Monday, June 23, 2014

Daddy's Helper

I was so glad I had time to run and get the camera to capture this moment on film.  Ben was installing our closet doors and Nathan ran to get his tools to help Daddy.  

Adoption Pics

We had fun taking pictures for our adoption profile and love the way the pictures turned out!  One of our lead pastors does photography on the side and was kind enough to capture us on film.  Nathan LOVES "Pastor Tim" and was in the best mood for this photo shoot!  These are some of our favorites:

We will be using one of these photos and turning it into a puzzle for our next fundraiser!  Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Adoption Update

It's been awhile since I've posted about where we are in the adoption process.  That's because we are currently buried under a mountain of paperwork!

In order to adopt you have to have a home study done. Some people think this means that people come and inspect your house since your house is your home.  But actually that is not the case.  A home study is a study of your home--meaning the home you create by way of your relationships with your spouse and children.  They do look around our house to insure we have a place for the child to live--but that's about it!  Here is a list of things our home study includes (Note:  I'm probably leaving something out!):

-A multiple choice test that will give our caseworker insights into our personalities and how we operate as a couple.
-Written questionnaires about adopting outside of our own race and how we would incorporate a child of color into our home, community and church.
-Our testimonies and how we came to know the Lord as our Personal Savior.
-Financial documentation on how much money we make and where it all goes each month.
-Employment Verifications

All of this adds up to a HUGE pile of Paperwork!

Once we submit all of the above we then go thru a series of interviews with our caseworker in which she reviews all of the paperwork we submitted and gains more insight firsthand into our relationships as a family.  As long as no concerns are noted our home study is then submitted to the state and we wait...and wait...and wait for them to certify us as adoptive parents.

We are hoping we will be certified by the end of the summer.   Then we can be considered a waiting family and have our profile submitted to adoption agencies for birth families to look at.  The adoption consultant we are working with currently has had most of her adoptive parents matched in the first few weeks after they have been certified!  That's crazy fast in the domestic infant adoption world!

Our profile is a scrapbook of sorts that has pictures and text about our family that is shared with potential birth families (And yes we have to create this too--more to do!).  When a Birth Mom makes an adoption plan for her child, agencies encourage them to look through profiles and pick a few adoptive families they would consider placing their child with.  We will then be notified if we are picked by a Birth Mom and then plans are made as we work towards the Birth Mom's due date.  It is important to note that a Birth Mom plans to place for adoption.  But all plans can go out the window once baby has arrived.  Although no one likes when plans change, it is a reality that all adoptive parents must face.

In our adoption with Nathan we were not picked by Nathan's Birth Mom.  We never met her and she never held Nathan.  Nathan is what adoption agencies refer to as a "hospital call".  His Birth Mom did not make an adoption plan for him prior to giving birth.  Although hospital calls do happen quite often, this is not the norm.  In some ways I grieve the fact that we did not get the chance personally to meet Nathan's Birth Mom and thank her for her self-less gift but at the same time I also have some anxiety about the possibility of meeting our next child's Birth Mom.  It will be a whole new experience for us as an adoptive family!

In addition to making our way through the home study paperwork we are also filling out paperwork to apply for adoption grants and loans.  Unfortunately you can not be considered to receive any grants without a finalized home study but we want to be ready to submit them the moment our home study goes through.

Because we are committed to making this adoption a debt free one, we have also been fundraising like crazy.  We have already completed a 31 Bag Fundraiser, a Facebook Silent Auction and have had a yard sale.  Several generous people (including a large group of my classroom parents from this past school year) have also made monetary donations towards our adoption fund.

To date we have raised approximately $2300 towards our adoption!  

We are currently hosting an Origami Owl Fundraiser online in which we will receive 20% of the profits.  We also have plans to do a Gold Canyon Candle Fundraiser and a Puzzle Piece Fundraiser (more info to come!)  We also may decide to sell T-Shirts to add to our adoption fund as well.

So that's what we've been up to and where we are in the adoption process.  Thanks for your prayers and support everyone.  We could not do it without you!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Swim Lessons 2014

We signed Nathan up for Swim Lessons at the Community Pool by our house.  It's in walking distance so we often loaded all his gear up in the wagon or stroller and walked there!  The first few days there were some tears but by the end he was doing great!  

Picking out a few toys to take with him in the water.

There were 4 kids assigned to his instructor, Savannah.  2 Instructors team up together and share an "island" (A platform made up of PVC pipe that creates a place for the kids to stand on).

Floating on his tummy practicing his kicks (protesting the whole time!)

By the end of the 2 week session he was doing great holding on to just the instructors hands!

Smile caught on camera!

Standing on the island waiting for his turn.

We signed up for back-to-back sessions so we have 2 more weeks left of swim lessons!

1st Night

We had a few things to get ready in Nathan's room before he slept in it for the first time.  YES he is sleeping on the top bunk!  


Nathan has been into throwing "parties" lately.  He gets chairs for the guests to sit on:

But I guess they prefer the floor?

He often does not want his "parties" to end and insists on leaving his toys out so they can continue to party by themselves.  

Sidewalk Paint!

We made some homemade bought chalkboard paint and had a blast! 

Yes, my kid is a genius and at 2 years old can write his name in proper casing!  
Haha!  NOT!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


To some this may just be a diaper bag (okay a VERY CUTE diaper bag!) but to me it represents so much more.  When we decided to start the adoption process that eventually led to us bringing Nathan home, I had been waiting 3 long years to start a family.  I watched as my friends registered for baby items, set up nurseries, and decorated their future child's room.  I desperately wanted to be doing this very same thing!  

Once we started filling out our paperwork and attending our adoption certification classes I let loose and started preparing to bring a baby home.  The very first item I purchased when we were "paper pregnant" with Nathan was a diaper bag.  

Now that we are officially "paper pregnant" again I decided I needed a NEW diaper bag.  This is the first item I've purchased for our future child.  When I look at it, it reminds me of what is coming.  I have hope that the Lord will again pick the perfect baby for our family.  I wait with expectation, anticipation and much joy!  

Grandparents are GREAT!

My Mom and Grandparents were here this weekend to help me get some things done around the house.  Nathan loved having them here!

Every night the 2 Grandmas were requested to read books at bedtime!

Grandma sandwich!

Relaxing with Great Grandpa

We are so blessed that Nathan has so many grandparents to love on him!  He kept asking where Grandma George (Ben's Mom) was.  I think he assumes Grandparents should stick together!

Big Boy Room!

Since we are "paper pregnant" I've been busy getting Nathan ready to move into a new room to make room for his baby brother or sister (Nathan changes what he wants on a daily basis and sometimes wants both!) We decided to go with bunk beds so when guests come to stay we will still have a bed for them to sleep on!  

Drum roll please...

Note:  This may be the only time you see the beds made up like this.  Making a bunk bed is hard work!  Maybe since Nathan's starting young he'll be an expert sooner than later.

We still aren't sure where Nathan will sleep.  We might let him choose since the top has a guard rail!

I fell in love with this car bedding at Pottery Barn!

I have had these letters for Nathan's room since we lived in AZ!  They are finally hanging up!

Nathan painted this piggy bank a few weeks ago.  He loves putting his "monies" inside.  I love that it matches his new room!

We still need to find a dresser but we may move him in as early as tomorrow!  Once he's fully moved in I plan to set up the nursery again!  So exciting! 

Thanks goes to my Dad, Mom & Grandparents who all helped get Nathan's new room set up and ready!