Our new and improved forever family of five...
On Friday, September 30th, our little family stood in front of the absolute nicest judge (she even had presents for each of us) who declared us ADOPTED.
What a relief. It took us all by surprise that the process really did indeed take only six months for the state to wrap up (which is a small miracle in and of itself). It's done. These boys will never have to worry about caseworkers, foster homes, shelters, or any other such stuff ever again. As the eldest, Rudy, put it, they are now "just like everybody else", "normal kids with a mom and a dad". I love that.
I also love how Rudy summed it up -- "Mom, my whole life has been filled with short timelines, from my birthparents to different foster homes to here, and now it is just going to be one big ol' timeline going forward".
Amen to that.
And thanks for all of the support and encouraging comments you all have left over the last six months of this crazy journey. Every single word was greatly appreciated.