Wednesday, November 29, 2006


November 29, 2006
I just read a great article written by an adoptive mom: Open Adoption, and wanted to share it with you. It was really inspiring to read about her open adoption experience, and encourages me in our hopes for the future. I loved reading about their time before, during, and after their daughter's birth- here in the Northwest!

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Couple Birthmoms

November 27, 2006
Our caseworker, Angela, called me at the office this afternoon to let me know about two potiential birthmoms. (It's funny- just yesterday, Calvin said, "I bet Angela will call us next week after Thanksgiving!") She gave me an overview of their situations, and wanted to know if we were willing to have our books shown. She needed to know our decision by later this afternoon, since she is leaving soon on a business trip (amidst the new snow that has fallen upon many areas of Oregon!). So, when Calvin got off work, we talked it over. We decided we would agree to be shown to both moms, so Calvin called Angela, and let her know. One mom is 6-months pregnant, and the other mom is due at the end of January. Please be praying for these two women as they begin meeting with their counselors, and making decisions.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Why I Blog

November 17, 2006
I read an article online today that encouraged waiting adoptive families to journal while they wait: Writing Through the Wait. It really summed up why this blog exists. We write to not only keep our friends and family updated, but we blog as a way of documenting our journey. We appreciate everyone who is journeying along with us, and love reading your comments & emails.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

We've Finished More Steps!

November 14, 2006
Angela finally called us back yesterday to let us know where to send the final two copies of our profile albums that Steve had printed for us. (She had been out of the office for a few days last week.) So now we can get them off to the correct offices! She also sent an e-mail the other day, letting us know that this year's criminal background checks had been completed. It is such a relief to have these big steps completed!

An Adoption Story

November 13, 2006
This week, Family Life is doing a radio broadcast series about adoption. They began the week by inviting Focus on the Family's Dr. Jim Dobson to speak about adopting his son, Ryan. (Ryan was on the program as well). It was certainly inspiring! You can listen/read the program here: Amplifying the Voice of the Orphan. I definitely recommend taking a few minutes to check it out, along with the rest of this week's broadcasts.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Facing the Giants

November 12, 2006
Yesterday, Sheli and I drove to Salem to catch an afternoon mantinee of Facing the Giants. It's a movie made and produced by a bunch of Christians, so it was full of scripture and God working in people's lives. What I really appreciated in the movie was how honest it was about how life can hurt, but nothing is impossible with God.

The movie is a story of a high school football coach who trying to lead an apathetic and struggling football team. Because he doesn't have a winning record, a group of dads is working to get him fired. On top of all this, he and his wife are struggling with infertility. The guy is just broken and feels like a loser at life until he surrenders it all to Jesus and tells God he will still love Him and glorify Him if they have children or not. He then applies this faith to his football team, and sees God not only dramatically change his life, but the life of each one of the guys on his team.
This movie is incredibly moving. While it's full of hope and happy endings, it's also full of pain and the nitty-gritty "gotta-keep-moving-even-when-it-hurts" type of emotion. I was in tears through most of the movie. There's awesome passion not only in the coach's wrestle with God, but in how the team learns to glorify God on the field as well.

The movie was definitely used by our Father to tell us, "Keep on!" The song played during the closing credits was Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns. This is the song God used to persuade me to get out of the boat and trust Him in deciding to adopt. The message that kept hitting me was to give my best and trust God to do the impossible; to prepare my fields for the miracle of rain after a drought. Sheli saw how God has been the coach to her, telling her that He needs her to keep going, to not give up. We both identified with the quote that "I never know I could miss so much someone I've never met," as we cling to the faith of waiting for this real little person that God has for us.

Whoever suggests that the process of adoption is easy during the "waiting time" doesn't know which side of his bread is buttered. In other words, he doesn't have a clue. Sheli and I are going through intense, spiritual hand-to-hand combat as Satan seeks to discourage, disillusion, and distract. Pray! So much more is at stake than simply us being a happy family. We have come to believe that the enemy hates a new image of God being in a family that will glorify Jesus. I also think Satan hates it when Christians will step out in faith, because that brings us so much closer to God.

By the way, I don't want to be anywhere else than right here in life.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Friend's Gift

November 8, 2006
Our friend Steve found us at our Bible study at church, and brought in the final two copies of our profile book pages! He did an amazing job; printing them on nice photo paper with great ink quality. Plus, we were impressed that he had completed them so quickly. Thank you, Steve! We are so greatful for God's provision in this. Now we need to put them in order, and send them up to the correct agency offices.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Walking in Prayer

November 6, 2006
This weekend I spent some time with a friend I hadn't seen for a few months. Through most of our adoption journey, she has been very supportive and encouraging, but I was disappointed to find out that it seems she is tired of waiting, and has given up hoping. She actually asked me what we're going to do when our homestudy expires next year! Of course, my first response was a lighthearted, "Well, hopefully we have a baby by then!" But honestly, right now, we feel like that is the only response we CAN have: a response of FAITH. We are focused on walking this journey day-by-day as God leads us, and for now, He is directing us to walk in faith and intercession.

Through our time of waiting- even from the very first day- we have felt like there is a spiritual battle going on, as we "stand in the gap" for the birthmoms we hear about, and for our future child. We feel like adoption is a huge part of God's heart (He adopted us!), and He has been faithful speak to us through dreams, readings, music, and prayers as we seek His guidance in how we should pray. As Dutch Sheets writes in his book, Authority in Prayer:

"Kingly intercession. It is God’s royal priesthood reigning in life through the authority of Christ. As you intercede for individuals, places, or situations, the Holy Spirit will at times lead you to move into this type of prayer. When He does, be bold and respond in faith. Don't waver. You do have kingly authority."

In response to this thought, we are so thankful for those that are still interceding; prayers are so vital, and the loss of a prayer warrior is indeed a great loss. Later this weekend, we were encouraged to spend time with some other friends who are still clinging to faith along with us, even though they are going through their own infertility journey. When they visit, they always go straight to our nursery to spend a few minutes in there. We were preparing a meal in the kitchen while our friends were in the nursery, and suddenly, we heard the husband say excitedly, "Hey, it's all 'duded' up in here!" We had such a good laugh to hear him celebrating (and to hear the evidence that he's been reading Westerns on his last week's hunting trip!)

Our adoption agency has a prayer calendar that many families are following, and here is a prayer one adoptive mom wrote this weekend for her waiting friends:
"Today we are to pray for adoptive parents that are still in the waiting phase of this journey. Dear God, you are a gracious and loving Father who knows the deepest desires of our hearts. I pray that you would continue to give each of us a peace that passes ALL understanding. Your plan is perfect and we rest in your sovereignty. We do pray that you would bring many of our children home to us and bring life to the many nurseries that many of us have begun. Yet, while we wait we pray that you would hold us close and continue to remind us that you have something so fabulous in store for each of our families that we could never think, dream or imagine all that good gifts that you have in store for us. May your will be done in each of our lives and families. Praying and Fasting with so many of you!!!"

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Love of Reading & Music

November 2, 2006
The other day, a friend was mentioning that she would like to order some books she had in mind for us (well, for our kid, actually). So, if anyone else has the same idea (the holidays are coming!), we've put together a list on an baby registry. Have fun browsing, and reminiscing over your childhood favorites- we did!


November 2, 2006
I just recieved an e-mail from Angela, letting me know that the Seattle office discovered what had happened to our background checks. Apparently, they received them on Oct. 20th, and sent them out that day for processing, but forgot to notify our caseworker in Oregon that it was being done. So, now we're just waiting for the background checks to be completed (they can take awhile.) Thanks, God, for once again finding what was lost!

Angela also told us that she had received our "mailable" albums today, and said they "looked great." She thanked us for updating the information reference sheet as well.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Background Check: MIA?

November 1, 2006
Calvin talked to Angela today, and found out that the Seattle office doesn't remember receiving our Criminal Background Check forms that we sent Oct. 17th. So, for now they are missing. There was a substitute receptionist today, but they will start going through files to see if they can find them. Please pray that they will be found! It is important that we have a current background check on file for our adoption.

It sounds like Angela (our caseworker) is getting overworked, and a bit tired of our various issues. Please be praying for her. In case you haven't realized it yet, adoption can be an intense, stressful journey, and she's right in the middle of it for many families- not just ours!

After church this evening, we drove by Steve's house, and dropped off our CD with our profile book files, so that he can work on printing the pages out. He seemed really excited to work on it!

More Steps Completed!

November 1, 2006
This week, I've been at the computer every evening, working on printing off our profile album pages. I copied all the files onto a CD to give to Steve tonight, since he's offered to print some copies for us. Yesterday on my lunch break, I had to run to Staples to get more photo paper and portfolio covers for our "mailable" albums. I was excited to find the paper on sale for 50% off! (Thanks, God!)

So, in between trick-or-treaters & loads of laundry (from last weekend's trip) last night, I finally completed our 2 "mailable" albums! They are in flexible plastic portfolio covers, so that they are easier & less costly for the agency to mail to other states/agencies, if needed. In one of our "old books", I also discovered our "information sheet" that the caseworkers refer to, so we updated that as well. (It was amazing to see that we started this journey when I was 23, and now I'm almost 25!) I packed it all up, and we'll mail it to Angela today. Now we just need to pray that Steve will be able to complete our final two copies soon. We also haven't had a chance to proceed with putting together the details for our profile on the adoption agency's website, so we're hoping to do that soon.