When we started this journey several years ago we could have never imagined that this is where it would take us. Our hope and our prayers were always that it would be a fairly normal adoption journey. All we were wanting was to be parents to another daughter – Waverley. As you know, though, our journey has been anything but normal. We’ve had to endure more than any adoptive family should have to endure, and that’s how we ended up where we did today – in front of a Kansas House Judiciary Committee – to play whatever part we can to ensure that another family does not have to walk where we have walked. We weren’t the only family there today either. There was another mom and dad that just 2 months ago said goodbye to a daughter they had raised for nearly 2 years. While not exactly like our case, their case was very similar and their family fell victim to the same vague law and same poor judgment of the courts. Like us, they too lost their daughter of nearly 2 years. After hearing their story we are even more convinced that changes need to be made in the Kansas adoption law. Changes that would bring clarity to the adoption statute and prevent cases like ours and this other couples from happening.
Today brought some very unwelcome familiarity into our world. Not only did we have to agonize through our story again for our testimony, but we had to dress in “court clothes” again, make a familiar drive to Topeka, strategize with attorney’s ahead of time about what was coming and what we could expect, and sat in silence again with a familiar nervous feeling. The exact things we did nearly every time we had to go to court for our case. Only this time we actually got to speak. We got to stand before a group of men and women who write the laws in our state and share our story. We got to tell them that her name is Waverley and not Baby Girl P. They had a chance to see how the current law affects adoptive families and specifically how it affects the children involved. They’ve now heard how the courts are interpreting the current adoption law and what that interpretation looks like in the lives of real people. We’re thankful for that and hopeful that our story will stick with this committee as they deliberate this bill and decide what it should look like moving forward. We’re also very thankful that today is over. It was good, but hard and emotional and tiring. It wasn’t without its little graces here and there. As she always does, Harper had some very funny 5 year old things to say as we ended our day. Our day actually ended with laughter and a reminder of how much God has given us in Harper.
We’re also so very thankful for all of your prayers and kind words today. We read your blog comments, texts and facebook comments all the way to Topeka. They were so comforting and encouraging and a wonderful reminder us that we’ve never been in this alone.