Merry Christmas!

One step forward, two steps back. . . 
You gotta lose in order to gain. . . 
I’m sure there are more cliches and -isms that could further paint the picture.  December 19th came and went, and went smoothly for that matter.  We waited almost an hour for the phone call from Phoenix into our attorney’s office, then wrapped that up all in less than fifteen minutes.  The judge on the other end of the phone sounded about as friendly as you could ever hope for, all of the questions were from the list that we were sent days beforehand, and before we could say “Merry Christmas,” that was that.  
But, we’re still not there yet.  Turns out, all last Friday did was terminate parental rights of the birth parents and turn jurisdiction over to the state of Tennessee.  So, while in essence it continues to move us forward, on paper one might think that Kane is worse off than before.  
Friday morning, he had two biological parents and a name.  OK, that second part is misleading.  According to the state of Arizona, that name is “Not Named”, with the birth mom’s last name.  Anyway, Friday afternoon, he officially had no one (on paper, mind you) laying a claim to him.  The state of Arizona officially declared him an orphan (again, on paper) and cared so much they let some random couple from another state, thousands of miles away, take custody of him in the meantime.  And we’re so glad they did.  
I can’t imagine another day without him in our family.  Jaclyn and I will be quick to tell you that this has easily been the most difficult journey we’ve embarked on together.  When I looked at her across our living room almost two years ago and told her what I felt God was calling us to do, I didn’t really picture the finish line.  But, Kane is not just an addition to our family, someone we have allowed to join “us.”  He is one of us, as sure as flesh and blood.  (We’ve already had two different people tell us that he favors each of us). 
Isn’t it that simple, though?  On the surface, we tell ourselves just how much we’ll have to give up in order to become a follower of Christ.  We will even rationalize it out, because God needs our help of course.  How we can do without this, but not that.  We can end this relationship, but have to hang on to this one.  And the list goes on.  All without the consideration of just how much we are really mortgaging on the other end.  If a person would ever realize what a relationship with the God of this universe really means, then walking away from anything to get there would be a no-brainer.  Paul and the rest of the apostles literally walked away from life as they knew it in order to walk in his physical footsteps, while we hesitate at keeping Sundays sacred or not being as close with friends outside the faith.  If Kane were old enough to grasp what he just got severed from this past Thursday, he would laugh at the suggestion that he keep any of it, risking giving up what he has now in the process.  
Anyway, in the next few weeks/months, we will be jumping through more hoops to really finalize this process.  It will take a little more time for us and our lawyer, more paperwork, and at least one more person to say we’re not that bad of a family to live with.  But, since Kane doesn’t understand, we are there – standing in the gap for him.  Continue to pray that signatures, opinions, and forms are all correct, pure, and filed properly.  We don’t have a final “gotcha day” just yet, but think it should be over before the end of March.  But, even though you still won’t see a million pictures on social media of him until that day comes, we can at least show you this guy with confidence that he won’t be going back to Arizona!
Thank you all for your continued prayers.  And thank God for his gift that we celebrate – something I cannot fathom at all, given our recent circumstances – the surrender of his only son.  
Merry Christmas from the Scotts!

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