Just Like That

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.

Unspeakable thankfulness.

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.

Completely unexpected.

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.


Tammy said...

Yes, it sounds bittersweet. But most worthy things are, when you think about it. Gabe will have a good life and a future, like his birth father said, with YOU. God chose you to be his mom. :)

Mom of the Twinkies and Tot! said...

I'm laying in bed this morning, blog reading from my phone, and sobbing as I read this! I am so happy for you! I will be praying especially for you these next 10 days, that they fly by without a glitch! Sweet Gabe is certainly one lucky little boy! Congrats to your new family of four :)

Vivian said...

I am so happy for you. What an incredible story. It's sad to see the choices people make and how it affects a whole world aroudn them. But you, him and your family are blessed to have this chance. Congratulations!

Beth said...

I want to sit down with you and talk! I know exactly what you are talking about! Watching BM sign her rights away was horrible! The world would say she deserved every ounce of pain she felt but I knew I deserve pain too. I couldn't help but hurt for her! It was amazing! It was horrible! And I realize that in Heaven there will be no TPR! But God is merciful and gave us adoption. Praise God for the gift you guys were given and what an amzi g testimony to Him you have been! Thank you for your openness! I bet u slept like a baby last night:)

Anonymous said...

Very well put. I remember it oh so well. When Gabe asks what a beautiful story of love and sacrifice you can tell. Even with all the drama in the end it was him best interest that mattered. I am so happy for you all!. Love, Robin

miamihoney said...

So happy for you and your family. How miraculous to have him yours for always. It has been such a long journey but you have been such a trooper. Gabe is blessed to have you as his Momma.

Hannah said...

I've been keeping up with Gabes story through your blog and cried my eyes out this morning reading your post. I have never met you, yet I am so unbelievably happy for you and your family! He's meant to be with you! Congrats, and thanks for sharing!

MyLinda said...

With tears in my eyes, I am doing a little happy dance for your family!

lori said...

what an incredible story... so happy for you... SO happy for gabe. that sweet boy deserves the best life has to offer and i know your family will give it to him :). congrats... and hoping those 10 days go by very, very quickly.

Olive Naturally said...

Having a hard time typing as tears of joy are flooding my eyes!
I too have never met you, but faithfully read your blog and I am SO happy for you and your family!
Praise God! I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers these next 10 days!

The Edberg's said...

With tears in my eyes - what a wonderful post! Congratulations are in order, I am hoping the next 10 days bring peace.

Amy @ dwell in the season said...

WOW! That is just amazing! I love how you reminded us all of how God goes ahead and before us in our trials and joys. I was definitely tearing up reading this! Congrats - and prayers will be on your way for July 25th to come FAST!

Donovan Doins said...

Oh what a good God we have!
I am delighted for Gabe.
We went through the very same feelings when our boys birth father signed over. Our last visit with him was oh so bitter sweet.

Kaia said...

Wow. Feeling bad for the birth parents but joyful for you!

Coastalpines said...

I am literally sobbing while reading your update. God has blessed your family and those children are going to thrive...congratulations :)

Linda Z said...

Bittersweet indeed. Just a few more days. I'm so thankful to hear all that God has accomplished. I pray that your stress is relieved and that you are filled with peace.

I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather. I am full of joy and grief for you... what a profound week.

Bethany Annette said...

I'm so very happy for you guys! It is wonderful when God is in control. Congratulations Pope family. Praying that the BM and BF find the same love for Jesus as you have.

Lani said...

Very emotial post just to read I can even imagine living it. I will never forget holding my breath at the hospital when teh birth parents signed their rights for our baby girl...bittersweet for sure!

Thank God his birth parents were able to put Gabe's needs ahead of their own despite how difficult it must have been for them. Congratulations to you and Congrats to Baby Gabe he is one lucky, loved little man!

Kameron said...

That is so amazing! I am so happy for you guys and now you can move forward without that burden hanging over you! <3

Heather said...

This has been a long journey indeed... I don't always comment but I do follow. I enjoy reading your day to day happenings the what you wore, and all that good stuff. But the stories about your children are the most heartwarming, strong, scary, and breathtaking. I pray for you and your family daily and thank God that he placed you and Andrew together to be the loving parents to these two sweet babies.

RSMacias said...

So very happy for you! I've been reading along and have gotten upset with you and prayed when things have been hard. What a sweet surprise God has given you!!!

Melissa said...

I can't tell you how amazing it is to find your blog. My husband and I are currently thinking and praying about adoption and your stories have spoken to my heart in more ways than you can know. I know that God is using your stories to reach people like me and I can't thank you enough for your awesome words and honesty.
I'm so happy for your beautiful family.

Little for a Little While said...

Oh, this is so sweet! Here I am, almost a year after this all happenend, reading your story. So inspiring. I am so thankful there are people like you in the world, who can give children a home and love. Blessings to you.