My beloved J’s, we are a month away from trial with your birth father and there are so many things happening behind the scenes. Court dates for dependency. Pre-adoption planning meetings. Counseling. Conversations with your therapist regarding how to best go about this transition.
The biggest question this week is – Do we go for a closed adoption or an open adoption? Your birth mom has already been terminated, meaning she has lost her rights to you, but there remains a chance for your birth father to have some sort of rights. Although very limited and infrequent, and we aren’t talking visitations, we are looking at perhaps sending him a Christmas card with a photo of you once yearly. Giving him the opportunity to hold onto something of you – a photo, an update that you’re alive and well, hope for your future, something tangible. We really want only the best for you. Is keeping this door open to a past that put you in danger really what’s best for you? Are we being selfish by wanting to slam that door closed and deadbolt and chain latch it? I wish we had more clarity on this matter. Two thirds of the professionals working alongside us on your case are advocating for a closed adoption. A new professional that joined the case this week is telling us to consider an open adoption because it poses the least risk – meaning, if we had a closed adoption, and there was a loophole, we could potentially lose you later down the line. Very slim chance, but still a risk I don’t think we are willing to take. It’s all very confusing. And maddening. And ridiculous. What do we do?
Yesterday Big J had a meltdown because he’s angry that we have all these restrictions placed upon us by our “social worker” (State Licensor) that we wouldn’t have if you were 100% ours and adopted. This week he is upset about having to wear a life jacket in the hot tub even when Mom & Dad are sitting right next to him… or to walk in 2 feet of water at the beach… or the water slides or Great Wolf Lodge. There are certain risks we cannot take because if something were to happen, you could be taken from us. Just like that. Gone. So we worry. About the bruises you get on your shins from romping around and rough housing with each other. The road burn Big J got when he flew off his scooter coming down the hill from school. The falls. The scrapes. The questions professionals are always asking you during our check ins; How did you get that (bruise or scrape)? Do you feel safe here? Do you get enough to eat? Sometimes I wish we could put you in one of those giant inflatable bubbles and keep you tucked away from any danger.
“I WANT TO BE ADOPTED TODAY!” Big J screamed. “WHY WON’T YOU ADOPT ME ALREADY?” It’s frustrating. I know. Us too. Believe me when I say you don’t have to worry about this. It will happen. You see, there is a ton of bureaucracy that happens before adoption. So many steps and so many things that have to align. And if your birth father makes any appeals, the process could be stalled another 18 months. Another reason we may consider an open adoption… Hang in there, we love you.
We are going to have one heck of a party when that day comes and is CLOSED!