Oh, my heart.
I thought it was ripped in two last Friday, when Large Fry confessed that she was having nightmares that Bro would show up at the adoption hearing, steal them away, and stop the adoption from happening. She was so petrified she clung to me for two and a half days.
Hearing Medium's bedtime prayer tonight felt like it would rip me in two, not just my heart.
This afternoon, I got an email from our lawyer. It was one that I hadn't been expecting. I had intended to email her anyway, to ask if she knew yet when we might be able to schedule the adoption hearing. Two of our three background checks are back, so we're just waiting on the last one. That could come any day now. We're excited that the end is in sight. The end of the appeal timeframe is Friday, close of court. There's still a chance (albeit small) that we could all have Hubby's last name by Christmas.
And all of that crashed and burned two sentences into Ms. Sciuto's email.
Bro is appealing.
I called Hubby as soon as I finished skimming the email, anger warring with disbelief.
As it turns out, Bro's lawyer thought she wouldn't have to represent him beyond Superior Court. She checked and found out that she was required to continue on as his attorney, even to the point of a state Supreme Court appeal. She can't cite nonpayment or lack of communication to the court as reasons for being removed as counsel of record; the county is paying her and I'm sure Bro is plenty communicative. And because she was appointed by the court, she has to follow the court's directions. If her client wants to appeal again when he has virtually no chance of winning, then she files the appeal on his behalf.
The only good thing about any of this is that there's a finite timeline.
Bro's lawyer should have her paperwork in by Friday (she has to), and our lawyer will be served by Monday. We'll get copies then. Once that's done, because this is a fast-track appeal, we have ten days to file an answer to her appeal statement. Whether or not Ms. Sciuto will do that (it's not required, and sometimes unnecessary) will depend on what Bro's lawyer argues in her appeal. If Ms. Sciuto won't file an answer, she'll send a letter informing the Supreme Court that she will not be filing an answer.
And then the clock starts ticking. The Supreme Court has 45 days to decide what to do with the appeal. They can:
- Do nothing. In which case, once the 45 days elapse with no action, it is assumed that the appeal is denied, and we will receive a court order to that effect.
- Deny to review the case within the 45 days, thus having the same effect as doing nothing, but speeding up the process a little.
- Allow the appeal to be reviewed, in which case, well, we go through yet another appeal.
Ms. Sciuto does not believe that that the Supreme Court will hear the case. There's nothing novel here. There's no court error. While Bro's attorney can make an argument (and arguing is what lawyers do, after all), there's no true appealable issue. So she doesn't think it will happen.
But there is nothing we can do to stop him from appealing.
I am angry.
I am heartbroken.
I hate waiting.
I have kids who are so very excited about being adopted and I can't bear the idea of telling them we have to wait some more.
I've run out of words for exactly how this makes me feel.
But it's going to be a lot longer before the adoption is final.
I hate that.
Sixty more days.
I can do that, right?