Wednesday, November 30, 2011

After hurrying around to get all the paperwork, the back ground checks done, the blog started, and the home study completed, is now time to hurry up and wait. For some the adoption process can be very quick and for others it takes a lot more time. This is a time that can be full of anxiety, hope, relentless checking of your email, and just flat out dying to hear from a potential birth mother!

One of the hardest things during this time is the wait. While being anxiously engaged with completing all the necessary tasks can be invigorating because it feels like things are getting done and you are getting close to your end goal. For it all to stop and feel like you are sitting on your hands can be very frustrating.

On the other hand it can be a bit of a relief when you think that you have done all you can do and that it is in the Lord’s hands. It allows you to put your faith more fully in him and not worry about the things that you can’t control.

I believe that through adoption or through having your own biological children, either way, a baby will join your family in the lords time, but we must do all we can to help that happen, because the lord does require action for us to be able to receive our desired blessings.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Going Viral...

Once the home visit is completed and the caseworker has submitted all the papers to the committee, the committee then decides if you are fit parents to adopt. Once the committee has approved your family, the profile you have created will become activated onto

 All the work, all the effort and all the energies you have put into crafting and designing your profile now can be visible. Once your profile is live, it means that you are now available to be contacted by possible birth parents and are one step closer to adding a child to your family!

Monday, November 28, 2011


So the next step is to select your preferences and write your letter to your birth parents. This can be one of the hardest things because you have to decide what you will and won’t except in a child or their birthparents. This can range from whether you are willing to accept a child who has a heart defect to if you only want a boy. Whatever you choose, make sure you make it a matter of prayer.

The next thing is writing the letter to the birth parents. This is your chance to make a good impression but can also be so difficult because what do you write to a complete stranger and how do you put yourselves in the best light possible. I don’t think there is a real answer to this one because everyone is so unique and the biggest thing is to write from your heart.

The other parts to this section that need to be completed include:

1)      Contact With Parents ( the amount of contact a couple is willing to have with the birth family)

2)      Getting to Know Us (this is answering question about you individually, like what are your movies, color, activities, Etc.)

3)      Photo Album (You get to upload pictures of you and your spouse)

4)      Profile Teaser (a one sentence phrase to get people to look at your profile)

5)      Contact Couple (your preferred contact information)

6)      Other Info About Us

7)      Web Publication Release ( this allows LDSFS to release all this info onto their website)

8)      Preview Profile (this is where you get a chance to preview what information will be going on your profile.)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The case worker comes a calling...

After the individual interviews are complete, it’s time for dreaded home visit! This is probably the most misconstrued part of the home study process because it usually is viewed as the scariest part of the processes. This is understandable because it doesn’t seem to be enough to be asked to know every itty-bitty detail about your life but then they want to come into your home.

I think every couple going through their home study makes the same effort to make sure that there home is spotless and could pass a white glove test. We learned that all this effort is not necessary because the case worker isn’t looking for dust; they are looking for big things that could be harmful to a child. The things that they want to make sure you have in your house are things like a carbon monoxide monitor, fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and making sure you have working fire alarms in each of the bedrooms, hallways and living spaces.

On the other side they want to make sure that you don’t have an uncovered mote in your back yard, an unsecured area for medicines and cleaning materials, or anything that would be extremely hazardous to a child.

All in all, when we completed our home visit, our case worker was in our home for a total of 10 min. He came in, checked for the required items, asked if we had any questions and then left.  It was that simple and I’m pretty sure that the week of cleaning and organizing wasn’t necessary but at least we had a very clean house.  

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Individual Interviews

Once all the wonderful paperwork is completed and you feel like there isn't anymore information about yourselves that you could possibly, it's time to do the individual interviews.

This is the time when the case worker will grill you individually for hours to make sure that you are going to be fit parents! Actually that statement is far from the truth because unless your caseworker is really mean, the individual interview are really just a way for the caseworker to get to know you on an individual basis. They usually ask you about things that they have read in all that paperwork and yes they do read all that paperwork, or that is what they say.

The interviews really aren't anything to worry about just be yourself and they will all work out!


Birthdays are an amazing thing when you think about it, it is the day that a life was brought into this world and it is a day where we spend time celebrating this life. This day is also a time to get to celebrate what is to come as well.

I think about my 95 year old grandpa who is working on his last few birthdays and each birthday is a celebration that he has made it another year. Whereas for me, my birthday is more about the fact that I am one year closer to being considered old.   

It is amazing how our perspectives on birthdays change as we get older, it is no longer about the presents it truly becomes about our lives where we have been and where we are going.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Paperwork Paperwork and more paperwork!

Entering into phase 2 consists of; you guessed it, a ton of paperwork! They want to make sure that you are who you say you are and that you are going to be fit to raise a child. This is also information that I wished I would have known when we started the process.

The documents that a couple needs to have:

Criminal/Abuse Clearance 
Medical reports for husband, wife, and other adults living in your home 
Medical reports for children living in your home.
 Birth certificates of husband and wife 
Employment Verification sheet
Marriage license 
Temple Sealing Certificate 
State Specific Documents

These are all sections that have to be filled out and each one has multiple questions:
Financial Statement
Health Insurance information
Parents Background
Sibling’s background
Matching Sheet for both spouses
Questionnaire for both spouses

The questionnaire has several parts and is by far the most time consuming out of all of them. These are the subcategories in the questionnaires:

Background Information and Family of Origin (9 questions)
Marriage (6 questions)
Children (2 questions)
General Health (5 questions)
Employment and Finances (3 questions)
Church and Community (2 questions)
Parenting Methods and Skills (3 questions)
Experiences and Feelings Regarding Adoption (5 questions)
Experiences and Feelings Regarding Birth Parents (4 questions)
House, Neighborhood, and Community (3 questions)
Other Information (2 questions)

We are now waiting for our background checks to come in so we can move onto the next step, which includes individual interviews, an interview together and then a visit in our home by our case worker to complete our home study. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Being Thankful, Even in Light of our Trials

The greatest thing about Thanksgiving is that it gives us the ability to reflect upon the blessings that we have received in our lives.  One of the most important things for us to remember is that even though we think we have problems and trials in our lives, the fact that we’re on this earth is what we chose previously so we could prepare ourselves to one day return and live with our Heavenly Father.

There are times when I know my wife and I feel that things continue to go wrong, thinking of our Heavenly Father’s plan for us gives me the strength to know that there is a purpose for these simple trials, even though they may seem significant at the time.

Remember…continue to be grateful for what your Heavenly Father has blessed you with, and…

Happy Thanksgiving!

~ Robert

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Intake meeting

This part may be different depending on the office of LDSFS you are working with but at our office, once your initial paperwork is in, you schedule another meeting with the case worker to give you paperwork for the next phase and to answer any questions.

This part usually only takes about 20 min or so and really is there to make sure that the couple understands what they will be looking at and how the paper work needs to be completed. This is also the part of the process where the couple will pay for the home study. Through LDSFS this home study fee is $1000 and is non-refundable. This pays for the caseworkers time in processing your paperwork, conducting interviews, and in coming out to visit your home. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Phase one or Pre-qualifying Phase

This is the weeding out phase, per say, to make sure that a couple qualifies for and is ready for the next steps. In this phase the couple is asked to complete the following items:

1)      Contact Information

2)      Description of Services- this is where a couple will agree to the terms and conditions of the service that LDSFS will offer.

3)      Personal Information- this covers age, place of birth, and social security number.

4)      Marriage Information- Your marital status, information if you have been divorced and when and where you were married.

5)      Children in Home- name and age of children in the home.

6)      Employment- Both you and your spouse’s current and past employment history.

7)      Church Information- Bishops name and your ward information.

8)      References- This part requires four letters of reference from friend who will give their recommendation and a letter of reference from your bishop.

9)      Release of Information- This allow LDSFS to release your information to those on the list.

10)   Submit Application

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Initial Visit

Each adoption agency may do things a little differently but for the purpose of this blog I am going to go through the steps of completing a home study using LDS Family services. LDS Family Services is a great program that the church has created and funded to help families in need of counseling or adoptive services. Something to keep in mind is that every office of LDS Family services, is run a little differently than the next because they try to match the needs of the people they serve.

The Initial visit usually done one of two ways, either in a one-on-one meeting with the adoption coordinator, or it is done in a group setting. This first meeting is very important because this is a time to get questions answered and to receive the next steps in the adoption process.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The home study

Once you have decided what agency to go through for adoption, the next step is to complete the home study. The home study is pretty standard for an adoption. This week we will be talking about the steps for completing the home study and for all the information and questions are asked.

The home study shouldn’t be scary but it can be if you don’t know what to expect!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

International adoption

An international adoption is just that, an adoption that is not done through your country of citizenship. This type of adoption is mostly completed through an agency that is licensed to facilitate adoptions through specific counties. International adoptions have their pros and there cons as well:

1) These adoptions may happen faster then a domestic adoption.
2) You will be able to select the gender, race and age of the child that you are wanting to adopt.
3) There are many many children that are available for adoption and are ready to be united with a family.

1) The cost of an International adoption can be very expensive, especially when you start including the cost of travel.
2) There may be little to no information about the child's background, health, and family history.
3) Each country is different and with that comes red tape and different systems to have to wade through to be able to bring your child home.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Foster Care Adoption

In the United States there is an "estimated 423,773 children in foster care on September 30, 2009" ( About half of these children will be reunited with their families where the other will either age out of the system or will be adopted.

These “children in foster care are regular children who, through no fault of their own, had to be removed from their families due to abusive or neglectful situations” ( The children in foster care come with emotional and physical baggage that has been developed because of the situations that they have been living in.

Adopting through the foster care system can be very difficult but very rewarding at the same time. A benefit about adopting through foster care is the cost factor. Usually the state will aid in covering the cost of education.    

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Eased by another

Sometimes I want to run and hide
far away from the pain I feel inside
My heart yearns for a promise unfulfilled
for this dream that I must rebuild
It may not look as I once had thought
but in this battle I will not be out fought
For my family to to grow and for us to be parents
we'll rely on the souls who can fight the torrents.
Who will give us a gift we cannot have on our own
who's Christ like act cannot be outshone
Binding our families together
and changing our lives for the better

By Kaleen Nelson

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Agency Adoption

Adoption agencies are broken down into two different groups:

There are also pros and cons when dealing with an agency:


1)    Cost. Usually the costs are established from the beginning and the adoptive couples have a good idea of what costs they may encounter throughout the process.

2)    Agencies have to adhere to more state and federal laws: protecting the adoptive couple as well as the birthparents.

3)    They can provide counseling and education classes for both sides as well as they create a safe third party to help facilitate the adoption.


1)    The processes can be slower, more red tape, and the wait can be a lot longer to be matched with a potential birth mother.

2)    Not all agencies are the same and a couple has to protect themselves, they need to do their homework and make sure they are working with a reputable company.

3)    Even though you have a team on your side, you still have to be your best advocate. An agency has many couples that they are representing and you have to make sure you don’t get lost.

The biggest thing when working with an agency is they can be a help as well as a hindrance but whatever you decide to do make sure you do your homework!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Private adoptions

Private adoptions usually “occur when the placement of the child is arranged through an private individual, often an attorney, physician, friend, or adoption facilitator.” (

How a Private adoption looks is a birth mother has either been approached by a couple wanting to adopt her baby or the adoptive parent have been asked to asked by the birth parents to adopt their child. The couple then will usually hire a lawyer to address the legal issues of the adoption, its proceedings and then to finalize the adoption. There are some pros and cons to this approach:

The pros:

1)      It allows the adoptive parents to have more control over the adoption process and gain parental rights from the birthparents directly, not from an agency. (

2)      The adoptive couple can gain parental rights directly from the birth parents rather than it going through an agency.

3)      Many websites have also indicated that through private adoption, the amount of information gathered about the birthparents may be greater than that of an agency adoption.

The Cons:

1)      The cost. This seems to be the biggest thing against private adoptions is that there is not a set cost. It could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 to adopt a child.

2)      Time. The timing can be very sporadic as well since the adopting couple has to market themselves. Also the court proceedings can take a long time because each state requires something a little different.

3)       For the birthparents, this option can be a negative experience because many times the facilitators of the adoption may have only the best interested of the adoptive couple in mind and not that of the birth parents.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Domestic Adoption

Domestic adoption is adopting through the country you live in and are a citizen of. Usually domestic adoptions are completed through a private adoption, an agency adoption, or through the foster care system. Each of these options presents a different processes, laws and challenges. The next couple of day’s we’ll talk about these differences and similarities that accompany each of these options.

When it comes to domestic adoption many times the media portrays a false perspective. It portrays these 15,16,17 year old girls in high school that have gotten pregnant who are forced to “give up” their child to a couple who is baby hungry and will do anything to get that teenagers baby.

The first falsehood is that not all birth mothers at teenagers, most are actually in their late teen to mid-twenties. The second falsehood is how birth mothers "give up" their babies. They make it sound like it’s all about the birth mother and forget that there is very dear and precious child involved. These birth parents are not “giving up” their babies; they are giving their babies more. By saying they “gave up” their baby, it completely villainies an absolutely selfless act. Words cannot describe how wonderful birth mothers are.

But domestic adoption is much more then infant adoption there is also adoption through the foster care system. The children that are in the foster care system are there because life at home with their birth parents was not fit for the proper development and safety of the children. There are hundreds of thousands of children available for adoption through the foster care system and they are looking for a forever family too.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Special needs adoption

Today I would like to share a post from someone who is an amazing advocate for adoption. She posted about what a special needs adoption is and about adoption itself. She has dedicated a lot of time out of her incredibly busy life to blog about adoption this month and advocate for those who can’t be an advocate for themselves. Please reference her blog and support the cause, it can be found at:

The following is all from her blog:

No Greater Love

When I was a teenager I read an article in the "New Era" (a magazine published by the LDS church for youth ages 12-18) entitled, "A Brother's Love." The article told the story of a family, moving from Wyoming to Montana. As they crossed the Montana state line, a car traveling in front of their truck slammed on its brakes, causing the trailer being towed by the family's truck to jackknife, spilling the contents of the trailer onto the highway.

As the family worked to clear their belongings from the highway, a large truck barreled towards them going too fast to stop and with no way to go around. Their father shouted to them to get out of the way, but 7 year-old Charlie did not hear his cries. Steven, his 10 year-old brother, tried to push him out of harms way but, tragically, both children were killed.

When the doctor told the boys' mother that he was unable to save them, she responded with her testimony of another who had given His life and of His redeeming love; a love that broke the bands of death and allows us to be reunited with those we love.

Upon reading this story, I was overwhelmed with sadness, but I was also reminded of a passage of scripture: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

I read another article today. This article was written by Dr. Russell Moore, author of "Adopted for Life." The article was entitled, "Don't Adopt!" Dr. Moore explains that, while we are all called in some way to "visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction," NOT all of us are called to adopt.

At first glance, these two articles seemingly have nothing in common, but at the core of both is this: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

The call to adopt is a call to "lay down your life." If that seems a little extreme, consider the following:

"Every adoption, every orphan, represents a tragedy. Someone was killed, someone left, someone was impoverished, or someone was diseased. Wrapped up in each situation is some kind of hurt, and all that accompanies that. That’s the reason there really is no adoption that is not a “special needs” adoption; you just might not know on the front end what those special needs are.

If what’s behind all of this isn’t crucified, war-fighting, eyes-open commitment, you are going to wind up with a child who is twice orphaned. He or she will be abandoned the first time by fatherlessness and the second time by the rejection of failing to live up to the expectations of parents who had no business imposing such expectations in the first place."

Too many people enter into adoption without fully understanding and accepting the "brokenness and risk" that accompanies the orphan, regardless of the age or the circumstances from which they were adopted. Too often people assume that, because they are "saving" a child from an otherwise miserable life, that child will be grateful and accepting of their new parents, family and home, only to be overwhelmed by a child who turns their world upside down and rejects them because they were once abandoned, neglected and forgotten.

Nothing is more beautiful than watching a child who has experienced tragedy transform through the redeeming love of Christ and a loving, committed family, but that kind of transformation requires you to set yourself aside completely and give everything that you have (and more) to helping that child heal. You do not have to be perfect to do this (I am living testimony of that), you just have to be willing to accept all of the heartache, grief, chaos and upheaval that accompanies adopting/fostering a child. . . .just as the Savior accepts and loves us despite our brokenness.

In the midst of our 6th and 7th adoptions, we have learned to throw "expectations" out the window and recognize that we must fully rely on our Heavenly Father to guide us through the process of integrating these children into our family and healing their hurts, no matter the sacrifice. We prepare our home and family for their addition, but more importantly, we prepare our hearts to love these children unconditionally.

Every time we have welcomed a child into our family it has thrown our world into temporary chaos.


Not everyone is called to adopt (and some shouldn't), but we can ALL answer the call to "visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction" by giving, supporting and praying for those that have been called to walk that path.

If you feel called to foster/adopt and you are ready to "lay down your life" for a child, move forward in faith, knowing that the Lord WILL equip you with the strength and ability to provide the redeeming love necessary to overcome all hurts; you will be unimaginably blessed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Decision to Adopt

Although I think we were always hoping to have our own biological children, I believe that my wife and I both felt that we would probably adopt or foster a kid or two during our lifetime.  With that in mind, it wasn’t easy for us to ultimately realize that we couldn’t have our own biological children (there is still a chance and we won’t quit tryingJ).

I’ve always thought about adoption, but once we came to the realization that odds weren’t on our side to have our own biological children, adoption seemed like the natural option.  That doesn’t go without saying that there are many tough decisions you have to make when going through the adoption questionnaire; but, at least for us, it just felt right.

I’m sure it was easier for me to come to grips with the fact that we should look into adoption than it was for my wife.  I know she felt like us deciding to adopt meant her body didn’t work, which I’m beginning to understand that’s more common than I thought. 

What I have realized is that adoption is a wonderful thing that gives children the opportunity to be in a good home and couples the opportunity to be…well, parents!  I have also perceived that whether or not families are made up of biological children, adopted children or a mix of both, they still create the most important unit on this earth…a family.
Written by- Robert

Friday, November 11, 2011

A thought about adoption

“A baby is a miraculous gift from God, no matter how one receives it. Some are given the ability bear them, others the ability to rear them.” By- My name is Wendy.

To look and see more quotes about adoption and others thoughts please see this great website:

Thursday, November 10, 2011


May you have courage in all things as you move through this life’s journeys!

"As I contemplate all that you face in the world today, one word comes to my mind. It describes an attribute needed by all of us but one which you—at this time of your life and in this world–will need particularly. That attribute is courage."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Infant adoption

Infant adoption is generally defined as the adoption of a baby who is under the age of one year but most of the time is referred to as the adoption of a newborn.

The adoption of a newborn usually is the first type of adoption thought of when first looking into adoption because most couples have always dreamed of bringing that baby home, fresh, untainted, and raise it in the fashion they always dreamed of. This type of dream is the dream of many couples wishing to become parents. After going through infertility treatments and years of waiting for that bundle of joy to come into your life, the next logical idea is to want to bring home a baby to call your own.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Adoption options

When looking at adoption there is no such thing as a simple or easy adoption. From the get go there are so many options and different directions that can be taken. All the different options can make adoption seam overwhelming! The different adoption options include, infant, older children, family, domestic, special needs, international, private and foster-to-adopt.

With each option come a different process and a different experience but then again that can be said about pretty much any adoption: each one is completely unique. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

What is adoption?

As with everything I have done on this blog we need a definition. What is adoption?

Adoption is opening your heart, home, life, world and all your love, to raise a child and create a forever family.

Adoption is a way in which families can be created and expanded. Adoption really is completely about love.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

National Adoption Month!

November is National Adoption Awareness month and that is what this month is going to be dedicated to: Adoption! Adoption is amazing but it is also very misunderstood. This month I want to discuss what adoption is, how it has changed throughout the years, frequently asked questions, different perspectives about adoption and much more.

Hopefully throughout this month those misunderstandings can be understood, hearts can be opened and love can be felt towards adoption and its processes.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

If we are called.

I think these next couple of verses really sum up this whole experience with infertility and that this is something we can gain from:
Doctrine and Covenants 122: 5-7

5 If thou art called to pass through atribulation... 
 And if thou shouldst be cast into the apit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the bdeep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to chedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of dhell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give theeeexperience, and shall be for thy good.

Friday, November 4, 2011

We can do it all

Moroni10:23 "And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me."

IF we have faith we can do all things: Enough Said! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Keeping his Commandment

One of my most favourite scriptures to quote, not just because of it's length but also because of what it states is John 14:15 "If ye love me keep my commandments."

We have talked a lot about feeling our savors love but we haven't talked about letting our savior and Father in Heaven know that we love them too. By keeping the commandments we are showing that we trust and love the lord and that the rules he has laid out for us, we will honor. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Patience to Godliness

Godliness is what we are all working towards, it is hard but it is our ultimate goal right? Well I love this scripture because it lets us know the steps be becoming like God. Patience is the key but it is something that is next to godliness. So I think since we are not perfect yet once we obtain the gift of being patient, we will only be one step away from being perfect.

“2 Peter 1:5-6 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;”

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

If we but ask

Today’s scripture come the book of Alma, Chapter 37. Throughout our journeys, through infertility or just through life, we need the help and guidance of the lord. He will guild us and give us comfort if we but ask.

“36. Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
 37. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.”