There is so much to do before we finalize the adoption but we crossed the final barriers today. We had to be re-fingerprinted in case we have suddenly appeared on the FBI's most wanted list in the past 9 months and we had our subsidy hearing.
I wasn't even aware that there is an ongoing subsidy. The hearing was to negotiate and determine how much assistance we would get for long term support for Junior's needs. Some foster kids get classified as Title IV-E which is a federal program, not all foster kids are eligible for this. One major benefit of this classification is the ability for tuition assistance at a number of colleges should Junior decide to go. I was really hoping for this and we did end up in this program.
When asked what we need ongoing assistance with we stated continued therapy, education and respite care. I thought the respite care would be tricky but I was honestly surprised when we were given a monthly stipend for respite care on a monthly basis. It is use it or lose it and we need to provide documentation for reimbursement but this is huge. There is no restriction on how the money can be used if we want to pay a baby sitter for a date night, or a gift card for a friend that watches junior overnight, or if a grandparent wants to take junior golfing for an afternoon all of this can be covered with our respite stipend. We will get all the paperwork after finalization.
Overall I was very pleased with the way the meeting went. Now we just have to wait until August 6th. You have to wait 120 hours after the subsidy hearing occurs to finalize an adoption and with Dave travelling back and forth between Denver and Seattle we have to wait until his next trip back to Denver.
The other big decision that was made today is we finally have agreed upon a middle name for Junior. We told him he could keep his middle name or change it. This has resulted in him suggesting all kinds of strange names like Cubby or Zebra. We vetoed those and have reached a decision that we are all very happy with.