Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Preparing for a Homestudy

Preparing for our home study is next on our list. Wait, what?

After the ups and downs we've had to deal with, we're excited to start this process. It's kind of the this is actually happening part (well, before the holy cow this is actually happening part).

A home study is a written report of findings of a social worker who has met with applicants on several occasions. In our case, the social worker works through Bethany. She will meet with us four times; once in the office, and three times in our home. She will interview us individually and together. The following information is usually included in a home study:
  • Personal and family background
  • Significant people in our lives
  • Marriage relationships
  • Family relationships
  • Motivation to adopt
  • Expectations for the child
  • Parenting and integration of the child into the family
  • Family environment
  • Physical health and history
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Finances
  • References
We've been assured not to be too worried about the home study. You're probably wondering about that whole remodel thing, right? Yeah...we were too. Well, we've asked numerous questions about the impact that remodeling (like serious remodeling) will have on our home study report. They've assured us not to worry one bit about this. Plus our case worker will look for progress as she visits. Which is good, because clearly our basement doesn't match the rest of our house. (Insert proud emoji). Check out our home renovation blog if you haven't already seen it.

Bethany has told us they have a maximum of 120 days to complete the home study. Bethany does both domestic and international adoption, but international adoptions take priority over domestic home study mainly because of the wait times. She said we should have ours completed by July. After the home study report is complete, we’ll get all of our other documents put together and send off to the country.

I called our adoption specialist today to ask a couple basic questions before we get started. She’s going to send a packet of documents to us go to through and start.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


We have been formally accepted into Bethany's Uganda program!

Again, they've asked that we be flexible, patient, and understanding of the fact that Bethany will be learning the program and processes at the same time we are. They have upped the wait time to 12–24 months, and said we should be willing to accept children four and up.

A couple of things we need to take care of:
  1. Send in the $550 application fee (check)
  2. Fill in and send out two forms 
  3. Start home study!
Let's go!

Friday, April 18, 2014

High Five for Friday!

It's Friday! Good Friday! Easter is coming! Blessings to you on this wonderful Easter weekend!

And this is the promise that He Himself has made to us: eternal life. 1 John 2:25 

Here are my top 5 moments from this past week.

1. Adoption news, yay! Since we have enough money to start our home study, we submitted our application through Bethany. They're closed today due to the Easter holiday, but will reopen on Monday, and we'll hopefully hear something soon.

2. Adam and I had a beautiful baby born into our family on Saturday. Clara Lou was born on Saturday morning and is absolutely perfect and wonderful. We're leaving tonight to go see her and her parents and sister. Just look at that face!

3. This past weekend's weather was unbelievable. Adam and I worked for a few hours on Friday and Saturday getting our garage cleaned out––which it needed pretty badly. It was so nice to just be outside, I even washed both cars. I wasn't even bummed out that it rained the next day. We ended the evening with a wonderful date night.

4. We went to a store we just discovered called Worldly Goods, it's a non-profit, fair trade store in Ames' Cultural District. We stopped in to browse the store and ended up finding an awesome woven Ugandan basket.

5. I recently transitioned roles at work and have been in training the last two weeks. It has been great!  I will be transitioning from a marketing role, to a more customer centric role, which I feel will suite me great. I'm not sure yet when I'll be officially transitioning and starting, but I am oh, so excited.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

And We're Moving!


Can I just say that again?


We have been blessed with wonderful friends. We've been meeting in a connection group (a small group from our church) for the past eight months or so and have gotten to know the other couples quite well.

We shared with them our plans to adopt and kept them updated every week. When our little mishap with IAG suspended our process, everyone in our group prayed for us. It truly means so much to meet with friends each week who really do care. This week, one of our friends from our connection group stopped over while he was out 'running errands' and dropped off a check to assist in the adoption.

Like I said last week, we were strictly waiting on finances. With the money that was donated by our friends, we're now able to move forward and start the home study.

There have been several things this week that have made me think of this quote: "praise God from whom all blessings flow!" It is so true. God is so responsible for everything wonderful that happens to us. Praise Him!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What's the Holdup?

We've been getting some questions from people asking how things were going with the adoption process.

Good. Things are good.

The ball is really in our court right now; we're saving money up for our application and home study. AKA waiting for our tax return.

The application is $550 and as soon as we get approved, we need to pay our home study fee of $2,500. We'd like to get that chunk of money secured so we can continue without having to stop.

We'll be planning some fundraisers to work on this spring and summer. I'll keep you posted!

Like we've said before, we believe God will provide for us.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Decision: Made

Remember this post when Adam and I were trying to determine which country we wanted to adopt from?

Shortly after writing that post (the next day, actually) we met with our pastor to discuss his adoption from Ethiopia in 2005. We told him about ourselves, why we want to adopt, all the basic questions that people ask. Then I shared with him our debate on which country to adopt from. I explained that I thought it was a huge decision that will effect us and our child!

Let me rewind and explain his process. He and his wife have grown children, and felt the call to adopt around 2004. Since they are older, they wanted the process to be as smooth as possible (don't we all?), so they researched which agency did the most adoptions, from the country that did the most adoptions.

They ended up finding an agency in Minneapolis that worked with orphanages in Ethiopia. Our pastor and his wife knew they wanted boys (which would simplify the process even more–since sibling boys are adopted the least), so they started the process soon after doing their research.

You see, they didn't need a calling of where to adopt from; they simply heard Him tell them to adopt, and they took it from there. He explained that you don't need every decision to be spiritual–truly.

So after meeting with him, we made our decision. We were called to adopt, and we're choosing to answer that call. But it's okay to make our country decision based on logistics and not wait for a feeling.

We're choosing to adopt from Uganda. Uganda is a pilot program for Bethany, and expects a 3–12 month wait period. While the wait time could change, the Ethiopia wait time is nearly three years, and we just don't want to wait that long. South Africa had a similar process as both Uganda and Ethiopia, but was a 12–18 month wait.

So that's just that. We're adopting from Uganda.
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