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Working On Baby No. 3

6/21/12

Working on Baby No. 3…

Jared keeps telling people that “we are working on baby no. 3.”  I think he just may like the awkward facial expressions that everyone gives us when we first tell them that. But seriously we are cautiously excited to share that we are in the middle of the foster – adoption process… quite honestly… we are sooo stinking close to being ready for a placement!!!

Quite awhile ago we started talking about baby no. 3 and when to start trying to get pregnant and how to “plan” the next pregnancy… but every time we talked about it we kept coming back to the conversation of adoption. Early on in our marriage when we would dream  about our family someday we would talk about how we were open to bringing home an adopted child. And even though God has allowed us to birth healthy babies we want to adopt a baby who needs a home. We know we can’t change the whole world with one adoption but we can do our small part to change the whole world for one little one who needs it. One who needs to be loved not for what they came from but for who they have the potential to be. A little one who needs someone to champion for their needs just like we would our own biological kids… they need a momma and a daddy who love them to the moon and back and even though he/she (or even they) may not come from my tummy – we wholeheartedly believe that we can and will with the Lord’s strength as we walk through this adoption.  One day we were driving and talking and we started sharing our “preferences” if you will about a local domestic adoption, preferred gender, preferred ethnicity and oddly enough… Jared and I were completely on the same page about everything. We have a hard time on agreeing about what to have for dinner and so the fact that we were on the same page about everything with adoption meant we should probably pay close attention.  Over the years we would say that our home is full of “too much chaos” right now and that we would love to do it later in life. Too much chaos??? We kinda came to terms with the idea that that’s life… and while yes – we are in the crazy stage of raising kiddos we decided that now was the time for us to quietly start knocking on the doors of adoption. We decided that we would love to open our hearts and  our home to just the right child that God would have for us. We want our crazy little family to be home for them…

A few Statistics and Facts:

  • There are more than 500,000 children and youth in foster care in the U.S.; approximately 20,000 youth “age out” or emancipate from foster care each year.
  • 100,000 foster youth live in California.
  • In California, 65% of youth leaving foster care do so without a place to live.
  • Up to 50% of former foster/probation youth become homeless within the first 18 months of emancipation.
  • Twenty seven percent (27%) of the homeless population spent time in foster care.
  • Fifty-eight percent (58%) of all young adults accessing federally funded youth shelters in 1997 had previously been in foster care.
  • Less than half of former foster youth are employed 2.5-4 years after leaving foster care, and only 38% have maintained employment for at least one year.
  • Youth in foster care are 44% less likely to graduate from high school and after emancipation, 40 – 50 percent never complete high school.
  • Girls in foster care are six times more likely to give birth before the age of 21 than the general population.
  • Sixty percent (60%) of women who emancipate from foster care become parents within 2.5-4 years after exiting care.
  • Parents with a history of foster care are almost twice as likely as parents with no such history to see their own children placed in foster care or become homeless. (stats found : http://www.onthemovebayarea.org/node/561 )

The Point – there is such a huge NEED for healthy families to love on these kids!!! These kiddos need someone to stand in the gap for them and help them break the cycle. They need a forever home!

 

The Process:

Boy OH Boy… are we learning a lot about the process! This process has it’s very own language… and a whole new set of hoops that I had never imagined! We were clueless when we started and  started with an incredible agency but quickly learned they were an amazing foster agency but couldn’t actually do our home study and adoption. They referred us to San Joaquin County  and their contracted adoption agency  (Liliput) which is who we have chosen to foster adopt through.

We have never really felt “called” to adoption. But Right from the first orientation at the County building and we felt confirmation that we were heading in the right direction. This process of foster adoption is a bit different than even a normal private adoption where a loving birth momma is making the decision to gift her child to a loving family… This process starts out with sadness for me… My heart literally grieves a bit… that there is a momma out there or will be out there who has made choices in her life that make her incapable of taking care of her sweet baby… choices that are harmful and hurtful to this child… I am full of sadness because “she” won’t get to experience the daily joys of being their momma. Her loss will be our blessing.

We have tussled with how much to share and when to share it so we are slowly walking through this process and are hoping to share our journey through this next little Heuvel Adventure. But we want to be real… and we need to be transparent and we hope our story will encourage you in some small way. With that being said… please ask us! If you are curious about something or want to know more pretty please… Ask! For us our story began with us… Asking our dear friends their story. I am so thankful they shared their real experience and spoke truth to our hearts and have help to pray us through this adventure. We would love to share our story with you !

Our goal is to adopt a child or sibling set of 2  under the age of 18 months. It was important to us to maintain our birth order and protect our home from things that older children may have been exposed to. We absolutely do not have a preference on gender and can’t wait to meet him/her… We have made the decision to do high-risk concurrent planning. Which has nothing really to do with the medical condition but rather has to do with where in the process of reunification with the birth parents we come in. So for us what that means is that while the child in unlikely to return to their birth parents it is still a possibility. And we are willing to take that risk. Because when we take that risk we increase the opportunity of receiving a child placed in our home at an earlier age and that also means potentially less placements for our child. Less tragedy and movement they have to endure… and then We can start the bonding process right from the start. It’s pretty much at this point that I see people gasp… but what if they get returned to their birth parents? And I think on this side of our adoption… I can say “I am confident that if that happens our hearts will be broken!!! but I will have to choose to believe that our home was a safe place for them… a place where they felt a foundation of love… a place that God used for his perfect timing… not our own” Let’s be very honest… I am hoping that doesn’t happen! So our process will include visits with the birth parents, waiting for a decision of parental rights to be terminated, a waiting period, and then the final adoption. It’s such a crazy road because while there is a roadmap of how to get there… each case’s timeline is so vastly different so we wait… and carry on with this crazy little life!

Where are we at now?

We are sooo close to being completely licensed and finishing up our home study. There has been an overload of paperwork, Pride classes, meetings, approvals, inspections, fingerprints, dmv and doctors visits, putting in back steps, sprinklers, door locks and now we are ALMOST there. We have to finish one pride class that we missed because we shot a wedding and then found out yesterday that we need put in grass in our back yard and we will be on our way!!! Our sweet social worker said it needed to be “inviting”… I laughed to myself because there were five kids, two shovels, one hose, a huge mud puddle and I’ll tell you what… that back yard was quite inviting… But hey we like to follow rules so that is our last thing to do before our home is officially licensed as a foster home.

How You Can Pray:

We would absolutely treasure your prayers through this! Please pray for:

*Just the right child for our family, pray for protection over them until they find their way to our home.

*Pray for our hearts as we prepare ourselves, our kiddos, our home and our families for the upcoming changes.

*Pray for ALL of the social workers working on our case… pray that our family would find favor with them and that they would have wisdom and direction and smooth communication when working on our case.

*Please pray for all of the kids in the foster care system… there are so many kids who have suffered unimaginable things and join us in praying that there would be restoration in their families or that they would find safe and healthy families to call home, and for sure that there would be healing in their hearts!!!

How you can help:

We need to raise a small chunk of change to make the final updates necessary to license for placement. We need to raise it pretty quickly so we are offering stylized mini sessions at a pretty big discount from our normal sessions prices to help with some of the costs needed to finish up our yard and a few other baby things that we will need. We will be offering these specials for one day only… July 6th, 2012 for complete details see our post here:  http://koriandjaredblog.com/2012/06/22/adoption-fundraiser-mini-lemonade-stand-sessions-ripon-photography/

Another way you can help foster kiddos is to become a foster or adoptive parent yourself. If you have ever even thought about it… consider going to an orientation. Orientations are the best way to learn about who that agency is and how they work… You can contact San Joaquin County for more information on their orientations at 209-465-KIDS or view their website Foster Care Home Page

Thank you so much for taking the time from your day to read our family update! We truly appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we walk through this crazy unknown time! We know that we can’t do it alone and we are thankful for our families and friends supporting us!

{We just finished up our Pride Training Classes and here is a picture of all of our Foster Bears… that we took care of for the duration of the class. They came with their own case load and all. There were six couples and individuals starting their Foster/Adoption journey with us}

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  1. Eryn Crawford Kesler

    June 22nd, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    You know I LOVE this post ! So excited for you!!

  2. Adoption Fundraiser – Mini Lemonade Stand Sessions {Ripon Photography} » My Blog

    June 22nd, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    […] « Working On Baby No. 3 […]

  3. Julie DeAraujo

    June 23rd, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Kori & Jared…you are absolutely amazing! We will be praying and praying and praying. God as given you both huge hearts and I know he will bless you and your family through this journey!

  4. Tammy Giulian

    June 23rd, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your path. Will so pray for your family.

  5. Crista Swier

    June 23rd, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    What a great page to tell us the story of your adoption process. Who ever fills those shoes is one lucky child, and you guys will be one blessed family! Well, you are a blessed family. Keeping you all in prayer!

  6. Karen Stott

    June 25th, 2012 at 2:34 am

    THis is SO incredible Kori! I am just SOOOO excited for you guys!

  7. Dale MacPherson

    June 25th, 2012 at 2:51 am

    Found your blog via a friend of a friend’s blog. We are on a similar journey! Our 2 precious sons have been MacPhersons for almost exactly 8 years. I would welcome being a facebook friend and giving prayer support and any other encouragement I could try to provide!

  8. Sara Swanson

    July 4th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Praying for your family through this process. So exciting! Looking forward to hearing the rest of this story one day! God bless!

  9. Kevin Joseph Coenen

    July 9th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    So very proud f you and Jared. Looking forward to a forth grandchild!

  10. Anne Marie Dole

    July 12th, 2012 at 4:50 am

    I just discovered your blog and am SOOO happy for you in pursuing adoption! Matt and I have always had it in the back of our minds and after we finish remodeling our first step is to sign up for foster parenting. Anyhow, I will be keeping your family in my prayers. xo

  11. Stephanie Clayton Burrage

    July 24th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I’m glad I stumbled across your blog. Congrats on persuing foster adoption. I’m the mom of two boys adopted from foster care (in California) – we just celelbrated our 10th Gotcha Day! There is such a need for loving adoptive parents for these waiting kiddos. I look forward to following your journey!

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