Friday, January 28, 2011

Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork!

Did you know we have to get a septic inspection to make sure our septic tank can handle another person in our family!?!?!?  Yeah Jason and I thought it was funny!  But not funny that it costs $200 for that inspection.... : (

Jason and I have both have had our physicals done. WOOHOO!  We both had to give 3 viles of blood to be tested for HIV, venerial (sp?) diseases and I don't even know what else!  We had to have a tb test which is where they put a shot just under your skin and wait 24 hours to see if you have a reaction which means you have tb. AND we both had to be drug tested along with all the other normal yearly physical exam stuff.  Glad to have that behind us! 

We also got our criminal records done today.  As we left the police station Jason said "Well why didnt they print something out to give us?"  I said "Thank God there was nothing for them to print out!" LOL!  The clerk was just able to check no criminal record & we had to have it notarized. :)

So we are moving on along in the pile of paperwork.  We hope to be able to travel to Nashville next week for our first visit with our social worker and turn in all the paperwork we have ready so far, which is most of what we need actually.  I have been one busy girl the last few days... :)Oh and don't forget to participate in the 100 wishes/prayers quilt if you can.  My flickr/quilting buddies have really stepped up to the plate and are really getting into this is so sweet of them.  I am going to post a picture of one of their cards & fabrics below.  We will be receiving fabric truly from all over the world for her quilt & prayers have been said all over the world for this girl already!  What a blessing!  But I would love for some of our close friends & family to send a block Aunt Gail, Meemaw, Grammy & Aunt Jenny etc... you guys participate too please.  I would mean so much to me and I know it will to her one day too. :)

Much Love!

Stacks of Paperwork....

Well I feel like I have a hand cramp! :)  I have printed out all of the papers we need and filled out the ones that I can.  I will have to take a picture of this stack...I promise it is bigger than the stack we had for our martgage.  They definitely leave no stone unturned.  It is a little daunting but, I am approaching it with a smile on my face because it means we are one step closer to our daughter. :)

Jason is going to meet me at the police station today to get our local criminal record checks.  I also have to make an appointment to go in and get physicals for everyone (if they haven't been to the doctor in the last 6 months) and that will hopefully happen next week. The doctor has paper work to fill out for each of us.

I have heard that the 2 things that take the longest are the FBI fingerprinting and I did go ahead and register for that online.  And the child abuse checks that must be done in every state you have lived in since you were 18.  :( UGH!  Me that is easy....TN.  Jason well not quite as easy.  That will probably be the one thing we will be waiting for....Ohio is known to take longer than usual to get that done. :(  So pray that they get in gear and we are proven wrong.

I have looked at 2 files of little girls that I would LOVE to be ours over the last 24 hours.  It is going to be so hard to make that decision.  So just continue to pray that God reveals which child is meant for our family.

Much love!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

100 wishes quilt

While we wait for this momentous occasion, we would like to honor a tradition from our daughter’s homeland ~ the making of a 100 Good Wishes Quilt. I thought what a good idea to do with my quilting buddies but, I thought there might also be some fmaily members that would like to participate. The following is a brief description of this tradition:

"To welcome and celebrate a new life, there is a tradition in the northern part of China to make a Bai Jia Bei, or 100 Good Wishes Quilt. It is a custom to invite 100 people to contribute a single square patch of cloth. The 100 patches are sewn together into a quilt that contains the luck, energy, and good wishes from all the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation."

We are inviting you to join us in this tradition by sending us a 5” x 5” square of fabric (preferably cotton) along with a card on which you have written a “wish” or prayer for our daughter. The fabric can be any fabric that you have that is GIRLY (I finally get to do girly stuff). The wish can be a simple statement, a favorite poem, song lyric, Bible verse….something that speaks from your heart to our daughter.
other ideas:
-pray for her health
-pray for other children in the same orphanage
-pray for the paperwork & that it goes smoothly
-pray for her foster mother & emotions she must feel
-pray for safe travels
-pray for her to bond quickly with us
-pray for her birth mother
-pray for our boys to adjust well
-pray for our adoption agency
-pray for the Chinese offcials that will review our dossier
-pray for her to get our care packages & that she would feel our love through them

When she is old enough she will be able to match the fabric in the quilt to the little fabric swatch on your card displayed in the album and read your message to her.

It will be something from you that she will have and cherish forever. Imagine how special it would be to look back upon the well wishes that were sent for you. Better yet, imagine being covered by all those good wishes every night.

I am requesting that you send your squares to me by March 15, 2011.. This will give me plenty of time to put together the quilt. Thanks so much!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Approved and starting homestudy paperwork! :)

Well I just got off the phone with our adoption agency and....we are APPROVED!  and so now the home study paper chase begins....pray that this part goes as smoothly as possible.  They say and we hope that it will take 5-6 weeks. I have tried to prepare for everything that we are responsible for by ordering our birth certificates and marriage certificates etc...but there is alot of paperwork involoved.

We can now match with a child is we see one that we think would fit our family.  There is one child right now that I have requested her medical continue to pray that God would show us the right child for our family.  It is so hard to look into their little faces in the picture they send and say "I just don't think you are right for our family"  I want to take them all home. :)  But we can also wait and have our social worker match us with a child...which she is really good at.  I think we will probably wait unless we see a child come up that we have a very strong feeling about.  We have asked for a female under the age of 3 and that we would consider twin girls. :)

Just a sample of some of the things we will be getting ready for our homestudy:

Personal Information
 Certified copies of birth certificates for you, your spouse, and any children already living in your home;
  • Certified copies of your marriage certificate;
Financial Information
  • Verification of employment on company letterhead (even if you are self-employed);
  • Income verification (usually copies of your federal tax returns for the last three years);
  • Proof of life insurance, including the names of beneficiaries;
  • Proof of health insurance;
  • Verification of all monetary assets on institution letterhead (including checking account, savings account, 401k balance, stocks, money market accounts, mutual funds, etc.);
  • Debt information (balances on your credit cards, cars, house, etc.);
  • Mortgage or rent information (amount of monthly payment and amount of equity you have if you own your home).
Other Information You Will Need for Your Homestudy
  • Results of a recent physical exam;
  • Results of a criminal background check from EVERY state you have lived in since age 18
  • Public health inspection if your home has a septic system;
  • Fire safety inspection;
  • Letter from your veterinarian stating that all your pets are healthy and current on their vaccinations;
  • Photographs of you, your spouse, and any children already living in your home;
  • Photographs of the front, back, and inside of your home;
  • Written references.
Much love!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Here we go! :)

Well today we sent off the first money to our adoption agency.  I sat in the post office parking lot praying over our papers before they left my hands.  I know this may not be an easy journey all the way through but its just amazing how God has opened doors so far.

Drew & Ben have decided they want to share a room, so we have been busy painting and rearranging the room they will share.  We painted it a khaki color and we got new comforters from Ikea when I was last there.  They have bunkbeds that seperate to 2 twin beds.  They decided they wanted them seperated for now.  They were so excited to finally be able to see there new room and to sleep in there last night together for the first time.  They are such big buds! :)  I love that they get along so well most of the time.  I think they talked until about 10:30 p.m. before they both finally fell asleep.

Every night at prayer time Drew & Ben pray thanking God for letting us adopt....they are so excited too.  We've been having fun trying to come up with names. Ben said he had a dream about a sister named Charlotte. :) Drew says he wants to name her Meg....I think because he is good friends with a cute girl at school named Meg. :)  And well Will hates all of the names except for Rachel. :)  We will probably use her Chinese name as a middle name & we may also use Rose as a middle name after my mom.  So, I have posted a poll on the left side, check it out and vote for your favorite name just for fun. :)


Friday, January 21, 2011

Why don't we adopt in the U.S.??

Well this is a question we have been asked and I am sure we will be asked many times.

"Why don't you adopt a child from the U.S.?"

#1-The international adoption process is something we are more comfortable with. I have seen friends adopt and wait for years for a birthmother to choose them.  We both liked the idea that the time frame is estimated and that it is pretty much a guarantee that we will have a child in a year or less.

#2-Because out of 3 families that we know that have adopted, 2 of them had a birthmother change her mind at birth or shortly after they got the child.  I don't think emotionally that I could handle that.  I did talk to an agency about domestic adoption but she admitted that 30% of the time the birthmother changes her mind.

#3-Adoption is something that has been on my heart for years and just with our infertility & not being able to conceive a 4th child did Jason finally come around to the idea.  I never pictured us with a little China girl until this fall. I was at Target with a friend, and I saw a little Asian girl with her mom and 3 older brothers that seemed to be the same ages as my boys. You know me I never meet a stranger so, I talked to them about their adoption and it just put it into perspective.  It's amazing how God can change your mind...I thought adopting a chinese child would single out that child in a negative way and that they would always feel different from the rest of our family. But looking at this family you knew right away that the little girl was adopted and they didnt shy away from talking about adoption....they used it as a positive.  Little Molly was a walking advocate for adoption and an adorable one!  And when her mother said "Molly, tell them to go get a baby" and I heard that sweet little voice say those words, I knew right then and there that an Asian child would really be the perfect fit for our family and I started praying about it.  About 1 month later Jason announced he was ready! :)  God is good!

I know you guys that know Jason also know this but he LOVES kids....everyone calls him the baby snatcher! :)  Every Wednesday he takes the little kids to the nursery for anyone that will let him.  I know he is going to be such a great daddy to a little girl.....he's had lots of practice with Eden & Millie. :)

Much love!

P.S. Getting excited!  I shared info with the online China adoption parent group and they think that there would be no reason our application to adopt won't be approved. :) I am finally letting myself get excited! :)

Good NEWS! :)

Talked to our insurance this morning and they will insure our adopted child and treat and pay even if they have a pre-existing condition! :) woohoo! This was something I was a little worried about.

God is good! :)

much love!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Special Needs"-UH OH what does that mean?

OK I felt I needed to address this as both our moms freaked out at the words "special needs". :)

In China any little, minor thing they call "special needs". We could get a child that has asthma, an odd birthmark, a cleft lip, a slight hearing loss, an eye condition, a child that had a burn injury, a child that has already had a surgery to correct a problem and the problem is fixed they will just need checkups and the list goes on.... We don't feel like the more major things like cebral palsy or spina bifida would work well within our family but it is totally up to us and it will be our decision as to what child we accept. We will be given their medical file to go over with a doctor before we officially accept and we are going to do what God leads us to do.

So we may or may not share what special need our child has once we are matched but, just know ALOT of the kids you would look at and think...what special need???

Much love!

When Love Takes You In - Steven Curtis Chapman

BEFORE you push play on this video, go to the bottom and push the stop button on the playlist so that you can here the song in the is so touching!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wow! Information OVERLOAD!

So as I learn more and more about adoption every day I get more overwhelmed and more confused! But I think I am FINALLY seeing the light at the end of the tunnell! PRAISE THE LORD!

What I know now:

-It appears we cannot adopt from the regular program in Korea because we live in Tennessee. :( This was so frustrating to find out! We can adopt through the special needs program there but the lady I talked to freaked me out about all of the major health concerns the kids in the special needs program have there.

-We can adopt through China but there is a 5 year thank you! We are too old to wait 5 years! We can adopt quickly through their special needs/waiting child program and it seems there are minor medical issues with these children.

-Kazakhstan is just too expensive. :(

-Cambodia is on schedule to open up adoption again this year...which is another option.

-Vietnam-read great things about adoptions from here but adoptions are on hold for Vietnam

-Guatemala-heard awesome things about adoption from here but they are now closed to adoption
-Nepal-also heard great things about adoptions from Nepal but adoptions are suspended as of right now.

Countries we arent interested in: (because they are too expensive, too long of a wait or that they only offer older children etc..)
Romania, Ethiopia, Haiti,

I have found a forum online with other adoptive parents that are adopting or have adopted through the China Special Needs adoption and they have been just a wealth of knowledge! :) I now feel very comfortable going with this program and I have gotten suggestions as far as what agency to go with and I am pretty certain we are going to go with Bay Area Adoption Adoption Services. I got many, many recommendations for them and they are located in California. It really doesnt matter what state you live in. You can use any agency any where in the U.S.---talk about to many choices. :)

So glad to feel like I am over the decision making process and I am ready to start the paper chase. :) Lots and Lots of paper work ahead! :)

Just to show you one little one I have fallen in love with and would love to join our family is this little one: Isn't she adorable!?!?!?

Emily is a beautiful nine-month-old girl from Fujian Province who was born with a rare birth defect called bladder exstrophy and has already had it surgically corrected.

Now who knows if she will be available once we get all of this paperwork done BUT, this just gives you an idea of the minor problems some of them are facing. When we are almost done with paper work...WE are given the opportunity to pick a child off of the waiting child list that we think would be best for our family. So we are totally in control of what child and special need we think we can handle. But it is a HUGE shared list (thousands of children) so our aency will be helping us locate children they think will be best for us. Then we will review their medical records with an adoption doctor and decide for sure.

This agency is known to be we may even have a new member of our family around Christmas time. :) WOOHOO! I am NOT going to to be expecting to get to go get our child until next spring though so I am not disappointed. :)

So I ask for you to pray for us... bottom line we just want a child to love so we ask that you specifically pray for the right child to be available for us.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

What a shocker!

Well we got the sign up packet in the mail from a North Carolina adoption agency. I was so excited! There was a packet full of info and then I saw an itemization of their fees....get this....the ESTIMATE of their fees is we go with a Kazakhstan adoption was $54,000.00....yep! A little shocking!

We are also looking into Korea & the waiting child program of China as a back up plan. If we do the waiting child option you can go to and look up kids that are available. You do have to create a sign in to see the kids but it is a neat site. We are looking into the possibility of accepting a child with a minor medical hernia, burns, cataracts, diabetes, eczema, limb indifference and even possibly a child that has hepatitis B.

We want another child and to be able to offer a child better medical care than they can receive in China warms my heart.

So, now we wait for more paperwork to get here and see what these other 2 agencies look like. So pray it becomes clear which agency we should go with.

We will keep you posted...


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Our first step into Adoption

Some would gather money
Along the path of life;
Some would gather roses,
And rest from worldly strife.

But I would gather children
From among the thorns of sin;
I would seek a golden curl,
And a freckled, toothless grin.

For money cannot enter
In that land of endless day;
And roses that are gathered
Soon will wilt along the way.

But, oh, the laughing children,
As I cross the sunset sea,
And the gates swing wide to heaven -
I can take them in with me.

-Author Unknown

This is probably what our house will be like. :)

Why adoption?
Well, we have tried to have another biological child for about a year and a half with no luck even with fertility medication. We decided we could either keep trying to get pregnant (and lets face it we are getting older) or we could just go on and adopt. I have always wanted to adopt but it took us not being able to get pregnant for Jason to decide he wanted to adopt. So this is a dream come true...and I know God had a hand in this.

10 years ago I met a friend through a miscarriage group online and we have remained friends and helped each other through the rough times of miscarriage. Wow...that seems like so long ago now. Well she works with adoptions in North Carolina and we have relied heavily on her suggestions.......she has been so helpful!

Will we adopt a boy or girl?

We all agree in our family that we would love to adopt a girl. Let's face it, even the boys think we need a girl! :)  I am definitely outnumbered!  We have requested a baby girl that is less than 3 years old.  Can you imagine how spoiled she is going to be by 3 older brothers!??!? :)

How can we afford adoption?
Yes, adoption costs a fortune. We are estimating our adoption to cost $25,000.00-$30,000.00. About as much as a pregnancy costs if you don’t have insurance from what we understand. No, we can’t really afford it. God has opened some doors to some unexpected money and we felt that was God's way of saying "Now what are you waiting for?" We know God has planned another child for our family...and we pray that we will be led to that child. When you consider that some people pay more than this for a can we put a price on a child? I feel like its a bargain...Jason, well not so much! :) LOL!

So as we start this journey we ask for your support and prayers. We feel God has led us to this adoption and are excited for the journey. We pray for the orphanages and our future daughter. Who knows she may have already been born...We are so excited & yet nervous.

Love you all!