It is the end of October…the end of October! We have a lot of catching up to do! The time since our last update has been so packed and the blog updates got away from us. We continue to joyfully move forward in the adoption and want to update you on where we are in the process…
Adoption Education Class
Since our last update in July (sigh, has it really been that long?), we have attended a two-day adoption education class through Bethany Christian Services. The class was rather small with 2 other couples and several of the adoption staff from the local office as well as a neighboring city to lead several seminars. We were given useful information on what the process of adoption through Bethany will look like as well as education resources GALORE to help us educate ourselves for the adoption road ahead. They are so very organized with their materials and educational approach (I love the organization). We left with plenty of resources for a lifetime of learning. We heard some things from adoptees that shocked us and challenged us to dig deep and ask ourselves questions. It was good. We were also able to meet a birth mother and adoptive mother who shared their beautiful adoption stories with us. It was a beautiful picture of an open adoption relationship. We left the two-day seminar changed, challenged, and charged to complete our next task on the checklist and get closer to placement.
In August we had several home study appointments and individual interviews. The first home study was really sweet because the kids were excited to participate in it with us. They wanted to be interviewed…and they were. Not only did they help tidy up the house for our visit, but they wanted to share why they are excited we are adopting. It was sweet! In the beginning of September, we received the home study approval! HALLELUJAH! Next step…grant applications, portfolio photo book made and printed, online portfolio through Waiting Families, and continuing the adoption education through suggested reads and online webinars. Meanwhile, homeschooling is in full swing and Jonathan is back in session with seminary.
The crazy thing about adoption grant applications is that you are applying for grants because adoption isn’t free. But you have to have money to pay for some of the process to get you through the home study in order to apply for adoption grants. That’s right, you have to have the home study complete in order to apply for the grant. With that being said, we rejoice that we have had such a supportive church family! We were able to share with our church that we are adopting and that they could partner with us through prayer and financial support and we have been so encouraged by the support we have received both in word and deed! Can I just say how hard and humbling it is to ask for support!? With that being said, we applied (after a long time of getting it ready for submission) for the Life Song for Orphans Grant and we were notified this week that we did not receive grant matching because they just don’t have any money to give right now. They were very kind and helpful and we appreciate their willingness to help us and others on the adoption journey! We also just applied for a Show Hope Grant (tonight), that’s right, you heard me…tonight! We were able to get another grant application submitted in record time, I might add. The grant is only reviewed quarterly and this weekend is the cut-off.
Homeschool Community Support
Our homeschool community, Classical Conversations, has been another huge blessing to us! Our Challenge level students have organized the selling of coffee, hot chocolate, and cold drinks for parents and students on behalf of our adoption. Last week was the first week that they did this and it will continue for two more weeks. The support is humbling and encouraging!
Giant Yard Sale Fundraiser
One of my sweet friends along with my beautiful mom, has organized a giant yard sale fundraiser for us. It is taking place next weekend, November 7th , at our church. People are generously giving their items to be sold in the yard sale and all proceeds will be used for our adoption. I am, again, overwhelmed by the generosity and sacrificial love that we are being shown.
Now, we work on completing our photo book to give to expecting parents so they can have a glimpse into our lives…What are Jonathan and Aubrey like? What are their kids like? What are they passionate about? What do they do for fun? What makes them unique? All of these things we are working to tell through a photo book. Please pray for us. It’s somehow harder than it seems.
We also continue on the education path. I do believe that the adoption education continues as long as you have a child that is adopted. I am new to this, but I don’t think the learning ever stops. Just as I continue to learn about how to parent my biological children, but with more elements figured in.
What I Am Learning
I am learning a lot through this adoption process, but one of the big ones for me right now seems to be finding joy in the waiting. So I leave you with this verse:
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”