A week ago, Hubby and I woke early.
I had awakened half a dozen times in the night, sleeping fitfully, stress knifing through my ability to rest. Hubby slept better than I did, but still woke many times throughout the night himself.
He rolled over in bed and prayed while I shivered with nerves and fear. "Father," he said softly, "help her to feel the peace you've given me with one word: rejoice."
And then we spent six grueling hours in a courtroom, walking out without a decision, and facing more waiting.
In the words of wise Spanish philosopher Inigo Montoya, "I hate waiting."
Patience is so not one of my virtues.
Today, I picked up the kids from school and walked them home. We had a quick snack and I had them sign the card for the twins' teacher, who is switching over to another elementary school as a long-term substitute for the reading specialist there, who is going on maternity leave. The twins love their teacher, and it's been especially hard for Small Fry. So we put together a nice gift for the teacher, and walked back over to deliver it.
When we came home, I checked the mail. The peach card in the mailbox was a surprise. Somehow, we had received a letter that was postage due. We owed fifty cents to the post office.
I called Hubby, who speculated that perhaps it was a letter from one of the teens that didn't have enough postage or lost its stamp or something; the fundraiser letters for the youth group missions trip have been going out. The other possibility was that it was from the court. But even our attorney's office meters their mail; if the court did the same, how would it be short on postage?
Hubby said he would stop by the post office and pick it up before they closed.
I got a text as soon as he'd picked up the letter. "It is from the court. Rejoice!"
He had read through the first order (there's one for each kid), and it proclaimed that parental rights have been severed, we have been granted custody, and in 30 days' time, we can have our hearing to officially adopt the girls.
It cost us fifty cents to find out that life is permanently going to cost us a lot more.
While we're celebrating this, we know that this same paperwork is on its way to both Bro's address and XSIL's. I can't speak for XSIL, who didn't bother to show up at the hearing last week, but I know this will hurt Bro deeply. We love him, and that makes this very bittersweet for both Hubby and me.
I read through all three orders; they all essentially state the same thing, and they're dated for yesterday. That makes it convenient, as far as remembering when the 30-day appeal timeframe ends.
Our attorney has said that we can file the adoption paperwork right away; we just can't have the hearing until after the 30 days have elapsed.
At first, I thought it would be cool if the adoption hearing date was the same as the date that the Fries came to live with us. Hubby disagreed.
He wants to have one more day where he can have cake.
I think I agree with him there.