Saturday, March 26, 2011

Adoption Finalized!

As my last few posts have indicated, life has been non-stop around here. And ever since our adoption finalization took place this past Monday it has continued to be crazy so that’s why this post finally comes Saturday. After waiting 7 ½ months to get to this point, ironically the entire process of finalizing only took about 10 minutes. Brian, Wesley and I headed to the Superior Court of California, Sacramento County early Monday morning to meet up with my parents for Wesley’s 8:30am hearing. As we headed upstairs to our assigned courtroom, we passed by other families that were clearly waiting to finalize their adoptions as well. We look at one another’s children, smiled and gave a nod of the head; it’s like we instantly shared a common bond.

After waiting for almost a half an hour, we are called into the courtroom with another family. The other family is on the docket first so we patiently wait. Then, it’s our turn. They call “Fuller Family.” It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for after almost 22 months. The five of us proceed into the judge's chambers. Again, kind of ironically, the judge is Asian and he immediately lights up (as does Wesley) when we walk into the room. We all introduce ourselves and then take our seats. We sit in silence as the judge reviews our paperwork checking off some sheet as he does so. He asked us to sign one of the forms we had filled out prior to the hearing and then, he smiled and said, “Well, you’re all set. Congratulations.” What? That’s it? We’re done? I thought I was going to cry but I didn't; it seemed as if it was over before it began. We thanked the judge and took some photos out in front of his bench before we waited for copies of our paperwork to be handed to us and we could leave to really celebrate.

Waiting inside the courtroom to go into the judge's chambers.

Adoption Finalized!

Proud parents (Brian is proud even though he looks a little freaked out or mad)

VERY proud grandparents

We left the courthouse and decided to go have a celebratory brunch at one of our favorite places in Sacramento called The Tower CafĂ©. They have the most amazing award-winning French toast. It’s soaked in rich house made custard and it’s unbelievable! Both my mom and I got the French toast. Wesley got cornbread pancakes and he scarfed those down in no time – I guess finalizing your adoption works up quite an appetite! After our fabulous meal, Brian, Wesley and I headed to Social Security to apply for Wesley’s SS#. That process was painless thank goodness and his Social Security card just arrived in the mail yesterday with his American name – sooo exciting! We are having a finalization/USA citizen celebration Sunday with family and the close friends that provided references for us for our homestudy; we couldn’t have made it through the last 22 months without any of these individuals. We will be thinking of our family back east (especially Nanie) and wishing that they could be here with us to celebrate, but lot of photos and video will be taken and we know you’ll be with us in spirit.

Friday, March 11, 2011

7 Months Home

Wesley is now 21 months and the beginning of March marked 7 months since came home to us. Our biggest “news” as of late is that we FINALLY have a hearing date to finalize his adoption. California is anything but fast in processing paperwork when it comes to the State. Then, there was some miscommunication or misinformation or something when it came to the actual assigning of the hearing date. But my wonderful hubs went down to the courthouse and straightened it all out and (drum roll) we head to court Monday, March 21 at 8:30am in the morning. Whooo Hooo! After all the home visits, paperwork, etc. Wesley will legally be our son and he will become an “official” citizen of the United States. We can’t wait!

Wesley showing his U.S.A. pride in preparation for his adoption finalization.

In other “news” we are actively looking for a new home. Our house has been on the market for a little over a month and we accepted an offer this past week and we are now in escrow. We’ve had a tough time finding a house with the right mix of what we’re looking for at the right price. Plus, it’s actually quite competitive out there and we’ve run into some situations where the house has already gone into “Sale Pending” status before we even saw it. Hopefully, we’re getting close.

We continue to work with Wesley on his speech on a daily basis. He is all about “Da Da” right now and starts in with it from the moment he gets up. Our favorite is what we call the “Machine Gun Da Da” which sounds exactly like you would think. He does show Mommy some love with the occasional “Ma Ma” or just “Ma.” He also loves saying (and taking) “bubble bath.” The volume switch on our little peanut seemed to be turned up substantially over this past month. Everything is on HIGH. There’s screeching, screaming, giggling, singing and more all at ultra-high levels. Our neighbors are probably thankful that we’re moving soon.

Wesley has become quite the “ladies man” at his day care. I typically pick him up in the afternoon (Brian handles drop off in the morning). When I’ve been picking him up these past few weeks, he’s been the only little boy left (and it’s seriously not late in the day) surrounded by 4-5 little girls. They all love him. Especially one in particular who is a little aggressive. Brian actually busted the two of them holding hands one afternoon. She always says “Goodbye Wesley!” when we leave. It’s a riot.

On another note, I woke up this morning to the awful news of the earthquake in Japan. Such devastation. When I turned on the news the earthquake had set off a tsunami that was making its way through Hawaii and headed up the West Coast of California. I have to tell you, it really puts things into perspective. My patience has been tested these past few months between putting the house on the market, house hunting and Wesley continuing to behave as a typical pre-2 year old toddler. I’m not going to lie, it’s been hard. There seem to be so many things to worry about and so many things to do. But then, something like this tragedy hits and immediately, you want to grab your child, hold him and never let go. Nothing else matters. All these “problems” or “issues” in your life are trivial. Nothing can be THAT BAD. There is nothing that can’t be worked out. Hug your loved ones before you go to bed tonight and be thankful that we're all safe and sound.