Monday, January 31, 2011

A February Resolution

Dear Lila, 
I was just taking stock of all of the cute things you are saying and doing these days.  I was also bemoaning the fact that I neglected to capture your first "word" (whatever you were trying to say, it sounded like "oooh-ah-dee!") on tape before you stopped saying it and started saying so many actual words!  As a result, I am resolving to be better at documenting the little things that punctuate these fast-moving phases of your life.  As my first effort toward this resolution, I am dedicating this month - the month of love - to the things I love about who you are and the stage you are in right now.  For each day of the month, I will post something I love about you.  28 days, 28 things (in no particular order) that make you lovable to me.  Check back in tomorrow for the first installment of 28 Things to Love about Lila!  Until then, here's this - a freebie:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

the sass factor

I'm having a hard time knowing how to parent my little mini-teenager whose mood swings are just as unpredictable and just as dramatic as a PMSing fifteen-year-old.  We got home from our retreat in Colorado on Monday and it's been downhill from there.  A bunch of us got sick toward the end of our trip so I keep wondering if Lila's not feeling well.  She hasn't had a fever or any other symptom that would indicate sickness other than being very emotional and a decrease in appetite, so I just don't know how to respond when she plops down in sobs over not being able to get the lid off the Cheerios container.  I waver back and forth between being sympathetic and saying "Oh, come on!  You're FINE!"

All that to say, I've been exhausted (and yes, sick AGAIN - in case you're keeping track, that's two flus and three colds since October!  Would you please save the date for my pity party?) so I don't have a lot to write about, but I just wanted to give you a little look into the sassiness I've been dealing with these last few days:
isn't she cute?
More updates to come when we're all on the mend - including the much anticipated birthday party pictures!  Yahoo!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What I have been thinking...

Sorry I've been MIA.  By now I think those of you who first heard Waverley's story here and were captivated by it are following Matt and Molly's blog, so you know that Wavy's birthfather was awarded custody on Wednesday.  I've been at a loss for what to write about in response to this decision.  My initial response was disbelief.  I kept reading and re-reading Matt's words thinking I must be misunderstanding something.  I said out loud, "I can't believe it" about 100 times.

I still can't really believe it.  I am just shocked and confused and dumbfounded and angry and devastated and heartbroken.  The same emotions that rushed over us when we first heard that Matt and Molly had lost the Supreme Court appeal are now back and raw and harsh all over again. Somehow we had gathered enough hope over the last 2.5 months to believe that the ending to this story hadn't really been written yet and that there was a surprise twist ending that would leave us happy and celebrating.  I never thought that twist would be that the courts would go against all common sense and logic by tearing a little girl from a healthy, whole family and putting her in a half-family without a mom or a sister or a dad who knows that to be a father is to set aside your own interests for the best of your child - not sacrifice a child's well-being because your rights have been violated!  It's so discouraging that there were so many opportunities for adults to make wise decisions to protect a child and they all failed to do so.

I still don't really know what to say or where to go from here.  To be honest, I waver back and forth between denial (I keep thinking there's gotta be something else that can be done!  This can't be the end of this!) and complete discouragement.  I've prayed and prayed and I just don't have any answers.  And that's okay.

So although I still don't really know what to say, I wanted to at least write something tonight because it is Waverley's last night with her family.  Tomorrow she officially lives with her birthfather.  Matt and Molly will visit her a few times in the next few weeks, but she no longer lives with them.  As heartbreaking as that reality is, I want to leave you with a few things that I know to be true:

- Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8  Nothing about this outcome has changed who God is.  It doesn't affect his goodness or his faithfulness or his sovereignty or his compassion.

- God sent his Son to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law so that he could adopt us as his very own children.  And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, "Abba, Father." Galatians 4:4-7  Waverley's true Father is in Heaven.  No court can reverse the Heavenly adoption that has taken place.

- With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26  I cannot give up on that miracle lamb.  It might sound so ridiculous to you at this stage in the game with Waverley moved out of her house and living with her birthfather, that I am still talking about a lamb, but Jesus himself said that the things that are impossible with man are possible with God!  Until I feel like the Lord is telling me to move on, I will continue to pray for that Lamb.

On that note, I want to share one last thing.

As I've been praying for Matt and Molly, I have been reading through the story of Moses.  You know, the little kid whose mom saved his life by sending him afloat in a basket down river to be found and adopted by an Egyptian princess?  I have thought of this story many times in my prayers for Waverley.  Other than the adoption link, there are two things I have been praying through as I try to understand why things have happened the way they have:

- Exodus 7:3-5 But I will make Pharaoh's heart stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt...When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.  I counted 12 times in these chapters where Scriptures say that the Lord hardened Pharoah's heart so that he could multiply his miraculous signs in the land of Egypt.  Could the Lord be hardening the hearts of the judges and lawyers and Wavy's birthfather so that he has the opportunity to do a miracle that can only be credited to Him?

- Exodus 13: 17-18  My Bible titles this section "Israel's Wilderness Detour."  I've never paid that much attention to this until my dad mentioned it a few days ago.  It says this:

When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land.  God said, "If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt."  So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.

Isn't that interesting?  It has really made me think.  I can imagine that the Israelites thought Moses was nuts to lead them "a roundabout way through the wilderness" when there was a much more direct route to the Promised Land.  I wonder how many battles the Lord has spared me from by leading me in roundabout ways.  And I wonder, will we look back at this time and call it "Waverley's Wilderness Detour?"

Well, my "Waverley Alarm," as Eric and I have started calling it, went off while I was writing this and so now is a perfect time to close my computer and retreat into the only place that has made sense these last 5 days - the presence of our Heavenly Father who has graciously whispered to me as I have begged him for reasons and answers and miracles, "Don't worry.  Nothing about who I am has changed.  I am still Waverley's true Father despite what any court rules.  I have called her from the ends of the earth and I will not turn away from her.  She is mine."

Sorry if this post was all over the place - but that gives you some insight into my heart and brain these last few days!  As you all continue to pray for our friends, I encourage you to spend some time listening for the Lord's assurance and comfort.  I know for me, praying for Matt, Molly, Wavy and Harper has brought me to a new and intimate place with the Lord.  I hope that the same has happened for you.

I'm keeping my Waverley Alarms set.  Will you please keep praying with me?

Monday, January 10, 2011

we are not shaken, we are not moved!

***UPDATE: As you may already know, the hearing was postponed until Wednesday at 1:00pm.  The birthfather's lawyer decided he needed more time to prepare and requested that it be postponed.  Let's pray that means he's having a hard time coming up with reasons Wavy would be better off with his client!  Keep praying!***

So as soon as I published that last post, I followed my own admonition and went out into my living room, got down on my knees and prayed.  As I have written before, music often stabs at a different and deeper part of my heart than anything else in this life.  As I prayed for Matt and Molly (imagining them standing over Wavy as she sleeps tonight, knowing and fearful of the fact that tomorrow will determine a significant amount of her future) a lot of thoughts went through my head which I won't take the time to write down now.  I don't know how long I had been praying, but at some point, I found myself singing the bridge to a song we used to sing at the Gathering a few years ago:

chains be broken
lives be healed
eyes be opened
Christ is revealed

I sang those words over and over, praying for the birthfather, the birthmother, Wavy, the judge, the lawyers, Matt and Molly.  I searched my brain for more lyrics, thinking they might inform my prayers, but the only other words I could remember were these:

come! let your glory fall as you respond to us
Spirit rain; flood into our thirsty hearts again

Not that those words aren't significant.  They are.  Over these last few months, I have been very aware that our prayers for a miracle and a lamb must only be prayed if our desire is for the Lord's glory to be revealed.  So I have prayed, "Lord, bring glory to your name! Provide a lamb!"  And as our prayers have seemingly gone unanswered, I began to add something akin to "Lord, we've been praying and begging and asking for a miracle - please respond to us!"

After I had emptied my mind of prayers and my eyes of tears, I found my ipod and listened to the song in its entirety (in fact, it's still playing on repeat as I type this).  I don't know where you all stand when it comes to how active God is in our daily lives, so you may think I'm nutty when I talk about the Lord "speaking" to me.  And that's okay.  But I believe the Lord brought this song to my mind tonight.  I think He is telling me that he isn't blind, deaf and mute.  He will respond to our prayers.  He is responding to our prayers.  You see, the second verse of the song says this:

We are not shaken
We are not moved
We wait upon you, Lord


I believe the Lord wanted to tell me tonight to stand firm in our hopes and prayers for a miracle lamb for Waverley.  I feel permission to declare that we are not shaken!  We are not moved!  We wait upon the Lord - our MIGHTY DELIVERER, our TRIUMPH and TRUTH to deliver Waverley just as He did Isaac on the mountain - by providing a lamb.

Because the reality is, as big as this is (and it's big - how can the life and wellbeing of a child not be big?), it's really even bigger than you might think.  Our prayers will help to deliver and protect Wavy, but more than that, we pray these things and ask for this lamb so that chains are broken, lives are healed, eyes are opened, and above all else, so that CHRIST is revealed.  So we pray.  And we wait upon the Lord.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

please pray

Please pray.  Please, please pray.  I don't have any eloquent words tonight.  I've been weeping over this stupid horrible messed-up situation and I don't have the emotional capacity to get it together to convince you why you should pray or inspire you to pray or whatever.  So I'm left to beg.  Please, please, PLEASE pray for our friends and their sweet sweet daughter whose future will be decided in court tomorrow.

Pray that Wavy's birthmother is awarded custody tomorrow.

This is it.  Now is not the time to get distracted or to forget or to put it off or to minimize or assume.  Now is the time to call on a God who calls himself Father and ask Him to enforce his good and perfect will.

This is the man who will decide who will raise Waverley:  Judge Foth.  Pray for him.  Pray for the wisdom and discernment and fear of God to rest on him tomorrow.

This is the little girl whose life and future will be changed in unknown ways.  She is the reason we pray.

Waverley Isabel with her Mommy and Daddy
These are the things Matt and Molly have asked us to pray for:
(for justice, for a family that will love her unconditionally and place her needs first)
Judge Foth 
(wisdom, clear thinking, a heart for Wavy)
The birthmother's lawyer 
(words that speak to the judge, a sharp mind, clear thinking, a great memory for the case law that will be most helpful)
The birthmother and her husband 
(continued strength and love for Waverley)
Matt and Molly 
(calm hearts and nerves)

pray! pray! pray!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Buckle up, this ride ain't over!

I recently got some new information that I am excited to share with you all.  I don't want to be overly optimistic, because things are still very bleak, but I can't help but wonder if, to use my Little Sister's words, Jesus is about to "show his stuff."  

As you know, this Monday, January 10th is the custody hearing that will decide which of Waverley's natural parents will get custody.  Here is a bit more information that I was encouraged by and that I hope will help inform your prayers:

- Waverley's biological mom has moved back to Kansas City to fight for custody
- She is married and is a stay-at-home mom to an 18-month-old
- Her husband is trying to get reassigned to a military base here in KC
- MOST IMPORTANT: if Birth Mom wins custody, Matt and Molly will still have a relationship with Waverley!!

The last few days have been exhausting for Matt and Molly and the girls.  They have had separate 3 hour visitations with each of Wavy's biological parents.  The visitations with Birth Mom have gone really well, the visitations with Birth Father, have gone horribly.  This Sunday night, Wavy was supposed to have her first over-night at Birth Father's house, which everyone was dreading, but (by the grace of God?) Waverley was just diagnosed with pneumonia so all visitations - including the overnight - have been temporarily cancelled until Wavy is fever-free for 24 hours.  She is at home and doing alright and I think everyone is grateful for this unusual form of protection!  I'm sure a reprieve from the visitations is such a relief!  6 hours a day must be so hard for Wavy to cope with!  I think I understand a little more what Matt meant when he said that Judge Sheppard didn't do much to protect Wavy's best interest - who in their right mind would think that 6 hours every day with "strangers" would be appropriate for a two year old!?  Bahhhhhhhh! Deep breath, Kelsey, deep breath.

Anyway, while of course it is awful that Wavy is sick, I think the Lord is protecting her emotional health by sacrificing her physical health!  After all, haven't you ever needed a break from work and almost welcomed a sickness that kept you home?  I know I have!  Let's pray that Wavy would recover from the pneumonia at just the right speed to give them all time to take a deep breath!  

And in the meantime, let's pray, pray, PRAY that the custody hearing goes in favor of Birth Mom.  I can't help but think (and hope and pray) that a married, stay-at-home mom of another child would be favored over a single dad living with his mother.  However, Birth Mom has not fared well in court in the past.  The reality is, she made some very grave mistakes and essentially caused all of this trauma by deceiving Birth Father before Wavy was born by telling him she miscarried, seemingly intentionally providing incorrect and incomplete information to the hospital and adoption investigators, and providing contradicting testimony during the original trial.  Let's hope and pray that two and half years  of this mess and becoming a mother to another child since has served to mature her and that she will present herself well in court on Monday.  Pray for favor in that courtroom and that ultimately the outcome is the very best for Waverley.   

I know I keep saying that this is the last leg of this race, and then something happens that extends it.  Imagine how Matt and Molly must feel!  It's as though they signed up to walk a 5K and have ended up running a marathon!  I can't emphasize enough how important this hearing is.  It feels to me almost as important as that horrible appeals trial that sent them down this road.  As far as I know, this custody hearing will either be the dead end that severs Wavy's relationship with her parents (if Birth Father wins) or the fork in the road that opens up other options that allow for continued involvement in Wavy's life (if Birth Mom wins).  

Please pray with me:

- For a Judge to be appointed who fears the Lord and is wise and discerning with the ability to see what is the absolute best for Waverley
- For Birth Mom to present her testimony with humility and honesty and for her living situation to be considered merits in her favor
- That Birth Mom's previous mistakes in and out of court would not harm her chances of being awarded custody
- For Birth Father's living situation and decision making to be a glaring mark against him
- For Wavy's body to come through this illness with just the right amount of time to allow her little mind and heart to recover from the trauma of the last few days
- For Matt and Molly's continued restoration, protection, resilience, perseverance, and hope.

And of course:
Pray for a LAMB!

**Matt just posted an update of sorts that makes some of this information out-of-date.  The short of it is, the birthfather's attorney wrote a RIDICULOUS letter saying that pneumonia isn't a good enough reason to postpone visitations so they have to resume them tomorrow.  You can read the letter in its entirety on their blog.  This just gets more and more unbelievable every day.  Come on, Lord!  DO SOMETHING!!!  If you want to join me, I've been praying Exodus 14 over this situation (specifically 14:14).