Home study and Korean food

As I mentioned in the previous post, we had our home study on Tuesday the 26th.  It went wonderfully!  Our social worker was very kind and very easy to talk to.  We basically reviewed our lives from birth through just before we met.  Our next visit will be in our home and then we will have one more office visit after that.  I am really enjoying this part!  After our home study visit we decided we were all hungry so we checked out our GPS and there was a Korean restaurant around the corner so guess where we ate!

For the most part it was pretty tasty!  The next day I recieved a package in the mail from my mom and this is what she sent:
Yay for adoption books!  Thanks mom.


Home Study

Tomorrow at 9:00am we have our first home study appointment.  This visit will be in the office and approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours long.  I am excited and nervous  and anxious.  Rather than trying to explain what exactly a home study is, since this is new to us, I googled it.  Here is what I found:

The adoption home study is a detailed written report of your family compiled and prepared by a social worker. This can take three to six months to finish. The adoption home study requires the prospective adoptive family to gather different documents, answer several questions, and explore their reasons for adopting. Through a series of visits and interviews the social worker can get a complete picture of who you are and what life is like in your family. The adoption home study is a part of the decision making process for both the prospective family and the workers. Not only can the adoption home study help the worker place a child into your home who would best fit into your family, but help the family and the worker decide if now is a good time for your family to adopt.
The adoption home study can include the following pieces of information. Keep in mind that each state or country, in an international adoption, may require different information.
  • Autobiography/Family Background - Some states or agencies have a social worker working very closely with the family to finish this part of the home study, while others have a detailed list of questions that the agency wants answered. These questions are typically about your family, past and present; how you feel about discipline, your fondest childhood memory, or your greatest fears.
  • Neighborhood/Community/Schools - Be prepared to describe your environment. What is your school system like? Which schools will your child/ren attend? Do you have a relationship with your neighbors? What resources does your community offer to help you parent a special needs child?
  • Physical Health - You may need a physical or health exam and/or a Tuberculosis(TB) test or chest x-ray. The social worker will also be interested in hearing how you have any health issues under control. Be prepared to explain how these health issues will or will not effect your ability to care for a child. There shouldn't be an issues with you adopting unless you have a serious health problem that effects your life expectancy.
  • Financial Statements - You must be able to show that you can care for an additional person(s) with your current income. Be prepared to verify your income with paycheck stubs, W-4, or income tax forms 1040 or 1040 EZ. You may also need to show information on your savings, insurance coverage, investments and debts. There may be a worksheet to fill out that covers your bills, such as mortgage or rent payments, car payments, and charge accounts.
  • Criminal Clearances - Most states require by law criminal record and child abuse record checks. Misdemeanors from long ago along with a good explanation of your behavior are usually not held against you. Felony convictions of any charge involving children or illegal substances will most likely not be allowed.
  • References - You will need the names, addresses, and phone numbers of three or four references. Some agencies will contact by phone, others will require that your references write a letter of recommendation. Choose people who have known you for several years and know your family. They should be familiar with you and have seen you in a variety of situations, with children, your spouse, etc. References will not keep you from adopting unless workers receive several negative comments, or a reference has brought up a questionable criminal record.
  • Interviews - Interviews are a time for the workers to go over your paperwork, learn more about you, clarify anything in your autobiography and see that your home is a safe and healthy place for a child. You do NOT have to be a clean freak! The worker will tour your home and will want to see the room that you have planned for the child. If you haven't already discussed it, you may want to have a safety plan in place in case of fires or other natural disasters. Be honest and show your personality, a sense of humor is always a good thing to have, especially when parenting.
  • If You Already Have Children - Some agencies will have the children write a statement about their feelings toward adoption. If they are too young, they may be asked to draw a picture. Workers will want to know about your children's interests, hobbies, and grades. Your children will be involved in interviews, and may meet with the social worker individually.
So there it is in a nutshell...a very big nutshell!  Can you see why I am a bit nervous?  I know that God has directed our path so I have no doubt He will be with us through every step of this adoption.  I am actually grateful for the busyness of this part.  Once the home study is done the waiting begins, and there in no timeline for that! 


Trav's surgery

After asking for prayers on facebook for Trav's surgery this past Tuesday many friends and family were naturally curious as to what he was having done.  I am sorry it has taken me so long to do this but I figured it would be easier to just blog about it.

Travis has had extensive dental work done since joining the Army.  It has been interrupted several times due to deployment.  In Virginia he was able to have quite a few procedures done without the interruptions.  He had to have a few molars pulled which left him with a large space in his mouth.  This can cause all his teeth to eventually shift, leaving gaps.  The next step was to have implants put in.  Since we didn't have enough time left to do this in Virginia he has started the process here in Hawaii.  This process will take approximately 1 1/2 to 2 years to complete.  The first step was to raise his sinus cavity.  There needs to be a certain thickness of bone to place the posts for the implants and Travis didn't have enough.  This is where the surgery comes in.  He had to have bone marrow removed from his leg and put into his sinus cavity.  This required a 2 inch incision just under his knee to "scrape" out bone marrow.  This was then placed in his sinus cavity.  He has about a 1 inch incision in his gum line.  If this "takes" it will be about a 6 month healing process and then they will put the metal posts for the implants in.  They wanted to place the posts at the time of the surgery but they were not able to (I dont recall why).  If this doesn't end up being thick enough there is a chance he will have to do this again. 

Travis is doing well.  He will be off work until May 3rd.  Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  Please keep praying for healing and that he won't have to go through this procedure again! 

Happy Easter to all!


Surgery and appointments...

Travis will be having surgery on Tuesday the 19th.  I am sure I will not explain this quite right...he is having bone marrow taken from his leg to put in to his jaw(something like that).  He has had a lot of dental work done lately and this will be the beginning of a long process to put implants in.  Please keep him in your prayers.

Adoption update:  Appointments!  We will be having a lot of these over the next few months as we complete our home study.  Today we will all be getting a TB test and Ethan will be getting a shot or two.  Friday we have our fingerprinting appointment.  This is our first set of fingerprints, we will be doing them again later.  The following Friday will be my physical which requires A LOT of bloodwork!  Oh joy!  Hopefully, in the next day or two, we will also be making our first home study appointment.  I am enjoying this part of the adoption as it keeps me busy and I feel like I am doing something.  Soon it will just be a waiting game.  Hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday!



Our first fundraiser is up and running!  Look on the right side of the blog above the Korean flag and you will see an add for Just Love Coffee.  Click on this add and you will be redirected to our store.  Thank you in advance for your help. 

We are hoping to have another fundraiser up and running sometime next week so stay tuned for that one!

Birthday boy

Eleven years ago today, at 12:09 am (MST) my first child made his apperance into this world.  My birth was not how I planned it.  Jake was breech and he came out via c-section.  I was devastated...until I looked into the eyes of my sweet baby boy and suddenly it didn't matter how he got here!  Jacob was a VERY easy baby.  We were so blessed. 
So, we didn't have a digital camera when he was born and I haven't kept my pictures very organized.  Jake was not quite 2 years old here.  Christmas 2001

Wearing daddy's boots

I am so proud of the young man he is becoming.  Happy birthday to my handsome 11 year old boy.  We love you to the moon and back!!!


First Trimester

Yes, we are in our first trimester!  Adoption trimester that is.  It is not unlike the first trimester of a pregnancy.  We know we are going to have a child at the end but it just doesn't seem real yet.  I often feel nauseous when thinking about all the paperwork...or about eating kimchi! LOL  Unfortunately, the timeline for the first trimester of adoption is not as concrete as it is for pregnancy. 

The application for our homestudy is almost completed and I am hoping to get it turned in by the end of this week.  Once the application is reviewed we will receive MORE PAPERWORK!  The homestudy can take anywhere from 2 to 4 months depending on our availability and how fast we can get all the documents needed.  So, we are praying the first trimester is smooth and uneventful so we can go on to the second trimester where we get to finally see the blessing God has waiting for us.

On to the paperchase....


The 1st birthday pics...

Ethan didn't like the flash on the camera so he kept closing his eyes and making silly faces!

My baby is ONE!