Monday, April 19, 2010

The Adoption of Southern Darlin'

Once upon a time, many years ago.. a new baby came into the Kingdom of Chaos.  She was loved instantly and became one of our own.  From that day forward, we also gained a worry.. Worry of this innocent baby's big sister..  The sister that our county failed by not taking her into custody at the same time.  Oh the things they could have spared her by taking her at 12months old.. For years we worried about her safety, followed her county to county by DCS reports but alas no one took that little one into care and saved her from the life she had to live.  Eventually we lost track of her & only by pure stupid luck did we find out that she was finally in custody, alas in a state Far Far Away.  Thus begins our journey to bringing Southern Darlin' home.

Months and months of harassing the caseworkers in the Far Far Away state finally resulted in us being chosen as her adoptive family.  Delay after delay and it was 15months after finding out she was in care (almost a year into her being in custody) before she was finally moved to our home. Months more to wait out the "make sure you can take it" waiting period before we could finalize the adoption.  Which brings us to today's story..  The story of Southern Darlin's finalization....  Sit back and get comfy because I have a feeling it's going to be a long one!

Ya'll might remember that we had to travel back to the Far Far Away state because my state was being buttheads (sorry but it's just true, no other way to put it).  Daddy Chaos has no vacation time so this was time off work w/o pay and we wanted to make it a quick trip vs a full vacation.  It was decided that we'd leave bright and early (read: before normal people are ready to be awake because HELLO it's still dark out) on Weds and drive Straight.Thru.   Yes you read that right.. 20hrs (with stops) straight thru.  And we made it alive!!   In all honesty, I do have to praise the kids.  They were absolutely wonderful for the trip! The only "are we there yet?"  I even heard was from a certain oldest child of mine who decided it was great fun to sit right behind me and text me constantly vs actually speak.  ARGH!  The oldest boy was entertained by his DS & books.. Lil girls were happy with their leapsters & coloring & naps.. Middle boy did leapster, movies & naps.. Lil boy.. well he wasn't too thrilled but he made do.  We stopped ALOT to get everyone out and moving.. The baby just did not like being in his carseat but who can blame him?    It made everyone absolutely thrilled when we stopped here for lunch.  Go ahead, click the link (hello, it's my review).. I'll wait..  ... ....

Done?  Ok, where was I.. Oh yes, we stopped @ the place where they throw ROLLs at you. The kids thought it was highly entertaining.. And then we went on.. and on.. and on.. Til we finally got there!  We planned our arrival so we'd have an entire day off to get everyone ungrouchy from the long trip before taking them to a courthouse and expecting them to act halfway human.  Good news is that it worked!

The day of finalization finally arrived.  We were told to show up at the court house 30mins early because Southern Darlin's  GAL (guardian ad litem ) wanted to meet with us before the hearing.  We agreed but all along was thinking , uhmm ok what does it matter at this point?!  So I did what most do.. I googled the directions on my GPS on my phone.. *ahem*  We did get there, eventually.

Thankfully the courthouse was pretty empty and had this huge waiting area outside where the kids proceeded to skip and twirl and play while waiting on our turn.

Southern Darlin'

Spoiled Princess

Posing for pics :)

The GAL wanted pictures of all the kids (which I have but can't share- darn my state and their slow ways), pics of her sitting with the kids, pics of me sitting with the girls..

yeah, we're looking at the GALs camera instead
 of my camera being wielded by Drama Queen..

The kids finally tired of playing train, spinning in circles and getting drinks of water from the water fountain.. Eventually they sat like good little ducks on the bench and waited.. Swinging legs to and fro..

At last,  it was time to go in! 

We all filed into the courthouse & sat down in the pews  benches to wait.  The judge arrived & we all stood.  Honestly, I did not know what to expect. It was a typical set up with the judge up on his pedestal and the two tables (each with two chairs) below.  Here we came with all SIX of our kids, plus our atty, plus Southern Darlin's GAL, plus the Adoption worker, PLUS the Casa (who apparently just came for fun because Southern Darlin' was never given a Casa worker).  The judge asked us all to approach and so we all just marched up and stood in a little semi-circle around his throne. And that, my friends, is how Southern Darlin' was adopted.  I loved it! Very informal..  They made a big deal of us making it known to the judge that we loved  Southern Darlin' which caught me off guard.. Not that we don't love her to pieces but it was never brought up in Spoiled Princess' adoption.. Hers was more of a "you understand that she will be like your own, you are responsible & she inherits from you like a biological kid".  In the end, the moment came that I had the slightest bit of worry about*.. 

The judge looked down at Southern Darlin' and asked her the big question. 

Do you want your name to forever be  Southern Darlin' Chaos??

Poor girl was so nervous that she was actually being spoke to.  But she was a brave one & quietly said yes.

The judge immediately said that was all he needed to hear & it was done!  He approved the adoption and then invited anyone who wanted to sit in his chair to come up and have a chance :)

And there you have it!  Southern Darlin' is officially one of the Chaos clan now.. When we were getting out of her bath before the first day back to school, we were talking about how she got to tell everyone that she was ADOPTED now! She was soo excited!  I asked if she thought she looked any different now that she was adopted.. The girl , bless her heart, looked at herself carefully and then said " My hair is darker now.. More like yours!" ha!  Yes it was darker at that moment -from being wet, but I didnt' spoil it, I just agreed!! :)  And there you have the very last adoption of a little girl that will happen in the Chaos family (of course by saying that I'm happy to jinx myself but I really do think it's true.)

*Southern Darlin' and I had a conversation a month or so back about what adoption was and how we'd go talk to the judge to make her ours forever and ever.. I told her the judge would probably ask her if she wanted to be a part of our family forever & she would just say yes and it'd be over.. She looked at me & says " What if I say no?"... I was dumbstruck.. Things had been going great, WHY would she even think of saying no?  So I asked where she would go if she said no because we were an adoptive family so if she didn't want to stay with us where did she plan to go?  She immediately says "Back to my old mom".  So we then had to begin the delicate discussion that her 'old mom' (fostermom) did not want to adopt anymore little kids.  It's not that she didn't want her, but that she loved her & took care of her like a babysitter. She never planned on keeping her forever, only until she could come live with us..  I did ask Southern Darlin' to tell me some good stories about her 'old mom' because if she really wanted to go back then I'd like to hear why.. All she ever tells is bad things - time outs, locked in closets when bad, bribed with candy & tv to shut up.. ect..  She couldn't come up with a happy story :(


  1. Oh, YAY! Congratulations!!!!
    And, the girls both look stunning in their dresses.
    SO happy it all worked out with the court, the gal, the workers, the state, etc etc etc!

  2. Thank you!!! I DESPERATELY needed to see a GOOD foster/adopt story. It's been a very rough month. CONGRATULATIONS! So very happy for your family...

  3. Congratulations to your family. Love the pics. When our adoption gets closer I will show Nate and Beth your pics so they can better understand what is going to happen. Closure. Can't wait.

  4. it's so sad how the unhappy but known is more comfortable than taking a chance on happiness...
    congrats to you all!


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