The result of Wednesday's hearing can be boiled down to three key things:
1. The judge had the opportunity and the authority to put Wavy's best interest at the forefront of his decision and he chose not to. I don't know ANY details about this, but Matt eluded to some specifics that may be revealed at some point. Ugh to that. Ugh to you, Judge Sheppard. So disappointing.
2. The transitioning of custody starts tomorrow. The court has ordered that TOMORROW January 1st be the day the "transition plan" starts. Tomorrow will be the first of daily visitations with Waverley's biological father. The first of these will take place at Matt and Molly's home, with the visits eventually taking place at the birthfather's home. The idea is that full custody will be transferred by the end of January. The finality of that takes my breath away.
3. A next date to keep in your mind and prayers is January 10th. All of these court appearances, hearings, appeals, and decisions have really only decided that Matt and Molly cannot adopt Waverley. Now that their adoption has been rejected, the courts must determine which "natural" parent will get custody of Wavy. I don't know much about this - it's actually the first I've heard about it. If I'm understanding it correctly, the birth mom and birthfather will now battle it out for custody. I have no idea if the birth mom even wants custody since she had placed Waverley for adoption to begin with, obviously. All I know is that there is a hearing on January 10th to determine which parent will get custody and what the terms of custody will be. Matt indicated that whatever decision is made in this court may affect their transition plan - depending on the terms of custody.
For those of you who care what I think, here are my thoughts on each of those things:
1. Angry Kelsey says, "Proverbs 28:5 Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully. Take that, Judge Sheppard. Coward."
Nice(r) Kelsey says, "It's okay, Judge Sheppard, we know that you're human and that you can forget that there are actual people attached to the numbers and letters on the court documents. Good thing your court and authority will crumble away and be replaced by the unshakeable throne of the King who longs to be gracious to us; he rises to show us compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! (Isaiah 30:18)"
2. Our daily prayers matter even more now as each day holds the stress and anxiety of a visitation (set those alarms, people!). We need to pray for protection for Wavy during these visitations. Matt asked specifically that we pray that she not feel scared, but would feel safe and secure. He also asked that we pray for him and Molly that they would be kind and gracious (can you believe he is even thinking about that!? I think if I were them, kindness would not even be on my radar.) I have also had the thought that maybe these visitations would be just the right dose of reality to get the birthfather reconsidering if he really wants to do this - let's pray for that!
3. It's my understanding that a custody hearing will take into account the best interest of the child in a way that adoption law does not allow for. That's a plus. Also, perhaps something will come to light regarding the birthfather's lifestyle that would demonstrate to the courts that he would not be a fit father. My mind is running wild imagining every possibility - of course informed by my layman's understanding of the law!
The end of Matt's blog said this:
And, for all of you that still want to, you can pray for a miracle. I don't see where there is a possibility for one, but I'm sure anyone that's experienced a miracle felt that way - otherwise it wouldn't really be a miracle. Right?
Thank you all for praying for us throughout this whole journey. Thank you for fighting along side of us in this, for helping to bear our burden. You have no idea the encouragement you all have been through this.
This permission to continue to pray for a miracle was just what I needed! I don't know about you guys, but I have been feeling this tension about stubbornly praying for a miracle in the face of a harsh reality that tells us it would be wiser to just give up and make the best of a horrible situation. All along I have been asking the Lord if I need to do just that, but I continue to receive encouragement to hold out hope.
So, as we say our prayers that are grounded in the reality of a broken world and a broken system, let's still cry out the the Lord, our God of justice who longs to be gracious! Remember our battle cry? Let's have the faith of Abraham that God himself will provide the lamb.
As far as I can see it, Isaac is on the altar; Abraham's hand is raised. Any second now, God's voice will come booming through the heavens saying, "STOP! Don't touch that child! I have provided another way!"
Please, Lord Jesus, God of mercy and justice, Ruler of all time and space. We are putting our hope in your goodness and faithfulness. We are waiting for your voice!
|Wavy with big sister, Harper|