We woke up this morning at a ridiculously early time, seeing as we didn’t have any plans until the afternoon.  We were supposed to be picked up at 1 for the second half of J’s embassy medicals.  A certain 3 year old girl who sleeps in the little bed in the same room as me, has decided that sleeping is for the birds.  We’ve now gone for multiple days with crazy wake up times and very little napping!  (Some of this, I will admit, is due to our being out and about, but 3:30am is NOT ‘Good morning, I’m awake now’ by any means.)  Yesterday, she was back down for a morning nap before 8!
   Anyway…. since we’d been up for awhile, had a good breakfast and just relaxing, I got in the shower a little later then normal to get ready for the day.  While in the shower, there was a knock at our door (repeatly) as I tried to hollar…”I’m in the shower, just a minute”.  But my brain could not put the words together in Spanish and the woman who works to clean the rooms (and does multiple other tasks) speaks very little English.  So, when I heard her come in (and she told me she’d come in) I hurried and finished up, so I could throw some clothes on and see what in the heck was going on.  When I opened the door and saw her I had a brief moment of   “oh no, something bad has happened”, but then she got this big smile on her face and handed me the phone.  It was Claudia, the hotel owner, saying Soraya has been trying to call and I needed to call her right away, she had important news.  So, I grabbed the Soraya phone (it’s really the only person I use the in-country phone to call!) and dialed her up.  And…..voicemail.  UGH!!  I waited a minute (as I’m continuing to get ready) and then she called me.

I could tell just by her voice she had something good to tell me and sure enough….

We got SENTENCIA!!!!!
  She said I needed to come ‘right now‘ to meet her so we could sign the papers.  It would take too long for her to drive all the way to pick me up, so Claudia would call a taxi and tell them where I needed to go and she’d be waiting for me there.   It took me a few seconds to process what she’d said and then I became a crazy person.  Scrambling to get ready, switching gears from ‘just headed to the Dr.’ to ‘headed to sign the paper that claimed my girl as officially and legally MINE….forever.   I threw our bag together (of course it would end up being a long day since we still had the Dr. appoint in the afternoon) and changed into nicer clothes.  Got J ready in record time (Martha, the woman who works here, was awesome and kept checking to see what I needed to help get out the door!) and went downstairs to wait for the taxi.  I was shaking.  I could not believe that we were really moving through the process this fast.  I had a few moments that I thought I must be dreaming and would wake up any second.    
   I am not sure if I may have been a little more happily anxious then even going to meet J for the first time.  Riding in the taxi seemed like an eternity (it was really only about 1/2 hour) and J fell asleep!  She must not have realized how exciting this moment is.  When I saw Soraya standing on the sidewalk waiting for us, I kept telling myself, “don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry”!!  I was barely out of the car when she was hugging me and so excited!!  (Yes, there may have been some watery eyes). We raced a few blocks to the division of family services office and arrived with plenty of time to get the paperwork completed before they closed for lunch at noon.  
    Soraya read over the decree to me, we double checked every place our names were listed, birthdates, passport numbers, birth certificate information and then once we decided all was good, I signed my name on one tiny line of this thick stack of paperwork and that was that….
Officially, 100% legally, My Daughter!
We had to stop at La Casa so Soraya could file some other paperwork for another family and it was so great walking in there and everyone was so happy for us.  The lawyer gave us big hugs and the woman who runs the home was so thrilled.  They kept telling everyone who walked by…”They got Sentencia today.  She’s legally her daughter now!”  They were all genuinely so happy.  It’s really nice to have worked with a facility, staffed with individuals, who truly care about the children that they work with and their new families.  
 Like me and my Josie girl.
The newest face on the wall of…’found a forever home’.


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