We had sort of anticipated that Clara's birth father would relinquish his parental rights 48 hours after Clara was born and that the next day Kayli would file her divorce papers and terminate her parental rights and that placement would occur then. But it turns out there some people with our adoption agency dropped the ball and didn't have any of the legal paperwork ready to go in order to get the birthfather to do his part. We definitely didn't want Kayli to relinquish her rights first because that would have put Clara at risk of going to her birthfather and Kayli wouldn't have been able to fight him for her as effectively if it came down to it. So everything stalled until Kayli spent an entire afternoon on the phone with her case worker and her lawyer trying to get things moving.
My heart just swells with love for this amazing woman who fought for us to get placement to go through sooner rather than later. Paul and I got on our phones that afternoon as well and tried to politely and kindly explain to both our caseworker and Kayli's caseworker that Kayli should not be the one running things down to make placement happen and that we were pretty upset with how things were playing out. Eventually Kayli's divorce lawyer took over the adoption side of things just to move things along.
Since Paul was leaving on Wednesday and the birthfather said he couldn't sign paperwork until Thursday night at 7:00 pm, Paul and I signed our placement papers for an "at-risk" adoption on Wednesday. That meant that even though we had agreed to take full parental responsibility for Clara, we were acknowledging that neither of her biological parents had terminated their rights at that point. Kayli had let us take Clara back to the hotel with us the two previous nights though so that Paul could have as much bonding time wtih with her as possible before he had to leave on Wednesday afternoon. We weren't too worried about the "at-risk" placement though because we had full confidence in Kayli and her attorney. Sure enough, even though the birthfather made threats that he was going to leave and not sign the paperwork on Thursday and Kayli had to spend hours texting with him to push him to do what needed to be done, he signed on Thursday and Friday morning at 11:00 his rights were officially terminated by a Texas judge. Kayli signed her relinquishment papers Friday afternoon and we are now in the process of completing the ICPC paperwork that will enable me to leave the state of Texas with our little Clara-girl. We are hoping (maybe beyond hope) that we will be able to head home next weekend, which is a month from the time that I first got to Texas for Clara's birth.
Phew, quite the story, huh? There is a little more story to come as I am writing up Clara's adoption story but those will be in future posts.
In Clara's first week of life, she has experienced some pretty intense weather including Texas thunder and lightning storms and tornado warnings. In fact, one night we all sheltered in Kayli's family's hallway with 72-hour kits and waited for the weather to pass.
Clara has also made a trip to the airport to pick up Grandma who flew in on Thursday to stay with me and help me fly Clara home to California once ICPC goes through. She pretty much sleeps when we drive. Look at that tiny double chin and the way she crosses her feet! Darling girl.
Clara misses her daddy a LOT and he misses her too. He told me not to blog about how he cried when he had to say goodbye to her to head home and go back to work. We appreciate his sacrifices to provide for us and Clara and I love him SO very much. We Skyped last night but Clara had been a little tired from a big day and slept the whole time.
Clara had her first manicure given by Kayli's mom. I was too scared to clip her nails.
She loves to cuddle up into a tiny little package and snuggle right up under your chin and be held on your chest. It smushes up her little face. She kind of looks like a little sumo baby in this photo, but really she is a tiny thing.
Here she is being burped by my mom. She's a smiley girl. Kayli made the adorable headband she is wearing.
Clara also had a 5 1/2 hour photo shoot on Tuesday (ridiculous, I know, but it was one of the most fun things ever to watch your baby snooze away while being posed in darling positions). We are excited to get those photos back and will be sharing them as soon as possible. For now though, the photos I take from my iPhone will have to do.
For those who are interested in these kinds of things, she is sleeping pretty well. For example, last night she slept from 9:00 to 1:00, took 3 ounces, then slept until 4:00, took 2 ounces, then slept until 7:00. Not bad, right? I have been getting 7 hours of sleep a night, which is MUCH better than I had anticipated.
Thanks everybody for your prayers and congratulations and happiness for our joy. We absolutely adore our sweet daughter and are so ecstatic and thankful to be her parents.