First in the hearing, the court secretary read aloud the report Casa de Amor’s staff wrote on us. I was a little worried about the boys hearing it, but so far it only seems positive that they heard when Jake and I first wanted to adopt each one, and why. This was probably the first time Angel learned that my family wanted to adopt him, and now instead of being their son he will be their grandson, and also that his grandmother insisted that I be his mother. All three listened intently and just beamed as they heard their names mentioned.
After the reading of the report, the judge asked the SEDEGES and Child Defense reps to chime in, both different from the last hearing two weeks prior. (The lady who grilled us so much was not present, as she had gotten married the weekend before.) The first lady started off by saying she was going to guess which boy was which, according to mine and Jake’s descriptions of them in the report. She was right!! Then she asked the boys “How do you feel about having Jacob and Jennifer as parents?” They immediately answered in chorus, “Felices!!” (happy) Every other question she asked: Do you want to go live with them? Are you going to study well? Do you like your little sister? Were answered positively, in complete unison. Everyone in the room was looking at each other like, had they rehearsed their answers?! Maybe their little meeting with Rosa and Carla at CDA’s office the week before had really helped. The second government representative asked the boys a couple of questions... And then it was done!
The judge had gotten out a tissue during the hearing and I assumed she had a cold, but by the end, I realized she was weeping. Her eyes were all red and she was wiping them clear! I was so surprised, because she was so quiet and almost bored looking during our hearings that I wondered if she remembered Angel’s story at all, but Rosa talked with the judge a minute and later told me that yes, she well remembered everything! (Eventually when I have time, I’ll write the stories of the three boys.)
I had never seen this done before, but I asked the judge if we could take a picture with her and she agreed.
First picture as a family, with the judge who first asked if I would adopt Angel
Second picture, with SEDEGES rep
Afterwards, we took Rosa back to the Baby Home. The babies were having their Christmas (first time that I've missed it in maybe 9 years!).
We picked up all the boys things waiting for them there and then went out to lunch at a new food court in town.
Waiting for lunch...
Good proof for Jake how much Sophia looks like him :)
The boys had a choice afterwards: play the video games or eat ice cream.
My car is pretty full now!! They will fit better in Jake's, but it's been in the shop for improvements for nearly two months now...
Whoever thought orphans would arrive with so many things?! (And this is the third time we're hauling in their stuff!!)
Hauling in their clothes and more toys
Jake showing the new shelves and deciding which is for which boy
Checking out the gifts under the tree!
Marcus asked if they could open one gift that day, and the rest on Christmas Day. We decided that yes, they could open one gift, but after dark!
We made some family pictures using Jake's little tripod. I laughed out loud to see them later! We look like some crazy family on the cover of a dumb movie (no offense to those in the picture!). Taking group pictures at Casa de Amor should have prepared me - we should have made at least a dozen pictures if we hoped for a good one!!
This was the BEST picture?!
Jake helped me get great pictures of Sophia by the tree :)
Hmm... Another head snuck into the picture!
We spent some time organizing their things in their new room and hanging up clothes.
Angel said he'd like to take the same math placement test that Jesus had already finished. Meanwhile, the other boys looked at pictures of themselves throughout the years at CDA on my computer.
Jake made us a wonderful spaghetti meal. Simple, but tasty and filling. This just might become a Christmas tradition!
Opening gifts after our little walk around the neighborhood and playing at a park
Thanks for the great Lego gifts, Grandpa & Grandma Beaty!
The boys spent a couple hours that night putting together their Lego trucks. Pretty neat! I've not studied boy toys very much, growing up with all sisters, so was impressed by all the fun details.
Jake took this picture of all of us working on our projects: the boys on their trucks, me composing the family's Christmas letter, and Sophia settling down to sleep. :)
What a memorable Christmas Eve for all of us!!!