Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mixed emotions

I have been struggling to figure out which emotions to blog about first. Both could be quite lengthy or I could keep them both short and put them in one post. I know that if I write about one I'm going to want to write about the other the next day, so I figure it will be best to just keep them short and put them in one post.

The first item is how incredibly blessed I am. I write a lot about sorrow and frustration as these emotions tend to be quite common in my life right now, but I want everyone to know that even in the midst of this struggle I do know that I am blessed, even if I don't always sound that way. I am blessed in the big ways of having food, shelter and clothing. I have an amazing and supportive husband who is willing to sacrifice for me and walk me with down this very difficult road. We have incredible families that have supported us emotionally and financially when we have needed it the most.  Some of you may not understand this, but I am so blessed to come home to the sweetest dog that couldn't be happier to see me and makes the pain of infertility a little easier to bear. I also am blessed by the little things like running water, clean running water at that (which is actually a really big thing), electricity, and after our time in Gambia, I realize how blessed I am to have a washing machine.  We both have jobs and vehicles to get to those jobs. We have more than we could ever ask for, yet I struggle to be content. I should be able to look at all that we have, be thankful and not want anything else, yet I feel like there is a part of us that is missing. A part that leaves a burning desire in my heart, which leads me to the next part of my post.

I feel as though God has given us the desire to be parents, yet it feels like we are at a complete standstill, and despite our best efforts, we can't move forward. I have to admit, this has put a huge strain on my relationship with God. I read stories over and over of couples that struggle with infertility, then decide to adopt and God just opens doors. And then there is us, we decide to adopt and cannot find a door that is even cracked for us, nonetheless open. People talk a lot about God's perfect timing as if it will make the wait easier, but the reality is that this just makes the pain grow stronger because I have no idea when that "perfect timing" will be and I can't for the life of me figure out why it has to be so long for us  and so short for others. Frankly I'm just tired. Tired of this journey with no end in sight and tired of feeling like God is not on our side. While this may not be true, this is how I feel and thankfully God understands that. Once again please pray for. Pray for our relationship with God to be strengthened and renewed, pray that we will begin to understand where this road is leading and where God wants us to turn. Also, please pray for us as we are facing insurance issues and need to obtain new insurance for Elias in the next 30 days or else we will lose our reimbursement program that is vital for us to afford his medications and quarterly clinic appointments. Once again, thank you for walking this journey with us.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What is a homestudy?

What is a homestudy? This is a question that I have been getting frequently as of late. I have talked about wanting to get our homestudy done so that we can move forward with the adoption process, but I have never taken the time to explain what this is. A homestudy is performed by a social worker or adoption agency and is an evaluation of your family. Finances, health, relationships and possible criminal history are reviewed. You may have to answer questions about your community/neighborhood, school systems and resources  for children with special needs. Families are also asked personal questions to get an idea of who they are, how they will parent, why they are adopting, etc. All of this information is compiled into a 8-10 page report to ensure that you are suitable to adopt and to give agencies or social workers a better idea of what kind of child is best suited for your family.

This entire process takes about 3-6 months to complete. At a meeting that we attended, they stated that home studies could be completed in as little as a month, but this depends on how busy the social worker is and how flexible our schedule is to meet with the social worker. Once the homestudy is complete then you can begin the adoption process and begin applying for grants and other financial aid programs. In New York the average cost of a homestudy is around $2,000. We have raised/saved $760 at this point, meaning that we still have a ways to go before we can complete our homestudy and begin applying for grants and other financial aid. Once again, we ask for your help so that we can move forward. We are currently at a standstill and this is a really difficult place to be. Please continue to support us through prayer, and if you are looking to contribute financially we still have our coffee fundraiser open to the right of this page, and as I stated in our last post, we will be purchasing a puzzle where you can "sponsor" a piece for $10 and your name will be written on the back for our child to see everyone who helped bring him/her home. And as always you can donate directly to us online by clicking on the link at the right or by mailing a donation directly to us at:
Elias or Jessica Zehr
710 Old State Rd.
Poland, NY 13431

Thank you again to all who have donated and for all of your prayers and support.