Longtime readers of this blog might remember that fourteen months ago I posted about a little trip that my wife and I took:
On Monday, December 7th, we received a long awaited phone call, and started packing. The next day, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we hopped in the van and drove some 1300 miles in two days.
After arriving at our destination, a few states away, we finally met a little boy we had first heard about in the spring, a toddler we had decided in August to foster-to-adopt. We spent about three days with him, getting to know him and letting him get to know us. And then, on that Saturday, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the three of us headed back home, arriving in Oregon last Sunday evening. The little guy was a real trooper, and he has been doing very well, getting used to his new home and our two older children.
In six months we'll be able to pursue adoption, which has been our goal all along. After what happened last year, we are, of course, a bit wary of what could possibly go wrong. However, this situation is quite different (it is a foster-to-adopt through state agencies) and everything has gone well—incredibly well, actually—so far.
We thought, initially, that the adoption would be finalized by June of last year. But interstate adoptions are never simple (quite the contrary!), and the paperwork and red tape and bureaucratic back-and-forth began in earnest. We hoped for September. Then October. How about before Christmas? It didn't happen, but there was finally some breakthroughs shortly before Christmas. The little guy turned three in January and there was resoundingly loud radio silence for most of the month. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, our lawyer let us know that the Battle of Endless Paperwork was winding down and that the only causualties were a few dozen trees used to create all of that mindnumbing paperwork.
Yesterday she called to tell us that we could go down to the courthouse today to be present as the judge signed the final papers. We went to the courthouse this morning, spent about fifteen minutes with the very gracious judge and his staff, and got the official signature, stamp of approval, secret handshake, and super special lollypops given out to adoptive parents and siblings (okay, I made the last two up; but wouldn't they be great additions to the process?). The little man thought it was his birthday again, and he kept singing, "Happy Birthday!" So, now it's on to baptism, chrismation, and first Communion, scheduled for next month.
Needless to say, it is a huge relief to have all of the legalities settled. I know that many readers have been wondering, "What's going on?!", and have been praying for our family. Thank you so much for your interest and prayers; they are greatly appreciated!