Friday, July 19, 2013

Something I have been struggling with recently is that adoption has this way of making you feel completely unworthy of being parents. First, you fill out all of this paperwork that makes you list all of your financial information from what you make each year, to how much debt you have to all of your assests (which we don't have much of). In our case we even had to list out where all of our money goes each month and how much is left over. For a couple that doesn't make very much money, but still enough to live off of, this alone left me feeling like no one would even accept us. Thankfully, our wonderful social worker assured us that it's less about the money and more about the parents you will be and the environment you will provide for a child.

After we got though all of that, we had to create an adoption profile. For the most part I feel really good about our profile, the only thing that we left out that many put in is a picture of us in front of our home. The thing is, we are currently renting which means that we have no control over what the outside of our home looks like. In addition, while the inside of our house is fairly cute, the outside is nothing to brag about and is not something I wanted to put in our profile book. I didn't want to be chosen based on how our home looked from the outside, I want to be chosen because of who we are and how we want to raise our children. Also, we will most likely be moving before we are matched which would mean that the house we are pictured in front of is not even where we live anymore! So, we did not put this picture in our profile book. However, when you know that your profile is being shown alongside other profiles and others are being chosen over you, you begin to question what is wrong with you as a couple. Are we too young, not wealthy enough, is it because we don't own our own home, is it because of our jobs, what is it that makes them "better" than us? I know that we would make amazing parents and that you don't have to have a fancy house to do that. But the reality is that we can't tell these expectant parents how amazing we are and how much we would love their child. They only way they can get to know us is through out little profile book and they usually have in their heads what they are looking for in parents for their child.  No, we can't provide the material things at this point that some couples can, but in my mind that doesn't replace the fact that I chose to become a massage therapist so that I can make my own hours and be at home with our children as often as possible until they are in school. It also doesn't mean that we won't be able to provide more at some point, but we may also choose not to give our children certain things because of how we want to raise them. So we wait and wonder if we will ever be chosen.

Now, I am on to filling out more grant applications and once again, I feel like I have to compete to receive a grant. Are they looking for the best sob story or are they looking at genuine need? Sometimes I even have to go back to our finances and list those to provide that we have financial need and I'm still left wondering if they will view us as worthy. I never wanted to have to feel like becoming a parent was a competition, but this process makes me feel that way more and more even though I know we are in this for the right reasons. Please just pray for us as we press on, wait, pray and try not to let ourselves get too discouraged. Thank you all again for your love, support and prayers!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I've been having trouble keeping this blog updated recently for some reason and I'm not exactly sure why. I used to be full of ideas to write about regarding adoption, even if our personal situation hadn't changed. Now, many time I find myself at a loss of what to write. Part of it may be that I'm simply tired of the process. I'm tired of waiting, having our profile shown but not being chosen and then questioning whether we will be able to accept a placement if we are chosen because we don't have the finances in place yet (we've only raised about $2500 and had to use $1,000 to get to where we are). It tends to all just take a toll after awhile. I am at a much better place than I was at this time last year, I am not nearly as bitter about our situation and toward other women who get pregnant or adopt easily. I am not as sad and full of grief over our failed attempts at getting pregnant. I think now I'm just tired of waiting. So this is my attempt to be honest as to why posts have been less frequent.

However, as I'm sitting here writing I remember that I wanted to say "thank you" to all of you. I have read so many sad stories of couples that are criticized for trying to adopt. The friends and families in their lives don't support them or their decision, which would make this an incredibly lonely journey. Sadly there are those out there that don't understand how adoption works, but rather than ask questions and try to understand, they condemn and criticize. Many of them believe that all children should stay with their birth families and that all couples should adopt from foster care. This would be amazing if it were that simple, but they don't understand that it is the birth parents who are placing their babies for adoption because they know that they can't care for that child in a way that they want them to be cared for, or maybe they simply can't care for them at all due to a variety of reasons. No one should ever be forcing an expectant parent to place his/her child (I use place rather than "give up" because they choosing a placement for their child rather than "giving them up"). If this is happening, then there are serious issues. Also, adopting from foster care is not an easy process. Yes, there are thousands of older children in our foster care system that would love to be adopted, but as adoptive parents, one needs to be ready to bring an older child into the home. In fact, I have looked at a few older children that we would inquire on if we both were one board, but many of them cannot have younger siblings due to their past which prevents us from pursuing that child.

I say all of this because thankfully, unlike many of these other stories that I've heard from others, we have never received mean messages or had people tell us that what we are doing is wrong. Yes, we've had people suggest adopting from foster care, but it came from a genuine place of trying to help and knowing that there is a need there, not because they think that infant adoption is wrong. All of you, whom are our friends and family, have been nothing but supportive and I know that you will celebrate with us when the child we are meant to parent comes home with us. For that, I say thank you!

Also, I just wanted to remind everyone that we are open to private situations. This means that if you know a couple or a woman that is looking to place her baby for adoption and is looking for parents for that baby, we may be open to that situation and please feel free to pass our information on to her. Thank you all and have an amazing week!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Hi everyone! Once again, it has been too long, but so much has changed since the last time I wrote! First off, we just got back on Saturday from an amazing vacation out to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon and a number of other amazing sites of God's creation. We were so blessed to be able to enjoy this with my (Jess') parents, sister and brother-in-law while knowing that our fur-baby, Scrumpy, was safe in Lowville with his grandma and grandpa Zehr. It was a wonderful and refreshing week that was much needed by all.

Second, last time I wrote I was really struggling with the fact that we felt as though it was time for us to begin transitioning but that doors hadn't opened yet for us to do so. Elias and I have felt for awhile that we are supposed to move back to Lewis County in the semi-near future. He has been working up in Lowville with his dad since January, so it was me who needed to find work up there. I had one potential opportunity open up for massage, but I never heard back as the woman wasn't quite ready for me so I began looking at other options. In a short period of time I had an amazing opportunity come up to rent space in Croghan, which is a location that I have wanted to practice massage since I was in school. So, beginning tomorrow, I will be officially opening my own practice out of a room at the Hair Cut Co. in Croghan and I couldn't be more excited! We will still be living in Poland for a time, but we are hoping to move to Lowville by this fall. So, if you know any places that are inexpensive, at least 2 bedroom and pet friendly, feel free to let us know ;).

Now onto adoption related stuff, which is why most of you are here! Nothing real new on the adoption front. I have been told summer is slow for adoptions, so we will keep waiting. However, we are going to be doing a few fundraisers while in the waiting. We are having a yard sale with items from us and a number of other people who have generously donated items to help us out. This will be in two weeks on the 18, 19, and 20 of July at my parents house on East State St in Lowville if you are interested in checking it out! Also, we are going to be doing a Both Hands fundraiser on August 3rd. This fundraiser consists of us donating a day of our time to work on a widow's house. The widow we will be helping is in Martinsburg and the work we will be doing will mostly consist of yard work and possibly painting. We are still looking for a few volunteers so if this is something you think you may be interested in, please contact us as soon as you can! We still have a long ways to go with our fundraising so any help is appreciated so that we can provide a home for a child in need when the time comes! Thank again for all of you prayers, love and support and please keep them coming! Also, I am attaching a video to help explain our Both Hands project a bit more. Have a great day!