Thursday, December 30, 2010

Here we go...

Well, we've intended to update everyone much sooner on what happened in court yesterday, but the last 24 hours or so have been very trying and I think much harder that we had anticipated. While we've known since the Supreme Courts ruling what would likely happen we've still been holding out hope. Hoping that something would change, hoping that this wouldn't play out the way we feared, hoping for a miracle. Yesterday seemed to bring the realization that a miracle was not coming, and why we didn't expect it, we did hope for it and feeling that hope slip away has been hard - hope is an incredibly powerful thing.

Walking you through the details of yesterday would take pages and pages but I'll try and give the high points and keep it brief. Going in we had hoped that Judge Sheppard would take our expert witness and her transition plan as well as the expert from the other side and come up with a healthy transition plan for Waverley into the home of one of her natural parents. From the times that we were before Judge Sheppard I have felt that he really did have Waverley's best in mind, however after yesterday, I think I may have misjudged him. At this point it probably wouldn't be fair to go into the details ( I may in another post, later though) but he essentially washed his hands of the whole thing and did very little in keeping Waverley in mind, although he had the authority to do so. It was very disappointing. I don't know that I was fully jaded on or legal system even after the Supreme Court's ruling, but I am now after seeing yesterday play out.

We now have, at least for the next couple of weeks, some clarity on what this transition will look like. For the next couple of weeks we will have daily (court ordered) visitations with Waverley's biological father. The first of these will take place at our home with the visits eventually taking place in his home with the idea that Waverley would be fully transferred into his custody towards the end of this month.

Now, there is a possibility that this plan could change some as there is a separate custody hearing on January 10th where a different district court Judge will determine which of the natural parents would get ultimate custody of Waverley and what that might look like.  I know, I know, you can't make this stuff up. That's about all we can share on this part, but that is another date we would be asking everyone to pray for as it will determine a huge part of Waverley's future.

This is it. The time we've been dreading since we heard back from the Supreme Court. The reality that we will be losing our daughter could not be made any clearer. Having a judge read a court order has the effect of making everything very real. So, on Saturday, January 1st we begin walking this road of transition. I know we've asked so many times for your prayers, but we ask again that you pray for us as we walk this next leg of our journey.  As always, pray the best for Waverley - that God's will be done for her in court on the 10th and that he puts her in the best possible situation for her future. Pray that this transition goes surprisingly well for her and that it isn't traumatic for her. Pray for Molly and I that we are able to be kind and gracious in the face of all of this and that Waverley will have a sense of security and not a sense of fear over the next few weeks. And, for all of you that still want to, you can pray for a miracle. I don't see where there is a possibility for one, but I'm sure anyone that's experienced a miracle felt that way - otherwise it wouldn't really be a miracle. Right?

Thank you all for praying for us throughout this whole journey. Thank you for fighting along side of us in this, for helping to bear our burden. You have no idea the encouragement you all have been through this.

We will continue to keep you posted....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Long Day Ahead

Tonight as we wind down around home another big day of court looms ahead of us tomorrow. In all likelihood we will be in court for most of the day tomorrow and should have a sense of how the transition from Waverley out of our home and into a birth parent's home will go. We're honestly a little skeptical and jaded with the court process. Things always take longer than the court anticipates, things get delayed, and we typically leave with more questions than answers and continuing future of unknowns. That looks to be different tomorrow as the judge has stated that he intends to finish the matter of coming up with a plan for the custody transition. We'll see. Both our hope and our fear is that the court will finally make a clear plan for the next phase of this journey.  As you're thinking of us tomorrow, here are a few specific things you can be praying for.

 - Again, over everything else, we are praying that the court will come up with a plan that is best for Waverley as she goes through this process.
- Please pray for Judge Sheppard. We believe that he really does care about what's best for Waverley and understands that this is about the welfare of a child. We're praying that he sees the situation clearly and is able to do what is best for Waverley from here on out within the bounds of the law.
- Please pray for Kevin, our attorney. We're praying he gets good rest tonight and is sharp for court tomorrow and articulates our position well. Also, pray that he finds favor with Judge Sheppard.
- Pray for us. If the court really does hold to getting this done tomorrow, it will be a very long day. If I could briefly explain how awful an experience district court is I would - so suffice it to say - it's awful. Pray also for Molly as she will be testifying in court tomorrow - that she is able to say all that she wants and needs to say.

As always, we can't thank you enough for all your prayers and encouragement - especially on these exceptionally hard days. Despite how difficult these days are, there is an amazing comfort in knowing that we don't stand alone in all of this and that there are so many people fighting with us in this.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Here We Go Again

You may remember a post from a couple of weeks ago about going back to court.  It was heavy and dramatic but heartfelt.  I said it would be the last time we went and that Waverley's future would be decided in that room.  And the we went.  And nothing happened.

Wednesday, December 29th we go back.  The agenda is the same as it was before.  It seems that we will find out the exact details of how and when we will lose our daughter.  However I am fully aware that since October 29th I have been expecting to learn those exact things on a daily basis.  So we will see.  

In the meantime here is a little link to that last post about going to court.  The prayer requests are the same.  We would so love your prayers between now and then as well as when we are sitting in that awful room.  We start at 10:30 and have "all day."  Experience has taught me that "all day" can mean just that or it can mean about two hours.  So again: we'll see.  Do I sound jaded?  I am.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas...

...let your heart be glad.

Today my family celebrated its last Christmas as a family of four.  I am going to highlight some of my favorite parts of the last few days here.  In random order:

1.  Sitting on the hearth in front of the fire this morning, with a daughter on each side.  Matt read the Christmas story while the girls and I listened and held hands.  I was appreciating the tenderness of the moment when Matt read, "and Mary treasured these things in her heart." And I felt just the tiniest possible fraction of what Mary must have known.  That she had someone special in her care that wasn't really hers to keep forever.  And that her child belonged to God.  And that God was in charge of her child's future.  And the moment was bitter and ugly and as sweet as could be all at the same time.

And that is where my similarity to Mary and Waverley's similarity to Jesus start and stop!!

2.  At one point today the girls were playing nicely with their toys, Matt and I were sitting in the living room with them drinking coffee, and the dogs were laying in front of the fire.  We were all home, and calm, and happy.

3.  I had two little girls this Christmas.  They both called us Mommy and Daddy.

4.  Poor Matt.  He had been saying his eye felt weird for a couple of days.  He had also mentioned food didn't taste right.  On Christmas Eve he woke up and told me he couldn't move half of his mouth, his eyes weren't blinking at the same time, one wouldn't close right.  We went to the emergency room to find out he has Bell's Palsy which is a viral infection in the nerves that control your face that can cause temporary facial paralysis.  He is a little miserable with one eye that won't close and slurred speech, but will start to get better in about three weeks.  He has had a great attitude about the whole thing.  This is all building up to one of my favorite moments of the day -- I was trying to get Wavy dressed and she kept running off from me.  Matt walked by and told her she needed to obey her mom and gave her a small swat.  Wave watched him walk away then looked at me gravely and said, "That pirate just spanked me."  Matt has been wearing an eye patch that she hadn't commented on before or since.  It was awesome.

5.  My husband looks a little bit like this guy right now.

6.  We had wonderful times with Matt's family, my family, and together just the four of us.  After thinking so hard about what to get the girls it was fun to see their favorite things.  Harper is obsessed with her new scooter (a skateboard with a tall handle).  For some reason she is calling it a motor bike.   Wavybel loves two baby dolls and a little stuffed dog the most.  She named her pup Parsley although it looks nothing like our real dog.  Right now she is in her crib telling her new friends stories and singing to them.  I am grateful to hear her sweet voice.  

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What you can learn about us from this picture:

1. Harper and Wavy would rather sit next to each other in one chair than be forced to sit apart.  There are three empty chairs at the table while they dine from this one.

2.  We just got a dog. She sleeps in the kennel behind the chair.  We're billing it as Harper's dog hoping a friend to love and take care of will help her through this difficult time that is fast approaching.  She picked out the sweetest pup and named her Parsley.  Naturally.

3.  Our house is always a mess.  In the middle of the table you will notice a book, sweatshirt, and scarf.  It's the thing that makes me the craziest and that I never seem to improve on.

4.  The girls are happy.  Since the outcome is still being muddied by the court we don't know all of the answers about the timeframe.  So we have not told them what is going on yet.  That is the one of the two moments I am dreading the most.  For now though, they are blissful and content.  We celebrated Christmas with my family yesterday.  New my little ponies for the girls, a small house for a tiny Angelina the Ballerina to live in, a camera for Harper, and a huge collection of princess Barbies to be shared.  Which is why I have to end this post.  Who can take a nap with so many exciting new things to be played with in the house? Not Waverley.

Just Waiting

We are still waiting to hear from the Supreme Court of Kansas to find out if they approve the motion to stop the clock while we settle everything in court.  

Once we hear from them we will set our next court date. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Since I posted last night... nothing has happened.

When we got to court this morning our trauma expert testified as to what she thought the transition plan should be.  She was the only person that gave testimony today.  A few things happened at that point that I keep typing, deleting, and retyping.  Ultimately I am deciding to leave this post somewhat vague.  Our time in court become somewhat complicated, and I don't have the presence of mind to sort it out in a way that makes sense due to being tired and stressed out, and I don't want to write something messy that isn't well thought out that I have regrets about later.

I do not want anyone to read into my words that our standing has changed.  Our adoption has been classified as "failed." That will not change going forward.  I am just trying to make this information readable.

One thing that I will say is that I believe Judge Shepherd does not estimate time well.  There is still much testimony to be given that we did not have time for.  That is one of the main reasons for this new delay.  My concern is that this will turn into a repeat performance of our first round of court that dragged on for weeks and weeks because we kept running out of time and would have to adjourn until a later date.  Each time we go to court with the expectation that we will walk away with answers.  Our hearts and emotions have been on this roller coaster for a long time! We feel quite fatigued at this point.

We do not have a new court date yet.  I don't know how soon we will have one.  Maybe when we have a new date I will just copy and paste yesterday's post :)

I am sorry if this post is frustrating.  I apologize.  Matt and I have reached the end of ourselves today.  He has gone to bed, and I think the only good option for me is to crawl down the hall and into bed too.  I will update as soon as there is anything to relay.

Thank you so much for the support and encouragement so many of you offered to us today through comments on this blog, facebook posts and messages, texts, emails, and phone calls.  It really helped to rally us through this morning.  We are, as always, most grateful for you.

Monday, December 13, 2010

facing tomorrow

Tomorrow, Tuesday December 14th at 8:30 we go to court for the last time.

Some of the worst hours of our lives have been spent in court rooms over the past two and a half years.  

We won't leave the courthouse until the transition plan is in place.  Tomorrow we will know everything.  The fears that have plagued us will finally have a shape and form.  We'll know an exact date.  Details will be in place.  A judge, two lawyers, and trauma and attachment experts will calmly agree on a plan that removes our baby from our home while Matt and I sit at a table and listen.  I'm pretty sure tomorrow is the official start date of our own private hell.

What I am hoping is that tonight and tomorrow you all will pray for this process.  

Tomorrow we are back before Judge Shepherd.  I pray that he is haunted by the need to do what is best for this little girl.  I pray that he would not be worried about his job or the fact that his decision has been overturned.  I pray that the need to be for Waverley would take up his every thought.  

I pray that the birthfather's lawyer would feel satisfied that he has reached his career objectives as far as our case is concerned and start to focus on the little girl whose life is being uprooted.  I pray that his conscience would overcome him and that he would not stand in the way of doing what is right for our little girl.  I pray that he would not be on his game tomorrow.  That things would slip by him, that he would be distracted, that he would not get in the way.

I pray for our lawyer Kevin Kenney.  I pray that he is sharp, focused, and has more determination than he has ever had about anything in his life.  I pray that his position, his questions, presentation, and demeanor all gain the judge's favor.  

Finally, I pray for things I cannot share in the public forum as this site actually comes up quite easily now when you search for our names.  Which is absolutely fine by us.  We just feel a need to censor sensitive information.  I ask that you would pray for these things anyway! Please pray for the best imaginable outcome; for miracles; for Waverley.

Our time in court is open-ended.  At some point tomorrow afternoon or evening I will post to let you know tomorrow's outcome.  Thank you so much for the comfort you provide us.  I know that people read this and that people pray.  Thank you for caring about our daughter.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On Monday we learned that our Motion to Reconsider had been denied.  We were hoping that even if we lost the motion, the supreme court would change some of the language in the ruling.  They did not.  Adoption law is now worse off than it was because of our case.

Monday started our 30 days.  We have 30 days or less before custody has to be transferred.

By January 4th someone who is a stranger to Waverley will be her new parent.

She will no longer live in our home.

We will no longer be her mommy, daddy, and big sister.

Please pray for our Wavy. The clock is ticking while we scramble to complete and put into practice a transition plan for her that the court will approve.  Our trauma therapist that is helping to develop and present this plan is upset that the court would think 30 days (or less) is an acceptable timeframe to start and finish a transition of this nature.  Besides being devastated we are extremely stressed as we try to this in the best possible way for Wavybel.

Please pray that Judge Shepherd will make the right choices for Wavy when we present our transition plan to him.

Please pray that we will use the right words when we try to explain this to our girls in the next few days.

Please just pray.

Thank you.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

(THIS IS NOT) A Cautionary Tale of Woe

I would just like to take a second to let you know where we stand on adoption.  I have said things along this line before, but I would like to bring it up again now that unless something radical changes, we have lost our youngest daughter.  

Adoption is a beautiful way to build families.

It is a wonderful and lovely institution.

We believe that to be true of adoption in all of its forms.

One of my fears all along has been that readers of this blog or people that hear our story would shy away from adoption.  Since it is an unknown to most people they might be inclined to latch on to our story as a deterrent.  Well you do not have my permission to do that with this story.  In every life circumstance terrible things can happen.  I don't know anyone who has decided not to try to become pregnant because someone they knew had a miscarriage.  I don't know anyone who has decided having children isn't worth it because of the possible heartache of childhood illness.  I don't know many people who refuse to ride in cars because they are aware that car accident fatalities exist.  My point is that the wrong thing happens sometimes, but please don't be scared of the institution at large because you know our story.

Adoption was never a second rate option for us or a last resort.  We consider it as good in every way as bearing biological children.  We were parents that needed children who got together with children that needed parents.  I would encourage anyone who is interested in the same to pursue adoption as a wonderful way to grow their family.  

I just wanted to communicate our position.

Thanks for listening.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

A few days ago we filed a motion to reconsider with the courts.  This is basically us asking the court to think about the decision they made and change their minds.  The odds of us winning this are terrible.  I would like to think though, that we have tried every possible thing we could try to keep our little girl with us.  

There are two other reasons we decided to file this motion.  The first reason is that it buys us a little time to work on the transition plan.  When I say transition plan I mean the plan where custody of Waverley is transferred to the other party and we are no longer her parents.  Having a good plan approved by the court is the last good thing we can do for her as her parents.  So we want to put the best possible plan into place and execute it with as much grace as we are able to.  This is the most important thing for us right now.

The last reason that we filed it was the hope that the court would change the language used in the ruling.  While it was never a main concern of ours we had always been hopeful that our situation would make adoption law more pro-child and less pro-biological connection.  Best interest of the child is not considered in these cases.  In this latest ruling the language actually hurts adoption more than it helps adoption.  Honestly, if it were for this factor alone we would probably not be doing it.  We are passionate about adoption and think it is a beautiful thing, but we are not in a place where we feel like "taking one for the team." Combined with these other factors though this feels like a good next step.  Or as good as we can come up with anyway.  

The court will rule on this anytime.  It could be as few as two days (which have already passed) or as long as three months.  It will most likely not exceed that time frame.  If we lose the motion to reconsider we have 30 days from that time for the custody to transfer to the other party.  So we are looking at sometime between December and March.  We would love for you to pray for this miracle with us.  

I am hesitating as I type this post because I am not sure what to include.  We have sat with two different child therapists for different reasons over the past couple of weeks.  It is an awful, awful thing to be discussing how to tell your daughter that you can't be her mommy and daddy anymore.  That looms ahead of us.  We will wait until this final ruling before we start that process.  So for now our girls don't know anything other than Mommy and Daddy are sad sometimes.  

I don't think I need to go into the details of how impossible this feels or how broken our hearts are.  It seems like parading our tragedy.  I will just say I don't think we would all be in one piece without the love and help and prayers and support and food and good words we have gotten from people that care about us.  Thank you for falling into that camp.  Thank you for checking on us and providing for us and saying the things we need to hear.  We'll let you know more as we hear it.

With love and thanks,

Thursday, November 18, 2010

coming soon: an update

In the meantime:

Some of this pretty face...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

an update

Last week we emailed out an urgent request for prayer for one last attempt to keep Waverley in our home.  We presented the birthfather with a request for mediation.  They declined.

Although we knew that so many were praying I just couldn't bring myself to say much about it.  I think I left one voicemail telling my mom, one voicemail telling a good friend and cancelling our plans for that day, and one text to a friend who had been waiting to hear.  I could hardly make myself communicate with anyone.  I had held out some hope that there was still a chance for this to all get turned around.  Last week I knew that specific hope would not be realized.  

How can so many people have prayed so hard and for so long and then we still lose our daughter? How can I read comforting words in the Bible about when two or more pray in His name their prayers will be answered... or God taking care of the needs of His people and justice being upheld, and THEN WE STILL LOSE OUR DAUGHTER? These are the questions that I am asking myself and the Lord all day long.  I don't know the answer.  And platitudes never comfort anyone.  So I am mad, hurt, devastated.  Completely crushed and defeated.  I feel scared and hollow.  Brittle and empty.  

This will forever change our lives and the shape of our happiness.  Families should grow in size, not shrink.    

We do know this though, and I promised we would say it no matter the outcome.  GOD IS GOOD.

And even though I didn't know my heart could ever feel so heavy in my body I am completely sincere when I say that.



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Still Have My Bracelet

This is Danielle posting.

I had the privilege of speaking to Molly for a brief time last night.  As we closed our conversation, I shared with her a story about my son and his blue Wavy bracelet.  With the thought of that story fresh in my mind, when I failed to be able to put my mind to rest for the night, I did what I often do... I wrote about the many thoughts running through my head and posted it to my personal blog late last night.

I am honored that Molly has asked me to share that blog post with you as well.  Please know that the subject matter and urgency for prayer remains the same.

Thank you for reading, following, and most importantly, praying!

I Still Have My Bracelet

My family has prayed for "Wavy" and her family for well over a year now.  

Like many others, we wore blue bracelets with the words "For the Love of Wavy" to remind ourselves to pray for her situation during the time that her case was in the Appeals process.

{November 2009}

After the Appellate Court ruled in favor of M&M, we got a bit lackadaisical and  took our prayer bracelets off.  

Truthfully, I haven't seen those bracelets in our household for quite some time.  I'm not sure why.  I think I was overconfident that our prayers had, indeed, been answered and our bracelets were pushed to corners of our household that are only seen on rare occasions.

Last week, when I learned the news that the Supreme Court of Kansas had ruled against M&M and that Wavy would soon be removed from their home, I was unable to hide my raw emotion in front of my children.  I was forced to try to explain to Noah the cause for my tears.  I tried to be vague so as not to scare him, but he was familiar enough with Wavy that I felt I had to tell him the truth about the situation.

The way he responded to my explanation broke my heart at the time.  

He simply looked at me through puppy dog eyes and said... 

"But Mommy, we prayed for her.  We even wore those bracelets."

He was right.  

And I was forced to try to explain an even more difficult concept to him... that sometimes God doesn't answer our prayers in the way that we want Him to.  

After mangling an explanation about prayer and God's goodness in spite of bad things, Noah's eyes lit up as if he had just come up with the most brilliant of ideas, and he excitedly said the following words to me...

"Mom!  I still have my bracelet.  I can still pray for her!"

With that, I hugged him tighter than normal and told him how much I loved him.  And that was the end of it.

Until last night.

As I was doing my nightly clean-up-the-mess-from-the-day routine, I picked up Noah's little bucket that houses his "Silly Bandz".  As I picked it up to take it to his room, I was immediately struck by something....

Somehow, somewhere, his blue bracelet had resurfaced and was sitting at the top of his beloved collection of Silly Bandz!  I honestly don't know where he found it or when he found it, but there it was, perched on the top as if it were the most important "band" amidst the hundreds of other bands within that small bucket.

What struck me was that something I consider to be so mind boggling and hard to comprehend, let alone explain, is very clear to a small child.  

That even when it seems God has not answered our prayers, we can, and SHOULD, still pray! 

We still have our bracelets!

Noah didn't have to think through the million different nuances I've tried to rationalize in my mind over the past week.  He just did what he knew to do.  He found his bracelet.  He prayed.  With the same level of trust that he prayed the last times he wore the bracelet.  He does not question whether or not God can answer his prayer.  He just trusts.

I have prayed for many miracles in my lifetime.  I've witnessed many small miracles and some big ones too.  And there have been miracles that I prayed for that didn't happen... at least not in the way I wanted them to happen.

I do believe in miracles.  

I do believe that God can make possible the impossible.

Yet, I know that He doesn't always perform the miracles I ask for.

Trying to balance the hope that He will answer my continued pleas for His intercession in this case with the reality of knowing that His ways are not always my ways is difficult.  I often feel like I'm risking my own faith by asking Him to do something so big - to perform a miracle - to make possible the impossible.  I don't want to be in a position of wanting to question His plan if it happens to be different than what I've prayed.  I feel vulnerable in asking.

But I will do it anyway.

I still have my bracelet!

I spoke with Molly this evening. 

She, too, is wrestling with the delicate balance between being realistic about their current situation, yet knowing that God is still able to intervene in this case.  Knowing he can perform a miracle.  Knowing he can make possible the impossible.

She and Matt are exhausting every single option they possibly have to be able to keep Wave in their home.

But the reality of the matter is that it will, indeed, take a miracle to make that happen.

What will the miracle look like?

An open mind.  Eyes that see things in a new light.  A transformed heart.

The miracle must be in the mind, the eyes, and the heart of the birthfather and of his counsel.

I do not have liberty to share any more than this.  But if you happen to be reading this blog post, I beg you to stop right this very minute, and pray that minds be opened, eyes see things anew, and hearts be transformed.  Right now, I ask you to pray for a miracle.  Right now, I ask you to pray that God make possible the impossible.  

Be vulnerable.  Risk it.  Ask.

I still have my bracelet!  

Do you?

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Last 10 Days

We have spent the past ten days in alternate states of numbness, shock, and grief.  We have been moved by the support we have received as we have started the countdown for the days we have left with our little girl.  From the outside we look to be in good shape.  Our family, friends, and church have prayed for us and loved us, sent us amazing notes and letters, fed us, done laundry, cleaned, done yard work, and ministered to us through their care.  Matt and I constantly wonder out loud how people go through loss without a support system like the one that we are so blessed to have.  My pantry has never looked so clean, we have never had so many clean clothes at once, and right now there is stromboli baking in my oven.  Again, on the outside my life looks prettier than it usually does.  And for that we are so thankful.  Thank you to all of you who contribute to our well being.  You do it so very well.

On the inside, we are a bit of a mess.  We know we have only this borrowed time left with sweet Wave.  I feel like I am choking every time I realize that I will not know her when she is three.  I won't try to explain my grief any more here because it seems senseless to.  Losing a child is impossible.  There aren't words.

Last week we met with our lawyer and an adoption lawyer we have received counsel from before named Martin Bauer.  This man is amazing and our meeting went better than we expected.  We will not be posting any legal information on the blog.  We just do not feel that it would be wise to do so at this point.  So while we will continue to update the blog for a time we will not include anything that is happening on the legal scene.  We did find out one bit of good news during our meeting.  The 30 day clock that we thought we were on does not start until a 20 day period where the supreme court hands a mandate back down to the district court.  So we have up to 50 days with Wavy from the ruling.  We might not have as many as that, but the 50th day is December 18th.  Custody will transfer before then.  

We don't know how to do this.  I don't know what else to say.  We are desperate for your continued prayers for a miracle.  Thank your for caring about our family and our story.

Molly {Wavybel's mom}

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How to Help

This is Danielle posting.

461 days ago this blog was born and I introduced myself to you.

I clearly remember how I felt as I published this first post.

Nervous.  Anxious.  Hopeful.  Very hopeful.

Today, 461 days later, I’m back again.

And as I write, I have the same feelings I had over a year ago, but there are new ones as well.

Devastation.  Fear.  Extreme sorrow.  Confusion.

And yet I still feel the same as I did 461 days ago.

Nervous.  Anxious.  Hopeful.  Very hopeful.

The truth is I never thought I would write this post.  In fact, I didn’t expect to write another post on this blog ever again. 

While I was the original author of this blog, it has become Matt & Molly’s place.  Their place to tell their story.  Their place to share their precious daughters with us.  Their place to receive encouragement, prayer, and support.  Their place to bear witness to their faith in a God who is bigger than the Supreme Court and its justices and who loves Waverley even more than they do.

And I thought it would be their place to share their family of four with us… forever.

But the story that started on this blog 461 days ago, and in the lives of Matt & Molly 864 days ago, has come to what seems like an abrupt halt.

And so I am back.

As I shared on my own personal blog several days ago, I am in shock.  How justice can be so blind is something I cannot begin to wrap my mind around. 

And like so many of you, my heart cries out for justice!

Over the weekend, I confessed to my mom that I was having a very hard time seeing God in this situation.  A very hard time.

I still am.


He is there.  I know in my head that He is.  Even when my heart doesn’t feel it.  He is there.

And on Monday, I started to see Him appear.

He appeared in the many, many emails, phone calls and Facebook messages I received from you… those of you who have learned to love Waverley and her family from both near and far.  So many of you have been deeply and emotionally influenced by their story and would do anything to spare them this horror.

Like me, your hearts are crying out for justice!

In the midst of this terrible situation, people are banding together and want to do something.  Anything to help.

While there is very little that we can do to effect any kind of change in the outcome of this devastating decision, there are some things that we can do to help.

And that is why I am back.

To ask for your help.  Again.

Please trust me when I tell you how humbled and grateful Matt & Molly are for your desire to continue to help them, to be a part of their lives.

There are currently several ways that you can help:

First and foremost, you can pray!  Sadly, Matt, Molly and their girls need your prayers now more than they have ever needed them before.  It is the prayers of many and the grace of a loving God that will sustain them in the days, weeks, and months to come.

There are a multitude of specific needs that you can pray for.  Matt mentioned several of them in his previous post.   Please be sure to pray for all of these things daily.

There is something else that I have personally chosen to pray for as well.  While I am a tad bit nervous to share it, I will do so in case any of you feel inclined to join me in this specific prayer.

Here’s the thing.  From a legal perspective, this case is over.  There is nothing else that can be done.  Waverley will be raised by her birthfather and her birth grandmother.

Unless for some reason, by some miracle, their hearts are converted.

That, my friends, is something I have chosen to pray for.  I am praying that the Lord would stir within their hearts during this transition allowing them to see with new eyes how well adjusted and happy Waverley is.  I am praying that, miraculously, their hearts would change.

Our loving Father is the only one who knows how this transition will occur.  And we must trust that He is in control.  But we can still pray for miracles.  And I believe that a miracle is worth praying for!


Second, you can offer words of encouragement!  Matt & Molly find great comfort in your words of encouragement and support.  They have repeatedly told us how much the emails, Facebook messages, and comments on this blog have touched them and sustained them.  Losing Waverley is only going to get more difficult as time passes and they will need the support of their friends, family, and community to help them survive each day.  So, please come here often and leave your words of encouragement to them.


Next, you can prepare a meal or send a meal gift card!  As you can imagine, Matt & Molly have much to process, plan for, and endure in the immediate future.  Amidst all of this, their parental responsibilities to both girls remain.  Cooking meals is one of those obligations and   fortunately, this is an area in which we can help them.  If you would like to help in this area, but live outside of the Kansas City area, a gift card to a restaurant would be equally appreciated.  Some restaurants near their home include Granite City, Olive Garden, Panera, Noodles & Co, and Pei Wei.

And finally, you can help alleviate their financial worry!  I so vividly remember speaking with Molly 460 some days ago about their financial worry.  This blog has fostered an amazing amount of financial support during these past 461 days.  Bills have been paid.  Burdens have been eased.  Needs have been met.  All because of the pure generosity of both friends and strangers.  It has been nothing short of inspiring.  And Matt & Molly are eternally grateful for it.

Sadly, the financial burden has continued to accumulate as this process has continued.  Matt & Molly have put every resource they have into fighting for their daughter, and it has left them with a very large amount of legal debt.  Every month, they will be reminded of this pain when they open a legal bill and have to make another payment towards what seems like an insurmountable sum.

While money may not change the outcome of the situation or take away the pain, it can alleviate a secondary source of worry.  Together, we can help to take away this financial burden, or at least lessen it substantially.

Tentative plans are being discussed for several fundraisers and other avenues of support, so please continue to come to this blog for opportunities to be involved in upcoming events.

In the meantime, if you feel inclined to help in this area, you may make a donation directly through this blog into the PayPal account.  If you would prefer to send a check directly to the Nagels, please see the information at the bottom of this post.

While I don't have a specific amount that needs to be raised, I'd love to see this community of supporters band together to do something really big.

If 500 people gave $20, $10,000 would be raised.  Now that would be big!

Of course, any amount you feel able to give will be enormously helpful and sincerely appreciated.

I have no idea what the future holds for Matt & Molly in terms of their family size.  But if they ever have a desire to adopt again, I would hate for them not to be able to do so because of the financial burden this journey has left.  Together, I believe we can pave the way for a brighter future for our friends.  For that, I am very hopeful.


461 days ago we all began sharing this family's journey of faith, hope, and unending love.  The next 30 days will be the most difficult and most transformational.  Thank you for being a part of the journey.  While it might seem that it is over, I believe that it is not.  The journey continues to unfold.

I believe that there will be hearts converted, faiths renewed, and maybe even laws changed because of this journey.  God is working in this journey, even when I cannot see it.

So while the journey is not over, it is at its most difficult phase.  Thank you for walking beside them, behind them, and in front of them... now more than ever!

With gratitude,
Danielle (with the tremendous help and contributions of Bri and Kelly)

If you want to directly support the Nagel's through the mail (for cards, gift cards, financial donations, etc.), please contact Bri McClernon at or Kelly Warren at  These amazing friends of the Nagel's are the ladies working behind the scenes to do everything they can to help their friend.  They will assist you in getting your donation directly to the Nagel's.

Please continue to share this story with your networks of prayer supporters.  While security is not as much of a concern as it was in the past, we ask you to use caution in linking this site to public blogs. However, we encourage you to continue to share the blog address with your personal networks of friends.  

Lastly, please know that I "hijacked" the blog to post this.  It was a direct response to the many inquiries for ways to help that myself, Kelly, and Bri have received this week.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This is the post I've been hoping for 2 years to never have to write. I'd rehearsed it and planned it over and over in my head so many times praying I'd never have to write the words, but here it goes. Yesterday morning the Kanas Supreme Court handed down their decision in our adoption case with Waverley, and it was not good. They have reversed both the Court of Appeals ruling as well as the District Court's ruling. I had to read it over and over again thinking surely I read it wrong and even though I new I hadn't, it still took a call from our attorney before I realized what had happened. The bottom line is that in a couple of weeks we will lose our daughter, Waverley. There are very few, if any options left for us to change this ruling and even pursuing an appeal to the US Supreme Court will not change the fact that Waverley will be taken from us in a very short time. Right now, as you can imagine, we are in a state of shock. Although we've known all long, for 2 years, that this was a possibility it seemed less and less likely as time went on. To think that our family will go from 4 to 3 is just not something we're able to wrap our minds around. It seems so impossible. Yet, there is a growing realization that our time together is now limited. These are some of the last times we will hold her. Some of the last times we will here her say her funny phrases. Some of the last times we will hear her laugh, and cry. Some of the last times we will see her and Harper playing and laughing together...and it's starting to sink in along with the realization that our future looks very, very different then we thought it would.

There's a realization as we spend these times together as a family that we are getting ready to enter a really dark and painful place that will be dark and painful for quite some time and I feel like we are getting dragged there against our will, kicking and screaming - on the inside at least. With all of this, I still feel a sense of thankfulness. We have amazing friends and family that we know will walk through this with us. That will carry us, support us, pray for us, hold us, and make sure that we find the other side of this one day. We also do still maintain that while we don't understand why things are unfolding like this God is still sovereign and loving and will sustain us through this as well. I'm not sure how you make it through things like this without that part of yourself, that faith and knowing that He does restore and redeem even from the darkest place and injustice.

We've got quite a bit more to say about this situation, about faith, about adoption, about many things, but for now this is about all we can write. Hopefully, we're able to share more on this blog as time goes on, but we're not making any promises. There's quite an unknown ahead of us and we're not sure what the coming weeks will look like.

We know so many of you have been praying fervently for us during the last 2 years. Many of you have prayed with us and cried with us and supported is in so many ways. Right now, selfishly we would ask for your prayers once again. I have a sinking feeling that the struggle and pain of the last 2 years are going to pale in comparison to the weeks and months that lie ahead of us. So, we desperately ask for your prayers. First and foremost, please pray for our girls. This will unquestionably be the hardest on them. Without going into detail, I'm sure you can begin to imagine what it will be like for Wavy as she gets pulled from the only home she's ever known and enters a home that will be very different - most noticeably the fact that she won't have a mother - and she has an amazing one right now.  Please pray for her that her transition will be smooth, that she will be safe and that she will be loved.  There's a multitude of other prayers you can pray for her, but those are a few. Please pray for Harper. As hard as this will be for Molly and I, at least we know what's going on. I'm not sure what this will be like for a 4 year olds heart and mind. Pray that God will protect her and shield her from as much of this as possible, pray that he will give her understanding beyond her years. Pray that she will be able to express her feelings to us in ways that we can understand, and pray that she will feel safe and secure and know that she will always be with us.  Pray also that we can find some excellent counsel that will help her and help Molly and I help her. Please pray for Molly and I as well. Pray that we will cling to each other and support each other especially in the coming weeks and months. Pray that we will be good parents to Harper - that we are patient, kind, and understanding of her and pray especially hard over the next several days and weeks. I wish I could tell you I knew what the plan was and how this was all going to go down, but we know very little other than it will all happen in less than 30 days as ordered by the court. We will try keep people updated through this blog as we're able to, but please, please keep us in your prayers.

I so wish I could have written a different post. We so desperately wanted to share that God had answered our prayers as we had asked them too and that we would be throwing a big party. I so wish that. Thank you everyone for everything you've done for us and all the ways you've walked along side us these last 2 years. There are a few things that I will sweetly remember about this journey and that is definitely one of them.

Matt & Molly

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

peaceful days

We are just living in the middle of a long exhale for the next few weeks.  There is no news expected at all (and by news I mean verdict on the appeal that was heard before the Supreme Court of Kansas earlier this month) for the next few weeks.  And since we are not living in fear of Fridays yet (more on that another day) we are just hanging out in the easier-to-get-through days that come between court and any hope of a ruling.  That doesn't mean the days are necessarily totally painless.  We have the normal day to day issues, but we just laugh in the face of them.  We don't care! What's a bad day at work or having a cold when we are living in this freedom from bad news?  It makes me day dream about how it would feel if this was all over and in the past... Pausing for the daydream.  Yes.  

So speaking of having a cold -- this weekend Matt and I were feeling really rotten and it was my turn to lay on the couch and do nothing while the other grown up took care of the children.  I had worked that day so I didn't mind that my kids were all over me as I laid there.  Harper was of course my nurse.  She was bringing me things and driving a matchbox car all over my arms and back (which felt pretty good actually;  try making your kids do that every once in awhile). Later that evening I stumbled across this article written by the hilarious Kacy on her blog.  I am just including it below because I figure you might like a laugh too.  


As part of my end-of-summer efforts to get my hands on the wheel of this bus that is spinning out of control (Hint for the literalists among you: the bus is my family), I was sleeping on the floor of Ellen's room last night to break her of the habit of climbing into bed with Maggie several times a night. I wouldn't care that she does this but co-sleeping makes them both crotchety, as it does all of us (I WENT there, Dr. Sears.)

It's going pretty well. I didn't have to spend the whole night on her floor. People without kids are probably going, wait--that's a thing? Spending the night on your kid's floor happens? (They're so cute before they get haggard.) I was thinking about a post I wrote last year for the now defunct Light Refreshments Served. I keep meaning to transfer all my posts from there over to this blog but, you know--I'm asleep on the floor of my kid's room. So I think I'll bring them over one by one with the hope that this will imbue them with a kind of vintage flair. Here's the post I wrote last October about sleeping on your face:

You might think I’m kidding, but I’m not. I just discovered this new way to sleep since having my fourth and final baby. I wish I would have known about it sooner. At the risk of stating something obvious that everyone figured out before me, please allow me to share this day-time sleeping position with you.

With cold and flu season starting up you will probably get sick. It’s ok because there are many cold medicines which are pleasant to take–but only pleasant if you can really lay down and enjoy the grogginess they cause. With kids you know that you of course can not get into your bed. I hear about people who have helpers or friends or family who take their kids or come over when the mom gets sick but that has never happened to me. Of course you can steal a few hours during nap time or TV time or playing with beautiful wooden toy time (myth) but what about when your toddler demands your presence? Mine does almost 100% of the time. Note that I said presence. It doesn’t always have to be full-on attention.

But they get suspicious if you lay on a pillow–somehow they are very tuned in to your comfort level. And comfort=time to bug you. I can’t sleep on my back–if you can you are lucky. My husband can and he has all kinds of games he plays with the kids while he sleeps on his back such as “build a tower out of pillows on dad” and “dead pioneer.” This might work for you.

For us side and stomach sleepers, it’s not that uncomfortable to lay on the floor and fold your arms under your head and try to rest that way. But take it from me, it won’t last long because your arms fall asleep–you see, I am really serious here. This is serious advice. Here’s what works for me: I lay flat on my face. No one notices or asks me for anything. They think I’m still playing. They can tell I’m totally uncomfortable so they see no need to disrupt me. Then I turn my head to the side. This won’t be comfortable at first. But just let your neck relax and in a few minutes you will settle right in to the carpet (it won’t work on a hard floor). Now here’s the trick: put your arms and hands under the front of your legs. This does two things. It makes you feel like you have covers (which you can’t have because your toddler will pull any blankets off of you to use for herself or a doll). It also takes a little pressure off of your lower back which allows you to actually sleep in this position and remain really quite comfortable for a while.

This is the only way I’ve ever been able to doze off while “playing” with my kids. I hope it helps. I’m so jealous of you back sleepers but tell me, do they jump on you as soon as your eyes close?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Better Day

Friday evening we went to a hot air balloon festival.  How nice to spend a lovely evening together.  Just a few highlights that put my heart in a happier place.  Hope these smiling faces cheer you too!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

And Now We Wait...

Well, It's been a long day and we're glad it's almost done. We've been both anxious for this day to come knowing it brings us one step closer to this ordeal being done, and also dreading it as we remember how it feels to be in a courtroom listening to this case being debated.  Sitting in court has a way of bringing the reality and the gravity of all of this front and center.  When we're at home, going about everyday life has a way of veiling the reality of the situation and making it manageable. We're able to be distracted, to laugh and to enjoy life. Even though the possibility of losing Wavy is ever present it's not front and center and even though certain things will bring it to the forefront we feel like this situation no longer rules our lives. Effects us and pains us yes, but it doesn't consume us or completely overwhelm us. This has to be the grace of God and the prayers of so many faithful people that have us in this place.

Today is different though. Today is a day where you know and accept that you're going to live in the full reality of what's happening. We're thankful that there aren't many days like today. While today was similar to the last time we were in court there were some clear differences as well. This morning rather than a 20 minute drive across town it was an hour drive to the state capital. An hour of anticipating how the morning would unfold. Would it go well? Would it be a disaster? Would we get any indication in the faces of the justices that would tip us off to how they felt? Would our attorney perform well? Would the birthfather's? It was one of the worst hours I've spent in the car. Walking into the courthouse was different as well. As we walked through the doors of the building there was statue 3 stories tall representing some particular facets of justice. I'm not sure what they were and honestly didn't care. I was just struck with the size of the statue which pretty much sums up how I felt about the rest of the court. Everything seemed much more sizable today. The courtroom itself was bigger. The justice's bench was larger in order to accommodate more than twice the amount of justices than the appellate court. Even their leather chairs seemed bigger. It was clear at at almost every turn that this was a bigger deal - the highest court in the state. Then it seemed almost unbelievable - unbelievable that we'd come this far. From the case being argued in a small district courtroom in downtown Olathe to the Kansas Supreme Court. For me, all of this added an extra dose of gravity to what was taking place in front of us in the courtroom.  For the proceeding each of the attorney's had 20 minutes to argue their cases which mostly amounted to them fielding questions from the justices. It was a long 40 minutes in which each attorney presented things he had presented before the other courts. I tried to stay engaged and listen attentively to all they said, but I found my mind wandering in and out. Two things struck me during the oral arguments. The first was that, despite the size of everything - the large courtroom, the bench, 7 justices - it seemed small, even tiny. The bigness of the building, the statue, the room, the 7 justices all seemed very small and God seemed very big. It was a clear reminder in my spirit of who really is presiding this case. God is just and is also sovereign and even though those 40 minutes in the courtroom were awful they were still under his control and he is good. Along with that I remembered a place in the Psalms where it says that "The law of the Lord is perfect..." I couldn't remember the rest, but that short phrase struck with me throughout the time we were sitting there. It ran over and over in my mind as I was sitting there looking at the seal of the state of Kansas hanging over the head of the Chief Justice - "The law of the Lord is perfect."

The 40 minutes eventually passed. It was over and there was a sense of relief that this might be the last time we sit in court. We had a short meeting with our attorney to get his take on things and then left. There was another thing different about court today. In the past we've booked it out of court and headed as quickly as we could to the car. Today we stopped on the front steps of the courthouse. My dad and mom joined us today as well as a friend of theirs from church and their pastor. It was totally unexpected that these other 2 men came to sit with us in court today and I can't really adequately express what that meant to us. We'll never forget that. So today, my dad's pastor Joel stopped us all on the steps and we prayed. Well, he prayed. Molly and I were really in no shape to. But standing there, gathered in a circle on the front steps of the Kansas Supreme Court the 6 of us prayed. That's when I remembered the rest of the passage in Psalms - "The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy making wise the simple." I'm sure to anyone who saw us it probably looked "simple", but for us it's a powerful picture and one I hope we can look back on as closing the chapter on this journey.

This post is way longer than I intended it to be so thank you for reading this far and indulging us on this one. We thought it might be helpful to share a little about how today was. So where do things go from here? Well, we wait. It's a familiar place and I feel like we've gotten somewhat use to waiting on courts. There's no timetable for when the Supreme Court will hand down their decision, but we are praying for sooner rather than later. Similar to the Appeals Court, they hand their decisions on Friday's so we'll know on some Friday in the future what they've decided. 

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers and support for our family along this journey. Please continue to pray that God will sustain us through whatever remains and that the Supreme Court will decide to keep Waverley in our family forever. 

Matt & Molly