Friday, November 28, 2014

Dual Certification

Just thought I'd give a quick update that there isn't much to update :). We have decided to become dual certified through DHS just in case we receive an out of state placement (some states require DHS certification). So basically it's just to cover our bases and be legally prepared for more situations.We have also increased our age limit from 6 months to one year. That's about all that is new "on paper" but for anyone interested in some of my crazy thoughts along the way and lessons we are learning, read on...

We have settled comfortably into this waiting period and I think God is just starting to reveal the importance of the WAIT. I easily pictured the beginning of our adoption process and the end but I never really thought about the wait. You may have noticed that I changed the blog name, we are still going through Cherokee nation at this time but I am already beginning to see how many different directions this process may take us. Since my last post I have been made aware of 4 potential adoption situations. None of them even made it past "hey I heard about this baby..." but nonetheless they were times that made me freeze for a second and look to God asking 'Is this the one for us?' They were all very clearly not meant for us and for that I am thankful because the Lord knows how horrible I am at making decisions. I was however shocked at how much love I felt for each of these children that I literally knew nothing about. And I actually felt heartbroken for a little bit after realizing that they weren't for us. I know that will sound absolutely crazy to some of you (maybe all of you!). I wasn't heartbroken because we didn't get a child because truly our home and hearts are full to bursting right now and we don't feel rushed to just have another child. But learning even little details about these kids instantly attached them to my heart and it was the craziest thing to feel so much love in such a short amount of time. What this has taught me is that God has given me a heart that easily opens and loves and has pretty much erased any doubt that I will love number two as much as I love my Gentry bean. So...back to the waiting. We recently learned that it can take 2-4 years to get a newborn through the CN and even that is a long shot because priority is always given to couples with infertility. CN mostly deals with "deprived cases" where children are taken from the home versus a birth mom situation. So the chances of a newborn being taken that doesn't have older siblings is pretty slim. That is another reason we have decided to become DHS certified as well as increasing our age limit.
 I'm also learning that our 'comfort zone' is being stretched way outside what I expected. One of the children I mentioned above was from China and had a severe medical condition and another child was one I learned of through work who also had a medical disability. When we started out we both felt that international adoption and major disabilities were not something we were willing to look into. I'm definitely the more emotional one of the two of us and so I always use Jason as my 'compass' to gauge if I'm just having an emotional reaction to something. With both of these cases I just gave Jason the facts and asked how he felt about it. He had a lot of questions about each but ultimately was 100% on board. I am really surprised to see how easily our comfort zone could be stretched when we surrender it God. Again, none of these cases were in God's plan for our family but it definitely opened my eyes to a whole world of possibilities. I don't feel overly impatient with this process, mostly because most days I don't how I would manage with a newborn thrown in the mix. But I also want to use this waiting period for His Glory. He has promised that while we wait, He will strengthen us (Isaiah 40:31)- Strength for whatever is next, strength for a much longer wait than expected, strength for things I can't even imagine. I like this quote from Living Proof Ministries: "Most times, the waiting really isn't about the waiting, it's about becoming". I also found this song by John Waller called While I'm Waiting and the chorus is: While I'm waiting I will serve You; While I'm waiting I will worship; While I'm waiting I will not faint; I'll be running the race even while I wait. It gives a great sense of purpose to the waiting process which I love. For now we are settling into the waiting and continue to trust that when God does have a child for us that it will be undeniably clear.

Friday, March 14, 2014


A small but exciting update! Today we received our official letter of approval from the Cherokee nation, so we are now open for a placement at any time. It's such a strange feeling having no time frame whatsoever. We could have a child in our home next week...or it may be a year or more. I'm a big planner so it's hard for me not to have everything ready & waiting but since we don't know exactly how old the child will be or when they'll be here there's not a lot of point to planning. It's also a really exciting place to be, completely trusting God without a lot of direction. I probably won't have much to update until we have a possible placement but lots of prayers are so greatly appreciated- for our sweet baby & whatever situation they may be in before they come home to us, for Gentry since her world is about to be rocked, and for the birth mom & all of the things she'll be going through. Thanks :)

"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior.
I will call upon Your name, keep my eyes above the waves. My soul will rest in Your embrace. I am Yours and You are mine."
Oceans by Hillsong United (Such a good song if you haven't heard it!!)

***clarification: we are not naming the baby Usdi, it just means "baby" in Cherokee :)***

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Baby Steps

Welcome to our blog! And let me start by saying that I am terrible at things like this! :) The goal is just to keep everyone up to date with our adoption process. Jason and I have talked about adopting someday even before we were married. I definitely feel like God has been directing us on this path for many years. We have had the opportunity to watch several friends and family members go through the challenges and blessings of adoption and have learned a lot from them. God has blessed us so immensely with loving family and friends, a stable marriage, jobs that support our family's needs, and an incredible almost 2 year old daughter and we want to share it with a child in need. Last fall we spent a lot of time praying about where to even begin (international, domestic, foster/adopt) and after doing some research we really felt like God was pointing us toward domestic adoption but that was as far as we got. A few weeks later I was filling out some paperwork to get Gentry her Cherokee card (I'm Cherokee from my dad's side of the family) and had a moment of realizing how awesome it would be if our second child was also Cherokee because that's a connection that Gentry and her sibling would always have. So we jumped in with both feet and trusted in the Lord. We have since then turned in our application, filled out a huge stack of papers, had numerous background checks and fingerprinting done, attended training classes, had two home visits and turned in our profile book. At this point we are waiting for our home study to be reviewed and waiting on one last background check to be returned from the state. When that is complete we will officially be "open" and the real waiting game begins. One of the main things I have learned from others who have gone through this process is that you never know where you're going to end up and it's usually not where you thought you would be when you started. So we are trying to remain as open minded as we can and not have too many expectations. That being said...we have requested a newborn up to 6 months and are praying for a boy! We are open to a birthmother situation or a 'custody' baby who has been taken from their mother for various reasons. We are so excited to see where this journey takes us and to meet baby number two whoever he/she is! I definitely have my days of doubt and anxiety because there are a lot of risks. If we go with a birthmother there is a lot more financial risk and of course she could always change her mind. If we are given a custody child I feel like there is more 'emotional' risk- their policy is that the baby is in your home a minimum of 6 months before the adoption process even begins because reunification with family is always their first goal. It is so easy to get overwhelmed when I start thinking about all the what-if's but I always remind myself that God has led us here and He already knows exactly which baby will be joining our family and how it's all going to work out, so what should I be worrying about? I'll do my best to update you all often. Thanks so much for visiting and please keep our future baby and their birthmother in your prayers!