Archive for November 2009

Your adoption questions, My answers

Monday, November 30, 2009

First of all, thank you to those of you who asked questions and took an interest to our adoption story. Its great to hear so many of you considering adoption!

I also want to start off by saying that this is OUR story, experience and opinions, every one's is different and there are no two stories alike! You should also know that we chose to adopt domestically (meaning in the states) and International or Foster Care adoption is a completely different ball game.

So lets get started. (There were a few duplicate questions so I paraphrased a few of them)

What agency did you go through?

We went through Bethany Christian Services...they have an office close by and we were very pleased with them as an agency and what they do to bring awareness to adoption.

Do you have a closed or open adoption?
We have an open adoption with Grayden's birth mother and a semi-open adoption with his birth father (meaning we have never met each other (his choice), but know a lot about each other and have seen pictures, etc)


Why did you choose to go the route you did?
We chose to have an open adoption for many reasons, we wanted Grayden to know his birth family and never want to hide any details from him. We wanted to be able to share with him how much his birth family loved him enough to choose life and adoption for him!

Our agency strongly encourages open adoption as well.

It has allowed us to better know the birth family and connect with them easier.


From the beginning to the end how much money was adopting your little boy?

We are choosing not to give you an exact figure on how much our adoption cost mainly because every agency and situation is different in terms of cost. And to be honest I am not really sure what is has all added up to be.

Domestic is more affordable than International in most cases but more expensive that foster to adopt programs. Our agency based its fees on the adoptive couples yearly income. It is expensive, but we'd pay any amount of money for our little blessing. I will say that it was between the $15-25,000 range.



Will you adopt again in the future?
I hope so! We are waiting and praying for the right timing of it all.


I have always heard that adoption is so expensive! Is it very expensive?
Yes, but I want to say again it was worth every penny and more.

My husband and I may adopt and would like to know if there are any programs out there that help pay for the process?

YES! There are numerous grants available to help people with some of the adoption costs, as well as loan programs and a Federal Adoption Tax Credit and in some states a State Adoption Tax Credit.

How did your adoption go through so quick (start to finish)? I've heard stories of couples who go through the process only to be agonized by the wait, which some say can take years...?

It did go quick, we started our home study in November of 2008, went active with the agency (meaning our profile could be shown to expectant mothers) on Dec 23, 2008 and we were matched on March 5 2009.


(the night we got "the call")


How did it go so quick? Lots of prayers! The wait can be agonizing, it was really hard to leave it in God's hands and have faith that His timing would be perfect but we did our best and are so thankful our adoption did go so fast!


What is the thing that surprised you he most about adopting?

There were lots of things that surprised me, but what surprised me the most is how much I would love a baby that I didn't carry in my belly for 9 month and give birth too and who wouldn't share my DNA. I knew I would love any baby God blessed us with but never did I expect just how much I love him! And how none of that stuff matters anymore AT ALL. I love Grayden more than words can express.


Did you ever consider adopting from another country besides the states?

Not really. We don't qualify to adopt from many other countries at this point so we just went right to domestic.

Was it a very invasive process? One of my daughter's classmates was adopted from China, and her mom said they had to fill out approx 20pages of info about themselves.

Yes, paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork. The home study consisted of a 35 question self study for both Robb and I to answer, fingerprinting, physicals, individual interviews, compined interview, a home inspection, and friends referrals.


Was Grayden born in Michigan or did you need to travel to another state?
Yes he was born in Michigan

Did his birth mother choose you, or did the agency?
His birth mother chose us. She saw our profile online and then requested to see our profile book we made along with a few other couples. She decided she wanted us to be the parents in her 7th month of pregnancy.


My husband and I have just started looking into adoption to expand our family.....any advice for me?
Hmm, my advice is DO IT :) And guard your heart, it really is an emotional process full of ups and downs. I say to people all the time that "adoption is not for the faint of heart." You have to be strong!

What arrangements to you have with the birth mom as far as contact?
We email her with pictures quite often, once or twice a week. And so far have had 3 visits with her since he's been born and another one in the planning stages for next weekend.

How involved were you with her before he was born?
We emailed a few times a week and she'd let us know how she was doing and how her appointments were going, we discussed names and really just spent those couple months getting to know each other better.


Did you bring Grayden home from the hospital or did he have to go to foster care for a while?
Yes, we brought him right home from the hospital.





How often do you get told that Grayden looks like Robb? (Because right now, at least, he totally does! I think their resemblance is so special :))
A lot!! I personally don't see the resemblance (other than the fact that they're both super handsome) but we do hear it a lot. No matter who he looks like we think he's a perfect fit for our family!


Do you have a separate blog about your adoption?
Yes, I updated it a lot while we were going through the adoption process just to keep track of things that were happening and where we were in the process but I don't update it much anymore. I had been writing all his monthly posts over there but you may have noticed I have been switching them to this blog. Currently I only post over there when we have visits with his birth mom. I have chosen to keep it private, for the privacy of his birth family.


What are your plans for telling Grayden about his adoption?
that's a great question. We already tell Grayden about his adoption. I just randomly bring it up, we know he doesn't understand yet but that way we think it will just come naturally to talk about his whole life long.

We didn't want to hide his adoption from him until a certain age or something and then sit him down one night and tell him his background, that just seems so movie-ish . I think it would be awkward had my parents sat me down on my 13th birthday and told me I was adopted.

So we have already begun to tell him about his birth mom and I pray for her with him and we read him children's books about adoption. It just works for us!

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Thanksgiving Pictures







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He *IS* Good

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's Thanksgiving Day.

I don't know how to begin to write this post. I try to put into words what my own mind can't even grasp. But I'll try.

My heart has never been so full of joy and thankfulness to God for the great things he has blessed me with. There is not day that goes by that I don't thank God for the revelation he has done in my life; and likewise there is not a day that goes by where I don't remember where we've been and the heartache that went along with it.

It's so easy to give thanks today because of where we are now, and what we have now

but its still so hard to give thanks for where we've been and what we've lost in the process. Friends, I pray that giving thanks comes easily for you today but I know that for many of you its so hard. My prayer for you today, Thanksgiving Day, and always is that you remember God loves you and he has promised to "never leave you nor forsake you". He is good.

Psalm 118
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.


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Philips, Craig and Dean Concert

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Friday night we were invited by a local radio station to see Philips, Craig and Dean in concert!


We've been spoiled lately but I think that was the last of the concerts for awhile!

P.S Thank you for your prayers for my family and my Grandma the past few days, she seems to be doing better the last couple days!! We really appreciate your care and concern!

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Double Trouble

Tuesday, November 24, 2009









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3 months old (originally posted 8/12/09)

Monday, November 23, 2009


Grayden you are 3 months old today! To celebrate Mommy baked a cake and took your pictures! Here's what you're up to:
You sleep from around 10-6/7 and get up at least once to pop your paci back in

You still love to be swaddled at night

You eat 5 oz 5 times a day

You are much better at napping in your crib and sometimes sleep for 3 hours in the afternoon!

You are getting so strong and can hold yourslef up really well on your feet!

You went to your first whitecaps game You went camping for the first time You had your first ride in daddy's Jeep You have new toys, your bumbo and exersauser/jumperoo


You wear size 1 diapers and 0-3/3 months clothes

You weigh 13 lbs 2 oz as of last week on our new baby scale!

You rub your eyes when you are tired...so cute!

You are starting to 'play' with toys and put things in your mouth.

You are giggling....so cute!
You have started to drool so we've gotten the bibs out a couple times!

You spent your first evening away from Mommy and Daddy while we went to a wedding! You played with Grammie and Grampie R.

You still love to be held but also do great when you play on the floor!


We love you so much buddy!Align Center

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Adoption Questions?

Saturday, November 21, 2009


In honor of National Adoption day today I thought I would offer you readers a chance to ask me any questions you may have about Grayden's adoption or domestic adoption in general. I'll give you a couple days to leave your questions in the comment area (or you can always email me too) and I will do my best to answer them sometime next week!

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Pray for Grandma W

Friday, November 20, 2009


My Grandma W moved into the Hospice House this past week. She fell a few weeks back and fractured her tailbone, since then things have all gone downhill, she has been in and out of the nursing home, therapy center and the hospital many times in the past 4 weeks. We pray for her comfort as we wait for God's will in her life. Her 90 years! here on Earth may be nearing its end, but we know she has many loved ones waiting for her in Heaven and whenever God calls her home she will be pain free and healed.

We appreciate the prayers for my Grandma and our family in this difficult time.

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Happy 4th Birthday Pacey

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Pacey Valentino~ 4 years old


The sad thing is that Robb had to remind me of this occasion this evening around 5:30...in years past I would NEVER have forgotten such an important day in our furbaby's life...funny how quickly things change when a baby comes into the picture :) Don't get me wrong, we still love Pacey more than anyone should love a dog but he has been put on the back burner since Grayden came into our lives and took over this house :)

Happy 4th Birthday Pacey Boy.

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i need help

from you....
does anyone know why all the stuff on my sidebar moved to the very bottom of my blog page? And how do I put it back?

I went to my layout tab and everything is right where it should be on there....weird.

If anyone knows how to fix this, let me know!
Thanks :)


ETA~ Ok, we're all set now!! Thanks!

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wordless wednesday

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

*thank you so much Holly, this is so special*

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4 months (origanally posted (9/12/09)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Grayden you are 4 months old!! I can not believe how much you have stolen my heart these past few months. I love you more each and every day!
To celebrate we spent some time camping at Silver Lake and riding daddy's jeep in the dunes!




Here's what you've been up too:


You can hold up your own bottle, you dont really raise it up or lower it but you do hold it in place and move your mouth to get it! Such a big help, expecially when we are on the road. But I still love to hold you when I feed you when we are home!

You have been so busy! You actually play with your toys now which is so fun to watch.




You went to your first Major League baseball game! Go Tigers!!




You went on your first out of state trip and stayed in a hotel for the first time when we went to Indiana over Labor Day weeekend! You did so good!

You went peach picking and feel asleep in mommy's front pack. You met your great-great grandma on her 98th birthday!

You went to your first tractor pull at the Hudsonville fair and slept through the majority of it!

You learned to roll over, front to back one day and back to front the very next day!!






You are no longer swaddled at night!


You're hands or other toy are in your mouth all.the.time


You were been busy helping daddy and Grandpa fix daddy's Jeep so it could be ready for the dunes!
You have developed a slight case of seperation anxiety from your momma and cry when you can't see me...but I don't mind...it makes me feel loved!


You are giggling more and more and its the sweetest sound ever!






You are jabbering more

You also found that your feet are very fun toys!

You are eating 25-30 oz a day.

You wear size 1-2 diapers

Your clothes are mostly 3 months and 3-6 months but you still fit in a few 0-3 and we even have you drowning in a few 6 months summery outfits that we want you to be able to wear at least once before the cooler weather comes!



You are practicing sitting up and surprised us all that you can actually hold yourself up for a few seconds.





You weigh 15 lbs 8 oz and in the 50th %ile and are 25 inches long and in the 50th %ile.

You no longer like to be held like a baby but instead like to look out and see everything.! You are a big boy now!!

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