Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Our Foster To Adopt Journey Part 1

The foster to adopt journey is completely different then private adoption! I knew that going in, but I had no idea just how long the process would actually take.

 (I'm going to break this up into several posts, since this will be very lengthy)

Let me take you back to 2014. Andrew was going on a mission trip to Mexico to work with orphans. Michael started asking for a baby brother. And I started to get the baby itch. So I asked Andrew to pray about expanding our family and to come home from Mexico with an answer. You see, we were very happy as a family of 3. Michael was, and still is, a great kid. And we felt so blessed to have him! But we knew Michael needed a sibling, we just weren't sure when. 

Well, Andrew came home from Mexico no more inclined to grow our family then he did when he left. So, we waited. I wasn't desperate for another child, so I was pretty happy to wait. 

Fast forward to November and Andrew tells me that he thinks he is ready!! I couldn't believe it! It was the furthest thing from my mind, but I was excited to start the process of adopting again. We knew that we would go through the foster care system this time. We have several friends who have done it, so we were pretty familiar with how it worked. 

First thing Monday morning, I called the DSS office and told them we would like to start the process of adopting! They referred me a third party agency, who was in charge of doing all of the intake paperwork and the training. I called them and got our initial application submitted the same week! The lady told me to expect the approval process to take 8 months and I thought she was crazy! I just knew we were going to have it done in record time! Ha ha ha!! Little did I know...

We got assigned to a case worker, the first of three, and she called to set up our orientation class. This was the end of November, so I was thinking we would be able to be in the next month's class. Well, it was already full, so January 26, 2015 would be our first of many classes. (Remember that date, because it is very important!) 

During the month of December and January, all we could do was wait for orientation. I called our caseworker to ask if we could go ahead and fill out the application, but she said no. So we waited. If you haven't noticed, waiting is definitely going to be a theme in this story.

January 26 finally arrives and Andrew and I go to the orientation class at the DSS office. 

At the orientation, we learned all about the adoption process and how things work through the foster care system. We were handed a giant folder full of forms to fill out and sign. Background checks, fingerprint forms, SLED checks, and of course the giant 15 page application for each of us. 

That next week was full of medical exams for all of us, TB tests, fingerprints, and taking the dog to get shots. We also scheduled our all day trainings for two weekends in February. 

We spent Valentine's Day 2015 in training all day, and also spent the next Saturday in training all day.  

After our 14 hours of training, we still had to do a adoptive families training. When I called to schedule that, the next available class wasn't until April 18, so I scheduled it, and then we were back to waiting. Over the next month, we completed our 15 page applications and got all of our paperwork together, so we could turn it all in when we went to our last training. 


April 18 we went to our Adoptive family training at the DSS office and we also turned in all of our paperwork. 


Since all of our training was done, and all of our paperwork was complete, all we had left to do was our fire inspection, our DHEC inspection and to be assigned to an investigator so they could do our homestudy. 

Things were moving along, and it looked like we would be finished before that 8 month time frame. Or so we thought...

To be continued...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Baby J is 15 Months Old!

Today, our sweet baby J turns 15 months old! When Michael was a baby, I did a monthly post about everything he was doing and how he was growing. Well, we missed out on the first 15 months, but now is as good a time to start as any.

Baby J, you came into our lives only a week ago, but we love you so much already! You are such a fun, happy baby, and are busy busy busy! You are so active and you don't ever sit still! Here is what you are up to:

- You have 12 teeth! And to be honest, I'm ok with he fact that I missed those sleepless nights of teething. 
- You eat and eat and eat all day long!! You love spaghetti, refried beans, Cheerios, puffs, goldfish, applesauce, oatmeal, cream of wheat, and yogurt! You still eat some baby food, but we are giving you regular food everyday to see what you like or don't like. So far you don't like cheese. 

- You wear a size 3 diaper. 
- You are in size 12 month clothes and the 18 month clothes are really big on you. 
- you weigh 20 pounds and are 28.5 inches tall. 
- You are an awesome sleeper! You go to bed around 7:30pm and wake up a little before 8:30am. You also take a 2 hour nap. We try to get you to just take one nap a day, but sometimes you fall asleep in the car if we go somewhere in the late afternoon. 
- You love the dogs!! You squeal every time you see them! We are working on being gentle with them. 

- You love your pacifier! You would suck I but 24/7 but we are trying to get you down to car rides and in the crib. 
- You have done awesome with this transition to our house! 
- You love your Daddy! And get so excited to see him walk in the door after work every evening. 

- You have met all of your grandparents and lots of other family. You were also very popular at Church on Sunday. 


- You had your first chiropractor appointment today and did great! He adjusted your neck, back and hips. Hopefully this will help with all of the snot!


- You love your big brother, and just smile at him every time you see him. You love to wrestle with him! 

- Your favorite toys are balls! If you have a ball to throw or kick, you are one happy kid! 
- You don't say many words, but you can say Dada, ball, and mama!

I can't wait to see how you grow and change over the next few months! We love you and are so thankful that God chose us to be your parents! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Introducing Our New Son...

Last Monday, we welcomed home our second son.

Since this is a foster to adopt situation, I can't share details about him, his name or his beautiful face. So, for the time being, you will have to look at his beautiful curly hair!

He is almost 15 months old and is a very active little boy! Michael is super excited about becoming a big brother, and loves his little brother so much! 

We have actually been in the adoption process through DSS for over a year now! We are thanking God for this beautiful new blessing! More posts to come about our sweet Baby J!