Well, a lot has happened since we last posted – we celebrated Christmas and New Year’s, went hiking and skiing, but not much has happened on the adoption front. However, it’s mostly just a matter of formalities at this point; paperwork that needs to be pushed and legal matters settled to make us a family in the eyes of the law.
The first piece of paperwork is for the subsidy. If a child has a special need of some kind – such as a medical or psychological condition – the state may offer a subsidy to help cover these particular expenses. While pre-adoptive kids may not always qualify for a subsidy at the time of adoption that could change as the child grows, for example a medical condition may be diagnosed sometime after the finalization of the adoption or an early trauma might later manifest as some type of serious behavior problem. If a child is to qualify for the subsidy later, after the adoption, the subsidy must have initially been requested and denied prior to adoption. Then, and only then, may the adoptive family reapply for the subsidy.
Next up is the adoption petition. This document includes some information about us, but mostly information about the kids, verifies they are legally free to be adopted and have lived in our home for at least 6 months. Along with this document is paperwork for both of us to be re-CORIed (have another background check).
It’s not clear when all of this paperwork will be done and ready to be filed with the court, but once it is it could be just weeks after that we’ll have our day in court. Unfortunately, other families we know have been waiting months to hear back regarding the subsidy and we’re told that the DCF paralegal is swamped with paperwork, so it could be weeks before she’s able to review the paperwork and send it to the court. We’re hoping for a March court date, but there’s really no way to know for sure.
So, as always, life continues for us as we wait all of this out. And we’re trying to make life as fun and normal as it can be.
We celebrated Christmas – the kids were absolutely spoiled by our family and friends – and we did our best to begin teaching Sport the real meaning behind Christmas: giving to others. We held a holiday party for our friends where we asked that instead of exchanging gifts everyone bring hats and/or gloves for a child or adult that we could then bring to a local soup kitchen for them to distribute over the holiday. While Sport may not have fully understood what we were doing he had a blast at the party (so didn’t Sunshine), enjoyed picking out mitten and hat sets to donate and was a great help collecting all the donations.
The kids were also able to celebrate Christmas with their bio parents during their December visit (until the adoption is finalized they have a monthly visit with their bio parents, following the adoption it will be quarterly). Unfortunately, they did once again receive a few gifts that were not age appropriate (e.g. clothes not the correct size and toys for older children), but they seemed to have had a positive celebration.
This winter we’ve also done some great hiking – both in spring like conditions the day after Christmas and on snow covered paths on New Year’s Day. Sport also spent his first afternoon on the slopes testing out the skis he got for Christmas. We also hit the science museum a couple of times and a few different indoor play facilities (including our own home where we created an indoor obstacle course!). So far we’re having a great winter (even if we haven’t had that much snow)! Check out photos of our adventures here: