Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Eat, Meet & Greet on Sunday!

Hi everyone,

This is just a friendly reminder that the Eat, Meet & Greet is THIS Sunday May 2nd from 4pm-7pm at Coach's South! We've had such an incredible response already and are looking forward to seeing everyone.  We have some great door prizes and raffle items to give away during the event so bring some extra cash if you you want to participate beyond dinner.  All  money collected will go to M&M.  In addition, we'll also have a regular old donation jar if you'd like to bring cash or check but aren't interested in winning prizes!  Once again, you can click here to link to the evite for more information or to RSVP.


Bri McClernon & Christie Grammatikos

Friday, April 23, 2010

what wave is thankful for

Wavybel is a sweet girl with a sweet tooth.  I have mentioned before that she loves to eat.  Instead of calling for Matt or I when she wakes up in the morning she calls out, "Eat! Eat! Mommy, please -- eat!"  I thought this was a cute illustration of her personality.  I also thought we were all probably ready for something a little bit lighter!

At meals Harper is usually the one to pray.  Wave folds her hands and scrunches her eyes tight.  After Harper prays Wavy will sometimes say, "Wavy's turn" or "I do!" if she wants to pray too.  At that point she just closes her eyes again.  Very earnestly I might add! 

Two nights ago she actually prayed on her own for the first time.  As soon as Harper was done she just launched right into, "Thank you, Jesus. Amen!" It was really sweet and we cheered her on and told her what a great job she had done.

Last night I made pancakes and smoothies for dinner.  My girls LOVE pancakes.  I forgot to ask anyone to pray and a few minutes into eating Wavy really shouted out  "Thank you Jesus; dinner!  Thank you Jesus!" She was totally having a moment.  This girl is the best.  

Sunday, April 18, 2010

the next steps

A quick note -- I know this is a long post.  If you are not interested in reading the whole thing, I would ask you to please at least skip down to the end so as not to miss the most important part.  Thank you so much.

Last Friday we met with our lawyer Kevin to talk about this new chapter of our life -- Wave's birthfather has appealed to the Supreme Court of Kansas to try to gain parental rights and be awarded with custody of our little girl.  Here's what we found out:

* We have 30 days to write our brief in response to the one they submitted that got this all going.
* They then have 30 days to respond to our brief.
* The Supreme Court of Kansas will review all of the information from the last year and a half.  Then they will set a date for us to present oral arguments in Topeka.  Then they will review the case, and after some time they will make their ruling.
*The ruling the judges make can affirm the lower court's decision, deny it, or order it to be reheard (FROM THE BEGINNING).  Just writing those options makes me feel like my body is filled with lead.  Man.

* One of our favorite adoption experts, Martin Bauer (he wrote an independent brief for us during the last appeal making a case for best interest of the child to be considered here) cannot work directly with our case  because of his prior involvement, but there is a woman in his firm who is an excellent brief writer that will be working with Kevin to write our brief.  We are greatly encouraged by this.

* Kevin shared with us that Judge Leben, the judge that wrote our ruling for the first appeal is one of the most highly regarded judges in the eyes of the Kansas Supreme Court. We are hoping that will bode well for us.

We are truly sick over this process starting back up again.  I don't have any fancy way of describing it.  Matt and I both just feel like all of the energy has been sapped out of us.  The physical symptoms of stress feel more acute than they have before at the news of this appeal being heard.  When we talk with our lawyer (and we really love him) he does not have a teddy bear, warm and cozy vibe.  He is pretty matter of fact and realistic with us.  Every once in a while he will say something that just sticks with me that I really appreciate.  When he finished our oral arguments at the last court appearance and the other side had done much better than we had wanted them to he was saying how little impact the oral arguments are supposed to have in the case at large.  But he still said to us almost in passing, "Those were the most important 45 minutes for me in 2009." That was in November.  On Friday he took our file out of his brief case and said off-handedly that he carries it with him everywhere.  He had mentioned months back he had a workstation at home designated just for our case.  It obviously means something to him, and that means the world to us.  And makes us feel so good.

I feel a need to share some really bad news here, and I am so sorry to those of you that read this that are in similar situations.  On Friday we learned through a friend about a family that is going through the exact same situation here in Kansas City.  This family has a one year old son.  The birth father sought to gain parental rights.  The case was heard by Judge Sheppard.  That is the judge that heard our original case.  It seems like the facts of the case are almost identical except that the birth father did even less than the one in our situation.  The court just ruled in that birth father's favor.  The adoptive family is appealing it.  They will apparently have custody of their son while the appeal is ongoing, but the birthfather is trying to obtain custody sooner.  

The reason that I am sharing this with you is really important to me.  We were not supposed to win our case.  We were not supposed to win it.  We were told that we most likely would NOT win it.  And thousands of people prayed for us.  And we did win.  Please continue to pray for our family.  I am just begging you.  I am more firmly convinced than ever that the only reason that our daughter is with us today is because of the power of your prayers.  I do not care how fancy or simple your prayers are -- all I care about is the bottom line.  Please pray that Wavy would remain in our family and would not be taken from our home.  

Please, please join us in that prayer.

With love,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

On Monday we found out that Supreme Court of Kansas will hear the appeal.  

In writing this I am having a hard time getting much further.  I just keep staring at that ugly sentence.  And not knowing what else to really say from there.  Uhm. Hmm.

We are terribly dissappointed (that feels obvious.)
We are really surprised.
This is the hardest I have seen Matt take bad news that we have received along the way.
We hadn't expected to hear much either way this "soon" after the ruling on the last appeal.
This means that everything will drag on much longer.

We are back in the brief writing stage.  We have thirty days and then I believe they have another turn to file a brief.  We are meeting with our lawyer tomorrow (Friday) afternoon to talk about it.  So.  This is choppy I know.  I just can't seem to get into writing an easier to read version.  We are still just in a state of disbelief as Wavy's June birthday creeps up it has become apparent that we need to adjust our hope to wrapping this up for her third birthday.  Which just makes us want to... I don't know what.  Be mad.

I just don't really know about facing the idea of losing our daughter for so much longer.  It seems fairly unmanageable right now.  More (I was hoping that there wouldn't need to be) later.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

This post will have two parts. The first part is a thank you note. The second part is a display of the cutest two girls you may ever see (at which point I will wish you a Happy Easter). That's right.

Part I

You may remember from a short while back a raffle for a quilt.  A sweet woman and excellent quilter made the loveliest blanket to raffle off on our blog.  The quilt was pictured draped over a red adirondack chair.  I became a little bit obsessed with that picture.  I would daydream about sitting in that red chair on a beautiful early spring day reading to my girls, snuggled up with that quilt. Or sitting there resting while Wavy napped in my lap.  I could go on here.  Well, the quilt went to a loving home, but I could not get it out of my mind.  AND THEN! I got an amazing gift. This wonderful quilter made us our very own quilt. Here is how the one she made us is different from the one she raffled.  Besides being absolutely beautiful it is covered in Scripture that she wrote all over it.  The verses are all the same soothing theme of peace in God. We will obviously treasure it forever.  

The reason I am sharing this (beside just the fact that it makes me enormously happy) is that it just felt like our whole experience of support embodied in one lovely present.  People have cared for us so well it has truly felt like we were being wrapped up in a blanket and comforted when we needed it the most.  

From the amazing things people have made and sold on our behalf to the services people have donated or the awesome fundraisers people have hosted, we have just been given so so much.  And the true and selfless kindness people have shown us throughout this otherwise ugly situation has just sustained our family in so many ways.  Where would we be without you? And so just one more inadequate thank you. Thank you. Please know how grateful we are for you. 

Part II

Happy Easter!

Today I was quite proud of myself for avoiding fatalistic thinking and agonizing over every detail of the day worried that it might be the last.  Really though, if Christ overcame the grave, what do I have to worry about here? I wish that could be my mindset every day.  But Easter doesn't really leave a lot of room for wondering about God's power and might.  So today I simply enjoyed the day for what it was. 

One other thing that helped: how unbelievably cute my two beautiful girls looked and how much fun they had at Aunt Wink's house.  

Scenes From the Hunt

A quick highlight from the day -- Wavy was slowly and methodically walking to the eggs she was after, picking it up, firmly putting it in her basket, and moving on. When she put one of the eggs into her basket it came undone and some bracelets spilled out. She looked at the grown ups with amazement, wondering if we, like her, had no idea there were such wonderful things inside the eggs. She sat down quickly and proudly put on all of her bracelets. Then she kept waving at us so we could admire them.  This last picture is of Wave running through the yard with her treasures. Happy as could be.

Friday, April 2, 2010

evite for the Meet & Greet

Hi again everyone!

I just sent out the evite for the Eat, Meet & Greet at Coach's... If you aren't on Danielle's email list and you hadn't emailed me yet, you should be able to access the evite by clicking here

I hope to see everyone there! 

Thanks, Bri