On Friday, our hearing by Facetime lasted only about 6 minutes (#DougEFresh). The video seems corrupted so the event will only have to be viewed in our minds. We were sworn in, the phone was panned around so we could see this ginormous stuffed animal that will be sent to Hope. I was asked to give my government name, she was asked to give her new government name and her date of birth. Then there were hugs and tears and it was all over. I’m glad I chose to “appear;” there was something important about the ceremonial marking of the occasion. I’ve been Hope’s mom since last fall, certainly since Christmas Eve, when she first decided to call me mom.
Not appearing seemed to reduce this major event into just a paperwork thing, and it’s so much more than that.
We had barbeque and a special cake that had an obscene amount of frosting (some of which was blue and I managed to get it in my hair). We spent time with family. At times she withdrew into her electronic devices just to have a few moments to cope with being a little overwhelmed. Then she invited her young cousin to watch movies in her room. Peeping in on them snuggled together on her bed, laughing and giggling was probably the second best view of the day—the first being the judge declaring us a legal family.
Hope and I’ve laid low since finalization, just trying to soak in the begininngs of our new chapter—That Post-Placement Life. Everything leading up to those 6 minutes exhausted us. We cleaned up after the party was over, and went to bed early. We lounged by the pool on Saturday; I had a night out and Sunday was our usual routine of church.
I did summersaults inside as she filled out her church offering envelope, signing her new name. We both played it off, but it was a nice, non-verbal moment for us.
There is a peacefulness that cloaked us after those 6 minutes. I know that it may not last forever or even very long. But I know for me, this was the first weekend in 4 years when I didn’t have something school or adoption-related going on. We relished this time together.
Hope is mine, and that’s that.
And I’m hers. We got each other last Friday. That’s pretty cool.
I can only report my observations, but it seems that permanence has had an immediate effect on her. Much more patience. Calling herself “Fappy” —a combination of fat and happy. She’s laughing and laughing from her belly this week. She feels good. I can actually see this.
I’m also ‘fappy.’
Totally worth it!