Monday, April 28, 2014

some details on our adoption so far


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First I just have to say, THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Im not sure why but sharing the news felt like such a personal and sensitive thing to share. (even though it was REALLY exciting.. I was surprised how personal it felt) I think partly because we had been holding on to the news for so long, partly because it all the sudden became that much more real, and mostly because the Lord is doing such a deep and real thing in our hearts through all this that it just feels really personal and hard to somehow find the words to get it out.

But I so appreciate all your text, emails, phone calls, comments, and even cards in the mail! I feel like even if people didnt care, we'd obviously still be moving forward, but it sweet to see so many of you around us see the Lord doing this and understand and were able to speak words that affirmed and encouraged who we are as parents and believers. I do appreciate it so so much. Im sure I wont be able to say thank you enough.



So there is a lot to this story and Im not sure where to begin. I'll just run through some of the details because a few people asked. Then I will share other parts of the story in their own post because I think they deserve their own post.. and I would basically be writing a novel if I put it all in here at once.

After a lot of prayer and then a pretty amazing experience where the Lord totally spoke and affirmed that it was time for us to pursue adopting and working with children who dont have families (which I will share this story) we feel like we were supposed to work directly with Family Services here in Cleveland. This means that we will be working with the county and children who are in foster care.

So, we will technically be foster parents. Our goal is adoption though so the idea is that we will be fostering to adopt. This does mean technically that a child could come in our home and then go back and be reunited with their birth family. Although Im sure I cant fathom the depth of what that would feel like.. I absolutely support that and do believe in the idea of an entire family being restored and Freeland & I feel like we would love to work with a family to help them do just that. Even though we really really really want to adopt. We feel like the Lord just told us to do this so we are just saying yes and moving forward.

(ps: I just wanted to also say that it is possible to work with the foster care system, Family Services, and do JUST adoption. You dont always have to do foster care.. people always say "I just couldnt have a child come in my home and leave" and there are ways to work through that not happening. (it just means you could be waiting for awhile) Its also very possible (as Ive witnessed it 8+ times) to have a child come in your home as a foster child and stay with you and quickly be adopted too. We dont know everything. We dont know the full ins and outs.. We're just starting all this and we arent expert advocates on adoption by any means..  I just wanted to share that too because I know the stigma comes along with foster care)

We started our training in January (which was a step of faith itself because of Freeland schedule). You have to complete 36 hours of classes and training. It wasnt that bad at all and I actually feel very thankful for it because it really helped us think through some things and we were able to meet other families doing the same thing. It also helped us feel like we were "doing something" instead of just sitting and waiting. And it brought up good conversations for us both too. I have one class left to make up and Freeland has just 4 classes left which he will finish on the 18th of May.

We've finished our home study with our case worker in March also. So once Freeland finishes his classes this month our case worker will officially submit our paperwork to be processed. She told us here in Cleveland this will take about 1-2 months to process. Once it is processed we will officially be waiting.

So as of now based off what we have been told we are expecting to be officially waiting mid July. We could be placed within hours or we could be waiting a few weeks or months. We have no idea.  It could all happen before July or it could take longer. Who knows!!? (answer: the Lord)

Our home is ready, we are ready, and our kids are ready. So we will see what happens! 

Im sure I left a ton off. I will sit down and write out how this all happened in our hearts and how the Lord affirmed it for us. (because its a pretty awesome story) And I took pictures of us telling our families of course too - so I'll share those!

Thank you again for celebrating with us! Its fun seeing what the Lord does when we ask him what his desire is for our family!

Here are a few more pictures that I took on Easter before we shared the news:

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wait? what? 
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Chapel was not havin it anymore:

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4 comments:

  1. I found your blog thru Brittney and Matt Poe's blog... and love following your family. I actually was a medical student and anesthesiology resident. My husband put his dream job on hold to have a more 'stable' job while I was in residency to take care of our daughter. Our oldest Sydney is now 7 and the 14 months she was in childcare while I worked full-time as a resident where the hardest. But by God's grace my husband was offered a job that paid enough to cover my med school loans and I got to quit. Quit 16 months shy of completing residency and although it seemed crazy to some of our family members (still does honestly to them), it was definitely the best decision we have made for our family. Haven't regretted one moment with her, and now her two younger brothers. The Lord has been so faithful in meeting the desires of our hearts.

    All that to say, we too are starting the path of becoming licensed foster care parents. We have completed one class and have the next three Saturdays full of training. We are excited because we really feel that God has it in our plans to care for orphans in this way. The idea is a bit scary at times, but in reality all of my fears are easily pushed to the side when I realize they are founded in my selfishness. Like how will we ever get away alone (cause you know that not just 'anyone' can watch foster children without some significant training), what will it do to our nighttime routine. We've had wonderful sleepers and fairly obedient kiddos in terms of bedtime. What if the new child in our home struggles with bedtime!?! Again, all these issues have a selfish root. And I am confident that with the Lord's Grace and New Mercies every morning that it will be something we too will have no regrets about in the future.

    So excited for y'all.

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  2. Hi! My name is Alicia and you do not know me personally, but I believe you know my cousin, Storey(Wilkes) Cook. My husband and I went through an agency in our city and have been fostering to adopt since Oct. 2012. We have just now ended a long 18 plus months with a trial for the bio parents rights to be terminated, which they were. We are now in the waiting period to adopt both siblings. It is a very rewarding journey, and I feel led to leave you my email, so you can contact me if you would like. We have been down the road that you and your family are about to take and while at times it is grueling, it is most rewarding above all. My husband and I felt called as well to foster to adopt. We have had 2 girls living in our home since Oct. 2012, the youngest being placed straight from the hospital at 3 days old on Halloween 2012. We are now in the final stages to adopt. Please feel free to contact me and I can tell you more over email, if you would like. We will be praying for your family. My email is aamsmile@yahoo.com. Such an exciting time!!

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  3. Hi Brooke! My name is Jen and I have been following your blog for years.I don't remember how I found it but I started following you because of your photos and have enjoyed watching your family grow.You have a beautiful family! I am so happy to hear that you and your husband are becoming foster parents! It is so needed! My husband and I have been foster parents for 8 years and have had over 100 children placed in our home. I can remember each one of them and I am sure they remember us...as we are part of their story. It can be really hard to see them reunited with their families after caring for them and getting attached to them but as you do it you will understand your place as the "middle man" so to speak and It does get easier...not easy but easier. Our shortest placement was 3 hours and our longest was 2 year and 3 months. We have several groups of kids that we are still in contact with. Next Monday my husband is officiating a wedding for one of our kids that aged out and we are baptizing another one of our girls that went home on Tuesday. We have adopted 3 daughters through foster care. Our last adoption was twin girl and we finalized last February. Foster care has changed our lives in so many ways. Other than growing our family it has lead me to two jobs within the system, one recruiting foster parents and the other providing training and support to adoptive families. I also want to leave you my email sadler.jen7@gmail.com. Feel free to contact me at anytime. I have been through just about all a foster parent can go through and always willing to help. I''m excited for you as you start this new journey!

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  4. omg. this is exactly what's been on our hearts for so long - although we know it's not time for us just as much as you know that it IS time for you. i love this brooke. i am praying for your sweet family and i am so thankful for precious believers that step up and take risks to love on children {and their families} when the situation could easily break your heart. every time i think something like that, God whispers to my heart "I am bigger than your heartbreak." wow. He is big, girl and i can't wait to follow your story. you are a treasure.

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