Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Waist deep

A lot of people have been asking us how our adoption process is going lately, and we're always excited to share what's going on! Currently, we are still waist deep in the paperwork process. This week we plan to send out all the papers we have completed so far, as well as our application fee. I think it will help me feel like we've made a dent in some of our paperwork when it's not all still stuffed in our folder! :)

In addition to signing our name a million times, getting physicals done, and deciding who to put down as our references, a chunk of our time has been devoted to answering questions - about everything.

My mom and I were talking about some of the questions recently and how strange it is to have to explain to someone your philosophy on parenting and how you plan to raise your children before you can be "approved" or chosen to be a parent. Especially in today's society, where so many people become parents without much of a plan beforehand. It's surreal, really...and difficult to explain unless you've gone through the process yourself. Even answering a simple question can be deeply analyzed - Will this be taken the wrong way? Will we not be chosen by a birthmother if we put down that we believe that spanking is an appropriate form of punishment? Do they even know what an AWANA program is? Should I describe myself in mostly positive terms or some negative terms too? And how do I do all of this without going crazy?!?!

So, to help some of you who may wonder what kinds of questions are asked when you go to adopt, I've included a "short" list below. :) How would you answer these questions?

  • What is your motivation for adoption?
  • What are your attitudes toward birthparents?
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What attracted you to your spouse?
  • What are the strengths that you bring to your marriage? What are the strengths your spouse brings to the marriage?
  • Describe your roles in the marriage. Who assumes responsibility for what?
  • What are the areas of your marriage that need the greatest amoung of attention?
  • What experiences have you had that will prepare you for parenting?
  • What are the expectations and values you have for your children?
  • Describe characteristics of an ideal home environment.
  • What form of discipline do you use or expect to use?
  • Are there any circumstances where you feel that physical discipline is appropriate? If so, under what circumstances?
  • How will you talk with your child about adoption?
  • What faith do you plan to raise your children?

And these were just on the general questionnaire!! There are 2 additional questionnaires to fill out if you are open to adopting a child of a different race. Maybe I'll include some of those questions on a diferent post...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Joyful Heart is Good Medicine

One of the best (and worst) things about adopting is hearing comments from different people. So far we've been blessed with mostly positive comments, which I am very thankful for! I thought I'd share one that particularly stuck out to me the other day...

Recently I made the mistake of filling out an online survey saying that I was possibly interested in pursuing more education some day. I wasn't being very serious when I took the survey, and didn't think that it would result in anything!

Well, it turns out that they do take that seriously. I received phone calls about 6 times a day from different schools trying to talk me into entering their program. For a while I was ignoring any calls I didn't recognize, but then I finally decided that I'd just talk to them and tell them I wasn't interested anymore. Usually, the spiel went something like this:

College Counselor Person: I'm calling from such-and-such a college and we saw that you recently filled out a survey indicating that you are interested in our so-and-so program, is that correct?

Me: Well, I was only slightly interested at the time that I filled out the survey, but right now I don't think it's going to work because we are pursuing adoption and I won't have the time or money for schooling.

College Counselor Person: Oh, I see. Well, if you ever decide to further your education, please keep such-and-such a college in mind for your future. Thank you so much. Goodbye.

To be honest, I was surprised that it usually went so quickly! But yesterday's conversation had a joyful twist....

When I mentioned that we were pursuing adoption, instead of giving me the generic "Oh, I see" answer, he exclaimed, "That's great! Congratulations!" And then went on to ask if we were adopting an infant and if it would be a boy or girl. I chatted with him for a bit and before he said goodbye he encouraged me to keep things as open as possible and said that he was very happy for us and wished us the best.

It was such an unexpected blessing in my day to have this complete stranger be excited for us...and it really put a smile on my face and on Joe's when I shared it with him!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Conglomeration Happenings

I promised you all an update, and here it is finally!! This is what's been going on in our household over the past few weeks...I've tried to title each separate section so it doesn't seem like a big random run-on post... :)

Honk the Musical
As I mentioned in this post, I helped out with our local school's production of "Honk: A Musical Tale of the Ugly Duckling" at the end of April. And as mentioned, I had a great time doing it, however, what some of you may not have known, is that it caused a bit of a problem with my arms. It turns out that learning 1.5 hours of musical accompaniment (which, by the way, was written in the most difficult keys and had about 5 key changes per song) and getting it polished enough to perform it a little over a month later is a little bit hard on your arms. I was having shooting pain up my arms and into my shoulders, as well as achiness in my hands and wrist, which made playing just a bit difficult. To be honest, it had me completely freaking out. But, praise the Lord, one of my students has a sister who suffered from similar symptoms in the past, and was able to recommend that I soak my arms, alternating between hot and cold water. And though it didn't take away the pain completely, it made it much more bearable. Now they're almost back to normal, for which I am very thankful.

We still find our dog to be a joy! (With the exception of the occasional poop accidents in the living room and destroying even the most indestructible of toys) He remains mild-mannered and semi-trained. And sometimes we wonder if he's part cat...

Adoption!! (the most important update of all!)
My last post about our adoption process described it as a bit of a stand still. Well....we have made major progress since then, of which I am overjoyed to share with you!!

Joe and I prayed (and so did many others -- thank you!) that the Lord would lead us to the right decision regarding an adoption agency, changing types of adoption, or moving. And, as always, the Lord came through. :)

A few weeks ago, I was having a "downer" day, and had decided to call around to see if I could find an adoption lawyer who could maybe work with us privately. The first one I talked to highly recommended that we pursue an agency, and then spent a lot of time telling me things that I was already aware of. But he was nice, so I won't hold it against him. :) His recommendation was Catholic Charities, but we just didn't feel good about supporting a Catholic organization. Next on my list was to call Lutheran Social Services, an agency my mom told me she had heard good things about.

From the moment I began talking with Laura, I was hooked. She was so friendly and helpful and WE WERE IN HER SERVICING AREA!!! As she explained the process we would need to go through and how it all works, she mentioned to me that at this point, there were no people on their waiting list. Which is highly unusual since usually they have so many people waiting that they have to draw family names randomly out of a hat to determine who will actually get into the program.

Well. Let's just say that I know why there were no people on the waiting list...cuz my God is THAT BIG, that's why! :)

Needless to say, I set up an appointment to meet with her only 2 days later at their office (which is about 1.5 hours from where we live). It was great. She explained a little more in detail and encouraged us to take our time in making our decision...that it isn't a decision that should be rushed into. I agreed with her, and then commented: "I know you said this shouldn't be rushed into...but we've been waiting and praying about this for a long I know our answer is yes!" And the best part? She was cool with that! We left that day with not only a general packet on adoption, but also a packet of paperwork that needed to be completed, as well as information regarding our homestudy.

And let me tell you. It is a PILE of paperwork. I've been working on it as much as I can since we got it, and I still don't feel like I've made much of a dent in it. Oh well.

At this point, my goal (as unrealistic as it may be) is to get all of our paperwork done (and maybe even our homestudy?!?) by the end of June so that things can start moving forward! Laura told us that the waiting time is usually 12-18 months approximately, but it can be shorter when you're a couple without children.

Score for us! :)

So, once again, we covet your prayers as we push forward! Here are some specific ways you can pray:
  • That we don't lose any of the paperwork! I doubt that we will, but I'm super paranoid that this might accidentally happen. Pray that the Lord's angels keep everything together!!
  • For clarity of mind in answering the gazillions of questions we have to answer. Some of them are things neither of us have thought through much before, and it's difficult to form an articulate thought on the matter.
  • Along that same line, especially pray for Joe. Writing your thoughts clearly is not something Joe has ever enjoyed doing, and it can be a bit of a struggle for him. Pray that he can clearly explain his thoughts and that we avoid conflict as we work at it as a team!
  • Pray for guidance in pursuing financial support through grants and scholarships. I know there are many out there, but I'm not sure where to start. Pray for wisdom, please.
  • And finally (obviously), pray for the birthmother that we will be in contact with someday. Pray for her salvation and that she might be able to make wise choices for herself and the baby.
Thanks so much, everyone!! :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

I'm baaaaack!! :)

Whoops...this never posted yesterday like it was SUPPOSED to. Sorry about that!!

Well, the high school production of "Honk" that I was involved in is now done. And though I had a great time participating and meeting new people, I'm very thankful that it's over now! Lots of time....lots of stress...but well worth it! :)

Anywho. I'll have more of an update post coming soon...but since today is Friday, I thought I'd get back into my Fervent Friday posting. I came across a video of a Sovereign Grace song called "The Prodigal" - not at all what I was planning on posting this Friday...but it moved me so much by watching it that I wanted to share it with you here. (I first saw it over at Bob Kauflin's worship blog)