We went home at the end of December/beginning of January to see family and to finalize Elijah's adoption. The Fickenshers had also added to their ranks and we met Samuel for the first time.
From left to right there's Hannah, Samuel, Mimi, and Elijah. Elijah and Samuel were due at the same time but Elijah came early. He's 5 weeks older than Samuel, but Samuel is bigger. The Fickenshers make giant offspring. Hannah is 1 year older than JJ and 2 years older than Isaac but they are both taller than her.
Then we had a proper birthday party for Hannah and JoJo.
Mom got some good snuggles in with Elijah.
Brenda spoiled us with another crazy awesome cake.
Then we had a late Christmas.
I don't have pics of the adoption hearing but you'll be pleased to know that it went well and Elijah is now an official Rynerson! Hannah was called as a last minute witness. She was terrified. She figured out we were near a jail and she thought they were going to put us or the baby in jail. When they swore her in, she was trembling in my arms. The lawyer asked if she thought Elijah should be her brother forever and she said "Yes!." Then the judge declared it final and Hannah spontaneously and enthusiastically yelled "THANK YOU!" She was so relieved.
We were supposed to return to NY the next day but in the middle of the night the hospital called to say that a liver had become available for Brianna. We canceled our flight so we could stay until she was stable. The surgery lasted for several hours but went well over all. She should be home tomorrow.