Friday, November 20, 2009
Brooklyn is doing *really* well. She just started walking earlier this week(Monday to be exact) - still a little shaky, but we've seen pretty rapid improvements in muscle tone which is what I think is allowing her to even try to walk - her arms and legs were really weak, but she's starting to bulk up - in more ways that one. She's gained another pound, and eats like a champ.
Thankfully, she has settled in nicely - she goes to everyone in our family now, and really doesn't even have a preference for me at this point. She and Lily get along pretty well, and she and Lucy still butt heads - a combination of jealousy because they are so close to the same age and differing needs for physical space (Lucy = none and Brooklyn = lots).
We're not seeing much in the language department - still no really recognizable words on a consistent basis, though she babbles a lot. She says no, but it doesn't mean no. And she doesn't say mama or dada either. This is my biggest area of concern for her - our Help.Me.Grow coordinator will be out today so maybe they will have some suggestions.
I might be overreacting too, because my girls were both EARLY talkers. Lucy, who is exactly four months older than her is already using SENTENCES, so that makes me more nervous for Brooklyn. I think she might still technically be just below the low range for normal, and she's definitely more interested in communicating now, which is good.
Brooklyn's mom is hit or miss. She didn't show up (or call) for yesterday's visit, despite the fact that it's been pushed back a 1/2 hour later in the morning and that we have court on Monday. The worker will be filing for TCC, which means (as we suspected) she will likely be staying around for a while.
I really go back and forth on this case. Brooklyn was clearly being neglected - not severely enough that she won't recover, but badly enough that she needed medical treatment. But to talk to her mom, it seems like she really loves her and wants to get her back. Which is inconsistent in its own right, since it doesn't seem like there's anything wrong with Mom that would explain the condition Brooklyn was in. And, she almost never manages to make it to her visit on time... She's been so late (i.e. more than 15 minutes) that we left twice now - well, actually three times but the people at the visit center called us 10 minutes before the visit time ended to bring her back on one memorable night. She was so late that PB had Brooklyn in the car and leaving another time, and I waited 45 minutes for her boyfriend to get there for one visit. Now yesterday, it's a no-call, no show? What's up with that?
I would crawl through glass to see my kids if I was getting a total of four hours a week with them. But the missing the visits isn't even my biggest issue. It's that NOTHING is EVER her fault. The bus took her to the wrong place, or the taxi didn't come when it was scheduled, etc, etc ad infinitum. This is the first parent I've had who hasn't been willing to take ANY responsibility (either for the situation that got their kid into care or for their own behavior during the case). And I think it's harder too, because she's not young - she's old enough to know better, and still acting like a 12-year-old.
So in short, I am working on finding empathy. I am loving the hell out of Brooklyn, and doing everything I can to get services in place so someone is tracking her when she goes home.
And I am in complete denial that Christmas is already almost upon us.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
For the first time, Lucy told me (in a totally unsolicited fashion) that she loves me.
Lily answered the phone and carried on a 10-minute long conversation with my mom without me even knowing it :-)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
That doesn't happen often, my friends. But it seems to have happened in a big way this time. After working about 70 hours last week (including two all nighters) I *barely* completed a big project on time.
Only to find out today that I fucked it up. Big time.
This is not something I typically do. I am sick to my stomach about telling our client. And I'm pissed that I busted my ass for two freaking weeks to fail in the end anyway. Fuck me.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Anyway, here is aforementioned link from sociological images
Monday, October 19, 2009
I should preface this by saying, I am a sucker for placement calls. I have a *really* hard time turning down placements, unless they are something we're clearly not equipped to handle (like large sibling groups, or massive medical needs). But, when I manage to take a step back and think, here are some things I normally ask:
1. Has the child been in care before?
2. Does the child have siblings? Are they in care and if so, with who (i.e. a foster parent, or a relative or what)?
3. Are there any known medical issues? Any known issues with food?
4. Is there any indication that the child could be violent with other children, family pets, etc...
5. If the case is drug related, I ask if the parents have a history of substance abuse and if so, how long.
And that's really about it. Like I said, I am a sucker. I don't even always ask all of these questions, obviously some of them don't apply to younger kids and sometimes they don't apply to every situation.
So, chime in here... what other questions do you ask when you get a placement call?
Friday, October 16, 2009
Picked her up at PB's office and took her to a follow up app't. Went very well, she's gained FOUR POUNDS or MORE THAN 20% of her body weight when she came into care) AND the medical issue that was due to neglect is gone. Still concerned about her verbal and gross motor development, but she's definitely brightened up since she got here and is at least trying to play and explore.
Took Lily and Lucy to their gymnastics class, which can I just say they freaking adore? Especially Lily. Too cute.
Then went to work where it all went downhill. You can still love the job but hate the freaking client, right? Cause that's about where I am right now. Fun, fun, fun.
Not really sure where Brooklyn's case is headed. Mom has been pretty consistent with visits up until now, and I vaccilate between wanting to believe her probably totally false story about how Brooklyn came into care and not buying a cent of it. Brooklyn is clearly bonded to her Dad (who isn't her biological Dad but is in every other sense of the word). Just don't know what to think yet.
Friday, October 09, 2009
I absolutely cannot fathom having to separate yourself from one child in order to protect your other children.* She asked anyone who read her blog to spread the world, so distribute this post as you see fit.
**I generally have very mixed feelings about adoption disruption, because I think that re-abandoning traumatized kids is adding insult to injury. In this case, I can't see what else COULD be done, for the well-being everyone involved.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Still no visit from Brooklyn's worker. Our worker came out within the requisite three days, but we're well past a week now with no word from hers
How can 3 girls have SO.MANY.APPTS? Really? This week, we've got OT, follow up med for Brooklyn, Help Me Grow for Brooklyn and at least one, maybe two visits for Brooklyn. Well, wait, I guess it's just foster children who have a ton of appts, huh? Poor Brooklyn, I'm sure she is tired of being examined.
Am torn about Brooklyn's mom. She called to check on Brooklyn last night and we had a really good phone conversation. She definitely loves her daughter with a ferocity that matches my feelings for my girls. She says that everything in the report was blown out of proportion, which I actually can kind of see. Basically, everything that she's telling me dovetails with the sketchy information I have. If she's telling the truth, this will be a short(er) case. But I think there will still be medical neglect to deal with, and I'm not sure how long that takes to resolve. I do think she feels comfortable with us caring for Brooklyn (as she put it, she doesn't want her anywhere but with her, but if she has to be somewhere she is glad that it's with us), and I'm really happy about that.
So I don't know. If she is lying, she's the best liar I've ever encountered. But if she's telling the truth, I don't understand why they didn't put services in place rather than removing. And the worker who I spoke with painted a much different picture of mom's state the night I picked her up.
I think the first couple of screenings mom does will shed light on the matter. Right now it's too soon to know.
PS - No lice right now!!! YAY!!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Brooklyn went to her mom easily. She wasn't happy to see her, exactly, but she definitely wasn't afraid of her, which is good. At the end of the visit, she came back to me easily, which is also good, if we're going to have her for a while.
Too early to know what's going on, really. Mom was pleasant and I assured her that we were taking good care of Brooklyn. I know that doesn't make things better or easier for Mom, but I hope that at least she won't worry about what kind of people we are, specifically.
At the end of the visit Brooklyn had lice. AWESOME! Lily and Lucy didn't have them yet, and Brooklyn didn't have them at intake so I suspect they came from the visit room. I HATE the facilities where they do visits - they're gross.
Brooklyn seemed to settle in more this weekend. She is much more open to other people holding her and seems to have realized that we will be nice to her. I still hate that she came into care at this age, but hopefully with enough consistency she will start to trust us.
No word yet from Brooklyn's c/w. Was supposed to set up a time to come out Thursday and Friday, but couldn't swing it. Left a msg Friday saying she wanted to come out today. I left her a vm this morning with my work number to call, and have heard nothing. Shocker.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Her reaction is, I think, a combination of two factors. First, she is at a terrible age for placement. Being removed is traumatic at any age, but she is old enough to know she's been removed from everything that was familiar to her and not old enough to have any idea what's going on.
Second, I think she has some attachment issues. She relates to me as a classically insecurely attached infant would - she is very upset when I'm gone, and when I return she's actually angry with me - looks the other way and does not engage for a few seconds. She wants to be held, but not necessarily snuggled, if that makes sense, and what little I know about her case so far smacks of pretty extreme neglect, including incontrovertible physical evidence of this neglect that I've seen with my own eyes. Lest you think I not be approaching this case with an open mind, or putting too much faith in social workers :-)
We have our first visit with Brooklyn's mom tonight - our county is piloting a program with all kids 0 - 3 where visits start much more quickly and are organized at the intake level. Additionally, at the first visit, foster parents and bio parents actually... gasp... are introduced and exchange information about the child in care. Both of these are very, very good things and I am pleased to report that the c/w is also doing the supervision outside of normal business hours so PB and I don't have to take time off to be there.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I am a placement call sucker, so despite the fact that we have two daughters 2 1/2 and under (both of whom are still in diapers) we are now the proud foster parents of a 14-month old girl, whose blog name will be Brooklyn.
She is flippin' adorable people, and she looks enough like my Lucy that she could be her sister.
Even though this is *so* NOT the direction I want this case to go. And by that I mean permanency with me. From the little information I've heard so far though, permanency with someone other than her biomom definitely sounds like a good idea.
14 months, 4 months (to the day!) younger than Lucy
Does not walk or talk yet
Can shakily pull to stand
Just under 18lbs (so tiny!)
Seems to have not been to a doctor since January (when she would have been 6 mos)
Older brother in care with an aunt, who was called to take Brooklyn but said sibling is too high needs
My first trip to intake at 11:30 at night - I think that officially makes me a veteran
FREAKING ADORABLE (SERIOUSLY PEOPLE!!!)
Thursday, September 03, 2009
The way Lucy says "mama hit me" or "papa hit me" or "puppy hit me" whenever any person or animal touches her (again kisses included).
The way Lucy bounces, and skips and hops when she hears music. She can't not dance, people.
The way Lucy says "I no can't find it" or "I no can't see it".
The way Lily's first reaction is automatically no, even when she means yes - I know it's a phase, but it's so cute to see her do it the same way Lily did she she was little.
The way Lily smiles. She's so cheerful and adorable, that kid.
The way Lily peeks into our bedroom, opening the door just a crack, after she's supposed to be in bed for the night.
The way Lily said, last week, after aforementioned peeking, "Wathca doin' in there, guys?" and, for the record, we were watching TV :-)
The way I taught Lily to say "bring it on" last night. And she extended it to "Bring it on, kiddos"
The way Lily wants to drive our car, and tries to put a key (any key) into the ignition.
The way Lily takes great delight in hiding under blankets
The face Lily makes when she is pretending to be mad (which I think is the same one I make when I am pretending to be mad)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
Re: Lily's ears. First, she is not adopted yet, so nothing can happen until then. But she's been asking and asking and her adoption day is August 26th - you know, hopefuly unless the agency fucks somthing up, which really? would not be that surpsing. Anyway, there is a possibility that the ear piercing could be tied in as a sort of celebratory, yay, finally ours, thing.
- Doing it now means I handle cleaning and maintenance, which I think will work better (unless we put it WAY off, which I know I won't happen. I couldn't really say no to her for another 10 or 12 years)
- Doing it now means she will likely not remember it, if it is a nasty experience, or at least not the details.
- She wants earrings. A lot.
- She wants earrings, "like momma's" which, I'm not gonna lie, melts my damn heart.
- I have to admit I think it would look flippin' adorable.
- Um. The pain. There's that.
- Am concerned about her messing with the earrings - not in a pull them out kind of way, but more in a wow, these are so cool I wanna touch 'em kind of way
- If she does this, I know Lucy will want to as well. I am uncomfortable about piercing a child who doesn't really know what they are having done, but I know how things work around here and Lucy would want earrings if Lily has them. Plus, Lucy would also look REALLY FREAKIN' CUTE with earrings. And if I'm going to take care of both their ears, I'd rather be doing it both at the same time.
- Let's face it, as brilliant as I think my kid is, I don't think she can REALLY understand earpiecing and give any kind of consent. Yes, we've told her it means holes in her ears and yes we've told her it will hurt, but she doesn't really GET it. Is it wrong to make a decision like that for her?
- The right of passage idea - since my ears were pierced when I was like 18 months old, this didn't occur to me, but is a really cool thought.
- The gender thing: What I was writing here is enough for its own post. Suffice it to say I am not sure how much I want to confirm the "Look pretty! Wear jewelry and makeup and ruffles" message that girls get in our culture, but I also don't want to tell her she can't do that. Just that she should only do that if she wants to.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Monday, August 03, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
How much do you enjoy having two of the same sex? In a few more months, I will have a second little boy on my hands. I keep trying to tell my toddler he has a brother on the way and I don't think he wants to "hear" it.
Hmmm.... I've not had two of the opposite sex at the same time before and to be honest, I'm a little baffled that I ended up with two girls, given that one (and only one!) son was the only kind of child I could picture myself with for many years.
How's Lily's case coming? no news is usually good news in foster care because it usually means no drama.
Yes, in this case no news = no drama. The subsidy / adoption process is going smoothly (so far!) after a lot of intiial delays from the county. My favorite is that Lily was only recently issued a social security number and her original birth certificate (Issued for BABY GIRL "Lily's lastname) was missing.
But! It's been found, paperwork is in and we're just waiting for the hearing date.
Post more about the scary Cookie Monster. That made me laugh.
Did you use an adoption agency for Lucy?
Yes. We used a branch of Lutheran Social Services in our state which is actually no longer working with first moms. Lucy's mom was their last. Probably because their fees were modest and not on a sliding scale based on race.
They do still offer supportive services for international adopters, I think.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
- Stop It
- Bye Bye
- Night Night
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009
1) What is the one thing about being a parent that you never expected to be so great/fulfilling/wonderful,etc?
Honestly, there was part of me that sometimes wondered if any of it would be great, fulfilling, wonderful, etc. I had some *serious* doubts about whether or not I would be any good at this and if I would like it. I don't know about the good at part, but I am amazed at how much I really enjoy being a mom, especially how much I love the little things - watching them sleep, taking them to the park, etc.
I am also surprised at how much fun it has been to watch PB become, probably, the best father I've ever met. Don't get me wrong, I always knew he would be good at it, which is why even when I wasn't sure if we wanted to have kids, I always knew it would be OK. And I expected to learn a little about him in the process. But I didn't expect, after all those years together, that I'd see a completely different (and amazing!) side of him.
2) What is the one thing about being a parent that didn't expect to be irritating/hard/difficult, etc.?
I didn't expect it to be so damned hard to raise a kid who is crazy advanced. I was always afraid of what I'd do if I had a child who had delays, since patience is NOT my strong suit. I never thought about how hard it could be to deal with a two year old who speaks in 5 word sentences. I can't wait for her to be reasonable... if that ever happens.
And also? How crazy and far reaching the mommy wars are. I am amazed by the extent to which women, especially privelaged women, invest themselves in being a mom so much that they begin to compete and judge one another to be crowned best mom. And to actually answer your question, I am amazed at how irritating dealing with that can be, especially since I really have contacted with a limited number of other moms IRL.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Your favourite thing in the spring?
My favorite thing in spring is the weather isn't ass hot like it is here in Summer and it's not icy cold like it is here in Winter. Also, spring feels... cheerful... to me for some reason.
What makes you feel that finally spring has sprung?
Tulips. My grandma LOVED tulips when she was alive and I always think of Spring (and her) when I see tulips sprout.
Pretty mundane - we color and hide easter eggs, and we do the bunny brings candy thing. Lily colored eggs for the first time this year... that was an... experience. Let's just say she thought the best way to color eggs was to color everything (and everyone) within a 6 inch radius of the egg :-)
What the kids are up to?
Ooooh, thanks for asking. I never get tired of talking about my kids :-) They are, simply put, amazing. Lily still mostly amazes me with the way she talks - she is genuinely intersted in having conversations now, and will chime into the middle of our conversations, just to be involved.
The funniest thing she has said / done in a while involved our neighbors and their trampoline. Lily has, not suprisingly, been obsessed with birthdays lately. We had a small party for Lucy on her first at my parents, because we wanted her to have something on her own for her first birthday. Then we had a joint party for both of them closer to Lily's birthday, and in between, we had visits from different family and friends who didn't make it to either party for whatever reason. To shorten this up, March was pretty much a birthday-stravaganza for the girls.
So anyway, we have been having a lot of conversations about birthdays. Lily wants her birthday to be everyday and was very disappointed that it was a long, long time away. So then we talked about other people, and when they're birthdays were and finally made it to the fact that PB's birthday is the next one we'll celebrate (at the beginning of June).
A couple of days after this conversation about birthdays, we were outside and our neighbor's were jumping on their trampoline. Here's roughly how our conversation went.
Lily: Girrrls, mama, girrls on tramp-lean!
Me: Yes, the girls are on their trampoline.
Lily: Iyunt (i.e. I want) a tramp-lean.
Me: Ok. But I don't think we're getting one.
Lily: Tramp-lean my birthday, mama?
Me: No, you are probably not getting a trampoline for your birthday, baby, because you are not old enough for one. Besides, your birthday is a long, long time away.
Lily (with a devilish little grin): Tramp-lean Daddy's birthday, mama?
I have to admit, I laughed out loud at this one. Heartily.
Lucy is holding her own in the language department. She uses mama and daddy mostly appropriately, and also says "Up" fairly clearly. She is very into saying "Puppy" and oddle enough seems to attach it only to dogs.
It is so funny to watch the two of them together. They usually play pretty well together, though unprompted hitting, biting and toy snatching occur on a fairly regular basis. The thing that I adore is watching Lucy try to do *everything* Lily does. This morning, after I shamelessly bribed Lily with candy to let me do her hair, Lucy jumped up into the chair as soon as Lucy was done and started gesturing to her hair. Too cute.
I'll do more Q & A soon. Thanks to anyone who is still out there reading :-)
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
- I haven, Daddy. I haven - said while jumping up and down as fast as possible on a bench seat in a restaurant, in response to said Daddy's command to "Behave if you want to go to the playground."
- Buckle, Mama. Buckle. Buckle Mama, too - yes I am already being nagged to wear my seltbelt. At age ~2. And yes, she is fond of repetition and inserting our names in between repeats.
- I poop on bed - she didn't, and I have no idea why she claimed she did.
- Cookie Monster scare me - regarding some weird dancing cookie monster that PB's parents bought her. My response? "Me too, baby, me too."
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
- What time is it? "Eight Ocwock" that's the answer any time and every time.
- "Lucy upstairs self, Mama" - she is obsessed with tracking her every movement now that she's mobile.
- "I want some sear-re-ral, mama." "sear-re-ral NOW... please?
- NOT, mama. NOT. - in response to pretty much anything I ask / tell / attempt to cajole her to do.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Let's be clear - CPS does not take babies because they don't have great, good or even passable parents. CPS takes babies whose parents can't provide for their most basic needs (e.g. food and shelter) or parents who are actively dangerous to this kids.
I've seen the pictures of the house and while I agree that it's cluttered, it doesn't seem to me all that horrible for a house where 6 kids and at least two adults live. To raise to the level of removing a child I think you'd need to see dangerously dirty conditions... not just clutter and no curtains.
Basically, from what I can tell, CPS is about protecting children in only the broadest sense - that is, protecting them from death or grievous injury. Until Octomom does something actively dangerous to or around her children, I don't think they'll be going anywhere - you can make poor decisions for yourself and your kids all day long - that's not illegal, and it's not going to mean the kids are pulled.
What's the point of this whole post, you might be asking? Just that I think if social service agencies would be more upfront about the real end goal - that is keeping children alive, it would be easier on them. Let's stop the talk about all kids counting, and keeping all kids safe and healthy, and let's be honest - CPS doesn't want any kids to die on its watch.
I'm not saying that's unreasonable - it is probably all we can expect from a governmental agency. But saying it - we want to keep kids from dying - makes clear their position. Do kids often end up in homes that are not good for them? Yep. Do kids end up in homes that will end up doing some damage? Yep - what home doesn't, really?
The problem with preservice and training, and most of the stuff we're told as foster parents, is that they stress that the focus is on the best interests of the child. Further, they constantly emphasize how important bonding and stability is for young children - that's supposed to make us realize that we are important as foster parents, but it also highlights what some kids miss when they go home. And, yes they say that reunification is always the first and best goal... but they don't say reunification is embraced at almost any cost and that what the system does best is make sure that parental rights (not childrens' rights) are not trampled.
Notice how I'm still not addressing the particulars of the Octomom situation? Yeah, that's on purpose... I'm struggling to not be all judgmental and condescending and annoyed. So I'll just talk about what I see as tangentially related to it.
Friday, February 20, 2009
"I say to everybody now: People, we do need help. Do not punish my daughter for what she had done and and do not punish the babies, because they were given by God."
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Monday, February 09, 2009
Friday, February 06, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Check it out, if you're so inclined
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
PHOTO REMOVED - SORRY
yes, that's right, Lucy is legally ours!!!! The finalization hearing went well - more questions than I was expecting but our magistrate was super nice, my family was there, and two of my dearest friends also came out (one was our attorney!).
Get your fill while you can - I'll either password protect this or remove the photo soon :-)
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
- Lily is forever kissing Lucy and hugging her (but this does happen with more frequency and with a raised eyebrow in our direction she knows we are watching)
- Lucy is a great mimic. She makes sounds that are pretty good for her age and will gleefully repeat anything. Like "shit". Because I am a GREAT mom. For the record, she also still does the "yeah, yeah, yeah" thing, and will mimic mama, papa, Lucy and her own names. She took a stab at saying Gibson today, too.
- Lily wipes Lucy's nose the same way I do - pushing back on the center of her forward and doing it as quickly as possible. She fed Lucy for the first time this weekend and it turns out she also does that universal baby feeding thing where you open your mouth when they do to try to get them to eat. One of the cutest things ever. She is really into feeding Lucy right now - offering her parts of her own food and everything.
- Lucy kisses. Big fat sloppy kisses. Mostly me and my mom, but also carefully selected baby dolls.
- My parents got us a digital video camera for Christmas, but I fear that all of our videos will be exactly the same - essentially Lily screaming "I illy, I illy" at the top of her lungs because that's what she does everytime we start taping - she wants to see herself on the camera. In a similar vein, "irror" is one of her newest words* because she wants to see herself whenever we tell her she looks cute. I have to admit we have probably created the vanity. Perhaps I need to cut back on telling her she is the cutest little human EVER?
- Lucy LOVES my dad. Like lights up every time she sees him and actively prefers him to anyone except PB and I - yeah, my mom really loves that one.
- Our dog, Gibson, is is referred to alternately as "Gyspum" or "Gibsmum"
- She calls syrup "sirpup"
- Because we visit one Mexican restaurant WAY TOO often, she uses "diya" for quesadilla.
- Oh, and today she thought one of the waiters was named "Hola" because he said Hola to her and we kept trying to get her to say it back. Everytime he left our table, she'd say "Where's Hola?"
- She adds an a or ia ending onto any words that she uses to address others, like Mamia, Paaia, Grammia, Grampia, and "Lucy's real name"-ia.
Friday, January 09, 2009
Lucy cruised for the first time tonight... in the bathtub! She is also talking MUCH more now - still not real words except to mimic. She's also starting to be angry for the first time. While she used to get sad when she was bothered by something, now she curls up her little fists and screams until her face turns red. It's actually kind of funny because she does it when nothing serious is wrong - if she's really, truly upset about something, she still falls back on sad.
Lily learned the word "lost" today. She keeps telling us her binky is lost. She also is a big fan of Wii apparently - today she said, "I play wii. I wii, Mama".
Things are good around Chez Psychic - still on track to finalize Lucy's adoption next week. Lily's adoption worker visited for the first time today and says their goal is to finalize by end of March.
We also had a lovely visit with Lily's extended birthfamily on her dad's side. They are very sweet people and it's amazing how natural it is to interact with them. A good time was had by all!