Friday, July 29, 2011


Received our packet of application paperwork from Bethany Christian Services...are you ready?

It's 56 pages (most double sided).

Ever wondered what's included?? Here you go...
First of all, there was an online preliminary application including basic information (took about 5 minutes to fill out). Then an online formal application. This requests our basic info, work info, references, church affiliation, basic financial info, etc. (sort of like a job application). Then comes the 56 page packet, which includes...
* 1 page cover letter
* 1 page of instructions
* 1 list of paperwork included
* 1 page contract
* 2 separate 3 page background information disclosure forms from the state of Wisconsin (1 for each of us)
* 1 page permission to obtain public records
* 5 pages of fingerprint cards, instructions, and waivers
* 2 separate 1 page religious assessment questionnaires (1 for each of us)
* 2 copies of Bethany's Statement of Faith (1 for each of us)
* 2 copies of the appeal procedure (1 to keep, 1 to send back)
* 2 copies of 4 page self study form (1 for each of us) asking questions like what our goals are as parents, why we want to adopt, our strengths and experiences, descriptions of Josh and our parenting styles, etc.
* 2 copies of 1 page family history data (1 for each of us)
* 1 page statement of understanding that we will let them know if anything major changes in our family
* 1 page parental discipline policy
* 1 page adoption release and consent form
* 1 page affidavit of health insurance coverage
* 1 page release of confidential information form
* 1 page adoption study agreement
* 1 page statement of intent specified by our wills
* 2 copies of 11 page SAFE Questionnaire asking about our childhoods, marriage, jobs, health, etc.
* 2 copies of 3 page physician's report (1 for each of us)
* 3 page physician's report on Joshua

Once we submit all of that and $2000, we can start this process again. Any guesses why they call this stage being "paper pregnant"? If only all parents had this kind of extensive study done before being allowed to raise children. Any takers?? :) It's going to take us a while to wade through all of this. And it's only the beginning. We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back on the Merry-Go-Round

Our first adoption was a bit of a merry-go-round. It took a while and there was a lot of uncertainty. But the end result? We are blessed with an AMAZING little guy who is almost three and takes pride in being "a man" (he tells me this often).

So deciding to do this again has taken us a while. I still feel torn - part of me doesn't want to share Josh - we've got a good thing going here, and brining another child into the mix changes things. But we also don't want him to be an only child - and we're not getting any younger!

Last week, we attended an orientation at an agency in Madison. Their domestic adoption program runs on a lottery system - every 6 months, they draw 3 - 4 names of families that may enter the program and start the home study process. There are usually around 20 entries in the lottery. If your name doesn't get drawn, then you can wait until the next lottery in 6 months or look into their other programs.

Chris & I were initially both drawn to the idea of a Russia adoption. The price tag was steep - $40,000 including all the travel, etc. We don't believe that money is an obstacle for God, and didn't want to immediately turn our backs on this because of finances. So we asked our families to pray for us, put our names in the domestic lottery, and waited. While waiting, we decided to contact our previous agency, which is not in Madison, and slightly more expensive, but would let us enter the program right away.

Our names were not drawn in the lottery. Rather than wait 6 months, or pursue a Russia adoption, we've decided to go with Bethany Christian Services again for our next adoption. We'll be working with the Fond du Lac office, which is convenient, since Chris's parents live there. The first step is filling out the application and collecting the application fee. The nice thing about working with Bethany again is that there are some steps we can skip over since we've done them before. This also reduces our fee a bit.

So - life is not any less crazy than it was before. Chris started a new job last month and he loves it. The hours are much better for our family. I continue teaching 4th grade, and am taking on more responsibilities with my MOPS group in Portage. Josh is almost potty trained, and will be back in daycare 3 days a week this fall. We are content for now - but look forward to a sibling for Josh. Trusting in God's timing, and knowing we'll stay busy as we wait.

Friday, July 15, 2011

5 Question Friday

1. If you knew your best friend's spouse was cheating on her or him, would you tell her (him)?

After I killed the spouse, I would tell my bff!

2. Soda in a can or a bottle?

Tastes better from a bottle, but cans are cheaper.

3. What do you wash first, hair or body?

Body - hair is last.

4. What advice would you give to any new mama?

Get sleep when you can...and follow your instincts. Pray a lot!

5. What is your best hangover remedy?

Never had one - so I don't know.

Friday, July 8, 2011

5 Question Friday

1. Do you think cursive writing is overrated? (Schools in Indiana have now voted to take teaching cursive writing out of their curriculum.)

The problem with not teaching is that kids still need to know (as of now) how to read it. I think we probably emphasize it too much in our age of keyboarding and digital print, but kids do need to have a decent signature.

2. Do you still use a pocket calendar or notepad or do you keep your info on your smart phone?

Neither - my calendar is on my computer email program. Occasionally I download to my i-pod so it's portable, but I don't have a smart phone.

3. What 3 things would you save if your house was burning down? (family & pets are already safe)

The Bible Josh gave me for Mother's Day, my cell phone, and some pants...

4. Country Mouse or City Mouse, err Person?

How about Small Town Mouse??

5. If you could pick ANY reality show to go on, which would you pick?

The Amazing Race - but I don't think Chris & I would do well together. I'd have to go with Kimberly or something.