Wednesday, October 26, 2011


This morning I called our home study agency again. I'm pretty certain that they are sick of me, but the squeaky wheel gets the oil, right? It's a good thing that I called because I found out that yesterday they received our FBI fingerprint clearances and after a little convincing they told me that they should have our home study completed sometime next week! Now, I'll believe that when I see it, but either way, we are getting CLOSE! Hence the title of this post...

I'd be lying if I said that everything has been easy. You've probably read some of the struggles we have had - agencies, home study, etc. -  but what I'm referring to is the inner struggles. Let me clarify.

We KNOW that this is what we have been called to do. No doubt about it. However, that doesn't make it easy. Right now our life is pretty comfortable. We have a nice house, wonderful neighbors and friends, a pretty well behaved and very lovable little boy, a happy marriage... you get the picture. This process has forced us to step out of our comfort zone in so many ways. We have had a glimpse into some of the terrible things that happen to children and families and instead of running away we have had to walk toward the suffering. That is hard. But, it is the only way that we can truly find the heart of God. Isn't that beautiful? The thing that carries me through is that it is through our response to suffering that we can be the hands and feet of God. What a privilege.

By accepting this call to adoption we are opening ourselves to a world of pain and suffering that we may not otherwise know. We are exposing our son to things that he wouldn't otherwise experience and we are certainly becoming vulnerable to a lot of pain, heartbreak and rejection. And I wouldn't change it for the world. However, it is comforting to me to know that even though I know that this is what we are supposed to do I'm not alone in wishing that it could be easier, or less painful. Jesus, while praying in the garden before his arrest and crucifixion asked God, "Father if you are willing take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done (Luke 22:42)" It comforts me to know that the Savior of the world, God's very own Son, understands that it is often painful to do what God asks of us.

We have been so incredibly blessed to have the support of all of our family and friends, and for that we are infinitely grateful. And we are praying that the transition that is sure to come will be as easy as possible. While we continue to wait we will prepare as best as we can, but I feel like no matter what we do we will never be fully prepared for what may come.

Love you all, pray for us! :)

B, E & H

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Sometimes it seems like God has forgotten about us, but let me tell you that he hasn't! Over the past few days (and the next few weeks!) I have had the opportunity to open my home to so many wonderful kids and it just makes me smile to think that God has given me this "training" opportunity! :)

Every time I begin to panic and wonder if I have it in me to care for more children God gives me a chance like this to prove to myself that I can do it, and I can enjoy doing it! Okay, I guess this post is really more for myself then it is for you guys, but I just wanted to have it in writing that "with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hello again!

So, as you may have guessed there really hasn't been too much going on with our adoption stuff. Mostly just waiting. A lot. I have to keep reminding myself to enjoy the wait because the chaos is sure to follow. Kind of like the calm before the storm if you will. Not that things are ever very calm around here, but you get the idea :)

I called today to check on our fingerprints and the lady that I spoke with at the FBI (it was strange, I've never called the FBI before...) said that they should be arriving at our home study office at the beginning of next week. After those arrive they will begin to write our home study and we expect to see the draft in 2-3 weeks. Then we approve the home study, the draft is finalized and we are ready to go! It seems like things have been moving so slowly that it's beginning to become less and less real that we may very well have one or two more kids in our house by Christmas! For some reason Christmas has become my goal. I have this dream of a wonderful, cozy Christmas morning with our complete family. I can't wait to spoil these kids! Normally I am very frugal and not into giving Hunter too many gifts and such, but since the kids we will get have probably never experienced a BIG Christmas I really feel like it would be an amazing bonding time, plus it would give them some stuff to call their own! Anyway, enough dreaming for now...

The difficulty right now is that I want to make so many plans, but yet I don't want to commit to things we can't do. For example, there was a decent price on plane tickets to go home after the holidays, but how many tickets do I buy? Last night we purchased tickets to the monster truck show in January, 2 adult and 1 child. Hmmm... Guess we will just have to see how that works out! I certainly don't want to completely put our lives on hold while we wait, but I also don't want to open our family up and then not include our newest member(s)! Adoption is so crazy... but what a fun journey!

I guess that is all for now. I have a few blog posts bouncing around in my head, but I haven't yet had the opportunity to sit and type them out. Hopefully I will get to that soon. In the meantime I am enjoying spending time with our little family and praying for the sweet "forever child(ren)" that God has in mind for us!

Love you all!

B, E & H

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Yesterday it occurred to me that I haven't really discussed some of the preparations we have been making to get ready for our new little one(s)! So, I figured now was a great time to let you know how we are trying to prepare ourselves and our home for the changes we will be making.

One of the most difficult parts is just not knowing what to expect. I mean, I don't know about you, but I am definitely a "type A, plan everything out, plan for every contingency and then execute" kind of person. Ben is as well. For that reason this is taking us entirely out of our comfort zone because we have NO IDEA what is going to happen. We really can't predict a timeline, although our personal goal is to have our new family together by Christmas. We don't know what ages, genders, race or even how many children to expect! It's such a vastly different experience from a pregnancy. Sure, sometimes for various reasons you don't know the gender of the baby, but at least you know what age the child will be! :)

This is quite the adventure, folks! There is no "What to Expect when You are Adopting" book out there. I mean, sure, we went to training that gave us a lot of ideas about what we might see or expect, but it was certainly just the beginning. This complete lack of knowing what to expect is one of the interesting things that sets domestic and foster adoption apart from every other type of adoption. What a thrill! All the other families we know who have adopted at least knew before they got their child what the gender and age of that child was. There are always surprises, both with adoption and with biological children, but this may certainly be the biggest surprise of our lifetimes!

As an example of the confusion involved I'll try to explain about our spare bedroom. We were trying to get our spare bedroom (currently an office) ready, but where to begin? We removed the four giant bookshelves and placed them in the living room and the master bedroom. Then we took the desk and put it into the master bedroom. You might be wondering if the master bedroom is full yet. The answer is yes :) So, now we have an almost empty bedroom, but what do we fill it with? A crib? Bunk beds? Do we paint it pink, blue or green? See, the part of me that loves to plan everything out wants to have the room perfectly put together so our child/ren can see that we were waiting for them, but the reality is that it's impossible to know what we will need! So we wait :)

We have the same dilemma for clothing, bedding, sheets, socks, shoes, toys... I guess we will just go on a MEGA shopping spree once we know what we will need! The exciting part about this is that we can choose exactly what that child loves. How fun!

In the meantime we are keeping busy by reading some great books on child-rearing and discipline. This is one area that makes me nervous. Discipline is difficult enough with my four year old that I raised, but to take another child who has probably seen and experienced more difficulties in his/her young life than I will ever experience and mold them to what I think they should be... wow. What a responsibility! I understand Hunter. I know his moods and his quirks. I know that when he gets really grumpy it's probably because he's thirsty. I know that if you raise your voice at him he will most likely cry. With a child that I haven't raised from birth how will I know all this? I realize that I will learn it all in time, but I also know that it will be a difficult beginning. That's why Ben and I are doing our best to equip ourselves with any knowledge that may help us when that time comes, but we hardly know where to begin. If you have read (or even heard of) any great books that may help us please share! We are open to any ideas and suggestions.

Well, there is just a little glimpse into the planning that we are doing. I feel like we should be doing sooooooooooooooo much more, but how do you plan for the unknown?

Have a blessed day!

B, E & H

Monday, October 3, 2011

If you can't say anything nice...

I remember being told as a child, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Right now I just have to bite my tongue, but know that there really isn't any exciting news here. Just slowly making our way through the process, battling a few problems but hopefully nothing that will hold us back in the long run.
In the meantime we have been super busy around here! We are finally getting into the swing of things by balancing school, housework, AWANA, FRG, Bible study and all of the millions of little things that seem to come along each week. Last week was Military Police week so we had a lot of fun doing activities for that and attending the MP Ball. It was a fun evening, but it sure is a lot of preparation for one night! I'm glad that it's over for another year :)
If you think about it, pray for us this week, specifically that we will overcome the frustrations and feel like we are making some forward progress. We are hopefully very close to getting our FBI fingerprints back (I think it has been almost 8 weeks, so we really should see them any day now!) and that should be the last key piece needed to finalize our home study and begin looking at children to place in our family!
Love you all, thanks for being a part of this with us!
B, E & H