Last year, St. Nick brought us a perfect 4 pound, 10 ounce baby girl to love. One year later, he gave us the gift of a lifetime of moments with our little Tater Tot. The judge signed the TPR papers on Dec 6, and now the adoption process begins.
For those not familiar with state adoptions, they take a lot longer to finalize, but TPR is irrevocable at this point, and anyone else bidding to adopt her would not be considered (unless we do something like rob a bank or go on a murder spree). About a year down the road, a judge will rubber-stamp finalization papers which will let us legally change her name and get a new birth certificate. In the meantime, we'll have a new paper trail to work on, and check ins with the caseworker, but that's it!
It's been a long year full of uncertainties, which has given me the impetus to carpe diem. Tater hasn't been sleeping well this week; I wonder if she sensed my anxiety about this last big hurdle. But the night before her permanency hearing, she slept soundly and peacefully; perhaps St. Nick came to her in a dream and whispered what was in store for us. Feeling immeasurably relieved, blessed, and thankful that we'll be able to stay a family of five. In the Nugget's words, "Oh yay! I'm so glad she's staying because I love being silly with her!"