Welcome! As we step out in faith to adopt from Ghana, we started this blog as a way to share the story of our adoption journey with family and friends. Step by step on this journey we are learning to trust in and rely on God all the more.
If you would like to start reading about our journey from the beginning start with the January 1st post, "How it all Started".

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Flashback to December 23, 2009

A year ago tonight we received wonderful gift. Our friends, M, C & family, stopped over; taking time out of a special day they were celebrating. They brought with them this beautiful basket they bought for us while visiting their children in Ghana (this was from their 1st visit). We absolutely LOVE it! Thank you!

The next day, while doing some last minute Christmas shopping, Ken couldn’t resist buying our future son and daughter a gift. They now wait for them in the basket.

 A year later the gifts still wait in the basket for them.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

OUCH!!! But So Worth It!

Today Ken & I went to get our 2nd round of shots for when we finally get to go to Ghana. Our first appointment was the 28th of October.

 Can I tell you?….I really, really don’t like shots! But my children-to-be are more than worth it! Thankfully our nurse was very gentle with giving them.

Ken was thrilled not to have to take the horizontal position again. You see, my darling has a habit of passing out when giving blood. In fact, was told, don’t come back by the Red Cross. Recently, he passed out while getting a simple blood draw at the doctor’s office.

On the way to the health department to get the immunizations, in Oct., I joked with him that it would be interesting to see if he passed out from getting the shots. Guess what? He almost did. Poor guy, I couldn’t help it, but I laughed. He claims he was thirsty and knew he would get a free coke if they thought he was on the verge. Don’t believe it, though. Lol. He was thrilled he didn’t have any trouble the second time.   

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Another, A Year Ago…

A year ago today we mailed our application to our adoption agency. This of course was another exciting day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A year ago…..

One year ago today we knew we would be adopting from Ghana.

I remember being so excited to finally know where our kids were. Up until that point, we had been overwhelmed by the country choices and the needs in those various countries.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Age Limit Change

Today I met with our home study agency to see if they would be willing to change our age maximum to 7years. You see, we learned the child(ren) can be no older than the age you are approved for at the time the visas are issued. And since the whole process seems to be taking longer, we don’t want to risk being matched with a 6 year old, only to lose him/her because he/she turned 7 before we could get through court, and then get visas.  The agency graciously agreed and now we wait for the revised home study and endorsement letter. Once we receive the new copy we will have to send in a request to have our I-600a amended.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Another Hill Conquered

Yay! Today we received our I-171H (I-600a approval). Of course, as has been our way, it did not come without issues.

First I must tell you that as of March 2010 all I-600a applications are being processed at one USCIS location. Because of that, all paperwork from the various USCIS offices were loaded in boxes and sent to the new location; now, back to the story.

We mailed our home study and endorsement letter required for the I-600a application on June 11, 2010 (we had mailed the application on Dec. 2, 2009).  We waited and waited. I finally gave USCIS a call, in August, to see where we were in the process. The lady I spoke with could not find our info in the system. She said it was probably still in a box somewhere and that it could be weeks, or months, before it was processed. So we waited & waited some more.

I called again at the beginning of October and spoke to a woman who was very helpful. Unfortunately, the news I was given wasn’t good. Apparently our paperwork had been lost. She was able to eventually find our name in the system, but nothing more. I guess this was occurring enough that she was given the authority to have us send in copies of our original application, home study, and endorsement letter. (Praise God!!!)

I mailed the copies of everything on October 13th and we received our approval today.  We are so thankful that that is over.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lost Post 2: Akwaaba Gathering

Last weekend, July 9th & 10th we, and our friends “M” & “C”, hosted the Akwaaba Gathering. The Akwaaba Gathering was for families who had or were in the process of adopting from Ghana. 12 families attended; they came from Arizona, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois. There were over 40 children. It was so much fun!

Friday night was at Little Cubs Field. We ate ballpark food and played a game of wiffle ball. It was so neat watching children who had been at the orphanage together reconnect and kids that had never met become fast friends. One thing a bunch of us noticed right away was how comfortable and familiar everyone seemed. It was like getting together with life long friends.

Saturday we spent the day at Krape Park. Our group was greatly blessed by some of our local friends who made desserts and helped make some of the main dishes for our yummy picnic. They were amazing and the group was very touched by their generosity toward strangers. After lunch we played Ghanaian games and sang Ghanaian songs. One of the adoptive mom’s is a professional photographer and she took family pictures and pictures through out the whole weekend. She did a great job of capturing the memories.

To wrap up our park time we planned a Drumming Circle, but we had to move it to our church because a surprise downpour struck. It was a blast anyway!

Saturday night everyone came to our house for leftovers from lunch, swimming, soccer, and visiting. We had so much fun! (I know I keep saying that, but we did!) At one point I stood looking out at everyone and felt so blessed. I could never have imagined how my world would change. In my little backyard Ethiopia, Ghana, Cambodia, Vietnam, & HIV were represented, and I now have this new amazing family through adoption. I am so thankful! It totally brought tears to my eyes. The only thing that was missing was my Ghanaian children. Yes, I thought of them often throughout the weekend. I had hoped to at least have a picture to show off at the Gathering, but that was not meant to be. Hopefully, we will have them in time for the next Akwaaba Gathering.

Lost Post 1: The Gift

I’m not sure what happened to this post and the next. I thought I posted them, but when I checked my poor neglected blog they weren’t there. Maybe I forgot to push send. Oh well.

Today, July 9th, we received a blessing in the mail. It was an anonymous gift of $500 for our adoption. Ken & I were so touched and humbled by the gift. Whoever you are thank you so much for your generous gift. God bless you!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Awesome Friends and the Garage Sale

Sadly some rain messed up the sign

At some point during this process we planned to have an adoption fundraising garage sale. I just thought it would be after we had a referral. But since we don’t know when that will be, and because we are in garage sale season, my friend “C” encouraged me to have one now. It made sense, so June 24th-26th we did.

We both put out a request for donations and we were blown away by the responses. There were so many donations that we actually had to use space in our neighbor’s garage the first night.

Not only were Ken & I blessed with donations, we were also blessed by the number of friends who donated their time. What an awesome help!!! What awesome friends we have!!!

Another thing that stands out from the garage sale was the number of people that stopped by to tell me their adoption stories. It was so cool!! We also had many people, many of which were strangers, donate money to our adoption. We really felt the support of our friends and the community. What an awesome blessing!!

We do have one sad memory from the weekend; one we don't want to have to share, but it part of our journey, our story. Ken’s parents were very helpful & kept the kids for us while we were having the sale. On the 26th, a couple hours before the sale completely ended, I received a call from my mother-in-law. Nicole, who had be seizure free for 5 years and off her seizure meds for almost a year, had a seizure. My heart sunk & hurt for her. It was so very hard not to be with her; it was the first known one she had without me. We also feared that the progress we saw in her after she went off the meds would be lost when she went back on them.

It’s been a few weeks and thankfully she has had no more seizures. They did put her back on the meds, but only half the dose she was on before. And thankfully she has not lost any of progress she had previously made.

Below are some pictures from the garage sale. Sadly, I thought about taking pictures the last day of the sale. I wish I had a picture of our full front yard and of each of the friends that helped. To everyone that helped make our adoption fundraising garage sale a success, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you!!

This was made by "C'. It asked for people to help
 bring friends home for thier children. Thank you!

A couple of awesome friends. Thank you "J' & "LJ"!
More awesome friends. Thank you "S" & "C"!!
The Ghana display table

Friday, June 11, 2010


Yay, I am all caught up; well actually I’ll be caught up when I tell you our good news. Fine, fine, I’ll tell you already…

Tuesday, June 8th we received a call from our social worker informing us that WE GOT OUR ENDORSEMENT LETTER!!!! FINALLY!!!! Music to my ears!

We have been waiting for it for almost 4 months; it was supposed to take two weeks. This letter is required to complete our home study and is necessary for us to move forward with our adoption.

What does this mean for us? It means we are officially on the waiting list for a referral (clapping hands and giggling). Before we were kind of penciled in, if a referral would’ve come up we would have been passed over. We’re ever so thankful it never happened.

Today, I will be mailing our home study with the (long awaited for) endorsement letter to USCIS (immigration). This will complete the requirements for the I600a.

Needless to say we are rejoicing. Praise God! Praise God!! Praise God!!! I am giddy with excitement.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Fork in the Road

Well, I need to get you caught up because I have good news!!! But sorry, you’re going to have to wait. Now, for where I left off from the previous post…..

We spent 19 days (yes, I counted) trying to find our way. We struggled with all the new requirements and costs (if interim decree; 2 years of monthly post placement visits, delayed government reimbursements) resulting from the changes in court proceedings within Ghana (multiple trips, extended stays, interim decrees, orphanage closing). Obviously all the changes made us sort of nervous. We prayed about what we should do, and we questioned if God may be closing the door to Ghana to us and opening one to Ethiopia. It seems He was.

I will be honest with you, when we started looking into adoption; Africa was not on my radar. But when we felt God's call for us to adopt from Ghana, I fell in love!!!! With all the changes, I questioned if God opened our hearts to Ghana in order to open our eyes to Ethiopia. I even joked that our blog might have to be changed to Ghana Be More Bechtolds by Way of Ethiopia.

We prayed, read books on Ethiopia, I read blogs, joined Ethiopia groups online, talked to families who had adopted from Ethiopia, but we just did not have peace about going that direction. We don’t know what was holding us back. On paper it was definitely the hands down easier, smoother, & quicker path, the children are beautiful, the program is established, but it just didn’t feel right (not to say one day it won’t...hmmm). We didn’t know where we stood. Many things we knew about the Ghana program had changed yet, we didn’t have peace moving forward with Ethiopia, we were discouraged.

Then on May 4th, we received a group email from our adoption coordinator. In it she shared that 3 families had just received final adoption decrees. When Ken and I read that we got really excited and felt a peace. We knew what we were going to do. We were going to take the tougher road and trust God to see us through. We realize that we are not guaranteed a final adoption decree, but we are going to have faith that we will receive one. Something you can all be praying with us for.

We did have some agreements to work out between us, our adoption agency and our state concerning a potential interim decree and how it would be handled. It only took us about 4 weeks, but it finally got all worked out! Praise God, He is good! Another step behind us.

Okay, you’re almost caught up.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Too Much Time has Past

Yes, it’s been too long since I last posted; two months in fact. Once again a lot has happened.

In the previous post I touched on some changes that had occurred with Ghana and adoptions; let me expand on those changes.

I) Most of the judges are now issuing a two year interim decree instead of a final adoption decree. And because of the state we live in, which requires us to be a licensed foster home, our children would fall under the fostering laws. Since the adoption would not be finalized, we will be required to pay for monthly home visits during that 2 year period or until the adoption is finalized. No offense, but who wants social services in their lives for two years; which will include an extra $2400. 2) Both parents are now required to go to court; this requires an extra trip. 3) One of us will need to stay in country for 2-3 weeks. 4) The orphanage we had thought our children would come from was closed. This was done to be respectful to Ghana’s social welfare direction. The children will now be in foster homes, which will hopefully be a good change as they will be in a home instead of an institution.

At the beginning of April, our coordinator went to Ghana to walk a couple of families through the new process. While she was gone discussions continued between our adoption agency & our state.

On April 16th I was contacted by the director of our adoption agency letting us know that our file had land on her desk because our coordinator was gone. She also wanted us to know that we would be required to have monthly home visits and because of everything, had we considered Ethiopia? We had not. After I hung up the phone with her, I called back because I thought I better have all the facts and not act on emotion. We had several conversations that day between phone & e-mails.

On Monday, April 19th, in an e-mail we were informed that our agency was considering closing the program to families in our state. GASP!!! I emailed her back & asked when that might happen & would that affect us or future families.

Tuesday, April 20th, we received a call from our home study agency. They wanted to set up a conference call with them, DCFS & us. We thought our adoption agency should also be involved so I called the director to see if she could be on the call. Before I had a chance to ask she told me that a decision had been made and the Ghana program was being closed to families in our state. Major gulp!!! I was taken off guard, but proceeded to tell her the reason of my call. I told her maybe things would change once we could all talk & maybe we could still be able to adopt from Ghana.

Wednesday, April 21, we had the conference call with our home study agency, DCFS, our adoption agency, Ken & I. We thought the call went really well. It was so nice to have everyone on the same page and fully informed. An agreement was made between the three agencies as to our requirements. Best news was our adoption agency changed their minds and the Ghana program was reopened to our state. Regardless of what happens, we are excited for the reconsideration.

To be continued…..

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Changes, Changes, More Changes, and One Who Never Changes

A lot has happened over the past two weeks. I’ve tried multiple times to blog about it, but I’m not sure what to say or what we can say. Please forgive me if this post seems cryptic, I’m trying to be respectful of the powers that be while trying to keep you updated.

Sunday, March 14th we learned that there are changes with Ghana adoptions. Part of what this means is an extra trip for both of us and a longer stay for one of us. While it complicates things this is something we are more than willing to do for our children.

Monday, March 15th we received a call from our adoption coordinator informing us that the state we live in is going to make the process even more complicated. Ugh!!!! It is going to awesome to see how God works through this!

At this point we are waiting for all the details to be worked out between our adoption agency, our state, and us. We will not receive our endorsement letter until this is all settled.

We’ve spent the last couple weeks processing, questioning, doubting, frustrated, and sadly not enough praying. Changing that!

A week after we learned of the changes we picked up Chinese for lunch. With our lunch were 3 fortune cookies, each containing a message fitting for what we are facing. No, we don’t believe in fortune cookie furtunes! But they did put a smile on our face. Here were the messages:

1) “Traveling to the south will bring you unexpected happiness.” (hmm, desired court ruling?)
2) “The project you have in mind will soon gain momentum.” (a referral?)
3) “When one door closes another one opens.” (This one was perfect for the news we were to receive later that week. Again, sorry for being cryptic.)

Later that night I came across a quote from Corrie Ten Boom, "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."

It is amazing what God uses to redirect you back to Him. In all those things I felt the Lord soothing my heart. Using these various sources to remind me He is in control.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My How Time Flies…and Not!

It’s hard to believe that 1 year ago Ken came home and asked what I thought about adopting. A year I could not have dreamed we would be on this journey.

3 1/2 months ago we started full steam ahead toward adopting 2 children from Ghana. Right now we feel like we are at a screeching halt. According to our home study agency, it was to take about 4 weeks for the report to be written and receive an adoption endorsement letter. Currently, we are 4 weeks past that projected date. Needless to say we are a bit frustrated.

We can’t wait for this step to be completed, so we can complete our 1600a. And hopefully one day soon receive the call that telling us about our children.

Yes, we know things take time. Yes, we continue to trust in God’s timing. Yes, we’re human. And yes, this is one of the MANY lessons in patience we will experience on this journey. Can’t imagine doing this without Him!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Children of My Heart

I love you so much and yet I don’t even know you.
I long to hold you and I don’t even know your names.
I pray for you wherever you are.

Are you still with your family?
I pray they are loving and caring for you as best they can. Be with them as they are about to make one of the hardest choices they’ll ever make.

Are you are still with your family and it’s not safe? Are you alone on the streets?
May you run to the arms of safety. I pray protection over your bodies and souls.

Are you already in an orphanage waiting for us?
May God bless the hands that are caring for you.

My children I love you beyond words, miles, and the time that passes before we are together.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

While Looking Through the Window, We Wait

We stand looking through the window of adoption loops and blogs. We watch as some families get their referral, as some meet their children, and as some bring their children home.We are not sad. We are not jealous. We don’t quite know what we are feeling.

At the beginning of this journey things happened so fast and now there is really nothing to do but wait. We are not upset that we have to wait; we know that it is a part of the journey.

There is plenty to do. We are still waiting for the certified copy of our home study. When that comes in there is more paperwork, the house to be made ready (like the major renovations Ken has started in the basement), and who knows what else. Right now it starting to feel more like a dream than a reality.

Over the last few weeks the song "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller has been running through my head. This will be our prayer as we wait.

Here are the lyrics...

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tonight I Am Heart Broken

(Hopefully it's okay to post his picture here)

After M & C returned from thier first trip to Ghana, they shared with us about a sweet 2 1/2 years old boy who had just arrived. I totally fell in love with him. When I first saw his face I said out loud, "Are you my son?" Even though I knew he was not meant to be ours.

Sampson, who's beautiful brown eyes drew everyone in, who touched the hearts of many, who almost had a forever family, died tonight.

What is comforting to know that his weak body is now strong, his sorrow is turned to joy, and he safely in the arms of his heavenly Father.

If you'd like to read about him you can do that here. Another post where you can also link to his adoptive family and a couple who were with him the day he died click here.

Please say a prayer for those closest to him. There are many who are grieving tonight. His adoptive family, the caregivers and children at the orphanage, and his birth father.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

They're Home!!

Our friends, M & C, returned from Ghana yesterday with their children and we were able to go meet P & M last night. It was so surreal. We’ve seen their pictures, seen videos of them heard their sweet voices and about M & C’s first visit to Ghana; now they are here.

Face to face reality: Beautiful brown eyes, gorgeous smiles, her cute little toes and his adorable accent; a link to our future. We am on cloud nine. We are so very happy that our friends have their children home. Their waiting is over and a new chapter of their journey begins. It was so fun watching Ken play cars with their new son and watching C putting puff balls (I think that’s what it’s called) in her daughter’s hair and listening to M & C begin to describe their "Gotcha" trip.

We're so excited as we look forward to the day we will be at this point in our journey.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


My heart is pounding!!! We are so close to the next step!! Last night we received the draft of our home study report. Today I spoke with the director at the adoption agency to make sure she got a copy. She said once she looks it over and gives the approval we can contact our adoption coordinator & start talking children!!! She said that I will probably be able to call tomorrow. Now this does not mean we’ll be referred children right away, but we will then join the other families who are waiting for referrals. YAY!!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Decision is In

So the decision in and our children will be between 0-6. This was not the age limit we were hoping for, but we know God’s plan is perfect.

Tonight, I’m sad, frustrated & disappointed that someone has the power to decide what is right for our family. And while we did not get what we want, it’s not about us. It is about following in obedience God’s call for us to adopt and it’s about the children he has purposed to be ours. He has set in motion the circumstances, timing and plan to bring us together & I can’t wait!

I can’t wait to hold you and love & tell you of how much God loves you. I can’t wait to dry your tears, answer your questions and comfort your wounded spirits. You are loved!

Wow! God is so amazing! This afternoon I wanted to try and get my mind off “the decision” so sat down to check on one of the adoption blogs I follow. I happened to click on the link to a blog they follow and there staring me in the face was the perfect verse for us at the very moment we needed it. See, part of the disappointment is the potential extended wait time that we are going to face. Once again God used His Word to remind me that He is in control of everything, including the timing. Habakkuk 2:3 - But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Today we received an email from the social worker doing our home study. It was a form letter to inform us she is resigning and her last day will be February 2nd. “WHAT”?!?! Yes, I immediately emailed her & asked if she is going to finish our home study and if they had yet decided on the age limit. She told me that yes, she was planning on finishing the report, well at least the draft, and no, they had not yet made their decision.

As I was anxious about what this meant for us and the timing of everything and what I needed to do, (well I don’t know what I thought I could do, but of course there was something I was supposed to do, right?) God put this verse before me. James 1:5-7 - 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. Yes Lord, I hear you. I continue to trust that You have this all under control.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fingerprints – Round Two

Today Ken & I went and got our fingerprints done for the I600a. This form is required to bring an orphan into the country with immigration services. Thankfully a friend let us borrow their GPS system because we probably would’ve driven by it multiple times. We thought the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) building would’ve been more…well…big. Where we went was not the official office; it was a sub-office in a strip mall. It was kind of funny how our perception was so off. Our appointment went well and really fast. It was so wonderful to spend the 4 ½ hour round trip child free! I enjoyed having that quality time with my dear husband.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

YAY! Last Home Study Visit

It’s all over and now we wait. It was so wonderful to know that God was in control. They asked a ton of question and we gave a ton of answers, lol.

We are now waiting for them to decide on the age limit, which we should know within a week. And then we have to wait for the home study to be submitted & approved. I’m guessing that process will take one to one & a half months. At that point we’ll be referral ready. We’re so close!!

We did get some good news. We learned that our license is ready and the background check results are in. Exciting!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bit of a Bump & and Back to Basics – the last 2 weeks

So it seems that having children with special needs makes things a little more complicated in our state, or at least for us. 2 weeks ago we were told that the age limit we requested for our required license may not be approved, that it will most likely be lowered.

Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do. Is it His desire is for us appeal this decision and fight for it? Or maybe this is His way of directing us to a lower age range. Or maybe…. Or maybe…… This may not seem like a big deal, but for some reason age has been issue for us. Partly because it could deny waiting children one family who is willing to accept them and it may greatly impact our referral wait time.

Since we received this news, we have felt a range of emotions; frustration, anger, sadness, doubt, uncertainty, and then repentance. God had led us this far, how could we think He would leave us now? We are trusting Him to direct our path, how could we now doubt that He was not in control? When things looked like they might be getting a little bumpy, we took it back from God. For that, Lord, we’re sorry.

We have ceased negative thinking, turned to prayer, and have given control back to God where it always belonged. The following verse has been running through my mind the last several days: Proverbs 3:5&6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. We have what we think will be our last home visit tomorrow and it’s wonderful to know that He is in control. Deuteronomy 31:8 - The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

From Then Until Almost Now

Things have been flying! Let’s just say, things don’t usually go very smoothly for us. It has been so awesome and amazing to see God work! So here’s what happened.

Once we had a clear direction we jumped in with both feet. On November 25th, 09 we mailed in our application to the adoption agency we had chosen. The information we had said not to expect to hear anything for 2-2 ½ weeks. We figured it might take longer because of the Thanksgiving holiday. Imagine how excited we were to receive a welcome e-mail that following Monday (Nov 30). We then received the welcome packet the following Wednesday (Dec 2), one week from the time we mailed the application. Ken & I were like little kids on Christmas morning.

On Dec 1st we decided on an agency for our home study. Our first visit was Dec. 11th. We mailed the I 600-a in on Dec. 2nd and we were able to get the finger printing, needed for our state’s requirement, done on Dec. 3rd. Whew!

Another scheduling WOW for us was our physicals. I called on Tuesday, Dec 9th and was told we could all get in the next day. We were totally excited that 1) we would be able to get it done at the same time & 2) we were able to get a next day appointment. We thought for sure it would be at least a week to get at least some of us in. Unfortunately, when we woke up Wednesday morning everything, including our Doctor’s office, was closed due to a major snow storm. My excitement the day before was now replaced with disappointment. I called first thing Thursday morning and was told we could all get in that afternoon. Yep, I was excited again!

After we got things going, with agencies and paperwork, we told our families and started telling some of our friends. For the most part everyone has been very supportive, which has meant a lot.
Okay, I think we’re about caught up. Yeah!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Over the Next Month…..

we continued to pray, research and pray some more. There are 143,000,000 orphans in the world, how do you choose the country they come from? For various reasons we did choose to adopt internationally. My exposure to international adoptions was from either Asian or South American countries, so that is what I was drawn to.
We began researching the various adoption agencies and the countries in which they had programs; Asian, European, African, South American, etc. Many countries were crossed of the list pretty quickly due to some of the following reasons: the time required to stay in country (some 5-8 weeks), wait time for referral, siblings not being available, and some of them being legally closed to adoptions. I will be honest and say choosing a country was stressful for me.

On Nov 22, which happened to be National Adoption Day, God made everything clear. That evening we had friends over for dinner. These are the friends God used to put adoption back on our radar. I will call them C (her) and M (him). We talked about their adoption journey and where we were in the deciding process. We shared thoughts, concerns, hopes, and information. As I sat there I was thinking about the children that are to be ours, and then I started getting REALLY excited. I saw the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. I wanted to jump up and down for joy and yell out that I knew where God wanted us to adopt from, but I waited to share it with Ken after our friends left. Although, I will say, I was dying to tell them. See, they too are adopting siblings and in the same age range we are wanting. When I thought about our children and their children I thought how awesome it would be for the children to have someone besides their siblings to look like, sound like, and have the same heritage. I learned, when we were able to talk later, that Ken was thinking the same thing. It was clear to both of us that we were to adopt from Ghana, West Africa.

Such a peace and joy came over us. It was days before I could stop smiling. Also, it was so fun to tell our friends that we were going to be adopting from the same country. They have been such a support and encouragement to us. We are excited to be on this journey together. Thanks guys!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Verses Related to Orphans

James 1:27 - Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Psalms 68:5-6 - Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.

Isaiah 1:17 - Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

Proverbs 31:8-9 - Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice
Matthew 18:5 - And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.

Matthew 25:40 - I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!
Psalms 10:14,17-18 - You are the helper of the fatherless. LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.

Galatians 4:4-6 - But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

How It All Started

“Are you Crazy??!!!! Do you live in this house? Do you live this life? No! No! No!” That is (sadly) how I responded to my husband when he asked what I thought about us adopting.

Wait! I should explain myself. In 16 years of marriage we have experienced infertility and we’ve had 2 children which opened the door to dr. appointments, therapies, developmental delay and autism. But that is a story for another day. It’s not like we hadn’t talked about adoption before, but that was years ago. We had also, in more recent years, even talked about fostering.

Okay, so that little conversation happened early spring of this year (2009). And why it happened was because some friends of our officially announced they were adopting. I was not at church that day due to a sick child.

Over the remainder of spring and into the summer I remained closed, but tried to be open. I thought about it, prayed about, but was still resisting. We even went to an international adoption informational meeting…out of town…telling no one.

Then it happened. It was about the 3rd week in October when Ken came across information on the internet sharing about Orphans Sunday (Nov 8th). We sat together (on our couch) watched videos, read scripture, listened to testimonials, and I cried…a lot. God totally softened my heart and clearly told me we were to adopt.