Dec 30, 2010 - Our Story    No Comments

USCIS Appointments

Our 2010 was one filled with hills and valleys, and a lot of running up and down them, both literally and metaphorically. We finished the year with a successful return of our USCIS paperwork, and our fingerprint appointment scheduled for mid-January. After we get fingerprinted our next step will be to wait for our Favorable Determination Letter (FDL), which could take up to two months. This will be a pre-approval of a visa, which will be required when we finalize our adoption.

We had a very encouraging holiday this year as we met up with family and friends that we hadn’t seen in far too long, due to travel restrictions with IVF and our intense training schedule for our marathon. Everyone really rallied around us to inquire into our adoption story and we just can’t get over how many people are so excited to welcome our blessing home in 2011. We received a new video camera for Christmas that we hope to be able to help capture priceless moments in Ethiopia, as well as all of future first with Bella. I hope that we can get a lot of video footage between our two trips that will help her realize someday about the beautiful culture and people of Ethiopia. We also received a number of early gifts for her and some excellent literature about the process of adoption and international travel. We hope to receive our updated list numbers sometimes soon, and this month we will receive a phone call from our agency to catch us up on any new updates. As we ring in 2011, I want to say a special blessing for the entire continent of Africa and all of the orphans throughout the world. May they find hope and peace in the New Year and know that the Lord is in control.

Nov 11, 2010 - Our Story    No Comments

Countdown Begins!

This evening we officially made the waiting list to adopt our daughter, or if God chooses, twins from Ethiopia. We have worked diligently over the past few weeks, jumping through every hoop imaginable, pouring all of energy and prayers into getting to this moment. What a time to celebrate and look back on all of the blessings God has provided on the long road to this moment. We know we couldn’t have gotten here without the help of many people in our lives and faith from above. We know that we have several grueling months of waiting to bring home our family and recognize that it will test our patience at times. Our prayer is for God to provide us the strength and continue to lead us down the paths that he would see fit.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

– Mark 11:24

This week culminates with our remaining training runs as we are now 10-days away from our marathon, and it is a perfect parallel with all of the hard work we have put in to training our bodies to do the unthinkable. Sore and tired from the relentless pounding of pavement we lift our heads forward and know that we will have the strength and endurance to get through anything.

I put the picture of the rainbow above as a perfect symbol of God’s love and promise. Somewhere out there our daughter could be in a tiny village at this very moment. I look forward to the months ahead when we get to learn how she will come into our lives. The moment when we get to first look into her beautiful eyes and squeeze those little cheeks. I know that God will send a special angel to protect our Bella and watch over her until her Gotcha Day.

We look forward to sharing the next 8–9 months of waiting period with you as we countdown our number on the waiting list until we receive our referral. We are so excited to share our marathon adventure with everyone in 10 days. If you are unable to attend, keep an eye for our neon yellow shirts and say a prayer that we have a strong run and cross the finish line standing up.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us get this far and continues to encourage us through kind words and prayers. We can’t wait to share our Bella with you.

Oct 21, 2010 - Our Story    No Comments

Second Home Study Visit

We recently had our second home study this week with our social worker. We were excited to share with her all of the hard work that we have put in over the past several weeks since her last visit. With diligence and determination we were able to complete all of our paperwork and required education courses so that we could provide to her to begin our official home study letter. Through the past several weeks we have learned a lot about ourselves and the life of our future baby while taking our adoption education courses. It has been an eye-opening experience for the both of us as we explored the hills and valleys that we may face as well as our child while living as a conspicuous family. We have been fortunate that all of our paperwork was able to return so quickly and we even received our passports this weekend. With the submission of all of our paperwork, our social worker said that she will be able to begin scripting our home study letter within the next two weeks which is our final hurdle before being able to be placed on the official waiting list. These have been some interesting past few weeks for Heidi and I. We were honored to help her mother Kate celebrate her 60th birthday, where she ran her first 10K race. She is a true inspiration for the meaning of “you can do anything you put your mind too”, and certainly helped to give an energy boost in our training. We were blessed to have her accept donations on our behalf for her birthday celebration and with those donations, combined with the amazing outpour of support from our family and friends already, we have received over $3500 in donations. This has been a very humbling experience to jump through the multiple levels of clearances and background checks required by our agency, but most of all it has been a truly heartwarming experience to see that so many people have provided such great encouragement to us in this entire process. An interesting part of this home study included a home inspection by our social worker to ensure that we have a safe and loving home for our future baby. It was fun to envision our current office being transformed into a future nursery over the next year. We passed with flying colors on our home inspection! We look forward to the next and final home study visit within the next few weeks where we will have an opportunity to review our official written letter and clear up any last remaining details before shipping our package out for approval to be placed on the waiting list. These are exciting times for Heidi and myself and we rejoice as each day passes we become one step closer to holding our baby. Thanks again to everyone for everything you have done for us, you truly keep us inspired and encouraged to push on.

Sep 12, 2010 - Our Story    No Comments

First Home Study

A mixture of nerves and excitement swirled as we awaited our first meeting with our social worker this past week. It would be our first of four meetings that we will need to complete our home study not only required by our adoption agency, but also the state, federal, and international regulations. When we think of all the people involved in helping us bring home our little baby it is quite amazing to see it all work. We certainly have our work ahead of us in sending out forms, submitting fingerprints, letters of recommendation, and different level of clearances. I believe it is easy to get discouraged or overwhelmed in this part of the process, as it appears to be a mountain of paperwork to climb, but from our friends who have endured the same process we are encouraged to push forward and that it will go quicker than we think. If anything, it comforting that we will always be working on part of the process, whether it be submitting paperwork, organizing fundraising opportunities, or putting in miles for our marathon training, we know that we are working towards one goal, and in the end it will all be worth the sweat & tears we are pouring in. Our first visit was very encouraging and we seemed to get a lot of our forms filled out. It is very interesting to see all of the cultural, ethical, and sometimes meticulous parts of the process that take a deep look into our past, current, and future lives that will no doubt help form our roles as parents to our future children. It makes me wish that these types of discussions would be part of everyone’s lives that became parents. I don’t look at it as invasive process, but more of a personal discovery that will ultimately lead Heidi and I to being the very best parents we can be to our one-day child. Before our next home study visit can be scheduled we must work on our educational courses that will teach us about the intricate details of adopting a child internationally and how we can best ensure a smooth transition from its home country to ours. We have already browsed through some of the binder as a sneak peak and we are both extremely excited to all the information that will no doubt help us in raising our child to understand its diverse past and help us as parents adapt to the unique challenges and joys of adopting a child internationally. We continue to be encouraged by the overwhelming amount of support from our family and friends and are looking forward to our fundraising events as a way to celebrate the accomplishments that we have achieved and to rejoice in our future baby being one day closer to coming home.

Aug 30, 2010 - Our Story    No Comments

Orientation Packet

We have successfully sent our AGCI orientation packet out along with a good first round of corporate sponsorship letters for the Philadelphia Marathon. We hope to receive a strong response from the letters to help offset the cost of the orientation packet fees, which make up about 1/3 of the total cost of our adoption. The next steps in the process will be to send our FBI record checks in the mail so that we can be cleared to proceed, since these can take several weeks to receive a response. We have scheduled our first initial home study visit for the first week of September, which will begin the process of developing our family report. We believe that our social worker will discover that our future child will be so blessed with a supporting group of family and friends that will seek out opportunities in their lives to show them steadfast love and encouragement. Thank you, everyone for your support!

Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. – Isaiah 43:5

Aug 24, 2010 - Our Story    No Comments

Awaiting Our Home Study









We recently submitted our initial paperwork for the adoption application to All God’s Children International a non-profit Christian adoption agency based out of Portland, Oregon. We have received an initial pre-approval on the financial history portion of our application. Our next step is to submit the official application, which includes an in depth personal statement and official letter from our doctors describing our particular situation and, an endorsement for us to be adoptive parents. Our next step is to wait for an approval of the application so that we can schedule our home study. While we are awaiting our approval we are busy working on fundraisingopportunities and cross-training for our marathon in the Fall.

Jul 26, 2010 - Our Story    No Comments

Our Story






Ever since we got married in July of 2006, we knew that we wanted to have children and looked forward to the day that the Lord would bless us with a baby. We have always felt called to adopt a child, but also wanted to have our own biological children. In 2009 we learned that we would need to pursue infertility treatments to have a baby naturally. After two failed IVFs, we felt called to adopt our baby from Ethiopia. Growing up, our parents focused on two Bible verses, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13); and “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understandings. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight” (Prov. 4:5-6). We have not only drawn strength from these verses, this past year we have LIVED these verses. We may not always know what God’s plan is for us, but we trust in Him and we are open to His amazing work in our lives. We know that we can do anything through the love of Jesus. We will continue to be open to God’s work in our lives as he leads us through this adoption journey that will lead us to our little blessing.