November 17, 2011

Agency Orientation & Home Visit

We had our agency orientation with Brittney, our case worker from Lifeline, last Friday. Since our agency is based out of Kentucky, we did our orientation over the phone. It was scheduled perfectly so it would be during Kiptons nap time and a time when Trey could take a break from work. :) We were on the phone for just over an hour. Our conversation consisted of reviewing our Ethiopia adoption manual, talking about our education requirements (a lot of requirements), home study agency, dossier prep, fees, what happens at the time of our referal (!!!!), medical conditions, travel, and more about our adorable future son. Brittney also had to verify we weren't addicted to drugs/alcohol, in an abusive relationship or mentally insane. Just precautionary. ;) We had all of our questions answered and were offered good advice for different stages of the process. Overall, it was a great orientation! I am so excited about working with Lifeline and thankful the Lord led me to them. They are a strong Christian agency and I know they will be a huge blessing. Both the ladies who are in charge of the Ethiopia program are adoptive mamas of Ethiopian children. The fact that they have been in our shoes before us is very inspiriting.

Another big step forward for our adoption happened this morning...our first home study visit. Our social worker, Teresa Smith- a wonderful Christian woman, who is oh so kind- came to our house to "interview" to us. I have to admit I was prepared for an in depth scrutiny of our home, intense questions that would make us severely uncomfortable and a couple more worries I won't even mention. ;) To my surprise, it wasn't intimidating at all. Teresa was super personable and our entire conversation was very relaxed. (Plus, she is a fellow dog lover so we got along just fine...because we have four!) We talked about our families, schooling, church support, our daily lives and decided what specifications we wanted to put about the child we will accept. We decided that for our home study we will be open to 0-4 years of age, male or female and up to two children. We'll be more specific with our agency, boy from 0-2yrs, but we left our home study open that way if we change our minds or if by some chance our baby boy has an older sibling! Yes, I said sibling!! That's a slim chance because supposively young sibling groups are rare, but should that occur we are definitely open to 2 babes. :) Imagine going from a family of 3 to a family of 5. Wow. Ok, now I'm going to contain myself and just focus on 1 little boy coming home to our family.

Ok, back to our home see how easily my mind wanders. After our interview with Teresa, she did a quick-and I do mean quick-walk through of our home. It was so much simpler than I had imagined, but I love simple, especially in this very unsimple process called adoption. We then wrote a check to the home study agency for the first big home study fee...$875...ouch. Our final visit is scheduled for Nov. 29th. After that visit Teresa will type up our complete home study for us to review. Once that's done and we've paid $1100 more (which we're still working on) our home study will be sent to DSS for approval. So far, everything is progressing nice and smooth. I know the sole reason for our progression thus far is that we have the one and only Almighty God on our side. We owe all the glory to Him.

Here are some lyrics from a song we sang Tuesday at Genesis:

God is able
He will never fail!
God is with us
He is on our side
He will make a way!

I jotted these down during worship because they really spoke to my heart. They are ringing true more than ever. :) HOPEFUL

On a very differnt note...
I'm typing out this post from a theater seat while waiting for the midnight premier of Breaking Dawn. Shout out to all the other Twilight fans!


  1. I loved the update! So glad all went well. Proud of you guys and excited for all that God is doing in and through you. Will continue to be praying!

  2. Ashton,
    I am so excited to follow your adoption journey, as well!! Thank you for contacting me through my blog! I cannot wait to hear all the Lord does in both of our lives over the next year:)

  3. Hi there....we too are adopting from ET and using Lifeline. I've been dying to connect with some other Lifeline families and found your blog on the Ethiopian Adoption Blogs site. Nice to "meet" you. I look forward to following along on your journey. My adoption blog is

  4. I liked the update! So happy all went well. Extremely pleased of you folks and energized for all that God is doing in and through you. Will always be praying!