What is your story? What led you to adopt?

To learn more about us and our specific journey to adoption, you can visit our ‘About Us’ page by clicking HERE.

Why adopt?

Read my blog post about this topic HERE.

Why are you writing this blog?

In many ways, we are writing this blog to document our progress and keep friends and family updated. However, in some ways, an adoptive family does not get to go through many of the same things that a family would go through when they are expecting a biological child. So this blog, for Amanda, is a “paper pregnancy.” Her belly may not grow, but we want to document what we're feeling and what our steps in this process have been and will be. Finally, we are writing this blog to help myself remember where we’ve been in hopes that, someday, it can be a resource to other families praying through adoption.

Are you adopting domestically or internationally?

As we considered adoption very early on in marriage, before we even knew how soon we would pursue adoption, we felt like a domestic adoption was the right step for us. Although there are many, many hoops to jump through in the United States to adopt, we felt very strongly that there are enough children in our own country that need a family to care for them. This is not at all to say that we don’t totally support international adoption – in fact, someday we plan to adopt internationally. Furthermore, we really wanted to adopt an infant very shortly after he or she is born. As first time parents, although my belly will not grow, we want to experience those first days of growing our family as close as possible to what it would feel like with biological children. Yes…we realize this means that we will lose some sleep. But, let me tell you, I’m sure that after this process I will never regret feeling tired. It will be worth every yawn.

Are you working with an agency?

We are choosing to navigate the road of adoption in a less ‘traditional’ way. We are working with Bethany Christian Services for our home study, which licenses us through the state to adopt. A social worker from Bethany goes through lots of paperwork, interviews and a home visit before we are licensed. Once we are licensed we can begin waiting to be matched to a birth family.

We have chosen to work with a company called Christian Adoption Consultants as well. Specifically we chose to work with an adoption consultant as a professional that’s ‘in our corner’ watching for red flags, assisting us with paperwork, questions, and helping us navigate the road. By choosing this route, we will be applying to multiple adoption agencies around the country to help us be matched to a birth family. We have been working with our consultant, Susan, since the beginning of this journey and this has provided a lot of comfort to me, especially, because she is someone that is well aware of the road ahead of us and what the best way to move forward is. If you're curious about an adoption consultant or what Susan specifically does, we would encourage you to visit their website or Susan's blog.

Do you know if your baby will be a boy or girl?

The simple answer to this question is no. When we are matched with a birth family, if the mother knows the gender of the baby, so will we. However, we are open to either gender. Of course, Jarrod would like a son and I would love a daughter. However, we will be very happy parents at either gender! (On a side note, I can guarantee that if we are matched to a baby girl, that cute little girl will be decked out in some pink tutu’s and Jarrod will adorn our son in football/sports gear).

Update 5/28/14: We were matched a baby girl mid-March that is due to be born on August 7! The nursery definitely is loaded full of pink clothes already. 

What is the process of adoption and where are you currently at in the process?

The process for adoption is long and there are so many little facets to it. So for the sake of an easy-to-understand answer, I’m going to leave out many of the details.
Essentially, the adoption process begins with paperwork to be approved to work with the agency you’re interested in working with. After you’re accepted to work with an agency, you begin the home study evaluation. This a very detailed process that involves physical examinations, interviews, background checks, fingerprinting, home inspections, and…you guessed it…more paperwork. Once all the paperwork is in and the social worker has visited your home, he or she will write up a ‘home study’ that describes that adoptive family’s home and ability to parent. While the home study is going on, you create a profile book to be presented to birth mothers as they consider choosing you to parent their child. Once chosen, you work with the birth mother to meet her expectations for the birth. At the time the child is born, paperwork must be signed to revoke the rights of the birth mother and relinquish the baby to the adoptive parents. Then the family is visited a few more times after they come home with the child to make sure that everything is going well. Finally, after a period of a certain number of months determined by the state, the child is declared the family’s at court.

As I write this (September 2013), we are currently in the process of completing our home study. We have received a very large stack of paperwork to fill out. We are praying that we can be finished and home study ready by the end of November. At that time, as long as the funds for the adoption are available, we will begin waiting to be matched with a birth family.

There are times when this journey is nothing but frustrating. However, someone very wise once encouraged me to think of this journey as my own ‘labor pains.’ We may not experience what it’s like to be at the hospital giving birth and enduring those pains, but we will endure our own emotional pain through all of this and so we keep on knowing that these ‘pains’ will bring us one step closer to our child.

Update 5/28/14:  As of now, we are just waiting for our baby girl to be born so that we can bring her home and begin our life as a family of three. In our minds, it cannot come soon enough! 

For more up-to-date information on where are at in our journey, please check out our TIMELINE.

How long will this take?

To be honest, we have no idea. Once our home study is completed, it could take a matter of months or a couple years to be matched to our sweet baby. We can only trust that God knows whether or not our baby has even been conceived yet and so we trust that he will support us and guide us no matter how long this may take.

Do you get to name the baby?

This is something that we will work with our birthmother on. Yes, we would like to be able to name the baby. And yes, we have some ideas on name.... But no, we are not going to share the name until our baby comes home. So you’ll have to wait. :)

Isn’t adoption expensive? How will you pay for it?

Yes...adoption is expensive. Very expensive. Many people assume that adopting is a nice way of saying that we are “buying a baby.” This is very far from what we are doing. So, yes, adoption is costly. However, we also believe that we have a God that provides the resources necessary to complete what He’s called us to. Because the fees associated with adoption vary by the matching agency and the child’s ethnicity, it’s hard to say exactly how much our adoption will be. However, we are expecting somewhere in the ballpark of $40,000 when said and done.

While we are saving money for the adoption as well, we are also planning to do various fundraising efforts for our adoption. Additionally, we will be applying for grants from a few different agencies. We are praying and trusting that God will provide the funds necessary to bring our baby home as quickly as possible.

That being said, we are asking our friends and family to support us. If you are willing and able, would you consider supporting our adoption by making a donation or coming to one of our fundraisers? You can check out information on our fundraising efforts by clicking HERE.

If you do not have the resources to support us financially, we still seeking as many prayer warriors to join our team as possible. At that end of each blog post, we will try to list ways in which you can specifically pray for us, our baby, and this process.

How can I stay updated on your progress/How can I help?

Subscribe by email to our blog (see the email entry spot on the sidebar)! Every time we put up a post, you will receive an email letting you know!

As far as how you can help, see the above post.

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