Yesterday will go down as The Most Emotionally Draining Day of My Life.
I woke up extremely confident, lost all my courage on the drive, got sick 5 minutes away from the courthouse, felt waves of peace when we took our seats.
Cautious excitement when we met with the Birth Father, jumbled and confused nerves as we met with the Birth Mother, and tears as the lawyers made their announcements.
And then, elated joy.
We walked in ready to battle for our son's future, we walked out with a glaring reminder that God goes ahead of us.
That the battle wasn't ours to fight. He had it taken care of before we even walked in and He is able to provide abundantly more then we can ask.
Both parents voluntarily signed their rights over.
It was the exact opposite of what we expected.
Gabe's CASA worker had gone to visit with BF in prison on Monday. She told me he cried when she told him about how happy Gabe was with us. That he had a big sister. That he was more then well taken care of.
At the end of their visit she asked him where he thought was the best place for Gabe to be and with big tears in his eyes he said the best place was with us.
He needed to think about it, but he told her he was considering signing his rights over so Gabe could have the life he didn't get.
BM, however, was still fighting.
We found out she had lost her part time job, but hadn't reported it and was acting like she was still working. She knew the Court wouldn't send him back to her anytime soon, so she was still bringing up family that he could be placed with.
We were ready to fight.
DFACS had called in no less then 10 psychologists, doctors, and character witnesses to testify against BM.
As court was about to start, BF's lawyer asked if we were willing to talk to him in Chambers.
It was an emotional meeting.
We could tell that he knew what he needed to do. He just wanted us to reassure him that we were going to love Gabe and take care of him. He wanted to know if we would ever send pictures or updates so he could see him. And above all else, he wanted to be sure Gabe never thought that he didn't love him.
We assured him that Gabe would be loved an unfathomable amount. And that, if he chose to sign his rights away, he'd be giving Gabe the most selfless gift he could.
When we went out to go back to our seats, the Judge told us the BM would also like to meet with us.
We were floored.
This woman, who two days before swore she would never consider it, was considering signing her rights over too.
She walked in and was uncontrollably crying. She couldn't talk and it was difficult to watch.
Her lawyer told us that she had been through this kind of hearing before and didn't want to do it again. She knew that TPR was going to happen. The girl was scared to death.
She wanted to know the same thing as BF did. Would we love him, would he know about her, could she ever see him again.
With both parents we were told that, legally, we can't say yes or no to any requests to see him. When the adoption goes through, we will be the sole parents and it will be our choice when and if we decide to have any contact with either of them.
After we met with her, we went back to our seats and waited.
10 minutes later, both lawyers came out and announced that both parents were choosing to sign their rights over.
And I breathed for the first time in 13 months.
As I tried to relay the events of the day to everyone, the only word I had was Bittersweet.
As overjoyed as I am, it was painfully obvious how my gain was their loss.
Tears, cries, regret. They filled the courtroom, took out all the air.
I am so very aware that it was their choices that landed them in this spot. I am also more then confident that Gabriel is exactly where God needs him to be.
But that doesn't make it any easier to watch a Mom lose her child.
It was Bitter.
But, my oh my, was it ever Sweet.
My baby boy!!
MY baby boy!!
Safe, validated, confirmed.
The instant they announced what was happening a million visions that I've held back came flooding in.
I get to see him take his first steps and I get to be the one throwing his 5th birthday party.
I'll take him to get his drivers license and to Disney for the first time.
I get to be the one he calls Mom.
In the state of Georgia, both Birth Parents have 10 days to change their minds.
10 excruciating days.
If that were to happen, we would go back to court on August 2nd and have the hearing that was supposed to happen yesterday.
All the same witnesses would be called back in.
Everyone seemed confident that the likelihood of either of them changing their minds was slim.
BF knew it was the right decision and BM was too scared of the hearing.
The countdown is on for Midnight on July 25th.
That will be the day that he is free to be ours.
We will file our Petition To Adopt and, as soon as we can get a court date, wrap this baby's future up with a pretty little bow.
Just like that, he's ours.
And we are all a little more then excited.