1st Home Study visit scheduled!

In just a few days we will be welcoming our case manager/social worker, Chelsea, into our home for our first home visit. The date is Friday, 12/11 and we’ve been told it will be a minimum of 3 hours. Because of the large time commitment, we’re still negotiating the time. Willie’s Christmas party for Laplink is at 6:30 in south Bellevue so we’re limited on our afternoon hours. Do we need to schedule FOUR hours?!

Appreciate your prayers!

The kids who are here will be talked to some and then whoever isn’t here will get picked up on the next visit.

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Adoption homework is turned in! Now what?

(Lots of detail. I’ve bolded some of the key points.)

With our homework turned in, we are now in waiting mode for Antioch Adoptions social workers to write it up. After some preliminary writing, home visits will be scheduled (2-3 different times at about 2 hours each). Once all visits are completed, the home study will be written and we will acquire our foster license. Estimated length of time is 6 weeks to 3 months to complete this phase of the process. During this time, I am working on creating a picture profile of our family that will represent us to the birth parent or social worker for the child. (Appreciate your prayers for this tender subject.)

Once we are licensed, we WAIT for a call from Antioch that they have a potential child match.

When the call comes, get some info and then hang up and pray. We won’t call back for 2-24 hours with our answer.

Then, our caseworker, Chelsea, will present our case and picture profile to the birthparent or social worker on behalf of the child. The birth parent or social worker may have up to 4 profiles to look at along with ours, and then we are either chosen us or not. We receive a 2nd phone call giving us the ‘verdict’. If not chosen, we await another child match and begin that part of the process again.

If chosen, (WOW!) we make an appointment to read the child’s records.

Next, a transition plan is formulated which includes our first visit with the child (adults only) where we also get to meet the current foster parents. This visit is typically a couple hours long, and since the kids can’t come we may bring a special toy on behalf of them to present to the child.

In subsequent visits, Ashley, Jordan, and Bekah will be able to come and meet their new sibling. We could go do something fun together. We may also have a weekend visit where the child comes and stays for the weekend. When all involved think the child is ready, the child moves into our home. (Typically a month-long transition process.)

During the next few weeks, Antioch social workers and foster care social workers will be coming out to the house just to check in and make sure all is going well. These are called post-placement visits and are carried out as a help during the transition. These social workers are also always just a phone call away.

How long this entire process takes is only in God’s wisdom. Our job is to stay following Him. Only by staying close and intentionally letting him lead (not asking him to hop on board with US), will we be in the right place when the calls come. It will be an emotional rollercoaster. We appreciate knowing you are praying for us.

PRIDE training class

Willie and I survived our 3-day state training this past weekend. Most of the time this class is offered over about 7 different meeting times, so ours was very intense. We also had family speakers who had previously adopted, sessions on multi-cultural families, and special needs. It was, well, boring a lot of the time, but it did give us the opportunity to meet 11 other couples also going through the process of adopting. Of these, 8 already had biological children – that surprised me, I thought we’d be the odd-balls.

Willie and Stephanie with our Antioch Case Worker, Chelsea

Willie and Stephanie with our Antioch Case Worker, Chelsea

Our PRIDE class on a quick break Sunday afternoon - this was about the only sunshine we saw all day (all sessions were held in a windowless room!!)

Our PRIDE class on a quick break Sunday afternoon - this was about the only sunshine we saw all day (all sessions were held in a windowless room!!)

I will update again soon as to the next steps in our process!

Slow, but sure, adoption progress

Ready for the FBI

Ready for the FBI

It’s September 23, seven months since our introduction class (2/23) with Antioch Adoptions, and I’ve finally gotten the last of the preliminary paperwork taken care of. These fingerprint cards, money orders, and a notarized letter were mailed to the FBI today for our federal background checks.

Where are we at right now? I explained to someone that it feels like being on a log ride at an amusement park. We’ve been sailing along, occasionally bumping the side and questioning, but for the most part it has been smooth sailing. Well now, the big, you-know-it’s-coming drop is just around the corner and we’re about to plummet. Things will be picking up speed very quickly and we’ll be that much busier as we complete classes which allow us to be licensed as foster parents.

In just a little over 2 weeks, Willie and I will spend 34 hours over the course of 3 days in special training called PRIDE (Antioch Adoptions’ adoptive family preparation training and also fulfills State requirements for foster licensing). At this weekend training we also receive PRIDE Homework and Adoptive Homestudy Homework which must be completed before a caseworker can be assigned to complete our homestudy. Once we have our piles of homework and the weekend is completed, we’ll still have 21 hours of individual classes to attend. BUT, once this is all done, the homestudy can be scheduled and completed… and then we just WAIT (prayerfully!).

Thank you for praying with us!

Moving right along!

Fingerprints for our FBI background checks

Fingerprints for our FBI background checks

One step closer to reaching our goal! On Saturday we took the whole family down to the Lynnwood Police Department, plunked down Willie and my ID and $10 each and got fingerprinted. The kids certainly didn’t need to come but we’re trying to include them in as much as we can since this is a family affair! Ashley and Jordan went with me to the Antioch Adoption office last Wednesday to meet our case worker, Chelsea, just so they’d get a little better connected with where all this business is taking place. I think it was neat for Chelsea to meet the kids, too, even though Bekah ended up at the park with a friend.

Moving right along!

Accepted by Antioch Adoptions!

A month has passed since we received this letter but it is still so dear to my heart. Through the abilities of technology, here it is to share.

We are now praying about childcare for the extended training weekend as well as funds for this and the FBI finger printing. Continuing to pray for the child(ren) the Lord has for us; for physical and spiritual protection, health, readying to join our family, and a covering by the blood of Jesus. We continue to also pray for those who will be involved in the placement of this child as well as the birth parents.

Thank you for your continued prayers for us in this process.

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An afternoon interview

Willie and I had our first interview with Antioch today. It is this interview and their conversations with our pastors that determine whether or not we are accepted into their ministry. Of course, this whole thing is up to God, so who knows what the journey will look like, but we’ve started something.
As part of the documentation that I’d like to present this potential child someday, I took a picture of Willie and I on this special day.

What Willie and Steph looked like on the first face-to-face meeting day with Antioch

What Willie and Steph looked like on the first face-to-face meeting day with Antioch