Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This Giving Tuesday Give the Gift of a Loving, Stable Home

Hello all,

We thought we would encourage you on this Giving Tuesday to give to an adoption cause! Do you know of a couple in need of adoption assistance? Do you know an adoption agency who could use a donation? Then, we would encourage you to give to the beautiful cause of adoption. But above all, give to those in the middle of the adoption process, like us, the gift of your prayers. It is tough to wait, go through the ups and downs of the different cases, and sometimes to not be considered or rejected for cases. We know all about this now, so please bring some cheer to those adoptive parents or good adoption agencies by offering a small gift to them on this day all about giving! God bless!
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Sunday, November 6, 2016

While We Wait: October 2016 (Month #10)

Adoption related stuff:

We made some forward progress in October! To be honest, though, generally our adoption pilgrimage has felt like the joke in the Family Circus cartoons, where Billy takes the most circuitous route possible to accomplish a straight-forward task...

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Not that adoption is every really "straight-forward" - but this round-about, detour-filled, will-we-ever-reach-the-finish-line image resonates with us!

Back to the forward progress though: praise God, Dan's CPS clearance form was finally located, processed, sent back to our agency, and we are once again home study approved! (Oct. 11) Awesome good news that we were grateful to receive. The home study is current for one year, FYI.

Because of our home study being active, we were able to pursue our plan of signing up with an additional placement agency to help us find our child. The agency we settled on, after much prayer and discussion, is An Open Door, in Georgia. They were highly recommended by our home study agency, Barker, and all of our interactions with them have been great: responsive, clear, and helpful. A few reasons why we chose them are: they directly work with the expectant parents who are considering adoption, which means that we will get the most accurate and complete information possible about a potential match; they have a cap for their fees + birthparent and legal fees, which for us means that we do not put money "at risk" in the event of a match or placement that falls through; they have multiple locations around Georgia (we had to send them 20 copies of our profile book); and their agency is fairly active, which could mean a shorter waiting time from this point forward.

It's another leap of faith, another "yes" to where we believe God is calling us, but expanding our "reach" in this way brings us a lot of hope!

We have a few things left before being totally active with Open Door: six references have to send them back a reference questionnaire, and we have to send them pictures and text to put on their website ("waiting couples"). So here's hoping that works out quickly!

Also, in a really unexpected adoption moment, Dan won $500 at a local shopping center's grand opening! He had to take a picture with a concrete turtle (it's a long story) and his name was selected. A little boost to our adoption budget!

Dan & Tommy

Other Stuff We Did

October was pretty fun! The Fall colors are just starting to show here in our neck of the woods, and we enjoyed two weekend trips: one to Erie to visit Dan's family, and one to Rochester to become godparents to our dear little godson Theo.

Speaking of godchildren - good friends came to visit for a weekend in October (including our goddaughter and Bethany's godson). We had a blast going to the zoo on a beautiful Fall day, making our traditional big pancake breakfast, and going to Annapolis to watch the boats. It is such a blessing to be with great friends!

Dan had a BIG event at his job (St. John Paul II Shrine) on JPII's feast day, Oct. 22. Bethany's parents came down for it, which was really fun. It was an all-day celebration of this great saint's life with speakers, music, a beautiful Mass, adoration, etc. It was a lovely day for us and a great cap to the novena we had been saying for JPII's intercession.

JPII, we love you!
Finally - we had our first Halloween in our new house! Bethany in particularly was really excited to hand out candy. At our last house, we didn't get many trick or treaters because we were on a busy road with no sidewalk. This time we had plenty! It was fun to sit on our porch with some hot tea and enjoy all the kids' costumes. Although our neighbors across the street really outdid us with decorations....we will need to remedy that next year.

Thank you for your continued prayers!