We are headed out to Washington DC tomorrow morning EARLY. I cant wait to see a new city and do new fun things. Have a great week!

After looking through so many agency websites I have come across several options for helping with the costs of adoption which if anyone has looked at the cost through an agency realizes its not cheap at all. Here are a few sites that Ive run across for anyone considering adoption.

Adoption is clearly God’s heart. It says in Ephesians 1:5, “…He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.”

Great website that lists almost all options (international, foster, etc. are not listed below) including international adoption travel fees reduced at the very bottom

Just a reminder for anyone adopting that there is a 12,150 credit for the 2009 tax year for anyone with a Adjusted gross income of 170,820 to help with adoption costs that definitely would help out big time.
National Adoption Foundation
National Adoption Foundation Credit Card
A Child Awaits Foundation-low interest loan
Abba Fund-Interest Free Loan
Bank of America Adoption Loan (up to 25k)

Gods Grace Adoption Ministry-grants & fundraising
Gift of Adoption-grants up to 7500
Help us Adopt-Grants up to 15,000
Show Hope-Adoption Grants
Lifetime Adoption Foundation

Shades of Us-Fundraising Ideas

If anyone has any others please share:)

We are heading to Washington DC next week for an entire week and just wondering if anyone has any suggestions for restaurants. If so, please share:)

If anyone knows about the area we are going to a convention for a few days at the Walter E Washington Convention Center and is there anything close by for lunch and such??

Thanks for any info!

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For the Adoption stuff, after yesterday we are really just thinking twice about going through the state. Its been nothing but a joke honestly and anytime we need to get ahold of anyone its impossible. How would we ever even find out we could get a kid??

We are on the waiting list at Bethany as well which is probably one of the cheaper for adoptions. We have to wait 6-9 mths (already waited almost 2 mths) to get into a meeting and then from there it will probably be a while later. They said from initial application to expect 1.5 to 2 years which would be December 2010 to May 2011.

Chad is doing better but hes still extremely sore and has a huge bruise but hopefully he will recover soon!

Well a quick run down on the home study... which I must admit was a major disappointment...

Yesterday our SW was supposed to be here at 2 pm, well she showed up about 10 minutes late, then when she got here she forgot all the paperwork to ask us. I dont understand how you cant be prepared for this?? So 45 minutes later (close to 3 pm) we finally got started.

She sat down we got to chatting and then she asked us questions for 2.5 hrs. I was to the point of boredom or more like beyond. Some of the questions she asked us we had already filled out in our packets and some questions were asked 2 or 3X just in a different way. After 2.5 hrs of questioning she obviously thought it was time to wrap up so she left the last 4-5 pages with us to fill out. I really dont get this at all. If she was going to leave us with the paperwork then why could we not have filled it all out?? She took the paperwork she asked us and wouldnt let us see our answers to it.

After the questioning she toured the home which was literally about a 2-3 minute quick tour of the house. She looked into each of the rooms and that was it. She never even opened closets or anything. All that cleaning...

The biggest disappointment more so than everything else is she knew NOTHING about adoption, just fostering. How did we get a SW who doesnt know anything about adoption?? I just dont understand at all. We kept asking questions and then she told us we could contact the adoption hotline if we wanted any answers to our question. Yeah thanks what was the point in you coming seriously?? Then the other thing was she kept pushing us towards fostering. After her asking us many times are we sure we didnt want to foster we both had to be kind of stern with her. No lady we dont want to foster cant you get that through your brain or what??!!

After all of it well see what happens from here she doesnt think we will have any issues getting approved we know have to be approved through the state to get the home study approved. Then our next step is to get fingerprinted which will either be tomorrow or Friday (waiting to hear back) or when we return from DC next week.

I honestly dont know if we will adopt through the state or not after dealing with not 1 but 2 incompetent SW it just seems like they cant hire people who are. Its very frustrating and dealing with outside people with things such as the CPR the one lady asked me how we have dealt with them it is that bad. How do people get jobs especially caring for innocent children?? I just dont get it.
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In other news, last night we went to Chads softball game and he was pitching and got knocked out by a line drive. He has a huge, huge bruise which is the shape of the softball and it hit him so hard you could actually see the seam of the softball where it hit him. Poor thing is in a lot of pain for sure.

Then also while we were at the softball game I was talking to one of the wives of another softball player who we are good friends with and her sister has adopted one little boy and is trying to adopt their 2nd child. I asked who they are going through and who they went with for the 1st child and she said Journey of the Heart They adopted their little boy from Taiwan and he is precious! The cost is about 25-30k though which is a bit high or compared to Bethany I guess.

We are heading out with some friends tonight they wanted to know more about our adoption story so should be fun!

Talked to the SW this morning and she is coming out TOMORROW at 2 pm for our home study..yeah! It will be our last step before receiving a precious child into our home I cant wait!! If anyone has any tips for any part of the home study that has been through it or known someone who has I would love to hear (what do they look for, questions asked, what you wish you would have known, etc. ) Thanks for any tips! Off to clean up!

A few pictures (have lots more but will have to upload the rest later)
Me and my sweet hubby


The arch at the Cardinals game


Me and my brother


Melanie (brothers gf), my brother, Chad, and me at DMB concert (it was hot!)

St. Louis Trip

We are finally back from St. Louis which was a fun trip but boy am I worn out! Ill just do the highlights today and Ive got to go through about 250-300 pictures and post a few (yes I took way too many..haha!)

Wednesday
got to St. Louis in pretty good time, took showers and got ready for the concert. Before the concert we went to eat at Uno's which was very good but oh so very filling!

DMB concert was awesome and he played many songs that we have never heard in concert so it was definitely worth the trip for that alone:) It started sprinkling on us but it was just enough to feel good since it was a bit muggy for sure.

Thursday
Got up early and headed to the zoo (Forest Park) and we stayed for a few hours and then came to the conclusion if we look through everything we wont be able to do a thing extra so we went through about half the zoo. Its a tie on my favorite thing seen which was the butterflies and the sea lions:)

After we were all hot and sweaty we went and ate at Blueberry Hill which I must admit was a bit disappointing. The service was terrible and the food was just "ok" nothing special. The service was so bad we didnt leave a tip. Well the guy who was our waitor while I was in the bathroom came up to Chad and (yes its true) asked him why we didnt leave a tip. He was pretty ticked that the dude had the nerve and went to the manager and told him and he was mad he had the nerve and gave us all our meals for free.

After that we went to the Anheuser Busch and toured the building. It was rather fascinating I must admit and to see all of it being made and the process involved is just amusing, That took a large chunk of time more than we thought.

Then we went to the Gateway Arch and by this time it was getting close to time to go to the Cardinals game. We wanted to do the ride to the top but we just didnt have time and decided to come back the next day. We then went to eat dinner and ended up at TGIFridays after figuring out there wasnt much around the stadium according to many of the St. Louis natives.

Went to the game and the Cardinals lost unfortunately but we had great seats and enjoyed the game, very nice stadium. Then after the game we all forgot where we parked and we ended up going back to pictures we took before to figure out where we parked it was rather funny when we had to cross back and all the way back around.

Friday
Got up pretty early and went to see the inside of the Gateway Arch which was rather amusing. Of course my brother is terrified of heights Im really shocked he went. On the way up before we got into our little cart he looked like he was about to pass out he was so scared and then his girlfriend started getting scared too which she was the one that started the idea. The ride up was much more scarier than the ride down but that was really a neat thing to do if you ever make it up to St. Louis.

After that we headed home and stopped in Memphis to eat late lunch/early dinner at Jim n Nicks BBQ and made it back last night before midnight.

We didnt get to do everything we wanted to do we packed too much stuff in such a short amount of time. We will definitely have to go back sometime it was really a fun place with so much to do!

Home Study

Just talked to the social worker (we have two) and we are going to do our home study the week we return from St. Louis. She was going to talk to the other social worker to decide on a date for sure but said it would definitely be that week...yeah! So sometime in the week of June 22-26!

Now let the cleaning begin..haha!

We are heading out for St. Louis tomorrow morning early with my brother and his girlfriend so should be a fun filled packed trip. I dont know when we will possibly sleep but I guess well find sometime I cant wait!

Just a few updates.... for anyone curious

*Havent heard back about the homestudy yet. Tried to call the guy and his it went straight to vm.
*Talked to the RE nurse about possibly doing any progesterone pills, suppositories, etc. and she said that she didnt really think it was necessary now until I was on medicated cycles so we will see I guess.
*Picked up some B6 vitamins Im going to try that out and see what happens. Ive tried it before but I really didnt do it for a full cycle and it was only 50 mg, I got the 200 mg and will be taking it each day
*Ordered a new basal thermometer I hate the one I have and it was rated one of the best by Consumer Reports and it was under $10 + shipping so not bad.
*after reading lots of adoption blogs over the past few days I really just think God is really leading us towards adoption. Im excited to see what God has in store for us:)
*Talked to the lady at Bethany and she said that the wait for the initial meeting was 6-9 mths which was from May 4 when our initial application was accepted. Then from that date the average wait time is 1.5 to 2 years right now through their agency. Yikes thats a long time!
*2 more days until St. Louis I cant wait!
*A picture of my only little fur baby, Brownie for now. She is a bit spoiled...all 9 lbs of her

AF is here..

Well yesterday late afternoon AF came with a vengance. I figured she would be here just didnt know when. Of course Im disappointed but know that when it is in Gods plan for us to have a baby we will.

So here I am thinking that AF was going to be here on Wednesday, today she still hasnt made it yet. Its pretty much like my urine has changed to light pink, just weird.

The only thing that I can really say that its like is implantation bleeding. It happens 6-12 days after O (mine would be 10 it started) and it lasts for 48-72 hrs. Implantation bleeding is scanty and usually pink or brownish discharge. Well see what happens.

I just wish AF would come or stay away. Its like mind games to see if Im paying attention or not and so very confusing!

A few articles if anyone wants to read more about implantation bleeding
Just Mommies article
Amazing Pg Article
Baby Med

If AF still doesnt come by Monday maybe I will retest. I know that God has a plan for us and right now I dont know what that is or when Ill know his plan but hopefully one day we will know:)

Other Plans

Yesterday afternoon I thought AF was starting because it was kind of dried blood. Then last night I went to the bathroom a few other times and it was totally gone. Then this morning it was the same way kind of dried blood but very very faint. Im not sure what is going on but Im so confused is AF starting or not. I feel like its trick on my brain to see if Im paying attention or something

I ended up being brave and testing it came back with a BFN so Im guessing its the start to AF...

Its a bit disappointing but then I know that God has a plan for us and I have to remember to be patient to his plan whatever that maybe. I really didnt hold out much hope of this cycle anyway but it is disappointing to see AF so early or so it seems like.

Amazed...

Im amazed the love of people to go out of their ways to help those who say we are adopting.

Our doctor that did our physical who also had adopted gave us a cheaper price as soon as he heard that we were adopting, pretty cool! The physical is totally complete now as of Monday when we went back to get our TB skin test checked which takes 2 days to make sure. I have had lots of blood test but this one sure stung.

Ive been calling around for CPR classes and one lady at a local hospital is making a special class just for us so we can get our training done. Also found out if you are adopting and will have to have CPR training more than likely you dont have to get the actual CPR full class thats for the medical professions. So anyway we are doing that tonight because we met an amazing lady who wanted to help us out.

Yesterday we turned in all our adoption paperwork and asked our SW if we had any idea how long it would be for our home study. He said that we would do it either the week we came back from St. Louis (week of June 22) or the first week in July (when we return from Washington) I cant believe it because he told us in the class it would be 30-60 days but it will definitely be lower than 30.

That to say things are moving along so well I really have to pinch myself sometimes and say wow its all happening so quickly. Before we know it, we will have our own precious miracle of our own.

Today marks 10 DPO which usually means AF always makes her appearance on this day, Ive never made it to 11 DPO its a whole new ball game to me. We will see what God has in store for us. I really think I will wait until Saturday, Sunday, or Monday to test. I would almost rather see AF to show up than a BFN so well see what happens. Either way I am excited that maybe just maybe my LP is going to a regular. It started at 5 DPO, then 9 DPO and now I might be making it even further.

Im truly amazed at how great God is:)

Resources

I have added info on both sides-books, websites, etc. (one for adoption-left side, TTC-right side) for anyone who is interested. I got tired of always searching back through old posts to find that website so figured I would add them so I have a handy reference.

If anyone has websites, books, magazines, etc to share on either TTC or Adoption I would love to have them and I will get them added for future reference.

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

Psalm 31:24
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!

Waiting is really hard and its something that we do so much over the course of our life. I found a few verses just to remind me to be patient, wait for the Lord and to be strong.

This morning it got me thinking how much do we truly wait and how much patience do we really have? I can say that my patience is growing lower and not as strong but I know I must be strong through all of this and God will bring us out of the wait.

Today is 8 DPO-CD 22 and probably will be the longest few days of my life or so it seems. I dont plan to test anytime soon because I highly doubt that Im pg, maybe Im wrong but I keep telling myself this especially since I have nada on the symptom list. If I dont get AF by this upcoming weekend, maybe I will test, well see. I guess Im scared of what the results will be, this will mark month 13 and I have never seen anything different so why would this month be any different?!

Saturday we went to get our physical completed and the nurse asked me when my last period was. Told her and she asked me again like I didnt know or something. She said that I possibly have a YI or pg what a range of change I must say. She said it was too early to test for pg and to tell for sure. I must admit it did get my hopes up but well see what the results hold.

Now we wait for the CPR class, then home study, then for our baby!

Just thought I would post it here for anyone who is curious what all paperwork you have to go through. Total of 54 pages of work

1) 4 references (2 pages each)
2) Employment verification for both
3) Adopt Application
4) Physical for both
5) Financial Statement (must include ALL assets- such as checking, stocks, bonds, all bills, insurance, etc.)
6) Form stating you cant use corporal punishment (think this is geared towards those adopting older children who have been abused)
7) Child Abuse Central Registry (make sure we are not bad people)
8) Background Check
9) Emergency/Evacuation Plan for your home
10) Directions to your Home
11) Referral / Option Out Request for an attorney to finalize adoption (they pay up to $600)
12) contract in order to be a resource home (means you have been fully certified and licensed to have children in your home) (4 pages long)
13) Life Story on each person (7 pages and they ask a lot of questions and want you to tell every little detail of your life)
14) Family rules and responsibilities (give you several different situations and ask how you would handle things such as chores when a child comes into your home, ask you to rate if any certain behavior is something you cant handle) (11 pages)

We still have to do our physical and CPR class. Physical we were told to come Monday then CPR class Im still trying to get a hold of someone to do it, so hopefully soon so we can get all our paperwork in soon!

Summer Tours

Well we have added a new stop to our summer tour and Im so excited about it! Anyone a fan of DMB (Dave Matthews Band) we are going to see him..yeah! So our summer stops now

June 17-19: St. Louis, MO-See Dave Matthews Band
June 28-July 4-: Washington, DC
July 31- Aug. 2: Destin, FL

Also, if anyone who has been to Washington has any recommendations on food, things to do, etc please leave a comment because Im in search for everything to make sure we catch it all while we are there!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Happy Birthday

Today is my grandmothers 69th birthday, this is a picture of me, my grandmother (moms mom) and my grandfather (dads dad). I love them both dearly! My grandfather will be 91 this year.


We are having a cookout tonight for her birthday she didnt want to go out so should be fun. Poor thing has really been through a lot in the past week (with her ex hubby) so hopefully she will have a great day!

Well we have officially graduated from Adoption class..haha! We still have a few more things to do but we are nearing the end until our wait begins. What we have left to do:

-CPR class
-get physicals done on both of us

After we complete these 2 steps we have to turn in all our paperwork to the people that did our class (one will probably be our social worker as well) and then from there we wait for them to complete the home study (usually within 30-60 days), then home study has to be approved, then we will await our precious miracle. So exciting!

Things from last nights class:
-hubby did great on his little speech about adoption (yes he is adopted)
-its not required but recommended to be in support groups the local one for our state is Southern Christian Services
-PIP (Partners in Permancy) is part of it as well
-stated it was good to have a LifeBook which could contain the following stuff
--birth information, birth family info, placement info, medical info, school info, religious info
-found out if we go through the state that DHS (Dept of Human Services) will pay up to $600 to finalize the adoption, anything over that we will have to pay for.
-there is a 6 mth waiting period to make sure that the child is ok and bonds well before they will finalize the adoption, they will do occassional visits, but once adoption is finalized there are no visits.

I have about 10-11 pages of info regarding adoption if anyone is interested please leave a comment with your email and Ill put it all together and send your way.

OPK Dilemma

Well I have realized the reason I hate OPK strips and why I stopped doing them. I cant seem to figure out if its + or -. Ive tried to interpret it a few times but Im getting + on 13 and 14 so please help me out if you think any of these 3 are + please leave a comment and which day (12, 13, or 14) click on picture for bigger picture


I guess Im just in a bit of shock? Why you might ask. Well Ive never gotten a + this early ever its been one of many reasons why I cant get pg (luteal phase not long enough) and I keep saying it cant be this early Ive never gotten a + this early my eyes are deceiving me for sure. Ive taken my temp the past few days and this morning it rose quite a bit .52 to be exact so Im almost thinking I O yesterday which I guess would make me feel like more in a reality world that it cant be true that I O that early.

What do you girls think let me know...

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