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 <><

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's Been a Long Time Comin'

(These are the pics of the Raffle Drawing party that we promised in our last post)

It has taken us a long time (ok, a month or so) to get another update posted, so here you go! Much has happened since we last blogged about our adoption journey, so we'll bring you up to speed as best as we can.  We apologize for the delay in posting... at times it felt like we were drowning while trying to complete all of the paperwork, assigned reading and book reports, and everything else the agency requires for this phase was done properly.

1. Good news!  Our adoption paperwork is FINALLY complete and we are getting ready for our first home study appointment! We're hoping we can get all three appointments done this month, so we can be on the waiting list some time in November at the latest. With that in mind, our house is a flurry of activity. We're cleaning, baby-proofing, and tackling some minor home improvement projects so we can make a good impression on our case worker. Talk about motivation! :)

Cindy actually went to WalMart the other day and got teary-eyed as she wandered through the baby aisles, thinking about what we might want to buy for our son or daughter, and realizing that she was shopping in the baby aisles for OUR baby this time!  Even if it was just for outlet covers and cabinet latches, it was finally for us this time!  It's becoming more and more real every day. Months and months of preparation are finally leading us up to our big moment - the time we are matched with Baby B!

2. Our friend, Lori, took some pretty amazing pre-adoption photos of us. We are so happy with how they turned out and cannot wait to share the finished product with you once we get them. A few have been uploaded to Facebook, so we'll link those here soon enough.  Thank you, Lori!!!

3. The next step once the home study is complete is to create our profile books and online profile for the adoption agency. These will be passed around to the expectant parents so they can decide who they want more information on and to possibly meet in person. We have already completed our short profile and web profile, and are working on our long profile book now.  This part will be a little fun, too! Cindy has a great digital scrapbooking computer program that will make this step fun and easy to complete. :)

Well, it's late so we're going to close out for now. We promise to update more regularly and to keep you posted on our latest adoption shenanigans! Please keep us in your prayers this week as we get ready to meet with our case worker on Sunday, October 7th.  We are very nervous!  Thanks and God Bless!!

Josh & Cindy <><

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Sorry it's been so long since we've last posted an update. Things have been crazy-go-nuts around the Bennett household. So let's bring you up to speed...

The gift card raffle was a huge success! We were able to raise over $2,200 between the Fulton and Springfield area raffles. We are in the process of contacting raffle winners, so some of you will be hearing from us soon (or may have already!). With the raffle and other fundraising efforts, we've already met our next monetary benchmark. God continues to be faithful, and God is good!! Thank you to everyone who donated prizes and bought tickets. You've blown us away by your support!

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to travel to St. Louis for an adoption training event with Bethany Christian Services. Before going off to training, we got to spend the night with our friends Cody & Pam, and Scott & Cammie. It was great to hang out and take it easy for a night. :)  We also had a great time learning more about the adoption process and meet other families who identified with our struggles. It was a very eye-opening experience to hear the stories of adoptive families as well as the birth mothers who created adoption plans for their children. We walked away from the training encouraged and validated that this is the path God wants us to take. We finished the day with a dinner at Olive Garden with our friends, Tiffany and Ben Melton, and talked to them about the adoption of their daughter, Sienna (Ce-Ce). We had a great time and left even more encouraged!

This weekend was devoted to getting the rest of our beasts vaccinated and believe us, Freaky Deke made it an adventure to go to the vet. Patches was less than thrilled, but we digress. We also had to get CPR & first aid certified, and we were blessed by our friend Sharon, who came out to our house and trained us. She is also an adoptive parent and we continued to be amazed at how God puts people in our lives to continually bless us.

Well, this mini-update has become a little longer than anticipated. We will post another update soon with pictures and other news about our adoption.

God bless,

Cindy & Josh

Monday, July 9, 2012

Singin', Auctionin', and Rafflin'

This last weekend Cindy, some of our friends, (The Anglens and Amber Twigger) and I made a trip up to Fulton, Missouri for a Gospel Sing/Pie Auction/Raffle fundraiser organized by Cindy's parents, childhood friends, and church family. Even though attendance was small, God showed us how he can work in a mighty way, even in a small group of people! God really ministered to Cindy and I as the music groups sang about healing, peace in the midst of uncertainty, and allowing the joy of the Lord to be our strength. Cindy and I even sang a song that talked about when God has plans that are different from your own. Also, it was so special to have people who don't know us very well sing for us, and especially touching to see our Springfield friends sing for us and with us.  Brother Larry, the pastor at Cindy's home church, also led a prayer for us that meant so much to us both!

We also auctioned off some of the best-looking pies we've ever seen! There was everything from "Ooeey Gooeey German Chocolate Pie" to the all-American staple apple pie.  Yum! We even had an official auctioneer help us get rid of all the pie (there was easily more pie than people there! lol).  We have never been part of a pie auction before, but had a blast watching and listening to the auctioneer!  Who knew pies could be so much fun to auction off, and bring in such awesome donations?!

Finally, we sold raffle tickets and drew for some of the local prizes that had been collected. There were several gift certificates to local restaurants, bowling alleys, and movie stores. We still have bigger prizes to give away and that will happen at the end of the month. We're continuing to sell raffle tickets, so if you're reading this and would like buy a raffle ticket ($1 each or 6 for $5), send an e-mail to or and we can get you set up!  Prizes range from free meals, to Pampered Chef & Scentsy Products, all the way to a $100 Walmart gift card and a $150 gas card!  Plus many, many more fun gift cards and prizes in between!

By the end of the event and by the grace/provision of God, we raised a little over $2,100 for the adoption fund. Praise the Lord!!! God continues to amaze us by His grace and undertaking for our needs. It just solidifies that we are on the right path and we will be Mommy and Daddy to a little one very soon!

We can't wait to update you more as we go through the home study process and as we complete our adoption training in August. In the meantime, we are continuing the raffle ticket sale and we are pre-ordering Baby Bennett t-shirts many have been asking for. We are selling them for $15 each. You can e-mail, Facebook, call, or text us if you'd like a shirt.

We just want to thank all of our Fulton friends and family: Cindy's parents, the Shawley's, the Feltner's, the Daro's and all of their friends & family, our church family from Richland Baptist, the Kerr's and the rest of the First Baptist Church family who allowed us to hold the event there, and several other people who I am sure we are forgetting. We wouldn't be able to bring home Baby Bennett without all of your hard work!

Here are some pictures of the event:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Two Days Later & T-Shirts!

In our last post, we were so excited to announce that we had finished our application. Well, two days later we received our formal approval to adopt from Bethany Christian Services! Our heads are still spinning at the news! We thought for sure there would be some kind of hiccup or something we forgot to fill out, so to hear this good news so quickly is just more affirmation that we're on the right path and this is something God really wants us to do. The next step is to sign some paper work and pay the application & home study fees. Another praise - we have enough to pay for all of this at once! After Bethany receives our payment, then we get to attend a full day training in St. Louis on August 11th. There is plenty more to do, but we'll blog about that later.

On to t-shirts!! Many of you asked how you could order a t-shirt with the logo Cindy made on it. Well, look no further! <drum roll please>

Ta-da!!! We're really pleased with how the shirts turned out! If you're interested in ordering a shirt, we are taking pre-orders. Each shirt is $15, so let us know by calling, texting, e-mailing, or Facebooking us if you would like a Baby Bennett t-shirt.

Have a wonderful night!!

Josh & Cindy

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy Birthday to Us - It's Finished!

We're very excited to share this news with you -- our formal application is complete and was submitted to Bethany just in time for our birthday! It made celebrating today so much better! The next step is to get approval from Bethany Christian Services to adopt, then we can move forward with our home study.

Speaking of which, after depositing our first vase-full of change we've been collecting plus a few other birthday "donations" we received, we have enough money to pay IN FULL our first adoption fee due upon completion of the home study! Praise God!

We also have another fundraising event coming up very soon. Our friends and family in the Fulton area are organizing a gospel sing, pie auction, and gift card raffle to help us out with adoption expenses. The Fulton Sun (a local newspaper) interviewed Cindy and Rick (her dad) and ran a feature story in Sunday's edition. You can read part of the article online by clicking this link.

If you'd like to participate in the raffle, tickets are available for anyone in the U.S. and will be sold throughout the month of July. We'll be drawing for prizes toward the end of the month or the beginning of August. So far, we have gift cards for WalMart, Barnes & Noble, Applebees, Bass Pro, and many others! Let us know if you're interested in purchasing or selling tickets.  You can purchase 1 ticket for $1 or you can buy 6 for $5. There will be many winners!

Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement, and support so far. We're blessed beyond measure! Please pray as we wait on the application approval. We'll keep you posted on what we find out!

God Bless,

Josh & Cindy

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Quick Update

It's been a while since we've posted an update, so we thought we'd bring you all up to speed on a couple things.

We hope Baby B loves pizza! :)
Our Pampered Chef fundraiser was a huge success! We threw a pizza party for Baby Bennett on Saturday, May 19th. We had a grilled BBQ chicken pizza, a veggie pizza, and a fruit pizza. It was delicious and we had a great time hanging out with great people! Thanks to everyone who placed orders or passed catalogs around for us. We couldn't have done it without you! With this fundraiser we were able to put about $500 more in our adoption fund. We're getting closer and closer to being able to pay for our home study! God is good!

We do still have our coffee and Adoption Bug t-shirt fundraisers going, so if you are interested in those, you can click the pictures over on the right side of the blog. :) We are also in the process of making t-shirts with the adoption logo Cindy made, so be looking for more information on that soon! We are also looking for people who might be interested in donating gift cards for a raffle fundraiser. We will be selling tickets soon, but we need to get the prizes squared away first. If you'd be willing to help, please email Cindy or me (Josh) on Facebook or give us a call.

We are also closer to finishing our official adoption application. We have a couple more questions to go! Once that is submitted and approved, we get to move forward with our home study. Please continue to pray for us as we raise the funds necessary to pay for fees and such, pray that God will give us the perseverance and peace that passes all understanding as we continue the trek through the adoption process. 

We love you all! Have a great night!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Another Fundraiser & a Gift!

God has been so good to us!  We are excited to report that the yard/bake sale was a tremendous success, and we were blessed beyond what we could have ever imagined! Our Pampered Chef fundraiser is also getting ready to come to a close, and we're very excited to tell you about a couple new fundraising events our friends and family up in Fulton are doing for us!

We are excited about a raffle event our friends and family are organizing for us to help with the fundraising efforts! Raffle tickets will cost $1 each or you can buy 6 for $5. Prizes will include gift certificates/cards or other great products. The cool thing about this fundraiser is that anyone can participate regardless where you're from! We'll be doing numerous drawings for several prizes so there are plenty of chances to win!  We'll share more details about this event as soon as the "nitty gritty" details get worked out. Additionally, a gospel sing is being coordinated and when more of those details are known we will share them here.

What we are needing at this point are people to donate gift cards (preferred) or product for the raffle. If you sell Pampered Chef, Scentsy, 31, or anything else like that this would be a great opportunity for you to get your business noticed! We will also be looking for people to donate gift cards from places like Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, restaurants, etc. If you'd like donate you can contact Glenda Smith (Cindy's mom), Joy Shawley, or one of us by Friday, June 8th.
Meet Edward! (or will it be Emma?)

On a random note... Baby Bennett got his/her first gift! Our friend, Kirsten, gave us this precious gift before she moved deep in the heart of Texas. Isn't it cute?! :)

Again, words cannot express the gratitude in our hearts right now. We have been abundantly blessed by your love and support as we continue this adoption journey. We can't wait to tell you more as it happens!


Josh & Cindy

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fundraiser Fun

This last Friday and Saturday, we held a garage/bake sale to kick off our fundraising efforts for Baby Bennett. Our amazing friends and family donated LOADS (and we literally mean LOADS) of stuff for us to sell. We kid you not, we could not fit everything in our garage! We had to set stuff out in our drive way, then hope & pray no one would walk off with it. Thankfully, there were no problems in that area. Our totally awesome friends and family also donated their time in helping us set up, price items, make signs, bake, and helped us out in different ways on both days of the garage sale. There are too many to name, but we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You know who you are! With everyone's combined efforts, we were able to raise just shy of $1300 in two days. Praise God!! :)

Another cool thing about this garage sale was the number of people who came to the house and told us they were adopted or have been through adoption themselves. They certainly blessed and encouraged us with their stories. Thank you God for sending them our way!

Here are a few pics of some of the craziness that ensued during our garage sale:

We have a few other fundraisers in the works as well. We are selling coffee through Just Love Coffee and Adoption Bug T-shirts. You can click on our buttons over on the right hand side of this blog to visit our online stores. We will be given a percentage of the proceeds for our adoption. Some of you have asked about a t-shirt with the logo Cindy created - we are looking into this option and will let you know soon.

We are also using our Pampered Chef business to help us raise funds for the adoption. We have a Pampered Chef fundraiser going on for the month of May. Anyone can order (even if you are out of state) and have it shipped directly to you by clicking this link or by doing the following:

1. Go to
2. Click Shop Online.
3. Type in "Baby Bennett" for the host name in Option #1.
4. You're ready to shop! Make sure the page says something to the effect of "Bethany Christian Services, Baby Bennett" somewhere on the page.

We'll be submitting these orders some time by the end of the month. Please only give if you feel led to give. We do not want to take anything for granted, and we just sincerely appreciate your love and prayers as we go through this adoption process.

That's all for tonight! We'll post more updates here as they happen!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Our First Post

We can't wait for Baby Bennett!!
How ironic that our first post on this little ole adoption blog happens to be on Mother's Day! Over the last few years, my wife and I have dreaded these types of "holidays" because it was just another reminder that we are infertile and childless, while the rest of the world basked in the joy of parenthood. We often questioned God why this was happening to us and why we had to endure the heartache of disappointment after disappointment.  This year is different, however. This year we celebrate Mother's Day anticipating the arrival of our future son or daughter because we've completely embraced God's call to be adoptive parents.  It's going to be a long, hard journey, but we know it's going to be worth it all when we bring home Baby Bennett. We hope and pray you will walk with us as we go through our adoption journey. We will do our best to post pictures and updates on a regular basis.

Much love & blessings,

Cindy & Josh