Well there it is…what we did for my 56th birthday. “The Telling”, where the County Social Workers read aloud to us everything they know about The Rosebug’s history. Quite a history, too! Most of it we already knew, but some of it was new to us. I love how the records say “she may have an aunt named Silvia or Juanita” and “she may have a paternal grandparent named Sam or Horacio” (not the real names they used). This poor kid has had some serious adventures in her young life! I loved the transcripts of her initial interviews, after they took her away from her birth Mom, where the social workers in all their wisdom asked her 3 year old self the same question over and over again. She obviously got tired of the redundancy, too, because she said, more than once “I told you that already!” (I can just hear her little indignant voice in my mind…♥)
Then came the reams of paperwork. We signed our names over and over and over again. Yes, we still want to adopt her, sign here. Yes, we WILL adopt her, sign here.. Yes, we will always keep her, sign here. Yes, we will continue to care for her. Yes, yes, yes, YES! Sign, sign, sign, SIGN!… Look up the word redundant in the dictionary and you will find that the definition is “The adoption process!”
It has been a tough week for us. I think that The’Bug has been feeling some anxiety about our signing the important adoption papers, because she has been pulling out all the stops; misbehavior, bad attitude, sneaky, challenging EVERYTHING…you name the difficult behavior, she was giving it her best performance! I was exhausted and in tears of frustration the evening before “The Telling”. Funny, though. Never did it enter my mind to stop the adoption process, but more I had this mantra going through my head “What am I getting myself into?” It’s not that I don’t love her, because I do. It’s just that… She. Is. A. Lot. Of. Work.
But yesterday, the morning of “The Telling”, which also happened to be my 56th birthday, she decided to be fantastic! She was in a great mood, she didn’t procrastinate with her morning routine, she was just generally AWESOME. She didn’t want Bob and I to leave, and we asked her, “Don’t you want us to sign the adoption papers?” And her response was “Yes I do, but can’t you do it here?”. That would be a logical assumption on her part since our house seems to be the weekly destination for most of the social workers and therapists in Southern California to convene regularly!
While Bob and I were at “The Telling”, The’Bug and Ashleigh did a heroic job of getting her all caught up on her schoolwork. All week she has been fighting schoolwork, either not doing it or doing it horrendously WRONG so that she had to do it over again. After much discussion with Bob, he and I decided that if she doesn’t finish her homework on time, she would lose ALL of her privileges until she gets caught up. We told her that. I also told her that the only thing I wanted from her for my birthday was for her to get caught up in her schoolwork. She hates it when I say stuff like that. She is all about wrapping and presenting little gifts. I think that is sweet, but that really wasn’t what I wanted. And she DID give me what I really wanted! She got almost ALL of her schoolwork done! About 4 days worth! I quote from a text from Ashleigh, “She had a good attitude and was in a really good mood all day. Didn’t play stupid!” All she has left to do is one simple art lesson and she is done! Polar opposite of the day before (when she was also working with Ashleigh) and the two days before that (when she was working with me).
Anyhow, it is DONE! We signed the papers! I was kind of emotionally numb all day. I don’t know what I was feeling, aside from “relief” that we are one HUGE step closer to the end of the process. Next we just have to wait (and wait and wait and wait and wait) for a couple of months for them to set a court date, and then we will go to court and it will be FINAL! Thank God. No, seriously. I am thanking the good Lord above for putting this little girl in our path. Because even with all of her history and challenges… We. Love. The’Bug.