Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Website Profile

We finally made it to the Bethany website today!


Sunday, November 30, 2014

December is here!

In 3 more hours.

This is the beginning of our waiting period to be matched! All paper work was final on Nov 26, 2014. BCS has been on Thanksgiving vacation till tomorrow... And I'm super excited to be a part of something that God has planned for us! I'm not sure how many weeks we'll be waiting till the excitement wears down before I get frustrated, so I'm soaking it all in now! Especially at this time of the year with holidays, Christmas songs on the radio and love filling my heart.

It isn't just the excitement of having a baby in my arms again, but also sharing the love, comfort, and wisdom God has given us with another family.

We've been told the average time a mother's profile will show up in an email will be about once every two and a half weeks, or about twice a month. Those would be all profiles, not all matching profiles. We will then email back to our caseworker if we would like our profile book shown. The expecting mom might see a handful of profile books, then narrow it down to the families she wants to meet. Once we meet a mom, then we both have a chance to accept or deny the match. Then she would have ten days after birth to completely decide to parent her child or to keep the adoption plan.

I say "she" in most cases; not all women come forth with information about a father. We pray for the whole family. We pray for the best possible out come for knowing the background of our future child. To know not only who the birth father could be, but that he is fully involved with the adoption plan, as mother will be.

Here's to a great month!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ghost Post

This is what I'm calling a ghost post. There is a post I have written that will be here in the future. Not to make people wonder, but to hold it's place. It's just not the time for it yet.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Feeling Nervous

As we only have one more meeting with our caseworker before being an official "waiting family", I'm starting to feel butterflies. By mid-november we will be finished and waiting. Our child could be tucked away in someone else's tummy right now.  I've thought about it, but haven't said much. Some families get picked quickly, while others take a while. The big gesture God gave back in March for us to "GO!" and how from then to the Nov/Dec = 9 months.... I'm just excited to see God's plans unfold. The nervous part just comes from all the unknowns we will still have. Every situation is different.

As that day becomes more clear, I might be vague in how I ask for prayers. An adoption story is a child's story. Precious and innocent and fragile and emotional. So please remember to pray for the family our child will be coming from, for this child, for our relationship with this family, for our kids now, for us, and for this next transition in our lives.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Thinking of you...

Rascal Flatts - Bless The Broken Road: http://youtu.be/8-vZlrBYLSU

25 weeks since we mailed our first paperwork in...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Physical, lets get a physical, physical

Getting things checked off the paperwork! The kids' had to have a form filled out by their doctor as well.

Got my blood taken this morning... the lady taking blood is a birth mom! Her son she placed for adoption is 14yo and she was a victim of rape. On the day she was going to have an abortion, her friend backed out on going with her and she choose life for him. She said "I didn't choose this, but neither did he". What a wonderful conversation. Sometimes it's easiest to open up to complete strangers at random.

We will be going to get our background check fingerprints on Thursday!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Post Adoption Classes

Class is finished!! It's like "we're out for Summer". We had a great time meeting other couples going through adoption for the first time.
Hearing first hand experiences of birth moms are incredible!
We just have a few more forms to fill out and we're set for our interviews/ home study! I am about finished our profile book. It's getting reviewed before we print....
Closer and closer!

Monday, July 7, 2014

First Class

Adoption is like pulling back an onion... and a similar analogy was used in tonight's adoption class.

We finally had our first class tonight. We were postponed a couple of week to start, but are also condensing five weeks into three weeks.

"How long is the adoption process?" Is a question people give. I might have already covered this a little. Even in the process I learn more and more. 1) it depends on how fast you can do the paper work. 2) once that paperwork is finished it takes X (45 days in our case) amount of time to process that paperwork.

So if on top of everything, and assuming everything is filled out correctly and as fast as can be, doctor notes are in, background checks are finished, 911 calls are reported (yes, we've had one in the last 5 years, accidental-ish- no emergency)... and I make a photo book of our family that I have to have 4-5 copies of.... We're into the Fall. Then we wait, as if we aren't already.

As for the class, it went well. There were two other couples tonight. Another should be joining us next week. We covered BCS as a whole and loss/grief.... as if we didn't already know enough about that. It's good to learn another side of it. Yes, I brought out some tears... no surprise there.... some people christen bathrooms, I christen people with holy water....

More paperwork to be done! I'll use tomorrow for letting on the information sink in and figure out where to start.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Adoption Classes

We are finally signed up for our adoption classes, where we will learn more on:

1) Introduction to the Home Study Process

2) Adoptive Parent Panel

3) Legal Issues in Adoption/Grief & Loss

4) Birthparent Panel

5) Openness with the Birth Family/Transracial & Transcultural Adoption


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

More paper work please!

Another question I get a lot is: How long is the adoption process?

My two main answers:
1) A couple determines a lot by how quickly they finish their paper work and if they are ready to pay for the next step.
2) Once a couple is "home study ready" and paperwork is finished, the waiting time is determined by how quickly an expecting mother chooses you.

We got word our Formal Application was processed and approved!

After turning in our formal application, I knew we'd be waiting on our adoption classes, but wasn't sure if there was something we could do or prepare for while we waited. I also was wondering if we had to be finished with our classes to start our home study... so I emailed our caseworker to ask.

She said we would have to at least start our classes to get started with the home study, but there were some self study/assessment forms that we could get started on. This is 12 pages of questions that Kirk and I have to do separately, without discussing answers, till we were finished, without changing our answers. This will be part of our interview for the home study later. Truthfully, this is the part Kirk hasn't been looking forward to, only because they ask many personal questions. Not that he has anything to hide. To help people further understand the questioning process; some of the questions are:

  • Family oriented- how we were raised, what strengths and weakness we believe our parents had and instilled in us, how we will parent etc. 
  • Marriage based- how we settle conflicts, communication, our physical relationship, etc
  • Heath related- general heath, diagnoses, etc
  • Home/Community/Safety related- if we are around a pool, have fire arms, who provides our sewer water, have any history of abuse (substance, physical, child, sexual)... 
  • Adoption related- how we came to want to adopt, how family feels about us adopting...
That's just a sampling.  We understand that they don't know us from Adam, so how would they be able to quickly understand us, who we are, and then go tell another family that we are a good couple, ready to adopt?

I'm glad I went ahead and asked what we could get started on, or we could have been waiting around and further prolonged the adoption time.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Formal Application

Our formal application was submitted this morning!

1) Pre Application
2) Formal Application
3) Parenting/Adoption Classes
4) Home Study
5) Make Photo/Info Book to show expecting moms

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Domestic vs International

Where are you adopting from? Is one of the first questions people ask...

This blog isn't a list of differences and similarities, or to say one is harder or easier... Especially since I haven't gone through the whole process of either yet, but also the fact we are only doing one of the sides. It's more for me to put some thought process down.

My thoughts keep bouncing around my head. When people hear we're adopting, the second most common question is whether we're looking for a girl or boy. If it was only that easy.

Why I named this blog comes from all the decisions people have to choose from. When knowing you want international, one must pick a country. This could be difficult. But then, depending on what country you pick, you've then probably narrowed down your ethnicities as well.

Choosing domestic adoption in the USA, doesn't limit you that way. Being a hub for everyone wanting an American dream, there is a rainbow of children to be adopted. Then so begin the questions.

Are we open to any child? Any race? Any medical disabilities? How much prenatal care (alcohol or drug use)? Any age? Boy or girl doesn't even begin to skim the surface...

When Bethany Christian Services begins their information nights, they first state that their client is the child. They do what's best for the child. They aren't just an adoption agency. They do foster care and safe family placements. We aren't guaranteed a child, even after being chosen, till all the i's are dotted and t's crossed on the final paperwork. Many people are scared of getting their hopes up and having a failed adoption. I think that's what makes us special. We know the loss and the hurt of losing a child. And I can say with confidence that if a mother makes that last minute change to parent her child... It is her child and I will be proud and be praying for them both. God still has a child out there for us.

So, all that said... BCS also says they try to fit child with the right families. Not the other way around. If there is a right family for a particular child, then the opposite is also true, there is a right child for our family. I've struggled a little with not being able to say "if child x needs a home, we will be their parents". Yes a loving family is better than no family, but there is a right family, and I pray that those child find that family.

We know people who have open their family multiple times to special needs, in particular Down Syndrome. Yes, I prayed that Kendall would have had DS within the ten minutes before our doctor told us he had anencephaly. But now knowing the loss of a child, we can't knowingly put ourselves up to feel that pain again before it is our time.

So I've been trying to read up on some articles and blogs about other cultures and pray about what we are open to currently. So far, we feel the need to be able to relate culturally. So we have said, besides Caucasian, we are open to a biracial child, mixed with white. Not knowing if our child could be African American, Asian, or Hispanic, I can't really focus my attention on learning all there is to that culture yet.

There lies the classes to teach us more about transracial families. The blogs I've read, talk about raising their child around others that look like them and doing things that their culture would also do. I have doubts, that I'm sure many families feel about raising up a child of a different culture would. Are we a family that could raise that child in their roots? Roots in which we aren't accustom to. And I know when we find out what background our child comes from, then we'll be more than happy to read up on and learn as much as we can, to do as much for our child as we can, in that way.

Adopting domestically can be as much internationally as adopting from another country. So I'm eager to start our adoption classes, which might be in June. All that to say, when people ask us about our adoption, we don't know much yet. And we might not till close to the very end, when we are chosen. But what we do know is that God has another beautiful child for us, and we can't wait to meet him, her, or both! (Drew wants a boy, Kristen wants a girl, and we're open to twins!)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Assigned A Caseworker!

Today, while on a cable car/bus in San Francisco for missions, we received a called from our agency and was assigned a caseworker!

I love the feeling of being connected now and telling people we are excited to be adopting and how God is working in our lives!

One of the guys at the church we are visiting out here not only has lost a child, as a stillbirth, but also does pallet art! Pray for San Francisco and new church plants out here. 

Please continue to pray for us, our family, our future child and the birth family that is meant come into our lives and us in theirs.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Paper Pregnant!

No April Fools joke here... We're expecting!

I made sure all the paper work was ready, but then our printer was out of colored ink for attaching a picture, so Kristen and I ran up to CVS to print some and buy some large envelopes. We arrived back in the n'hood pulling right behind the mailman. With all the new houses and construction going on it was hard to get around the mailman right away. We did, rushed home to put everything together, and got outside in the knick of time!

Pre-application done!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Big Birthday Week!

To piggy back off my last post, another awesome donation came in for mine and Kirk's birthdays!! We are so excited and can't wait to see what child God brings to us! 

And in the last few days, being able to reflect... I was thinking about Drew. Up until last week, he never seemed to be interested in having another baby in the house. But all the sudden, and I think after seeing another friend's baby brother, he has started asking me for a baby! And up until Friday, I couldn't give him anytime frame that might happen.  This was so unlike him, but made me smile. I've been seeing him grow up the passed couple of weeks with t-ball starting and him starting to soak up how to write. I feel like being able to follow through with the next steps of the adoption has come at a perfect time! 

And with my parents living with us short term as their house gets built, this will give us more freedom to do the adoption classes Kirk and I will have to go to! 

Now- Kristen would like a sister and Drew would like a brother... So we'll cross that bridge when it comes. But I keep reminding them that God gets to decide because He is always in control! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Shock and Awe

I think long and hard about my titles sometimes... lol. This one seems silly, but it's exactly how we feel today.

God is so wonderful! Awesome, unexpecting, beautiful!

With no expectations except selling another pallet, friends showed up at my door to pick up their art. This wasn't their first pallet, but I hadn't told them an amount expected. I saw a check already in hand. After some chit chat, I was handed the check while I think they anticipated me looking at it. I usually don't open checks in front of people, but since I hadn't told them an amount I glanced down.

Then I probably glanced two more times, while my eyes got bigger and bigger. They'd tripled our current savings just about.  Which puts us at a place we feel we can start signing papers!!!

Speechless, they told me they'd been praying about donating toward the adoption. They'd known the longing to have children themselves after miscarriages and felt God leading them to us. And I start crying.

Excitement and unworthiness, gratefulness and wonder. I know they have huge hearts and they feel we have huge hearts as well and happy to be able to do this to help.

Needless to say no more house cleaning (which is what I was doing before they showed up) was done the rest of the day... happy dances all day long! With an occasional tear up of overwhelmed-ness. After they left, I was outside playing with Drew and I start praying, thanking God for providing sweet friends and providing for this adoption. Drew kind of asked what I had been doing, not knowing the excitement I was having.

Kirk was at a business lunch and came home to find out, and was in shock.

I had started a relationship with my bank teller, since coming in to deposit off and on, and had already mentioned what we were saving for. So when I showed up today, I was super excited to share what God is doing!! She's a sweetheart and about teared up with me :) 

WOO!! More updates to come in the nearer future!!!!!

This post should be so much longer, but there really aren't words to express how thankful we are!

I know you're reading this... Love you guys!!!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Isaiah 49

I had mentioned in my second post that on July 12, 2013 God had placed Isaiah 49 on my heart. And I was thinking about it yesterday, so I thought I'd elaborate. 

Once I felt God leading us toward adoption, I was talking to a friend and minister's wife, who had also adopted. One thing I said was that I was staying away from all verses having to deal with adoption, orphans and "father to the fatherless" in the Bible. I felt like it was too easy for me in our situation then to spin words to make them what I wanted them to say. "Hey Kirk, it says right here we should look after orphans! Let's adopt!" And I knew God was able to show me through other ways. 

July 12, I was on Pinterest and looking at Kendall Keepsake ideas and ran across this this picture: 

There are certain verses that most mothers that know they will lose a child cling to, and that was one that I had seen more than once, but I decided I wanted to read more of the verses around it. Many people think that the Bible is outdated and doesn't apply to their lives in today's world. But I know they are stories that God uses to work in our lives today. Just in a different way, not always literal. 
So I read- 
Isaiah 49
Listen to me, O coastlands,
    and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called me from the womb,
    from the body of my mother he named my name.

And stopped. Another popular verse with unborn children and the fight to encourage women to carry to term no matter the circumstance. That every child is known by the Lord and given purpose. And continued...

He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
    in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
    in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, “You are my servant,
    Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”[a]
But I said, “I have labored in vain;
    I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the Lord,
    and my recompense with my God.”

And now the Lord says,
    he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him;
    and that Israel might be gathered to him—
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
    and my God has become my strength—
he says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
    to raise up the tribes of Jacob
    and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
    that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Thus says the Lord,
    the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,
    the servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and arise;
    princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
    the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

The Restoration of Israel
Thus says the Lord:
“In a time of favor I have answered you;
    in a day of salvation I have helped you;
I will keep you and give you
    as a covenant to the people,
to establish the land,
    to apportion the desolate heritages,
saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’
    to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’
They shall feed along the ways;
    on all bare heights shall be their pasture;
10 they shall not hunger or thirst,
    neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,
for he who has pity on them will lead them,
    and by springs of water will guide them.
11 And I will make all my mountains a road,
    and my highways shall be raised up.
12 Behold, these shall come from afar,
    and behold, these from the north and from the west,[b]
    and these from the land of Syene.”[c]

13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
    break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people
    and will have compassion on his afflicted.

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me;
    my Lord has forgotten me.”

15 Can a woman forget her nursing child,
    that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
    yet I will not forget you.

And so my thought process was thinking still on the KKF and life without a child and our situation and Kendall. 

16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are continually before me.

17 Your builders make haste;[d]
    your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you.
18 Lift up your eyes around and see;
    they all gather, they come to you.
As I live, declares the Lord,
    you shall put them all on as an ornament;
    you shall bind them on as a bride does.

19 “Surely your waste and your desolate places
    and your devastated land—
surely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants,
    and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 The children of your bereavement

A word that I had never used till the loss of Kendall. People always ask why there isn't a one word description for a grieving parent like there is an orphan or widow.

    will yet say in your ears:
‘The place is too narrow for me;
    make room for me to dwell in.’
2Then you will say in your heart:
    ‘Who has borne me these?
I was bereaved and barren,
    exiled and put away,
    but who has brought up these?
Behold, I was left alone;
    from where have these come?’”

We were in a place where we still wanted a child, but after our miscarriage and other family burdens, we were asking how much pain would we put ourselves through before we call it quits. I had already closed the door temporarily with birth control, so I was wondering where/if this child might come?  I don't only grieve for Kendall and the twins, but for a child I still wanted to love but might never get a chance to and for myself- the old me that will never come back. And then on top of all that, for Kirk's brother. 
And there it was. The verse where God spoke directly to me without looking up anything specific to adoption:

22 Thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,
    and raise my signal to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their arms,[e]
    and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.

And then I knew. I wasn't making it up in my own head, trying to come up with some way to twist words like James 1:27. I hadn't talked to Kirk about adoption till this point because I knew the place where he was after the loss of his brother and I needed to be able to present it to him as from God and not completely my own. This is when God said, "Go ahead, I got this."

23 Kings shall be your foster fathers,
    and their queens your nursing mothers.
With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
    and lick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
    those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”

24 Can the prey be taken from the mighty,
    or the captives of a tyrant[f] be rescued?
25 For thus says the Lord:
“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,
    and the prey of the tyrant be rescued,
for I will contend with those who contend with you,
    and I will save your children.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,
    and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.
Then all flesh shall know
    that I am the Lord your Savior,
    and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

He didn't close the door. He just changed our path. And I wish I could run down it as fast as I can. But we will take it one day at a time, just like a bereaved parent does.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Peas and Collard Greens, Happy New Year!

PROVERBS 3:9-10 Honor thy Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

If you've been following us or a while, you may remember that Kirk and I are planning to spend our 10 year anniversary not in the place we thought for 8-9 years, but now on a mission trip. God's been leading us to San Fransico. We'll be taking 10% of what we've made toward the adoption and putting it toward more of God in our lives! I've also had feelings that it will be a part of the adoption some how. We shall see! 

Praying for continued success with pallets and for the next step in our adoption process!