The Home Study Phase

We found out great news on Thursday, 4/23. Our contract has been received, is being processed, and we get to move into the next phase -- the home study! From what we understand, this is the biggest phase.

And we were assigned our case manager. She e-mailed us on Friday, 4/24, and she sounds amazing.

Also, we received our first baby gifts!! My friend, Felicia, had made us baby blankets this last January (unbeknown to us) and prayed over them while she made them, asking for Jesus to bring us babies. WOW. After we told her about the adoption, she went home and got the blankets and surprised us with them, along with a beautiful letter she wrote after she had completed them (on 1/09/09).

Today, we came home from church, and waiting for us was a gift from our dear friends, Kari and Steve Potter. Kari bought us baby shirts, three books, two stuffed animals and a toy, along with a lovely card and balloon. So fun!! By the way, one of the baby shirts had a monkey on it. How appropriate is that? They must know us well. :-)

Bringing the Nations Home

We were having a student leader's meeting at our house on Sunday night, April 12 (Easter). We had just served a Thai dinner from a local restaurant, and were enjoying some great conversation. As we moved into the "meeting" part of our evening, Andrew said to the students, "I want you to pray for 30 seconds, and then prophesy [share an encouraging word from God] to the person sitting across from you." The student leaders went right into praying and the 30 seconds turned into a few minutes because no one could stop praying. Andrew then said, "OK -- let's start!" and he had each person go one by one and share the encouraging word they felt from God. It came to Olivia, who was sitting across from Andrew. Olivia shared some encouraging things for Andrew, and then ended with saying to him, "And then, I saw a little Asian boy sitting next to you. Both of you were praying with your hands together in a certain way and then I heard the Lord say, 'You are bringing the nations into your home.' " None of the student leaders knew we were adopting from Nepal. Olivia later described the child that she saw as part Indian, part Chinese, which is exactly what the Nepalese people look like!! Also, the way she saw them holding their hands in prayer is the exact way the Nepalese people greet each other when they say "Namaste".

A few weeks later, on Monday, 4/20, I was having lunch with a friend. She said, "When I saw you at church yesterday, I saw that you are a mommy." And then later on in our conversation, she said, "And during the sermon, I felt to give the scripture to you that's in Isaiah, 'My house will be a house of prayer for all nations.' " about some confirmations! Thank You, Jesus! We can't wait to bring the nations into our home.

Our First Baby

We are excited to share the wonderful news that we are in the process of adopting a baby from Nepal! We are working with an agency called "Adoption ARK" and we started our process in early April. So, we are just at the beginning! They say that it'll take about a year. We have asked for an infant, 6 months to 12 months old, boy or girl. (You can’t adopt a baby less than 6 months old.)

You may wonder—why Nepal? We first looked into India, but India is currently closed for adoption unless you want to adopt a child with extreme special needs (i.e., cerebral palsy). We also looked into Guatemala but they are currently closed as well. Lastly, The Philippines was of interest to us, but you can only adopt kids 2+ years, and Indonesia was of interest as well, but you have to live there for 2 years before you can adopt from there!

So, Andrew brought up Nepal and the rest is history. And the Lord truly has put Nepal deep in our hearts since we have begun this process! Right now, I can't imagine adopting from anywhere else because we already feel connected to the people of Nepal. It's amazing what Jesus can do!

When we first pre-qualified for adoption from Nepal (Wed., 4/8), we were put on the waiting list for 2010. There is a waiting list because Nepal only adopts to 65 agencies in the entire world, and only 10 children per agency, per year. That’s just 650 kids a year, and Nepal has 100,000 orphans. Anyway...with just 10 kids per agency per year, we expected to be on the waiting list for awhile. I personally didn’t think we’d hear anything until the end of this year. But, to our blessed surprise, we heard from the agency on Thurs., 4/16, just 8 days after we were on the waiting list. Our adoption consultant e-mailed us saying our name came up for the 2010 Nepal Adoption Program waitlist, and we could officially begin our paperwork for an adoption to be submitted in 2010.

We were elated!! We received the contract Mon., 4/20. We were required to turn it around, along with a payment, within 72 hours. They have to put a timeframe on the turnaround time of the contract to ensure that you are serious about it and to not keep others waiting that are on the list in case you decide not to do it. We completed our contract review and application (35 pages!) by Wed., 4/22, and sent everything off. We received news on Thurs., 4/23, that our contract was accepted, is being processed, and that we can start our home study. We were introduced to our case manager on Fri., 4/24, who is going to walk us through the rest of the process all the way to the point of having our new baby in our arms.

Here is the agency we are working with:

You can see photo albums of one of the agency's Nepal visits by clicking here:
Then click on photo/video album and then you'll see the various Nepal photo albums that you can click on.

You can also YouTube “Nepal”, as well as Google “Nepal” and “Nepal Children” to see and learn more.

Thank you for sharing in our joy, and joining us in this amazing journey!

Photo captions
First photo: Me and Andrew skyped his brother and sister-in-law in Atlanta to share with them the good news. (I love that you can see the picture of the orphanage in the background in this photo!)

Second photo: Our first official step in the adoption process: Reading, filling out and signing the Nepal adoption contract.