I know I have stepped out but for a really good reason, I have had to spend 3 days in bed with what feels like pneumonia. I should go to the doctor but I am starting to feel better so I am trying to hold out.
I promised a detailed account of the day we finalized and here we go......
The kids' birth aunt and uncle came the night before and were in awe of the house and kids. They were so kind and supportive of the adoption that I can't imagine the day without them involved. They knew their places and never crossed any lines. We woke them up much earlier than they are used to and they were real troopers.
We headed off to the courthouse and met my MIL, Mother, and our beloved OT. Our snippy attorney had warned me to be early the night before and she was 20 minutes late, hahahaha. The Judge could not have been any kinder. He understood this was a bittersweet moment for our family and they had a fear of him. He came out to see us in the waiting area in the hall in plain clothes. He joked with them and then introduced himself. They were all shocked, I guess they expected a monster. We followed him into his chambers once the attorney showed up. He insisted the children needed a giant cookie to eat during the ceremony and you can see if you look real hard that most have some left in their hands when we took our pictures. He told the kids how and why he became a judge and adoptions were the best part of his job. He helped them understand it must have been hard for the other judge to make decisions about their family, too. He usually just glances over things but his office was so impressed with us she insisted he take more time with this one. He took it home and read every word. We are the largest family he has been a part of building and he made sure the kids knew he felt we were all special. It was wonderful.
Patches refused to be a part of the pictures and had to be forced and tricked to look up at the right time. After we headed to get birth certificates done and discovered it wasn't possible to be done as the attorney had promised. Ruthie broke down and was a real mess in the hall of the courthouse. Her uncle had been sitting with her and seemed shocked when she doubled over with grief. Every one took their turn throughout the day with repeating this episode in their own way and for their own reason.
In our excitement that morning I forgot to make the quiche among other things for our brunch. I realized this only after we were at the courthouse. We ended up eating at Steak and Shake and then heading to Fernbank Museum for the day. The kids were fantastic and they loved the time with their aunt and uncle. At the end of the day, as we were saying our goodbyes I noticed the aunt and uncle were trying desperately to hold back their emotions. Once the kids were in the van I spoke with them privately. They were so happy for the kids, they had never seen them so normal and well groomed. They were worried about how to deal with the rest of their family and I volunteered to take that burden from them and be the bad guy. I figure short of buying them a house and letting them have their kids, they are going to hate me so if I can make our relationship with the kids' aunt and uncle easier I would do it.
That was all Thursday, we called the kids' maternal Grandparents on Friday night and went to see them on Saturday. I made my points clear on the phone and insisted if they tell the parents where we were or helped them reach us in person at any time, we would close the adoption completely and permanently. At the end of the visit I spoke with the Grandparents and found out tons of new information. They have a lot of anger towards the kids' parents, they rarely speak to them, and upon learning of the sexual abuse that we know they inflicted on the kids they were thrilled to keep them apart. The Gpa even used some dirty words which was quote a shock considering this is not something he does. I really like him, his grandkids are very important to him and he is pleased they have been "saved" and he still gets to be Gpa. Both Gparents are relieved to have a relationship with us w/o the pressure of blackmail like with their daughter, she would let them see the kids for money when they needed it. He is honest to a fault, it caused DFCS not to place the kids with him in the past. He refused to sign a paper saying he wouldn't spank them b/c he believes in spanking and he would do it if he felt it was necessary. You gotta admire him for sticking to his guns whether you think he was right or wrong, he refused to lie.
The other big thing that has happened is one of my original girls has had to move back home with us. I became a group home mother at 21 and Frankie was one of my girls. We have had an on again off again relationship, never bad just faded away. She most certainly had RAD and is still suffering from lack of attachment as an adult. She has lost all 3 of her children at different times, has struggled with drugs, and now is getting out of a severely abusive relationship. Her husband was caught cheating on her and he tried to kill her by bashing in her head (he broke the bones in her cheek and around her eye) and cutting her throat. As she escaped to call the police her MIL chased her down and beat her again. She just got out of the hospital and had called all the shelters, she was told it was a bad time of the year and every one was full. I was her last resort, she knew I would never say no. She is already looking for a job but she looks like she was beaten so there is really nothing she can do for now.
It is good for the kids to see they can always come home. They also see someone that flinches when someone touches her, she hates to be touched and always has. This is a great opportunity to learn better boundaries, they are staying away from her physically. It is like she is in a bubble and they are doing wonderful.