Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Testimony

December 21, 2005
On Monday, a lady who is new to our church stopped by my office. She ended up telling me her testimony of their adoption of their youngest daughter (who is now in high school)! (Isn't it neat how God brings people together?)

It was encouraging to hear her testimony of that time in her life. She described how God had closed doors, and opened other ones, while working upon her heart. He perfectly orchestrated a series of events to bring their little girl home to her new family! She whole-heartedly empathized with our current waiting period, and said, "When you least expect it, you'll get a phone call!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Drippy Dishgloves

December 13, 2005
Yesterday, I (Calvin) was hurrying to finish washing the dishes when there came a loud knock on the door. I opened the door and found the UPS delivery guy with a huge box. "Hello, I need you to sign for your package, please." But then he hesitated and looked at my hands. Looking down, I realized why. My bright yellow latex dish gloves were dripping water, making a puddle at my feet.
"Uh, let me take these off."
The UPS guy nodded.
After I signed for the box and the UPS guy- I wonder what his name is? - drove off, I lugged the box inside and discovered that my sweet, beautiful, mother-in-law had bought us a stroller! Thanks, Mom!

I do feel a little sorry for the UPS guy. At that time of the day he was probably expecting a dutiful housewife with cleaning gloves on. I'm sure he was taken back by my powerful physique and aurora of kingly authority as I stood there in my drippy dishgloves. :) Well, I'm sure he has seen it all.

I think I'll take the Maclaren stroller out for a test drive and see what this baby can do.

Today, we recieved a can of formula in the mail! Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch?

Monday, December 12, 2005


December 12, 2005
Since we've been immersed in all this adoption stuff for about a year (we attended our first info meeting in Nov. 2004), we often forget that people still have some basic questions about adoption. So, here is a list of some "frequently asked questions" (and our answers!) to help you out!

(Q.) Where will you be adopting from?
(A.) We are in the Domestic Adoption program, which means our child will be born in the United States. So far, we have chosen to only send our information to Oregon and Washington offices, so that we don't have to travel very far. However, we are still open to adopting a child of any race.

(Q.) When will you bring your baby home?
(A.) Right now, we are still waiting for a birthmom to choose us. During the process of chosing an adoptive family for their child, potential birthparents look through photo albums and letters from each family. Typically, they will choose to meet us before making their final decision. Then, we get "THE CALL," telling us we've been chosen! The average wait for a baby is about 18 months.

(Q.) How old will your child be?
(A.) We are waiting for a child under 6 months old. Sometimes following birth, babies are placed in "interim care" (a special foster care-type home), while legal paperwork is being completed, so they may be a few months old before being placed with an adoptive family. Other times, the adoptive parents are welcome at the birth, and are able to bring the baby home from the hospital, after legal paperwork is completed. It is all a combination of working with the birthparents' wishes and the state legal requirements.

(Q.) Is it a boy or a girl?
(A.) Yes! :) Since we haven't been chosen yet, we don't know what God will bring us. Just as if we were pregnant, we are open to either one.

(Q.) Will you have an open or closed adoption?
(A.) We would like a very open relationship, if possible, with our child's birth family. Adoptions are very rarely closed nowdays. Typically, it is just a question of "how much" openness there will be. We are hoping to provide letters, pictures, and occasional visits for the birth family. We feel it is a gift to our child to provide them access to learning about their heritage & medical history, and an opportunity for us to love their biological family members as well.

(Q.) Can the birthparents ever take the baby away?
(A.) Each state's laws governing placements are a bit different, so part of it depends on which state the child is born in. Some states require more time before finalization than others. It is possible, that a child may be placed with us- or in an interim home- before the birthparents have completed all their paperwork to relinquish parental rights, and they would still be able to "change their minds" and decide to parent. Essentially, though, once all the legal stuff is finalized in the proper manner, the answer is "No." Eventually, we will go to court with an attorney to finalize the adoption. At this point, the child's name will officially be changed to ours, and their birth certificate will list us as parents.

(Q.) If there is another agency that would help you bring home a baby faster, would you consider it?
(A.) No. We have prayerfully researched our options, and we feel God has directed us to Bethany Christian Services. It has been on our hearts to minister to pregnant women- whether or not they place their children for adoption. Bethany offers counseling and support groups for these women, along with their families- pre-and post-placement. They also offer the moms resources to assist in their decision-making, whether they choose to parent or to place their children. Bethany also provides "shepherding homes" for women who need a supportive family during their pregnancy. Many other agencies ignore the mother, just to "get the baby." It is our goal to be a resource, not to "shop for a baby." We believe God will bring our child home in His perfect time. Also, the state of Oregon has very firm adoption laws. Many adoption facilities around the country are not legal in Oregon, even though their methods are legal in other states.

(Q.) How are you feeling?
(A.) We are excited for our child to come home, and we are eager to see what God will do. The unknown wait is difficult to live with sometimes, since we don't have the "9 Months" that most expectant parents do. We are "paperwork pregnant" and are trying to prepare in faith as best we can. Some days are more hope-filled than others. Waiting for a miracle is difficult! We are thrilled to be involved in adoption- not just as a way to grow our family, but also as a ministry.

(Q.) How can we pray?
(A.) Please pray that God will prepare us as parents, and that He would provide the necessary resources & finances. Remember to pray for the safety and health of our birthmom, along with peace and wisdom in her life. Please pray that she, along with her family, would recieve all the information and counseling support that she needs. We also ask for prayer for all the little details that are involved in bringing a child home, such as timely paperwork, job schedules, etc. We also pray that God would prompt those around us in our church and community to be supportive & encouraging for our family during this time. We have also prayed continually that God would touch the life of our child as he/she grows up.

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's The Most *Wonderful* Time of the Year?

December 5, 2005
This year, it has been tough to motivate ourselves to do all the traditional "holiday" stuff. Sometimes it seems like we're just going through the motions, because we "should." Various decorations, foods, and music bring back memories of the past holiday season when we were a family of three. Putting up stockings was the most difficult task so far. There is an overwhelming hope that someday we'll be able to share the joys of the season with children.

Other times, though, we love looking around our home, enjoying the peaceful "homey" feel, with the little white Christmas lights in our windows, cinnamon candles burning, Celtic Christmas hymns in the background, and sugar cookie sprinkles all over the kitchen. We love falling asleep nestled in pillows in front of the fire, reading books with cups of tea, and sharing Advent. We cherish our marriage- our family of two- and love spending time together. But sometimes, in order to enjoy the season, our ways of celebrating the holidays are different from others' expectations. We love to travel during Christmas; to enjoy the special-ness of the season on mini vacations- to the beach or the city. Others often expect us to go to friends' or families' homes, so they can "keep us company, " and act surprised at our response when they ask, "Just the TWO of you?!"

Yes... it is just the two of us. We are a family of two.

Due to our work schedules, we're often not home together very much. So, we love taking the holidays to spend entire days together. What a blessing! Now, don't get me wrong- we do enjoy roadtrips to visit friends and family. Thank you to everyone who has welcomed us. But sometimes we want time to just BE a family; to slow down and rest. (And I'm sure we'll get that Christmas tree put up eventually...)

I found a wonderful article from the Adoptive Families magazine, which talked about experiencing the holidays during the WAIT. Click Here to Read the Article

A New Month

December 1, 2005
Calvin called Betty, our caseworker, today to inquire about the status of our homestudy. We're still waiting for the state's final approval. She had anticipated it being completed by the end of November. But, she reported that she still hadn't heard anything; especially since most of the staff had been gone for Thanksgiving week. Betty confirmed that our profile books had been distributed to the caseworkers at their November staff meeting, and said that she would call us if she heard anything. So, we'll just wait and pray that our paperwork doesn't get lost, that it is viewed at the right time by the right people, and gets approved! (Our books are now available for birthmoms to look at; it's just the final state approval that we're waiting for.)

We do have a praise that God provided $600 for our adoption fund! We're trusting Him to meet the expenses of this journey, which He has been faithful to do so far.