It is more challenging than we thought it would be to let the reality really sink in. For the last 18 months we have been in the process of trying to finalize Wave's adoption. Well and really, we have been "winning" since this past spring when we won our first round of court. I think that until we walk out of that courtroom with our adoption finalized and the whole thing officially wrapped up we will not achieve complete peace of mind. I have felt a huge sense of guilt for not being able to revel in this more fully. I just have a sense of unease as we have been in this place before and weren't as close to being finished as we thought we were...
After the court of appeals upheld the original verdict yesterday, the birthfather now has thirty days to appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court. All this really means is he has to have a lawyer declare his intention to appeal. He could do it tomorrow or on day 30. If he decides to appeal that will start a new process that for sure I will not even worry about in detail -- I prefer to stick to the bigger picture when I worry! If the timeframe lapses and the birthfather does not appeal then we will be able to proceed with the the finalization of Wavy's adoption. That thought is putting a huge smile on my face right now! So if you would please continue to pray for our family until this is totally over we will be forever grateful to you. As we have any new information we will most certainly post it.
We received the copy of the ruling last week. One lovely moment we experienced was realizing that the judge that argued the hardest with our attorney in court is the one who wrote the actual ruling. The thing that saddened Matt and I was that the ruling was written in a way that said to uphold the law the judges ruled in our favor, but it seemed to us that they would have rather ruled on behalf of the birthfather if they would have been able to. They seemed quite concerned about the birthfather's rights. That is all fine and good. I am concerned about justice too. However, how heartbreaking that the justice system is far more concerned with the rights of this man regardless of who he is than the rights of an innocent, precious, and vulnerable baby girl. Since we had been praying all along that the judges would be unable to put Wavybel into a dangerous or unstable home, this feels to me like a closer call than I would care for. I would have loved for the judges to focus more on the best interest of the child (which we thought might happen but we're not so sure that it did) and for them to have felt burdened for our daughter. My heart beats faster thinking that the last ten weeks could have possibly been spent trying to reverse the original ruling. We will surely never know what was said between those three judges in private chambers but we will daily thank God that he has provided for our daughter and our family in this most amazing way.
Over the past nine days I have cried over huge waves of relief that catch up to me at strange times. When we bought a mirror today at Target I put it in the cart and Wave looked at herself and smiled and said, "Hi Wavybel." She hadn't called herself that yet and it just got me. Thinking of all of the people that have prayed for her and how amazing she is and how much we love her. Last night she was going to bed and said to her sister, "I love you Harper" and Harper said, "I love you Wavy" and it filled me with gladness. Today she was watching Sesame Street and trying to move her head and neck like the puppets were and I just cracked up and cried and whispered thank you thank you thank you. These are just small examples, but you get what I'm saying.
People keep congratulating us and saying how it is all behind us now. I am so grateful for their words, but I can't keep wariness and fear from creeping up on me. 20 more days. Please pray that it really is all behind us in twenty more days. For now we are celebrating this enormous victory and trying to keep any lingering fear at bay. Thank you so so so much for celebrating with us! We are one (enormous!) step closer to finalizing what we already know is true. This girl belongs with us.