Today we finalized Little Dude’s adoption. This process is different in every state and for every type of adoption. In Missouri we had to wait for six-months before we could petition the court. We had to have all three post-placement visits complete. Most importantly we had to have documentation from our agency. Yes, documentation in a timely manner from an organization that cashed our final check about 9-months ago. They have had 38 days to prepare the reports and send them to us. After numerous emails and phone calls, we received the paperwork at 4:34 pm on Friday for our 8:15 am court date on Monday. Technically this paperwork should have been filed with the court ahead of time. Fortunately, the court took mercy on us… and that was before we even arrived.
This morning my children slept in… WHAT? The upside of this was I was able to get dressed and brush my teeth without a toddler sized barnacle hanging on my leg because they were still sleeping. Of course our goal was to leave the house by 7:30 at the latest due to the weekend’s snowstorm and the current freezing conditions. At 7:12 I actually had to drag them out of bed to get them dressed.
We arrived at the courthouse late and our lawyer was sitting in the lobby waiting for us. I just walked right past the security checkpoint… technicalities. The security guard called me back and I got everyone’s coats off, my cell phone out of my pocket, diaper bag organized and everything loaded onto the conveyor belt to the X-ray machine. Then I did walk straight to our lawyer. It wasn’t until we were leaving that I noticed the ACTUAL metal detector we were supposed to WALK through. I guess after watching the Gong Show that is our family at 8 am, the security guard knew I couldn’t possibly be organized enough to carry a weapon.
Court was extremely low key. Which was a really, really good thing because both Little Dude and PJ insisted on taking the witness stand – with me. The bailiff appeared a little concerned when I picked-up a paperclip from the desk and gave it to Little Dude to play with/chew on while I testified. But then both PJ and Little Dude were being so loud and wild that he decided not to take the “toy” away from our son.
At one point the lawyer asked me, “And has Little Dude been in your continuous custody since you took custody of him?” My answer, “Yes, 100% continuous custody.” (Hey, I heard the Judge is retiring soon, maybe he will want to pick up a little cash by babysitting for us.)
After I (and Little Dude and PJ) had finished testifying it was SAG’s turn. They swore him in and he took the stand. Our lawyer said, “Well normally this question is just a formality, but in this case it may be relevant… Were you able to hear the testimony that your wife just provided?”
My husband and I are not exactly sentimental. Special occasions come and go without us really noticing. I did think we should document this morning’s important events for Little Dude’s sake, but the windchill factor was -15.
So here we are, in the car, after court, once again officially a family.