Monday, December 3, 2012

What's Going On?! No news yet?!?!?!

Figured it was time to update everyone on the adoption.

The home study was approved and now all we have to do is get some forms notarized, and submit the $7,000 and the family profiles. We have a meeting with our case worker on the 18th to turn in the photo books and the check! We are still a few hundred short so we are waiting until after Joe's pay date (12/15) to pay the pre-placement fee.

We are hoping to apply for a loan for $15,000 after the holidays to cover the remainder of the cost. EXPENSIVE! But we know it will be so worth it when this new little one makes their way into our hearts and lives. Please pray with us that the funds continue to come in.

Once we pay the $7,000 we will be placed on the list of active families. We are also working on our online profile we will put on Bethany's website. We hope and pray that God will bring the right baby at that right time and that He will provide for us.

However, until we have the loan procured or the cash raised, we will still not be eligible for placement although we are eligible to be selected by a birth parent (Does that make sense?) So, we have to have the the funds available before we can complete placement of a child. Things have been especially tight with the holidays, and many unexpected expenses such as car trouble, medical/pharmacy bills, and travel. We are trusting God to provide and we are trying to be good stewards with our funds. We are hopeful that after the new year, we can afford to take out a moderate private loan to cover the remainder of the costs.

We are still looking for fundraising ideas. Please feel free to pass on suggestions! Currently, a friend is hosting a Scentsy party for our adoption and he is donating his commission from all sales to our adoption. This sale ends Saturday if you are interested. Check out my FB page for more info!

I can also bake pies ($12), Cookies (Sugar, cherry, coconut, chocolate chip etc) ($12 -  18 cookies), Muffins (Chocolate, chocolate chip, blueberry, lemon poppy seed, apple cinnamon etc ($8 dozen), or Breads (Banana, Pumpkin, Zucchini, Carrot, Apple/Cinnamon ($8 loaf).

So, this is where we are....Still waiting. Still saving.

Thank-you for your continued thoughts and prayers!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Do not be fooled!

Do not be fooled! :) There is a lot going on behind the scenes in concern to the adoption process.  During the past month, our case worker has been putting together our home study (which includes information about our family, our education, our goals, and even back ground checks).  The next step after the home study paperwork is completed, which should be any day, is to submit our adoption profile books and the pre-placement fee.

What is our adoption profile book?  Basically, this is the book that they will share with the birth parent(s) about who we are.  We took the time to talk about our life as a family, each of us as parents, the kiddos, and what it is like where we live.   Since we are primarily looking for a child with special needs, we also took time to speak to the unique challenges that Benji has faced to help show our experience with medical and developmental needs. 

I don’t think I can express enough how much we feel that God has directed us to help a child who is in need.  We have found ourselves often needing to defend the decision to adopt.  I am quite honestly not sure why.  From my viewpoint, if everyone said that they were not able, then think of all the individuals who would be in need.  Of course it is not convenient, but God has not called us to live a convenient life.  He has called us to love and serve others.  He has called us to step out on faith and trust Him to provide. 

Where are we financially? First, I want to say that we have been blessed considerably and generously by the gifts of others.  As well, God has provided additional funds within our finances to not only add to our adoption funds now, but to ensure that the finances will be in place to care for a new addition.  That being said, we need to write a check for $7,000 when our home study is completed.  We currently have just under $6,000.  We are not quite yet there, but it is amazing how close we are.  Much closer than I thought that we would be!

I am trusting that God will help provide the remaining funds in the next few days.  I am hoping and praying that you may consider supporting us.  If not financially, then prayerfully. 

Please pray that the funds come in…
Please pray that God prepares us as a family…
Please pray that God will prepare us mentally for the needs of this baby…
Please pray that God will protect the mother and the future baby which He will lead to us…

I am not sure if you know this or not, but we already had a potential match earlier in October.  Though the parents did not choose us, it did start preparing us for how quickly everything can come into place. 

Again, we ask for your prayers and support! Thank you!

Joe and Hannah

Note: If you would like to help us in the adoption process, please click the "Donate" icon on the right hand side of the screen. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012


As we draw closer to our approval date (Hopefully, November 1st) - we are starting to become a bit anxious and super excited! We really have no idea what God has in store for us. Our case worker has notified us that when we are approved, it is very possible that a match might happen quickly as there are only a handful of families signed up for Special-Needs adoptions through our agency, Bethany Christian Services. Although we keep telling ourselves that it may take up to a year or more....

Currently, we are STILL waiting for the VA clearances to complete our Home Study. Please say a prayer these come soon....we sent them out over a month ago! :(

We are believing that God will provide the remaining $1,500 we need to submit our pre-placement fee by our goal date. Hannah has taken on a part-time nanny position to help save for some of the additional expenses (i.e. potential travel expenses, lawyer fees, etc) - we are blessed to have this opportunity!

We are brainstorming fundraisers - it seems like everyone is being bombarded with fundraisers so it's difficult coming up with something creative that won't take away from any of our friend's endeavors. Hannah was thinking about baking and selling Apple Pies - she loves to bake and this is certainly the time of year for pies! What do you think? Would you pay $15.00 for a homemade apple pie???

Please share ANY thoughts or suggestions!

Finally, as many of you saw on FaceBook, Hannah recently moved Benji into the big boy room. (He is doing great with that BTW - and so is Hannah). Now, there is an empty crib in our room - ready and waiting! She has even been taking inventory on our baby supplies. I think she is beginning to nest!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers and don't forget to offer suggestions for fundraising!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Introduction Letter to a Future Birth Mom and Child

Some of you said it was difficult to read the pages in the photo book because you were unable to enlarge the view. So, we thought we would share the Introduction Letter with you. Enjoy! Please keep those prayers coming!!!!

Dear Sweet Baby,

We are thrilled that you and your Mom are viewing our profile! Your birth Mom is so strong and brave to be making the decision to find a loving family for you. We realize that you and your Mom must have been through a lot and we admire her strength to be able to make this tough choice. We know it must bear heavy on your Mom's heart and soul, but we are so thankful that she has chosen to give you this opportunity. We pray that your Mom is able to find the family she is searching for. 
So, Little One, you may ask - "why are you choosing to adopt?"
Well, when we announced our intent to adopt, a lot of people asked us the same question. To us the reason is simple - because our hearts are telling us to! Both of us want to add to our family. We dreamed of having a large family and were very saddened when we realized Hannah would no longer be able to have children. We love kids and feel as though our family is not yet complete. Adoption is the perfect option for us! We have the resources, the space, the time, the desire, and most importantly, the love to give.

We are open to the possibility of adopting a special-needs child. Our youngest child has several special-needs of his own, including prematurity and Down Syndrome. We feel well established with the group of specialists he sees for his own special-needs as well as his involvement in the Early Intervention programs. We have already learned so much through caring for our son, Benji, and therefore feel as though we are equipped to take on the responsibility of caring for another special little blessing.

Whether special-needs or ordinary-needs, we have open hearts and arms and look forward to adding an addition to our family.

Thank-you for your consideration as you and your Mom review our family profile. Whatever choice your Mom makes, we pray that she will feel strength and peace. May you be blessed to grow big and strong, Precious Little One!

Hannah and Joe Butler

Adoption Family Profile

Here it is! The master piece we have been working on. We have approval from our Case Worker to PRINT! Hurray! Another step closer. 

All we need now is $1,500! We are so close. We are amazed how God has blessed us through the generosity of others. We cannot thank you enough for your prayers, words or encouragement, and financial support.

***Please fee free to pass this along! The more eyes that see this, the better our chances of matching us with a birth-mom***


~The Butler Bunch

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Getting Ready to Submit Our Homestudy!

We have everything done for our home-study - now, our case worker will submit our study to the board at Bethany for review....if everything is in order and there are no concerns, we will be asked to pay the pre-placement fee ($7,000 - we already have just over $5,000!!!!) and submit our family profile. Our goal is November 1st.

Essie is hoping we'll have a baby by Christmas. She is beginning to get super, duper excited! Whenever we are in a store, she is always picking out cute baby "stuff" - especially PINK stuff. She has been dictating letters to the most recent letter said "Dear Baby, I love you. I want to go with you to the zoo. I hope the doctors are taking good care of you. We are going to adopt you and I am going to be your sister...." Some of her letters go on and is so precious. I am thrilled that she is so excited.

The hardest part is going to be the waiting.....

The last thing we need to complete is the family profile - a booklet about our family and why we want to adopt. It's somewhat stressful as our profile will potentially be viewed along with other profiles - in a sense, we are trying to persuade a birth mother to choose us as the adoptive family. We are having a difficult time putting the written portion of the profile together - please say a prayer that it will come together! We really need to get it to the graphic designer so that we can submit it by our goal date.

Thanks again for your kindness and generosity. We have been so blessed already and our journey is just beginning!

***As a quick reminder, feel free to pass the word....if you know of anyone who is considering abortion or placing their child for adoption, please tell them about us! Special-needs or ordinary needs, we would be honored to be considered as adoptive parents***

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


7:30am - Begin cleaning
10am - Pick up paper work from doctor's office for meeting
1pm -More cleaning
4pm - Evacuate clean house with 3 children and 1 husband
4:30pm - Dinner
5:30pm - Park
6pm - Home to find a beautiful bouquet of flowers on my door step - what a lovely, thoughtful gift!!!
6:30pm - Case worker arrives

The kids welcomed Becky as if they had known her all their life - Zac took her hand and he and Essie showed her the yard. They were showing her all of the old "bee hives" around the property. hahaha - ok then. They have a HUGE play set, TONS of out side toys and activities, pets etc....and what gets the attention???? The bees.

Of course, she WAS interested in our ducks :) Who wouldn't be?!?!

Essie showed off her bunny and turtles and then took her on a 20second tour of the house (All while I was taking Zac potty) So, I missed the entire house showing! LOL. Good thing we have spent weeks, days, and hours cleaning the house for that 20 second tour! Essie did make sure to show her the INSIDE of her closet and the hall closet - - - not exactly spaces I had intended on "showing off". She was really not all that interested in seeing the house - she was gracious but didn't look much other than her initial glances. I guess that's a good sign?

She did take time to talk specifically to Essie about the baby and if she wanted a baby sister or brother (Essie did not falter for one second on that answer - "SISTER!") When asked what she would do if the baby was up crying at night, she said "put the baby downstairs" - Oh my....hahahaha

Benji did great (Although he fell back and bonked his little head - it took him a few minutes to recover, bless his heart!) At the end, he was so sleepy, he was just giggling and giggling on my lap. It was pretty adorable.

Zac seemed pretty uninterested - after the case worker was done touring the house and asking a few questions about the kids, we asked the kids to play quietly in their rooms while we were talking and signing a few more papers. Mistake #1: deciding to put a movie on for Zac in MY bedroom. Mistake #2: Leaving Zac in big boy underpants - About 8:15, Essie comes into the kitchen and announces that Zac has pooped and peed on the floor.....*SIGH* I quietly and casually excuse myself (hoping that MAYBE the case worker didn't hear) - I followed Essie to the scene of the crime and there - on the floor was a pile.....and on the wall was a smear.....and around the room was a trail.....POOP EVERYWHERE. I didn't even know what to do. Zac looked at me and said in his ever so sweet and gentle voice, "I'm sorry mommy. It's all my fault" - Why is it so hard to be mad at him! (I sort of wanted to laugh!) - I put him in the empty tub and told him to wait there....I wet back out to the kitchen and said my good byes - at this point, I am fairly certain the case worker has an idea of what has transpired (Thank goodness Essie did not feel the need to show her the poop on the wall!) She graciously said her good-byes (as we were basically finished anyway) and she went on her way. T

I am so grateful to Joe for cleaning up the Poop while I bathed Zac and get everyone ready for bed (maybe that's why I can think it's funny????)

Despite the POOP, the meeting went very well! We signed a few more papers and went over some things to expect when we start talking to birth parents etc. Currently, we are only waiting for a few more papers! Our VA clearances, one more reference, and medical forms for the kids - once this is completed, our case worker will write up our info and submit it to the board for approval to proceed. Once this is accomplished, we pay the $7,000 pre-placement fee and submit our parent/family profiles. Our GOAL DATE to submit the fee and profiles is November 1st.

We are SO happy and excited to announce that we only need $3,000 more to reach our $7,000 goal! Joe and I are shocked out of our socks! What a crazy, exciting feeling to be so close!

We are so step closer in the process!!! We are hopeful to have placement by this time next year! Thank-you for your continued prayer and support!!!!

~Joe and Hannah

Monday, September 10, 2012

From Special Needs to Ordinary Needs, Our Benji Story

I will never forget my 12 week ultrasound with Benji - my OB was over an hr away as I was seeing a high-risk OB because of my uterine irregularities and my previous premature birth (Zac was born at 34 weeks weighing 4lbs 12oz). At this appointment, the Dr did a NT scan that measured the layer of fluid around the was apparent immediately that there was LOTS of this fluid. I had never seen anything like it. The Dr measured the fluid behind the baby's neck and it measured over 6mm - anything over 3mm is reason for concern. My OB was very serious as he performed the sonogram - I still have the DVD of the sonogram and can clearly hear the concern in his voice. I was trying to process everything he was saying to me.....but my mind was racing. What?!?! Something might be wrong? You are very concerned? What is Trisomy 13, 18, 21 etc..... We need to have an amnio?

After the appointment, I went out the car and called my friend Millie and just started crying - "it looks like something is wrong with the baby!" I blurted out. I still had an hr drive home and was an emotional mess. I cried all the way home. When I got home, Joe and the kids were down stairs. I tried to be brave but I felt anything but brave and it did not take long for the tears to come....."Dr Gorrell thinks there is something wrong with our baby." Of course Joe asked lots of questions and it was hard to answer them seeing as I didn't know much more than what I had already told him. Joe is my rock - he was very calm and said we have to trust in God - and wait and see what the amnio results say.

***Why an amnio? Because our OB had never seen the NT fluid that thick before and was very concerned that the baby was not going to make it birth or might pass shortly after - this was information we all needed to know to prepare ourselves for the arrival of a critical baby***

A month later, at 16 weeks, we had the amnio. A rather unpleasant experience as my irritable uterus clamped down on the needle and began pulling it inward - ouch! It was a scary time - it would take 2 weeks to get the results. At this sonogram, we discovered that we were expecting a BOY. We tried to be calm and optimistic. We didn't know how to feel or what to think.

Another 2 weeks passed and I received the call (unfortunately, Joe was away on a missions trip so I took the call myself) - the nurse called and said "Dr Gorrell wants to speak with you" - my stomach felt heavy and my heart began to race.....the Dr congratulated me on the 100% guarantee that the baby was a boy and then ever so gently said "and the child does have Down Syndrome."  I forced a laugh about the gender and spurt out some comment - trying to sound as if my heart had not fallen into a zillion pieces. He talked about some "stuff" for a few more minutes and then told me he now wanted to see me every 2 weeks because of the added risks of carrying a child with DS. I hung up the phone and cried.....and cried. I made a few phone calls to tell Joe, my mom, my brother, and my aunt.

That next Sunday, at 18 weeks, we announced that we were expecting (my belly was SO tiny during my pregnancy no one even knew I was pregnant yet!) - In the announcement, we told his name and also informed the congregation of his diagnosis. I was crying throughout the entire announcement.

WHY us? WHAT did I do wrong? DID I cause this? WHAT does this mean? WHY? WHY? WHY?

When we received the phone call that our sweet Benji had Down Syndrome, our lives were forever changed. I would never had imagined in a million years that something could be wrong - that OUR baby would have DS. I was 23 and healthy.

Joe and I grieved the loss of a healthy baby for a bit - it was a hard time.

But, it didn't take us long for God to give us complete peace. Very shortly after the amnio results, I felt the first baby flutters - what a precious blessing those little flutters were. "I'm here Mom - I feel just like your Essie and just like your Zac. I am your baby."

There were tears here and there - but they were not tears of anger or bitterness, they were tears of worry and concern - Did Benji have a heart defect? What about his other organs? Will he get leukemia? etc....We had a lot of concerning results during the pregnancy including signs that Benji's heart did have a hole and that it was working very hard. I also started having contractions at just 24 weeks.

I was hospitalized during my 25th week and delivered Benji in my 26th week. He was born weighing 2lbs and measuring 14in. I am forever grateful we opted for the amnio as discovering the diagnosis for DS following such a premature birth would have been very difficult for us.

From the moment of his birth, Down Syndrome took a back seat - not once in the NICU did I wonder about his potential "delays" or "disabilities" - All I was concerned about was his LIFE. One look at that sweet, tiny Benji and all apprehension of his DS vanished in an instance. Benji's prematurity was by far more devastating than his DS.

Yes, Benji has Down Syndrome. He has "Special Needs" - he is delayed by over 50% and requires the use of 24/7 oxygen, C-PAP for sleep, a feeding tube, numerous medications, therapies, and specialists. The funny thing is that these special needs have become "ordinary" needs for us by now....we don't know any differently!

Yes, Benji has Down Syndrome - and we wouldn't trade him for the world. He is a beautiful addition to our family and compliments us perfectly. He is absolutely delightful and such a joy.

Of course, we were never planning on having a special needs child. But most people don't.

So why adopt another? The birth of Benji has changed our life forever. Joe and I will never be empty-nesters. We are committed to caring for Benji all his life. Doesn't that qualify us as being perfect parents for additional special needs children?

Down Syndrome? No problem! For us, Special-Needs have become Ordinary-Needs.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

This is Hannah writing - as I am sitting here, thinking about my "to-do" list and all the money we need to raise to pursue this adoption, I point-blank ask myself - "Why exactly do I want this SO bad?"

One thing that instantly come to mind is (call me crazy and weird and hormonal) I am young. I am 25 and I think it's natural for me to "want" babies. Sadly, I had to have a hysterectomy at the age of 23 (3 months after Benji was born - I actually had my hysterectomy on his due date) Joe and I have always tried to be positive about the hysterectomy and joke around about being one of the youngest women to have the surgery or how jealous all my friends are that I no longer have a monthly visitor and all the money we save since we're not buying products and stocking up on chocolate. We can joke and tease all we want - but behind our smile is a broken heart. Why would God allow this? Joe and I deeply desire to have a large family. We absolutely love kids. Why would He give us this desire, this feeling as though we are not yet complete, if He was planning on taking this away from us? We desperately want more children despite the fact that we are beyond blessed to already have 3, beautiful biological children - a gift denied to many. We are truly amazed and grateful to have the 3 miracles we do. Upon completion of my hysterectomy, the Dr told me he was surprised I was able to carry children at all. Praise God we had children right after we were married while I was still so young - He knew what He was doing! God doesn't create any "ooooops" babies!

So, now what? No baby-maker! Well, there's always adoption! A very real and present need. An option Joe and I have always discussed as a possibility. There are so many kids out there who desperately need someone to love them. I have often thought that perhaps God took my uterus so that we would "have" to grow our family through adoption - otherwise, we might not consider it. This leads me to believe, we are meant to adopt!!!

And of course, another thing heavy on my heart is THE NEED. Why do we want to adopt? Is it merely selfish motives? I would say not. Our hearts are very tender towards the topic of adoption. I have everything I could ever need, food, clothing, shelter, health care, a family....and we have enough of our own to be able to share with others. We want to help. We want to meet a need. We want to make a difference. I know I harp on the special needs aspect often, but it's so true.....WHO is going to care for these precious ones? If not us, who????

One more thought and I'll be done - Keep in mind, that Joe and I feel as though we are expecting :) We are excited and are greatly anticipating the arrival of our new little one. Please join us in our excitement!!!! We know some many have their own hesitations or concerns. Trust us when we say that Joe and I are not pursing this lightly. We know exactly what we are doing. We want others to ask us about the adoption - it's not a private topic to us. We want to talk about it - this is the closest we will have get to being pregnant again and we want to enjoy every step of the way, even the hardest part of all - waiting. At this point, we are set in our course - so we kindly ask that you offer only supportive, encouraging comments.

Looking forward to Thursday's Home Visit and being one step closer to our new addition!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

We feel so blessed to have been given $345 towards our goal of $1,300 by the 13th (of THIS month)! Thank-you to those of you you who have sacrificed. This is a humbling experience for us and we are deeply grateful for your generosity.

Our goal is down to $955.00! Doesn't that number look so much better already?!?! :)

We feel as though our faith is being tested as we again had unexpected car trouble. However, we are continuing to TRUST! Joe and I have cut expenditures significantly. This is very important to us. Worth sacrificing for. We are anxious about having the $1,300 by the 13th (just 11 days away!!!!) but we are hopeful that our friends and family will rally around us and support us and this special child. Once we have paid this initial fee, we can then apply for grants and an adoption loan. Please, if you find it in your hearts to give, please do.

We know some simply cannot give financially - we understand! We know what it is like to be tight but please don't discredit your prayers and words of encouragement!

Home study update: we passed another major hurdle in the process - the pediatrician approved Benji as being stable enough to pursue the adoption. We figured this would be the case, but hearing the words was very relieving and yet ANOTHER confirmation that we are following a true call to adopt.

Thank-you for reading and sharing our story - don't forget to pass the word to anyone who might be considering placing a child for adoption. We have open hearts and arms and are anxious to add another special blessing to our family. Special Needs or Ordinary Needs - we feel up to the task!

Again, thank-you for your consideration....If you prefer to donate via snail-mail, our address is: 2458 Putnam Road, Ontario, NY 14519

P.S. We are also thrilled to have a friend (who is a graphic designer) who offered to help us create our adoption profile! This will save us many hundreds of dollars! We are so grateful for this generous gift of time and talent! We are truly blessed!

Friday, August 24, 2012

We had our last adoption meeting before our home visit last night...the date for our home visit is September 13th. I know I have nothing to hide, but you KNOW I will be cleaning like a mad woman that week! Basically, the social worker is coming to check and make sure we have adequate space and that we are capable of providing a safe and clean environment for an adoptive child. This is really the last big step before we submit our HS (Home Study) to be placed on the active, waiting list. In the mean time, we need to have health exams (we all have well-visits scheduled) and we need to have some documents notarized. Also, we need to pay the HS fee of $1,300 on the day of our home visit...that's less then 3 weeks away! PLEASE pray with us that the funds are there. Once we pay this initial fee, we can begin applying for grants and other financial aide. Our HS is moving at an unexpectedly quick pace....unfortunately, we will be a stand-still if we cannot provide the HS fee. We were so encouraged to receive our first donation last week! We are trusting that God will provide the rest!

We wanted to take the time to answer a few questions and concerns that have come-up since our announcement to adopt. Let's begin by discussing the financial aspect.

"Why so expensive?" The estimated $30,000 is a TON of money....we know that...and the adoption agency knows that. But it can be done! We talked more last night at the meeting about fees and such. Every penny has a purpose. Below is a list of the things that we as the adoptive couple will be responsible for paying:

1.) Agency fees - including the HS fee
2.) Pre/Post adoptive parent counseling
3.) Medical care of birth mother and infant at birth
4.) Legal Fees
5.) Housing for birth mother or interim care for infant if necessary
6.) Traveling costs (if applicable)

We are paying not only for our services, but also for the services of the birth mother. Why are we doing this? Because we are Pro-Life and what better way to support LIFE then to enable it. We are thrilled that our adoptive baby's mother chose to give our future baby a chance at life. We are making it possible for that mother to care for herself and our baby.

"Why a baby? Why special needs?" We are pro-life.....and not just for healthy infants, we are 100% PRO-LIFE. We believe every life has value and that those with special needs are a valuable and wanted part of the community. If there is no one to care for these babies, how would a mother be persuaded to choose life for her child? We want to show the world that "Benji's" are worth fighting for! They are worth loving. They are worth sacrificing for. We are hoping that by proving that people can and do adopt special needs infants, that more will follow suit and that more birth mothers will choose life for their unborn babies.

"So, why not foster to adopt? It's virtually free!!!" I wish our simple answer of "We know the course we have chosen is what we are meant to do!" would suffice. However, our peace of mind and determination to follow our set path has not limited concerns and questioning from friends and family. So, I will attempt to answer the question in more detail. Mainly, Joe and I are looking for a permanent addition to our family. With foster to adopt, there is no guarantee and it can takes years to have that guarantee. As a result, I am not sure our hearts are ready to tackle the emotional burdens associated. As well, in New York the state purposefully makes every attempt to reunite the family.  Even when individuals ask about "foster to adopt" they will strongly push them toward foster care alone.  While this is a course that Joe and I hope to take someday, we do not feel led to go this route presently. We feel very strongly that we are making the right choice - no doubt it's a faith-based decision! We clearly don't have $$$ lying around! But we are honestly, truly trusting Got to provide.

If you feel led to help us on our journey, please do. Any and all support is greatly appreciated. Joe and I see this as a ministry of our family and we are excited to see how God uses us to bless and blesses us in return!

We do appreciate your continued encouragement and support as we tackle this challenge! We are beyond excited! Please feel free to write comments or questions!

***Don't forget to pass the could be the one to link us to a potential birth mom! If you know/hear of someone interested in placing their child for adoption, direct them to our blog!***

It is our hope to be approved and ready to adopt by this October!

Friday, August 17, 2012


I read this comment today in concern to someone who is contrary to adoption.

"We are to care for orphans and widows- that’s a Biblical mandate. But Christ did not tell us we had to adopt them into our family"

Doesn't that sound counter-intuitive? There seems to be a line which is drawn which says that I will only go so far. You are over here and my family is here. Aren't we supposed to live a life of sacrifice? How can we truly love them and meet their needs if we are afraid of getting our hands dirty?
The viewpoint listed above is not consistent with the love that Christ has shown.  It is a good thing that God didn't say that about us...I will take care of them, but I will not adopt them into my family...they will just mess the whole thing up...
No, God adopted us as his children and as a result we are coheirs with Christ. 
My only regret is that we don't have the resources to adopt all the children who are in need.   We have the home and the structure in place.  The hard part is meeting the costs associated with the actual adoption.  
If you feel led, and only if you feel led, please consider partnering with us to help bring a child into our home.  We want to meet their needs and love them as we have felt loved by our families.  How selfish it would be of us to close our home to a child who needs one. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Compelled By Love

“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.” - Psalms 68:5-6

How can we ever forget that we were once distant from God?  That it was His love for us that allows us to be considered His children.  God did not have to send His Son, yet He did so because he was compelled with love.  Love is not an open word which can be described in different ways.  It is specific, with real action.

Even more, we can clearly see through Scripture that God is an advocate for those who are orphans.  And He has chosen us, His Body, to be His hands and His feet to care for those who have no one.  When we fail to reach out beyond ourselves, then we are failing to show the same love that Christ has shown us.  I am not saying that every family should adopt children (even though it would be pretty cool if there wasn’t a need because the Church was meeting every one).  What I am saying is that we should look outside of our environment and look to the world around us asking how we can show the love of Christ.

And perhaps, by meeting these physical and emotional needs, they will see that there is something different about us.  Something that is giving when there seems nothing left to give…Something that keeps going even when it hurts.  And then they will perhaps recognize that what separates, that which makes us peculiar from the rest of the world, is the love of our Savior within us.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Eph 3:14-21

Friday, July 27, 2012

Home Study Meeting #2

We had another meeting with our adoption counselor last night....lots more forms and paper-work. We are checking things off the list! So exciting! We've got a few more things to do - background clearances from VA, fingerprinting, health assessments for everyone, notarizing a will, finishing up our reading list, and a few more odds n' ends. We are hoping to have our home-visit by the end of September and then we can submit our home study for approval. After approval, we will be placed on the registry for approved adopted families awaiting a child!!!! How exciting! It's amazing how quickly everything is coming together! Although that also means we will have to have our $7,000 per-placement fee much sooner than we anticipated. YIKES. But Joe and I have determined from the very beginning that we were not going to stress over the financial aspect - if it is meant to be, God will provide the funds! We are starting to save $$$ as we are all adds up!

Last night, one of the main topics was discipline. How Joe and I discipline and if/how it would change for an adopted child. In a nut shell, Joe and I strive to have a gentle parenting style. This includes allowing opportunities to teach and instruct. We firmly believe we cannot expect adult behavior from a child. They must be molded into adults . . . and that is where we, as parents, come in. We know we are not the greatest parents and that we mess up sometimes. But, we love our kids and we do our best to show love through our words and actions. Sure, there are occasional raised voices or even a pat on the bottom, but that is not our main parenting tactic. For our kids, we primarily use time-outs and loss of privileges. This seems to be very effective in most cases and often places a more appropriate discipline with their offense than a physical punishment. For example, if one of our children were to write on the wall, instead of slapping their hand or swatting them on the bottom, might it be more effective to show genuine disappointment while telling them why we do not write on the walls? Then, the child should be asked to clean the wall, which could take some time and effort on their part, but also has better chances of instilling in them the lesson that we are attempting to teach. Perhaps they even lose the crayons/markers for a day to emphasize the point. So far, this tactic has served us well....but time will tell! Phew, parenting is a big responsibility!

Anyway, just some ramblings from our conversation last night. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the topic!

We will continue to keep you updated with any news!

Announcement: We Are Adopting

Essie asks me almost everyday, "How long is it going to take for me to get my new sister?" (We are not specifying gender but it is pretty cute how Essie expects her new sibling to be a girl!!!) She has it all planned out! Even Zac is in on the excitement! He says he wants a brother AND a sister!

We have been filling out tons of paperwork! We are already half way through our home study. We were given an estimate wait of 18months (that would put us at around the end of next year). We are hopeful that we will be a family of 6 by Christmas next year! What a wonderful gift that would be!

For those of you who are curious, we are seeking out a child with special needs. We clearly have a heart for individuals with special needs seeing as we already have a child with Down Syndrome. I can't fathom the notion of anyone passing up on a Benji! What a blessing he has been. When we met with our adoption counselor for the first time, she confirmed our intentions by telling us that Special Needs adoptions are one of the biggest needs. For every healthy child, there are 36 couples waiting. Unfortunately, there are not as many families waiting for special needs children. We were told that Joe and I would be with only a handful of other adoptive parents on the registry willing to adopt Special Need Infants. We are excited to see how God blesses us!

We are absolutely, 100% positive that God will provide the funds. Adoption is not cheap. In fact, the total adoption coast through Bethany Christian Services is . . . drum roll please . . . ~ $30,000. While the cost is a bit daunting, we also believe without a doubt, that this is what we are meant to do. We have already paid the $500 application fee - so that leaves only $29,500 left to our goal!!!! We do ask that if you feel led to support our adoption, that you consider donating to our fund. (Joe will be setting up a Pay-Pal account) If you cannot donate financially, we ask that you pray for our future baby.

*Pray for the health of the mother and her pregnancy
*Pray that the funds will come in
*Pray that all of our paperwork goes through and that there are no major "hang-ups"

We also ask that you support our family by encouraging us! Adoption may not be for everyone, but we believe it is for us!

The Butler Bunch