Monday, December 13, 2010

Moving slowly

So I realize I haven't had an update in over a month. There really hasn't been much to update. Right now in order to finalize our Homestudy we are waiting on the FBI to clear us. We submitted our fingerprints at the beginning of October! So we are waiting on that as well as making our way through the required 10 hours of online adoption training. We have 2 hours left to do! It's actually been really helpful. And although it feels like it's taking forever to get through the required readings and videos, I'm glad that we are doing it. We are learning a lot about what the effects are on a child that has been in an orphanage and some expectations we should have in bringing our child home. It's been sobering but good.

Once we have our Homestudy completed we will then be able to start moving forward as fast as we are able to pay for things. We are unable to start applying for financial aid and grants without a completed Homestudy. So the plan is start applying for those things as soon as this Homestudy thing is done. Still not really sure what the timing will look like of when we get matched up with our child and when we get to bring him home. It's be expecting, but not know the due date. The planner and decorator in me is ready to work on the nursery...patience =)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Last Homestudy visit...check!

Yes, we can now check off the list our last homestudy visit! The visit went really well. This was the first visit that our kids were here and I am very thankful that they didn't do or say anything too crazy. She did have to "interview" Carter at one point. She said the requirement is to talk to children in the home that are older than 3. She asked Carter, "What do you think about adopting a brother?" I held my breath. Carter replied, "I am so excited that I will have brother to play Legos with and GI Joes with and play soccer with. And I am saving my clothes to give him." (Everytime I put away clothes he has grown out of he gets excited and says it will be good to have these clothes for his little brother.) He did good =) We continued with logistical things. I finally have a better understanding of what a homestudy actually is. She had a print out of about 9 pages, detailing everything we've talked about, things that were in our paperwork. A very detailed description of us, our upbringings, our health, our families, jobs, name it. We went over that together and made corrections.
There are just a few lingering things to complete the homestudy process. Our social worker is waiting for our FBI background checks to clear, our tuberculosis results which we have to go back for tomorrow, we have to complete our online training, and get back references. After that she passes it onto her supervisor and our agency....and hopefully we pass =)
I feel so many steps closer now that we have gotten through this huge hurdle. It was sweet to talk to my dad tonight as we tried to picture the moment when I meet my little guy. It still feels forever away, but I do feel a tad bit closer to that moment.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Today's visit with the social worker went really well. Kevin and I took turns talking with her. It was really laid back. She asked questions about our upbringing, our parents, siblings (yes Audrey I told her I have an amazing sis), college, jobs we've had since, our know pretty much all that could be summed up about our lives in a matter of 45 minutes each! We handed over documents and copies we worked on and talked about what we have left to do to complete the homestudy. We are down to 4 things on the list!! Her next scheduled appointment with us will be next Wednesday afternoon. We will wrap up loose ends and she will be around us with the kids for the first time...she hasn't met them yet.  At that point she passes things on to her superviser and then to our caseworker at our agency to look over everything....and then hopefully we will pass and be able to move onto the next step!!

The next step....after completing the homestudy we can then start applying for grants. We will also be working on putting together our dossier. What is a dossier? I'll just paste a definition from to make it easier for me to explain... "a set of legal documents which are used in international adoption cases to process the adoption of a child in its own country by the adoptive parents, or for the adoptive parents to obtain the legal custody or guardianship of the child in the foreign court, so the child can be brought by the adoptive parents to the United States for adoption," I'll be able to be more specific as I get more of an idea of what this entails for us.

And pretty soon I plan on mapping out in a post exactly what this whole process looks like for us to financially go through. On our timeline, you'll notice that I am keeping track of expenses as well as when we raise money or receive money from people. We want to be transparent with every aspect of this process especially the money part...I know several people have mentioned interest in adopting one day but like us thought financially it's impossible. I'll quote a sweet friend..."The Lord has a heart for orphans...He will fund what He favors." 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

2nd Homestudy Visit

Tomorrow we have our 2nd of 3 homestudy appointments. Our social worker will come to our house in the morning and individually interview Kevin and I. From what I understand she will be following up and questioning us based on the paperwork we filled out and turned in a few weeks ago. Please pray that this time goes well. Again it is a little nerve racking to be vulnerable about your background, upbringing, parenting and whatever else with someone who's job it is to assess your adequacy in adopting a child.

Other logistical things checked of the list this week...drug screening done (costing us $90), financial forms completed which include our family budget, assets and liabilities. Our plan for this weekend is to squeeze in a few hours of online adoption training, we need 10 hours total.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Tedious

So much of what we are doing right now is what I consider to be tedious. I know these things are important...there's just a lot of "little" things to do. Right now as a part of our homestudy we are making our way down a checklist of about 20+ things, which some will also be included in our dossier later on. For example, this past week we spent some time tracking down all four of our birth certificates and getting certified copies. We also had to get a medical form filled out by the kids' pediatrician as well as schedule physicals for both Kevin and I. I also had to go to the Law Enforcement office to get a record of any 911 calls that have been made from our address within the last 3 years (who knew). Bought another smoke detector because the social worker pointed out we could use another one closer to the kitchen. And to date we have probably spent 6-8 hours on paperwork alone, haven't really kept track, probably a good thing. And there's more to come! We still have a few more forms to fill out before completing the homestudy... including our monthly budget and other financial stuff. Oh, and while I'm thinking about it I need to make an appointment to get our drug screenings done! We will also have to complete 10 hours of adoption preparation training... which thankfully we will be able to do online.

In the midst of all these tedious tasks, it's very easy to lose sight of why we are doing this. I had a sweet reminder this past weekend randomly while at the Chiaha Festival (Rome's fall arts/craft festival). I was shopping at a friend's booth getting a dress for Alyssa while Kevin started eyeing a sweet little blanket, hmmm....for our future little boy? And before I knew it, my sweet friend at the booth pulled a fast one on me and put the blanket in my bag. What a sweet moment...our little boys first gift. I now have a reminder that there will hopefully be a precious little boy to wrap up in this soft little blanket! Thank you Trent and Kat =) So all these tedious tasks and running around town do have a purpose...a purpose to hopefully bring home our little cuddle and hold in his new blanket.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Documenting the Process

We knew what to do to try to get pregnant =) We were clueless on how to have a son/daughter through adoption. I am not a pioneer or one that likes to stand out or do what's different. So now that we have taken the plunge into something so mysterious to a lot of us...I thought I would document our adoption process.

 I have several reasons on why I have now become a blogger, something I thought I'd never do! One reason is so that others can keep updated and know how to pray for us. Another reason is to raise awareness of millions of parentless children. And finally so that those who desire to adopt one day can see a step by step of what it looked like for us. Just as every pregnancy and labor/delivery story is will this be our unique adoption/labor story. But generally speaking I hope this helps. I will keep a timeline of when things happen and how the Lord provides financially. Roughly 30% of Americans at some point consider adoption...less than 2% actually do. I hope this helps even just 1 other family take this crazy step. And for the rest, I hope this helps to let you stay connected to what's going on along the process!

A recent we had our 1st of 3 homestudy visits. It went really well. I was a little nervous, since basically we are paying a "professional" to assess our home, our health and our parenting... yikes...but I came away with a good feeling. The social worker was great and very easy to talk with. She is all about getting this part of the process done as fast as we can get things that we are not waiting on her. Our next appointments are already scheduled for Nov. 3rd and the final one Nov. 10. Then onto preparing our dossier (I'll explain that one another time).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Why are we Adopting?

There's a simple and a complex answer. The simple one is...we feel ready for child number 3 and when we think about the fact that there are 147 million orphans, 147 million children that need a mom and dad,  it kinda made sense for us to go this route for our next child.

Now for the complex...this has been on our hearts for a while now, we even talked about it while we were dating. When Alyssa was just a week old, we both felt that our next child would probably not come from my womb. Back in the spring we revisited this idea of adopting and the more we prayed and looked into it, the more we felt convinced that is the direction for our family. The verses from Proverbs 31:8-9 really stand out to me now..."Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." I can no longer ignore the fact that there are millions and millions of children in need of parents, home, food and love. If I knew that either Carter or Alyssa were sitting on the side of a road starving, or sitting alone in an amount of money, no person, nothing would stop me from doing all that I could to go get them and bring them home. It is by God's grace alone they were born into a home where they are loved and well fed. I am convinced I have another child out there waiting to become ours.