November 18, 2015 was a date that felt like forever away. Usually the Fall flies by. It is my favorite season… I love the scents, the holidays, the cooler weather but this Fall was different. I wanted the days to rush by and they just wouldn’t. I wanted to be in that court room where the judge announced the termination of parental rights of our son from his birth mom. Finally the days crept up and we were IN that court room. It was such a nerve racking feeling; I didn’t think I would be nervous at all, but relief. But that wasn’t the case. Even though I knew the birth mother would not show up and try to contend. My mind was getting to me and I was SCARED! His wonderful birth siblings, aunt, and grandma were all their to support us. The court hearing was perfectly quick and the judge granted a TPR (termination of parental rights).
Now here is where that dang system plays with you. The judge then has to sign a paper which can take at a minimum of 10 days. After they get the signature the mother STILL has 31 days to come back and try to contest the TPR. How on earth after 11 months of zero contact from a birth mom should they be given another 31 days? She is obviously not fit to care for this child at this time of her life, why continue to grant them (being birth parents) so much leniency?? Foster children are perfect, dealing with the ‘system’ is anything but perfect.
November 18 falls right near the holidays so lucky us… all of the judges were celebrating those holidays and so we did not get a signature until JANUARY!!!!! Yes, you read that right, they sat on ONE piece of paper for a month and a half. It was so hard to not want to scream and fight with anyone and everyone but that wouldn’t get anything done. So again, my Heavenly Father was teaching me patience and how to not stress over things that are not in my control. I think I have almost mastered these two skills. Now that the TPR had been signed by the judge, we could petition the courts to adopt our Heath!!!
February 25, 2016 was a wonderful day for our family. All of our stresses and concerns could now go by the wayside. All of our problems seemed to be so far away. We were now a legal family!!! No one can ever change that. It was a day full of happy tears. We had so much family to support us. We went into court as calm as a cucumber. Our judge had us raise our right hands and he got teary eyed and choked up when he announced us a FAMILY and Heath as our son. He asked if we could all take a picture with him and he gave us all the longest hugs. I am sure that being a family court judge is such a hard job and their ‘paydays‘ are the days when children are provided an opportunity to have a family to call their own. It was such a glorious experience.
All of those experiences were fabulous but the most surreal experience was two days later on February 27, 2016. An experience that will be etched in my mind forever. In my religion, LDS, our temples seal families together for time and all eternity. Which means in the afterlife we will continue to be a family. On this February day all of my children, family and friends from all over joined together in the temple and my little family of 6 were sealed as a family forever by my grandpa. All of my family was dressed in white. My children and husband looked just like angels. I can imagine that is what heaven will look like. It was such a sacred and wonderful feeling. I no longer have any stresses of ‘is this child mine’? He IS MINE forever! We are a FOREVER FAMILY!
P.S. To read more of my journey click HERE