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,


Jackie said...

M, I'm still praying and will continue to pray!! I think of you and your family so often and whenever I do I say a prayer. Hang in there.... <3

Katrina said...

we are praying for you more than ever. -t.j. and katrina

Elizabeth said...

Continue to hope in the Lord and trust in the power of all the prayer warriors interceding on the behalf of your family and especially your beautiful little girl.

Janet said...

Prayers from Iowa are continuing. Keep the faith.

Jinny Newlin said...

Oh, Molly! I can hear the pain in your voice, and I'm so sorry. We will continue to pray for a miracle, and trust that our Heavenly Father, already, has everything worked out for the good of His little lambs.

Yia Yia said...

I totally agree that the power of prayer is amazing and all that the Lord promised it to be. We pray all the time and will never give up. I'm praying for Wavy for a lifetime, no matter what. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" Love all four of you more than I can even say, and I'm once again so sorry you have to walk thru this. God is trusting you for it! Love you, Mom/Vicki/Yiayia

Erin said...

I just wanted to let you know that I've been following your story through my friends and your neighbors, E & K. My husband and I have an adopted 4-year-old daughter, and while our process had a few bumps and scares before it was all said and done, we can only imagine everything you are feeling as you continue to fight for sweet Waverly. Know that we are praying for you--that you will be upheld emotionally, that you have the strength and grace that you need to get through each day and that, most of all, you will soon be called Waverly's legal parents.