Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Finalization Day!

Here's Isaiah's Finalization Day in pictures!

 Isaiah looking cute

Isaiah slept through the whole hearing

 Right after the hearing with Judge Wiley

 Outside the courtroom after the hearing

 With our awesome adoption attorney, Kevin Kenney

 Time to eat!

Proud sisters

 Proud grandmother and brother

Proud parents!

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."  ~James 1:17   

In Christ, Talya

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Date is Set!!!

Although we were told of the tentative date for the finalization of Isaiah's adoption a month ago, we just got our official notification in the mail today!  Yes, the afternoon of April 30th it is!!!!  I'm just so excited to see the date and time typed out on a signed official court document -- Order for Hearing on Petition for Adoption.  It's real... it's coming!  Yes, I'm giddy with excitement!  This little boy, who was our son in our hearts from the moment we heard his story, will legally be our son.

Although I had visions of a big, festive bash, they were fleeting.  Our celebration will be low key.  My mother plans to be here, which will be nice, especially since none of our extended family has meet Isaiah yet.  We'll probably eat lunch at a restaurant nearby, eat cake a little later (shout out to Caroletta's Cakes in Macon, GA), and resume life as usual.  However, our lives will be forever changed as it is whenever a family is blessed with a new child.

Although finalization does not change the way we view our relationships, it does change some behind-the-scene things.  Most importantly, we will be considered Isaiah's permanent, legal parents -- legal custody will be transferred from the adoption agency to us.  We will have all the same legal rights to Isaiah as if he were our biological son  He will be issued a new birth certificate with the name we've given him and our names as parents (some people have major issues with this practice, but that's for another blog post).  We'll be able to apply for his social security number.  We will be able to do things like travel and make medical decisions for Isaiah without consulting the agency.

I'll admit, one thing I won't miss is the constant reporting of our lives to multiple entities.  I understand the purpose, but it does get old... quick.  However, we will continue to send monthly update letters to Isaiah's birth mother through the Georgia agency.  I see those letters as a line of connection between Isaiah and us and his birth family.  Hopefully, they will spark a face-to-face meeting one day.

As each day goes by, I'm still amazed at how the Lord knits families together, both by biology and by adoption.  Some families are unmistakable by their strong resemblance, but some are as varied as a box of Crayola crayons, yet there is a bonding thread that runs between  them all.  To God be the glory!!!  In Christ, Talya

"I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty." - 2 Cor. 6:18

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Last Post Placement Visit

Yesterday, we had our third and last post-placement supervision visit from our case worker.  Post-placement visits are the social worker’s visits with the adoptive family after a child has been placed in a home for the purpose of adoption.  These are conducted to make sure the adoptive placement is a good fit for the child and the family.  The social worker is available to help with the adjustment, offering encouragement, advice and resources as needed.  She then writes a report that is submitted to the adoption agency, attorneys and ultimately the court.  Each state differs in number and frequency of the visits.  We were required to have them monthly until finalization.  For us, that worked out to three visits in anticipation of an April 30 finalization date.

I was really nervous about our first visit, since I didn’t know what to expect.  I shouldn’t have worried.  We love our worker, Heather, and should have known it would be enjoyable and relaxed.  Generally, she would ask how Isaiah was doing – if he’s had any doctor’s visits, eating habits, sleeping habits, developmental milestones.  She also asked how the bonding process was going.  That was a challenging question for me because it’s hard to know how bonded you are to a three month old.  From our end, we love Isaiah as we loved our other children at that age.  Now from his side of things, the bond is yet to be determined.  He smiles and seems contented and settled with us.  I guess that’s evidence of a bond.

Each visit was also a time to just talk about life in light of adoption.  We discussed joys and challenges.  We talked about our plans to visit extended family this summer so they can meet Isaiah.  It was nice to talk to someone who understands what we’re talking about, even if through a professional lens.

Overall, I looked forward to each visit and was sad to have them come to an end.  We spent time praying at the end of yesterday’s visit.  Sean prayed for Heather and she prayed for us.  It was such a sweet time.

Once Heather sends the report of this last visit to our attorney and he files it with the court, we should be all set for finalization on the 30th!  In Christ, Talya

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

One Step Closer

Today we were notified that the termination of parental rights order and the agency consent to Isaiah's adoption -- our Georgia agency has legal custody of Isaiah until finalization and must give their consent -- are being forwarded to our attorney.  This means that Isaiah's birth father's parental rights were indeed terminated last week.  I believe that once our attorney files these documents with our local court and they are reviewed and found to be in order, we will be headed toward finalization on April 30!!!!  Yes, I said it... April 30!!!!  Lord willing, four weeks from today Isaiah will officially be our son!!!  I could scream!!!  AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!  Okay, I feel better now.  :-)  In Christ, Talya  

"Father of the fatherless and protector of the widows is God in His holy habitation." ~Psalm 68:5