So, I realize it's been a while and I haven't updated the blog world as to exactly what happened last week. I'm sorry. Forgive me?
We got up at the crack of dawn Wednesday and took off for the nearly 2-hour trip to the court house. Marshall and I were accompanied by my mother and aunt and Marshall's dad. The same crew we had last time and I was very thankful. Marshall's mother graciously offered to stay with the children.
We got to the court house and the minute we saw our attorney, he walked up to us and said, "They want to settle."
We were all a little baffled. I had been asking for this for the last 16 months. Marshall wasn't too keen on the idea, but I thought it was the best for everyone involved.
We sat down with our attorney and laid out the only conditions we were willing to accept. They could see him four times a year, only while we were present. Everyone is under a mutual restraining order so that we can't bad mouth each other (if there's suspicion of it, we can go back to court). There are a few more details, but that's the jist of it.
Our attorney presented the details to their attorney and he told his clients... they agreed without any adjustments. I was shocked. Apparently their attorney is a better man than I thought (goes to show: don't judge others!) and told the bio-relatives that they really had no chance and if they wanted to see Mac again they should try to settle out of court. They agreed.
We all went before the judge and our attorney presented the plans for the settlement. They drop their custody suit in exchange for the 4x a year visitation.
The judge had all four of us stand and he asked us a series of questions. "Were you promised anything in the way of money or a gift in exchange for this settlement?" We all answer: No, Sir. "Are you under the influence of drugs of alcohol either prescription or otherwise?" Answer: No, Sir. "Do you think this is in the best interest of the child in question?" Answer: Yes, Sir.
Very simple. The settlement goes into court record.
We walked into the court house at 9am and walked back out about 10:45am. Not bad for a 2 day trial, huh?
We should have a date to finalize the adoption hopefully by the end of the week. We're praying that we can get in to see the judge and finalize everything before Marshall's birthday at the end of September.
I have been asked if I really do think this is the best thing for Mac. Yes, I do. I understand that having a connection to his past is important. I want him to know that we recognize that he had a life (albeit brief) before us and we want to be somewhat open with that family as long as it doesn't become toxic (which is why we insisted on being at all visits). I also hope that we can get to know the couple who adopted his full sister at some point as well.
After that we had lunch (we had been up since 5am) and headed home! I couldn't wait to hold my baby boy and celebrate. Of course - the second I picked him up he said, "No, I get down. Down, Momma!" So much for celebrating!
Hopefully we'll have a date to share with you soon for court time. We expect you ALL to come celebrate with us! We'll be having a big party!
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." ~2 Tim 4:7