Nothing new on the adoption front. It seems like that's all this is: a Wait. The mentality being "The kids are safe, why worry about a piece of paper making it official." Because it is so much more than that. Not only for us as parents, but for the children too. If they are even 3 they understand permanence. Not the same way they will understand it one, three, even ten years from now, but they understand. They know their name is different from yours. They know they are "just your foster child." No amount of stability can change that.
J and I talk frequently about adoption. Her little face gets this huge grin from ear to ear as she says "You're going to adopted me!" No, that's not a typo! She says adopted, even though I've explained it's "adopt." :) At church a few weeks ago the minister spoke of a verse with the word "adoption" in it. J happened to be in the service with me that day instead of her class. She looked at me with that same huge grin and whispered the same message.
We talk also about names. I know this can be very controversial, but I have prayed and let God, and the kids decide. J knows her last name will change when that day comes and the judge declares we are a "forever family." Also, since getting B at birth and knowing his situation, I chose a name for him shortly after his placement. Since B isn't his legal name anyway, I wanted to name him when that official day happened. So, he has a name that we call him from time to time around the house. He knows himself by that name as well. It's mostly that name and B put together. I have talked to J since she came to live with me about why I call him that other name on occasion. She understands, and began stating that she wanted to change her name too. I'm perfectly happy with her keeping her name, but she is adament. We will often "visit" that conversation and then I "shelve" it for a later date. After 6 months or so of these talks, and the pending termination, we talked more seriously. For her age, she seemed to really understand what changing her name meant and was able to tell me why she wanted to. I spoke to her about at least keeping J as a middle name, and she lit up at the idea. So, the process began. I ended up choosing six names to begin with that I really loved. Of those, she did not like two so we crossed those out on paper, and talked about the other four. She was repeatedly drawn to one in particular. As before I would shelve the subject for a while, then bring it up again later. She continued being interested in the same name. I still wasn't fully convinced she understood the seriousness of changing her name. The other day she convinced me. We were on the couch reading books when she said, "When I change my name, my friends at school might not know right away that I have a new name. It's ok if they still call me J because that will be my middle name. Then they can learn my new first name." I smiled. I told her that what we would probably do would be to call her J (new first name) for a while so that everyone, including her could get used to the new name. Then, after a short time, we could drop the Jakala and everyone would know her new name. She was thrilled, great idea mom! :)
Other than that, the wait for permanency goes on...