Well. It's been a very long day, and now that we've had a chance to sort through and wrap our minds around what had happened today we'd like to update you all.
Today at 1pm we make what we expected would be our last visit to the Johnson County Courthouse for quite some time. Arriving there brought back all of the nervousness and worry knowing anything could happen. We've said over and over "you can't make this stuff up." There have been so many unexpected things at nearly every turn of this journey. Just when you think you know what's going to happen - when the logical outcome seems so obvious - things get a little crazy. Today was no exception.
Shortly after 1pm things began to unravel rather quickly. The case that was brought against Waverley's birthfather was dismissed quickly and in a matter of minutes the 2 and half year fight was over. As we've reflected on today and how we would break this news we struggled with how much detail to give on what went down. One thing we realized today is just how many people are close to this whose lives have been affected very deeply. It hasn't just been Molly and Waverley and Harper and I. Waverley's birthmother has been affected by this as well as her family, both immediate and extended. To guard everyone involved in this we have to leave out a lot of the details on how this all went down today. What we can say is that our hopes that Waverley would get to be raised by her birthmother are now gone. For a variety of reasons that cannot happen and in this instance at least our justice system has failed miserably. While it has been clear for awhile that we would no longer be Waverley's parents we had hoped so much that the home she would transition into would be one with a mom and a dad and a sister - a home similar to the one she has right now. While we all have differences in the way we go about life, there were some striking and important similarities between our family and her birthmother's. It would have been the best situation for her to transition into. There is no question now that this will not happen.
So where do we go from here? Well, for once there is a clear and final answer to that question. Several weeks ago Judge Sheppard set in motion a plan that would transition Waverley from our home to her birthfather's. As it has been ordered by the court, we have followed that plan while still holding onto the hope that we would not have to complete it and would be able to transition to the birthmother instead. That transition plan had a start time and also an end time and we are through over half of that plan now. In just 4 days our sweet Waverley will be moving out of our home. Although this date shouldn't come as a surprise, I still find it shocking when I put that in writing. 4 more days. 2 nights of those 4 days she'll be spending an overnight at the birthfather's house. We'll have an opportunity to visit next week and a few days the following week, but she will no longer be living here. That is the new reality.
You all have been so amazing to pray and support us as you have. I know we've said it before, but it has been a bright spot in an otherwise very dark place over the last couple of years. You all have been increasingly faithful as prayers were continuing to go unanswered. It may not be much consolation, but while our deepest longings and most fervent prayers were not answered, we still believed that God has been faithful in other ways. Through your prayers we feel that God has given us an amazing amount of strength to face all of this. As we look back I still can't believe it that we made it though all of that without completely losing ourselves. God has also used (and is still using) this to refine our faith as well. It'll take some time to unpack all of that and sort through it, but I've already seen ways in which that has been the case.
Now we stand facing the coming grief. We're not sure what that's going to look like or feel like, but it's the next place we must go. If you are able to stick with us a little longer we'd love for you to remember us in your prayers over the next several weeks. Here are some specific ways you can be praying:
For Waverley: Even with the professional transition plan, this is going to rock her world. She will be going into a home where there is no mother. That will make this all the more difficult for her. Pray that she will be safe, that she will feel loved, and that she will make a quick transition into her new environment. We'd also ask that somehow she will feel comforted by God in the moments when she is scared or sad or just missing home.
For Harper: Pray that Harper will continue to be able to understand what is happening. Pray that she will continue to feel secure in her place in our family and that she won't doubt the permanence of that place. Please pray that she will be able to grieve appropriately as she looses her sister whom she so dearly loves. So far she has been handling this very well and very appropriately. Please pray that continues.
For Matt & Molly: Please pray that we will remain close throughout this. That we will be gracious and kind to each other. Pray that even amidst our own grief we might be able to be excellent parents and a comfort to dear Harper. Pray that we would heal from this. It clearly won't be a quick healing, but pray that God will be doing that work.
Waverley's birthfather: Please pray that God will equip him to be a good dad. Being a single parent is unbelievable hard. I'm not sure how people do it. Being a single parent at 22 years old makes that all the more difficult. Pray that he will always be able to provide a safe and loving home for her and that through that she might always feel loved. Pray that she might know God someday in a personal way and have a bright future.
Our families: While Molly, Harper and I grieve there will also be others in our families that will feel this loss deeply. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, close family friends. Pray for their healing as well. Also please pray for Waverley's birthmother and her family. They've been through an incredible amount of pain and could use your prayers as well.
Sorry, I know that's alot, but I'm realizing as I write that there are a lot of things to be prayed for. Again, if you feel led to keep us in your thoughts and prayers the next few weeks/months we would be so appreciative.
Finally, what will happen now with the blog. Honestly, we don't know yet. We will still be updating it for the next week or two to bring some closure to all of this. There are also a few things we'd like to say in closing about adoption as well. I'm not sure how often we will post, but we'll definitely be here as we walk through the next week or two. After that, who knows. There is something very cathartic about getting this all out in words. Maybe we'll keep posting or move it to a new blog as we reflect on the last couple years and walk the path before us. We'll let you know. For now, we'll keep updating it every few days.
Thank you all again for walking this journey with us and supporting and encouraging us all along the way. We truly are eternally grateful.
Matt & Molly