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".

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…..