Our crew

Our crew

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Dear Caseworker letter

I needed to feel like I'm doing SOMETHING during this waiting period so I wrote a new "Dear Caseworker" letter.  I'm hoping to grab their attention a little more.  This will be laid out with our family photo like the last one.  Please, tell me what you think.

Dear Caseworker,

Yes, you counted correctly.  There are 7 people in our family.  Before you put this letter away though, I want you to know how much love our family has and how much more we have to offer.  If you cant imagine having this many (or more!) children, please consider our family experience as on-the-job training. We have a lot of it!  We deeply desire to add to our family and to help provide children in need with a loving, safe, and secure forever family. 

Im Rachel, the mom of this crew. Im 32 years old and have a BA in photography.  I currently use that degree taking pictures of my children in their day-to-day lives as I stay home with them and am constantly entertained.  I am so thankful that I get the opportunity to stay home and care for my children and my home and manage our household.  Im living my childhood dream of being a wife and mother.

My husband Andrew is 30, and has a law degree from Baylor University. In his practice as an attorney in Nacogdoches he does work for the Attorney Generals Child Support Office, takes court appointed criminal cases, does business planning, estate planning and probate.  While he keeps busy with work, he always has time for the family.  Eating dinner together each night is a priority for us both.

We have been married for nine years and have known since we were dating that we wanted to adopt.  We werent sure what that would look like for us, but we knew we wanted a big family. We have several friends that have adopted through the foster care system that have lead us and turned our hearts towards these children. We have spent many years in thoughtful consideration and prayer over this decision. In October of 2013 we began our journey to adoption, were licensed in March of 2014, and now we eagerly wait to add to our family.  Our children are anxious, too.  Each day they pray for and ask about their future siblings.  They are excited to welcome new brothers and sisters and share their lives with them.  They already know what its like to share and love and will sincerely welcome more children into our home.

Gabe is our 9 year-old athlete, musician, and best big brother.  Jonah is our affectionate, tenderhearted, helpful 7 year-old.  Liam, the constant entertainer, is 5.  Our first little princess, Maggie, is 3 and full of spunk.  And little AnnaMae, the dare-devil, is almost 2.  I know it sounds like we already have our hands full, but I like to tell people, we really only have one hand full!  Sure, more children would be more mouths to feed, more to educate and clothe.  But more importantly, its more to love, more to share life with, more to grow old with. 

We hope that you will consider placing children with our family.  We would love to share our hearts, our home, our faith, and our lives.


Andrew and Rachel Shipp


  1. Sounds good! Don't get overly discouraged during your wait about your current family size. We have 5, plus two fosters. When we were discussing a child who is waiting with another foster family. We expressed our intrest, and the custodial County said they had no problem doing the large family assessment, and we will likely be meeting him within the month :-)

  2. Mandy, what state are you in? We were told here in TX that if we did foster care we couldn't have more than 6 total in our home. That's the biggest reason we are doing straight adoption.
    I've heard that in regards to us having a large family it all depends on the kids' case worker and how they feel about big families. If they've had good experiences then they're more likely to look favorably upon us. But if they've had bad experiences they won't likely consider us. I'm not sure how true that is though.
    Another thing we've been told recently is that families can't seek out kids. The kids' caseworker has to seek out the family. But that doesn't sound like your experience. Now I'm really curious where you are!