Thursday, January 6, 2011

Visitation updates


To say that our daily court ordered visitations are hard would be an understatement. While they have been cordial and mostly smooth they have also been one of the hardest things either of us has ever had to do. Having virtual strangers in your home trying to learn how to parent your child, and knowing that you will not be her parent for much longer is almost more than a. person can bear. Doing one of these. visits is difficult enough, but knowing that another one awaits tomorrow and another the next day and another the day after that makes it seem impossible. Honestly, I'm not sure how we've made it this far. Everyday we wonder if we can do this again. Without a doubt your prayers have been a sustaining force in getting us through this leg of the journey.  While we know God has not, thus far, answered our deepest longing to keep Waverley in our home, he has been faithful in giving us strength to endure this and the ability to feel his presence even in the darkest place.  We cannot thank you enough for your prayers this week.

As we've posted on this blog the last few years we've tried to share as much as we felt was possible but have had to hold back some on different details surrounding the legal process. We've wanted to be cautious about sharing that and also have no wanted to overwhelm people with the specifics. We've also found the legal process to be fairly complicated and not nearly as black and white as we would like to think that it is and sharing it can be a daunting task. There's also a fear that sharing some of those details might end up sounding like complaining or whining when the system seems to fail. You can consider the above our disclaimers on what we've decided to share below.  Today, we are going to pull back the curtain a bit. Our hope in sharing more details is that it will give everyone an even clearer picture of the nature of this situation. So, enough disclaimers....

This week we began regular visitations on Monday. As I mentioned above, it has been amazingly hard despite everyone involved acting appropriately. When Wavy woke up Wednesday it was clear that she wasn't feeling well - lots of coughing, fever, etc. Since we had already scheduled an early morning visitation with the birth father we kept that visitation appointment and then made a doctor's appointment for later in the day. After seeing the doctor we were sent to Children's Mercy for a chest x-ray as the doctor was worried she might have pneumonia. About an hour after our visit to Children's Mercy it was confirmed that Wavy did in fact that pneumonia. Our pediatrician made it clear that she was to rest and have no other visitors inside the home other than mom and dad (us) and her sister until she had been fever free for 24 hours. As this developed we contacted our attorney and asked that he propose to the birth father's attorney that we suspend the visitations for a day or two and then resume them once Wavy was fever free (per the doctor's orders). We made it clear that our intent was to continue on with the visitations and just push back the schedule for the 2 days that we missed. We even sent a schedule showing when good visitations times would be. Reasonable stuff when you're considering a child with pneumonia. Here is the response we received from the birthfather's lawyer yesterday evening.

Thanks for letting me know about this development.  I hope Wavy gets better soon.  Whether she “has been diagnosed with pneumonia” as your e-mail says, or merely has been “further evaluat[ed]” for pneumonia, as the doctor’s note says, I can sympathize.  I always get worried when my kiddos show a high fever.

I’m very disappointed in your approach here, however, in terms of unilaterally calling off visitation.  A sick child needs rest, but I don’t understand why [birth father] wouldn’t be able to accommodate that while visiting her.  He could be reading her a book.  He could be making her soup.  In fact, this sickness strikes me as an opportunity [emphasis mine] for her to get to experience [birth father's] ability to care for her when she’s feeling bad – something that should have a lasting effect on their developing relationship.

The doctor's letter also puzzles me, for reasons I will not go into here.  Going forward, however, now that [birth father] has legal custody pursuant to the Court’s order, everyone needs to understand that [birth father] must be kept in the. loop on all medical decisions and all other important custodial decisions.  I don’t want another doctor visit to take place without him having an opportunity to be present.  If there is an emergency, he needs to know right away.

Having said those things, I think we should all be sensitive to the fact that Wavy is sick.  While that may present a reason to change plans, there is no logical or medical reason to keep [birth father] out of the house.  Today has come and gone without a visit, but [birth father] should be allowed at least a short visit tomorrow.  I will leave it to him and the Nagels to work out the best time, which they apparently have been able to do so far without attorney involvement.

I hope Wavy feels better very soon.

Zach Chaffee-McClure

Shook, Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P.

2555 Grand Boulevard

Kansas City, MO 64108


(One point of clarification on this. According to several attorneys consulted on this the birthfather does not have legal custody as it is outside of Judge Sheppards authority to order such things. His jurisdiction ended on January 5th according to the Supreme Court mandate. Only the Judge in the paternity case which will be heard on January 10th can make orders of custody. This is what I mean by the legal part of this being complicated and not black and white)

As you can imagine, outrage ensued. I'm not sure how someone can look at this situation and see a child's sickness as an opportunity to bond. The only thing to appropriate to do when your child has pneumonia is to make sure that child gets better and provide all of the comfort, familiarity possible. This is just a sample of things that have gone on the last 2 years. Wavy being seen by one side more or less as property they have a right to, and less as a child that is to be loved and cared for.  This is why we feel it is imperative that Wavy's birthmother be awarded custody on January 10th. While we will no longer be able to provide that loving and caring home, she will. She is an amazing person (her husband too) and cares only for what is best for Wavy. So, while we will resume visitations until ordered differently (which hopefully we will be on the 10th) we ask that you pray for Monday. Pray that this Judge sees clearly what is going on here and is just and places Wavy in the care of her birthmother. 

Thank you for letting us share this with you and thank you all for all that you have done and our doing to support us through this. We'll keep you all updated over the next several days.

16 comments:

Linnea said...

Reading this made me sick to my stomach. I am so sorry. Still praying!

Be blessed
Ashlee

Jami Nato said...

dang...that is heartbreaking. i'm sorry. praying for you guys. God is there even in the crazy details of all of this.

Kelsey said...

Oh! oh! oh! I am so furious right now! FURIOUS! I'm so sorry you guys. How helpless you must feel! It's just wrong. I'm praying Exodus 14:14 over this today: "Don't be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians (enemies) you see today you will never see again. THE LORD WILL FIGHT FOR YOU; YOU NEED ONLY TO BE STILL."

LA said...

The Hand of the sovereign Lord is upon you. He is the healer of all things. Father heal Wavy's tiny body. Prevent the Pneumonia from spreading.Heal her tonight! Bind this family together, guard their hearts, give them strength to face tomorrow. Provide a custody Judge that knows you, and knows the goodness of being adopted into the family of christ. Give that judge wisdom to chose a family for waverly that is stable, and full of love. God above all protect this innocent Child. Let her be quick to know you and your goodness in this life and let her always be surrounded by the Love and goodness of Jesus Christ.
Love you guys- your brothers and sisters are praying.

Melissa Newcome said...

So sorry to hear that Wavy is sick! We are continuing to pray!

Katy said...

Continuing to pray for the birth mothers rights and that she is rewarded custody so you can continue to have a relationship with Wavy. So sorry that Wavy is sick!

Sonya said...

What a difficult time you guys find youselves in. Thanks for taking the time to reveal more of the process--it helps to be able to pray more specifically. While we may never understand this side of Heaven why all this is happening, we must continue to hold on to the fact that God is soverign and in control of it all. Pray all the time--my heart iw heavy for you. Know you are loved by many.

Jess said...

Every moment of this is all so, so heartbreaking. I can't imagine the million pieces you feel like you are being torn into. I'll be on my knees praying for the 10th.

chris and diane said...

praying praying praying.

Erin and Roger Bell said...

PRAYING!!!

Vanessa said...

Continued prayers. Healing for Waverly as well as peace for your family.

Amanda said...

Praying for you all to have strength. Praying for Wavy to heal very quickly. Please know we are praying specifically for your requests for for the 10th.

Elizabeth said...

Praying that Wavy gets better quickly and continued prayers for all of your intentions, especially for the court date on the 10th.

Jinny Newlin said...

Hey, guys! It's been a while since I've commented on anything, but I didn't want you to think that we've forgotten about you all, even, for a second! I'm so sorry about Wavy's illness and the whole visitation thing. I understand the process, but I know, full well, that it cannot, possibly, be easy for you. Oh, my gracious... "not be easy" just doesn't seem to put into words how you all must be feeling. We love you, even, through a computer screen and cannot wait to see all that the Lord has in store for you and your family. "We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God." And thankfully, He keeps his promises ;).

Oh! And I just had to share that I laughed right out loud at Wavy's pirate comment. WAAAY cute! Cherish the moments.

cody said...

I've been praying every day for your family. I will be praying for God to be merciful and gracious to you all tomorrow in the outcome of the court hearing.

Brett and Betsy said...

It is so obvious that our prayers for the Holy Spirit's presence are being answered. I admire you both so much for how you have responded to all of this. What an impossibly difficult, horrible situation, and you are still able to set yourself aside and verbalize the 2nd best option. We all know you are the 1st best.
We will pray and fight again tomorrow. The Lord knows and He can do it.