Author: Vanessa Nolte

Our Baby…

From the title, you would think I have good news… but not yet.  I’ve just been thinking a lot about our baby… whether our baby hasn’t been conceived yet… or is growing as we speak and is not born yet… or is already born.  I’ve just been spending some time praying for our baby.  Praying that he/she will feel loved and important.  That they will grow to love God as much as Tim and I do.  That they will be healthy and grow strong.  I pray for our baby several times a day… partially because that is all I can do right now.  But, our baby is not the only thing we are praying for… we are praying for the expectant mother that is, has or will be carrying our baby.  Praying that God will surround her with His love and protect her, help her to make great decisions for her baby.  My mind is filled with this prayer several times a day.  Thank you to those of you that have been praying with Tim and I.

Something you may not know about domestic adoption…
We will more than likely be taking a baby home from the hospital.  When we are chosen, the birthmother will decide if they want us at the hospital during the delivery.  That is totally up to her… but for the most part placement happens when the mother is discharged from the hospital.  So, we will have a VERY newborn!!  Sometimes the expectant mother will even invite you to doctor appointments to see the baby in an ultrasound before they are born.

Then following the time we take the baby home from the hospital… we wait until the court date.  At the court date it is official that the baby is ours.  The court date usually happens within a month (I think I have that number right).  Although everyone has heard the stories of a mother taking her child back… and it does happen… but the agency does a great job at trying to explore all options before they even go down the “adoption” road, one of which is parenting themselves.  So, by the time they get to the birth of their child, they should be ready.  There is always a risk… but it is a risk we are willing to take.

Baby Room is Coming Together!!
We now have the changing station and dresser and a pack and play.  The pack and play is also a bassinet and changing area… I don’t know if we will use that or not… but at least we have the option.  My Mom and Dad got us the stroller… YAY!!  So, we are ready for a baby!  Thanks Mom and Dad!!

Prayer Request:
• Pray hard over this next week… it could happen!!  Pray for the expectant mom that will one day be a part of our lives!  Pray for our baby that it will be healthy and strong!

Getting the Room Ready


We have a crib!  Thanks to Tim’s mom and dad who purchased a crib for us while they were here last weekend.  It is nice to see the room get some baby furniture in it.  I can’t wait until it is full of things!  Like I’ve said before, we could get a baby a year from now… or we could have a baby next week.  So, we are trying to be as prepared as we can if we are chosen by a mother that already had her baby.  We already have a crib, pack and play and high chair!  Next on our list will be a car seat and some of the little necessities – diapers, clothing, bottles, formula, etc.  We can’t bring a baby home without a car seat – that is a big necessity!!  It has been fun to look at those things!

I think we’ve had a total of 5 birthmothers look through our profile so far – all of them have chosen other families.  It has been hard, but each time our case worker has told us about another birthmother that she would like to show our profile to.  So, there is another birthmother and birthfather that will be looking through our profile this week… and possibly another next week.  We are staying hopeful!

One of the things that Tim and I have been talking about these past few weeks is “networking”.  I have learned so much about adoption over these past months.  One thing that I’ve really learned about through others that are adopting on Bethany’s Forums is that many people do a lot of networking to find a birthmother.  Some place ads in the newspaper, make business cards and leave them at businesses, etc.  That is something that Tim and I are really not comfortable with.  Maybe some of you that have adopted have done that, but that is not for us.  We do hope that if any of our friends hears of anyone that is considering giving their child up for adoption – that they might think of us.

Thanks for those of you that have been praying for us and for our future baby!

Prayer Requests for Today:
• Pray for this couple this week that will be viewing our profile.  Pray that they will feel God’s guidance on their decision.
• Pray for Tim and I as we wait for the baby God has in store for us.  Pray that we can lean on God during this wait.

Time of Growth




I thought I would share a couple personal pictures today!  These are some of our favorite things to do… serve at Daybreak Church!!  I am a small group leader to 4-5 year olds and Tim works with senior high guys.  We love it!!  These pictures are also some that we put in our profile book!

We did hear back that one of the birthmothers that was viewing our profile last week (or the week before) did not choose us.  We haven’t heard about the other birthmother that was also looking at our profile.  Our case worker has promised to let us know anything when she hears.   So, hopefully we hear something soon.  We will also be having another new birthmother to look at our profile this week (towards the end of the week).

I’m going to try to keep this short, but there have been a couple things this past week that have been very significant to me and our journey towards adoption.  One is the fact that last week I really broke down.  I’ve really been trying to give this whole process to God, but I realized (with the help of my husband) that I was only giving God the part of the process that I didn’t think I could control on my own.  If you know me very well, you know that I have my weeks planned out way ahead of time… I am very organized and scheduled.  So, when it comes to not knowing what lies ahead…. lets just say I’m not very good at it.  This is something that I’m learning how to trust God with now.  I was finding myself getting really anxious and constantly having thoughts like this… “I wonder if we will be picked today… we need to get ready… we don’t have anything we need yet… what if we don’t get choosen… what if… what if… what if…”  It went on and on.  I was stressing myself out – when I don’t have to.  God has promised to carry the burden if I will only let Him.  This is the verse that I read after I came to this realization:

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Phillipians 4:6-7

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
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Now, when I start to think about those things that I was worrying about and letting consume me, I’m stopping them and just whispering a prayer to God to take that burden from me.  I can’t say it has always been easy to give it up to Him, but I’m trying really hard to leave it in His hands.

The other big thing that I’ve learned about this past week was about how sheltered I really am.  Tim and I went to a class that Bethany held about raising a transracial baby.  We don’t know if our baby will be of a different race, but we want to be prepared if it is.  I have so much more to learn about this subject and can’t wait to talk to others that have adopted and read some books on the subject.  But, so far, I know that I will need to do a better job at integrating other activities and places into our life.  They did the following activity with us… there were 6 different cups.  Each cup had different color beads in them.  Each bead represented a different ethnic group: African American, Caucasian, Asian, Native American, etc.  Then they began listing off things like… “Your doctor is… Your neighborhood is mostly… Your schools are mostly… Your boss is… Your hair stylist is…etc.” Then we had to pick a bead that represented that person and fill our cup.  Then, we had to take a bead that would represent our baby.  How did our cups of beads look?  Did it look all Caucasian?  Do we have enough diversity for raising a child of a different race?  I know Tim and I will have to make changes and definitely make an effort to make sure our child has positive role models and friends that they can relate to.  It will definitely be something we will be exploring more in the coming months.  How will our child respond when they get teased for the way they look?  Will they know they are beautiful even though they are teased or will it eat at them constantly?  We want to do all we can to our our child know they are loved and beautiful just the way they are!  One thing we know we would like to do is be a part of a play group with other families that have adopted a child of a different race.

Prayer Request:
Pray that God will bring the right child to us at the right time!

Support Group



So I seriously think that there should be support groups for those that are in the adoption process!!  I’m going crazy!  It is so hard to not get discouraged and think that we may not have a family until years down the road – pending a birthmother choosing us to adopt their child.  I’ve been a part of adoptive forums – where other families that are waiting hang out… but sometimes that is not very “supportive.”  Actually, sometimes it almost makes it more discouraging.  There are people on the forums that have been waiting for over two years to adopt a child domestically!  Of course, I don’t know their openness to different situations or what agency they are with, but I really don’t want to wait that long.  I’m praying that we don’t have to wait that long.  Then there are people that are set on putting me in my “place” because I’ve only been waiting for a month… they almost make it seem like we don’t deserve to get a placement yet.  I think I may need to stop visiting the forums.  I wish I had people I knew that are going through domestic adoption right now… people that we could hang out with, pray with and just support each other (and remind each other that it is in God’s timing).  If any of you know anyone else that is going through domestic adoption, let me know.

We have not heard anything as a result of the two birthmothers that were going to be looking at our profile last week.  Tim and I have been really praying for them this past week.  Praying that our profile will stand out among the others that they are looking through.  Praying that the right mom and child will be drawn to us – whether it is one of these or one in the future.

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Here are a few questions that people have asked us in the past months – maybe you are wondering too:

Are we adopting a baby or are we open to older children?
Tim and I really want to experience the whole thing – so baby times too.  So, right now, we are requesting an infant.  But, if an instance arises where there is a baby and a 2 year old – we would probably take two kids.

Have we explored adopting from foster care?
We did ask about this, but for the most part adopting from foster care is older child adoption.  We may consider something like this in the future, but for right now we are sticking to domestic infant adoption.  For those of you that don’t know – when you adopt from foster care – the cost is very minimal.  (Usually less than $1000)  Also, you get funding from the state – not a lot, but some.  If you are interested in this – I would check with Bethany.

What kind of openness will we have with the birthmother?
This will depend on what the birthmother wants – we are open to some visits and cards/photos sent.  This will all be determined as we meet our birthmother and set some guidelines.

Are we open to transracial adoption?
Absolutely!  We are open to any child!

Did we request a certain gender?
You can request a gender, but we did not.  We figured if we were having our own children – we wouldn’t be able to choose, so why make that specific now?

Have we considered adopting from Haiti?
Yes – we actually contacted our case worker after the earthquake happened along with many others.  Basically, if you look at my last post you will see that there are not specific plans for more kids leaving Haiti.  The international adoption program looks a lot different than the domestic program.  We would have to fill out lots more paperwork and go through more things in order to be in that program.  Unfortunately, we cannot do both at the same time… so we are sticking with domestic infant adoption.

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Those are some of the basic questions that we’ve been asked… if you have more questions let me know – make a comment and I will answer more. Thanks to those that have been following along and praying for Tim and I.  We’ve been so blessed to be surrounded by people that love us and encourage us!

Prayer Requests for Tonight:
• Pray for the birthmothers that have our profile right now.  Pray that God will surround them and help them as they make this tough decision.  Pray that they will have a circle of family or friends around them that will encourage and support them.
• Pray for Tim on Tuesday at 2:00pm.  He has a job interview that seems like it would be a great opportunity.

Could this be it??

We will have two different expectant moms viewing our profile this week!!  So exciting!  We are trying hard to go along with the ups and downs of “possibly”… then back to square one again.  Both of these moms are due in March, so we could be parents in a couple months!!  Wouldn’t that just be awesome!

On other news, Tim’s mom found a crib and changing table on Craigs list that was beautiful… but it was sold by the time we saw it… only 3 hours after it was listed!  We did get some great “jungle” themed items from a friend (Thanks Amanda!)  She had a jungle themed room for her daughter and is in the process of redoing her room.  I will have to post some pictures of the things soon.  I can’t wait to get the whole room set.

My heart has been torn in a different direction this past week.  Normally I’m constantly thinking about our domestic adoption and what else I can learn.  This past week it has been just hurting for the children of Haiti.  I saw a picture on someones blog earlier in the week – it was of babies sleeping on tiny blankets that were laying on cement rubble.  I can’t get that picture out of my head.  How can we let innocent children live like that?  How can I help?  I’ve checked in with our case worker about adopting from Haiti.  As of right now, they don’t know what their Haiti program will look like.  They had 58 kids that were matched with families before the earthquake, but hadn’t made it the USA yet… they have been united with their adoptive families now.   That is exciting!  Now, they have to wait to see what they can do… they can’t just take children out of Haiti without first getting visas and verifying that their parents were killed in the earthquake.  So, Tim and I will continue on with our domestic adoption plans… but we both really want to go to Haiti to help.  We will hopefully be able to do that with a team from our church, Daybreak.

Anyways, that is all for tonight… sorry no picture or creative thing tonight.  Check back to hear any news that we will hear!

Moving on…

Just a quick post tonight.  We found out today that the birthmother choose someone from another state.  It sounds like she didn’t end up looking at any profiles at the Bethany Office.  We are bummed, but just trusting God’s plan.  We don’t want a baby that God doesn’t want us to have, so we are moving on and trusting Him.

Prayer Request:
Pray that Tim and I will have wisdom to know which situations to move forward with or not.  Our case worker will come to us with different child situations – older children, babies that might have special needs, etc.  We have been praying through each thing that has been brought to us.  Our prayer is that we will hear God’s voice and follow His lead for each situation.  Can you pray for us too?

Adoptive Parenting


As Tim and I begin to start imagining us as parents, we start to think about all of the decisions that we will need to make in regards to our children.  There are so many things to think about as parents… things that don’t even cross your mind as a couple with no children.  We’ve spent some time this past week talking about how we will help our adoptive children know that God created them for a purpose.  How can we make sure that they understand that God has a plan for their life as an adopted child, that they were not a mistake.  One of the things I’ve been learning is the importance of sharing details with them of their adoption and telling them about their birthmom/dad.  One book that I’m currently reading (thank you Andrea for the gift!) is “Before You Were Mine”.  It puts into detail how you can make a “Lifebook”.  A Lifebook is basically a picture and word book that you put together for your child.  It outlines information and pictures of what their life was like before they joined your family.  I love the idea – it tells you what information to include and how to get it.  It also shares the best age to begin sharing different bits of information and gives you some ideas of how to respond to questions they may ask.  I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone that has adopted domestically or internationally.  Even if it has been 3-4 years since you adopted – I would pick it up and read it.  It has given me great insight!

For those of you that have been wondering, if you comment on these posts, Tim and I do see the comments.  Both the comments on here and facebook have been encouraging and so helpful!  Thank you all for your prayers and support.

I’m hoping that as you watch the images on the screen of the devastation over in Haiti that you will be praying for the Haitian people.  Our pastor, Wes Dupin and his son Chad are over in Haiti now, serving with the CEO of World Hope International.  Seeing all those children has been heart breaking to me.  I’m told that a woman asked Wes to take his child – handing her child to him.  Hoping that he will take him to a safe place.  Of course Wes cannot take him.  Many toddlers are wandering the streets alone – parents killed as a result of the earthquake.  Heartbreaking!

Prayer Request for Tonight:
I’m going to take a break from our request for tonight.  If you could spend some time praying for the children of Haiti tonight that would be great.  My heart breaks as I hear stories of children wandering streets by themselves – how will they find food?  How can they stay safe?  Who will take care of the little child that is calling out for Mommy?  Pray that they will get the help they need and fast – medicine, water and food.  Pray that people will help set up shelters and homes for people and children.  There is so much to pray for.

Going Crazy!

That picture is exactly how I felt today.  I really didn’t expect a call… but that didn’t stop me from hoping we would get some news.  I had my phone with me at all times today – hoping I would hear it ring.  I did work today obviously, so I wasn’t just sitting there staring at the phone (I would really be crazy then!!) but it was hard for me to not think about what was going to happen today.  For those of you that have told me your are praying and for any others that didn’t tell me – thank you!!  We got so many comments and words of encouragement today!  I took comfort in the fact that so many were praying and that God has control of the whole thing.  Because of that, I know that whatever happens, Tim and I will be blessed.  We have already been blessed with so much!

So, how long will we wait?  I’m not sure… I’m hoping that the birthmom takes the weekend and makes a decision so we know.  But it will be a tough decision for her I’m sure, so it could be a couple weeks.  Someone asked me this morning if she could wait until after she has the baby to make the final decision and the answer is “yes.”  Everything is her decision at this point and we have heard of this happening.  I pray that it happens sooner than that.

Here is our prayer request for tonight:
I cannot imagine having to make the difficult decision of who will raise my baby.  Pray for the mom that looked through the profiles today.  Pray that she will feel God’s guidance to the right parents for her baby.  Pray that as she talks to friends and family about this decision over the weekend that they will be supportive and encouraging to her.  Pray also for Tim and I as we wait… waiting is SO hard!!

We got a CALL!!

At about 1:30pm today I got a call from our case worker.  They apparently have gotten quite busy and now have some expectant mom’s that are looking through profiles.  So, our case worker called to let us know that our profile will be shown on Friday!!  YAY!!  This will be our first time being “shown” so we are super excited, but also don’t want to get our hopes up in case she chooses another family.  She will probably be looking at several profiles, so we can’t get too excited here.  But, she is due in a little over a month.  So, whoever she chooses will only have a few weeks to prepare.  In most circumstances, the expectant mom would hold onto our profile (along with the others) for a few weeks, really studying them and finding the perfect family.  In this instance, because she only has a month to go – it might move a little quicker… but who knows.  Our case worker said she would let us know as soon as she knows something.  I will post something on here when I get news… so check back!

So a big prayer request tonight:
Pray for the expectant mom that will be viewing our profile on Friday.  Pray that she will choose the right family for her and her baby.  Pray that she will get the support she needs during these last weeks of her pregnancy and for this decision she has to make.  Tim and I are just trusting God’s plan – of course we want to be chosen, but if we aren’t – then we know it wasn’t the right baby for us.  Pray for us as we ride this roller coaster of emotions for the days to come as we wait to hear something.

A Fantastic Friday


NO – the picture above is not our fully decorated Nursery… we aren’t that good!  But, we went and registered for things at Babys R Us on Friday!!  It was SO much fun!  We still want to check things out at Target and register there too.  I had to share the look we are thinking we are going to go with, the “jungle” theme.  We won’t do the things all over the wall, we really like the simple look.  Hopefully we will get dark chocolate furniture (not like the picture because that furniture is like $300 a piece… can’t really afford that)!!  The room that we have for our baby is freshly painted in a green shade close to what is in the picture.   The only question we had is this – is the jungle theme gender neutral??  We decided it was… there weren’t very many choices if you don’t know the gender of the baby.  Anyways, I have worked with children for over 10 years so you would think registering should be easy.  We spent almost 2 hours there and registered for like 60 items.  CRAZY!  I can’t believe how many different things there are, we even saw a pacifier case.  NO we did not register for that!  Do you really need a case for a pacifier??  Maybe some people really like them, but I can’t imagine using one.

The other reason Friday was fantastic was because it was the day that our profile was put online on Bethany’s website (Our Profile).  We’ve been waiting all week for it to be put up.  They actually put up the wrong letter (it was way too long) and didn’t include one of our pictures that we gave them, so I’m hoping it will get fixed next week, but it is so nice to see us actually “available” online.

Let me explain a little about the online profile.  There are a few different ways we could be chosen as adoptive parents:

  1. A birthmom could come into the Grand Rapids office and they would get to see a binder full of families including ours.  In the binder is a one page information sheet with a picture of Tim and I (and other families).  They choose from that binder whose profile book they would like to see.  Usually, they pick several from the binder.  They then get to take the profile books home for a while as they read through them and find a family that is the right fit for their child.
  2. An expectant mom from anywhere in the United States could be looking for an adoptive family and look through the website to find us.  They can search by state on the website, so if they have gone into another Bethany Office like Holland or Kalamazoo, they might want to see who is in Grand Rapids and check out our profile online.  If they are interested in us, they would contact the Grand Rapids Office and request our profile book.

Most of the time, adoptive parents are chosen by an expectant mom from the same office.  So, that is what we are expecting, but we are open to traveling to another state to receive our child.

Thank you to those that have been praying and following along – this has been fun to do so far and I’m enjoying the prep time for our baby to come home.

Prayer Request:
This is something that I’ve been praying and I would love your prayers as well.  I’ve been praying for the birthmom that I know will soon be a part of our life.  Praying that as she works through her pregnancy or even if she isn’t pregnant yet, that God would keep her safe and help her to see the God loves her no matter what.  I’ve been praying that God’s arms will wrap around her and help to fill any questions or concerns she may have in her life at this time.