Friday, March 27, 2015

Adoption Update #6: We're Active!

Last Wednesday, our homestudy was officially finished and we became active to be matched! It was a relief to know everything was done with our homestudy but we're far from finished with paperwork! 

Since becoming active, we've chosen to present our profile book to two birthmoms (they won't be presented simultaneously though). We haven't heard information regarding these situations yet, as it could be several days for all the books the moms will see to be compiled and sent to her. No matter the outcome, we are praying for these women and these little babies! 

After our first situation to review came up, I have found myself awake far more at night. It's so humbling to read about another person in this way and I feel more burdened than ever for the plight of these women and their little ones. I also have found my thoughts racing about all the things "I" need to do to get ready, but really I am not in control! Adoption definitely makes me realize this more and  more! When I was physically pregnant, I was no more in control than I am now, but I felt as though I could "do" something, even just eating healthy, for my baby. I am so glad that God is using this process to teach me daily that He is in control and I am all...not even a bit! 

So where are we now? Now, we wait! We could be matched at anytime with a baby due in a few days to a few months, to one already born! It's exciting and exhausting all at the same time. In terms of paperwork, we are now able to apply for grants and loans through various organizations. Almost all  grants require a completed homestudy to apply, so now we can submit those applications. 

In order to help with fundraising, I've been doing a few Instagram Auctions and have raised around $250 through those! We also were able to apply for and were accpted to have an account with Adopt Together. This is an online group that allows us to "receive" donations that can be considered "tax-free". When one donates to Adopttogether, the money goes directly to the organization. In turn, we can apply for a grant based on our doantions. This makes sure the funds are being used toward our adoption and saves us from having to handle the money. Also, donors can get a tax deduction for donating! We're raised $430 there so far! We can only request grants in increments of $500 or more so we hope that we'll be able to meet that minimum to use all the funds! 

If you'd like to donate to our account you can go to

We need to be prepared financially for being matched since up to half of the total adoption costs can be due at match. If our adoption is $35,000 then we'll need to pay up to half of that amount when we are matched. The rest will be due when the birth mom signs the relinquishment papers at 72 hours after the birth. If we are matched with a baby about to be born or already born, this means we could need access to a lot of funds in just a few days! To help with this process, we have a loan through our bank too! Right now, (including the federal tax credit and K's employeer donation) we have about $22,000. We're praying about ways to continue fundraising, saving ourselves, and applying for other grants and loans. 

Thank you for praying along side us and supporting us. Even though financial donations help relieve a great burden, we are truly grateful for all the prayers and caring inquiries about our adoption that we receive. Each time someone says they are praying for us, the birthmom, and our baby, it gives us such hope and peace. If you feel led to doante, please use the link to our page above. Feel free to share this blog or the adopttogether link too! Even if you can't donate or even if you can only give a small amount, sharing will help spread the word too! 

Every day our girls are starting to ask more and more about when "our baby" is coming! I think sometimes they believe the baby is coming UPS :)! It's so sweet to see their love for their future sibling! They are very excited about any baby item that enters our house and talk a great deal about all the things they are going to show the baby or share with him/her. It makes my heart overflow with joy! Even M told me that she would walk and hold my hand when I had to carry the baby! I love their generous hearts! 

Please keep our family in your prayers as we embark on the "big wait" and as we navigate difficult decisions! We can't wait to see how God writes this story! 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Adoption Update #5 and SNOW!

We've had a lot of snow here in Kentucky over the last month. The good thing about being snowed in is that we have had lots of time for working on stacks of adoption paperwork! The photo above is from one of our smaller snow storms, where K and the girls made their first igloo. Our next snow was much bigger (about 11 inches) and we got a second and bigger igloo then! Today, we have bout 12+ inches with more falling. I am curious to see what will spring up in our yard later today. The girls are ready for daddy to take them out to play! H has plans for a fort and I am pretty sure M expects to build Elsa's castle in the backyard! 

So where are we in our adoption? Right now, we are finished with our homestudy and waiting for it to be written up and approved! We should get news on that front next week. Everything looks good, so approval should happen! We also signed with our agency (FAC)!! When we signed with FAC, they sent us a packet of things that included five applications for agencies they generally work with. Talk about a mountain of paper! I went through an ink cartridge printing it all. K says that we should plant a few trees in honor of our new baby this Spring! Because we are working with a consulting agency, they network with other agencies to match. We don't know which agency we will be matched with, but by filling these applications out ahead of time, we will have them "ready to go" should we be selected to present to a birth mom. I feel like I've been writing the same information over and over! When I get tired, I think that each word, each paper, brings us one step closer to the little one that needs us and I keep going! 

We've also been working on our profile book this week. It's so hard to cram everything you'd want a birth mother to know about your family in a twenty page book! We were charged to avoid being "wordy" (hard for an English major) and to keep the photos to no more than 3 per page. That's hard for a scrapbooker too! Thankfully, we had some great samples to look at and I have been able to follow their model. We'll be sending a rough draft to our consultant later tonight. I'm praying that the changes are few and minor! 

Because our homestudy required so many documents, we don't need to gather too many other items for FAC. Sometimes I have to chuckle at the things we are asked to provide. This time I had a good laugh over needing the shot records for our dogs. Now, I understand why this is important, but it just seems so funny to me as well. 

Another fun thing that we did regarding adoption was a fundraiser on February 13th and 14th. Our dear friends the "C" family are also in the process of adopting domestically and had the idea to do a fundraiser where we would offer babysitting, at our church, for Valentines Day weekend. We had lots of volunteers from our church and probably around 80 kids total attended over the two nights. We did games, snacks, and crafts! K also did some juggling, yo-yo tricks and balloon animals for the kids. It was a great success and we made about $1200 to divide between our two families. I am just in awe and so thankful to the "C" family and to all our friends and family members that helped out! Our church is amazing in how they show the love of Christ to one another through service, and this was no exception. Here are some photos from those nights: 

 A small sample of some of K's balloon animals! 

 K doing the chinese yo-yo for the kids

My mom singing with the kids! 

Mr. P doing some games with the threes and fours! 

I have lots of sweet photos but I didn't want to post any faces here for privacy reasons. I am sure this little one's scrapbook will feature some of these precious pictures! 

So, what's next? Well, once we get this other stack of paper work finished and our profile book is edited (and printed), we will be listed as "active" and our profile can be presented to birthmoms! We could be selected quickly or could have a wait. We could be chosen by a mom ready to give birth or who has already given birth or by a mom who has a few weeks or months to go! There are so many unknown factors, but God is sovereign and we know He has a plan for us and this little one we have yet to meet. 

We also hope to be able to start applying for grants and loans as soon as our homestudy is approved. We are looking to provide a way for friends and family to donate tax-free money as well. Our biggest financial challenge coming up will be having the fees ready at the time of match. This could be up to 1/2 of our total adoption cost (we think we will hover around the $35,000 mark total), so that could be around $17,500. We need to make sure we have funds and loans ready so that we can be matched when the time comes. So, we'll probably be kicking off another fundraiser this week. 

How you can help: 

-Pray for our birthmom and baby, as well as our family as we navigate this process. Pray that we can love big no matter the outcome! 

-Pray for wisdom in dealing with the financial aspects of adoption 

-We'll be having a yard sale as soon as the weather warms up, so if you have items you would like to donate that we can sell, that would be a huge help! I can pick items up if you let me know! 

-If you feel so called, a donation would be a great blessing. You can donate directly to us or (coming soon) make a tax-free donation to our fund (we won't have direct access to the funds but the organization would pay our expenses directly through those funds. I will update on this as soon as it is finalized! We have to have homestudy approval before we can complete the form). 

Thank you so much for your prayers and support! We feel very loved and we know that love will spill over to this precious little one!