"Tonight, and tomorrow night, you might pray and ponder, asking the questions:
Did God send a message that was just for me?
Did I see His hand in my life or the lives of my children?
I will do that. And then I will find a way to preserve that memory for the day that I, and those that I love, will need to remember how much God loves us and how much we need Him."
-Henry B. Eyring, "O Remember, Remember"
Today was a big day for our family in court with our foster son's case and one that I must record here for posterity sake as a reminder of how God's hand is in each of our lives and the tremendous power of prayer. As you may remember, we have been anxiously awaiting the DNA results on the "alleged birthfather" for our foster son and they finally came in from the attorney general's office yesterday. The CPS caseworker called early yesterday morning and delivered the great news to us...there was 0% probability that he was the birthfather. Blessed news indeed--this definitely helped our chances of finally being granted permanent managing conservators for our foster son by the judge.
I am overjoyed to share with you some exciting news--after a protracted battle with the state regarding custody, and endless court hearings later-- the judge ruled in our favor today to officially grant us permanent managing conservatorship (PMC). While this doesn't mean our legal journey is over---not does it mean he's adopted, it does mean that baby boy is no longer a foster child. And we are therefore no longer foster parents. Joyous news on so many levels.
Additionally, this means that we now have legal rights as his guardians and are fully responsible for all of his physical, emotional and financial needs. We will no longer need court approval to take baby boy with us on family trips. We will no loner need to do state foster parent training hours or monthly reports. Nor will we have the monthly required CPS visits in our home.
The next step moving forward will be to wait and see if there is an appeal from the birthmother's attorney (she has 7 days from today to file a formal appeal). Assuming there is no appeal, we then will move forward by filing in district court to terminate parental rights and proceed with an adoption. Assuming no additional issues arise, we are looking at about a 3-6 month timeline before an adoption.
We are truly thankful for everyone's prayers and support through this process. Both Jody and I have been so humbled by the many prayers and well wishes. We know without a doubt that the collective faith of so many has been of great assistance and the Lord most definitely heard and answered our prayers today.
Just minutes after the judge made his ruling, we made our way out of the courtroom with tears of gratitude streaming down our faces. And we took a moment to pause and take a picture. I will forever cherish this photo above and the feelings I felt in my heart on this very special day. The love I felt for my dear husband for making this journey with me--the deep love we share for baby boy and our desire to be his forever family, and the tremendous gratitude I have to Heavenly Father--for hearing and answering our sincere prayers.
"Do not doubt.... Remember, 'Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.' [John 20:29]
God loves you.
He hears your prayers.
He speaks to His children and offers comfort, peace, and understanding to those who seek Him and honor Him by walking in His way."
--Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Waiting on the Road to Damascus"