She’s Adopted!

The judge shaking Daffy’s hand after the adoption

The past 6 weeks have been a blur. Rather than documenting them, I spent my time living them. There is a part of me that regrets that because I know many details will be lost before I can share them here, but at the same time, there is another part of me that enjoyed the break. There was no pressure to look for deeper meanings and no pressure to find the silver lining in any of the things (many painful) our family experienced.

With that out of the way, I am thrilled to share that DAFFY IS OFFICIALLY ADOPTED!

As I posted before, Daffy chose 10/11/12 as her adoption date. Although the adoption was scheduled for 2:30pm, I needed to attend a meeting and a hearing at the courthouse for Donald ahead of the adoption. We left home around noon, with Daffy dressed in a gown from Tiffany & Co given to her by her former foster family (Woody, Jessie & Buzz). She was a perfect angel as we made the hour trip to the courthouse. When we arrived her and Goofy found some chairs by a window and sat down to play with their electronics. Once I finished the meetings, I expected complete mayhem but came out to find she was sitting as peaceful and calm as when I had gone in. Weird…. yet wonderful!

It was a reunion of sorts as we waited for everyone to arrive and be called into the courtroom. One of the staff from the group home Daffy lived at (pre-adoption) came. The group home had also told her Godparents about the adoption and they came with their daughter. There was a slew of social workers and case workers from the past 9 months on Daffy’s case. FINALLY, the bailiff called us into the courtroom… we filled every chair and then some! The judge started with introductions and then asked Mickey and I a series of questions to be sure we understood the legal implications of adopting Daffy. The judge asked Daffy if she wanted to be adopted and, of course, she said yes.The judge then confirmed the name Daffy had chosen, spelling it to confirm it was correct. In retrospect, I wish that we had to SIGN something in the court room, but all the paperwork had been signed over the summer at our kitchen table and was simply awaiting the judges signature… which she happily provided. That was it… the official end of the hearing. The judge then called Daffy up to sit in her chair and let her choose a stuffed animal from her special “adoption drawer.” Our family went up for group photos with the judge and then the judge called Daffy into her chambers…. she wanted to show Daffy that she had hung the drawing Daffy had given her in July right on her wall! Daffy was really pleased to see that! I could tell that made her feel special!

Once the photo opps with the judge ended, we went back into the lobby where Daffy opened a few gifts and cards and then headed outside for more photos with all the people who had attended. Everyone was full of congratulations for us and lots & lots of hugs!

Our family (& a close family friend) went for dinner at Olive Garden and feasted to our heart’s content! It was at the end of the meal that Daffy got to write her full name (including new middle and last names) for the very first time…. right on her take out box! lol

By the time we got home, it was already Daffy’s bedtime, especially considering it was a school night. Of course, we made time for one of our famous chats.

I will share more about the adoption celebration party in another post soon….

Review Hearing | We Set An Adoption Date!

This afternoon we had our quarterly review hearing with the court. We had requested that Daffy be able to go and meet the judge (for the very first time!). We picked her up from school and made the hour drive to the court house. On the way, I explained the importance of standing when the judge speaks to you and when you speak, as well as referring to her as “Your Honor”… she thought that was pretty silly, but did accept it once I compared it to the title of Doctor, Chef or even Mom, LOL

Daffy seemed pretty comfortable when we arrived. Obviously she recognized many of the people from the team right away and began chatting with them about her summer and the recent sleepover with the former foster family. Once we were called into the court, she became quiet as a mouse. The judge began by asking all of us to state our names. (I am always so proud, when I add “Pre-adoptive Mom” to my name!) She then spoke directly to Daffy to welcome her and  asked the state & GAL if there were any updates since their written reports submitted in the past couple weeks. The state updated about the consult saying that the recommendations were in line with what the team had been thinking and that all indications were that Daffy should be adopted.

The judge then started to ask Daffy some questions but was not able to hear her quiet little tiny voice (one I have never heard since she has been with us, LOL) so the judge asked if it would be okay if she came closer. The judge sat in a chair near Daffy and chatted with her about her summer and her hamster and other little things. Then, she asked the question we were all waiting for…. whether or not she wanted to be adopted and when! Daffy said she wanted to be adopted on 10/11/12. The judge talked to the clerk (or whomever was that lady taking notes in the room, lol) and determined the date was available and at that exact moment, Daffy’s adoption was put into the schedule!!! I could feel my eyes filling with tears. Months of waiting for us, months of challenges for everyone and a lifetime of struggles for Daffy had all been leading up to this. This one day will change things forever! Oh, I know that Daffy’s isn’t going to wake up the next day and be a perfect angel…. heck, I am not going to become the perfect parent either…. but this day will be a defining moment in Daffy’s life and ours! She will officially and legally become our DAUGHTER! (Just typing that word brings more tears to my eyes!) I am so very much in love with this little girl and will spend my life working to repair the damage that has been done to her over the past 9.5 years. She will finally belong, something she has needed and craved for a very long time. We are so blessed to be the ones to be able to provide that permanent security to her.

I am so grateful for all of the people who made this possible. From our newest case worker and our social worker, to our friends & family and the many people who have supported me on this blog and on Twitter…. I can’t possibly thank you enough. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I know that’s true. I also know I have the very best village a girl could ask for. So, thank you all for helping us to get to this point in the process! We look forward to celebrating with all of you in October! 🙂

Team Meeting Update

Yesterday was our monthly team meeting and overall, it went well. The team One big boss decided that future meetings will still be held together so confidentiality for both of the kids is out the window. I had bigger fish to fry than arguing about meetings,though. My big concern for the meeting  was what Daffy’s visitation with Donald should look like. I have been hesitant to bring her because Donald has been so unstable. Her therapist agreed with me, but with a team of this size, you simply never know where they will go or what they will decide. Daffy wrote a letter to the team requesting that she see her brother once per month and be allowed to decide when she doesn’t want to go. Thankfully the team (& that one big boss) agreed with her request! I am sure this wont be the last discussion on the topic but at least we have something set up and agreed upon for the time being.

One of my favorite parts of the team meeting was when the GAL gave his report after meeting with Daffy last week. He told the team she was doing well and was “well placed” with us! It always feels good to hear that!

We also had our quarterly check in with the court. This is the first time I got to meet the judge. She asked me some basic questions about how Daffy is doing and thanked me for my commitment to both kids. I think the kids would really like her as she doesn’t have the stereotypical gruff judge appearance.

I also learned that the one-on-one aid that Donald had been with at our local school is on workman’s comp from an injury she sustained from Donald!!!! He hasn’t been at that school in more than TWO MONTHS and no one ever mentioned this! I am really frustrated that the school kept the seriousness of the situation from us when he was in our care. Furthermore, it might have been helpful for the next school to be aware of before they accepted him back! I was stunned to be learning of this only yesterday. I immediately reported it to both my social worker and caseworker. I don;t know if anything will come of it, but it was definitely not something I was going to keep to myself.

Daffy had therapy this morning. She was quite irritated that Mickey was taking her, but did finally go after I threatened to cancel weekend plans. Mickey talked to her therapist about last week’s throwing of the cat incident. When the session ended the therapist mentioned giving Daffy some goals to work on in regards to the cats. Hopefully we can get to the bottom if her pet issues, because its definitely a sore subject for me.

Thats all the scoop for today!

-Minnie xo

[All names have (obviously) been changed to protect the privacy of our family.]