Come this Friday, we are due in court for AJ’s adoption hearing, hopefully to be finalized.
Our last date was in November, but got rescheduled to this month to make absolutely certain that we met the residency requirements of the state with AJ. The hearing is mostly going to be a matter of having all i’s dotted and t’s crossed and everything in its proper legal place and on the proper official notarized papers. Which we believe we have.
The one thing we wanted, we needed the most, that we felt would be the final thing to push this through, is official notarized papers that June Bug had given up all parental rights to him. Last year she did send us a notarized handwritten statement that she was giving up all claims to AJ and didn’t know who the father was, but the lawyer wants more than that to go before the judge with. We first tried to get her served with official papers that she could sign, notarize, and return, but the address that she gave us was that of her boyfriend’s parents who wouldn’t accept them. For reasons that don’t make sense, she wouldn’t give us the home address her and her boyfriend are at, so she could be served there. She told us she would go to the courthouse and file the paperwork there and have it all sent to us, but that didn’t happen. After being in contact with her weekly for almost six months, she has stopped contacting us the past few weeks, and hasn’t returned either our voice mail or FB messages.
Given June Bug’s flaky history it would be easy to assume that she is playing one of her games, for whatever reason that only makes sense to her. But we think there’s more to it than that. Without going into details, her and her boyfriend aren’t doing very well as a couple right now, and they both have significant legal issues (particularly him) hanging over their heads. Judging from the conversations we’ve had with her, she’s been clean and sober and seems to be trying to make amends with us. She does want to have some role in AJ’s life, even if not as a mom, and understands that he is far better off with us. She also wants to expose grandson CJ to our side of the family. So, in essence, she has absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose by stiffing us.
So far as I can surmise, there are several possibilities working here:
- Her domestic issues with boyfriend are keeping her from getting things done. Good possibility, since they share a phone and a vehicle, and she’s essentially stranded without either. Even though boyfriend made a positive impression on Yes Dear when she was out there last summer, latest word sounds like she needs to take CJ and get away from him. And we would be more than willing to help her out, but the adoption must be finalized first if she’s going to come out this way.
- Her legal issues have caught up with her. Another possibility, though I’ve been checking the arrest records of the county she resides in with both her and her boyfriend’s names, and nothing has come up recently. Google search doesn’t come up with recent stuff either, but you never know.
- Cold feet about giving up rights to AJ. Definite possibility, even though she knows logically it’s for the best and there’s no way she can care for him now in her situation, especially since her hands are full with the one she has. In the long run AJ will be legally ours one way or another, but we’ve tried to get her to understand that this is the best way without putting any more rifts between us.
- She’s gone into hiding. If things have seriously deteriorated in her domestic life, very possible, yet we figure she would’ve found a way to contact us. If she went into hiding because of legal issues, she might be more reluctant to contact us and reveal where she is in case she thinks we’ll be asked about her whereabouts. Makes more sense.
- Relapse back into drugs/alcohol/compulsively lying/stupidity/any or all the above … God, I hope not. Like I said before, she has absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose by being less than honest with us at this stage. We’ve even been very careful to be supportive of her and not drive her into a corner to where she feels like she has to cover something up. I hold out hope this isn’t the case, but it wouldn’t be the first time she’s buried herself with nonsensical lies for no tangible reason. Let’s pray she hasn’t done it again.
So for now we’ve settled with sending her a private message that we love her and hope her and CJ are doing okay, to call us when she can and let us know how things are with her, and we’re just going to take a different avenue with the adoption and not hold it against her since we understand her plate is full right now.
And let her make the next move. Resist the urge to keep leaving her messages, so she don’t feel like we’re bugging her, and risk pushing her away or to where she feels like she has to continue lying to us.
In the meantime, we’re going to court with what we’ve got so far. The issue with the baby-daddy (whoever he might be) has been taken care of via ad litum (no contact whatsoever), so the only other thing we foresee possibly happening is the judge requiring an ad litum on the mother’s side. Which may mean another 60-90 day delay, which wouldn’t be a disaster, but we’re eager to get this closed and over with. I’ve heard too many horror stories of stupid things going wrong with adoptions and family court and just want to get it done. Not to mention, we’re talking of getting AJ enrolled in preschool come September (he’ll be 4 by then) and we have a name change that’s going to go through with the adoption. Much easier if he’s carrying the family name and we have papers showing that he’s legally ours, so that their isn’t any more unnecessary red tape.
The lawyer says that normally she’d be optimistic that everything would go through okay, but this particular judge we’re scheduled to see is a wild card, so be prepared for anything. I just don’t want to have to wait another half-year to get this done, spend any more money we don’t have, or have it all fall through because of something completely stupid and unforeseen.
So, prayers and crossed fingers/toes/other appendages (if you’re not the praying type) are in order. That there will be good news on Friday and that AJ will become a permanent legal member of the family. At last.