After getting Hannah so quickly, I was very surprised by how slowly Ashley came. We called the adoption agency in February of 2008 to tell them we were ready (or so we thought...). In October of that year we heard Ashley's name for the first time. Three days before Christmas we met her and on December 27, 2008 she moved into our home.
Ashley was a straight adoption, meaning her parent's rights had already been terminated by the time I learned she was going to be ours. Straight adoptions are easier. They take less time and less paperwork. We only had to wait the required six-months before finalizing the adoption. The six-month waiting period allows everyone to adjust before making the placement permanent and final.
Truth be told, six-months after my kids move in is a hard place. Life is not a carnival and behaviors can be at their worst. I'm thankful Hannah's adoption took a year. I don't know that I was ready to commit six-months in. But after surviving the first one, I took it on faith that the second would eventually wind down and work her way into our family. Good thing, because at six-months, Ashley was a mess, but now, I can't imagine a day without her. I love that kid.
Our second trip to the courthouse was on July 15, 2009. It was a fun day and we had all kinds of activities planned. They don't truly understand the immensity of the day. They just look forward to picking the lunch restaurant and going to Build-A-Bear. But as a parent, that day is monumental. It's hard to explain. It's a mix of emotions because all the work you had to do to make them legally yours is finally done, but all the work that lay ahead is so much harder. Making them yours in the eyes of the state is the easy part. Making them yours in their eyes is the part that takes a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a lot of love.