Our Adoption Journey

Aug 2011- Matt tells me he is ready to start talking about an adoption

March 2012- Matt attends an adoption informational meeting with an agency and also finds out about other agencies in our area for domestic infant adoption
Rest of 2012- We talked about, prayed about, thought about, debated about and finally decided to partner with Catholic Charities to begin our adoption journey

January 24, 2013- God was changing my heart in a big way. He was moving to get us off of our plan and onto his. You can read more about that towards the bottom of this post.
January 25, 2013- We meet the social worker and have our first interview. During the interview, she told us that 5 months ago they had no waiting families. Now they have thirteen and they did 6 placements last year. The math for that figures out to about a 2.5 year wait! Because we also have biological children, it would probably make it longer than that. Later that day, I received more confirmation that The Lord had other plans for us. You can find more about that on this post.
January 31, 2013- submitted our child abuse and background check. Also were fingerprinted, so I guess we are in the system now- ha!
February- March 2013- researching more about international adoptions and filling out the
ENORMOUS paperwork packet...ok so it was only about 20 pages long...but still... Also, sometime in this timeline, I heard Matt tell one of our friends we were adopting from Uganda! My heart lept. He had never actually said it. I was so excited!
March 13, 2013- Matt and I had our individual interviews. We still need to have our physicals done. Both of the kids medical paperwork is in. Our background checks came back. Also, emailed agency that we found out about that does Ugandan adoptions.
March 21, 2013- Spoke to the agent at Florida Home Studies and Adoptions (FHSA). You can visit their site for more stats on Uganda and some information to think about concerning the orphans of Uganda. We met their first criteria and then we got a copy of their fee schedule. It was comparable to everything I had researched about adopting from Uganda. We decided to go with this agency.
April 2, 2013- Agent from FHSA called back. We are placed on a waiting list. She also tells me about Ruth. A four year old girl who has been through her first failed adoption by a family who felt they could not finish. She has a clean medical history and has been left. Broke my heart!
April 16, 2013- found out Ruth has a family again!
April 25, 30th- We both had our physicals completed and blood drawn for testing.
May 6, 2013- 10 year anniversary and adoption maternity shoot
May 29, 2013- Dropped off physicals and had a few other papers notarized
May 31, 2013- Had wonderful help from Lindsey Stanley, Wanda Clemons, Michelle Fairrow, and Jen Searby pricing, sorting and setting up for our garage sale that 12 households donated to
June 1, 2013- Super busy, super successful garage sale! Over 16 tables, 30 ft of hang up clothes and bunches of people. Thanks to Jenny &Terry Whitaker, Jen Searby, Nate Fairrow, and Krystle Williams who all helped during or after the sale. We couldn't have done it without you. God answered our prayers for what we asked for and more!
June 6, 2013- Our home visit portion of the home study. She walked though our house, looked at where safety items were in place. Talked with the kids about adoption. Gave us a bunch of research and info on adoption. About 3 weeks and we should have a completed home study!
June 22, 2013- Ice Cream Social we had in Iowa. A huge thanks to my sister-in-law Lynn and Mom-in-law Pam for helping to organize and advertise for the event. We would not have been able to do it without you!
June 26, 2013- Pizza Ranch Table Bussing- we did this and donated to another adoption at the same time! I enjoyed this so much because I love talking to people and love working in a restaurant environment
July 10, 2013- Spoke to Agency. They still have 7 families waiting to bring their kids home. The Ugandan courts shut down every year from July 15th- Aug 31st so no adoptions will be done during that period. We are still on her waiting list and will move in once she brings several families home. Also spoke to our home study agency and she is still working on getting the home study written. Their fiscal year just ended so she has been swamped with paperwork. This actually works out for us because the home study is only good for one year from its date.
July 14, 2013- Adoption Team meeting with everyone there! It was a great exchange of ideas and new goals for us to meet. We passed $5000 in fundraising today!!! God is so good! We have more than enough for the first several steps of our adoption!
August 3, 2013- Our second adoption yard sale fundraiser- we presold many items and sold bunches more! We had at least double the amount of stuff that we had at the first one. At the end of the day we wondered what we actually sold! So thankful for another wonderful team helping us! Jen Searby was the workhorse of the operation again. Alongside her was Jenny & Terry, my mom, Amanda Birrenkott, Jen Devenport, Krystle Seidel, Michelle & Nate Fairrow and family. It was a super hot day and we couldn't have done it without our team! Noah raised $59.75 at his lemonade stand. It was great! Worst part is I forgot to take pictures :(
August 20th- Find out there is a problem with my medical records and my blood work and physical have to be redone. This adds $200 more to our home study. We thought our home study would be done by now, but are reminded it will be in God's timing.
August 26th- We found out that our home study still cannot be written until we have completed 10 hours of adoption education credits (basically classes to teach you about issues within adoption and how to deal with them).
September 14th- Our third adoption garage sale is great! We held it at the Searby's house and had the Birketts and Jen's mom Deena helping us with set up, take down and pricing. Jen was an awesome cashier as always. We had several people donate baked goods for the lemonade/goodies stand. Thanks to Michelle Thomas, Jennifer Moises and Krystle Seidel! We sold many items that we had at the last two sales so the change of location was a great benefit to us.
December 14th- We had our fourth adoption garage sale. Again, we had a wonderful time and God abundantly blessed us with items and buyers, but most importantly with people to help make it happen. The 'man' hours in the sale this time I added up to about 155 hours. WOW. I am so thankful to the people who gave all that time for us, our kids, to help us bring our kids home. Pretty unbelievable how blessed we are with supportive friends in our lives!

February?? We had an impromtu garage sale with items from our house. Had a quick sort and price on Friday. Saturday, we drug everything out and had a sale. It was great! It was quick, simple and we were thankful for help getting set up from Magarys, Krystle and Sally Williams, Krystle Seidel and a few others I cannot remember. It was amazing and we were so thankful!
April 26th- We had our sixth garage sale with a huge amount of donations from a generous friend including an AI tank! That thing was the talk of the sale and we finally got it in the hands of its owner July 13th-whew!
May 5th- We finally get the call that our agency is set up and ready to take us. It was 4 full months after the time she thought they would be ready. We are excited.
May 13th- We have officially partnered with our agency and can start getting our dossier together
May19th- We officially have a COMPETED HOME STUDY!!!!!
June 11th- Submitted our application to be a Give1Save1 Family of the week
June30- July14th- Ashley went to Uganda for the first time to experience the culture and what it will be like for our family to live in country for 8 weeks when we travel
July 16th- We were fingerprinted again. This time by the federal government for our immigration forms.
July 21st- Pampered Chef items sale. All of the proceeds went to our adoption. Had a great time with friends and family who stopped by!
July 27th- Found out we will be the featured family on Give1Save1 the week of Aug 18th
August 18th- Our video was released for Give1Save1
August 24th-  By God's grace and power, we raised $3830 with our video release
September 18th- Mailed our dossier to our agency
September 23rd- She received it
September 24th- Approved our Dossier!!!!
October 4th- Our Dossier left the US and headed to Uganda!
October 7th- We received a $2500 matching grant from Lifesong

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