Tuesday, July 26, 2011


If you haven't ever adopted, or known someone who has adopted, you can not fathom the amount of paperwork that goes into adopting a child. I mean seriously, to have a baby there is NO paperwork. You get pregnant, have the baby, sign the birth certificate and you are on your way.
NOT SO with adoption. I can't tell you how many papers I have filled out so far, but it has to be well over 100 and I still have a TON left. Last night I filled out two different 15 page forms (THIRTY pages total!) One for myself and one for Ben. That was just one of eight forms that we each need to fill out simply to complete one part of our homestudy. Seriously, the amount of writing and typing involved is crazy. So, if you know someone who is in the process of adopting you might want to buy them a cup of coffee. Chances are they are staying up late to work on paperwork :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Just a quick note...

As many of you know we met with a little boy and his family yesterday. He is a super adorable 4 1/2 year old boy who Hunter enjoyed playing with. He has some issues (ADHD, speech delay, etc.) but we still feel called to pursue the adoption with him. We are well aware that it will be a difficult task to integrate him into our family while also learning to cope with his needs, but we know that if he belongs with us we will be able to make it all work!
His mother is meeting with another family on Tuesday and then she will have the difficult decision of choosing which family (if either!) is right for him. As much as we would love to have him join our family, we would ask that you pray that he finds the right home whether it is ours or someone else's. He has had a tough little life so far and needs to be in a home where he can have lots of love and stability.
Thanks so much for all of your encouragement and prayers so far!
We love you all!
B, E & H

Friday, July 22, 2011

More news!

What a whirlwind the past couple weeks have been! If you read the first post you probably saw that we have been working on all this adoption stuff since December and quite honestly, we feel like we haven't gotten anywhere. It's been frustrating. It feels like it comes in waves. We do a huge pile of paperwork, then we wait. Then we get a bunch of phone calls, then we wait. Over. And. Over.
HOWEVER... the past week has been a complete whirlwind of activity. It started like this; Hunter and I were out running errands on Wednesday of last week and my phone rang. It was a sweet friend of mine (who is also in the process of adopting) and she says, "Did you get the email?" I respond, "Nope, I'm out running errands. What email?" (Here comes the CRAZY part) "The email about the little boy here in the Seattle area that needs a home. He's four and a half." WHAT?!?!?! So, here we are, in the Costco parking lot and I'm making a call about a little boy who could potentially become our son. I can't even begin to describe the emotions in those few minutes.
So, to make a really long story short, we are meeting this little boy on Saturday. We have no idea if it will amount to anything. His legal mother is interviewing us and two other families so she could choose someone else. Or we could meet him and decide that he is not a good fit for our family.
In the meantime I have been speaking with an adoption attorney, a home study writer... it has been chaos! But, God has been lining everything up perfectly. It just happens that husband of the woman who sent the email about this boy is an adoption attorney. And yesterday I found a home study writer who can begin our home study NEXT WEEK! Oh, boy do we have a lot to do!
I really don't know if we will be the family for this little boy, but if you don't mind would you pray that we have a lot of clarity about this situation? So far everything about this situation has been very much directed by God. We have been praying specifically for a little boy, around four years old. It's pretty awesome!
Okay, back to doing paperwork. Last night I received two emails from our home study writer with about 12 different attachments. Which need to be filled out by Wednesday night. Oh, and Ben will be out in the field on Monday and Tuesday so it's going to be a few more days of craziness for our family! :)
Thanks for coming on this WILD ride with us! I promise to keep you all updated!
Ben, Em & Hunter

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Where to begin...

Well, this blog has been in my mind for quite a while now, but I have been waiting for just the right time to start it. I guess now is just about as good a time as any! If you found this blog I will assume you figured out that we are in the process of adopting. It has been a long journey so far and we are still figuring out just where God is leading us through this process. One thing is for sure... we are learning a lesson in PATIENCE.
I guess the best place to start will be with a little background about our journey to where we are now. Ben and I had felt for a while that we were being called to adopt but we didn't know where to begin. We knew that an international adoption was out of the question because of the travel involved. It would have been nearly impossible for Ben to take the time off to travel to another country during his time in command. We prayed a lot about it and in December of 2010 we finally took a leap of faith and decided to contact a local adoption agency which arranged domestic infant adoptions. Due to the holidays we actually had to wait until January of 2011 to contact the agency, but once we did they helped us gain a better understanding of the whole domestic adoption process and what we would need to do before we would be eligible to adopt in Washington state.
We began by getting fingerprinted for an FBI background check, signed a lot of consent forms for background checks in all FIVE states that we have lived in during the past five years, and finally attended PRIDE training. If you are not familiar with PRIDE it is a 30 hour, four day course that covers lots of adoption and foster care related topics. It was painful! But, we knew that it would all be worth it once we had the newest member of our family home with us.
During PRIDE training we began to be interested in pursuing an adoption of a child who was a little bit older and had been in state foster care. Because we don't know for sure when we will be moving again we are not good candidates for foster-to-adopt, but we are eligible to adopt a child who is legally free. This basically means that they have been in the foster system for a while and their birth parents no longer have any rights, the child belongs to the state. So, this opened another door for us.
In May or June we found out from the agency we had been working with that they were overloaded with families and probably wouldn't be accepting applications for new families until sometime in 2012. That definitely wasn't going to work for us since we can't predict when we may be leaving Washington. So, the hunt was on for a new agency. At least now we knew that we could look for one that also provided the option of adopting legally free children from foster care. Again, God quickly provided us with the name of a wonderful agency called Antioch Adoptions. We loved everything about them from the beginning! I won't go into it all here, but you should take the time to look at their website and read all about how they got started (http://www.antiochadoptions.org/). We knew we HAD to be a part of this amazing adoption story!
So, in June we attended their introduction class. We quickly returned our application and began speaking with the agency. They graciously agreed to take us on despite all of the challenges of working with a military family. We were thrilled!
Now we are working on background checks, getting ready for our homestudy, doing interviews... and generally just preparing our hearts and home for the wonderful little family that God has in mind for us! (Oh, and did I mention that we said we would take TWO kiddos?)

Thanks for following us on this CRAZY ride!
There is a lot more to tell...but you will just have to wait for a little while on that part! :)

Ben, Emily and Hunter