I walked into an empty courtroom today. It was a place I've never imagined myself. It was myself, Trevor, Safe families and our attorney at one table. The court reporter and judge walked in and we stood. We all testified. We were asked questions by our attorney and then the judge. He granted custody easily and without much drama. The biggest drama came when Trevor said that we had three other children. The judges face was priceless and he asked Trevor again to tell him how many rooms we had in our home and said so you will have five children and this is what you want? Quite funny really. He wasn't trying to be. MOM wasn't there. The sheriff's department couldn't confirm her reciept of the paperwork so she may not have even known about it.
I sat there looking at the empty desk across from us with so many emotions. To be completely honest, the first was relief. I wasn't sure how she would react to us and I didn't want to have to find out. Secondly it made me feel sad for her....that this is happening and she isn't even aware....or does she not care enough to show up....what a great loss for her this is. And finally I felt thankful that my husband and I could be a voice for P and L and that we were their advocates for a better life, a life with a family and a stable home and a life that knows Jesus. It was such a visual image of who was rooting for them in this life before us and the support system they now have. I could just picture the courtroom full of our friends and family and then that empty table in the middle.
The judge granted custody and I instantly felt 50 pounds lighter. Basically the custody is so that no one can take them from our home until the adoption is complete. We have the right now to enroll them in school, have them assessed, etc....For the first time in 9 months of them living with us, we have legal rights and know they cannot be taken from us today or tomorrow. I will no longer wonder what the day may hold and if MOM is going to decide to create drama today. It is such a huge sense of peace and I think I may actually get some sleep tonight. I am hoping this feeling of stability will enrich the lives of our children too. I am sure it will. Our homestudy was completed yesterday and we were fingerprinted today so now we wait for a court date for the adoption hearing and finish getting all of our paperwork together. One step closer to our forever family. One step closer. Praise God!