Tuesday, January 31, 2012

UPDATE: Back To the Drawing Board

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Sleeping children upstairs (we have Tali tonight), hot tea steeping beside me...finally sitting down to write an update.  Ahhh.... feels good to have a minute to sit down and write.

Over this past weekend we were looking through the paperwork for the final stage of our Catholic Charities application and came across a policy of CC that we couldn't sign off on....and signing off on it would be a requirement to continue the adoption process with them.  SO.... we have begun the search for a new agency. Recommendations of Kansas City area Evangelical Christian adoptions agencies are welcome! :)

This agency change will mean that our fee schedule will look different than what I posted here.  I will update as soon as we have a better idea of what it will look like.  Also, stay tuned for info on some fun fundraising events!  Excited about this stuff!

At first glance this seems like a setback, but we both see it as the Lord's leadership.  We know that the right agency for us is out there and we trust Him to lead us to it.

He is faithful. :)

Love to ya all!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Learning to Rest and Abide...again

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Some random, slightly disjointed thoughts this morning:

Man... No matter how many times God presses on an area of my heart where I'm not at rest and in faith, and I yield to His work in me and learn to rest and trust and abide in Him at a new level.... there's always MORE.  I should know by now that I never "arrive..."  But I forget that sometimes. :)

I'm realizing that this process that we're diving into is going to be a HUGE stretch for my faith/rest muscles.  Already things are taking longer than I anticipated.  The paperwork we expected in the mail 2 days ago is STILL not here...and I have a strong feeling that the entirety of this process is going to look similar to this. Waiting that seems endless.  The completion of each step taking days and weeks longer than I (in ALL my wisdom ;) ) think it should.  Patience is not my strong suit when it comes to things like this... but I'm growing!  Yikes... This could be tough...  God, help me.

Hebrews 4 speaks of a rest that is for all believers.  Also, Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

I had the revelation this morning that this rest Jesus speaks of, this "easy yoke" and "light burden," is the result of FAITH.  Trusting in God to fulfill His promises over my life, even when I can't see how in the world He is going to do it, leads to inner rest and peace.  This is a daily, sometimes minute-by-minute battle.  Now I understand the concept of "striving to enter His rest."  It takes great intentionality in taking every single thought captive.  When I have victory in this area of my thought life, my heart is super peaceful... when I don't...it's not.  Trusting Him for continued growth in this stuff.....and knowing there will be PLENTY of opportunity for it in the near future!!

Definitely appreciate prayers for this specific area of my life in this season.... Thanks all! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Another Faith Booster

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Wow, I absolutely love this story and the way that this young couple rallied support for their friends' adoption.  I also love the way Steve and Sarah, the couple who were adopting, share their heart for adoption and why it was a priority to them.  I really connect and identify with their heart and desire to adopt.  If you have a few minutes - watch this.  It's worth your time. :)


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Adoption Stories That Boost Our Faith

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If you have time, these are so fun to read!  Amazing how God comes through with the needed finances JUST when they're needed.  Totally faith-building.




More faith builders to follow later. :)

The Steps of the Process

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Here are what we understand to be the steps in the process of infant adoption through Catholic Charities:

1. Fill out and send in an "Interest Inventory."  This basically serves the purpose of determining whether we meet the initial qualifications to apply to adopt through CC (i.e. how long we've been married, our income, whether we've been convicted of crimes other than minor traffic violations, etc, etc....)   We completed this paperwork and sent it in in early January, as shown in the timeline to the right.

2. Fill out and send in the actual Application paperwork and fee ($170). We are waiting to receive the application paperwork in the mail, hopefully today. It was mailed yesterday.

3. Once our application and background checks are approved, we start the home study process.  This will involve extensive interviews with us as a couple, with us as individuals, and probably with Jerusha and Jo, who live with us.  They will put together a (long!) document that details our individual histories, the way we were parented, our current relationships with our siblings and our parents, the history and health of our marriage, our parenting style, and LOTS of other things. (We went through a home study already when we began doing foster care in 2008.)  We will owe a $1,300 fee at the beginning of this process.  I've been told that the completion of the home study usually occurs around the 3 month mark from when a couple initially applies.

4. While our home study is being completed, we will be working on our "family profile." This will most likely be in the form of a binder that will be full of information about our family (both serious and fun), pictures of our family, our home, of Jo and Jerusha, of us with our extended families, etc, etc.  This will also include a "Dear Birth Mom" letter that will be read by a birth mom who is looking at our family profile as she considers possible adoptive families for her baby.

5. Once our profile and our home study are complete, we will be an official "waiting couple."  At this point, the waiting REALLY begins....waiting to be chosen by a birth mother for her baby.

6. We will be matched with a birth mom, who likely will be approaching her due date.  This is where the specific details of how things will happen can vary a TON.  We know that we will need to obtain an attorney to handle our side of the legal work, which will be an additional cost (not sure how much yet).  We also know that there may be specific costs (for which we'll be responsible) associated with medical care for the baby while in the hospital, etc, etc.

7. The baby will be born and most likely within a few days, will be placed in our home.  Final placement fee will be due at this time (likely around $10,000).  There will be, I believe, 3 months of follow up visits with a CC case worker before....

8. Finalization of the adoption occurs.  

These steps are DEFINITELY subject to revision as we learn more details and get further into the process.  :)

The Practicals

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We have decided to adopt domestically, which means that our baby will be born in the United States, and likely right here in the Kansas City area.  Eventually we may adopt overseas also, but for now we feel led to start here in the U.S.  As this point it looks like we will be adopting through Catholic Charities of KC, MO.  I have randomly (in the last few years) connected with a few different people who have adopted through CC and have had good experiences.  I have also researched CC online and found many others who have had positive adoption experiences with CC.  In the beginning of January when we began talking about proactively moving toward adoption, I called CC for info and found out that they had an abnormally large number of adoptions in 2011 and therefore, their base of "waiting" couples has been largely depleted...making this a great time to apply through them, since they need to rebuild their base of waiting couples.  There is no way of knowing for sure whether CC will continue to have as many adoptions in 2012 as they had in 2011... but for now, this seems like a good place to start.  Also....according to Catholic Charities, there is a great need for couples who desire to adopt biracial or African American babies (which we are very open to).

Please comment with any questions that you have and I will try to answer them asap.  :)  More info to come...
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