How Does Your Family Grow? A Timeline

Mid 1990's: Mr D and I get married. We discuss (ahead of time) how many children we want to have. We -- like many young people -- assume fertility and do not talk about adopting at all. The "plan" is for 2-3 children, with the idea being that the 3rd will be more likely to happen if the first two are the same sex.

Early 2000: Peter is born. He doesn't sleep without going for a drive in the car for almost a year.

Fall 2001: Susan is born. She has colic.

Summer 2004: Edmund is born. While pregnant, I declare frequently and vehemently that I am "done" having babies.

Spring 2008: Susan is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Fall 2010: Edmund starts full-time school. Mr D and I discuss whether I should return to the workforce now or not. No decision is made before....

December 2010: Mr D feels called to adopt. We are hung up on by several adoption agencies.

Early 2011: We attend a "Wait No More" event and learn about fostering.

Late April 2011: Licensing complete

Early May 2011: First placement comes. And goes.

Summer 2011: We wait for a placement that never comes.

Summer 2011-Summer 2012: L & O

August 2012: D comes and goes

August 2012 - Summer 2013: S comes and stays a while

Fall 2013-February 2014: N

March 2014 : M arrives and all heck breaks loose

July 2014: M's mother surrenders her rights

Early August 2014: M's father surrenders his rights

mid- August 2014: M is legally free for adoption  (She is 6 months old. This is ridiculously early for a healthy newborn to be legally free.)

mid - September 2014: We learn that M's lack of an SSN may be a problem

September 2014: Child Life History is completed by DFCS (we're told this is not typical -- it was done much more quickly than usual, partly because a lot of the birthmother's history was already available due to TPR on older children the year previous)

September 2014: We complete all steps necessary on our part for the agency to convert our homestudy 

Early October 2014: SSN is applied for and home conversion is completed by agency 

Late October 2014: New SSN card (with number) is received by DFCS office. DFCS caseworker does her part on our home study and sends it to her Director for approval

Early November 2014: Director approves us as the adoptive parents.

Mid November 2014: We sign Intent-to-Adopt paperwork (also known by their document number, but that is state specific) 

Mid December 2014: Adoption is Finalized! At this time, M is almost exactly 10 months old, and she has been in foster care (and in our home) for nearly 9 months. It took 4 months to get from "legally free" to finalized. (my impression is that this is on the fast side of normal)

February 2015: We officially state to the agency that we are done fostering and plan to let our license expire in April.

April 2015: We learn that M's birthmother is pregnant.

June 2015: We complete the steps to get our home open so that we can be available if needed. M's biological mother posts comments on Facebook about how great it is to be sober and have the money she would spend on drugs for other things. We try to believe she means that.

July 2015: Our home is officially open again, but "on hold" for this specific baby. M's mother posts pregnancy pics on Facebook, but does not reveal a due date. A "friend" comments that maybe she shouldn't keep getting pregnant since she keeps losing her kids.

Early August 2015: M's baby sister, "C" is born.

Late August 2015: We learn C's biomother is already planning to surrender her parental rights.

Early September 2015: C is placed with us. Biomother surrenders her rights at the first court date. Biofather is MIA.

Late September 2015 : C's (assumed) biological father surrenders his rights.

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