Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I haven't posted in a while, so here's a long overdue update...

            Danielle and I visited a lawyer yesterday afternoon.  This, for me, was a very exciting step.  Allow me to digress for a moment.  I talked in my first post mainly about Danielle, who she is, and how great of a mother I think she’ll be.  I didn’t say anything about my desire to be a father.  I’ve looked forward to being a dad for a long time.  I look at the relationship I have with my dad, and I’m excited to have that with a child of my own.  I see fatherhood as being one of the most incredible, and most humbling, relationships that I could hope to have in my life.  I look forward to watching my child grow up, and especially watching (him or her – I’m not particularly partial) grow to have a relationship with the Creator.  I look forward to taking my child fishing, teaching my child to catch a baseball, play the guitar, or anything he or she may enjoy.  It’s actually a hard thing for me to put to words, how I look forward to, even long for, the experience of fatherhood.
            So, back to the visit to the lawyer.  In researching Spokane attorneys, I’ve only found one actually listed as an adoption attorney.  There are several that specialize in family law and divorce that will take on adoption cases, but this guy not only specializes in adoption law, it’s all he does.  He and his wife were unable to have kids, and have adopted three, and he took it on himself to take on this role so he could help others through the process.  And in talking to him, it really seems that is really what he is in it for.  To help.  He doesn’t take cases pro bono, he still has to support his family, but his rates are reasonable.  It looks like, including all state fees (court costs, home study, etc.) this process will end up costing less than $10,000.
            This lawyer was a great source of information, too.  He referred us to someone to do our home study (we’d actually been referred to this lady before, so this just strengthened that referral), and outlined the steps we need to take.  He will also work to help match us with a birthmother.  This is huge.  This is a large part of what ends up costing many people $20,000 to $40,000 for an adoption.  He won’t be the only outlet we use for this; we will be working with various other local sources.  But his help here will be important to us. 
            So, we’re off to a good start.  This will most likely still be a long process, and I wouldn’t expect to have a child in less than a year, at the very least.  But, that’s where we are, and I, for one, am very excited to be here.
            P.S. – Just as an update.  We’ve decided against the foster care system, at least for our first child.  With the foster system, it is actually very unlikely for a couple to have a child under the age of 18 months placed with them, unless that child has an older sibling already with that couple.  We would really like an infant.  Also, and this was the biggest deciding factor, once a child is placed with you in the foster system, the ultimate goal is still for that child to be back with its family.  That means that, even if an infant was placed with us, it could be with us as long as a year, and then a family member (such as an aunt) can decide to adopt, and the child goes to them automatically.  I don’t think this is necessarily a bad idea, it’s good to work towards keeping the children in the family if possible, but that’s not where we want to be at this time.  I can’t imagine how hard it would be to have a child for a year, and have that kid taken away.  However, this doesn’t mean we won’t foster in the future.  It’s just not the option we are choosing to take at this time.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


A week ago I went to the Foster Family Orientation. I learned a lot about the foster system and how it works. They explained all the different branches involved in foster care and what parts they played in the foster and placement processes.
Their main goal is to improve the health and safety of the children and that’s why in most cases the children have been taken out of their homes. But the end goal is to reunite these children with their families either with their parents who have proven to have improved their situation or to an extended family member.
There are several ways to go about fostering…  Jeremiah and I would have chosen “Foster to Adopt”. To my knowledge they will try to place the children who will most likely need to be adopted because their family situation is not likely to get better. However even if this child was placed in our home and we’re working towards adopting them… there’s a chance that an aunt or some other relative of the child will decide to take the child. I believe at that point the family member must go through the foster application process and have their home approved to foster and if approved the child would be placed in their home. They want the child to be with family if that is a possibility. The non-relative foster family is basically a last resort.  This is actually happening to a family I know through church. It’s heartbreaking.
The lady who was leading the orientation made a special mention that the families who are looking to foster to adopt a baby (which we are) should be prepared for the worst. That was pretty discouraging. However I feel confident that if this is what God wants for us He will also give us the strength we need to get through it. With that said… we don’t know if this is God’s will for us yet.
Our church family at Northside Church of Christ has started an adoption fund for us without Jeremiah or I asking for help. This was out of the goodness of their hearts and the Holy Spirit moving them to do so. This has made me feel that God has something else planned for our adoption journey. I don’t know what that is... and maybe that door hasn’t been opened yet but I do know that I need to have Faith that God will show us the right way.  We would appreciate your prayers. We know there are decisions that we need to make and we need God’s direction to make them.
Thank you again for following our story. It means so much to us. We appreciate your support very much!