Updates

OFFICIALLY CERTIFIED!

It has FINALLY happened! We are now certified to adopt!! We are now what’s called a “waiting family” in the adoption world. We now wait to be matched with an expectant mom/family.

Like I said before, the average wait time with our agency is about 1 year. We have also said yes to what our agency calls “surprise cases”.  A surprise case is when a baby has been born or is just about to be born and the birth mother decides she wants to make an adoption plan. This means we could get a call asking us to come pick up our baby the next day. We were told this is very rare, but does happen every once in a while.

The final step to be certified was to read over our homestudy report. It’s a document that basically summarizes our whole lives and our ability to be parents. We had to drive up to our agency to review it in person. Our agency is about an hour north of where we live. Our meeting was at 7:30am on Wednesday Feb 13. We left around 6am and got to see part of a pretty sunrise.

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We are also officially 4 months into being “paper pregnant”! We started the adoption/homestudy process back at the beginning of October. Below is a list of most of the paperwork and things we have had to do to become certified.

 

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And now you know why we have been so busy! Thank you to all who have been praying for us and filled out references. We could not have gotten through this without your support!

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Feb 6 Update: Profile Book ! Almost certified!

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Our profile book is finished! Below is a sneak peak of a few of the pages.

So what is a profile book anyways ?

A profile book is a (physical) photo book of a hopeful adoptive couple/family that is shown to women who are considering making an adoption plan. The book is basically a way for an expectant mom to get to know what a family is like through pictures. There is also a short letter at the beginning of the book written to the expectant mom.

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Our book has over 100 photos. We probably looked at every photo we have taken since we started dating ….SO MANY PICTURES. Our adoption agency did give us guidelines to follow, but for the most part we were on our own. Yikes.

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This has been the most stressful “art” project of my life. We were limited to 20 pages. What pictures do you include? What do you say in your letter? This book is a HUGE part of the adoption process.

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In domestic infant adoption, the expectant mother making an adoption plan chooses the family she wants to place her child with after a matching process has happened. Once an expectant mom is matched with some families by the agency, she is then given their profile books to look through and then pick a family based off their book. Of course it’s more complicated than that, but that’s the process in a nutshell.

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I will be mailing these books out this week to all the offices in our agency. Nightlight has offices in 10 different states. So yes, we could could be matched with an expectant mother in another state and we have been told that is a high probability.

Next steps. We should be certified by the end of next week which means we passed our home study and can legally adopt a baby. The official wait time at our agency to be matched with an expectant mother is about a year. I will be writing more about the wait time later because we have also said yes to last minute placements as well.

Grants. Once our home study is done, we can start applying for grants. 99% of adoption grants require you to submit your official home-study paperwork with your grant application.

We thank you for your continued financial and prayer support! We keep getting closer to our goal! To date, we have raised over $14,000 towards our adoption! WOW!!!!  Thank you to each person who has supported us. We have come this far because of you! We still need about $11,000 but we know God will provide and make a way.

With Love,

Andrea & Matt

 

Halfway.

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I wanted to do a blog earlier this month but December has been crazy! We moved to a different apartment complex on December 15 (due to adoption), hosted two different family Christmas celebrations, went to a 2 day adoption training, had our first home-study visit and orientation, were down to one car for most of month and had family fly out from CA and NC to spend Christmas with us.

Our 2 day adoption training was kind of a let down. The state requires that all families adopting domestically go through this training, including those adopting through foster care. About 75% of the material was geared towards families adopting older children out of foster care which has nothing to do with infant adoption, but again, the state requires it. The material that did apply to us was very helpful and we got some great information. The best thing about the training was meeting two other couples that were in the same situation as us, looking to adopt after infertility. We were able to have lunch with them and share our stories. I felt less alone after talking with them, it was very encouraging.IMG_1311

Our first home study visit went really well! We love our social worker and she made us super comfortable. She asked us questions about our jobs, how we spend our free time, what we value, how we plan to parent and many other questions. She said the goal was to get a picture of what our family is like to help make a good match with what an expectant mother is looking for in a family.

We have two more home study visits, one is this Thursday. Part of this meeting is the first physical inspection of home and making sure everything is baby proofed. We actually have to baby proof the house from infant to age 2. Our agency approves us up to age 2 in case there are any legal issues that cause finalization to be delayed. Finalization in Colorado takes at least 6 months. SOOOOO we have to cover all electrical outlets, baby/toddler proof all kitchen cupboards, bathroom cupboards, bookshelves, dresser drawers, move all cleaning supplies out of reach or lock them up, move all cleaning supplies out of kitchen as we aren’t allowed to have any chemicals in same area where food is and the list goes on. We are going to be SUPER PREPARED!!!

This is part of the checklist for the training we have to do….

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We have been blown away by how many people have generously given this past month! Every gift, no matter how small helps! As of today, the next $7000 we owe once our home study is done is FULLY FUNDED !!! Also, we are are only a few hundred dollars short of being HALFWAY FUNDED !!! WOW!!!!! Thank you to all who have bought puzzle pieces, bought items off the shoppe and donated to our adopttogether fund. Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough, but thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thanks to YOU the dream of growing our family is finally becoming reality!

So what’s next? We have to finish up our required training/education at home, take a pediatric CPR & First Aid Class, two more home study visits, find a pediatrician, finish baby proofing house, work on our adoption profile book and start lining up grants to apply for once home study is complete.

Thank you for your support and walking through this journey with us.

Love,

Andrea & Matt

You can still donate today to get you 2018 tax deduction!

https://adopttogether.org/families/?fundraiser=erskin-adoption

 

We are ending 2018 with some snow. Can’t wait for 2019!!

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Feeling the Love!

 

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Photo by Swapnil Deshpandey on Pexels.com

Matt and I are feeling so loved! We have reached our next financial goal of $2000!! THANK YOU to all our family and friend who donated to our adopttogether site, bought items off our shoppe and purchased puzzle pieces! YOU made this happen! Our orientation costs are now covered!! So much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend.

Our next goal to conquer is $7000. This is not due until the end of February once our home study is done. Also, once our home study is done, we will be able to start applying to adoption grants and adoption loans (very low to no interest). We have been told not to rely on grants because they are becoming very hard to get due to the fact that more people than ever are applying to them due to the rapidly rising costs of adoption. We will still try.

In an upcoming blog, I will talk about why adoption is so expensive and explain what the next $7000 will cover in regards to our adoption. In the meantime, keep doing your Christmas shopping on the Shoppe! I just added over 10 new items and lowered some prices!

Thank you for helping us meet this goal so quickly!!

Through His Love,

Andrea & Matt

Great is Your Faithfulness

11.15.18

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Thank you to all those who financially supported us through Adopttogether!

HUGE THANK YOU!  As of today, we have enough funds to cover the cost of our home study ($2500) AND our required, two day, in person, adoption training ($375) Nov 30-Dec 1! THANK YOU!!! We are one BIG STEP closer to growing our family!

Our next goal is $2000 for what our agency calls “Orientation”, which is required. The fee includes administrative costs associated with an actual in-person meeting/orientation with our agency. We will be given lots of information, more paperwork and a more in depth walk-through of our adoption process. Rest assured I will go to this meeting with a LOOOOONG list of questions!

PROGRESS. We are supposed to get our social worker assigned to us this week. The social worker will do three in-person interviews. According to a recent email, our first interview will be soon! Things finally feel like they are moving forward. We are still working on paperwork and gathering lots of documents and information  to send into our agency…. some days it feels like there is no end in sight but there will be. This will all be worth it.

THANKSGIVING. Matt and I have SO much to be thankful for. But it will also be the first Thanksgiving since we found out the severity of our infertility and that biological children were not an option.  I am SO grateful and excited about our adoption but am also grieving the fact that I am not pregnant, and don’t know when God will bring a new life to our family. Most of the time the Holy Spirit reminds me in some way or another that He does have my life in His hands but there are a few days where sadness is the overwhelming emotion. My counselor warned me that holidays could trigger emotions that seemed to be mostly faded and of course she was right. So as the thoughts and sadness come I do my very best not to sit in them and get angry, but release them to the Lord. He can take it! I also cling to the promise that God is faithful. I LOVE the chorus from the song “Do It again” by Elevation worship:

Your promise still stands, Great is your faithfulness, faithfulness

I’m still in Your hands, this is my confidence,

You’ve never failed me.

I hope whatever hard emotions the holidays bring up for you that God would speak to you during this time. I pray His promise of faithfulness would comfort you.

♥ Andrea

Update

11.8.18

YAY! We have enough financial support to cover the cost ($2500) of our home study!! Wow!! In TWO WEEKS!! THANK YOU!!

What is a home study you ask? Basically it is an evaluation of a families entire life. Finances, mental health, physical health, safety of the home, ability to parent a child are just some of the things addressed. During the process we have to complete TONS of paperwork and send in lots of documents like birth certificates, marriage certificate, car registrations, proof of health insurance and much, MUCH more. At the end of the process, a social worker writes a report about all the information gathered about the family. For us the whole process will be about 3-4 months. We are hoping to be done in February.

 

11.6.18

As of November 4th, we have completely the first phase of paperwork! This includes: Background checks submitted for CO, TX, AK and CA. FBI fingerprinting, state of Colorado adoption application, DMV records for last 7 years, Colorado court clearances, online marriage evaluation, copies of drivers licenses, organizing of references, loooong questionnaire about our childhood, current family photo, 5 years address history and a bunch of other forms that are associated with our agency. Whew.

Positive thing? I am now SUPER organized.LOL