Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Maybe this year?

I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! We enjoyed spending time with many of our sweet friends here over the holidays. It was sad not to get to see family during this time of year, but between Ben's job and the price of travel it just wasn't going to be possible to make it home for Christmas. So, we made the best of it and really enjoyed having a lot of great, quality family time! It was a lot of fun to see Hunter enjoy all the magic of Christmas this year, although it was bittersweet knowing that our family is not yet complete. We were really praying that our new child/ren would be with us before now, but God apparently has other plans. Luckily, His plans are ALWAYS better than ours!

I just contacted our agency since it has been two weeks since we last spoke with them, and hopefully we will be hearing from our social worker this week to set up a date for our home visit. Honestly, I have to admit that I'm completely crushed by that answer. When I spoke to them two weeks ago we were told that we could expect to hear from her in a week. I know that in reality it's because of all the holidays and vacations, but selfishly I want everything to happen NOW!

While everyone else has been taking time off, we have been working hard to get ready for this home visit. We purchased our fire escape ladder, a locking safe for all the medications, put outlet covers in EVERY exposed outlet in the house, bought a new fire extinguisher, got our TB tests done, medical exams scheduled, completed some online training, made copies of nearly every paper in our safe (okay, maybe not ALL of them, but it sure felt like it!), and we are about halfway through the five and a half hours of training DVDs that the agency sent us. At this point I think that all we have left is getting our first aid kit together. I suppose that is where my frustration is stemming from. We have been working so hard and now we just have to wait some more. And more importantly, the children who will join our family have to keep waiting! I am so ready to meet him/her!!!

Keep praying, friends! Pray for all the precious children who are needing families. Pray for peace and patience for us as we continue to wait. I can't believe that we have been on this journey for a full year now!

Love you all, and praying that 2012 is the year of HOPE!

B, E & H

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Today I called the agency to make a payment (always a bit scary, but necessary I suppose...) and found out that they had just gotten the packet of paperwork that I sent YESTERDAY! Praise God for small miracles! So, now they will give it to the Pierce County social worker and we should be hearing from her within a week or so. When we talk with her we can set up our home visit and get rolling! So excited to actually be making progress.

Since Ben has half days this week and a long weekend for Christmas we are hoping to complete a lot of little things as far as getting the rest of our papers together and getting TB tests done, medical exams... stuff like that. It's such a relief to know that we are finally getting somewhere in this process. Now we just need the Army to let us stay in WA for long enough to finalize an adoption! But I suppose for now we should just be content with what God has given us :)

Love you all, and Merry Christmas!!!

B, E & H

Monday, December 19, 2011

First round...


Yesterday was our seventh wedding anniversary and we celebrated by finishing round one of our paperwork! I'd say that's a pretty awesome anniversary gift! :) Here's to hoping that the fourth time is a charm!

Today I will head to the post office, send that think envelope off to our agency (along with every kind of insurance imaginable, I do NOT want that to get lost with all the Christmas mail! We worked way too hard to do it over) The next step is to get every thing else prepared for our home study and foster licensing. I have to do some research on our sprinkler system (to see if we need to purchase fire escape ladders), find out where to get TB tests done, make copies of lots of papers, get a first aid kit together, lock up every medicine in our house, put safety plugs in every exposed electrical outlet... you get the idea. There is still LOTS to do, but at least we are on our way!

Thanks again for all of the prayers and support during all of this craziness. We really couldn't do it without each of you behind us, cheering us on!

Love you all, and wish you all the BEST Christmas yet!

B, E & H

Monday, December 12, 2011

Paperwork is HERE!

Just a quick note to let you know that we have received the paperwork from our agency and so we will be BUSY with that for a while! Between Christmas festivities and working on this giant stack of papers on my desk it will be a challenge to find much free time to blog. I promise that I will keep you updated if we have any news though, but it may be quiet on here for a little bit. I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas! We kicked off our Christmas fun this morning with Hunter's pre-K Christmas program. It was adorable and he did a great job (of course he did!)

Love you all!

B, E & H

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Decision time!

Well, after thinking it over and doing some research we have made the decision to go with an agency who will be able to get us foster licensed AND help us find adoptable children. Phew. What a relief. I feel like this has been such a crazy journey so far, and yet we are still just at the beginning. Remember my post about the steps to adopting? And how one of the beginning steps was to find an agency? Yeah... guess I should learn to take my own advice. Honestly, this is probably for the best though because back when we were at that step we were not nearly as open as we are now. So we have come a long way from where we started. And now we are back at the beginning. What a mess, right?!?!

Anyway, our application is at the agency (or should be tomorrow if it isn't there today) and we are hoping to get the paperwork from them super fast! They said that it typically gets mailed out 1-2 days after they review our application so I expect to see all of the paperwork next week. The cruel irony is that we have to redo ALL of the paperwork. AGAIN. The biographies, the personal questions, the fingerprints, the medical exams, TB tests, vet records, tax returns, bank statements, references... you get the idea. So, if you don't hear from me for a few weeks you can assume that I am once again buried under the mess of paperwork on my desk. The good news is that as soon as we return our paperwork we can begin getting foster licensed and home studied. The agency is predicting that we can have it done sometime between February and March. Which is AWESOME. Then we just have to find a placement (or placements) and see what happens from there.

We will need a miracle to keep us in Washington long enough to complete this adoption, so please pray that the Army finds some way for us to stay here. We have heard of one possible opportunity, but it seems that there are lots of people trying to take this spot, so we just have to pray that Ben is chosen for it or that something else happens. Either way we feel like we can't quit yet and that we need to try and see what we can do while we are here.

Thanks for all the support so far!


B, E & H

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What do you want for Christmas?

I heard this on the radio today and I just had to share it with you all. It really helped me to realize just why we are fighting so hard to make all of this work and bring home our kids!!!

Love you,

B, E & H

Friday, December 2, 2011

Driving while blindfolded

While talking with Ben last night about the CRAZY information that I got yesterday I realized the best way to describe this journey so far is driving with a blindfold on. That's what I feel like we have been doing for the past year. Driving blindly, wildly through an unknown route just hoping against all odds that we will get where we need to be. Jokingly Ben noted that we must be driving a vehicle with steel bumpers because we somehow keep hitting walls and obstacles and yet we bounce off and keep going, even if it is in a slightly different direction. There is certainly some truth in that!

Yesterday was a busy day. One of those days where I literally ran from one thing to the next and tried to make sure that everything and everyone stayed happy in the process. Most of it was fun stuff, but it was just a super busy kind of day. By the time 4:00 rolled around we had accomplished a LOT and I was ready to just take a few minutes off, get ready for my evening event and relax for a second. And then the phone rang. Forty five minutes later I finished that conversation, got dressed for my holiday extravaganza, bolted out the door and at 10:00 last night I finally had the chance to talk to Ben and process the information I was given.

The phone call in the afternoon happened to be a wonderful man who works for WARE (Washington Adoption Resource Exchange). He answered a LOT of questions and showed me that we have been way off track this whole time. The very abbreviated version of the conversation helped me realize that our home study is essentially useless. Yes, you read that right. Wasted time and money and we are back where we began. Little did we know that in order to adopt from the state we would need a home study written by a state licensed placing agency. Our home study would allow us to adopt through an attorney, from a birth mother, essentially a private adoption. The problem is that we aren't seeking a private adoption and since we have never done this before we naturally had no idea what questions we needed to ask before we had the home study done. We did have a licensed social worker write the study, but it turns out that the agency that he operates under is not state licensed. Who knew? The man I spoke with yesterday was wonderfully kind about it and he told us that we were certainly not alone in making this mistake. The frustrating part is that we were open with our home study writer about what we were trying to accomplish, and I and really wish that he had been honest with us about the fact that his home study would not be able to help us. I also feel deceived because we specifically asked if we could be registered in WARE after the home study was completed and he assured us that it would be no problem. What a sad, sad world we live in.

So, now what? The positive thing that came out of my phone conversation yesterday is that we now have a lot more direction then we have had since we began this process. Basically, we have two choices: we can become foster licensed and attempt to find children through that route or we can work with an agency who will help us find children. We had already begun to find that we were most likely going to need to do this, but it is nice to know for a fact that these are our only options. Now we have to do a lot of research and try to figure out which one we want to pursue. It is going to have to be mostly based on which is going to be the quickest route, although we are still praying that God will be able to keep us here long enough to get everything figured out. Today while Hunter is at school I am going to call the foster licensing agency that we have already been speaking with and make sure that the paperwork that we need is on its way. I'm also going to contact two agencies that may be able to help us and see if that seems like a better option.

As frustrating as all of this is, I know that it is for a reason. Honestly, I can't even begin to imagine where we will end up, but I know that it will be worth the wait in the end. As Ben and I talked through all of this information last night, we pondered why we hadn't just become foster licensed back in the spring when we did our PRIDE training through Tacoma Youth for Christ. We quickly realized that at that time we were only open to one child who was younger than Hunter and we were essentially asking for the impossible so there was no real point in becoming foster licensed. Wow, how things have changed. I feel like we have continually been challenged through each step of the way. First, we were looking for one healthy newborn, then a healthy toddler. After a while we began to think that perhaps a set of two young children wouldn't be so bad. God really challenged us by presenting us with a 4 year old boy who had some very real special needs, and we realized that we may be open to a child with some challenges. After a while we found that we didn't really care about birth order and that Hunter would probably love older siblings, so we could take children that are a bit older. Now we have been praying about maybe looking at a set of three children! Oh, we have been challenged. And through the challenge we have quickly come to see that it is not about us. This is not at all about what we want. It is not about what is most comfortable and what is easy. This is about who needs rescued and who needs loved. We have experienced all these delays for a reason and I am excited to see what will happen!

Thank you for all of your prayers for us. Please continue to pray. Pray for wisdom and clarity as we determine what the next step will be. Pray for our children, we know that they are out there somewhere just waiting to come home to us. Pray for peace for us as we try to sort through this all and see where we are being led. It sure feels good to take off the blindfold and begin to see the road, but after all of this time driving with a blindfold on we have no idea where we are and how to get where we are going!

Love you all, thank you for loving us too!!!

B, E & H