I'm sorry for not posting sooner since the caseworker visit this last Wednesday! Every time I wanted to sit down and post, I'd either end up busy doing something else, or I'd get distracted by things.
The visit went very well! This caseworker that came by this time was one that had we'd never met before. She is the adoption worker, and we found out that she will be the ONLY caseworker from here on out. YAY! She's a very nice, pleasant, older lady, and she explained things to us very well as far as what is going to happen.
We received all of the "disclosure information" that DHS has had on file pertaining to each of the girls. The file on Destiny is at least 2 inches thick, and Meghan's is about half of that. Made for quite a bit of reading...but a lot of it we already knew. According to my MIL, when the adoption becomes final we will get even MORE files from DHS. Can't wait to see everything, including whatever was said about us!
Then we had to sign a bunch of new paperwork...mostly stuff we've done before, just updated. One of the papers pertained to what the girls' new names will be once they are adopted. :) Meghan's name will be changed completely...I don't care for the name she legally has now, and she'll never know until she's older that it was ever anything besides Meghan. For Destiny, we are changing the spelling of her first name (legally it is Destanie) and giving her a new middle name. Their last names are already the same as ours. Also, there will be entirely new birth certificates issued, with their new names, and OUR names listed as the Mother and Father. I know I am just going to cry the first time I see that!!
As for a finalization date, there isn't one yet. The caseworker said that at the very latest, this should all be done by March! She said around 30-45 days at the most. The lawyer will be the one to set the date, and one of the things we need to do now is get in touch with him and tell him that she's been here and it's time to get things rolling. He will get the necessary information and then file the petition for adoption. MIL had the same lawyer, and she told me that she thinks that after they'd got to this point and the lawyer was involved, that it was maybe two weeks later and they were in the courtroom for the finalization. :)
Oh, speaking of court...remember the judge that we'd had? The one that was so biased regarding the smoking thing? Well, we found out that she is no longer on the case...she now works downtown or something...I don't really care! I'm very glad we don't have to deal with her again! There's a new judge, and the caseworker said he/she (I can't remember which) is very good and fair.
SO...the gist of it is, that this really will all be over soon!! I thrilled, excited, anxious and nervous all in one! It will be such a relief to finally be free of all the red tape, and the fear that my girls might be taken away from me! Yes, it's been a very long, difficult road...but it's SO worth it. I'm kinda glad my brother-in-law and his girlfriend are such screw-ups. If they weren't...I wouldn't have had this chance to be a Mom. You have NO idea just how much this means to me.