Saturday, August 3, 2013

Finalization is in Sight!!!

Wow... time has totally flown by! Somehow, in less than a week, our sweet baby Brynlee will be 7 months old! This just doesn't seem possible! She is growing and changing every day and we love her more and more every single day!

We have some exciting news! First of all, tomorrow (Sunday, 8/4) will be our FINAL post-placement visit! Yay! Even more exciting... we found out this week that our finalization court date has been scheduled for Wednesday, August 21st!!! Hallelujah!!! This date is even sooner than we thought it would be, so we are thrilled! We can't wait to "officially" have Brynlee become a Bennett! She has ALWAYS been a Bennett in our hearts and minds, but we are excited to have the courts recognize this as well and make it official. We are also excited to be done with the adoption "process". It has been a journey that we will always look back on and cherish, but we are so thankful that it is almost over! We just want to continue living our lives, raising Brynlee in a Godly home, and furthering the relationship we have built with Bailey and her family who have become an extended part of our family. :-)

 Thank you SO much to each and every one of you who has walked this journey with us... prayed with us, cried with us, supported us through all the ups and downs, helped us with financial support, helped with our many fundraisers, and so much more. You guys are unbelievable and we will never be able to thank you enough!!! We pray that we can somehow, some day, repay you all the blessings you have bestowed upon us!

Most importantly, we give God all the glory and honor for carrying us through this adoption. We couldn't have done it without Him, and we know, without a shadow of a doubt, that this was His plan all along! Brynlee was meant to be our child! God allowed miracles to happen time and time again throughout our adoption journey, especially when it came to raising the funds we needed to complete this process. We are thrilled to say that He has blessed us immensely one more time and provided the final funding to pay off the attorney and guardian ad litem fees. He is SO good! Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Almost there...

We got a call from our agency today and it looks like Brynlee will get to come home Saturday afternoon! The only catch to this is that our agency wants us to have the rest of our fees (about $14,000) paid by then. To be honest, we're feeling like this is an impossible task; however, we are stepping out in faith and trust that God is in this. We have applied for our adoption loan and are just waiting to hear about how much we have to work with. If we get what our loan provider is telling us we'll get, we have about $4,000 left to raise. By the grace of God and your generous support, we've managed to raise almost $2,000! Right now, we covet your prayers above anything else. If you feel led to help, you can do this in a couple of ways. You can share our fundraiser information from the previous post with your friends and family. If you feel led to give financially, you can do so by filling out the form provided, or clicking on the Donate button on the right via PayPal. Again, your prayer support is treasured more than anything. We hate the fact that we seem like we're begging, but at the same time, we realize we need help to bring Brynlee home. We love you guys, and appreciate your support & encouragement throughout this adoption journey!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Making the Pieces Fit

We are nearing the finish line in bringing Ms. Brynlee Rose home! After taking out an adoption loan, we still have to come up with a little over $4,000 to pay off our adoption expenses. With this in mind, we are going to do one last fundraiser called "Making the Pieces Fit". We have a 500 piece puzzle and each piece of the puzzle is up for "sponsorship". There is a "suggested" donation of $20 per piece; however, you may give whatever you feel led to give, if at all. Your prayers and encouragement are just as valuable. :)

If you make a donation, we will write your name on a piece of the puzzle, and when assembled, Brynlee will see everyone who had a hand in bringing her home to our family. Please prayerfully consider making a donation, and if you feel led, you may visit the link below to make your contribution. Anything raised in excess of $4,000 will be used to pay down the adoption loan and/or our legal fees. We love and thank you so very much!

Click here to get to our Making the Pieces Fit fundraiser form!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Best Laid Plans

The last time we updated this blog, we mentioned that we were going to meet the birth mother that we were matched with after only a few days of waiting on "the list". SOOOO much has happened since then, and we wanted to make this blog current. Get ready for the ride!

Match Meeting - The match meeting at the beginning of December was, in a word... awesome! The birth mother's family and we hit it off from the start. We had a great time getting to know each other and she even gave us some ultrasound pictures. Things went so well, we even forgot the adoption specialists were in the room with us. We exchanged e-mail addresses and phone numbers, and knew we had the beginnings of a great relationship.

Holidays - During the weeks following and during the holidays, we would sporadically send e-mails to and receive e-mails from the birth mother.  We also decided to reveal the name that we (the birth family & us) decided upon - Brynlee Rose Bennett. It, truly, was a collaborative effort. We picked the first name, and the birth mother picked the middle name. We all loved how it sounded and how unique it was - it just stuck! We also learned that her due date was moved up to the 15th of February, so we began working out the details of planning baby showers and getting the nursery ready for Miss Brynlee.  We painted and reorganized her closet to make room for all the stuff she'll have in the nursery when she comes home. We had begun making plans for Brynlee and had begun the search for a pediatrician, insurance, and all the other things you need to consider when planning for a child. It was a very blessed, yet productive holiday seasons.

Plans Change - Two days after Josh went back to school, we got a text saying that she was going into labor about 6 weeks early. They were going to try medication and bed rest to stop her contractions. We really didn't think too much of it... until we got another phone call saying they could not stop the contractions and that Brynlee would be born in a matter of hours. Our world changed forever on January 8th. We spent a couple hours making work & personal arrangements, packing for who knows how long, and finally hit the road that night. After traveling an hour or so from home, we decided to get gas and we received another text saying our baby girl had been born. Brynlee Rose made her grand debut at 10:18pm on 1/8/13. She was 6 lbs 1 oz, and was 18 inches long. Since she was a "preemie," she was placed in the special care nursery where she could be monitored.

Roller Coaster - We've been in St. Louis ever since Brynlee was born. We have had a lot of "highs" spending time with Brynlee and her birth mother. We wanted to make sure to give her plenty of love & encouragement as she begins to adjust to life post-pregnancy. We've also had many "lows" as we deal with this rocky road called "adoption". However, even though these have been trying times, God has proven time and time again that He is faithful and He provides our every need. Many family members and friends have done so much for us, and we feel so unworthy of it all. Going forward, here are our prayer needs:

1. Pray for Cindy - Josh is going back to work on Monday, which will leave Cindy in St. Louis by herself. We hate that she has to be up here alone; however, we know it's best so Josh can have some time with her and Brynlee when they do get to come home. Pray for confidence and God's peace in her heart as she deals with different aspects.

2. Attorney Meeting - Cindy will be meeting with an adoption attorney on Tuesday at 2pm. A few of the first words out of his mouth were, "Bring a check for $2000". Our jaws dropped! We knew we would have to pay legal expenses, but at the same time, we were not banking (pardon the pun!) on the fact that Brynlee would decide to come early. Pray that God will open up doors to ways we can raise the money quickly.

3. Birth father - Please be praying for Brynlee's birth father. He has not responded to any communication from the birth mother or from our agency. We would like for him to be a part of the adoption plan; however, he is not showing any sign of being involved. There are also some legal "things" we need him to take care of. Pray that he will feel led to respond and that we can find ways we can minister to & encourage him.

4. Fundraisers - While Josh is back at home, he is going to be working on getting the last of our fundraising efforts going. He is also going to be working on getting some Pampered Chef catalog shows going so we can help pay for our adoption expenses. Pray that he can be productive and get the ball rolling, in addition to getting caught up at school.

We cannot say "thank you" enough to everyone who has shown us their love & support throughout this adoption journey. We serve an amazing God who has had His hand in every little detail, and we hold on to that hope that He will see us through the rest of what is to come. Again, we cannot say thank you enough, and we pray God's blessings on each of you 1,000-fold!

We love you all!

Josh & Cindy

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's a... GIRL!!!

Wow, how quickly our life has changed in the short time since our last post! Let's bring you up to speed on the latest and greatest in the Bennett household. First, our home study was completed and approved by Bethany Christian Services. We were so excited because this was the stage in the game where we were placed on the waiting list. Our profile book was complete and ready to be seen by different birth families. Little did we know our lives would forever change on Monday, November 19th. Cindy and I had several missed calls on our phones, and voicemail messages to call the agency at our earliest convenience. We had just been put on the waiting list, so we assumed they were making sure that we had received the latest email about a potential birth mother.  Cindy was finally able to call our adoption specialist back and got the news that a birth mother had chosen us to adopt her baby girl! Words cannot describe what we felt, but you can imagine... Cindy was bawling (tears of joy!) and I was speechless and wanted to run the halls of my school! The news we had been waiting to hear for so long had finally came at the most unexpected time! We were prepared to wait weeks, months even! However, God had other plans. We were chosen 6 days after the final approval of our home study.  The shortest time that the agency has ever had between approval and placement is 5 weeks, and it usually takes months and sometimes even years!  Even the agency is shocked about how quickly this happened!  They said that the birth mother had looked through all of the profile books and was instantly drawn to ours... she said we reminded her of some of her best friends. :-)  Our adoption specialist was only able to hand out 1 of the 7 profile books we had printed and sent to her, so the others are sitting in a box on her desk!  God is so amazing!!!

Here's what we know... The birth mother's due date is February 18th. The baby will be biracial and we couldn't be more thrilled! We've been thinking about names, and have a first name that we really like a lot, and a few options for middle names.  We really want to include the birth mother in the naming process, so we will have her help us decide on the middle name, and then officially announce the name to our family and friends. We are traveling to Bethany Christian Services in St. Louis on Friday (12/7) to meet her and her family to begin building what we hope will be a long-lasting relationship with them. She'd like an open adoption, and we are completely on board with that. We are very excited about meeting her... but also EXTREMELY nervous at the same time!  Please be praying for her as she grows Baby Bennett in her belly.  We can't imagine how difficult of a decision this must have been and we know she has more tough times ahead.  Also please pray for her and her family as we have been told that the agency doesn't seem to think that they are believers.  We hope and pray that we can be a witness and testimony to them through our life style and that God can use us to plant seeds in their life and help them come to know Christ someday.

We really, really want the meeting to go well on Friday, and could use your help!  Most importantly, please pray super hard for us.  We will be leaving  by no later than 6:00 a.m. and driving to St. Louis, then meeting with the birth mother and her family at 10:00.  We will have to drive back right after the meeting to get Josh back in time for his play that he is in.  Prayers for travel mercies are greatly appreciated!  Also, we are compiling a list of questions to ask the birth mother that we would like to know or that we feel would be important for our child to know later in life. What questions do you think would be good to ask?  We are also compiling a gift basket for her filled with items to comfort her during the last couple months of her pregnancy.  What items were of comfort to you during your pregnancy?  Thanks in advance for your input!

We are still in shock and can't believe that our baby girl will be here in about 2 months!!!  We have SOOO much to do in regards to preparing the nursery and also coming up with the rest of the funds for the adoption.  The next payment is over $10,000 and we have no clue where this is going to come from!  Praise the Lord that He is in control and already knows how it will all work out!  We are applying for grants, praying for the adoption tax credit to be passed again (it is set to expire at the end of this month), planning a couple of last minute fundraisers, and looking in to loan options just in case.  Please pray that the financial side of this will all fall in to place.  We know that God has been in this process every step of the way, and we trust and believe that He would not lead us to this point and allow us to fail due to finances.  He is in control!

Thank you all for walking this journey with us!  Your love, prayers, encouragement, and support have been truly amazing!  We feel so blessed and loved and truly feel undeserving!  We can't wait to introduce you all to Baby Bennett!!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Good news & prayer requests...

It hasn't been very long since we last updated the blog, but my oh my how much has happened since then!  Let's start with the good news...

It's official!  Our home study was officially APPROVED yesterday!  We are so excited!  This means that once we sign a few (okay 5 sets!) of our home study report and mail those in with yet another check, then we will finally be on the waiting list!  Hooray!!!  We can't believe that we're finally to this point!  Praise the Lord!

The last few weeks have been very emotionally charged, to say the least.  First of all, as we reported before, we had our home study visits, which were very stressful.  Then we had to create a profile book to show to expectant parents in hopes of being "picked".  Cindy and our dear friend, Lisa, spent many hours and several VERY late nights creating digital scrapbook pages with tons of photos and stories to share all about our life, upbringing, hobbies, traditions, family, friends, hopes, dreams, and much, much more.  Once the pages were finalized, we created a book through Shutterfly and had to order 8 copies (1 for us and 7 for the agency)... this was not cheap!

On top of everything else, we were also approached about possibly adopting a baby that was due at the end of November.  We were made aware of this situation through family members of the baby, not through our agency.  Our agency was aware of the situation and was working with us to quickly approve our home study so if everything worked out, they could help us expedite and finalize the process.  To be honest, we really kind of had our hopes up about this situation, even though we tried so hard not to do so!  Last Tuesday we were told that it looked like the baby was no longer going to be placed for adoption.  We had been praying so much about this situation that we felt that God must be giving us His answer by closing those doors.  So we were sad, but also trusting that God had a better plan for us and, more importantly, for the baby.  Then out of nowhere, on Thursday, Cindy received a phone call at work stating that the baby had been born the night before (a few weeks early, but healthy), and that the family wanted us to be the parents!  Needless to say, we were all kinds of surprised, excited, scared, freaking out... you name it, we felt it!  Then before we knew it, the situation was over, again.  Since the mom didn't make an adoption plan prior to the baby being born, the child was taken in to state custody, along with it's siblings, and we will not be able to adopt this child.

Although it didn't work out, the above situation helped us realize that we need to start getting prepared, because once on the list, we are essentially "paper pregnant" and could get called about a baby at any time!  So, this weekend, we finally allowed ourselves to start doing the fun stuff... like starting a baby name spreadsheet!  Yes, we said a spreadsheet... Cindy is a spreadsheet queen, and proud of it!  Plus we worked on clearing out more of the office in preparation to change it in to a nursery!  Yay!  We are also going to create a "basic" registry (nothing gender-specific at this time) so if we get another call like that, then we will have something for friends and family to help us shop from!  Our hope is that we will know our expectant parents ahead of time and have time to plan before their due date, but that isn't always the case, so we need to start preparing now!  We had so much fun trying to pick out baby names!  Cindy even shed some tears of happiness! :-)

On to the prayer requests.  We hate to say it, but $ is our biggest concern right now.  There have been a couple of unexpected expenses lately in relation to the adoption that we simply don't have the $ for yet.  We know that God WILL provide... He always has, and always will... but in the here and now, it is pretty scary!  Thankfully, now that our home study is approved, we can finally apply for grants to help fund the rest of the adoption.  Unfortunately there are fees due ASAP that can't wait for the grants to come through (if we are even approved for any).  Please join us in praying that God will provide the finances we need to finalize the adoption and to get us caught back up from these unexpected expenses.  Also, more importantly, please continue to be praying for Baby Bennett and their expectant parents, wherever they may be!  Pray for health, safety, ease of emotional and physical pain, and wisdom and comfort as they make an adoption plan.  We were just approved yesterday, and have already been contacted about some expectant parents that we have decided to have our profile book shown to!  Please pray for the baby and it's family that we mentioned above.  We can't imagine the pain and heartache they are going through right now.  Finally, please pray for strength, endurance, faith, wisdom, guidance, patience, and so much more for us as we continue on this journey (and emotional roller coaster!) that we feel God has led us to.  We are so thankful for, and blessed by, your continued love, encouragement, and prayers!  You guys are amazing!

Sorry this was such a long post... there has just been SO much going on in a very short period of time!  We'll leave you with pics from our profile book and scriptures and quotes that have been encouraging to us the last couple of days as we struggled with faith for the $ to come through.  Thanks again!  We love you all! :-)

" Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9

"Behond, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?"  Jeremiah 32:27

"If God put you to it, He'll bring you through it!" - quote from my friend and co-worker, Sue Quinn

Friday, November 2, 2012

Checking In & Catching Up

Hey, folks!

We know we've been MIA lately, but we're back and ready to update you on some of the progress we've made in our adoption journey.

We're happy to say we're almost done with the home study process. We've had our three interviews and had a great time working with our case worker, Andi. She was super sweet and so great to work with. As we are writing this update, Andi is working on finalizing the home study documents so they can be approved by us and the agency. Once the home study document has been approved, then we will be on the waiting list with other potential adoptive parents! So exciting!

This new step in the adoption journey will bring some challenges along for the ride. The biggest hurdle will be coming up with the funds to some of the fees we've incurred during the home study, plus the other fees to come. We have a few fundraising ideas in mind, and we're going to practice some hardcore budgeting strategies. Please pray with us as we continue to rely on God and His provision. We are holding on to His promise that He will supply all of our needs.

Also continue to pray for our future child and his/her family. We don't know when we will meet and the waiting process can be the hardest. We will be tackling all sorts of constructive, fun projects in preparation for our future son or daughter. :)

We'll close this post with another thank you to all of you. Thank you for praying for us, for loving on us, and for encouraging us every step of the way. We couldn't do this without you all. :)

We'll keep you updated as it happens!

Josh & Cindy <><