Archive for December, 2012

Merry Christmas!

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

(Galatians 4:4-7 ESV)


Random Updates

Here we are a week away from Christmas — seems like it’s been a crazy couple of months. We have our first homestudy visit on Friday – I’m not nervous — I think I just want to get it done. This one isn’t actually at our home – so I don’t have that to think about, but still just want it all to go well.

Don’t forget to contact your US Senators and Representative regarding the Making Adoption Affordable Act. I’m a bit amazed that this little post is actually coming up in Google searches according to the blog stats. If you need ideas for your letter, e-mail or phone call – check out my letter: Making Adoption Affordable Act post

Thank you to everyone who has been using our Amazon affiliate link to place your orders!  Every little bit helps.  Remember all you have to do is go to Amazon through the link on our blog here (under “Support our Adoption” on the right side of the page, or the “Want to Help” tab at the top of the page) shop as normal and a percentage of your sale goes to help support our adoption, at no extra cost to you.  The Amazon Affiliate program is pretty cool, and a great way to support a cause you believe in.

Thanks also to all who are supporting us in prayer!  As I was shaking my head looking at the big batch of paperwork we received yesterday, Thomas reminded me — there is no way we can do this without God – and He loves adoption, and while it all seems like so much now (money, paperwork, time, etc.), there is an amazing story here — working to share His story.

Support the Making Adoptions Affordable Act

As the year winds down and congress is working on avoiding the “fiscal cliff”  The adoption tax credit is in real jeopardy of being eliminated.  While the tax credit is by no means our reason for adopting, nor will we change our plans to adopt if it is eliminated, I do believe that it makes a difference for many families if they will be able to adopt or not, especially if they are considering special needs or sibling adoption. For us, the tax credit means we won’t have to stress out about medical co-pays and some of the travel and other expenses that will be associated with adopting a child with special medical needs that will involve surgeries and appointments at University of Iowa Hospitals. For other families, it will mean they can adapt their home for a larger family, add a biological sibling to their family instead of splitting them, purchase items needed, and/or help finance the adoption itself.

How can you make a difference?  Take a few minutes to send an e-mail or call your Senators and Representative.  You can find their contact information and fill out a form to send at e-mail through the following links:



When contacting your Senators, reference the Making Adoption Affordable Act – S.3616

When contacting your Representative, reference the Making Adoption Affordable Act – H.R.4373

Below is my letter that was sent to our Senators. (Yes, I changed the name for Senator Grassley.) Please feel free to adapt it to your own use. I’ve decided to not to a fill in the blank version, however, I will not be hurt if you copy and adapt the personal information to fit your connection to adoption. I do ask that if you do share  with others (with minimal changes) via e-mail or social media,  to please link back to this blog post.

Thank you for taking the time to do this!


Dear Senator Harkin:

I am a constituent and I am asking you to cosponsor the Making Adoptions Affordable Act – S.3616. The adoption tax credit ensures that vulnerable children find loving homes and do not spend their lives in orphanages or foster care. The refundable provision of this Act is very important so that families with lower and moderate incomes, who may not owe as much in taxes, will not benefit from a traditional tax credit. In some cases, this means the families may not be able to adopt at all. Families use this tax credit to cover home improvements needed to accommodate additional or special needs children, cover adoption expenses, and for continued medical and educational services needed following adoption. It is especially crucial to those not only willing, but eager to add sibling groups, and/or children to their families with medical needs. Research (Mary Eschelbach Hansen, American University) has shown that each adoption from foster care can save up to $235,000 in total public costs (including a reduction of special education services needed and reduced crime).

My husband and I are hoping to add a child to our family through adoption in 2013. The tax credit will will be invaluable in assisting with the expenses in adopting a child with special needs that will need continued medical attention and surgeries. Because of this – and the over 100,000 youth in foster care in the US and the millions of children worldwide who need a family of their own – we are asking you to cosponsor S.3616.

Thank You,

If you wish to help support our adoption, consider using our “Shop Amazon” tab on the right side of the page, or check the “Want to Help? Tab for updates.

Our Story

Our road to adoption is a winding one. After we married in 1995, we wanted to wait a little bit before having a child. We never dreamt that we would end up waiting 11 years for a child to come into our home. We asked God to hear us and bless us with a child. I admit, it was hard waiting on God during this time. In fact, I asked God to either bless us with a child or to take away my desire to have a child – the desire was that strong. Since the desire never went away, we trusted God would eventually answer our prayer.

In 2006, our nephew came to live with us. For the next six years, we raised him as our own. At the time, we began to feel like God had answered our prayers for a child with him. Still, we longed for more children. We started to pray about adoption again when something we thought would never happen, happened.

In January 2009, Julie became pregnant. At first, we were in denial because we assumed God would answer our prayers for children through adoption. Once the shock wore off, we were thrilled. During the pregnancy, we discovered that our son had at least a cleft lip. Despite one doctor encouraging us to abort, we knew that no matter what happened, we were going to see him come to birth. In September, God blessed us with our second boy.

Fast forward past the joys of the first two years of having a baby (and past the corrective surgery as well) and you would find a pretty happy and well-adjusted family. But we still had a longing to see our family grow. We began to pray about adoption again. When our nephew moved back with his mom, we realized that we had become a little too comfortable. We began to earnestly explore adoption again.

As Julie posted a couple of days ago, international adoption wasn’t really on our radar. We assumed we would adopt domestically and most likely through the foster care system. But God has other plans. We don’t know exactly where this is going, but we trust God has a fun ride in store.

If you want to help us on this journey, be sure to click on the “Want to Help?” link at the top of this page!


I’m scared to get my hopes up. Really, I am excited and admit to stalking my inbox for information from the agency at times. I find myself getting attached to photos of children on waiting lists. We are working with the agency for more information on a particular child. We pray for him and his caregivers — a lot. I hope he is healthy, I hope our request for information isn’t lost or buried in someones workload (or in cyberspace), I hope we will hear more soon.

Then I remember, we are in the season of Advent — a season of preparation and hope, not just for Christmas and the Christ Child, but also Christ the Coming King. There is Hope.  It is bigger than our adoption. Romans 12:11-13 (copied below)  has been on the wall by our coffee maker for a couple of years, it is just printed on a piece of paper, nothing fancy, sometimes I think we hardly notice it, but I know it is there.  Not your typical Advent verses, but yet have been a helpful recurrence in my head these past few months. I know they are speaking to me in this season of Advent, and this season of adoption.

Romans 12:11-13

11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope,patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

So, I will hope and prepare, for Christmas for my family, for the return of Christ, and for the child that God has for us.

If you want to help us with our adoption journey, please click on the Want to Help link at the top of the page! Thanks!