We had a talk with the kids tonight before bed.
See, tomorrow afternoon, the guardian ad litem, appointed by the court to act on behalf of the girls in the upcoming hearing, is coming to visit.
We didn't know what to expect from his visit, but we needed to at least prepare the girls for his visit.
So, we sat the girls down around the island in the kitchen to tell them about our company for tomorrow afternoon, and explained why he would be coming.
"Remember when you first came to live with us, you called us Auntie and Uncle?" Hubby asked.
Three dark heads nodded.
"Well, that's because you're really our nieces. We love you like daughters, but you're still really our nieces. You call us Mommy and Daddy, but we're still Auntie and Uncle." Hubby paused, glancing at each of the Fries to be sure they were following him. "And we want to be your real mom and dad."
This brought silence, and then cheers.
"We want you to really be our daughters. We want to adopt you."
So we talked a little more about what that would mean...how their last names would change to match ours, for instance.
Hubby smiled at each of them, love all over his face.
And then he got down on one knee in front of Medium Fry. "Medium," he said gently, "will you be my daughter?"
Medium was still sorting through that, and couldn't say yes, so he hugged her and said that was okay. She took off for upstairs.
Large squealed, "YES!" and threw her arms around him.
Then Hubby faced Small Fry. "Small, will you be my daughter?"
She mimicked her older sister's reaction, complete with squealing and hugging.
I let them hug and went after Medium.
As it turned out, Medium just needed to talk a bit more about this, and understand that us wanting to be her real parents didn't mean that Daddy Bro or Mommy XSIL didn't love her. As soon as she was able to understand everything to her own satisfaction, she got right on board with the adoption, and could hardly wait for that to happen.