Tag Archives: Finalization Stories

About that Post-Finalization Life

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!


About Last Night

Last night I just lost it. Last week, our pattern broke and there was no downturn in moods or behaviors. That was super awesome. But this week has been an exercise in challenges day after day, moment after moment. We had a tech blackout for couple of days, there were hours where she was sent to her room. The defiance, the yelling, the anger, the lying…oh the lying. By last night I was over it, so over it. So I went to bed.

After a back and forth related to a couple of what should’ve been minor issues, I just threw up my hands and said something that seems unthinkable. It was a mixture of truth and a lie all rolled into one.

I said, “I don’t care.”

I’m sure in one of the dozens of books I’ve read that I’m not supposed to say that. Ever.  And of course I do care, but I consciously just threw up my hands and told her that I didn’t care how long she stayed up, didn’t care that she wouldn’t do her chores, didn’t care that she found the need to retwist her hair last night inconvenient, I didn’t care that she got nasty with a teacher requiring a phone call from the school and I just didn’t care what she did last night.

I went to my room. Did a couple of work emails, twisted my hair, showered and went to bed at 9pm. Lights out and everything. For a few minutes I lay in the dark thinking, “This is so absurd. I know this is a mistake. I know there must be some other kind of way to deal with all of this.” But I just couldn’t will myself to get up and deal with one more minute of any of it last night.

I woke up a couple of hours later and the house was dark. I thought of all the things in our routine that I do to make sure she is ready for bed. The hair twisting, the water bottle filling, setting the alarm, closing the blinds, making sure the closet door is closed, fluffing her pillow, fluffing her bedding when I tuck her in, kissing her forehead, clicking the light, asking her to tell me “when” as I draw the door closed and putting up the doggie gate so The Furry One doesn’t go wandering.

I didn’t do any of it last night. It bothered me; I’m sure it bothered her. I missed kissing her forehead most of all.

I got the petitions from my attorney yesterday to finalize my adoption yesterday. Coincidence? Probably not. Of course I’ve already signed them; I need to drop them off at FedEx later today. I’m so excited about this next step. I didn’t even hesitate to sign the papers; mailing them seems to be another story. There’s just a lot of emotions and it all boils down to less than 10 sheets of paper and a check to my attorney.

Ten sheets of paper and there’s a 12 year old in my house. That’s so crazy.

Seeing that paperwork just has me…wondering what the hell I’m doing. Oh I’m not backing out; I’m all in, but it’s kind of like buying your first house or car and you love it and it’s so exciting, but you harbor questions about whether you can really handle this even though you’ve run the numbers a million times. Even though you are handling it.  You just wonder what the heck are you doing and how the heck did you end up here.

I’ve read that this emotional hiccup is normal and passes, but ugh. I can see, in the light of day, how my brain and heart just needed to shut down.  For some reason it was just too much.

This morning I had to deal with a scared kid who looked like Don King. I sent Hope to school rocking her first puff today. #irockroughandtuff

Her thoughts?

“I’m going to get picked on today.”

Hey, I did decorate her puff with a lovely flower. But yeah, I’ve got to do hair tonight.

Over breakfast, I prayed for peace over this house and I silently prayed for peace in my heart and patience…dump trucks of patience.


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