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