Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blessing Multiply Again!

Yesterday, August 21, we got the call from Christian Homes to say we have been selected by a birth mother and birth father. Our baby is due on October 12th and


We know that the baby is healthy and the birth mother has taken very good care of herself and the baby during the pregnancy. God is so good! We have been praying specifically for the birth mother to make healthy choices during her pregnancy.

Leisa, one of our caseworker, said that she received the call we had been selected just a few minutes before Eric called and told Leisa I was pregnant. How amazing! The birth mother does know that I am pregnant and she says, "Great, they can be close!"

We are very blessed and so thankful for what God has been planning for our life. God's plan for our family is so much better than we could have ever planned ourselves.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Race for a Cause

A couple of weeks ago my long time friend, Sunnye Moore McLanahan, called wanting to set up a fundraiser to help us with some of our adoption cost. Eric and I were very honored that she would come up with this idea to help us raise money for our future son or daughter.

Sunnye has been running since our college years and in just the past couple of years has started running in half and full marathons. She will be running a full marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 22nd and wants to run the race in honor of our adoption. Her goal is to get 30 people to sponsor her as she trains and competes in this race.

Wondering how you can get involved in sponsoring her?

On the side bar of our blog you will see Race for a Cause and a picture of Sunnye. If you click on her picture you will be taken to a page were you can download a letter from her and also a donation form. If you can not get to the letter and donation form or have other questions I would be glad to help you. Please e-mail me at

I will be updating you periodically on her progress. She will begin training this month and plans to run around 400 miles before her marathon in November.

Thank you again, Sunnye, for this wonderful fundraiser and thank you to everyone who is willing to sponsor Sunnye as she trains for the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon on November 22nd.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blessings Multiply on Monday!

We found out yesterday (Monday) morning that Margaret (Director of Adoption Services at Christian Homes) is on vacation until August 19th. So, it will be at least another week before our "pre-placement" stuff is officially wrapped up. But, we did receive confirmation that they have everything they need from us and that it all looks great. So, we continue to wait...we're getting really good at that! However, we are thankful that we know that we can expect some delay before hearing something else from our friends at the agency.

That wasn't the only news discovered on Monday morning. To our pleasant surprise, it appears that God has seen it fit to grow our family in addition to adoption. Yep, that's right,


"Doc" confirmed this morning that Mandy is approximately 5 weeks pregnant! WOOOOHOOOO!

What expensive medicine and Dallas' best medical professionals could not accomplish, our BIG God handled with no problem and without us even knowing. Dr. Heckman (I love this guy) prayed with us this morning acknowledging that this was indeed a "miracle". We cannot even begin to express the excitement and joy that continues to flood our hearts during this time!

If the agency allows, we have absolutely no intention of backing out of the adoption at this point. (UPDATE @ 11AM on 8-12: Just talked with the agency...we can continue moving forward!) There has not been one shadow of doubt along the way about our decision to adopt. God's perfect peace continues to affirm us in this choice. We've just got twice the blessings, excitement, fun (and diapers!) coming our way now!

So, please continue to pray for us through this. I am beginning to think that my spiritual gift is to pray for pregnant women and babies! Please continue to lift up the birthmothers of our children! Pray that both mothers (Mandy and "birthmother") will make healthy choices for their babies during pregnancy. Also, pray that God would continue to have his hands all over these babies before we get to hold them in our arms!

Good things come in pairs don't they?

So, are you as shocked/surprised as we were about this??? Praise the Lord!

Friday, August 7, 2009

So, What's Involved in Adoption?

In a way, we feel like God is using this experience in our lives to open the doors for someone else who may be following our journey to adopt. As a result, we feel responsible to be as transparent as possible about this process as a means of educating others about adoption and the enormous blessing that it already has been for us.

Let me preface this by saying that my very own initial reaction to all of this was, "You've got to be kidding me....we've got to do all of that to get a kiddo when some far 'less qualified' couples can have kids all decade long and never show up on the radar." But, I quickly let that thought go as I realized that these were standards that would be beneficial for all parents to be held to.

First of all, as Mandy has already mentioned in earlier posts, we have undergone extensive background checks and tests:
In our very first round of paperwork with the agency, we were asked to provide references in several areas of our lives: home, work, church, friends, & medical professionals.
Medically speaking, we were asked to be tested for HIV and to provide the last 3 generations of medical history.
We had our fingerprints scanned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Financially speaking, there was nothing that wasn't uncovered by the agency: savings, checking, mortgage, net worth, etc.

Secondly, there was a list of requirements:
We were to have active life insurance policies.
Back in April, we attended a mandatory 2-day orientation at the agency headquarters in Abilene (we REALLY enjoyed that!)
There were a couple of "required"(suggested) reading materials "given" to us by the adoption agency.

Thirdly, there were certifications that needed to be attained:
An online infant care course and examination had to be completed (and passed!).
CPR & First-Aid certification was required for each of us.

Documentation requirements:
Paperwork.....oh, the paperwork. They wanted to document a LOT of stuff about us and our families including medical history, education, religion, and location.
We were required to submit our pet's vaccination records....that means they had to be current on vaccinations too!
Following a guideline of questions, we each compiled an autobiography of our lives up to this point.
We were each required to document an evaluation of our Spritual walks and then a Spiritual development plan for our child.
Mandy worked to put together a 20-page scrapbook all about us, family, friends, pets & hobbies. This is one of the tools the birhtmothers will use in making their selection.
A floorplan layout and photos of our house was requested.
We had to decide whose insurance policy (mine or Mandy's) would offer the best coverage for the baby at the point of birth....not all policies begin coverage of an adopted child at the same time.
Our preferences for a, that was tough!!! Probably the most frequent question we get is whether get to specify the gender. We do not....nor would we want to, because it was tough enough to specify the many other things. We were able to document what we were "willing" to accept in a child, including ethnicity, medical history of birthmother and father, medical history of birthmother's and father's extended families, degree of substance (alcohol & drugs) exposure before pregnancy of birthmother and father, degree of substance exposure during pregnancy of birthmother. WOW!!! That was probably the toughest part of the adoption process for us up to this point. When you have so much love for a child, how in the world can you turn some away?

MONEY!!! Adoption takes money. When the adoption is finalized, the adoption process will have cost us just over $30,000. That is more expensive than what I initially thought it would be. I must admit that I struggled with facing this cost of adoption at the beginning of our journey. But, why would God lead us to choose adoption rather than seek further medical assistance if we couldn't afford it? That initial fear turned to faith that God would provide in every way. And He has been! And we are confident that He will continue to! We have held a couple garage sales to raise funds. And we have a couple more fundraising efforts coming your way in the very near future (check back for details!).

What a blessing this has been in our lives so far! Have you ever felt such a peace and patience about something that it MUST be nothing less than God's perfect plan? Yep, that's right where we are in this process. We are very excited about what's ahead on this journey.

Let the Waiting Game Begin!

So, we had our home study this week on Tuesday, August 4th. Leisa from the Tyler office came to our home and conducted it. Let's just say that our expectations of the home study were over the top. Everything went very well. Leisa was greeted at the front door by our two loving dogs. She came in, sat down, and asked us a few questions about our relationship and our parenting philosophies. Then, we took a walk through the house (giving special attention to the baby's room) followed by a brief investigation of the yard from the back porch. And that was practically all that the home study involved. In less than an hour after she had arrived, Leisa was on her way back to Tyler. I hope that's a good sign....she gave us no indication to think otherwise!

The official documentation of this visit should be finalized any day. And that is the last step for us to be considered "officially" eligible adoptive parents. So, theoretically, we are now just waiting to be selected by a birthmother! Here's the exciting part: the call could come at ANY time. Today, tomorrow, next month, next year....who knows? But God's got his fingerprints all over this thing and we are perfectly content to wait on His timing. But let me tell you, we are oh so ready to love on a little baby when that time arrives!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Baby Godwin's Room

I know many of you have been waiting to see pictures of the nursery. Sorry it has taken me a while but I did not want to post pictures till the room was finished. We will add some more decorations to the room after we know the gender but until then the room is officially complete. We even got the closet all cleaned out so it can hold all our baby things.

It is really hard to find bedding for a gender neutral room so we decided to make everything. My mom and mammaw did a great job on the bedding, curtains, pillows, and bed skirt. The comforter was the only piece of bedding that they did not make. Eric found the comforter at Dillard's and the colors match perfectly. The crib we are using was mine when I was a baby. I think it is neat that our baby will get to use the same bed that I did. Eric and I decided that the room needed something else so we painted the tree mural on the wall. The moral was time consuming but we are really happy with how it turned out.

If this is your first time to the blog..Read: We are Expecting!