Friday, December 27, 2013


For nearly two weeks, we’ve been trying to fill our lives with distractions of any kind. Two weeks ago, we were sent information on a birth mother situation that we felt really positive about. We were thrilled… a baby girl due in April.

We rushed to the post office and express mailed our home study and family profile to the adoption agency.­ It was going to be five days until the birth mother would be presented with our family profile. To say we were freaking out that day would be an understatement.

Instead of hearing a response, we were asked to wait. Wait another week to allow her to decide. We knew we had a LONG week ahead of us, anxiously waiting to find out if we would be chosen. What a wonderful Christmas surprise this could be, we thought.

On Christmas Eve, we were again asked to wait. We were asked to wait yet another few days as the birth mother continued to make her decision. Although every second of waiting was killing us, we knew that this was one of the biggest decisions that this birth mom would have to make in her life. She’s choosing parents for her unborn child.

Today we finally got the news. We weren’t chosen.

Let me tell you… this kind of rejection is hard.

So now our wait continues. We’ve gotten really good at waiting.

In the meantime, we’ll be keeping ourselves distracted, and praying for God to lead us in the right direction. We'll remain faithful, knowing that He will provide for us.

We are so thankful that this birth mother chose adoption for her baby. There is a joyful family somewhere out there that just received the best news today, and we pray that they will be so blessed by this little one.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Family Profiles Are In!

So, I'm a little late on posting this... but our Family Profiles arrived in the mail!

A Family Profile is basically a scrapbook about our lives that we share with a birth mother, in hopes that she chooses us to be the parents for her child.

It includes information about our families, home, community, hobbies/lifestyle, personalities, beliefs/traditions, and our hopes for the baby.

This is our selling point to get matched with a birth mom, so we knew we needed the BEST people to help make it happen.

Our adoption consultant, Susan, created our book for us. We gave her words and photos, and she put together this amazing book. I love her designing skills, and we think the book is fantastic.

Ona is a friend of mine from high school, and she offered to take photos for us at her photography studio. Many thanks to Ona and Infinite Image Design for the awesome pictures in our Family Profile! We love them!

So what's next?
We just applied with three different adoption agencies in the U.S. 

Now that our information is on file, we will start receiving information on available adoption situations. If it sounds like a good match, we can choose to have our Family Profile presented to the birth mom. If the situation does not sound like a good fit for us, we don't have to send in our information.

And now the official waiting game begins... :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I Know Someone Who...

We have been learning a lot about adoption, but there is so much that we haven’t yet experienced or understood completely.

Like, the moment when we get THE phone call… the phone call that tells us that we’ve been matched with a birth mom and she has chosen US to be parents for her baby.

Or, when we get to see that sweet baby of ours for the first time. I don’t have a clue what that’s going to feel like, although I think I have a pretty good idea.


We’ve talked with many people who are thrilled that we have chosen adoption as the way to grow our family. It brings us joy to know that you are interested in what God is doing in our lives.

We appreciate when you share positive adoption stories with us. We love that you are trying to make a connection and help encourage us along the way.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post called “What to Say.What NOT to Say.” Basically, we want you to encourage us. Before speaking, ask yourself, “Is this helpful, or hurtful?”

I don’t want to hear about 'this one person' who brought home a sweet baby, and then the birth mother changed her mind a few weeks later and the baby was taken away.

I’m not going to go tell my newly-pregnant friend that 'so-and-so' recently had a miscarriage...


Both of these scenarios involve an expectant parent losing a baby, and that is heartbreaking.
What makes you think that your failed adoption story is going to encourage us in ANY way?

We are aware of the risks involved and have come to terms with them.

If the only things you've heard about adoptions are horror stories, keep them to yourself.

We'd MUCH rather hear about your beautiful niece who is adopted and was welcomed with open arms into your family, and you can't imagine life without her.

Monday, December 2, 2013

And the winner is...

*drum roll please*

The winner of the Husband vs. Wife November Challenge is…


The total amount raised in the month of November totaled $2,600.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your financial support this month. This will cover approximately 8% of our total adoption expenses!

Monday, November 18, 2013


The official paperwork came in the mail today from our caseworker, which completes our home study and approves us for adoption placement!

We were originally hoping to be approved somewhere around Thanksgiving/early December, so it was a nice surprise to have it arrive early. Wahoo!

So what does this mean exactly?

Our first (huge) step in our adoption process is now complete. We’re officially approved to be parents.

Next, we will be applying with individual adoption agencies and waiting for a match with a birth mom.

We will receive information on situations where birth moms are ready to make an adoption plan for their baby. The mother might be three months along in her pregnancy, or she might be going into labor! Because we don’t know when we will be matched with a birth mom, or how far along she is in her pregnancy, we don’t have a clue how long it’ll be until we bring our baby home. But, we have to be ready at any time… which is way exciting and extremely nerve-racking at the same time!

Can’t wait to have a little one in our arms.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fundraising Challenge UPDATE

We’re just over halfway through our Husband vs. Wife Challenge!

Throughout the month of November, Josh and I have been crafting/cooking/cleaning/babysitting/baking up a storm!

This fundraiser has been a MUCH bigger success than we ever dreamed. We’re overwhelmed with the amount of support we’ve gotten from our friends and family. Friends we haven’t talked with since high school, and even
complete strangers, have been supporting us by ordering items for our fundraiser. It’s been awesome!! Thank you so much for your generosity.

As of today, ERIKA is in the lead!! However, there are still TWO WEEKS left in our competition, so help us finish off strong!

Monday, November 4, 2013

What to Say. What NOT to Say.

Last week, my heart was broken.

Like, drop-my-computer-on-the-floor-and-run-to-the-bathroom-sobbing, type of broken.

So far, comments we’ve gotten about our adoption have been so positive and upbeat… a few awkward questions have been thrown in there, but those have been fairly easy to dodge.

Last week, I fell apart.

I didn’t post my feelings on Facebook. I didn’t share it with my friends. I didn’t even show it on my face. You wouldn't know.

This is what inspired my blog post today. We understand that people are curious about adoption, and we encourage people to ask about the process itself. But, please be careful of your words. Some of your questions and 'advice' can really sting.

What to say.

These are comments from friends and family that have lifted our spirits and have really encouraged us:
·         You will be fabulous parents!
·         So happy for you guys!
·         You have no idea how happy this makes us!
·         What a lucky child.
·         So excited for our new family member!
·         I can’t wait to meet the newest member of your family.
·         I will be praying for you!
·         You two will make the best parents.

What NOT to say.
These comments have made us feel really uncomfortable and upset:
·         Oh, are you adopting because you can’t have your own?
·         There will be things you will be missing out on (bonding, nursing, etc).
·         That’s really expensive. Are you sure you want to do this?
·         They (adopted kids) do have problems when they get out into the real world. I guess they call it “bullying,” so I wanted you to put that into your little thinking cap.
·         Wouldn’t you rather have your own baby?

Another question to consider before asking...
We understand that most people are just curious when they ask us our reasons for adopting. But think about this for a moment… When is the last time you asked a pregnant woman WHY she got pregnant?

Probably never. You just don’t. That would be really awkward… and it’s absolutely NONE of your business.

Our intent to adopt for the purpose of growing our family has been clear from the beginning. We’re been through hours of invasive questioning. We’ve submitted fingerprints to the FBI. We’ve been through background checks. We’ve had our home inspected for safety. We’ve asked six people to submit letters of recommendation for us. We are ready to be parents.

There was no "oops" or "surprise" involved. We are in a loving, committed relationship and have both given 100% to becoming parents. We have been actively, and excitedly planning, for our baby's arrival, even though we don't know what the baby will look like, where the baby will be from, or even when the baby will be born.

Final thoughts...
We are well-aware that we are not growing our family the “normal” way.

But guess what? Being parents is more than carrying a baby for nine months or contributing a portion of your DNA.

It’s about loving a child unconditionally and doing the best you can to provide for them. And that’s what we intend to do. We are going to love this child with everything we have.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Husband Vs. Wife November Challenge

Everybody loves a little friendly competition, right?

During the month of November, we will be competing in a challenge to see who can raise the most amount of money toward our adoption fund.

Babysitting, cleaning/organizing

  • Need a date night or time to do some errands? Call Erika to babysit your little ones.
  • Do you need help cleaning/organizing your home? Erika would love to be able to help you out. 
  • Suggested donation:  $10/hour

Scarves and Cookie Dough
Check out some of these cute $10 scarves that Erika can make for you in just about any color.

Erika is also selling homemade cookie dough. Cookie dough comes frozen in 18-count preformed balls inside a reusable canning jar for $8. Flavors include chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, chocolate chocolate chip, and monster. Great gift idea!

Check out Erika's Adoption Fundraiser photo album on Facebook for more scarf samples and cookie dough.


Yard Work, House Projects, Dog Walking

  • Looking for some help with projects around the house? Call Josh to have him help you out.
  • Suggested donation:  $10/hour

Weekend Breakfast + Homemade Soups

Have a great home-cooked meal either delivered to or prepared at your house. Waffles, pancakes, omelets, biscuits and gravy… you name it, Josh will cook it for you and your family. Even better? There’s no need to worry about clean-up because Josh will take care of that, too. Breakfast options at $8/plate, and can either be delivered hot, or cooked right in your kitchen for you.

Josh will also be selling the following delicious homemade soups:  broccoli cheddar, chicken enchilada, classic chili, and ham & potato. Soups will come frozen, so all you'll need to do is thaw, heat, and enjoy! Soups are $12 each and contain 4-6 servings.

You can find Josh's food items on his Fundraising Challenge photo album on Facebook.


For each of our fundraisers, we want to make sure you are gaining something from it, as well. Asking for money is awkward, and we know that you work hard for your money.

Last month, we started a fundraiser with Just Love Coffee. It’s simple… You buy some great coffee (organic, fair-trade = great cause), and we get a portion of the proceeds from your purchases. We will be continuing this fundraiser through the remainder of our adoption process, so there’s plenty of time to still get it on this.

Thank you for giving us a little piece of your heart by helping us in our adoption journey.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Our Home Study Process

The first step of the adoption process is completing a home study. On average, a home study process takes three to six months to complete. This allows time to submit paperwork and FBI fingerprints, receive reference letters, and gives time for our case worker to type up a lengthy report.

Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork

A good portion of the home study involves completing paperwork. We made copies of birth certificates, passports, driver’s licenses, marriage certificate, tax form, and health insurance cards. We submitted fingerprints, statements from physicians and employers, proof of residence, and background checks. We requested six letters of reference from friends and family members. We even had to decide who would be guardians to our baby in the case something would happen to the both of us.

Our First Interview
Prior to our first meeting, we completed a 10-page questionnaire... a very invasive list of questions. Topics ranged from where we grew up, how we handle anger, our strengths and weaknesses, financial information, how we will discipline our children... and much, much more.

Wouldn’t it be great if all parents had to be legally approved before raising a baby?!

Before meeting with our case worker, we researched questions to expect during the interview and practiced some of our answers. We were nervous. What if we didn't answer a question correctly? What if we weren't what she was looking for?

It turned out that our case worker was fantastic. She was friendly and didn't make us feel uncomfortable at all. In fact, she is on our side and wants to be able to approve us.

Getting Our Home Ready
The second meeting with our case worker was a home visit. In preparation of our home visit last week, Josh and I got a lot of cleaning projects done around the house.

Our case worker told us in advance that she wasn’t going to do a white-glove test (phew!). However, knowing that she was the person who would ultimately approve us to become parents, we wanted to make sure we were extra ready.

We purged our closet and dresser drawers and got rid of things that didn’t fit or we didn’t wear anymore. This was one of my favorite ‘projects’ because I finally got permission to throw away four of Josh’s old t-shirts that I despise. WIN!

I cleaned out a shoebox full of old birthday, Christmas, and thank-you cards. I made sure to keep the really special ones that make me laugh or put a smile on my face.

It was actually nice to have a reason to do such things as weeding the driveway, unclogging the shower drain, and vacuuming spider webs between the beams in the basement ceiling.
'Nice' isn't the word that Josh would have used to describe doing so many extra chores around the house, but he was a trooper and didn't complain.

Day of the Home Visit
On the day of the home visit, our case worker didn’t look for any of these things. In fact, the entire visit was much less intimidating than we thought. She didn’t care that we had an alphabetical, color-coordinated filing cabinet. She didn’t notice that we cleaned behind the refrigerator. And she didn’t even see that our ‘junk drawer’ was actually organized. (Although, all of these things have given me a much better state of mind.)
The purpose of the home visit is to make sure that we have a safe home to raise a baby. She asked lots of questions to find out if we are emotionally ready for this commitment and have a good support system. She wanted to make sure we were prepared for a possible bumpy road ahead.

At the end of the visit, our case worker assured us that she had no reservations in approving us. (hooray!) We’re hoping to get our official approval somewhere around the end of November. We are anxiously awaiting this day!