Monday, July 2, 2012

Prom 2012

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Rebecca began dating a junior in March. They talked about the prom, but decided to wait and go the next year. About 2 weeks before the prom, he decided he DID want to go, so we went on a very quick hunt to find a dress. We were very lucky to find one at the first place we visited. The best part, it had been marked down to $99. She asked her godsister, Margaret, to come down and do her makeup. Granna also came and joined in the fun. We went and had her hair done in a "waterfall" braid. She was beautiful. We met some of Andrew's friend at "The Red Door" for pictures. After pictures, they headed to California Dreaming for dinner and then the dance. After the dance, they went to Frankie's Fun Park for some supervised fun.

Adoption Day

The day we have been waiting for finally arrived.  After 2 years of riding the DSS roller coaster, we were able to adopt our three precious children.  Here's how the story began:

Ethan, the youngest, was in my classroom 2 years ago.  At the time, he and his two sisters, Mali and Kimmy, were in the local children's shelter.  I immediately fell in love with him and threw the football with him everyday on the playground.  A social worker called me at the beginning of March to see how he was doing academically.  I asked what their plan was and she said it had just changed to adoption.  I immediately said "My husband and I want them." She put me in contact with the licenseing  department and we got the ball rolling.  It took us until August to get through all of the red tape.  They were finally place with us on August 25th.  At that time, their plan was reunification with their father.

We loved having them as part of our family.  It just seemed right.  Rebecca was thrilled about having siblings.  Around January of 2011, the father completed his "plan" and the children began weekend visitations with him.  It was very difficult for all of us.  By the end of February, they returned to him permanently.  Saying goodbye was one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life.  It really took it's toll on Rebecca.  We decided to relinquish our foster care license.

Fast forward to mid August.  I was in my classroom getting everything ready for the new school year and I received a phone call from the office secretary.  She said "You're not going to believe this, but he social worker is enrolling the children."  After I gained my composure, I went to the office and spoke with her.  She said they were back in care.  I told her we wanted them back and asked what we needed to do to get our license.  After a week, they were returned to our home.  The first day of school was different for me.  No offense to the parents of my students, but I was most excited about seeing my babies after 6 months.  Rebecca came with me and Eric joined us a few minutes later.  What a joy it was to see their beautiful faces once again.  They immediately asked if they could come back to our house.

At the time they returned, their paternal grandfather wanted custody.  He lives in Kansas.  After a few months, we received word that his house was not approved for him to have custody.  What a sigh of relief.  The father's rights were terminated in January.  The mother had not had a certain hearing at that time, so we had to wait for those hoops to be jumped through before they could be legally free.

We received a phone call during spring break from the adoption worker.  She shared that she had been in a meeting that morning and they were going to move very quickly to speed up the adoption of these three precious children.  The adoption department was trying to meet a quota by the end of their fiscal year-June 30th.  They needed our children to help meet that statistic.  We were happy to oblige.  You see, it doesn't normally work that fast.  After the children become legally free, it can take months for their case to be put on the docket for finalization.  This is one time that being a statistic played in our favor. The mother's rights were terminated May 7th and they became legally free on June 8th.  What a relief.

We are so fortunate to have such amazing family and friends.  They were there with us through the ups and downs of the adoption process.  We couldn't have done it without you.  So...without further is our expanded family:

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