Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hope this Christmas

As we have been gearing up for Christmas these last few weeks I have been feeling all of the emotions that I experienced last year at this time -- a bleakness at celebrating a joyous holiday when I feel so personally fatigued by   the legal battle on our hands, a desire to make things particularly special or meaningful as a way to control things when I feel out of control, the heaviness in my heart as I worry this could be the last Christmas we have with our family in tact, the extreme joy of being the mom to these two amazing and wonderful little people, and feeling wildly joyful that our family is exactly as it should be.  

I have been kind of reflecting on all of these emotions and trying to give myself grace and take each day as it comes.  The other day I was thinking about love inside of marriage and I was struck by something that felt enormously helpful to me. I firmly believe that love is so much more than just an emotion but is rather a real choice that we have. And while it is certainly often a feeling or emotion, love is a constant series of decisions we make and a commitment that we make to our husbands or wives.  Matt and I have a wonderful relationship. I love him immensely more today than I did the seven and a half years ago that we got married, but we really know how to make each other crazy. I am eternally grateful to Matt that he isn't only in it for the times that I delight and amaze him! Thankfully he gives me the gift of his love even when I am shouting at him or wearing the pajamas that he hates and always wants me to get rid of or when I am singing way off key to the radio in the car.  Somewhere in the middle of thinking through all of that I realized that hope is a decision too.  

I have been feeling really hopeless lately.  I just feel physically weighted down by my own despair.  That sounds so terribly dramatic! But man, the last couple of weeks have just been unbearable for me.  I just couldn't get out from under my fear, and it was really overwhelming me.  So when it occurred to me that hope might not just be a feeling that I could only wish to possess, it really propelled me into a better place.  Because if it is a choice, I get some say in it.  I might not feel full of hope, but I can decide that it's for me.  So if I can look at Matt who is currently missing a front tooth (that's a whole different story!) and crunches his ice even though I have asked him for seven years to stop it, and decide to love him in that moment anyway, I can certainly grab onto the hope that my daughter will be with us forever and feel comforted by that.

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus over these next couple of days, I am reminding myself that we are talking about the God of the universe who sent His Only Son to be born to an unwed virgin in a barn. He has beautiful and miraculous plans. His ways are mysterious. And I choose to put all of my hope in Him.  

We are joyfully wishing you a Christmas filled with this great hope.

M & M -- Wavy's mom and dad

Saturday, December 19, 2009

More Waiting...

Hello Friends,

I spoke with Molly yesterday and learned that, once again, there was not a decision announced regarding their case yesterday. 

This news brings both frustration and relief.  As expected, M&M are both exhausted with the frustration and axiety that comes with this extended period of waiting and the uncertainty that it brings to them on a daily basis.  But at the same time, Molly expressed a certain sense of relief in knowing that this decision will most likely not be reached until after the first of the year, leaving them with several weeks to "turn off" their constant anticipation of a pending decision.

For now, M&M and their sweet family are anticipating the upcoming holiday season... they are preparing a special play area in the basement for the girls as a surprise Christmas gift!  Matt will be able to enjoy an extended Christmas vacation and Molly expressed their desire to carve out plenty of special time for "just the four of us" this year. 

Please continue to pray for M&M during this special time of the year.  Molly has expressed to me on more than one occasion how sweet and sobering special occasions can be in light of Wavy's unknown future. 

So as we all await the peace and hope that Christmas and the birth of our Savior brings, I ask you to remember to pray that M&M, and their families, would be overwhelmingly filled with the peace and hope that Christ's birth brings!

Merry Christmas to all of you and on behalf of M&M, thank you for your continued interest, support, and prayerful petitions on their behalf!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Look Who's Praying for WavyBel...

Faithful Friends,

No decision was reached today.  M&M continue to wait and hope that they will hear news next Friday.  Please continue to pray for them... most especially for a favorable ruling NEXT FRIDAY!  How wonderful would it be if they could celebrate this Christmas in true peace and thanksgiving?!

Until then...

Look Who's Praying Today!

Saint Catherine of Siena Ladies Bible Study
Wichita, KS

Nancy Jenkins
St. Catherine of Seina Parish Secretary
Wichita, KS

Alison Boddicker & Family

Ashley & Derek Heintzelman
Kansas City

Mazzy the Cat!

7th Grade Class
Hickory Grove Baptist Christian School
Charlotte, NC

Bob & Nancy Balloun
Russell, Kansas

Janet & Caleb Stremel
Newell, Iowa

LeeAnn Williams
Baldwin City, KS

Lori Session and family
Wichita, KS

Addy, Savannah, Thomas & Joseph Bray
Olathe, Kansas

Bridgett Cotter, Christine Degen, Nancy D'Angelo

Tom & Sherri Schraeder
Overland Park, Kansas

Brian Nagel
Kansas City, Kansas

Bri and Stephen McClernon
Olathe, Kansas

Gene & Melanie Irwin
Leawood, Kansas

Emily & Noah Holtzman
Chris & Diane Wiebe
Jonah, Eliza, and Myla

Mark & Mary Ann Kuhn
Wichita, Kansas

Jim, Kyle, Joan & Melanie Tidball
Wichita, Kansas

Ava & Shaelin Newcome
(and Melissa & Gary too!)
Hutchinson, Kansas

Matt, Elizabeth, Melanie & Claire Stockemer
Wichita, Kansas

3 Sisters:
Deonne - Hutchinson, KS
Sheila - Joplin, Missouri
Bobbie - Springfield, Missouri

Bob & Leann (and son, TJ) Williams
Baldwin City, Kansas

Steve & Connie (and Brandy) Archibald
Richmond, Virginia

Carm Ludlow & Alice Wiggins
Wichita, Kansas

Keep the Pictures Coming...

Friday, December 4, 2009

No News Yet

No news today.

It's been a long few days in our house, to say the least.

When we heard earlier in the week that we might have a ruling as early as this Friday, it was something we've both looked forward to and stressed about all at the same time. So finding out that our case was not ruled on today was both a large disappointment, and in some ways, a relief.  We're disappointed because we so desperately want this all to come to an end.

Thinking back today, I was amazed when I stopped to think that we started all of this well over a year ago. In fact, this time last year we were heading into our first of several days of trial... that was probably the worst thing either of us has had to go through thus far in our lives. We really can't believe that this is still going on.

We can't believe that it takes the courts this many months to secure a future for our daughter. When we first knew this adoption would likely be contested by the birth father, we could have never imagined our daughter would be almost 1 1/2 years old and her future still be undecided.

It seems that every twist and turn along the way reminds us how not in control we are, and that this whole situation rests in the hands of someone else - not us. It's both comforting to know that ultimately God is in control of this situation and the outcome, but also difficult to trust that He is in control and all we can do is petition Him and learn to wait patiently on His timing.

We also can't believe that we're still, all things considered, a loving functioning family. There have been so many times in the last year and half where we've both sat down and thought "we'll never make it if this thing continues on for one more day!" Yet here we are getting through the day to day, enjoying both our girls and anticipating the holidays with family and friends.

Yes, there are times during almost everyday where we feel a little bit of a dark cloud over us knowing that an unfavorable decision might come, but we're also amazed daily that while that sense of fear and anxiety comes, it does not rule our lives. For that, we're thankful every day.

We're comforted daily by encouraging emails in our inbox, comments on this blog, and friends who are always ready to listen when we need to talk about all of this. We're so thankful for everyone who is supporting us in so many ways through this time. It's been such a comfort and blessing to us and is a big part of why we're able to continue on this journey. We're so thankful for all the prayers being prayed for us daily and know that God has been sustaining us as we go, helping us have wonderful moments in the midst of all of this and increasing our patience every day that we wait. Thank you all for so diligently following our journey and praying for us along the way.

On the legal side, it sounds like we just wait. For how long, we're finding out that we really don't know. We've been told everything from 3 weeks after our court hearing (this week) to 12 weeks. It seems that no one is very good at predicting when the court will rule, and it is under no obligation to rule quickly. What we do know is that when they rule, we'll find out on a Friday.

So, from here on out, the end of each week is going to carry with it an extra bit of anticipation and stress. While we covet your prayers daily, we especially covet them towards the end of each week. We'll make sure to update every Friday so everyone will know whether a decision has been made that week or not.

Thank you all again for your ongoing prayers.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Two Weeks In & Possible News

Two weeks ago today we were in court.  

Today we got an email from our lawyer saying that while it could be longer, the court of appeals has been working to issue its rulings within three fridays after the hearing.  

That would mean we would have a verdict THIS FRIDAY.  

As in THREE DAYS from now.  

Because our original understanding was that it would take months for a ruling, this is completely unexpected.  I do not know if I was way off base in the first place, if something has changed, or why the timeline is what it is.  But that is the word we received today.  

The email from our lawyer also detailed his thoughts after the hearing we had two weeks ago...  

The bottom line is that the judge that ruled on our original case based some of his decision on precedent (which is how all rulings in Kansas adoption cases are supposed to be made), while other parts of his ruling were not.  That could be because there was not precedent or because that was just the best way to make the ruling... we'll probably never know.  

But because some aspects of the original judge's decision will be ground breaking, if they stand, our case is not just a "cut and dry" appeal.  

The opposition has a lot stronger case given that there is so much gray area here.  Well, at least there is a lot of gray area from the standpoint of the law.  

When you are trying to figure out a baby's future, it seems pretty black and white to me.  If the law as well as all parties involved would just put her first, this would have all been over a very long time ago.  

One of the reasons this case is controversial is that the Judge used "best interest of the child" as a reason NOT to place her with her birthfather.  As the law is written, it is supposed to be a "shield" for the birthparent, not a "sword"... meaning it should only tip the scale in the birthparent's favor -- not create a ruling against them.  

Can you believe that?

The legal system is more worried about the rights of an adult who is making their own choices and fully responsible for the life they are living, than it is for the well being of a helpless and vulnerable child with no power over her own life.  


Since we believed that the absolute earliest we would hear would be next Friday, we are sitting with our hearts in our throats this evening as we try to process having an answer this week.  Matt and I both understood the lawyer to mean that it is probable we will hear this week.  

The idea of finding out in a few days and really having no idea on what the court is thinking or how they are planning on ruling is excruciating.  I am not sure if it will be a relief if we don't end up with any answers on Friday or if it will seem all the more torturous.  

I can assure you that we will think of nothing else between now and when we find out what will happen with our daughter.  Whenever that might be.  

My prayer is simple and short today; with every breath in me, I am just pleading desperately to God to please let us keep our daughter.  

Please, please, please join with us as we pray for a positive outcome...

  • Please pray that the judges would not be able to bring themselves to rule against our family - no matter what.
  • Please pray that each judge would feel enormously burdened to give this baby the safe home and warm family she needs.
  • Please pray that each judge would have tremendous wisdom in their knowledge of the law as it can be used to keep Wavy with the only family she has ever known.
We are forever grateful for your petitions on our behalf and for the amazing ways you have shown us your love and support.