Monday, November 21, 2011

Where do we go from here?


I feel like I have so much to say but I don't even know where to begin. First, we did get our home study completed so we are officially home study ready! It was a HUGE relief to know that we have made it this far and that we are finally getting close to bringing home the newest member(s) of our family.

The relief of having the home study complete was quickly overshadowed by the fact that we had no idea where to go from here. I had incorrectly assumed that upon completion of our home study our home study writer would have the ability to register us in WARE, giving us the ability to search for waiting children and also giving social workers throughout the state the ability to find and contact us. Apparently things have changed and as of right now we are still waiting on an answer concerning whether or not we will be able to be registered in WARE. Without it we have no real way of connecting with children or social workers and essentially rendering our home study useless. I honestly can't even begin to explain how disappointed and frustrated we are at this point in the process.

We had eventually given up on the idea of using an agency to help us with the adoption after the advice of many people and agencies along with the fact that so many agencies didn't want to work with us because of the time constraints (we honestly don't know how long the Army will allow us to stay at Fort Lewis). At the time it wasn't a problem but from what I am now being told Pierce County (our county) has recently gotten rid of their foster to adopt program and so there is a lot of confusion about what is going on with that. As I understand it (and I don't understand it at all...) what it means is that state social workers will no longer facilitate the adoption of children in the foster care system, thus forcing any parents who are wanting to adopt children who are in the foster system to use an agency. This is a HUGE problem for us as we don't have an agency and are not currently foster licensed.

Right now I am waiting to hear back from the social worker who wrote our home study. He will be able to verify whether or not we can be registered in WARE. After we hear from him I'm hoping to have a clearer picture of what we need to do next, but right now I feel like we are just floundering. I have no idea where to go and what to do. We may need to start finding an agency who will work with us, we may need to become foster licensed... we have no idea what it will take, but we will do anything and everything that we have to in order to make this work!

Please pray as we continue forward in this process. Pray that we can figure out how to work our way through this system. If we have to hire an agency please pray that we choose the right one and that things move QUICKLY! And most importantly please pray for all the children who are caught up in this mess of foster care because they are the ones that are truly suffering through all of this.

One positive that has come out of this for us is that it has refreshed our passion for the children in the foster system and reminded us just how much they need to be able to be in a "forever family."

Love you all,

B, E & H

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's in a name?

So, as I finished up a study on covenants in the Bible, I came to an interesting realization. I already did a post on how we are all children of God, and what that means, but as I studied covenant I realized how important our name is in relation to God as His children. Let me explain:

When God takes us into covenant He changes us and also changes our name. There are many Biblical examples of this from Abraham (formerly Abram), Sarah (formerly Sarai) and many of the disciples and apostles. Looking at other passages we find that God told the nation of Israel that they would be called by a new name (Isaiah 62:1-2). Furthermore, we are told in Revelation 2:17 that "To him who overcomes... I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him." So even though we may not be aware of our name change if we are in covenant with God, we will find out in heaven the name that He has given us! Wow!

You are probably wondering why in the world I'm giving you a lesson on covenant and name changing, but I promise that I do have a point to make! In our society today we see echos of this practice of name changing, the most common is in marriage. Often the wife will take the last name of the man she marries as a sign of their marriage covenant. I really found it to be so neat that when we finalize the adoption of whatever children God gives to us, they will take our last name as a covenant that we will always be their parents, just as God changes our names when we become His. Maybe you don't find that to be quite as interesting as I did, but in a way it made me realize just how much God must love us that he will name each of us Himself, just as we give our own children a name. And what a beautiful picture of love that we can share our last name with some of God's children!

Well, thanks for reading my rambling! Sometimes I think that this blog is more for myself than it is for anyone else because it gives me a place to record some of the crazy thoughts that often run through my head. If you enjoy reading them, I'm sure glad! And if you don't, well... just scan through to see where we are in the process and go back to whatever else you were doing. I promise that I won't be offended. :)

As a side note, yesterday I approved the final draft of our home study! This is HUGE news, except that ultimately nothing has changed because I never got a final copy or any information concerning our registration in WARE. And naturally, when I called this afternoon to ask about all of that no one answered the phone. So, as soon as I know that we are home study ready I promise that I will let you all know! In the meantime, be praying that things begin to move quickly because we are beginning to get a little nervous that we may not be able to finalize an adoption before the Army decides to send us somewhere else. But for now we just have to trust that if God has led us to it, He will get us through it!

Love you all!

B, E & H

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A glimmer of hope

So, we did see a draft of our home study late on Thursday night. Praise God for small miracles! There were a few things that needed to be fixed and I emailed off those corrections on Friday morning and so now we just have to wait for the final draft to come out. I am praying that all the corrections will be made and that we will be registered in WARE by the end of this week! Okay, honestly I'm praying for Monday but I know that it would take a genuine miracle for that to happen, so I will be content with having it done by the end of the week.

Ben will be out all week, playing Soldier in the field, so Hunter and I will be keeping busy by continuing to organize the house to empty out our spare bedroom closet. We have a few play dates set up this week as well and we are excited to just spend some time catching up with friends! We had a wonderful weekend just spending time as a family, having a "camp-in" and going off-roading. It is always such a blessing when Ben gets a long weekend because then it seems like we actually get to spend time together instead of just running around getting ready for the week.

Thanks for keeping up with us, and I promise to keep you posted on the status of our home study!


B, E & H

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


After calling AGAIN, I finally received a call back from our home study place. And naturally I was vacuuming and missed the call. Argh! Anyway, she said that they would work on our home study tomorrow and we would get the draft tomorrow or Thursday. I feel like I should dress up like little orphan Annie and go around singing "Tomorrow, tomorrow, we'll get it, tomorrow... it's only a day away!" I'm not going to hold my breath though...

So, today we are going to make some pumpkin bread, maybe visit the park, have a pot roast for dinner, thank God for the sunshine and try not to dwell on "tomorrow!"

Love you, and keep the prayers coming!!! (Especially the ones for patience, okay?)

B, E & H

Monday, November 7, 2011


As you may have guessed by the fact that I have been silent, we are still waiting. I called the home study place on Friday afternoon and left a message. I called them again today and was told that I should get a call tomorrow morning letting me know where they are on the home study. To be honest, I'm struggling to trust God and to trust that the writer of our home study knows what he is doing! I realize that there are many families waiting and wanting their home study completed, but it feels like we are soooooooooooo close, yet not close enough. I just have to be content with knowing that God has a child or children in mind for our family and no one will stand in the way of His will for those children.

While we wait I have been doing a lot of reading. One book I read is Wait no More by Kelli and John Rosati. It was a quick read but it really helped clarify in my mind that we are on the right path. We know that this is not going to be easy, but the more that we learn about the foster system and the children who become a part of it, the more it becomes painfully obvious that we can't turn our backs on these children. Yes, they will come with baggage. Lots of baggage. And yes, they will be scarred, scared, defiant, hurt, broken, bruised, grieving, sad, angry, bitter and so much more. Can you blame them? These kids have been abandoned, neglected, and abused. Not all of them were intentionally hurt. Some of the parents struggle with mental health issues, drug addictions and circumstances that are beyond their control. But that doesn't change the reality that these children need to be LOVED. God doesn't call us to love the lovely. He doesn't ask us to love those who love us in return. Instead we are called to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matt. 5:44). Do you know what follows this verse? (When I looked it up it made me smile!) That you may be children of your Father in heaven (Matt. 5:45). WOW. God wants us to love the unlovable just as He loves us and ADOPTS us into HIS family!!! I know that this is going to be a long and tough road. We are going to have our hearts broken when we love a child who isn't yet able to love us back. But this is what we are called to do. Isn't it beautiful???

So, who do you need to love?

B, E & H

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Prayers, please!

Yesterday I got in touch with the social worker for a particular sibling group that we have had our eye on for quite a while now. I honestly don't know what details I can or cannot share with you, so all I will say for now is that these children need our prayers. Ben and I are hoping that these two may be our "forever children" although it seems like the odds are against us, but either way can you please be in prayer for them? Specifically, pray that the judge will be given wisdom to make the right decision about whether the children should be sent home to be with their mother or if they need to terminate all parental rights and find an adoptive home for them. It will be a couple of weeks before we hear anything again (and that is assuming that their court date doesn't change by then) but I wanted to have this situation bathed in prayer!

We are still waiting to hear back on our home study, but it should be finalized very soon! We are so excited to feel like we are finally making some progress.

Thanks for joining us on our journey!

B, E & H