Monday, December 2, 2013

Patience Patience...

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done 
the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Hebrews 10:36

The most common question I get from friends and family now that we are done with paperwork is..."How's the waiting going?" or "How are you doing with patience?" and my answer is "It depends on the day and the perspective I look through."  Some days I am perfectly content just waiting, having the hope of a child and a family somewhere in my future. Other days it can be hard and I wonder when or if it will ever really happen. 

I am learning just how truly thankful I am that God gives us one day at a time and doesn't allow us to see into our future.  It has been one year and nine months since we were told we would have to wait until I turned 21, which was nine months away at the time, to even begin the adoption paperwork/process.  Today, one year and nine months later, I turn 22 and we have completed paperwork and are simply waiting.  If I had known at the time that we would still be waiting and hoping to have a child almost two years later I would have wanted to give up and not even go down this path.  But God knew and still knows exactly what we need and what we can handle.  It could be another two years until we get chosen and have a baby, but God gives us the hope that it will be sooner and if we hang onto that hope each day, two years will fly right by. (right?) So that is the perspective I use that really helps me.  Almost two years have passed that we have been on this journey and looking back those years flew right by.  When I think about waiting with that perspective it doesn't seem to bad and I can just enjoy the little things in life that will be changed once we have a baby. I told one friend I just try not to dwell on it to much because that's when the impatience comes.  Her response was "How can you do that? I would think about it every single day!" and I do! Every single day! But it's when I start making "plans" that the impatience comes and then I am reminded that my so called "plans" don't usually happen anyways so I am better off just being content with my life just the way it is and allowing God to make the plans and changes to my future.  

The verse above is an encouraging one to me and usually convicting too.  Patience doesn't come easily to me:)  But patience has helped me to grow in faith and trust in God and His ultimate plan.  Awhile ago I was listening to Focus on the Family and I learned something I had never really thought about before.  One of  the Fruit of the Spirit is long-suffering and often times we can replace that word or explain it by saying it is having patience.  I learned there is a big difference in patience and long-suffering.  Patience is waiting for something you expect to happen or change.  For example, we need patience as we wait to have a baby some day.  We know it will happen some how but we have to wait for it to come to pass.  Another example of patience is waiting for Christ to return, as the verse above is talking about.  We know He is coming back but we need to be patient as we wait.  I would say patience is more comparable to contentment than long-suffering. Long-suffering is dealing with a person/situation that you do not expect will ever change, yet you still endure. We as Christians are constantly tempted and struggling against the devil.  He is not going to let up while we have the breath of life.  Now if we can endure and overcome and still praise God and serve him through it all with a cheerful attitude, that's long-suffering.  It was so interesting to me because I had never really thought about the difference in those two words that we use almost interchangeably.  It is encouraging to know that for our situation in life right now we are in need of patience, not long-suffering.  We have the hope and expectation that someday, in God's timing, we will have a little baby to hold in our arms and call our own. 

So to answer the question of patience, I have my up days and I have my down days but overall I am thankful that I am only in need of patience and I can use this time to learn how to depend more fully on God and to hold onto hope for all He has planned for our future. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

T-Shirt Fundraiser!

Jesse and I teamed up with to create an original adoption t-shirt. We will be selling this t-shirt along with several other adoptive families in the Fairbury/Forrest area to help raise adoption awareness and raise money to help with some of the many costs of adoption.

We have Adult sizes S-XXXL for $25.00 each.
We also have Youth sizes XS(2-4) S(6-8) M(10-12)  L(14-16)  XL(18-20)  for $15.00 each.

Proceeds will be used to help fund our adoption as well as two other families that are adopting in the Forrest/Fairbury area.

If you would like to purchase a shirt please email me or leave a comment below.  Please mail payment upon placing an order.  If you need my address please email me at

Sales will be open until November 25th and at that time we will place our order and then deliver shirts once we get them!

Thanks so much for your support and prayers!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I am sure many of you have heard Zach Bertsch tell his testimony on the CD entitled Home that he made for his cancer redemption project.  I was listening to the CD the other day and usually it brings me to tears when I listen to him tell a little of his story and how God is redeeming his cancer to help build homes in Haiti for orphans and all the good that has come because of something we perceive as negative. This link will take you to Zach's testimony. ( I encourage anyone who hasn't heard it to listen to it!  It is so encouraging and really helps put trials and struggles in this life into a heavenly perspective. Zach says in his testimony that he sometimes gets excited about the ways God can use his cancer to accomplish God's purposes.  I finally got that yesterday as I was bursting with excitement on all the ways God can use Jesse and I  because of our infertility.  Now I know I don't understand what it is like to be on my death bed and still excited for all God can do because of it, but I got a glimpse of why he could say that despite the pain he was facing.  If Zach never had cancer there would be over 70 orphans in Haiti without homes and if I can speak on Zach's behalf I think he wouldn't have changed his situation even if he could have.  I feel the same way when it comes to infertility. Don't get me wrong I long to become pregnant and feel my little baby kicking inside me and have my own birthing story to share of how my child came into this world, but I wouldn't change our infertility.  Adoption would have been the farthest thing from my mind if we would have been able to get pregnant and start a family when we hoped we could.  Now it seems crazy that adoption wouldn't be part of our life.  It has defined us these last few years and really it's who we have become.  Just like when you are expecting a baby, as soon as you find out you are pregnant your world begins to revolve around the growing baby inside you and you plan and you hope and you dream of what your little baby will be like and how things will change when he/she arrives.  It's the same with adoption.  I think I plan and hope and dream about our adoption every day!  It has been the focus of my life for the past year and a half now.  There is a baby growing in my heart.  I don't know if it needs 9 months to grow or maybe 2 years to grow but it is growing and I can't wait till the day I get to meet him/her. Every day it seems to become more and more clear just why we can't have our own children and the way God is using this to form both Jesse and I into more perfect children of His.  I get so excited about all that God can do through us in adoption that sometimes it's hard for me to wait for His perfect timing. I am ready to be used so why are there all these things that seem to slow me down???  I've also learned in the last year and half that waiting is usually learning.  We learn so much in a time of waiting that will be important for when God asks us to move.  My life as a married woman has gone completely different than how I have always dreamed it would go but SURPRISE I wouldn't change one single thing about it!!!  God has already done so much simply in our hearts to redeem our infertility and we haven't even interacted with a birth mom or a child.  I know God has a lot more He can do to redeem our situation to accomplish His purposes!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Officially Waiting...

So by the title you can see that we are officially a waiting family.  Technically we have been a waiting family for a little while with Family Core without them having our book but they now have a copy of our book as of September 12th, 2013.  We are also now a waiting family with our Attorney in Charleston as well.  I sent her multiple copies of our book on September 12th.  So now the real "waiting" begins.  We have been able to keep doing things here and there that help us feel like we are making progress but now I think those things are coming to an end. We will probably have a few things here and there that we need to do as time goes on and things need updated and we do have a little research to do on babies that have been exposed to drugs and different things like that but for the most part our job is done! We have done what we can and the rest is in God's hands!   Now we can see how patient we really are:)

P.S. If anyone who reads this blog has experience with adopting a baby exposed to drugs I would love to hear your experience.

To our Child...We can't wait to hold you in our arms for the first time, 
to welcome you into our hearts and lives.  You will be loved.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Adoption Attorney Meeting

Yesterday Jesse and I had a meeting with an adoption attorney from Charleston IL.  We were informed of this attorney by our case worker in Peoria.  Kirsten, the attorney, does outreach and helps connect adoptive couples with birth parents and then also can do all the legal parts of the adoption once we would be chosen and need that done.  I was planning on waiting until after harvest to contact Kirsten and get set up to be her client but Jesse felt we should do it now.  He felt like it would be smart to be using all our resources right away to connect to birth parents because the longer it goes the more we will become impatient and want a child.  I didn't want to start anything that couldn't be completed before harvest since we will be very busy then, so I called Kirsten's office just to get information on how her program works.  I learned that it was actually very simple to get set up with her since we already had our home-study and foster license completed through Family Core.  I then set up a meeting with her and we went yesterday to get information and learn about her program.

The meeting went great and we left feeling pretty excited to get to work with Kirsten and for what the future holds!  Kirsten is very straight forward and tells you exactly what she thinks.  This was actually great because it really gave us a better idea of what to expect for our adoption journey.  She looked at our profile book as well and gave us some helpful tips on that.  Kirsten has been working as an adoption attorney for over 20 years now so she has a lot of experience and knows the trends of adoption and what birth parents are looking for in an adoptive couple.  There were two main things she felt might delay us being chosen quickly. The first is that fact that we are so young.  Anyone older than us that would be placing a child up for adoption would most likely not choose us because if they feel they can't parent then they would not give their child to someone younger than them!  She said we will most likely be chosen by a teenager or someone younger than us.  The second thing is our religion.  She said a lot of birth mothers are rebelling against religion and so to see us so strongly serve God could be a turn off for them.  She did tell us that if we were a few years older she would say we would be chosen within six months!  But because we are so young that narrows down who will chose us so she said more realistically would be a year, two at the most.  Kirsten deals with a lot of birth parents compared to Family Core.  She has created a network of ways to connect with birth parents all over Illinois not just in Charleston.  She usually works with about 15 adoptive couples and places anywhere from 10-25 babies a year through her adoption program. She said right now is a great time to enter the adoption world because there have been a lot of babies placed for adoption in recent months and years.  Since July she has placed six babies through her adoption program!

She gave us a form to fill out that is four pages of general information.  We need to complete the form and return it to her along with several copies of our profile book.  She likes to have several copies of profile books because she said she sends them in the mail to birth parents, takes them in her car and keeps some in the office etc. so she likes to have plenty on hand.  It seems as though she shows books often and is a very busy person which is great news!  Then that is pretty much all we have to do so I am glad we went ahead and are getting set up with her now rather than after harvest.

As far as our profile book goes I said earlier that she gave us some helpful tips.  Before we went to this meeting our case worker told us that Kirsten would tell us exactly what she thought of our book and would tell us to make changes.  Some people can be offended after working with Family Core where they don't give too much criticism on profile books.  Our case worker just wanted us to be prepared!  So we figured there would be a least a few things that needed to change if not a bunch!  After looking through our book Kirsten closed it and looked at us with this expression like she was going to tell us the whole thing needed to be redone!  Then she said that the trend and what seems to be working best for being chosen quickly was to have a very simple plain profile book without all the embellishments and decoration like scrapbooks.  Well basically that's what ours is (the scrapbook type)!  She then said that she would normally ask us to change it to more simple so we would have a better chance of getting chosen but she wanted us to leave it just the way it was.  She said our book has a very youthful feel to it and that would be perfect for attracting the young women who would be the ones choosing us since we are so young!  She said to leave our book the way it is for at least six months and if it wasn't getting any "nibbles" then we could make a new book that was more plain.  She did say that our "story" and pictures were great and she really liked them.  So we actually didn't have to change anything! (Except putting borders around pictures to help them stand out)  I did decide to make a more plain book to send to Kirsten along with some copies of our original book and then she can show whichever one she prefers.

So I have been creating and updating our profile book and filling out a little paperwork.  I think Jesse and I are both just a little more excited knowing how many babies Kirsten places through her program.  We also really like Kirsten as a person and think she will be a great attorney to have in the future!

On the way home from our meeting in Charleston there was a sticker on the back of a vehicle that said Psalm 37:4.  Jesse told me to look it up in our Bible we had in the vehicle so I did and here is what it says!

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

The next verse went on to say...

Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.

Jesse's words were " Just what we needed for the ride home!"
God has it all figured out and I am encouraged to know He will bring it to pass, in His timing and in His way!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Profile Book Here!

A couple days ago I received our profile book in the mail from Shutterfly.  It was exciting to get to see the book in real life!  I have looked over the book so many times online before I ordered it and as I was making it that I think I could almost tell you exactly whats on each page:)  I really wonder what our Birth-parents will think as they look through our book.  Will they think we look like a fun family for their child?  Will they wonder about our age?  Will they know how blessed we really are to have wonderful families and the gift of salvation?  I hope when they look at our book they see a family that longs to have a child to call their own and I hope they see a place where their child will be loved and cared for and given all they wish they could give him/her.  I know God has a plan and so when I think about how our adoption will go I try not to worry to much about why someone would or would not choose us to adopt their baby.  Instead I try to remember that God has a baby for us.  He knew  this would be our future even before we were born.  God knows it all and it is humbling to realize this and to realize just how little we know.  We don't know if we will get a baby in 2 weeks or if it will be two years.  We don't know if we will ever have a biological child or if we will only adopt.  We don't know if we will adopt one child or numerous children.  We don't even really know if what we have "planned" is what God had planned!  One thing we do know is that God's plan is perfect and complete and if we take one day at a time and try our best to stay at the center of His will, He will provide grace for each situation.  It seems weird right now to think about the fact that we will be parents and actually have a little baby to call our own.  I think it's kind of like a couple that is expecting, they know the baby is coming but they really can't imagine exactly what it will be like or even believe that it will be reality to have a baby in the home to care for.  I think God has really worked in my heart to help me with patience through this experience so far.  Most days I am perfectly content with our little family of Jesse and I.  I am thankful for the opportunities that we have together that we may not have some day when we have a child.  Other days I get a little jealous and wish I could have a child to call my own and to care for and love but quickly God helps me to feel content again with where He has placed me right now in life.  I am sure my patience will begin to wear as time goes on and we have nothing to do but wait but I am also so surprised at just how quickly time flies by.  Our close friends baby is about to turn one year old and it seems like she was just born yesterday!  We have been on this journey for a year and a half now! Both of these things help me to keep things in perspective.  Time passes so quickly and someday we will be watching our children become parents wondering where time has went!  So back to the subject of our profile book, it turned out great and I haven't found any spelling mistakes or printing errors in it.  I am mailing it to Family Core today for them to put on their shelf waiting to be shown to a person who will be making one of the most difficult and selfless decisions they will ever make.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Profile Book Ordered!!

So today I finally sat down and completed all the finishing touches in the photo book I have been "about done" with for the last few weeks!  Checking for spelling, adding the last few pictures, and making sure everything looked good before I ordered it in print!  I hope it comes and looks great and I don't find a bunch of mistakes I didn't catch when proofing it.  I suppose though if I do find a lot of mistakes I can always just reorder!  So the book should be in sometime before August 30th!  Then I will send it to Family Core and hope it gets used;)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Exciting Mail...Again!

Today we receieved a written copy of our Home Study Report from Family Core in the mail!  This is the report that was written by our case worker about everything she has learned about Jesse and I in the last few months.  Every couple who adopts is required to have a written home study report completed about them and on file with the agency that wrote it or the agency they are working with for the adoption. I actually didn't know that we would recieve a copy of the report and get to read through it so it was pretty exciting to be able to do that. It was interesting to read through the report and see our life from the perspective of someone else! I also got a little peek at some of the things written about us in the reference letters that were written by five friends and family members.  I want to say a special thanks for those of you who wrote those reference letters for us! (You know who you are!)  We really really appreciate it.  The few quotes I read that were written in our home study taken from the reference letters were great, so thank you! 

So as far as I know that is all the exciting mail we are expecting for a while:)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Exciting Mail!

Our foster home (adopt only) license arrived in the mail today!  It came even faster than we were told it would.  I felt so accomplished as I looked at the license today.  It is so exciting to be somewhere that only seemed like a distant thought a year ago when we began our journey!  I know we still have a long journey ahead us but getting the license is a big step and a big part of our adoption process.  We are now certified by the State of Illinois to adopt a child! 

As far as the profile book goes...I have been working on it a lot!  It takes so much time to get everything just the way I want it.  Not too many words and not too many pictures, just a perfect combination.  Not too much decorations but not bring.  Just the right photos to best portray our family and our life.  I am kind of a perfectionist in the first place so as you can imagine it does take a lot of time to get it "just right"!  I am about done with it though.  I have the bulk of it done but still have to sort through more pictures and even take a few to get just the right ones.  Also there are a few places Jesse has to write his thoughts but I should be done sometime soon I think. 

And then we will wait for our child...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fifth Adoption Meeting (Home Visit)

Yesterday morning we had our final meeting with our case worker!  It was our home visit meeting.  Our case worker came to our house around 10:30am and we showed her around our home.  Then we did some paperwork and went over basic saftey requirements we needed in our home in order to hold a Foster Home (Adopt Only) License from the State of Illinois.  They were mainly basic things, like cleaning supplies in a safe place, carbon and smoke detectors on each floor, and water at a certain temp so it will be safe for a child.  Most of the things we went over where things she said we didn't really need to have until we actually adopt since it could be awhile until we actually get chosen and have a child in our home.  We signed a bunch of paperwork and talked for awhile and then we went through a sample profile book that the agency had created.  Our case worker told us a few general guide lines for creating a profile book about our life and gave us a few tips to help us get started!  Our case worker also was able to get information she needed to complete her report, our official home study, on everything she learned about us.  Everyone that adopts or fosters is required to have a home study report.  The meeting went extremely well and by around 11:45am our case worker was on her way back to Peoria!  At this point the only thing left to do is create a profile book for Family Core to have to show birthmothers.  This is just a basic book with pictures and descriptions like you can make on shutterfly etc.  It will have pictures of us, our families, jobs, our home, and things we like to do etc.  This book will be shown to birthmoms looking to make an adoption plan along with other couples books as well.  The birth mom then chooses a family by looking at the profile books and eventually we meet the birth mom if she chooses us.  Along with making a profile book we will also be waiting to recieve our Foster Home license from the state of Illinois before we will officially be a waiting family.  It is a requirement to hold a Foster Home Liscene in Illinois if you are going to adopt.  Our case worker said this Lisence should be coming to us in the mail sometime in the next three weeks or so.  Once we have that and turn in our profile book we will be a waiting family and could be chosen at any time to adopt a baby!  We are so thankful how smoothly this process has went and it seems crazy that we are almost finished!  I think that the hardest part is yet to come as we wait on God's perfect timing in providing us with our little baby.  For now we have our profile book to keep us busy but after that the waiting will begin.  We are trying to look at it from the perspective that it will be awhile before we will have a placement, partly because we don't want to get our hopes up to be dissapointed if it does take awhile and partly because our agency does not usually have very many placements each year so the statistics show that it could be awhile.  But despite all that I also try to remember that God already has our baby chosen even if he/she is not concieved yet.  The timing is all in His hands whether it ends up being a few months or a few years.

I feel like there are times I write things and it makes sense to me because I have been able to talk to our caseworker and we are getting used to all the adoption "terms"  but it might not really make sense to you!  Or maybe the way I word things doesn't really explain it very well:)  If you ever have any questions please ask us!  I would love to do my best to explain anything you might be wondering about!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Online Adoption Class #3

Yesterday we completed our final online adoption class!  It was called The Journey of Attachment.  This class gave us information on attachment both of the adopted child and the adoptive parents.  We learned signs of attachment and things that could cause issues with attachment.  We learned about the importance of attachment between an adopted child and the adoptive parents and things that can aide in attaching to your child.  The class was good but we both felt like it wasn't as informative and helpful as the other two classes seemed to be.  I think this was partly because of how the class was presented.  We were able to learn some helpful information though that we will definitley look back on someday when we are dealing with the struggles of attachment with our child.  We did learn that even an infant adopted at birth can have attachment issues and we as well in attaching to our adopted infant.  As I said about the other two classes I think we will find this class helpful to look back on once we have our child in our home and are dealing with these issues head on.  Anyways we have now completed everything that we need to complete on our end.  Now we will wait for our home visit and then create a profile book and then we will officially become a waiting family!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Online Adoption Class #2

On this past Tuesday Jesse and I found the time to sit down for a couple hours together and complete our second of three adoption classes.  This class was called Let's Talk Adoption!  It was about speaking with an adopted child about the subject of their adoption, barriers that might cause difficulty in doing this, and strategies for making communication open within a family and between adoptive parents and the adopted child.  Like the last class this class gave us some helpful ideas and information to consider once we adopt our child.  I am so thankful that these classes are required and set up so that we can learn and have something to go back to once we adopt our child.  There have been a lot of things I have learned about adoption, communication, relationships, fears and hopes that will truly benefit us when we are raising our adopted child some day!  I know we will make mistakes and not do everything perfectly but I think we are both excited to see what our future holds and who God will provide for us to love and raise for Him!  We have learned that every child will be a little different in the way they handle the fact that they were adopted or the way they view their unique life story.  The classes are great for giving different options and helping us to understand that really how each situation is or should be handled will depend on the child and what they want or need.

We have one last adoption class to complete before our case worker comes for our home visit on the 10th of July!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Where We Are

Many people are wondering exactly where we are in our adoption process so I am putting an update on where we are and what we still have to accomplish.  The most recent things that I posted that needed to be completed are two adoption classes, reference letters, background check from the State, and our home visit.  I recently talked with our case worker and was informed that she has received all our background check papers from the State, and reference letters from our friends and family.  We have not yet finished our last two online classes due to a busy schedule in June but should be able to complete them soon.  I set up a date for our home visit with our case worker for July 10th!  At this meeting we will show our case worker around the house and she will make sure everything is safe, we will complete some paperwork with her, and then we will talk about our profile book that we will need to make.  After this meeting I think we will pretty much be done with everything we are required to do.  At that point we will put together a digital scrapbook about our lives, family, jobs, etc. called a profile book, for our case worker to show to birth mothers that would be looking for an adoptive family.  Once we have completed this book we will be a waiting family ready to adopt if we would be chosen!  The way it works is that a pregnant mother would come to Family Core looking to make an adoption plan.  Our case worker would get an idea of the kind of family she wants her child to have and then show the birth mom two or three profile books of waiting families that are similar to what the birth mom wants in her adoptive family.  The birth mom would then choose a family and an adoption plan would begin to take place.  Because our placement is really totally dependent on a birth mother choosing us, Family Core can't say exactly how long it will be until we are placed with a baby.  They say their usual wait time is between 1 and 2 years.  Some are placed before a year and every now and then they have someone for longer than two years.  This is because the adoptive family has to be chosen by the birth mom.  So obviously we really have no idea when we will get a placement but it could be at anytime from the day we turn in our profile book to two years into the future.  This is where trust in God's plan and God's timing become really important:)

So as for where we are in the process, our next goal is to complete the two online classes.  Then we will wait for our last meeting, the home visit, on July 10th, and lastly create our profile book!

Thanks for all the prayers on our behalf.  It means so much to us to have support and encouragement as we continue down this path God has brought us to.  We are so thankful everything has went smoothly so far and we give God all the credit for that!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Third & Fourth Adoption Meetings!

On this past Friday, June 7th, Jesse and I had our third and fourth meetings with Family Core in Peoria.  We each met individually with our case worker for about one hour each.  Our case worker basically asked us questions about our life and our past.  She also asked us any questions she had about the application questions we answered about our life. The meetings went great!  As I said in earlier posts we were somewhat nervous, especially Jesse, just because we would be drilled with questions by our case worker and we would be alone.  When we were done we both felt like we could have just kept on talking and were surprised by how fast the hour passed by!  Our case worker is so wonderful!  She is so nice and makes us feel comfortable and able to be open about ourselves.  She is getting to know us personally and so it doesn't seem so formal and strictly business, which makes it much more comfortable.  Jesse went first and I went to a nearby pet store to look around while he was in his meeting.  When I was in my meeting Jesse went down to the River Walk for awhile and walked around.  Our agency is actually only about a block or two from the River Walk.  At the end of my meeting I asked our case worker what we still needed to accomplish and what comes next.  We have to finish two more online classes, which are done on our own time so we just need a couple evenings at home and we should be done with those.  Next our case worker will write an 8-10 page written report of what she has learned about us and our family and lives.  Once she is done with this she said we will meet one more time.  She said to plan on sometime mid July that way she has time to finish her report.  The next meeting will be when she comes to our house to make sure everything is generally safe and a good environment for a baby.  I asked her what things they look for and what we should do just so we can be ready and not have a bunch of things wrong when she comes.  She told me that they are not extremely picky.  They mainly just want the house to be generally safe in basic safety features.  She also said that if something is wrong she will tell us and we can change it, not a big deal.  So I am not really worried about the home visit, I am actually looking forward to it!  When she comes to our home she will also talk with us about our profile book that we will make to show birth moms and bring a sample book for us to get ideas from.  After her visit she will make any final changes to her written report and then it will be sent to the State of Illinois and we will have to be approved by them.  Thanks to Lisa Aberle I am not to worried about being approved as she has told me her experience and how state approvals are usually handled.  Our case worker also said she is waiting on parts of our background checks to come back from the state as well but other than that and the classes we have done pretty much everything we need to do for her!  Once we have our next meeting in July we will begin our profile book.  I am not sure how long state approvals actually take, that's something we will have to ask our case worker, but once that is done I think we will be a waiting family and have our profile book ready to be viewed by birth moms looking to make an adoption plan!  So far everything has went extremely smooth and easy for us.  We were actually trying to figure out what we missed because the process to become a waiting family seemed to easy!  I think that once we are chosen and we begin getting involved with birth families and courts and legal things, that is when it could become a little more difficult.  We are thankful though that it has went smooth this far and we give God all the glory for that!

EDIT- I emailed our case worker and asked her more information about her written report and about being approved by the State.  Come to find out our Home Study will not be sent to the State of Illinois for approval after all.  Once our case worker is done writing her report about us her supervisor will review it and that is all that needs to be done.  When we go to finalize the adoption something called A Report of Investigation will be written by our case worker including Home Study information and also development information about the child we have had in our care and are adopting.  This report will be given to the Judge and the Attorney involved in our adoption finalization.  I was told that there are a "bazillion" more rules and requirements for an international adoption compared to a domestic adoption and that is why our Home Study will be handled differently than Brian & Lisa's, who adopted internationally.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Online Adoption Class #1

Last night Jesse and I decided to do our first online adoption class.  It covered information on how to help an adopted child cope with grief and loss and also losses and gains of each person involved in the adoption.  We learned so much from the class.  It was just short of two hours and had a small assessment at the end.  As we learned about different symptoms of grief of an adopted child, the different stages in life grief could appear, triggering events of grief or loss for an adopted child and so much more, it was somewhat overwhelming to think about the emotions that come with every adoption no matter how good the child has it or how smoothly the adoption took place.  There will almost always be some form of grief and it is not bound to appear at the same time for each adopted person.  One of the main things that we learned was that being open with our child about their past, birth mom, and any other information we know can help the child tremendously.  The questions are bound to come and if our child feels like they are not able to talk with us about them they will harbor them inside and cause bad feelings about themselves or possibly those around them.  We learned all sorts of ways to help a child cope with their past and their feelings about their adoption and their birth mother.  Some of these include, adoption books, LifeBook's about the child's adoption and life, adoption groups, timelines, telling stories, and rituals.  I am sure having these ideas will be very helpful in the future as we help our child deal with any grief that might come.  One thing we want our child to have is a positive view of his/her birth mother.  We learned that if an adopted child has a negative view of his/her birth mother, the child may take those negative feelings and apply them to himself because he came from his birth mother.  There was an idea to have the birth mother write a letter to her child at the time of adoption to explain that she really does love him and why she has decided to give him up for adoption.  We really hope this is something we can have our birth mother do so that our child will always have that letter to go back to and remember that his birth mother really cared and wanted to do what was best for him.  We really have no idea how our adoption is going to go though so that will be totally dependent on what the birth mother feels comfortable doing.  The online classes are nice because we made an account online and bought the class so we can go back to them at any time in the future.  Some of the things we learned or thought about are things that will be really helpful to reconsider and go back to once we have adopted our child.

We have two more adoption classes to complete.  Our next meeting is this Friday, the seventh.  This meeting  is actually technically two meetings were Jesse and I will meet individually with our case worker and she will learn more about us individually and go over any questions she has about our adoption application questions we completed.  I think this could be somewhat nerve racking especially for Jesse but I think he will do just fine!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Second Adoption Meeting

We had our second meeting with Family Core yesterday afternoon.  I think it went really well.  We turned in all our information and paperwork we have been gathering over the past few weeks and talked with our case worker.  We went over a packet of information about adoptive parents rights and responsibilities with our case worker and were given a few more papers that we need to read through, sign, and turn in.  We were given a little better idea of what we as the adoptive family can expect and what not to expect, more on the legal side, once we are placed with a child.  After we read through those papers our case worker asked us to share about how we met, our marriage, how our journey with infertility/adoption has affected us, our occupations and some different things like that.  She hasn't really had a chance to just listen to us talk about our lives so I think she was probably able to get a feel for who we are and what our hopes and desires are for our adoption.  As our case worker, it is important for her to know us and what we are comfortable with so that when a birth mom would come to her looking to make an adoption plan she is able to know if we would be a good match or not.  We spent probably a good hour talking about us which was somewhat intimidating!  Overall though, the meeting went well and we are hoping to meet again possibly sometime next week after our case worker has had a chance to look through all our paperwork and read through our answers to the many questions we completed.  The next meeting will be individually with our caseworker.  We will schedule them for the same day but will each meet individually for around an hour or so with our caseworker.  I think this will be to go over any questions she would have about our answers and to get to know our past, our personality and who we are as a person.  I think this is a little harder for Jesse than for me because he is a little more shy and easily becomes nervous when he is put on the talking stand like that:)  I think he will do great though!  Our next task is to complete three online adoption classes that are about two hours each.  It will be good to learn more about adoption so we will be more prepared for what the future holds.  We learned that the last two placements that went through Family Core have been done either the week of birth or right after birth.  That means that a family was called and asked if they wanted to be placed with a baby and then within one week they had the baby in their care.  Now this is when it gets overwhelming I would say!  There would be lot of major decisions to be made in a very short amount of time!  It's good to know that happens though so we can be prepared for a child at any time.  We have no idea how it will go for us or when we will get a placement but one thing we know is that whatever God has for our adoption will be just what we need and will be for His glory

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Slight Delays and CPR

So yesterday, May 20th, we were scheduled to have our second adoption meeting with Family Core and then take a CPR course at St. Francis in the evening.  Yesterday morning I got an email from our case worker saying that she had come down with something over the weekend and still wasn't feeling well so she needed to cancel our meeting.  I was bummed because I was hoping to be able to get two things done in one trip to Peoria.  Anyways, we didn't have our meeting but we still went to Peoria to complete our CPR training.  It was a good class and I think Jesse and I learned some useful tips for saving a child or infant's life.  It seems like something I never want to have to use though.  Performing CPR on a dummy and on a real human would be quit a bit different I think! The dummy's chest is made to move up and down for the chest compression's but a real child would probably end up with some serious bruises or cracked ribs if CPR became necessary.  When you have a choice between cracked ribs or death I think cracked ribs ends up sounding pretty good though.  Overall the class went well and we now have one more requirement crossed off the list!  Our case worker said she would contact us when she was back in the office so we can reschedule our appointment.  I suppose this is the kind of thing that comes up that you don't really plan for that slows down the adoption process.  Hopefully we will be able to meet either sometime toward the end of this week or maybe next week so it shouldn't be to much of a delay.  When we were leaving our class yesterday at St. Francis the wind and rain was blowing so hard you could barley see in front of you!  Being in a parking garage was extremely scary as well!  It looked like a hurricane from inside the parking garage with sheets of rain and wind blowing in the different levels and the sky looked green.  Anyways it was pretty scary but luckily it cleared up a little past Morton so we didn't have to deal with it too long.  We did get to enjoy a little hail though just as we were crossing the Peoria bridge.  I am not a fan of thunderstorms at all and was worried that the lightning was going to strike just right on our vehicle! Hopefully our next trip to Peoria will have slightly better weather!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Application Complete!

Jesse has finished his application questions!  After 13 pages of typed answers I think he probably feels relieved and happy to be done with that part of the process:)  It is interesting to see the difference in the amount of detail we each give for the same questions.  Obviously I am more of a talker and detail kind of person and Jesse is one to just give the basic information the question asks for!  I think it is a good thing though because it will show our case worker that we are two individual people and that we both really did answer the questions individually.  We are now both finished with our application questions and the application packet we were given to fill out before our next meeting.  We have a pile of papers now ready to be turned in at our second meeting with Family Core which will be Monday the 20th!  Hopefully this meeting will go well and our application questions will be up to par:)  If not I am sure we will have opportunity to make any corrections or revisions.  We are excited to be moving forward and to have our second meeting on the way.  As I think about the the little baby we will adopt some day I get so excited.  It really seems unreal right now that it will actually happen but I feel like when it does it will be the most amazing experience of my life.  As I think about holding a little baby that needs a home and a family and calling him/her my own, I am so excited at the opportunity we have to take part in such a unique way to build a family.  I wouldn't want to trade my life for anything else.  I love the parallel of an earthly adoption to of us being adopted by God.  It is so awesome that I might get to adopt a child just as God has adopted me.  I want to show my adopted child the love that God has shown me and to have a deeper realization that what really matters is love and not whose genes you have.  I am so thankful that God is molding the hearts of Jesse and me to have a desire and excitement to be used according to His purpose for us.

Monday, May 13, 2013


Ahh... the wonderful feeling of accomplishment!  After 21 pages of typed answers I have completed my application packet questions!  My goal was to be done by May 20th and it is only May 13th so I feel great!  Now Jesse just has to finish his questions before the 20th which might be a little bit harder! This week our evenings will be devoted to Jesse sitting down and writing his answers for the application questions.  He usually tries to make up a reason why he doesn't have time to do them.  Something like, I had to work late or I had to get up early so I am too tired!  Today I ask him if he would rather have sleep or children because we all know you can't have both :)  He actually does very good with answering the questions though especially since its not really his thing to sit down and pour out his feelings and thoughts.  So all that considered he is doing great at coming up with some answers and getting the questions completed!

Friday, May 10, 2013


We have been plugging away at all the paperwork and things we need to compile to give to the adoption agency.  I have our birth certificates, marriage license, vet records, and tax form all copied and ready to give to our agency.  We have completed the two applications for our Foster (Adopt Only) License that I will give to our case worker at our next meeting.  These papers are needed along with our Fingerprint/Background checks, which thankfully we were able to complete at our first meeting!  Jesse got his TB test this Wednesday and will have it checked today.  We will both be getting our physicals done today as well!  My TB test is up to date from working PRN at the Home For The Handicapped in Morton so I was able to get record of that from them.  We have completed all the papers with basic information that we were given that needed filled out and signed for the agency.  All these papers are in a file folder that we will be giving to our case worker at our next meeting.
As for the two pages of detailed questions; we are doing our best to get through them and give as much detail as we can.  For some reason this seems to be a bit easier for me than for Jesse:)  So far I have about seventeen pages worth of typed information just from me answering their questions.  Jesse is working on it too but it takes him a little longer because he has to do it all in the evening after work and I am able to do it in my spare time at work during the day.  When I say seventeen pages it seems like a lot!  As I have been answering the questions though it isn't too hard.  Maybe it is because I have time during the day rather than having to do it all in the evenings.  Each question usually requires a lot of detail but if I just focus on one question at a time it doesn't seem to overwhelming.  Jesse has been writing his answers and then I type them up for him.  It is interesting to see how closely our answers match.  It show that we know each other well and we really are husband and wife!
Our goal is to be done with the questions by May 20th.  On the 20th we have a child/infant CPR class in Peoria at St. Francis.  If we are done with the questions we will be able to meet with our case worker that after noon since we will be traveling to Peoria for the class anyways.  In order to meet with our case worker though we have to have the application questions answered so we have been putting that as top priority!  It is so exciting to get things crossed off the list and to be just a little closer to becoming parents.  I am so thankful for how the process is going so far and I just hope it continues that way!
Now I better quit blogging and get back to my application questions!

Friday, May 3, 2013

First Adoption Meeting

Our meeting went great!  We left feeling encouraged and ready to tackle the home study process head on!  As we were leaving I told Jesse I felt so excited  to begin. I felt like it was completely do-able rather than being completely overwhelmed as I thought I would be, wondering how we could ever become a waiting family! He told me it was probably really because of all the prayers offered on or behalf by you all.  I couldn't agree more.  So thanks to all who prayed for us and continue to pray for us as we start the infant adoption program. It means more than you could know.

We met with our social worker who will be leading us through the home study process and potentially a placement.  She is so wonderful.  She makes us feel comfortable and she encourages us about everything.  We learned about each step that we will need to complete for our home study and then how a placement and adoption would take place.  We also learned about different options for outreach to birth mothers rather than through Family Core.  I will do my best to explain everything.

We will start by completing a home study through Family Core.  A home study is required for any family wanting to adopt or foster.  Each agency has a little different process that you go through but generally they are about the same. With Family Core the home study will consist of five different meeting with our caseworker.  The meeting yesterday counted as the first one. The next will be after we finish the application packet.  Then we will each have a meeting with our case worker individually and the last meeting will be when they come to our house to inspect and be sure it is a safe environment for a child.  Through Family Core we will start by completing an application packet as I said earlier.  In the packet we give general information about us, our jobs, finances, education, medical history, references, etc.  Also included in this packet is two pages filled with detailed questions about pretty much every aspect of our lives.  They want to know about us, our family, how we handle certain situations, why we want to adopt, our marriage and the list goes on and on!  These questions are to be answered by Jesse and I individually.  This seems to be the most time consuming part of the process.  After Jesse and I finish the packet we will have our second meeting with our social worker.

Throughout the process there are a list of things that need to be completed and given to our social worker at any point in time.  Here's a list of some of these things...

-Foster Family home license application and information
-Fingerprints/Background checks
-Medical evaluation of both Jesse and I
-TB tests
-Vet Records for pets
-Birth Certificates and Marriage License
-Tax Forms
-Online adoption training classes
-CPR certification

While we work on completing all of the above things we will have our individual meetings with our case worker and once we are done with everything she will come to our home to have our inspection/final meeting.

After completing our home study we will make a book of pictures and information, telling all about us and our life, to give to Family Core.  They will show this book to birth mothers who are looking to make an adoption plan.  The birth mother has the option to chose us and begin an adoption plan with us through Family Core.  Usually birth mothers come towards the end of their pregnancy, but before the birth, to make an adoption plan.  We were told that often the birth mother would want the adopting family to be there for the birth and stay in the hospital with the baby for the two days it will be there.  This totally depends on what the birth mother prefers though.  The birth father and mother then have 72 hours after birth until they can sign off that they are giving up their baby for adoption.  During those three days they can change their mind at any point but after they have signed at 72 hours there is no way to reverse the adoption.  After a placement there would be a few home meetings from Family Core to be sure the placement is working and the child is in a healthy environment.  Finalization of adoptions usually take place in court around 6 months after the child is born.

Family Core, on average, places around 4 babies a year with waiting families through their infant program and they work with around 8-10 waiting families at one time.  Last year they only placed two babies through their infant program.  This means that it could potentially be a while, after becoming a waiting family, before we would actually be chosen by a birth mother.  For this reason there are other options we can consider to become connected to birth mother.  A few of those options are; using an attorney that specializes in connecting birth mothers and adoptive families, word of mouth to people who may need an adoptive family, or going out of state with some larger adoption agency's that have more placements each year.  These are all options that we can consider doing to speed up the placement process.  I will go into detail on them in the future if we would decide to pursue any of them.  Last year Family Core also had two families use their home study services but became connected to birth mothers some other way than through them.  So they do have families that use these other option, that I mentioned above, for accomplishing an adoption.

At our meeting yesterday it just so happened that the fingerprint guy was there that day!  We were able to complete our fingerprinting for background checks at our meeting. This is great because it's one more thing checked off the list.  The results of background check can also take anywhere form 3 weeks to a few months to get back so getting the prints sent off as soon as possible is really helpful!

Sorry this is such a long post! We learned so much yesterday and are looking forward to getting busy completing our home study so we can become a waiting family and be that much closer to meeting our child! We hope to be a waiting family by harvest or before.  Thanks for the continued prayers!

Monday, April 29, 2013


We serve an almighty God that has a plan and a reason for all that He takes us through in this life.  He is able to open and close doors according to His ultimate plan for our lives.  We may never understand why God brings us through one door then closes the next and turns us back around to a new open door, but through trust and willingness He can work in our lives to create something beautiful.

God has opened doors for us to begin an infant adoption program.  We are having our first meeting with Family Core in Peoria on Thursday May 2nd.  At this meeting we should learn about different options available to us through their infant adoption program and learn more about how the process will go in general.  We will also be given an application to fill out with many detailed questions about our life and upbringing.  At this point I don't know exactly how the next few months will go and what all will be required for the home study and adoption certification but we should learn a lot at our meeting on Thursday.  We are excited to begin this program but we also know that there could be difficult times ahead depending on how smoothly everything goes.  We also know that we will be in need of a large amount of patience as we seek to follow God's plan, trusting that if one door closes He will open another.  We could really use prayers for patience and trust in Gods plan and timing as we begin the infant adoption program with Family Core!

Friday, March 1, 2013

God's Direction

I know there are many of you who are wondering what is going on with our adoption process.  We had originally said our plan was to start infant adoption once I turned 21 in December, so you are probably wondering why we haven't started the adoption process and you can't seem to get a straight answer from us.   I want to let you all know that we have been working toward an adoption plan but God has lead us to something a little different than we had originally planned.  At this point we are very uncertain of what God is going to provide for our adoption future and so we don't really want to discuss it until we are more certain of where God is leading us and what HE wants for our future and our family.  We could really use your prayerful support that God's will can be done as we have felt His direction and are seeking to follow where He leads.