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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
I’ve learned that adoption has a lot of “waiting” times. We turn in our application… wait for it to be processed. We meet with a caseworker… wait for the homestudy to be complete. We complete our profile… then wait for it to be shown to birthparents. We then wait to be chosen, wait for the baby to be born, wait for the court date… wait, wait, wait. Boy is it hard to wait! But, I think God provides “waiting” times for us to grow closer to Him. God knows that we are anxious or don’t know what is coming around the corner of life next – this helps us to give up our tight grip of control and trust God. That has been my prayer for Tim and I through this whole process of waiting. That is one of the hardest things for me – I’m such detailed person that I like to know where we are at with each step and know what is next for us… but God never intended our life to be that way. HE wants to have full control of our life! That is what I’m constantly working towards.
One of the hard things is the anticipation that it “might” happen soon. Some families are chosen within the first few weeks of being shown to birthparents. But, I don’t dwell on that because I don’t want to be disappointed if it takes a couple years. How do we balance the excitement, but not get dissapointed? That will be something I will have to learn in the next month – all while remembering that God has control of this whole situation.
Our case worker told us yesterday that right now they do not have any birthparents looking for adoptive families (which is actually a good thing but not very promising for us). From my understanding though this is normal with the agency… they go through times of many birthparents and then not very many. It can change overnight.
Here is my prayer request for tonight:
Pray that Tim and I will know what God is teaching us through the “wait”. We want to hear his voice and follow His lead each step of the way.
As we began the journey of adoption, I spent hours researching what it meant to adopt. I’ve learned so much about adoption and how it works. I’ve read several books (including the ones pictured above) and we spent time with people that have already been through the process (Thanks Jeff & Ann, Delia and Anna!). Much of what I learned was contrary to what I thought about adoption. It has been such an eye opening experience! So what did I learn? One of the biggest things I’ve learned is about open adoption.
As we began meeting with our case worker at Bethany, one of the first things that we learned is that most domestic adoptions are now open. In the years past you heard about most adoptions being closed – where the birthparents have no contact with their child after they have been adopted. Since then, there has been significant research on adoptive children that have lived through closed adoptions. I think those of you that have been adopted or have experienced adoption can attest to the fact that many adopted children have this desire at some point to know their first parents. A lot of times the child needs to understand what brought their first parents to adopt or what kinds of things they have in common with their first parents. It is important to their self-esteem! Fortunately, with domestic adoption we have the option for them to ask those questions if they desire.
Most birthparents now want to have some type of openness – that could mean letters sent to them 4 times a year with pictures, it could be visits 2 times a year, or visits more often. As we worked through the adoption process with our case worker – we got to choose an openness that we feel comfortable with. I have to tell you – when we started this process… we were skeptical of open adoption (mainly because we didn’t understand it), but we have done a complete turn around!
We’ve learned so much about the birthparents – what a difficult decision they have to make in order to allow their child to have a better life. I can’t imagine making that decision. For those of you that have had children, you know the bond that you have with the child growing inside of you. I know I had that with those that I lost. They have to have amazing strength to give that child to another family!
Here is my prayer request for today:
Pray that God will bring the right birthmom to us as well as child. We want to be able to have a great relationship with the birthparents. Pray that it will be someone that we can really enjoy getting to know.
Today is the big day for bringing in our profile book! I spent hours on this book that tells expectant parents all about us. We created pages about us, how we met, what we like to do, about our families and our promise as adoptive parents. This was really fun to put together. We used iPhoto and had the books printed and bound. We had to make four copies of them – 3 of them will stay in the Grand Rapids Bethany Christian Services Office and one will be sent to Lansing to an office that they work closely with there. Tim and I have been praying for the people that will eventually view this book. We are praying for their tough decision that they are having to make. They have to have the most amazing strength to go through this process and give their child up. I have been praying that God will help them to make the right decision – either to parent or put their child up for adoption.
Will you join us in prayer over the expectant parents that will be viewing our books? We believe that there is a child out there for us – a child that God wants to place with us. Thanks!
In case some of you don’t know what brought us to adoption I wanted to share. In 2008 Tim and I began trying to have children. It took over a year for us to get pregnant the first time. Ten weeks into the pregnancy I had a miscarriage. This happened two more times, the last with twins. It was devastating to us as we both love children and have a huge desire to have a family. We spent much time praying and seeking God’s will for us to have a family. He has brought us to adoption.
We’ve always talked about adoption as an option, maybe after we have our own children, but in light of the miscarriages we’ve stepped into this journey earlier than originally planned. We are now very excited to be able to be a part of this process. We’ve learned so much in the past year about adoption and much of which we will share with you in the months to come.
I believe that many people have a misconceptions on domestic adoption, as I had them when we started this process. I’m hoping that you will get a glimpse of what domestic adoption is really like. I’m also hoping you will pray for Tim and I as we begin our wait for an expectant mom to choose us. I will post more things to pray about in the weeks to come. Thanks for joining Tim and I in this journey through prayer!