Sunday, August 7, 2011

Adoption Day!

Perhaps the most exciting part of this summer was Jadon's final Adoption Day. Yay! July 20 was his final court date when he officially became a Britts! Everybody keeps asking how we feel, etc., and I must admit, I actually don't feel any different. The court date was actually pretty anticlimatic, a mere formality to what has already been truth in our hearts this whole year. Nevertheless, it is nice that I won't have to explain why his name is still "Baby Boy" any more!

When we first walked into the building, the officer at the metal detector said, "Ah, you guys are here for Happy Court!" When we looked at him confused, he explained, "I can always tell who's here for adoptions, because they're the only people who look happy to be here." Ha! That makes sense.

Our family waiting to be calledfrom the courtroom into the judge's quarters. Jadon is obviously thrilled to be here :) I think it's the tie. It was too hot to wear the original sweater vest outfit I'd bought months ago, so I figured his snazzy Easter tie with a button up shirt would be classy enough. He did look pretty cute... Our fan club/support network! (L-R) Jadon's Aunt Abbey (who made the call to give us our precious son!) and Jadon's brother Cameron (of course, the only non-blurry shot I got, he's squinting!), Grandma and Grandpa Sanders, Jadon, Grandpa and Grandma Britts, Jim. We love you guys!

Yay! It's official! We all signed the final paper work, the judge aske if we were sure about this before signing his part, and that was it. The judge was really great. Genial, light-hearted, engaging. I gotta admit, if I were a judge, Wednesday morning adoption finalizations would probably be my favorite day of the week!

On the way out, each child got to pick their own stuffy. Jadon came awfully close to picking up the pink one, but to our relief, swooped in on the blue bear at the last second. We have named him "Baby Bear" in honor of Jadon's former name "Baby Boy" that he lost that day. :)

Our amazing social worker, Jennifer Ramos. She was such a pleasure to work with, and we feel so blessed! (Hopefully we'll get to work with her again sometime...)

Sometimes I wonder what our life would be like if Abbey hadn't somehow remembered Jim from that CPR class we took and if she hadn't made the call...and a lot of other "if's". Thank you Jesus for having all our "if's" under your control!

We went to Mimi's for a celebration brunch afterwards, but Jadon was wiped from all the excitement!

Later that night, however, we celebrated some more with some cake. Jadon was definitely into that!

Adoption Timeline:

So people often ask how long this whole process took us. It depends if you're asking from when we started pursuing adoption, or from when we got Jadon. Either way, we were pretty fortunate to get a relatively quick (for foster adoption) assignment and finalization.

October 2009--Foster Orientation with Rancho Jireh Foster Homes. We decided that we actually wanted to go straight to Foster-Adoptions through San Diego County.
November thru December 2009--27 hours of PRIDE parenting classes through San Diego County Foster Licensing; 6 hours of foster orientation and adoption orientation; CPR/First Aid Certification; extensive physical exams at the doctor's office
January 2010--Baby proof the house and set up a crib in baby's room; Foster Home Licensing Visit (which included many hours of "fixing" non-baby safe things in our house, like putting locks on medicine cabinet, cleaning supplies cabinets, gardening cabinet, hot tub, etc.....)
February 2010--Adoption Intake Interview; each write a 6+ page autobiography; write a 4 page birth-parent profile; attend 3 hour class on trans-racial adoptions
March 2010--Attend 3 hour class on Adopting After Infertility; Attend 3 hour class on Adult Adoptee Panel
April 2010--2 individual interviews; final home visit interview
June 2010--Jadon is born. We get the call from Abbey. Meet Jadon when he's 17 days old.

July 2010--After almost 3 weeks, the paper work is finally cleared for us to become Jadon's official foster parents.

August (?) 2010--1st hearing. Jadon becomes an official ward of the state. No services are offered to birth mom.

December 2010--1st .26 hearing (to terminate birthparents' rights). Case is continued until the end of January

January 2011--Continued .26 hearing. Birthparents' rights are terminated. Now begins a 60 wait/appeal period.

April 2011--Appeal period passes. We sign final adoption papers. There are a few more hoops to jump through, like a physical exam for Jadon, a developmental exam, a final interview, etc...

July 20, 2011--Woo hoo! Everything is DONE!!! We have our final court date and Jadon becomes Jadon Daniel Britts officially.

So in all, it took us less than 2 years from the time we first started looking into it until we had a finalized adoption. It took only 3 months from the time we finished everything to the time we were placed with a child. And it took just over 13 months from the time we were placed with a child until the time the adoption was finalized. All these are pretty fast for a foster-adoption (as opposed to private adoption), and we are confident that it is only because God was directing every step of the way. Thank you God!

Now we are just waiting for Jadon's amended birth certificate to arrive (should take 3-12 months), and then we get to apply for his social security number, and then he'll be like a "normal" kid. :o) Yay!

The other question people always ask is, Are you going to do it again? And our answer, God willing, Yes! This was such a positive experience for us, and if God could match us with such a perfect kid as Jadon, then we're excited for his timing and choice the second time around. However, we wouldn't mind waiting for awhile! (One kid is exhausting enough for now!) At first, I thought we could get a call at any time, which filled me with a little anxiety. But our social worker just called to tell us she was closing out our home study, but that when we're ready to go again, we just need to call her and we'll have an interview and update our home study, and we'll be back in the system (as long as we keep our foster license current, which we are). So that was very settling! God is in control, here, but in our estimations, we think we'll wait through next summer (when we're hopefully filming movie #2!), and then we'll put ourselves back in the game. Pretty exciting!

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