Friday, June 19, 2009

A family of 4!

Billy and I are officially the proud parents of Jacob and Kyle Dennis! What a wonderful thing to say! 
Billy and I woke up early this morning to get ourselves ready before we woke the boys up. We had to be at the lawyer's office by 7:40 to go over any questions we would have prior to our court hearing. We were both so excited to have today come! 
We woke the boys up and Jacob starting screaming and crying. Boy he doesn't like to have someone wake him from slumber. Kyle popped right out of bed and was ready to get dressed in this cool new clothes (Thanks Erin for helping him pick out the outfit!). Jacob continued to scream and cry on and off for the next 25 minutes! Lucky us!
We got to the lawyer's office and he went over the proceeding again. We spent some time checking out his "tick tock" (Grandfather clock!) and then headed over the the courthouse. Upon arriving, we were escorted into the courtroom where our lives would forever be changed. A few moments later the judge came in and the hearing began. The adoption coridinator had to speak about the best interest of the boys and their future well being. Then it was our turn to answer some questions. The whole time the questioning was taking place, Jacob was asking for fruit snacks! I kept trying to keep him quiet but it just didn't work! After the questions were asked and answered, the judge spoke for a few minutes explaining how he has reviewed all the paperwork and approved all the reports and petitions. Then the judge said those words "From this day forward, the boys names will be Jacob Tyler Dennis and Kyle Reed Dennis. I grant this adoption petition. Congratulations!" (Or something to that effect! I can't exactly remember!) I started crying and I think I may have seen a few tears in Billy's eyes as well! (He is not an outward emotionally person!) 
After a little while waiting for the final papers and such, we were on our way with our boys! What a great day! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Getting closer with a few lasts...

We are getting closer to our finalization and we can't be more excited! In 9 days, "J" and "K" will finally be home FOREVER! What an amazing feeling. We are busy planning their adoption party for the weekend after the our court date. What a great way to celebrate and welcome the boys into their forever family then with a party!! 
We met with our attorney yesterday. He went over the questions that the judge will ask us in the courtroom. The judge will ask the case worker and ourselves questions to determine "the best interest" of the boys. Since the boys are so young, they don't really get to speak for themselves. Joe, (not sure how you address an attorney) said that the whole process takes about 15 minutes. It amazes me what a life changing event such as an adoption only takes 15 minutes. I suppose that is because the major life changers have already taken place, removal from birth parents and termination of birth parent rights. We still can't get over the fact that someone could not provide the needed love, care, and nurturing that our two boys needed. As I have said many times before, someone else's mess up has been our gain and joy! 
We also had our LAST home visit for the boys yesterday. Our case worker came out, chatted with us for a while. She has come out once a month just to check on them and make sure that they are adjusting fine. As much as we will miss having her come out and chat, we are so happy to close that chapter of our lives! 
We are traveling out of state this weekend to enjoy a retirement party for a dear friend in Virginia. When we do anything above and beyond the normal day to day things, we have to let JFS know what is going on and get "permission" to take the boys along. They have never told us no but it sometimes feels like being a teenager getting permission to borrow the car. This weekend will be the last time we need to get travel permission for the boys! Another YEA!!! 

On another note, our best friends, Cara and Doug, are headed to Serbia today to adopt a beautiful little girl. They will be leaving their daughter, Hannah, at home with family while they are gone. This will be a bitter sweet time for them, with excitement for their new daughter and sadness for leaving Hannah. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they embark on this wonderful time!!! We can't wait to see this cute little lady!!! We love you guys! Be safe! 

And on another note, my cousin James, who has been in the hospital for 4 weeks after suffering two strokes. James is only 14! Today he was released from the hospital today, just in time for his 8th grade graduation. We are so proud of James and his progress. We know that he is going to continue to make great strides in his recovery! We love you very much! Keep it up! 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

15 days and counting!

We are 15 days away from finalization of the boys' adoption! It is so hard to believe that we are so close. It feels like it was just October when the boys moved in! I can remember how nervous I was the days leading up to them moving in. We had been having the boys for weekend visits for 8 weeks prior to them moving in full time so we were used to having little feet around for a while. But having 2 sets of feet for good was a bit scary, to say the least. "J" has some speech issues and I remember saying to Billy "What happens if we can't understand him and we don't know what he needs??" Well, the little man's speech has come SO FAR in the last 8 months and what he can't verbally tell you, he figures out a way to tell you in other ways. We are really excited to be closing one chapter of their lives, the one that labels them as "foster kids" and opening a new chapter, the one where they are part of a forever family. "K" has started to tell any and everyone that he is getting a new name soon and that he will be stuck with Jennifer and Billy forever. His face seems to light up as he tells people and gets a cute little giggle to his speech. It just makes me very so great. I am not really sure how much of the process he understands but he is comfortable with us and that is all that matters. "K" has an attachment issue and for a long time would not respond to "I love you" with anything other then a smile. He has recently started to respond with "I love you too" and even better, just saying it at random times!! What a big step for him. 
Tonight we went to the Laynes' house for dinner. The Carr family was there as well, including the very cute 1 month old Wesley. As long as he isn't crying, I enjoy holding him. As Wes was all snuggled up on my chest sleeping soundly, I couldn't help but think about how no one did that for "K" and "J" when they were little. No one just let them cuddle and sleep and feel safe while being held. "J" was 6 weeks old when he was placed with his special mom and dad so he had a great deal of love and cuddle after that, but "K" didn't have that bonding time as an infant. I have heard/read/been told that the most important time for learning attachment happens during those precious few months of life. It breaks my heart to think our little men didn't have that time! I guess my thoughts tonight, my sadness for this missing part of their life, especially "K", just means we need to work that much harder on giving him that nurturing time he missed out on. Hopefully it isn't too late....