“Oh, Anne–congratulations! You must just be on cloud nine. How exciting–it’s finally over.”
I’ve been getting that a lot lately.
And I am excited. Very much so. But it’s not a bubbly sort of shouting-from-the-rooftops excited. It’s a much deeper, more peaceful excitement. Quite subdued, actually.
On the one hand, remaining a family, as we have been in our hearts since the day we knew about her, is only the natural next step on the road ahead. To have had to say goodbye would have been the break in the road. Here, as we are, is to continue on as we have hoped and prayed. So I am excited, but I have been living this reality for a long while.
On the other hand, I know that we still have a ways to go before it’s all really finished.
See, in Massachusetts, there is a 6-month post-placement waiting period before a family can begin the process of finalizing (that is, making legal/completing) the adoption. Luckily, I think our agency will retro-date our post-placement to the day we brought the Babe home, rather than starting from the date it becomes an official adoptive placement (sometime in March, likely). Which means we should be able to file for finalization in April. Ish. We hope.
And finalization takes two to four months to complete in this state (May, June.. July? August?). That’s a range. An average–it could take longer (September? October?). As you know, there has been nothing average about this case at all :P I cringe to think of delays or roadblocks in the finalization process.
Another thing we have to look forward to is the fee for the agency, which is due at time of placement (which for us, is the “official” beginning of the adoptive placement), after the 30 day appeal window is up. “Best purchase we’ve ever made” in some ways, but still a big chunk of change. Let’s hope the adoption tax credit will hold out long enough for us to qualify, still..
So right now, though I am excited that things are finally moving, it really doesn’t feel like things are over.
It feels like things are really just beginning, and I feel like we still have a long process ahead of us. Many steps.. many baby steps.
Perhaps it’s a bit like a woman beginning labor: “Oh, it’s here!” well-wishers say. “You finally get to meet your baby!” I’m sure her response would be something like, “Well, we’ve got a bit of work to do before we really get to meet her…”