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".

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Update Interruption for some Exciting News!

We want to share with you something we've been involved in since we got back from Ghana. Ken and I share, with many in our church, a desire to help families called to adopt but don't feel they have the funds needed to get started. We are excited to be a part of starting an adoption ministry in our church.

This week we were interviewed by our local paper regarding our adoption and the ministry (link to be posted when available).

Below is what was put in our church bulletin.

Adoption Ministry Puzzle

  Michelle and I recently traveled to Ghana, West Africa to adopt two precious children who needed a forever family.  On the morning of June 3rd, 2011, the judge in Accra, Ghana provided a final adoption decree making them legally part of our family.  We would like to introduce Solomon (Kwame), age 5, and Vivian, age 4, to you in a fun way that will also allow you to be part of uniting these and many more children into loving, God-fearing homes.

One of the biggest barriers preventing families from adopting children, domestically or internationally, is the upfront finances required.  The average cost of adoption is about $30,000 according to an Adoptive Families adoption cost survey (2009-2010).  I say upfront, because at this moment in history, the US government reimburses a large portion of adoption costs as federal income tax credits.  Also, some employers have an adoption assistance program that also helps families by reimbursing some expenses.  Through God’s incredible provision, he has orchestrated funds to be available, even in tough economic times, to do His will regarding orphans.   Although not all are called to adopt, we are all encouraged to care for orphans and widows.

James 1:27  Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Well, let’s see the kids you say? What about the fun reveal?  Glad you asked.  We have used pictures of Solomon (Kwame) and Vivian to create two 250 piece puzzles that will unveil their precious faces.  We invite you to sponsor puzzle pieces for $20 each. When a piece (or pieces) is sponsored, we’ll write (or you can autograph) the sponsor’s name on the back and will add it to the puzzle.  As the puzzle is being built, we will take pictures and post progress on our blog (www.thebechtoldfamily.blogspot.com).  In the end, we will have two completed puzzles, with double sided glass, to be hung in our home.  The puzzles will be a constant reminder of the people God used to bring Solomon (Kwame) and Vivian into their forever family.  

How does this help other families?   Because there are avenues for reimbursement, we are committing to treat all puzzle donations as a covenant loan that will be repaid to the Park Hills Adoption Fund in anticipation that similar loans will be made available to other families who are on the adoption journey.   In this way, God’s money can be recycled over and over.   This is an incredible opportunity for you to help start a fund to knock down upfront financial barriers families’ face, while also being a small piece (pun intended) to a bigger beautiful picture.

We covet your prayers as we prepare to bring them home.  We are too na├»ve at this point to understand all the challenges God has in store for our new family but, we continue to trust and rely on Him as we journey down this new path.

Ken, Michelle, Jacob, Nicole, Kwame & Vivian Bechtold

(If you write a check, please make it payable to Park Hills Church and write Adoption Fund in the memo.)

May 28th – B-day and Departure Day

Today is a special day. Nicole is now officially a teenager and we are starting the first leg of our trip to Ghana. We spent the morning working on some projects and doing some last minute packing.

 I found myself tearing up randomly today. I am feeling so many things. I’m both nervous and excited about the trip. I’m sad that we didn’t do anything for Nicole on her birthday. And I’m sad we have to leave Jacob and Nicole for so long. But I am so beyond excited to be able to meet our new children.

We brought the kid’s to Ken’s parents, around noon, on our way to the airport. We got the kids settled and before we left Ken recorded Jacob, and then his parents, sharing a message to the kids that we would play for them while we are in Ghana.  His mom was wonderful and made us lunch-to-go.

I won’t bore you with the rest. The conversation was great, the flight was good, the hotel was nice, and the pool was relaxing.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Few Crazy Weeks (May 12th-May 27th)

Over the next few weeks things were crazy. It seemed like we had something almost every day. Ken had a bunch of church meetings, we had meetings regarding Nicole’s school, there were doctor and dentist appointments, and Jacob had softball practice. Ken is also doing some major yard/basement projects. It was a joy to be able to add getting ready for our trip to Ghana to the list.

The plan was to fly out May 29th; O’Hare to Dulles, and Dulles to Accra, Ghana with Ryan and Kristen. I do have to share about a very special person, he is the son of some friends from church and he is a pilot. When our friends told his son about us he offered to help us with our airline tickets by allowing us his buddy passes (stand-by). This gift greatly reduced the cost we had to pay for the flights. He is a true blessing!

The thing with buddy passes is you must be flexible, so when “B” called on May 27th to see if we could leave for D.C. a day early (the flight to Ghana was still on for the 29th), we made it happen. This would help reduce the risk that the domestic flight would be an issue. We had everyone lined up to take care of the kids and most everything packed. Having to leave a day early ended up being a real blessing. We had been so busy with all the busyness that we hadn’t really had time to focus on the referral; we needed this forced break.

We do want to say a special thank you to those who cared for Jacob and Nicole while we were gone. Grammie, Grampie, Heidie, Jessica, Montana & Lois, thank you so very much for taking care of our children while we were gone. It was wonderful not to have to worry about them knowing they were being well cared for.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

May 11th – “I think it’s Time”

Yesterday I was e-mailing back & forth with my coordinator. We are STILL waiting for paperwork on the potential sibling set and we don’t know when it will come in; hopefully next week, but maybe not. We thought it would’ve been ready some time ago. In the conversation our new, dear friends’ names came up. It didn’t seem fair to keep them waiting when they were ready and we were not. They, of course, had to anxious to meet their boys.

I said I would call Kristen in the morning to let her know what was going on and to see where things stood. I was so sad. We wanted to travel together, I felt bad they were waiting for us, and I was sad we are still waiting.

I called Kristen this morning and told her what was happening. I told her we were hoping the paperwork would come in next week. I felt so happy when she said they still wanted to travel with us. We left it that they would wait until next week to see if we get our match, if not, they would probably move ahead without us.

Because yesterday had me so bummed, I had contacted my dear friend, Janie, to see if she could come over today. I needed someone to cheer me up, to distract me. I was so thankful she could come. While we were in the middle of “distraction therapy” I received an e-mail from my coordinator saying she got an interesting e-mail from our new facilitator and that she’d tell me more in a sec. What? That’s it? Torture!!!

Then my phone rang…. It was about 10:40 am and the caller ID showed it was my adoption coordinator. I held my breath. My first thought was, “what’s wrong?” I will never forget the words that came out of her mouth, “I think it’s time.” My response was, “You think it’s time for what?’ Again, I held my breath. She then said, “I think it’s time you got your referral”. “Are you serious?” is all I could say as the tears started falling; a huge weight was lifting from my shoulders as she proceeded to tell me about my new children.

After I hung up the phone, I saw a second e-mail from her letting us know that the facilitator was planning on us attending court on June 2nd. June 2nd!!! That’s only 3 weeks away!!! I suddenly had major butterflies! I was so glad Janie was there to share the moment with me.

I immediately tried to call Ken and wouldn’t you know it, he didn’t answer his work phone or his cell phone. He finally called back about a half and hour later, and although he was disappointed he missed my call, He was just as excited as I was about the news. He wanted me to send their pictures and info, right away, to him at work.

I then had to call Kristen. She was at the pool with her son. Let me tell you, she gave me the BEST reaction, happily screaming incoherently.  Even today, I have no idea what she said.

Several more things I did today. 1) Called a couple more close friends to give them the good news. I totally loved that! 2) Had our Dr. look over the kids medicals (it’s just something you do). 3) Called our coordinator back after Ken got home to say, "Yes, yes, yes!!!!!" to the referral.

I still can’t believe that we got “THE CALL” today. I was beginning to think it would never happen. I have been staring at their pictures ever since…..Thank you Jesus!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Behind Again

Yes, once again I am very behind on updating the blog….surprise?!

So much has happened over the last month+. I can’t wait to share all about it all with you. First though, I want to take a step back and share with you a “path” change we experienced in February.

As we shared with you, we lost a potential match on January 18th. And while we were heartbroken, we knew God was in total control. 

On February 5th our coordinator informed us that she had been contacted by a facilitator in Ghana that was interested in working with AAI. She had heard good things about him, but had no personal experience working with him. She informed us they would be looking for a family to be a “test case” and wondered if we might be interested.

Ken and I asked a bunch questions (that’s who we are) and of course we prayed about it. Ken and I had such a peace about this new path. Not only did we feel peace, we also felt joy. We both felt this new path would lead us to our children. On February 10th we said “Let’s get going!” J 

We did not share this information publically because we wanted to be cautious. We had already dealt with so much and we decided to keep it quiet incase something went wrong on this uncharted path. 

Over the next couple of months we got our paperwork in order, met a WONDERFUL family that would also be going down this new path with us (the plan was we would travel together), and dealt with soooo many emotions as we waited. And waited. And waited. 

On April 14th we learned that things were happening, excitement set in. On April 23rd we learned of a potential sib set. We just had to wait for the rest of the children’s paperwork to come in. And again we waited. And waited.

Over those months we got to know Kristen & Ryan (our potential travel buddies). We have so much in common; we really clicked. We spent time talking about our potential trip; where we’d stay, what we’d do. We looked forward to traveling together. They had received their match and were waiting for ours to happen.