Lilypie - Memorial

Josh

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

It seems like it's not possible that 2008 starts tomorrow. It will take me at least until March to get used to writing 08 instead of 07. I have declared 2008 the YEAR OF HOPE. 2007 was an interesting year - not anything like I would have expected. I honestly thought back at this time last year that surely we would have our baby by now. We were living quite happily in our old schoolhouse and had our nursery all decorated. Chris found a great new job close to home that he started in January 2007. I finished up my first year in the DeForest schools and finally, didn't have to look for a job. Chris had surgery on his nose just before my 30th birthday. I was taking classes at Edgewood College to finish my ESL certification. Our approval went through with the adoption agency and we were officially on the list. We attended several adoption classes and were hoping things would happen soon for us.

As you know, in August - things went a bit nuts....some by our own choice and some not. We got this crazy idea in our heads to look for a new home and found one with 3weeks of serious looking. At the same time, we got the call about Daniel. We were preparing for a move, driving back and forth to Milwaukee, and beginning preparations for some time off at work. By Thanksgiving, as you know, we had moved, and Daniel had gone home as well.

As I sat around the Christmas table with my family this year, we were rejoicing that all 8 of our family could be there. My grandparents are getting older, and we treasure every year we have with them. I HOPE for 9 around the table next year. Chris hopes for 10, but we won't go there!

In 2008, I expect great things. We have jobs that we enjoy and are secure. We have a wonderful new home to make our own. I'm finished with my classes through Edgewood, and finished with a 4.0. We're still on the list at the agency. Things could happen quickly, as they did before, or unfold more slowly over time. I'll take whatever comes, hopefully with joy in my heart, though maybe not always a smile on my face. I have wonderful friends, an incredible church family, and the best family and family-in-law one could ask for. Blessings abound already, but even if I never receive any more, the joy of knowing Jesus is enough.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Miracle of Christmas

I was thinking about the Christmas story this last week. It's about a birthday, right? Jesus's birthday. But He's God, so he didn't really need a birthday. So why on earth would we celebrate a birthday, and why did He have one in the first place?

Well, as one of my favorite Christmas songs says "WE are the reason" - His birth was about more than shepherds and wisemen, Mary, Joseph, and the angels. He came so that 33 years later He could die. But why? I understand celebrating a birthday, but celebrating a death? Certainly we honor a person's memory when they die - but celebrating death? That seems wrong....

But try this - His death was about a birthday.

Do you remember that midnight conversation Jesus had with a man named Nicodemus? It's the famous verse we all know "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life." Jesus explained to Nicodemus what being "born again" meant - essentially to have a second birthday - being born as a child of God...

Or to put it into terms that are dear to me - to be adopted into God's family. You see God's been in the business of adoption all along. Just as a baby or child comes to their true, forever family to be loved, cared for, and protected, when we choose to be born again, we come home to our forever Father. We leave behind our sinful, incomplete, imperfect selves, and become new - like Him - we take on the characteristics of our Father. Adopted children may not look like their families, but they can certainly take on personalities and character traits. It's the same with us when we are adopted into the family of God.

So as we celebrate His birth this Christmas, it means more than that to me. I celebrate His birth because it made a way for me to be adopted into His family and into my forever home in Heaven. I celebrate His birth because it led to His death. I celebrate His birth because He gave His all for me.

God knows how it feels to give a child up - and He knows how it feels to welcome new children into His family. He knows how it feels to wait for something. He knows how it feels to grieve. He knows the overwhelming joy of finally seeing that child face to face.

I wish you blessings this Christmas - and the miracle of finding a reason to celebrate. Whether Christmas is an easy time for you or not, rest assured that God knows and sees your situation, and He understands and cares. The joy of His Son's sacrifice is that we can know Him and offer our cares to Him to carry on His shoulders.

Merry Christmas and a most Blessed New Year!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Daniel (8/24/07 - 11/20/07)

Heard from our social worker today. Daniel was taken off of life support on Nov. 20th and passed away a few hours later. His birthmom was able to be with him, as well as members of her family.

We will always remember this precious little boy who gave us our first taste of parenthood. I hope to share his story with our children someday, as a beautiful reminder of the faithfulness of God. And, someday, I'll be in heaven, and that young man will walk up to me and hug me and thank me for being his mama for a few weeks - it doesn't get any better than that.

Once again, thanks for all of your prayers and support - they sustain and encourage us.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope you were surrounded by loving family and friends, and that you were able to praise God for all His blessings.

Here are some that I'm thankful for...
...for Chris. He has been so faithful and true throughout our marriage. I've never had reason to doubt or distrust him.
...for my family. My parents, brother, and extended family are my support and lifeline. They pray daily for us, and I know they will be richly rewarded for their investment in our lives.
...great in-laws. Seriously, I couldn't ask for a better family. I appreciate their humor, commitment, and generosity.
...our new home. God has so richly blessed us with this beautiful house we now call home.
...my friends. Those of you who are my friends, know that I don't make friends easily or quickly, and that I take friendship very seriously. Your loyalty and steadfastness have made all the difference.
...my dog. She provides so much joy to us!
...my church family. They truly are like family to us. I know God has great plans for us as a body, and He is faithful!
...health. In spite of minor aches and pains, I thank God for his healing touch on both of us, and His protection.
...a good job. In fact, a job I love, which is so much more than I could ask for.
...a faithful God. Time and time again, He's proven Himself. When I've doubted, He's come through every time - not always how I think He should, but always perfectly.

If you've been following this blog, you know that Thanksgiving was when we were hoping to bring Daniel home with us. You also know that we found ourselves again, this Thanksgiving, without a child to love and care for. I'm believing that next Thanksgiving will be the first for us as parents, but EVEN if it's not - I KNOW that my God is faithful and has a plan. He had a plan throughout our time with Daniel - the experience changed me. If that was God's whole purpose - to make me a more compassionate person, a person who treasures her relationships more, and listens more carefully for God's voice, then I count myself fortunate to have gone through it.

Daniel was taken off life support on Wednesday evening. We don't know how long it will take for him to pass into the arms of Father God, but we believe that God will bring him home soon. One last thing I'm thankful for - the chance to be Daniel's mama for a few weeks. Oh - and the comfort of knowing there is a baby out there that is meant to be in our family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A crazy month

October was a completely crazy month for us. SO much has happened in less than 3 weeks, it's hard to fathom it all. Anyway, for those who are wondering, we are moved in and unpacked in our new house. It was a major undertaking and was done with the help of some wonderful family and friends, who pitched in and willingly helped with painting, packing, loading, unloading, cooking, and unpacking. We couldn't have done it without them.

We meet with our social worker tomorrow so that she can update our home study for the new house. I hope to get some information on how baby Daniel is doing, but I don't know how much she'll be able to tell us. He will always be special to me. I know God has a wonderful family all picked out for him - and we continue to pray health and rest for him as he is in the hospital. In the meantime, we are back on the list, and are trusting in God's perfect timing to bring a child to our family.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Goodbye

When I got in my car last night after visiting Daniel, the song on the radio was "Be Still and Know that He is God". Amazing...just the song that would speak to my heart. I held Daniel for almost an hour while I spoke with a doctor and a genetic counselor about his diagnosed condition. There are lots of unknowns, but, after talking with Chris, we made the heartbreaking decision that we won't be able to parent Daniel and provide him with the care he needs.

I've fallen in love with this boy already, and to let him go is so hard. I leave him in the arms of Almighty God, who loves him more than I, and has a family all picked out for him that can meet his needs. In the meantime, I'm thankful for these 2 weeks of knowing Daniel, praying for Daniel, holding and loving on him, and even changing those diapers. No one else could - and I had the privilege of doing that for him.

I praise the Lord that he weighs 4 lbs 9 oz now - up 2 pounds from birth by his 2 month birthday. I praise God that the neurologists don't think he had a seizure after all. I thank God that he doesn't have the brain condition they originally thought. God has come through in remarkable ways for this little guy - and I know his life will be a testimony to the faithfulness of God.

Here's the other song in my head -

"I'll praise You in this storm,
And I will lift my hands
that You are who You are
no matter where I am.

Every tear I cry,
You hold in Your hands,
You've never left my side
And though my heart is torn,
I will praise You in the storm."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

How small is he?


Some people have been asking how small Daniel really is...you can see in the pictures that he's sort of a "mini-baby", but it's hard to get the idea of how small he really is. He weighs 4 pounds, 5 ounces now, and hopefully this picture will provide some perspective. Those are our wedding rings...
Anyway, it turns out sometime in the last 4 days, since we were there Wednesday, Daniel acquired a staph infection that resulted in some cellulitis on his leg. He's been on antibiotics since Thursday, and the nurses tell me that the cellulitis is looking better every day. He also had an ear infection which gave him a perforated right eardrum. That should heal. There were a few temperature spikes during the course of the infection, and earlier this afternoon he had what appeared to be minor seizure activity. They loaded him up with phenobarbitol, and he has been sleeping peacefully all evening.
The time for prayer is certainly not over. I was reminded of a great Scripture today..."Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling..." I could easily fall into doubt and despair. I could easily fall into the "why me's". I could even fall into being angry at God. But what about the first part of that verse? "NOW TO HIM WHO IS ABLE!!!!" God is able. More than able. He is great, He does miracles so great. I have to trust Him for a miracle for my son. Each little issue that comes is one more thing for his tiny little body to fight against. But God IS able. Please keep praying for Daniel - and for Chris and I. We want to bring Daniel home whole and healthy, sound in body, mind, and spirit. I believe that is possible. We've heard from so many, even people we don't know, who are lifting this little man up in prayer...we want you to know that it blesses us beyond measure.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

No weapon formed...

I spoke with the resident doctor today. They did an MRI and are evidently concerned because Daniel doesn't have as many brain folds as they think he should have. They've run more tests and once the results are back, will be gathering a team of specialists to evaluate his test results and what should be done about them. It could be that he simply needs more time. The doctor said after 2 months they should see more, but I argue that he's only 35 weeks old...brain folds come with maturity and experience....it could be simply needing more. It also could be a fairly serious developmental disability, in which he would never really progress past infancy mentally.

Chris and I are trying really hard to be positive. Daniel's beautiful, he weighs 4 pounds now, he's started digesting his food better, his ventilator settings were lowered. This neurological issue is a big hurdle, but not bigger than God. My biggest concern, that is making my heart break, is I don't know if we can handle a severe developmental disability. What if we have to say no - we can't take him....after we've fallen in love with him...it's so hard.

We are praying for a miracle. I'm fasting this weekend to pray for OUR SON! No weapon formed against him shall prosper....we are more than conquerors...God knows every cell in his body and can make them whole and complete and astound doctors and nurses beyond the limits of their training. Will you please pray with us? Will you pray for our son, please? Pray that he is whole and healthy - I don't care if he's brilliant or athletic or handsome - but I do hope for him that he is free from pain and sickness and able to love and be loved and understand the beauty of life and family.

I want to visit him on Sunday and be filled with joy over the wonder of my beautiful boy, not sadness over what might be. Chris and I need strength and wisdom.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New hospital, new pictures

This is Daniel's first eyes-open picture. He was awake when we arrived for a visit on Monday night. He was transferred to a different hospital for a closer look at his digestion issues. We're praying these new doctors will be able to solve the problem.






This is our first family picture! Other than the big bird costumes (he was in isolation after his transfer) we think this looks like a pretty great family...







And, finally, mama's first cuddle with her boy. The nurses rigged him up so that I could hold him. We rocked and sang...I must have been boring, because I put him right to sleep...no wait, sleeping baby is a good thing!!









Thanks for continuing to pray - we'll keep you updated!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Big Big God


We visited baby Daniel again tonight, and were sad to hear he had to be put back on the ventilator after some breathing problems this morning. We're asking for lots of prayer to bring this little guy before our Heavenly Father for healing and good breathing.


We haven't gotten to hold him yet, but I did get to change what will be the first of many diapers tonight. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thank you!

Thank you so much for all of the prayers, good wishes, blessings, and congratulations! We're still recovering a bit from shock - but very humbled and excited to have the opportunity to parent Daniel. He's a precious little boy - who I think will be a very determined little one as he grows up. He's in the Milwaukee area, so we won't be able to see him every day, but will visit as often as possible. Check back for more pics...I'm sure we'll take some every time we're there.

Thanks again, dear friends and family. It means so much to have your support during this time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Introducing....


Daniel Christopher, our beautiful new son. Daniel was born August 24th, approximately 12 weeks early. He is in NICU, but doing well. We hope to bring him home in late November. He is currently 3 pounds 11 ounces, and 16 inches long.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Back On Again

The meeting's rescheduled for next Tuesday. The birthparents are in agreement now, and the birthmom would like to meet us. The baby is still experiencing some breathing problems, but is gaining weight. He is 5 weeks old.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Still hopeful

Our meeting was cancelled for tonight, hopefully to be rescheduled. Both birthparents have to be on board with the plan and there are some mixed feelings there. Chris & I are still hopeful that they'll be able to work out their plan and that we'll be a part of it.

Thanks for praying...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Momentous Occasion

In case anyone's checking - we're meeting with a birthmom on Monday night. Your prayers would be appreciated.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New house

Well, we've taken the big step and become prospective homeowners. Our offer was accepted last week, and we're wading through all the paperwork and procedures. If all goes well, we should close on October 19th. I can hardly believe how quickly things have gone, we really started looking the beginning of August.



Our new home is in Poynette, which is just a few minutes up the highway from DeForest, where we live now. We will still be in DeForest often, since I work here, and since our great church is here. Anyone who wants to join in our painting party, let us know!!





This is my beautiful new kitchen. I love the glass fronted cabinets. Not so crazy about the pink countertop, but I can live with it.










And our backyard. Not sure yet whether or not we'll keep the pond, with a hoped for little one running around, it may not be the best idea. Even so, isn't this a pretty backyard??















This is our front entrance. We hope to paint the trim and add a trellis with some climbing morning glories to the front. That should spruce things up a lot!!








And finally, the deck off the master bedroom. Yes that's right, we have a deck off of our bedroom...sweet, huh? I'm sure it will look much like this once we move in, as Chris' green thumb ensures plenty of plant life around our house. Eventually, this may become a screened in porch, but for now....we're content.





Stay tuned...God is working out some major stuff right now, and we'll update as we can.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Pictures


Just some pictures for your viewing pleasure - this was a picture taken at my parents house several Christmases ago (notice the reindeer antlers on Sadie's head). My dad found it on his computer, and we used it for the front page of our adoption profile.



This one is from our first Thanksgiving at our home in 2006. The Meixner/Sharpe clan came down to join us. My turkey turned out ok, although I left the bag of stuff inside. It still cooked ok! We loved having family here, but determined we need a bigger dining room and a bigger dining room table.









We joined some friends for a game night and they took this swell picture - it's nice when someone else takes the picture because we can both be in it!





This was from our 2nd or 3rd anniversary - I can't remember which. We decided to get really dressed up and go to a fancy restaurant - and quickly learned it wasn't worth it - too little food for too much money! I think we actually stopped for food on the way home. I guess we figured out when we want to go out for a nice dinner, Olive Garden is good enough for us!!


Don't know why I share these, other than there are some of you reading this who haven't seen us since our wedding - we haven't changed much, but it's nice to stay current. I have a few more gray hairs (nicely covered up in the pictures, of course!) and we're a few years older. But we're coming up on five years of marriage this December, and it makes me reflect on where we've been.

How have you spent your last five years? Have you made every moment count? Have you made wonderful memories? Have you reconciled with people? Or have you wasted time complaining and being bitter? Have you isolated yourself from those who love and care about you? Have you let the cares of life turn you in on yourself? The answer for me is all of the above, to some extent...hopefully more of the positive than the negative. We can only aim, we can't guarantee we'll hit the target every time. But at least aim! Don't let your problems become mountains ~ God is able to see you through. If you don't know Him, get to know Him before it's too late. You'll find He is all you need.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Talking about adoption

We had another class on Tuesday - this one was on child development and some of the stages children go through as they deal with adoption. We also discussed how to talk about their adoption with our kids, and with all of you.

Here is some positive adoption language vs. negative adoption language. We try to use the positive language when talking about adoption. I give you this list so that you can use positive language when speaking to others about adoption


Positive/Negative
Our child/Our adopted child
Birthparent/Real parent
Born to unmarried parents/Illegitimate
Terminate parental rights/Give up
Make an adoption plan/Give away
To parent/To keep
Parent/Adoptive parent
Search/Track down parents
Child placed for adoption/An unwanted child
Child with special needs/Handicapped child
Was adopted/Is adopted

Any questions, please ask - you only become more educated when you ask questions!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Financials

We applied for a grant through Shaohannah's Hope, and although I knew it was a long shot, we gathered all the paperwork and sent it back in May. I received word this week that we did not receive a grant from them. It's got to be a difficult decision, and I'm sure they receive hundreds of applications. I'm certain there are couples in greater financial need than us who are trying to adopt, and God knows where the money will come from.

I've jokingly said that I want my kids 4 years apart, because it will take that much time to raise the money to adopt again. Chris wants twins so it's "two for the price of one"! (He really wouldn' t mind twins, and I really do want them 4 years apart). While we joke about it, the reality is that domestic adoption is at least $14000, and international adoptions run about $20000. Granted, the IRS gives a nice tax credit, but not until after the fact. We were blessed by our families help in collecting the first major portion of fees, and are applying for a loan for the remainder. Not only are there agency fees, but attorney fees, court costs, and various miscellaneous things that will end up figuring into the total cost.

I'm so thankful for generous parents and grandparents. I'm thankful for steady jobs that give us a good income. I'm thankful for health insurance that covers almost everything. I'm thankful for lots of things. Most of all, I'm thankful that we can use our money in this way. What better thing to spend your money on...a child. One who needs a family, whose birthmom chose life.

Friday, July 20, 2007

All the questions they ask

Everyone's first question when they find out you're adopting is "From where?" I suppose that's pretty normal with all the international adoptions going on nowadays. I feel a little silly answering "from here", as though it's less noble somehow to be adopting domestically. Not that reactions are any different, people are always very excited for us....but I wonder if international adoptions are seen as heroic. None of the adoptive parents I've met want to be heroic, we just want to be parents. It's not about saving children from a desperate situation as much as it is bringing a child into our family to love and care for.

Frequently, some people (the really nosy ones) will inquire about why we don't have "our own" children. If I was able to simply not answer that question, I would, but I can't bring myself to walk away. It's a horrible, intrusive question to ask....even if I didn't take offense at the "own" children part. First of all, any children we have will be our own no matter how we acquire them. Secondly, our reasons for adopting are generally private. It's not something we advertise to the world, nor should we have to. The greatest answer to this question that I've seen is "why do you ask?" I hope to use that next time...and wait for the silence while the asker tries to figure out what to say.

Another question (from those who already know and love us) is "how's the wait going? Have you heard anything?" I love this question, but honestly, if we hear anything, you'll know...I'll be shouting from the rooftops!! As far as the wait, it's hard. It's just hard. Most of the time, I manage to go about life fairly normally and not think about it....but then I remember, my phone could ring right now with a call from the social worker....on the other hand, I could be two Christmases from now...still waiting. It's not like being pregnant, although I am an expectant momma....being pregnant gives you an end point...this does not...

God's plan is sovereign, His ways are just, His plans are for good, and His timing is perfect. I trust Him, now more than ever.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Family

We went to a class the other night about discipline. Not that disciplining an adopted child is any different than disciplining a biological child, but we also have to remember the wise saying from an adult adoptee: "Don't keep reminding me that I'm adopted, but never forget that I'm adopted either". Our child's adoption will be a fact of life, and a fact that may make an impact on different situations. It's referred to as "wearing our adoption glasses". When our children act out, it's good to evaluate whether or not they are experiencing some emotions about their adoption that are influencing their behavior.


We also took a quiz on our parenting style, and were relieved to find out that we seem fairly close in our approach to different situations. It will still be a day by day discovery process, but at least we have a common starting point.


On another note, we spent the weekend with the Fisher clan up at the cottage. It was the first time in a long time that all the cousins were together - and although this generation remains "the kids", we realized that now we outnumber the "adults" (even though we're now adults ourselves). The generations move on, I guess...before we know it, there will be a crop of actual "kids" to replace us... here's a picture of the whole group together...



Thursday, June 7, 2007

Nursery Pictures




Here's Chris working on the valance for us....he had to leave for work, but he got it started and gave us some tips on how to attach it to the wall. Dad (Mike) made the valance, and mom (Sue) covered it with the cute material in the table skirt. Chris also got involved with the painting when his mom came down to help, and he's been a big help keeping the room tidy and clean and ready at a moment's notice for baby!


Chris also helped hang some small shelves to put cute stuffed animals on. If you look behind him, above the window, you can see that great valance he was working on. We're quite proud of how we hung that, but we don't let any of the guys look up behind it to see the hardware....as long as it stays up, that's what matters, right? I think we spent about an hour at Ace Hardware trying to figure out what to do!!




This is the changing table...as you can see the Sesame Street theme has gone a little crazy!! Rachel went through an Elmo phase in college, and we love they dark cherry wood and all the primary colors. Mom (Sue) and Rachel had a great time fixing things up and putting together the furniture. Mom (Mary) helped us paint the room a beautiful bright yellow. How special that both Grandmas-to-be got to be involved with their grandbaby's room!

Here's the crib....ain't it cute????!!! We also love this wallpaper border - it has all our favorite Sesame Street characters' faces and autographs. We won't be using this closet for baby, unless we figure out some other place to put all the stuff in it!! Instead, we got a beautiful matching cherry armoire (no picture yet!) to hold baby clothes and other things. Mom (Sue) made the bed skirt and table skirts. We found the bedding - and you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find Sesame Street stuff that's not pastel. We also now have a bright red rug on the floor.


That's it for now...we haven't taken pictures since we added the red rug, the armoire, the toy net, and the snuffleupagus...maybe you'll just have to come see for yourself!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Check us out online!

Bethany Christian Services has begun showing our profile to birthparents. The agency has hard copies of the profile, but we also have an online version. You can check it out here: Bohlman Adoption Profile. If you hear of anyone interested in making an adoption plan, feel free to direct them to this site.

We continue to attend adoption classes. Tomorrow, we’ll be attending a class about Lifebooks, which are a way of documenting an adopted child’s life. In June, we have a class about discipline. We’ll see how close Chris and I are in our parenting philosophy! We continue to prepare our baby’s nursery, and look forward to adding the final touch.

That said, we have to continue to live life as normal, so I’ll be teaching summer school and we’re planning on some short vacations this summer. Anything we plan is easily cancelled! Your continued prayers and encouragement are appreciated.

Much love – Chris & Rachel

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Finally - Approval!

We received our official approval of our home study on March 27, 2007. We heaved a huge sigh of relief, as we’ve made it through much of the paperwork and technicalities involved with adoption.

Our agency will now begin showing our family profile, which is a collection of photos and information about us and our families, to interested birthmothers. They will contact us if any birthmoms are interested in meeting us, and we’ll take it from there. I’m told that the majority of families have their baby at home with them within 1 to 2 years of approval.

In the meantime, we continue to attend state mandated education classes for adoptive parents and prepare our home and our hearts for our baby. We want to be the best parents we can be, and God has been working on both of us too, to make us the parents that our baby will need.

If you hear of or know anyone who is considering adoption, please let us know. We’d love to meet them and have our agency work with them to facilitate their adoption plan.

As always, we’re trusting in God to bring us through this next phase of waiting. We appreciate all your prayers and encouragement.

Much love – Chris & Rachel

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

More Waiting

We have always known the wait to get a baby might be long, but I never dreamed the road to approval could be this long. We appreciate all of your prayers and encouragement over the past year, and are anticipating finalization of all of our paperwork this spring.

We began this journey in December of 2005. After completing our home-study last summer, we were anticipating quick approval and the waiting to begin. However, with my new job in the DeForest Schools, it seemed wise to delay things until the new year, so that I could get acclimated, and fulfill the requirements for Family Medical Leave. What we couldn’t have anticipated was Chris’s layoff in mid-September from his job of 4 years. As you may imagine, this put a crimp in our plans. The agency preferred to wait until Chris had full-time, permanent employment before officially approving us as a waiting family. We are hoping that we will be approved later this spring, and they will begin showing our profile in May.

We have completed all the paperwork, given the agency our profile, had physicals (twice!), collected the necessary first portion of fees, begun setting up our nursery (which I am calling my “Hope” Room), and attended a class on infant care. There are more classes coming up throughout this year. New state laws require completion of these classes before an adoption can be finalized.

I trust in the unfailing love and goodness of our Lord, who has all things worked out to prosper us and give us hope. Each setback causes us to lean more heavily on His mercy and grace. We realize each day how blessed we are to have family and friends who are supportive. We love you all, and hope to share with you yet in 2007, the story of God’s faithfulness in sending a child to the Bohlman family.


Much love – Chris & Rachel