Thursday, December 27, 2007


At my interview last week, I was able to read through some of the profiles that other's have done. As I sat in the family room at Bethany, I found myself overwhelmed with emotions for the birthmother. I read this one dad to be's letter to her. He was telling her how courageous and brave that she is in her decision to choose life for her child. He was telling her how that he did not know if he could do the same if he were in her shoes. He was so real and honest that it caused me to really think as if I were in her place for a moment. I just sat and cried, thinking of what she will go through. Separation, grief, loss... of her child. I know that this is reality and that these situations are what they are. I understand that it was their choices that got them there in the first place. But then I also know all the bad decisions I have made in my life and a lot of bad ones many of you reading this blog have probably made. I have not yet suffered consequences like the ones that she will suffer in making this decision. I deserve it as much as she does. I cannot judge her or look down on her because of where she is. I used to generally judge birthmother's, although not purposefully. When we started this process, I remember feeling this same sadness for the children that are orphaned...and thinking, 'what good person could abandon her baby?' While I know this does happen and situations aren't always good intentioned, I have learned that a lot of birthmother's are acting out of courage, not shame... strength, not weakness. They are in reality, not a dreamworld, and taking responsibility for the place that they are in and the place that they have put this innocent being in. And so, as I was saying, I felt so overwhelmed with emotions of sadness and heart ache for the mother of my child. She will experience something that I hope to never experience. I commend her for her love for her child which drives her to choose life for it and choose a better life than she can give to it. I hope that when faced with such adversity and difficult decisions, I will have the same amount of character.

single interviews

The single interviews went great. Again, this was a very comfortable, easy process. No surprises. We are loving Lisa, who is doing our homestudy at this time. The interviews were last week before christmas. We traveled to KY for christmas, which was great. We got to see Eric's mom, aunt, brother and cousins. We also had christmas with Julie's parents and Kenny's parents (my in laws) and their extended families. Needless to say we have been busy as I am sure you all have. I love Christmas so much and cannot wait to have a little one around to share it with! On Christmas eve, Julie and Kenny gave us a basket full of baby stuff!!! I was so excited! My family is going to be sure that we are ready for this baby! They are so generous and we love them so much!

Today was our home visit. Lisa came out to the house and got her "tour" which was fun....and short. She had to see our fire extinguisher, fire alarms, bedrooms, bathrooms. She also needed to know how many sq ft our house is and how much land it sits on. Then we sat and talked some more about the next steps of the process and about the birthmothers. Lisa is always the one telling us how "quick we could be be ready!!!" So, we got started on our profile tonight. It is really difficult. We are trying to portray our life in about 6 pages. We have to write a letter to the birthparents from each of us. Bethany has really stressed how important the profile is in the decision process of the birthparents. That is a lot of pressure I feel like. But I am trying not to get overwhelmed. Hopefully, we'll be able give a good picture of what we are like and of our families. I'll let you know when we get done!!! We have also been working through the "service plan." This is where we specify our preferences on what types of situations we are okay with having our profile shown from birthmother history to issues with the child. This has been the most difficult thing of all. I find it hard enough to make decisions. I have felt sort of a peace about most of it though. I feel that the decisions that we have made in regards to our preferences are truly from our hearts and hopefully it will be right. I am just so thankful for this process for so many reasons. We are really blessed already and haven't even met our sweet child yet! I can't wait!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

interview #1, part 2

Well, the couple interview was a breeze...nothing to it really. I am starting to see that they are not having interviews with us to examine us and make sure they want us to adopt. They want us to adopt. They are doing this so that they can write up our home study report and actually have an idea of who we are and what we are like as people. Basically, she just gathered information about us. The neatest part of the time we spent with her was that she actually really knew a lot about us. She had read our self studies could tell. At one point she was says, "Now, I know how you guys met, about how your girlfriend was dating his guy friend and Mandy, you were like, 'I really didn't even want him to call me' and Eric, you were really into her from the beginning..." and I thought to myself... I put that stuff in there??? It was just really comforting to hear her tell us details of our lives, showing that she wanted to get to know us and makes me really glad that we went with Bethany through this process. I am sure there are other great agencies, but Bethany has just been really great so far. We talked a lot after we got done, just about birth mothers and the things that can go on within different situations. We talked about how "this could happen really fast, you know that right???" I promise she said that about 3 times! No chest pain this time though!

Next week we are both scheduled for our individual interviews. I go first and she will be showing me some examples of profiles from other couples to help me get and idea of what it should contain. Then, when Eric goes, she will be giving him what I think she referred to as a 'service plan'????? whatever that is. Something about that this is when we will specify about how open or closed we want to be with the birthmother after the adoption is finalized and things like that. Then the following week she will come out to our house for the home visit. She said, "The home visit is very casual, I am not coming in with a white glove or anything. You will just give me a tour of your house...." I said, "that won't take long!" She just started laughing. Eric and I just looked at each other at the same time and both said, "no, really, it won't take long" (because our house is so small) I told her we have a very "cozy" home! I am not putting our house down. It is perfectly fine. But for some reason the thought of giving a "tour" of it just makes me laugh. ANYWAY, after that we will pretty much be done with our homestudy and be ready to wait. So for the next 2 weeks we would greatly appreciate your prayers. We have some big decisions that we will be making. We will need wisdom, peace when we have come to a good decision, strength to make those decisions with confidence, unity with each other on the decisions. I am not talking about decisions like what color to paint the nursery, or what furniture to buy, or even what to name our child. I am talking about things like how often we are willing to meet with the birthmother, if at all or what medical problems specifically we can handle, etc. It is just like with all other decisions we make in life, I guess, except that they will stick with us for the rest of our life with this child. Eric and I are different people. We do not always think the same way about things and definitely have different feelings about things. I am really praying that we God would bring us both to the same page. I know He will.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

interview #1

Tomorrow afternoon we have our first of 3 interviews. We go together to the Bethany office at 4:30 for our "couple interview." Lisa, our new social worker, called me on Monday i think it was and I chatted with her for a few minutes. She seems really down to earth and I am excited to work with her. I am hoping that we can get our personal interviews set up for sometime next week, possibly??? And then, the home visit to follow, which I am hoping can be the following week. I still haven't started on our profile yet. We might be needing that soon!!! I am wanting to get that started this weekend. I am not good at that kind of creative stuff. Anyone got any good ideas??? I'll post saturday probably to say how the interview went. I am so excited!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007


We have been so encouraged and feel so loved and supported from all of you. So many people have been so interested in what we are doing, so monitarily generous with the garage sale and just with your own personal financial gifts; generous with your prayers, I am sure; generous with your time throughout the day to call and check in and to keep up with our blog. We want to say THANK YOU again. The feeling of being loved and knowing you are supported in your journey makes things so much easier, and much more fun! I love the comments that you guys, that last one was a tear jerker and I love you! I love that people like DeeDee Barfield can comment on things, when otherwise I probably would have no contact with her. All this to say that, silly me did not know that I could change the settings so that ANYONE can comment, whether you have an account or not. If you don't have an account, just sign your name at the bottom of your entry so we know who it's from. Keep them coming! They do our hearts more than yall can know.

a little news...

We got great news this weekend! Friday, after conversation through email about the psychologist and how he doesn't know how to return phone calls or do things in a timely fashion, I was informed by Bethany that as soon as they have our psych report, which should be Monday morning, that they would be contacting us to set up our interviews, with the home visit to follow. In their words....'we are in great need of families and would like to get you through the process.' There are normally two domestic social workers, Carolyn and Amanda. We have been working with Carolyn so far, and Amanda recently went out on maternity leave. So, because of Carolyn being so swamped, i guess, they are switching who we will be working with. Lisa will be doing our interviews, home visit and writing up our homestudy. I really liked her at orientation. She deals mostly with the international adoptions normally. I don't know why, but for some reason, once again, a wave of reality passed over me. I kinda freaked out again! I know, I know, I have to stop freaking out at the thought of being a mother! Sometimes I think that some of you, after having read my blog, think I am some deep thinker or whatever, but just to give you an example of how not deep my mind thinks...when I think of being a mom, and start to freak out, in my head I am saying, 'oh, shoot! oh shoot! oh shoot!' Deep thoughts, huh? Ha ha, anyways, I just wanted to let everyone know that the next step is near, and we are very excited! It makes me real sad that they are in "great need of families." I hope that anyone and everyone who reads this blog will prayerfully consider how they can specifically meet the need of an orphan. I don't have a clue what that might look like for any one of you, but probably the greatest desire I have in doing this blog is that someone else might be inspired to reach out to a little girl or boy who needs love and support. Eric and I have already been blessed in ways that we would not have been had we not pursued this thing that is so much bigger than we are. We have been challenged in our faith, in our marriage, in our personal lives...already. I never would've dreamed of being in this moment that we are in now, and I have a feeling that it has only just begun. We haven't even met our child yet!

At church this morning, we had a really neat opportunity to meet a group of refugees who were being persecuted in their country for practicing christianity. Women were being raped and beaten, and I actually don't even know all the details. But, instead of denying their faith, they have left everything they know, their country, their way of life, their friends and some family, and fled to smyrna, tn so that they can worship God freely. I think they said there were 80 of them currently. They don't speak our language, have driver's licenses, or have much money. But for them, nothing was worth the freedom to worship and serve God freely. First I want to say what a great country we live in. I have never honestly taken the time to appreciate my freedom. But this morning, I sat in my chair listening to their story and looking into their faces, tears streaming down my face and just feeling an overwhelming sense of thankfulness. Then came a feeling of conviction. Would I do that for my freedom to worship? How am I intentionally reaching out to people today and yesterday and everyday, since I have the freedom to do so? It seems that I have put a lot of energy and focus into this adoption as if that is my "mission" for the year. But I believe God desires much more from me. I hope, with God's grace that I can begin noticing others in need and stop being satisfied with the fact that we are adopting right now. I definitely don't feel this adoption is a prideful thing in our hearts, but can you see how it gets that way at times in regards to us doing our 'good deed' for the time being? Just something I thought about today. I'll post when we hear from Bethany again! Have a great week.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Again, it has been awhile. We are kinda in a waiting phase right now. As I mentioned before, after we turned in our paperwork, everything is out of our hands now. It's kinda funny how deceiving that my perspective is in this life. My perspective causes me to believe that I actually have control of things, and that in a weird way is very comforting. I have really believed that during the paperwork portion of this process, that I was in control of the outcome, of how quickly we finished and that I could control how quickly we get to our child. But, I am wrong about that. I was no more in control of the paperwork than I am of the Psychologist who did our evaluation and of him turning our report in to Bethany. No matter how many times I call this man, he will not return my calls and for whatever reason, has not turned in the eval yet. I can't make him turn it in, so that we can hurry this thing up. Do yall see how funny this is? We rush, and I mean rush through the paperwork, get our fingerprints and background checks, study ourselves...but quickly (the long self study) all to get to the psych eval and have it take over a month and counting from start to finish to get it completed. 'What the heck is going on?'...i am thinking to myself. Then, I am reminded by a sweet friend of the truth that God is in control. He took us on this journey and He will finish it, in his time. Again, we will be parents, in His perfect timing. I see such a revolving door in my life in the area of control, especially in this phase of growing my family. And the even funnier part is that I like to think that Eric has the problem with control in his life. (sorry babe) I am quick to see his sin, but cannot see my own. Ha ha makes me literally laugh out loud at myself. Thanksgiving is technically over, but I am so thankful for friends who keep me grounded, cause God really knows how I like to float around a lot. I am thankful that He is in control of everything, and promises that He always will be. This is a truth that I used to not really get, or like. I have frequently been held captive in a sense, regarding God's control in my life. The idea of Him being completely in control, when from the wrong perspective can feel that way. Maybe none of you have ever felt this way. I have always heard the phrase, 'there is freedom in Christ' and I believe that this is one way that I have truly experienced this freedom. I am not a prisoner or a puppet of God's, due to his control. Nope, not at all like I once thought. I am free. Free to live my life, free to put aside my shortcomings, my sin and free to just live in his grace and know that He holds the future and the He is in control. AND that His plans for the future are plans to bring me life and to bring himself glory. I can trust Him. I can rest in Him. I can stop worrying. I can enjoy the journey He has us on.

I have spent the past few weeks worrying about if we are ready. Is our marriage ready? Am I ready? What if it comes too soon, or too late? My friend reminded me that I can pursue infertility, adoption, and even specific children, but there is one that is ours, and God will bring that child to us when He is ready.

I talked with Carolyn (our social worker) this week and she told me that as soon as the psych eval comes in, she will call us to set up our interviews. Then we will have a home visit and be completely done and ready to be officially "waiting." She did tell me not to expect to be finished until after the first of the year. I am glad to know this because I feel it gives me a little time to not be wondering when we'll be done. We can just enjoy the holidays. She sent out an email recently of several situations of babies who are in need of homes, some due this week and some due in the next few months. I am compelled to pray for these little ones who have no home before they are even born. Something that the agency encourages us to do while "waiting" is to pray for the children who are in need of families, whether they are to be a part of our specific family or not. As I remind myself how much God cares for orphans, I hope that all our friends and family who keep up with our blog will be inspired to pray for these children as well.
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of the widow is God in His holy dwelling. He sets the lonely in families..." Psalm 68:5-6
"He executes justice for the orphan..." Deut. 1o:18
"Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitude" Psalm 82:3
"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and father is this: to visit orphans and widows" James 1:27
"How blessed is he who considers the helpless..."
Psalm 41:1

"He upholds the cause of the oppressed...He sustains the fatherless and the widow" -psalm 146:7&9