September adoption update, 2008

A few things are happening on the adoption front.

For the adoption of this dear girl:


[Who is just so cute I can barely stand it. And who, several times a day, has me thanking God for the wonderful privilege of getting to be her mama. She is pure delight.]

So. Where was I? Oh, yes. Things are happening.

Following our last update, things were quiet for a bit. Then- about a month and a half ago- we received a stack of adoption finalization papers that we weren't quite sure how to fill out. [We aren't familiar with the legal lingo, the fees, etc.] At the same time we were puzzling over our paperwork, our agency was going through some issues (our caseworker left; they were short-staffed), so we weren't able to progress.

Two weeks ago we met with a [new] caseworker who walked us through some of the questions we had regarding the adoption paperwork. We are now in the filling-out-the-paperwork process. We have a checklist of things to do: Mark and I need to get updated medical approval from our doctor, Adelia's pediatrician needs to fill out some forms, we need to give information detailing our current financial status, I have to fax some background clearances to our caseworker. Thankfully, our fingerprints are still good so we don't have to jump through that hoop again. We have hired a lawyer and are proceeding with all of these details. We've been told that the adoption could be finalized as early as November. November.

Last week we received Adelia's state file- officially called a "disclosure"; which is a record of all that the state knows about Adelia. I read about her history (most of which we know, obviously), as well as her birthmother's history (some of which we did not know).

Within that file are all the court documents, too, surrounding her case. I skimmed the file in its entirety, and there was one document that stopped me cold, that brought the tears in earnest. It was the document, dated a couple of months back, whereupon the court terminated the birthmother's rights. In that document, it says:
ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that said child is hereby declared to be a dependent child [of the state]... and under the permanent jurisdiction of the court, and that [birthmother] no longer retains parental rights and all rights, powers, privileges, immunities, duties and obligations, including any rights to custody, control, visitation or support existing between [birthmom] and the child are severed and terminated, and [birthmother] shall have no standing to appear at any further legal proceedings concerning the child...

I am crying again as I type that out.

It is just so final.

So permanent.

So- over for this struggling mother who birthed this beautiful girl. As much as I yearn for Adelia to belong to us, my heart grieves over the fact that Adelia's birthmother will never know the joy of having this beautiful girl belong to her.

She will never know this precious girl. She doesn't get to see how she beats her little legs and grasps her chubby fingers into fists, a wide smile on her face, when mama bends to pick her up in the early mornings, all for the sheer joy of seeing that face so dear and familiar to her. How she scrunches up her little nose and grins. The way she listens so attentively during worship, or when music is playing, and hums along her own soft song. The way she leans her head in, wraps her brown little arms around mama's neck, and snuggles close with a good morning or a good night hug. The way she delights when her toes are kissed. She hasn't seen her beautiful black head of curls or felt the softness of her skin. She won't get to see her take her first steps or say her first words. She won't know her likes and dislikes, the characteristics God has given her, the woman she will become.

All these joys of motherhood, they could have been hers, but she has missed them all.

It shouldn't be so.

And yet- it is so.

And because it is so, the final line in that court document applies to us: ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that [the state] has the authority to place said child for adoption...

We get to be that adoptive family.

And my heart is near-to-bursting at that news, but the joy of it is mingled with a deep sadness for all Adelia's birthmother has lost.

11 comments:

  1. God has given you a beautiful heart, Stacy. I am so grateful that Adelia has you for her loving mommy.

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  2. I remember our attorney telling us one time that adoptive mothers often have feelings of guilt when they adopt children - almost as if they're stealing someone's baby. I hadn't realized it up until that point, but especially as we got to know our birth mothers before we adopted Steele and Adia, I would feel sadness over much of the same things you have described here. Steele's first months of life were filled with constant thoughts of his birth mother and all that she was missing. I think of it even now sometimes - mostly at moments when Steele hugs me tightly and calls me Mama. All of it is such an unfamiliar, surprising dynamic to us and a mix of emotion as their mothers - the ones God ordained for them. And it is a reality - also God ordained. It is part of the story of our children. I treasure the things God has taught me as I have experienced adoption and as He has shown me His great love for birth mothers.

    I don't really know what I intended to write here - just wanted to say that I can relate to this.

    We are waiting with you in excited anticipation for that finalization day!

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  3. Your compassion shows that you DO have a true heart for adoption. It's because of your compassion that you can be the gentle mommy that you need to be.
    You're blessed.

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  4. Adelia is gorgeous! It is so sad that it is not possible to support her mother to be the mother that God made her to be...but it is totally awesome and praiseworthy that Adelia gets to grow up in such a wonderful, loving, caring, and most of all Godly family. I pray for God's blessing on you all as you continue growing as a family.

    There is so much emotion welling up in me as I type this that I don't really understand, or can articulate. But what you are doing is very special, Adelia is very special.

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  5. Once again we see your true colors....compassion and thought for the other person! You made me almost cry (and I'm not a cry-er)!

    I so appreciate your heart. Though it IS sad for birthmom....I am SO glad Addy is with YOU! What a different life God is providing for her through your family. Truly grace upon grace!

    Have a beautiful day enjoying that little cute person.

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  6. Stacy, you have hit it right on. I so often think of our children's birthmothers and the terrible loss for them. Each birthday or special occasion, a mildstone or accomplishment, I think how sad that their birthmother will never experience it. We am so blessed to have our five, but adoption is such a mixed up emotional roller-coaster. Just another terrible aspect of our fallen, sinful world. But thankfully, God has made a way to somehow make this terrible thing beautiful with children coming together with families that will love, nurture and cherish them.

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  7. I'm glad the process is moving along. And so thankful that God has given you this precious little one.
    Rebeca

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  8. I love the way you love your girl!
    And I too can't wait for the final step that says to the world what we already know!
    I love that girl of yours too!

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  9. I have goosebumps now ... what a blessing this little sweetheart is to you and how much she already loves her family. I am SO blessed by reading this post. I love your heart, and I wish I had the privilege of kissing those little toes too. I can't wait until that wonderful day when she is legally YOURS. Praying for her birth family ...

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  10. Dear Stacy,
    Oh, Adelia is such a beautiful baby! I thank God He has provided your loving Christian home for her. I completely understand your grieving for her Mom and for Adelia, too. We have two adopted daughters, and many many times over the years I have grieved for them over the loss of their birth families. Such are the consequences of a sin-cursed world. But in His mercy He has provided you for this precious child, and may He give you much joy and wisdom as you raise her for Him. In Christian love, Janet

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