Sunday, November 29, 2009
Course is set. Destination: only God knows
Times flies and yet again we haven't done well updating our blog. Well, hopefully now it's expected as the norm. I'm sure when the adoption process begins to finish there will a bit of a flurry of posts. It's bad when you have to re-read old posts to see where we left off.
Wow, now I really feel bad seeing that when we last left you we were "leaning toward infant adoption" and now we have been approved to adopt!!! We did decide on infant adoption, open to any race/gender 0-3 months and open or closed adoption. Our only exclusions were major disabilities or major substance abuse of parent as we aren't confident that we would be ready for that.
We have completed all the paperwork. Which is like buying a house except the background checks are much more intensive. Three home study visits are complete: two at a neutral site and one at the "home". Home study has been approved. Online courses are completed. One last day of classes in Blue Earth this Saturday (12/5), but we are already in the "pool".
I say pool because it's not really a waiting list. The birth mothers choose the adoptive parents by looking at their photo album showing their family. We did ours online and it's basically a scrapbook with a letter at the front. Here is the if you would like to view it.
Our agency, New Horizon's works in 3 states and we could get a child from any of SD, Minn or Iowa. If they have too many waiting families and we are open to it (we are) they will also move some to a North Carolina affiliate.
Also, if they still need more outlets, they have a Christian network of agencies that we could be sent to, but those are a bit more expensive and we will make that call if we come to it. We were surprised to find out that families in northern states are about 2x as likely to adopt an African American baby as those in the south.
So far we have been very impressed by New Horizons as they are very thorough and provide an excellent service and keep expenses much lower than others. This was the main reason we chose them from a few others. They really do their best to protect the adoptive families while providing every bit of help and assistance for the mothers and child as well. They even take the mother out for a shopping day and spend some money for their new size of clothes after they have the baby.
After going through the preliminary process, we are confident they are also picking the best families to raise these children and are humbled to be approved for 1 or 2(twins) children. If you ask Abby if she wants a brother or a sister, firmly and consistently says "no, I need both". Seems our pastor isn't the only one praying for multiples for us. (He has triplets, oh my)
This came about a bit faster than we expected as we were planning on needing some time to raise funding for this as we estimate it will total about $18,000 when we are complete. There is a tax credit, but that would have taken a few years to recoup back that investment so we didn't want to use loans or credit. Not a surprise for Financial Peace University grads right?
Anyway we were totally amazed to have almost all of that amount gifted to us in advance from family and church friends, unsolicited. We can't really truly be surprised anymore after the way God has blessed us already in life, but we will always be amazed and humbled!! And very thankful. Isn't God Great?!! Needless to say, this gave us the "kick in the pants" we needed and is the main reason we are at this point in just a few months. I must add that Tashia was very motivated! It has been exiting to have this support.
So, we are now waiting for news of when a mother chooses us. She may be in early or late pregnancy, even the day of birth. There is a decent chance that she would change her mind, but it would be before we take possession. Once the baby is born we would be able to visit during the waiting period while it is in foster care. When the waiting period is complete, which is days or a few weeks depending on the state, the baby would be ready to be placed. After this point it is very very rare that there would be any risk of losing the baby after this point. One of the many benefits to using an agency.
Hurry and wait. Tashia seems to be a bit more anxious, but not quite nervous at this point of not knowing when, where or how much. It could be quick as in weeks or it could up to or over a year, but not likely that long. We both are confident in God's timing and that he already knows the plans for our life as always. We do have names almost finalized.
All that and such a small part of everything else that goes on with life. We will try to fill in a few other details of the summer. Thankfully November has been great weather after Oct.
We are ready for snow as we put in a new sidewalk running along the boulevard in front of our house. It was to the point of getting a notice from the city. Stuart is definitely looking forward to at least one snow to try out scooping the smooth walk. He put it in with some big help from friends. Small town has it's privileges.
There was also a medium sized maple tree behind the house that needed to go from huge trunk damage and rot. We hired a neighbor to cut off the top of the tree and Stuart felled the tree by digging around the roots and cutting them off. Then he was a bit too exited to use his chainsaw for the first time in a few years. It only took one day, the last time he dug out a stump it took a few months and was more than he bargained for. Some say he is frugal, but he actually enjoys it. I'm sure the therapists have a named condition for it.
The summer was also relaxing, but we didn't get around to camping until the weekend before labor day for one night. It had been a few years and we found out that Iowa has plenty of red necks too. Abby had fun and we hope to do much more this year depending on how adoption works into it.
We had a few nice days playing and picnics in the city parks, parades, bike rides, running and just relaxing in the yard. Abby has a pair of children her age on each side of us and it's fun to see them all play after work. Stuart ran two 5k's and Tashia ran her first in Ida Grove. She only planned on walking it as she had trouble with injuries but she amazed us all and ran almost the whole thing on a very muggy morning. Seems we are both stubborn and persistent, usually in a good way.
Stuart has been battling sinus infections more in the recent years since his successful surgery 8 years ago. He had another one done last week that went well and is trying to get over the infection after 10 weeks of antibiotics. We go in tomorrow for a follow-up. He is very anxious to getting back to exercising as it is very draining. Tashia has done a great job putting up with him as many know he gets rather crabby with them. Especially if he's hungry as well!
Work has been slow at Midwest for Stuart. This has created many challenges and exiting opportunities for him and things are looking up for the start of the year.
We just finished 13 weeks of Financial Peace University. Stuart led the discussion group and Tashia ran the nursery. She deserves a raise:) It went well and is a very impressive and worthwhile program.
Two weeks ago we traveled up to the twin cities for the SDSU football game and from there Tashia and Stuart continued on to Chicago, while Abby spent the week with Nana and Pappa Uken. Stuart attended two full days of FABTECH, a fabrication expo show for work, while Tashia relaxed at the hotel. Who would have thought that the third week of November would be that bearable there.
We had one day and three nights to see the sites and get a "taste" of Chicago. The Cloud Gate at Millenium park was interesting, Navy Pier was good, but would be better in the summer. The food was good, but there were highs and lows. The highs were without a doubt Garrett's popcorn and Portillo's hot dogs. Yes that's right popcorn and hot dogs. Gino's pizza was a bit of a let down and Big Bowl Thai was a bit too much different than typical Thai.
Wrapping this up, we did an great outdoor photo shoot in Sioux Falls. We were very pleased with the shoot and the pictures. See for yourself, after clicking the link, go to "proof" and type "abby". Two very pretty ladies huh? Editors note: And a pretty handsome guy if I do say so myself.
Hope that was all coherent and I'm sure we missed a few things, but those should be the big highlights.
Trying to be still and wait,
Stu and the Glamor Girls
PS - Thanks for those that continue to check the un-updated blog. It encourages us to keep this going and we are thankful for your faithful visits. And thanks for all your continued prayers during the adoption process.
PPS - Also, please pray for a friends family as their immediate safety is a concern. Pray also for the individual suffering from depression.