Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dear Holt Family

That is how the letter we received in the mail today began. It went on to say that they are pleased to inform us that our home study has been approved and sent to Holt headquarters today! After it is reviewed there, it will then be sent to Korea and we will be placed on the list of families waiting for a match!!!! I am beyond excited!!!!!

This is so much earlier than I had thought it would be. God is good! The last I had heard, the home study wouldn't be complete until after we took the classes January 9th and 10th but now, it was sent today and will hopefully get to Korea at the beginning of the year! I just know that God's hand is on this and that the timing is all His doing because of the special little baby He has picked out for us! I can't wait to see how this all works out, all for His glory!

I am not very good at expressing my thoughts and feelings. I read a lot of other blogs and they write so eloquently and beautifully and I feel that my blog just pales in comparison. I know I shouldn't compare myself to them but...that's what I do best.

So, the next step is to complete the I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition and send it to the Department of Homeland Security (US Citizenship and Immigration Services). After they get all our paperwork (copies of birth certificates and marriage license) then we need to go in for another set of fingerprints.

After this set of paperwork is in the mail, I will then start to pursue the adoption grants that are out there. The Holt website has list of them and a lot of them are Christian based. There is also an organization that offers interest free loans so I think I will try to secure that in case we need it. I know God will give us what we need to get through this time, physically, emotionally and financially! He always gives us what we need when we need it.

So for tonight I am beyond excited that this is moving forward and we are one step closer to getting matched with our baby! This is a great Christmas present! Although it's a long shot, maybe I can hope to be holding my little one in my arms next Christmas (like I said it is a VERY long shot but all things are possible with God!)

Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

One step forward...

The second home visit went well yesterday. Bonnie actually got a rough draft of the home study done so we were able to review that and it looked great. We have to fill out a few forms about medical conditions we would accept and then send them in to Holt. We will need to wait until we take the PIP classes in January (9th and 10th) and then she can send in our home study. I am a little disappointed by the wait but I have to keep reminding myself that God has a plan here and, I have to trust His timing.

If you want to know where to focus your thoughts and prayers it would be for me to have more patience and also that God would send us boy/girl twins! :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

One step closer

We had our first home visit with our social worker, Bonnie, today. It went well and only lasted 2 hours. She basically just sat down with us in the living room and went over the 16 pages of questions each of us had to fill out and clarify some information and go over the process. She will come back on Thursday because she is require to do 2 home visits and at that point we will go over some more information and give her a tour of the house.

Then, over the next couple of weeks we will be in contact via phone if she has any more questions as she writes out the home study. We get to review the rough draft before she sends it on to Korea. After it is submitted we get in line and WAIT! As we get closer to being matched we can have Bonnie check on our place in line and, once we get matched it will still be another 4-6 months before all the paper work is ready and our baby can fly here. She said that we will get the travel call and then it is only a matter of days before our baby is on a plane and in our waiting arms. It will be a year (or more) until that happens, so we need to find things to occupy our time (inexpensive things that is)!

Once our home study is complete then I can start applying for grants and loans to help pay for the adoption. I am hoping to qualify for at least one other grant besides the one that Patrick's work will give us. We do get a refund from the IRS but cannot file for it until the tax year that the adoption is complete. So most likely by April of 2011 we will get the refund. That seems like FOREVER from now! As always I appreciate your prayers and thank you for following along with us on the journey.

I know some of my blog readers but would love to know who is popping in from time to time. Leave me a message and let me know! OK, I am going to head towards my bed in the hopes of a good night of sleep!

Monday, December 08, 2008

I'm not perfect...

...and neither is my house. But it does look cute and organized! I am tired and have been working for hours to get the house ready for the 1st home visit tomorrow. My 10 year old neighbor, Anna, came over and helped me decorate the house for Christmas. She is such an amazingly mature 10 year old. It is snowing outside but we aren't supposed to get too much accumulation so hopefully everything will still be on for tomorrow. OK, I just wanted to update you on my progress. I will post more after the visit tomorrow.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Our home visits!

I was just sitting around watching TV tonight when I got a call from our social worker, Bonnie! Our home visits are scheduled for next week. The first is on Tuesday the 9th @ 9:30am and the second on Thursday the 11th @ 9:30am! YEAH!! I am so nervous now, I totally need to clean my house! I am so excited!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I don't have any new information to post but thought I would let you know what I have been thinking about lately. We are now officially in the season of Advent where we wait for the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day. I LOVE Christmas and always seem to overlook the season of Advent in favor of focusing on Christmas and the joy of that day!

In a lot of ways this adoption is just like that. I would love to just overlook the next year of waiting for the birth of a child, of my child. I would love to just get to the good part and have our child with us. I know that I need to wait, I have no choice but it will be very hard for me. Even just waiting now to hear back from the social worker to schedule our home visit is difficult for me.

Please pray for my patience, that God gives me more and helps me to get through this season of Advent in my life. And please pray for the woman who will give us the best gift ever. I think about her sometimes and hope that God gives her comfort during this time and keeps her healthy and safe! Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Practicing patience

I am home from my 2 week vacation and I am sick. It started last Friday with just a throat thing and some aches. I thought I was on the mend but I think the airplane ride home brought it right back and I felt so sick today. I also had a stomach thing on top of the nasty throat pain. I hope that I feel better in the morning. This will be a short post tonight but I wanted to let you all know what is going on.

I talked with Jennifer at Holt today and she said that she has everything she needs except one of our referrals and our medical forms. I knew that she didn't have our medical forms because I just went in this morning to get the TB test. I will go back on Friday morning for them to read the results so they should be able to mail it in that day. So, hopefully our last referral will send in their paperwork soon and maybe, early next week, we will get our home visits scheduled. I know that this wait will be nothing compared to once our home study is complete and sent to Korea so I am trying to be patient.

Please continue to pray that God will keep us patient throughout this process and that He will be with our babies birth mother during this time and keep our baby safe. I am so excited that I have readers of my blog! Thanks to all of you for caring for us and being their with us through this awesome time!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Phase 3 update

I am currently on a 2 week vacation in PA visiting my friends and family! I am so excited to be here and am really enjoying myself so far. Patrick will join me on the 11th and then we go home together on the 18th!

Before I left home I accomplished great things with my adoption paperwork...I finished all 16 pages of my home study questions! Patrick is about 1/2 done his and our plan is to mail it out on Monday! I think we will then get our home visits scheduled but I'm not 100% sure.

We also both went and got our physicals done and are happy to report that we are both HIV negative (not that we had any doubts). Patrick is negative for TB but I will have to get my test done when I get back. It needs to be in your skin for 48 hours so they can measure any reaction you might have. So, things are moving forward and I am still excited about the whole thing.

I'm sure there will be a lull in all the excitement as we wait for almost a year to even get matched but I hope time goes fast and God gives us patience as we wait for our little one. I did the math and our little one could be conceived anytime now! It's neat to think that our little baby could be entering this world as I type.

OK, back to family fun!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

We're in Phase 3!

Whew! I am so tired...I have been working on my personal data information form for our adoption for over 2 hours and I only am on page 10 of 16! I am calling it a night and I hope to finish the rest of the questions tomorrow. So far I have had to discuss my parents marriage and my views on adoption as well as my physical and mental health (no comments please). I know I have at least one reader (thanks Kendal!) so I will continue to ask for prayers for this adoption. We also found out yesterday that our references got their paper work in the mail and I pray for them as they answer the reference questions that they have received. I just pray for whoever it is that will give us a baby, prayers for strength and good health. I know that this little baby that will come into our lives may have already been conceived and it gives me goose bumps to think about! I'm sorry I am rambling tonight but my brain is just fried from all the questions. As I have said before...I hate writing my feelings down and this paperwork is pages and pages of just that!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's raining...but I'm excited

We just finished all of the preliminary paperwork to start our home study including the first $2,500 check! We had to have something notarized (thanks Linda) and something witnessed (thanks Eric) as well as recall every address each of us has lived at for the past 20 years! Whew!

We are done this first batch and apparently this is the easy set...next up is the lengthy short essay questions for the home study. I am excited.

I am just so relaxed now that I am not worrying about whether I am pregnant or not...no ultrasounds, clomid, ovulation tests, blood work etc for the near future. We do plan on trying again once we have adopted a little one but I think that it will not be the sole focus of our lives since we will have a little one to take care of/worry about.

We are mailing all of this in tomorrow so we should get the rest of the paperwork soon to start! Sill praying for God's will in all of this, I know that the "right" baby will come to us!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My husband doesn't actually think I will do this...

My husband doesn't think that I will successfully keep up a blog about our lives. I have tried 2 times before this and have failed. Well...maybe the third time is the charm. I'm not even sure if anyone will read this but I think it will be a good way for us to remember this journey that we are on. Two weeks ago we submitted our application to Holt International to begin the adoption process! We are so excited to be working toward something positive.

For those who don't know we had a baby girl back in August 2006. Her name was Madelyn Rose and she was born at 37 weeks after a very long labor that resulted in a c-section. Everything went from happy to absolutely devastating the moment she was born. She had very serious birth defects which were the result of a genetic condition called Pfeiffer Syndrome Type II. She was whisked away to the NICU while I was being sewn up. About 3 hours after her birth and a very negative CAT scan of her brain (she had very little brain tissue), Patrick and I made the hardest decision of our lives and removed her from the ventilator. We took her back to our room and held her until she passed away the next morning.

It was a very hard recovery process both mentally and physically and a year later we found out that we were expecting another little one. Around 7 weeks I started spotting and went into my doctor's office "just to be safe". I had an ultrasound and they could see no baby, just a mass of cells. Again the wind was knocked out of me and time just blurred together as we started talking about mutant cells, cancer and a D&C. I had my D&C on Patrick's 29th birthday and waited anxiously for the results. They came back in a couple weeks as a Partial Molar Pregnancy which is where 2 sperm fertilized one egg at exactly the same time. It results in 3 sets of genetic material which is why the cells went crazy. I had to monitor my levels until they went to zero and then we had to wait 6 months from then to try to get pregnant again.

We started trying again in May but have still had no luck. There isn't anything wrong with either of us and we are still within the normal time frame for the "average" couple to get pregnant so you may wonder why we are adopting. The biggest reason is that we both always knew that we would adopt, we knew before we got married that adoption would be part of our family plan. What we didn't know was the timing of when we would adopt. We thought it would be after we had our biological children, but God had other plans.

So, on Monday evening 9/29 I submitted our online application to Holt. After Maddie died both Patrick and I started to see a counselor (she is just amazing) and it has helped us so much. Well, apparently Korea is a little sensitive to the counseling thing so we needed to get a letter from our counselor before we could be accepted into the program. She submitted that on 10/9 and I got a phone call from Don with Holt in Omaha and he said that we were ready to start.

We just got our packet in the mail today for the background checks and now we need to get copies of our birth certificates and marriage license and get our finger prints taken by the state police. The background check will take 4-6 weeks and, in the mean time, we will start our paperwork for the home study. The guidelines say the whole process takes 17-20 months from the time you submit your application to the time the child arrives home. So...maybe early 2010 we will be blessed with a healthy little one (or two) from Korea. We are willing to accept a sibling group and hope for twins!

If you could, I would just ask you to pray for us during this time.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hello...I'm new here.

Welcome to my blog!

I have never done this before and I really don't like putting my feelings down on paper, but I feel like I need to do this. In the coming posts I will share the story of my life thus far. For now I will leave you with a song that I believe God's uses to remind me that He is ALWAYS there.

Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am God

I am the Lord who healeth thee
I am the Lord who healeth thee
I am the Lord who healeth thee

In thee oh Lord do I put my trust
In thee oh Lord do I put my trust
In thee oh Lord do I put my trust

Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am God