad has gone off the deep end and the home is not safe. The state begins TPR proceedings.
- June, 2009 the court hearings are over. It is appearing that there will be a TPR granted and we are asked if we are going to consider adopting (S). We had no intention of ever adopting (S) so the answer is no.......we keep thinking about it though and seek our own counselling to determine if it is the thing for us to do.
- August, 2009 we decide that if the opportunity presents itself, we will adopt (S). During the same month, the judge decides that the dad should be out of the picture but that there may be hope for mom. She has certain things to do.
- December, 2009 it is determined that mom is not doing what she should and there is a TPR granted by the judge. The bio-parents lawyers file an appeal which goes to the Maine Supreme Court.
- Today......The Supreme Court affirms the decision and there is no longer a route of appeal for mom and dad. The TPR is final and (S) and her siblings are now available for adoption.
What happnes next in the process....
- There is a "disclosure" meeting with DHHS. This is where they tell us everything they know about (S) to make sure we still want to adopt her and there are no secrets. (key here is we know more about (S) then they do)
- There is also paperwork that needs to be filled out to continue the process.
- All the paperwork gets taken to the probate court where additional paperwork is received that DW and I need to fill out so that the adoption can continue and move forward.
- Fingerprints of DW and I are taken yet again for yet another background check.
- A court hearing is scheduled so that the adoption can be formalized
- We go to court and FINALLY (S) is an official member of our family
- We get a new Birth Certificate showing DW and I as (S)s parents
We are done!!!! I don't know how long this last part will take, but I know it will be shorter than the last 8 months.
I hope you find this post has useful informaiton about the process, but I really just want to thank everyone who has had us in their thoughts and prayers that this day would come soon. It is here, and I still can't believe it.
July 22 is a day that I will always remember. It will be a happy day for our family. I just wish DW was here with me to celebrate, but she will be home Monday and we will have plenty of time to celebrate then. I am truly overcome with joy tonight as I sit hear typing. Life is good!!