Saturday, May 4, 2013

Heart Beat

video
Diana, our birth mother's mom, sent us a video of them listening to the heart beat. What a wonderful e-mail to receive!

Chosen

God's timing is always perfect! 

When Douglas and I completed our adoption home study, in January 2012, we didn't really know what to expect during the waiting process.  I knew that waiting for a birth mother to choose us would be difficult.  I just didn't realize how difficult it would be.  The past year and a half has definitely been an emotional roller coaster for me.  Doubt and worry have always been two of my biggest weaknesses.  I am very good at coming up with "What if" questions.  The Lord knows His children though, and He blessed me with a husband that reminds me of God's love for us and that He will be with us/guiding us each step of the way. 

We are excited to let you know that we have now been chosen!  We are not going to put all of the details about our upcoming adoption online.  When your adoption is based on being chosen by a birth mother, there is always the possibility that she could change her mind after giving birth.  In Indiana, once she signs the paper work (at least 24 hours after delivery), we will officially be parents.  Due to this fact, we will not be posting, on here or our facebook page, the exact due date.  We will let you know that she is due this summer.

At the beginning of March, Douglas and I received a phone call from one of the pregnancy counselors from our agency (Bethany Christian Services).  She told us that she had been counseling a birth mother and had recently given her some prospective parent profile books to look through.  She let us know that we were the birth mother's first choice to parent her child.  While we were very excited, we also knew that the decision wouldn't really be made until we met in person.  At the end of March, we were able to meet Jessica, the birth mother, and her mom, Diana.  We drove about an hour and a half away, to meet her in the town where she lives.  In the days leading up to our meeting, I thought that I would be very nervous on the day of the meeting.  That was not the case.  The Lord calmed our nerves, and we both felt the Lord's presence in the situation.  The pregnancy counselor was at the meeting to guide our discussion.  It was very relaxed and  went very well.  The day after the meeting, we received an e-mail from Jessica letting us know that she really enjoyed meeting us and felt very confident in the decision she was making.  Since our first meeting, we have remained in contact, through e-mail, with both Jessica and Diana. It has been very encouraging.  We are looking forward to our next meeting with them, which will be mid-May. 

We greatly appreciate your prayers as we continue through this process.  The financial side to adoption can be very overwhelming and is something I have to turn over to God daily.  Please pray that our rummage sale goes well later this month.  We are so blessed to have friends and family that are donating items for us to sell.

Thank you for your prayers! 

~Kelley

Monday, July 9, 2012

Video for our Adoption Profile

Our agency, Bethany Christian Services, will put a link to this video with our online profile. Our online profile could have only three pictures or two pictures plus a YouTube video, so we chose the latter. The online profile basically consists of the pictures, video and a page and a half letter that we wrote to the expectant mother. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we continue through the adoption process.

Adoption Process

Note originally posted on Facebook on Wednesday, November 23, 2011

As many of you know, we submitted our formal adoption application in September, with Bethany Christian Services. Since we are now in the midst of the home study process, we felt like it would be a good time to send out an update. The home study process includes three or four meetings with our adoption specialist (aka case manager), attending two meetings at Bethany (in Indianapolis), and reading two books. At this point, we have had two meetings with our adoption specialist (one in South Bend and one in our home), attended both required meetings at Bethany, and read one of the books (Hospitious Adoption). Our adoption specialist told us that our home study should be completed by the end of December.
Both of the meetings with our adoption specialist have gone well. The first "visit" lasted almost three hours. Since we will be working with her throughout the adoption process, it was a good chance to get to know each other. During the visit to our home, she first "interviewed" each of us individually and then together. We did ask what generally leads to a couple not being approved. She let us know that it usually deals with either the couple not being upfront with Bethany about important information or the couple having unresolved issues. She said that she did not see any red flags at this point. One thing she did talk with us about is the fact that we have not been married very long. This should not affect the home study, but she said it might be an issue for potential birthmothers that will be looking at our profile. Yes, if you were not aware, we will be involved in either an open or semi-open adoption. This means that the birth mother will choose us to parent her child. In December, we will start putting our profile (scrapbook) together so that it is ready to show birth mothers as soon as our home study is complete. If you know us well, you know that children are very important to us. Although we have not been married as long as many couples that adopt, we are ready to start our family and have entered this process seeking God's will and plan for us. We have been praying about the possibility of adoption for over a year and are excited for what the Lord has planned for us.
The required meetings, in Indianapolis, for our home study are offered only once each quarter. We praise the Lord that our home study started right before these meetings were scheduled to take place. If our homestudy had started two weeks later, we would have missed the first meeing. This means our home study would not have been completed until after the meeting next quarter. Our God is in control! The first meeting we attended was a Placement Preparation meeting. It was more of an informational meeting to let us know what to expect once our home study is completed. Our second trip to Indianapolis was for an adoptive parent/birth parent panel. For both hours, Bethany provided the panels with a list of questions to answer, which was very helpful. The first hour we were able to listen to two couples that have gone through the entire adoption process with Bethany. One of the couples has adopted one child and the other has adopted two. It was neat to hear about their experiences and encouraging to hear the positive things they had to say about their correspondence/meetings with the birth mothers. The second hour we had the opportunity to listen to three birth mothers answer questions. At this point, I (Kelley) can't think of words that could fully express how this touched me. I will say that it, more than anything, showed us the importance of at least a semi-open adoption.
We will not bore you with too much about the first book we read, Hopitious Adoption. If you are unfamiliar with the word "hospitious," you are not alone. Basically, it means hospitable. The book deals with openness in adoption.
As we continue through the adoption process, we ask that you pray with us about several things:
~That we continue to keep the Lord at the center of our relationship
~Patience once the waiting begins
~Wisdom in the many decisions we will be making
~Finances - that we will trust in the Lord for His provision as this is more money than we have spent on anything besides our house
~Fundraising - trying to come up with creative ways to raise money for our adoption
~Kelley's Thirty-One business - In July, Kelley became a Thirty-One consultant. All of the comission goes directly into our adoption fund. Please pray that she will be able to continue to book parties and balance this and her teaching.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and especially for keeping us in your prayers.
Note posted toFacebook on Sunday, July 24, 2011
Last November, we went to a meeting with Bethany Christian Services to learn about their domestic adoption program. Before attending the meeting, we had to fill out a "pre-application" in order to be invited to the meeting. The "pre-applicaton" was two pages of questons dealing with our faith in Christ. We have decided that we will start our adoption journey this coming September when we submit our formal application with Bethany.
In order to set aside money for our adoption, Kelley recently took on a second job and is now an Independent Consultant with Thirty-One Gifts.  Money that she makes from being a Thirty-One consultant will go directly into our adoptin fund. She will continue teaching Kindergarten at Mary Daly, but once we’re parents, she’d like to stop teaching and be a stay-at-home mom, while still making a financial contribution to the family.
Please keep us in your prayers as we begin this process. We know that the adoption process can be unpredictable and trying at times, but we serve a faithful God and look forward to the day that He gives us a child to be part of our family.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our House (Pictures updated July 9, 2012)

This past Wednesday, we made an offer on a home in Elkhart.  After a couple of counter offers, the seller accepted our final offer.  If all goes smoothly, our closing date will be December 10.  The kitchen is definitely outdated, but, over time, we plan to bring it up to date.  We will have plenty of room for any out of town guests. :) 
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One improvement but still a long way to go on this room.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kelley's Classroom

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                                                                             Loft