Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Gotcha Day

Friday, Feb 26th was the big day. It's been a LONG journey, much longer than we would have ever imagined, but we finally made it to finalization day (exactly one week before his first birthday)!!

We headed to Louisiana on Thursday so that we could get some sleep before the big day. Aunt Mamy of Amy Horton Photography, Aunt Heather, Uncle Bret, Blade, and Chris' Grandma and Papa joined us.

We got to the court house at about 9:15 on Friday morning and Dallas walked in holding my hand. We met up with our lawyer and Mrs. Teri from St. Elizabeth Foundation (our agency) and together we all walked into the court room. Dallas walked past everyone "pushing" the bailiff out of his way on the way in.
We were in the same court room with the same judge that we had when we were there for his birth father's case.

Chris, Dallas and I sat on one side of a table and the judge was on the other.  Judge Haney started by saying, "I know more about your case than I do about most adoption cases and I want you all to know that I am very happy we are where we are today!"
*this is when I started tearing up and it didn't take me long to start really crying*

He then asked us a few questions like ...
- "Do you know why we're here today?"
- "What does adoption mean to you?"
- "Do you understand that once you sign this it is as if Dallas is your natural born son and he's your responsible from now on!"

After all the formalities we signed the paper! 
It was over, done, final, Dallas is our son!!
I dried up my tears and we took LOTS of pictures with everyone. Here are just a few from this VERY special day ...

 After we got home we received the paperwork for a new birth certificate which will officially make his name Dallas Scott Lopez and list us as his mommy and daddy.

Dallas was not his given name by his birth mom. She named him Monroe and she was able to keep that original birth certificate. On our drive home from Louisiana we always pass these highway signs and on our way back in Sept I was able to snap this shot. Here is a post from his birth mom's page that makes my heart happy ...
We are so thankful for this amazing gift that she gave us and for the relationship that we have with her. We ask that you please keep her in your prayers as she is dealing with life and it can be hard sometimes!!

 Next blog post coming soon: First Birthday!!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Setting a date

Since my last post we have been given 2, yes 2 finalization dates. There was a miscommunication between our agency and our social worker. Now that everything is cleared up we have:
  • Taken Dallas to the doctor to get a complete physical and paperwork filled out by his doctor. 
  • completed another set of finger prints.
  • completed another FBI background check for the state of Louisiana.
  • and had 4 post placement home visits. 
 We will go back to Louisiana and on the morning of Feb 26th we will be finalizing the adoption and the 3 of us will all have the same last name!
Here's a recap of the past few months. 
If you missed the birth - 5 months blog or the 6-8 months blog click on the links.

9 months. 18lbs 10 oz 28 in
He crawls everywhere and he is FAST! He started drinking out of a sippy cup and he rocked it. He is a climber and can climb over pretty much everything; chairs, toys, baby gates, etc. He started standing on his own and walking along the edge of the furniture.
Best of all we celebrated his 1st Christmas!!
 He loved meeting Santa and was very interested in his beard. :)
 Of course I had to a make an ornament.

We celebrated 4 Christmas' so here is a snapshot of each of them ... 
(and as you are about to see, he slept through most of them) 
Christmas #1

Christmas #2

 Christmas #3

Christmas #4

The next day his first tooth broke through ...
He also had his 9 months pictures taken.
*Photo Credit: Amy Horton Photography
10 months. 18lbs 2 oz 28 1/2in
He has his 2 bottom teeth in and he started taking a few steps here and there on his own. He started eating pretty much anything and everything especially mac-n-cheese. He is still NOT a fan of peas. Bath time is his favorite and he throws a FIT when we take him out.

At the end of January we made a quick trip to spend the weekend with our family in North Carolina and to say our good-byes to my Grandma Gayle. 
My sister and Dally's cousin Hank joined us.
It was a bittersweet trip. We were able to spend time with family that I have not seen in years and most of them got to meet Dallas and Hank for the first time but it was VERY hard saying good-bye to Grandma. She gave Dallas the bear that he is snuggling with in the picture below.
11 Months. 19 lbs 8 oz 29 ins.
He has 2 teeth and 1 that is about to pop through. He is up to about 6 steps on his own and he's walking more and more each day. He loves playing peek-a-boo. He has been saying "mama" and "dadin" for a while now but his new word is "Uh-Oh". We have also been working on some sign language with him but for now he is all about signing "more" especially when it comes to food.  
 Him and George are getting along better now days and Dallas loves to hug him.
 He also slept a full 13 1/2 hours! :)
This picture was taken at our last visit with our social worker! She has been a HUGE help through this entire process and we are very thankful for her.
Stay tuned for an update on the 
Finalization and his 1st Birthday!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

National Adoption Month

When it comes to our adoption journey we have literally been an open book from day one. This was something that we had never done before and there was no need to act like we had (or have) all the answers when it comes to adoption. We were (and STILL are) figuring out this whole process out as we go.We wanted to be as open and honest about it from the beginning because we feel that adoption is something that people need to know more about.

Here's a recap of the past few months and a little about what is coming up next in our adoption journey.
*If you missed the birth - 5 months blog click on the link.
6 months. 15 lbs 15 oz 25 1/2 ins
*Some highlights from his 6 month check-up

He started to sit up on his own and he also started getting up on his hands and knees and rocking back and forth but not crawling, yet! He ate cereal for the first time with a little fruit and LOVED it. You can't tell in the picture that he loved it because he is all business ...

He also had his 6 month pictures taken and no matter how hard we tried he would NOT smile until our photographers husband came over and started making silly faces and they turned out perfect!
*Photo Credit: Amy Horton Photography
7 months. About 17 lbs. (no checkup so I don't have his exact measurements)
He had his very first trip to the Texas State Fair and he could have totally cared less but he was sooo good so I had fun walking around with friends. 

He experienced his first Halloween. He did sleep through most of it but he was still SOOOO CUTE!!!!

We trick-or-treating with our friends ...

8 months. 17.5 lbs 26 1/2 in
He didn't have an 8 month check up but sadly he did get his first ear infection and a nasty tummy bug so we had to make a trip to the doctor. 
He started officially crawling EVERYWHERE so we lowered his crib and literally 2 days later he pulled up on his knees. Then the next day he pulled up to stand. The day after that, while he was at my mom's house, she sent me a video of him climbing up on a toy at her house. He is our little explorer.

On to other news ...
Dallas' birth father had 30 days to appeal the judges ruling to remove his parental rights and those 30 days officially ended on 
Monday, Nov 2nd!!!

This means that we now have the ALL CLEAR to begin the finalization process and make Dallas "officially" our son. YAY!!! Sadly this process is not as easy as it sounds! BOO!!!

We have to get some paperwork together to send in with a payment to cover court cost to finalize. Once that is in we have been told that it could take up to SIXTY days for them to set a court date. So it look like it will not be happening in 2015! :( 
~A few weeks ago my mom made the comment that the theme of our adoption journey is "waiting" and the name "Waiting for Dallas" proved to be so true but when I look at Dallas' sweet face I would have waited as long as it took to make him mine!~

Once the finalization date is set we will then have to do the following:
1. Take Dallas to the doctor to get a complete physical and paperwork filled out by his doctor.
2. Get ANOTHER set of finger prints done.
3. Get ANOTHER FBI background check done.
4. Have 1 last home visit

After all that we will go back to Louisiana to sign the paper, take a picture and come back home to Texas with all 3 of us sharing the same last name. 

Thank for you all for all the prayers and support. We are yet again one step closer to 
making Dallas a Lopez.