Our crew

Our crew

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


2013 was a great year for our family.  We lived in the same house a whole year!  We've now lived in this house longer than we've ever lived in one place in the almost 9 years of our marriage.  2013 is also the first full calendar year of our marriage that I haven't been pregnant.  I am sure that both of these things contributed to making our year so pleasant.  We took our first real family vacation that didn't involve a wedding or a holiday and visiting family.  Those other things aren't bad, but this was still a first for us.  We traveled far less than we have in past years and I'm sure our car thanks us (I know our gas bill does!)  We all grew another year older, closer to one another, and stronger in our faith.  We've developed new relationships, strengthened others, and even let go of a few.

In 2013 we also began this adoption journey that will drastically change our lives and the lives of our children.  All of our children.  Each child that has been born to us has changed our lives and our family dynamic.  It has changed our extended family and our friends' lives too.  When we adopt though, it's going to change even more.  Our family will change inside and out.  Our home life will change, our life in our church and school community will change and the lives of those IN our community will change.  And most of all, I think, the life of the children we adopt will change.  This year has likely been a big struggle for them.  Their whole, short lives, have likely been a struggle.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again, but we are praying that wherever they are right now, that they are loved and connected to the people that are caring for them.    I'd love to think that they are in a loving, Christian foster home.  That their foster parents are meeting their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.  That they are being taken to church, and sung to, and prayed over.  That they will come to us knowing what love is and hoe wonderful a family can be.  But this is all highly unlikely.  That is probably not the world they are living in.  I doubt that I can even imagine what their little world is like.  And I doubt that they can imagine what it will be like when they come home to us.

As Christians, all of our lives were changed and saved by adoption.  Not one of us would be here today without the adoption we received through Christ.  In 2014, our lives will change and ALL of our children's lives will change.  Our friends' and family's, who are most of the readers here,  lives will change because of another adoption.  Though I sometimes worry about the future and what a big impact this decision will have on our family, I know without a doubt that "all things work together for good, for those who love the Lord, who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)  We trust that God is preparing our children for us, and us for them.

Please pray for us in 2014.

That our children, wherever they are right now, are loved and nurtured.

That our home study and final steps to licensing will go smoothly.

That our current children will adapt well to the changes that are in store.

That bonding and love will come naturally between us and our future children and amongst the children.

That we are able to provide for all of our children's needs.

That the Lord would give us wisdom and discretion when it comes time for submitting our home study and accepting children.

That we are able to sort out the bedroom and sleeping arrangement to suit everyone's needs.

That we are able to find and purchase a large van.

That I would be able to actually cut back on commitments and volunteering for additional things in anticipation of pouring more time into more children, and that I would be happy about cutting back, even if we don't get a placement right away.

That God would give us patience and peace as we wait for His timing.


Currently there are three ways you can support us financially though this process.

Send checks, and all money goes directly into our adoption fund.
(you can comment or email to request the address)

We are also working on a t-shirt design for a fundraiser.

We give thanks for the prayers and financial support that have already been offered and we sincerely appreciate each one of you.  May you all be blessed in 2014.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ahh, Panic!

I've just realized how much gathering and educating and organizing and purchasing and and and......before January 7th.   I suppose some of the purchasing can wait until we have the home study scheduled, but we need to have our designated bed and storage for each child for the home study.  Hopefully we can plan a quick trip up or down to Ikea for dressers soon.
We've still got several online trainings to complete.  We need to gather a few more documents, schedule the fire inspection, and get the dog into the vet for updated shots.
It's a little overwhelming right now and I don't even know where to start.  But we've got to start checking things off the list soon!

Sunday, December 22, 2013


I've delayed writing this since my computer is currently down, but I want to write while it's still fresh, so I'm slowing pecking this out on the iPad.  I may short you a few details.

Andrew and I both felt like Orientation was much more informative than the class. We covered a lot of the procedural stuff and paper work.  I didn't count how many things we signed,  but it was a lot. We still have several online trainings to do and one other adoption class at Buckner. Between now and January 7th.  We need to schedule our fire inspection, buy a fire extinguisher and mount it in the kitchen, get the dog updated on shots, draw our floor plan, plan and draw our evacuation route, write and post our house rules, make a home schedule (thankfully this doesn't have to be very detailed),  and make a specific plan for where our future children will sleep. We will also need to go ahead and get them dressers. Each kid needs their own bed and their own storage space.  I see a trip to Ikea in our near future.  We already have enough beds, we just have to figure out which kids are going where. And of course it's hard to know those details until we know the age and gender of any kids we will be getting. I think for now we will plan on moving our current kids around to leave an empty room. It looks like Andrew will have another building project soon!

We will also need to get background checks run on any potential babysitters and anyone that visits our home more than three times in a month. It think we will just have a few people do that (like my parents) and just limit other friends coming over for those six months from placement to adoption finalization. Also, any babysitters under 18 have to be CPR certified.  I'm not sure if we will pay to do that or just plan on no teenage babysitters during that time.

At the next class in January, we will schedule our home study.  During the home study, either the home developer or the case worker will come to our home and interview all of us together and separately. She will also do the health inspection to check for basic things like running water, working toilets, etc. After the home study is complete and all the paper work is turned in, we will be licensed!  From there we could have a placement at any time.

Andrew and dad have been building us a new dining room table that will seat our whole family.   Here's our new table decked out for Christmas dinner.

Here s a list of things we need to do around the house and another list of things we need to pay for.  Would you consider donating to help with these expenses and bring our kids home?

1. Make a designated sleeping space for future children.
2. Schedule the first inspection.
3. Lock up guns and amo.
4. Lock up medicines.
5. Make and post rules and consequences.
6. Clean our room :)
7. Build a loft for the additional bed in the boys' room.

Things to buy/pay for

1. Get the dog updated on shots ($70)
2. Fire extinguisher ($100+)
3. Background checks for regular visitors   ($200+)
4. Dressers ($300)
5. Extra car seat ($150)
6. Fire inspection ($100)
7. Buckner fees ($1,000)
8. TB skin tests for all  ($250)
9. Get a bigger vehicle  (???)

Please continue to pray for us.  Please pray for that all of our children would feel loved and blessed this Christmas season. Please pray for us as we gather all the paperwork and do the work around the house. Pray that the Lord would give us strength and faith as we prepare our family for more children.  Pray for guidance and financial provision as we make purchases towards our adoption and as we seek to purchase a larger vehicle.  Also ,please pray about how the Lord can use you to help in the life of children without parents and a loving home.

May the Lord bless you and your family this Advent and Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Another class

Tomorrow we have another class.  This one is called "Orientation."  I think we will be going over what all the required paper work is and what the remaining steps look like.  I could be completely wrong though and it be something entirely different.

Each step we take is in faith.  We trust in our Great God to lead, guide, and direct our steps through this process.  It's not an easy process to get licensed and I'm sure that the actual placement and adoption will be even more challenging.  Praying for His guidance.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bake Sale and other musings

We had our first official fund raising event this weekend at a local craft and vendor fair.  I was very pleased with our success, especially considering what a small crowd ended up being there.  Gabe and Jonah came to help me set up in the morning and then left with their Gran.  Andrew spent the day with my dad working on a new (bigger) dining room table.

Many many thanks to those that baked goodies and to those that purchased.  Each time someone chose their treat and put a donation in the box I nearly teared up.  I also had the opportunity to talk with many people about the foster care system and adoption.  I had a wonderful chat with an older lady who was adopted herself.  It was very touching.  The whole day was a great treat for me.


Tonight I got to talk to a dear friend that is expecting her first child any day.  I reminisced with her about my own anticipation of having my first and the anxiety and worry over becoming a mother and not knowing when it was going to happen.  Trusting the Lord and waiting patiently, or not so patiently, was so hard!  It was hard every time.  And it's hard this time too.  I'm doing every thing I can to prepare, but there's no labor for me this time.  It's just waiting.  And I don't know what's coming at the end of my wait.  


Today at church we had a guest speaker for the Sunday school hour.  Pastor Richard from the Glory Gang, and ministry to inner city kids, came to share with us about the work Glory Gang does.  Several people from our church have gotten involved in this ministry recently and I loved hearing about their work.  His stories brought tears to my eyes several times.  He told us about his own father referring to the kids he was working with as "throw away kids" and how that really bothered him at first.  Then he realized that we were ALL "throw away kids" without Christ.  We were worthless.  But in Christ, God adopted us and we became worth something!  

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.                        I John 3:1a

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.     I Cor. 6:11


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What's new?

There's not really a whole lot to report right now.  We are in another holding pattern until December 19th.  Between now and then we have a couple of online trainings to complete and some more paper work to gather.  For those that are interested in the details, here's a list of some of the documents required by Buckner.

  1. Drivers License
  2. Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
  3. Divorce Decree (if applicable)
  4. Death certificate of spouse (if applicable)
  5. Birth certificates
  6. Diploma or GED (all of them)
  7. Current liability insurance (auto)
  8. paycheck stubs or tax return
  9. 10 year residency form
  10. background check release
  11. FBI fingerprint criminal history clearance
  12. DFPS history clearance
  13. DPS criminal history clearance
  14. TB skin test for all household members over age 1
  15. pet vaccinations
  16. house rules (including rewards and consequences)
  17. health inspection (done by Buckner)
  18. fire inspection (done by Buckner)
  19. Floor plan
  20. pictures of home exterior and surrounding areas
  21. home child-care plan
  22. home schedule (summer and the school year)
  23. evacuation plan
  24. tax return
  25. verification of health insurance
  26. will
  27. proof of life insurance on husband and wife (50K minimum)
We have a lot of leg work to do in the next couple of weeks!  I think we've completed the first 10 or so on this list.

The online classes we have to complete are:

  1. Medical consent training
  2. Psychotropic Medication
  3. Trauma Informed Care

There are more classes for Foster parents that we don't have to take like CPR/First aid and a few others.

This Saturday we will have a fund raiser bake sale at a local vendor fair.  We've asked several friends from church and community to help by baking items and have had great responses.  Thank you to all who are helping!   If you'd like more information about this event, please let me know.  There will be lots of great vendors there.  I know I plan on doing a little Christmas shopping too, if I can break away from my booth.  I'd love to see you there!  I'm very hopeful that this will be a great starting place for our fundraising efforts.