Friday, March 14, 2014

our domestic adoption timeline

Our adoption timeline for adopting Brody, which began three years ago. (This is more for my own remembrance than anything, really, but in case you're interested...)
  • December 2010 - Decide to adopt domestically.
  • Feb. 5, 2011 - House sold. We have 24 days to move out.
  • Feb. 21, 2011 - First day of Spring baseball practices for Brad, who was head coach at the time
  • Feb. 25, 2010 - Move-out day. The three of us (Brad, myself and Banjob, our cat) moved into my parents' basement.
  • March 4, 2011 - Official home study approval date
  • March 9, 2011 - Brody was born in Kentucky, unbeknownst to us
  • March 10, 2011 - Received approval letter for home study
  • March 12, 2011 - (First Saturday of Spring Break) We received referral phone call. It went something like this:
    • "You've been chosen!"
    • "Yay! When is the baby due?"
    • "He was born Wednesday. You'll need to get here as soon as possible."
    • "WHA...?!?"
    • "And the birth mom would like to talk to you on the phone in a few minutes."
    • So we talked to her over the phone in the conference room of Brad's school, where we had been getting stuff done for the baseball season. I had very little to say, which is sort of normal for me.
    • In our discussion, we learned that birth mom had two other kids from another dad and just could not provide for another. She said the birth dad would not want a child.
  • March 13, 2011 - Home study addendum so my parents' house was permitable
  • March 14, 2011 - Headed to Kentucky through snow and torrential rain. I mean, portions of the road were flooded.
  • March 15, 2011 - We had a perfect little baby boy in our arms.
  • March 18, 2011 - Brad's first baseball game of the season, which he missed. His assistant took the helm.
  • March 20, 2011 - Brad's assistant coach's wife had a baby right after he had coached a baseball game. Brad begins travelling the 8 hours to Missouri and back to Kentucky several times to coach baseball. My parents come to Kentucky to be with me when Brad is gone.
  • March 21, 2011 - Parental rights termination court date set for March 28
  • March 23, 2011 - News of possibility that potential birth father (different from the man we initially thought was birth father) wants custody; court date cancelled
  • April 8, 2011 - Brody and I move out of the Kentucky hotel and into the basement of a family that our agency coordinator knows.
  • April 15, 2011 - A heaven-sent attorney begins working with our case.
  • April 20, 2011 - DNA testing to determine if potential birth father is, in fact, birth father.
  • April 22, 2011 - GOOD FRIDAY. Receive ICPC clearance AGAINST ALL ODDS enabling us to cross state lines and come home.
  • Early May, 2011 - DNA test results show that potential birth father IS birth father. He is also in jail for trafficking meth and has wanted no part in being a parent, even though he already has a son from another woman who lives elsewhere.
  • May 7, 2011 - Sent pleading letters to birth father and his sister and his mom, who were pushing him to try for custody.
  • Summer 2011 - I took a day off from summer school and vb to drive, with Brad and both of our dads, to Kentucky for an urgent court proceeding. Birth dad's mom claimed that Brody was in immediate danger with us in order to try to get emergency custody of Brody. During this court trial, her lawyer's job was to try to get the judge in their small town to fight for the right to make the decision regarding the birth dad's "fit-ness" to parent. We knew that would be BAD, because we were dealing with a very small town and the good ol' boy court proceedings would be ridiculous. We drove overnight, rented a hotel room to clean up, then went to the hearing. They were not expecting us. After a few moments in court, they made us sit in a small room with the birth dad's sister while the court proceedings took place. We saw very clearly that small-town politics were very powerful here, as our lawyer--who was also an outsider in this town--was hardly allowed to speak in the time we witnessed proceedings in the court room. I have never seen anything like it, and I hope to never see it again. In the end, the judge with the higher rank (from the main city, not this tiny one where the emergency court proceedings took place) fought hard to rule on the birth dad's parental "fitness." We believe that made a huge difference because he could see the birth dad for who he was, not for a fellow resident. Our lawyer is a rock star for helping judges see what is really going on in any given situation.
  • June 9, 2011 - Bought house and begin decent-sized renovations. Began planning Brody's room (finally!)
  • June 24, 2011 - Birth dad's parental rights were terminated! We wait for potential appeal.
  • Birth dad DOES appeal.
  • July 13, 2011 - Birth dad's appeal ruling comes back in our favor! He can appeal to the state one more time, so we wait for it.
  • Sometime between - Birth dad emails us, asking us to reconsider. We believe his sister wrote it. Also, his sister calls my parents' house. CREEPY.
  • August 18, 2011 - My first day of school and the deadline for an appeal. Learn that no appeal papers have been found. Will wait until the next Monday to double check.
  • August 22, 2011 - No appeal papers found. WE CAN OFFICIALLY ADOPT BRODY.
  • April 18, 2011 - Officially adopt. Shew.