Wednesday we went to adoption court and filed Tommy's interim order. The Judge accepted all of our paperwork, so we could be finalized in six weeks (six months to the day that we took physical custody of Tommy). However, because of the holidays and some backlogs of paperwork at our home-study agency it will probably end up happening a little later. We will not be returning to court for finalization. In Illinois you only appear once for the interim order.
We have received many questions along the lines of "but didn't you adopt Tommy in Uganda?" The answer is no. Uganda does not allow international adoption. They only allow non-Ugandans to file for guardianship, which they allow with the understanding that you will return to your country and go through an adoption proceeding there. The US requires you to wait six months, and then you can finalize your adoption here. Until then, we remain Tommy's legal guardians in the eyes of the state.
Wednesday was interesting. We were driving into the city for the first time since moving out west, and we foolishly relied on google map's "with traffic" driving times (lessoned learned: TAKE METRA). We ended up getting there with only a few minutes to spare before court opened, which meant we had to rush through the process of getting Tommy served with his paperwork by the sheriff's office and filing our paperwork.
That meant lots of rushing up and down and back and forth in the Daley Center. We got into the adoption court about three minutes after it opened at 9:30, and our lawyer was worried that the Judge might not hear our case because sometimes she leaves early (this confused me because one would hope that she at least stays five minutes after opening, but whatever). So we found ourselves once again praying for a Judge to have mercy on us. There were other families in the waiting room, so it was clear that she was still in session at least when we got in.
A few minutes later a family came out of the court room and we were called in. We stood before the Judge and answered a few questions, she accepted our paperwork and congratulated us. Then we went back to the waiting room until she finished with the other family there so that we could take pictures with her and our lawyer.
After all the nerves and rushing, getting in and out was quite a relief. Now, all we have to do is wait!