I've never been so excited about paperwork in my life! I have about an inch thick worth of paperwork to sort through. I have looked through it a couple of times. Jason and I spent an evening this past week looking through and filling out some of the forms. The first day it came in the mail I was jumping up and down excited to see it! After a few days of waiting for Jason to have time to sit down with me, I was still pretty pumped-up to get started. We decided that there were a few things we could do now, but most of it would have to wait for instructions from the social worker. Her first visit is scheduled for next Friday (Jan. 31). Looking at the stack today, the feelings of being overwhelmed are hitting me.

It. Is. A. Lot. Of. Paperwork.

There is a HUGE checklist that includes fingerprints, background checks, family care plans, training, SAFE questionnaires, medical exam reports, and home safety checklists. I now know why people are saying 3 months for the home study to be completed. And that doesn't include the time spent (30 hours to be exact) in training OR the time spent completing the Dossier (which is different than the home study and takes more time)


It can be overwhelming looking at the big picture. It seems a long, twisty road ahead. I thought I knew the path, but now that I am looking ahead, I'm not so sure I know the way. There are so many ups and downs just waiting to happen. There are so many unseen variables that you cannot even begin to calculate all the possible scenarios. For a "planner" like me - this is torture. I like to plan. I like to have things in order. I enjoy going over all of the details and finding a plan. I am OC about a lot of things.

I had to step back and take a breath. I had to look around and say a few things to myself:

1. "You do not have to see the big picture. God does. That is enough."
2. "You do not need to know all the turns in the road. God does. That is enough."
3. "You cannot put a time frame on this process. God knows the time. That is enough."
4. "You must let go of all your fears. Put one step in front of the other (fill out one form at a time) and move forward.

Instead of this process being torturous for me (which it very well could!), I want to trust. I want to spend my energy trusting instead of worrying. Trusting is not a passive verb - but an active one. I must be active in filling out paperwork, making phone calls, setting up appointments, and continuing to do what I know I can do - all the while TRUSTING.

So, let me get back to trusting....while I fill out another form.


Officially Approved

It is official!
We are approved. 
Our agency has reviewed all the initial paperwork and has approved us to move forward!!

We must sign and mail in an Adoption Services Contract and then the home study process can begin.  Many things are involved in the home study. A social worker will review:
Family Background
Physical Health
Financial Statements
Current Home/Children already in the home
Various other aspects of our lives

We have been in contact with our social worker - she is actually located several miles away.  She is supposed to be sending us some paperwork to go ahead and begin this process. We will also be required to take online classes and read several books to help educate us about adoption and bringing home a child from another country.

We are so excited to be officially starting!  We are looking forward to mountains of paperwork in our near future.  Hopefully the home study won't take more than three months.

Please continue to pray:
For all the paperwork to be submitted smoothly
For time to complete paperwork
God to protect and care for our little girl...somewhere out there.
God to give us both patience
God to give us both wisdom
For the entire Home Study Process


Not Plan B

A few people so far have asked us "Why adoption?"  Maybe not in those exact words, but they are still curious as to the "why." Even filling out forms we have to answer that question.  Why would we adopt when I could just get pregnant and add to our family that way? This question comes from the idea that we already have three biological children.  I did not have any trouble getting pregnant.  All three pregnancies were relatively easy. 

Why adoption?

When Jason and I were first married, before we even tried to have kids, I knew that adoption would be on the table - but it was always in the context of "If I cannot have my own kids...." or "We will try to have our 'own kids' first, then try adoption."  Many people struggle with infertility.  It is real and it is heart-breaking.  I have feelings of guilt sometimes when I think about being able to get pregnant.  I cannot pretend to even know about their pain.

Sometimes we can see adoption as "Plan B." 

The more Jason and I have read about adoption, especially Russell Moore's book and a sermon by John Piper, we realize that adoption does not have to be "Plan B."  Adoption is just one route that you can use to become a parent. 
Adoption was always for me like a "Plan B."  It was always a second-choice and something less desirable than the first choice.  I've come to see it in a very different light. 

For God, adoption was always "Plan A." 
Ephesians 1:5 - "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will"

We do not need to see adoption as second-rate. With God, adoption was His FIRST choice.    With God - adoption is priority. With God - adoption was everything.  With God - adoption is at the heart of the gospel.

Why did we chose adoption then?

The heart of the matter comes from the simple command to "care for the widows and orphans."  God has placed it on our hearts.  It seems trivial to say it that way, but it is the truth.  We were drawn to adoption by the Holy Spirit and after studying God's word, realized that it is a beautiful picture of our own adoption by God. So instead of asking "Why adopt?"  We are asking ourselves "Why NOT adopt?"


Russell Moore
Adopted for Life: the Priority of Adoption for Christians and Churches

John Piper
Sermon "Adoption: the Heart of the Gospel"

Quick Disclaimer:
I am NOT saying that if you are trying to have biological children first you are wrong. Or if you did adopt after struggling with infertility you did so with incorrect motives.  I am trying to encourage those that are thinking about adoption to see it in a different light. I am trying to encourage those that would adopt to see it as something just as wonderful as having biological children.


A New Year - A New Path

A New Year

We kicked off the New Year today by filling out our first form.  After years of praying, months of seeking council, and even more praying - we have made the decision to adopt.

We have three biological children, but always knew we wanted to add to our family.  After attending a conference three years ago on "Widows and Orphans," both our hearts were drawn to adoption.  The time finally seems right to take a step of faith and pursue it.

We have been making phone calls, writing emails, surfing the web, and reading books for the past five months trying to find the right path for us to follow.  There are so many questions to ask before you even take one step:

Domestic or International?
Private or Agency?
A healthy child or one with special needs?
An older child or baby?

We have settled on international - and have picked the country.  We have decided that we want a little girl and as long as she is younger than our youngest, she doesn't have to be a baby.  We are open to what is called "Minor Correctable Needs."  So she will more than likely have a health problem, but maybe not too severe.  We have chosen our agency.  Today we filled out the first form online.  It is real.  It is really happening.  It is hard to believe that we are finally going to do this.

We are excited.  We are nervous.  We do not know this path.  We do not know anyone personally who have adopted via this route, but we are excited to see what God has for our family.  We are praying. 

Please pray with us!  I will try to keep updates here concerning the process, but it will be a slow one (12-24 months).  My prayer for me is PATIENCE.  Waiting has never been easy for me, so I am anxious to see what God is going to teach me through this adoption process.

Here is to 2014~
Maybe we will meet our new daughter this year. :)