Monday, February 1, 2016

While We Wait: January 2016 (month #1)

We've seen other hoping-to-adopt couples do this "while we wait" kind of post, as a way of documenting time in the waiting pool, and we thought it was a neat idea! Emotionally and spiritually, writing a recap like this hopefully will encourage us to keep living in the present and trusting God for the future, as his plan for us unfolds over time. We thought it would be nice to start this now, in January, because even though we did have a possible situation back in December, that was something of a surprise. January makes sense as the month to start our "waiting clock" because it's a fresh new year and because our placement agency (St. Joseph's) received our application on December 31st. So here we go: one month down, ??? to go.

Adoption-related stuff that happened in January

We took a (free) online course about the adoption tax credit, which is a way that adoptive families can receive financial help from the government. Like most tax things, it was kind of confusing, but the course helped to make it more understandable. In a nutshell, since we are adopting domestically (and not internationally or through foster care), we can request an adoption tax credit when we fill out our taxes for the year after we started spending money on adoption-related expenses (so for us, when we do our 2016 taxes in 2017). We can get up to about $13,400 back by way of not having to pay that amount in income tax, but it will take more than one year and possibly up to five years to get that total money. It's pretty neat! (There's more to it than that - but those are the basics.)

We set up two meetings with local adoption lawyers, to see which one is the best fit for us. We learned that it's a good idea to have a knowledgeable lawyer on retainer in case we run into tricky legal issues with our adoption, or in case we end up doing a private adoption (meaning not through an agency - this most often happens when the potential birthmother and potential adoptive parents find each other through personal connections). And since we'll need a lawyer to finalize our adoption anyway, it makes sense to get this piece squared away now. Further, it is always important to have someone looking out for your personal interest because sadly there are people out there who will exploit your desire to have children, just like there are people who will exploit a mother in crisis. We want a lawyer to guard against both.

We took an infant CPR class at a local hospital. It was actually kinda fun! The instructor was great and completely respectful of us as a pre-adoptive couple. We didn't feel weird or out of place among the other pregnant or parenting people there. And the class was super informational. Not only did we learn the basics of CPR and get to practice our skills on a little baby mannequin, but we got a ton of good information about other safety issues: car seats, baby proofing our house, etc. And the instructor gave us some good leads on other local resources that might be helpful, like a baby care class at the hospital and early intervention services, in case our little one needs that.

"Baby, baby, are you okay?"
Finally, we had two potential adoption situations come up in January, neither of which worked out in the end. Both of them were learning experiences for us as we become more knowledgeable about what to ask about a potential situation and how best to discern what to do. Please pray for us that we meet our child soon!

Other stuff that happened in January

New year's visits: Dan's mom stayed with us for about a week over New Year's, which was a real treat. We went shopping (for baby stuff!) together, went out to eat, did some sightseeing downtown, and she helped Bethany with our quilt. It was great having her around!

Silver Diner - one of our favs. They have real jukeboxes, but more importantly - good food!

American history museum in downtown DC. It is newly remodeled and pretty sweet.
Bethany's parents also visited on New Year's Day and brought their adorable new puppy, Penny.

Picture of relaxation
Downton Abbey started again: for Bethany, this is a major highlight! She is a committed fan. Dan enjoys it too, although his interest waned after the tragic end of season three (don't want to spoil it for those who are not caught up...) This year, a choir friend gave Bethany a beautiful Secret Santa gift, a multi-level tray that is perfect for our little Downton-watching treats.

Blizzard and quilt: As pretty much the whole county knows, our area got slammed with a snowstorm January 22-23. We enjoyed ourselves immensely being snowed in and cozy inside. It was great to have a beautiful winter scene outside and tea, books, games and movies inside. Plus we both got two snow days and two more three-hour delays. #bestpartofwinter

And I finished the top of my quilt! I still want to add a border, but this was some great progress - thank you Storm Jonas.

Dan's birthday: For Dan's actual birthday on the 29th, Bethany made him a scrumptious meal of manicotti and broccoli + oranges, two of his favorite dishes.

And the day after his birthday she took him on a surprise outing to Annapolis, where we went to a gourmet coffee shop + roastery, saw a beautiful old church, strolled by the waterside, and had a delicious dinner at a tavern that dated back to the late 1700's. We love exploring our area and Annapolis is one of our favorite spots.

We hope your January was great!


  1. I think this is a great idea. I have to agree with Dan, the end of Season 3 really ended my interest in DA! Praying that you don't get to do too many of these posts. ;)

    1. Haha - we have had SO many DA-related debates, err, conversations :) He's a good sport to keep watching with me anyway. Thanks thanks for the prayers!

  2. Wow, lot of active waiting! CPR is something we didn't have to do here in Mexico but I have always wanted to learn.

    Love the quilt!

    Hoping you will be matched soon!

    1. Thanks, DM+AM! We liked the CPR class a lot - you would probably need something different since your daughter is older, but it's good information to have!