Viaje de Amor en Ingles

(A Journey of Love)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Alicia's Quilts

Alicia has had a hobby for many years - quilting.  She has made quilts for family members, for our daughters teachers, for babies, weddings, graduations, and more.  She has collected old T-shirts to make a quilt for our Swim coach, and she has been given some completed needlepoint patterns to be put together into a quilt.  Now she wants to use her hobby of quilting to raise funds for our adoption.  Check out some of the quilts that she has made:

This and the following pictures are of quilts that  Alicia has made specifically as examples to be sold in order to raise money for the adoption.

This is a quilt Alicia made for our friends daughter, but is the same star pattern as the picture above it.  This shows how color selection can change the look of the identical pattern.

OK - here is the subliminal, yet not real creative advertising punch line.

These quilts are a great gift idea for weddings, baby showers, graduations, anniversaries, etc.  Contact Alicia and let her know that you are interested in a quilt.  She will work out colors, design and other details with you.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Office Interview

This morning, Alicia and I got the girls sent off to school, and drove down to Fort Washington for our office interview at Living Hope Adoption Agency.  On the way to our appointment, we listened to another chapter of an audio book on adoption (Adopted For Life, by Russell Moore).  This particular chapter was all about how to deal with the administrative details of adoption.  Although it sounds like it would be a boring chapter of the book, but as we were traveling to the first part of our home study it was actually a great encouragement.  We had prayed for a great visit with Aimee, the representative from Living Hope that has been working with us.  Our time with Aimee was really good, and while we were there, the Founder and President of Living Hope came in and introduced himself.  He shared with us some of his own story and the history of Living Hope.  After our office interview was over, Dr. Fang came back in and shared with us how Living Hope is not only working to help adoptive parents through the process of adoption, but Living Hope is also working closely with the governments in China and Honduras to provide orphan care and training in those countries.  We chose Living Hope because of its closeness to us and the fact that they were in Honduras, but having the opportunity to sit and talk with the President of the Agency and hear his vision was a great reminder that God uses all of our decisions to accomplish His plans even when we can't see it.

We figured it would be a few weeks before the home study is completed.  The next step is a home visit, and we figured it would be next week at the earliest...when Aimee asked us if we had any time available this week, we sat there for a moment completely stunned.  I think I mumbled something about my calendar, and Alicia grabbed my phone from my coat pocket.  Our home visit is scheduled for this Friday.  Ariana was excited when she heard the news.  Alexa had mixed emotions.  On one hand, she was excited to hear that things were moving forward.  On the other hand, she realized that she has to clean her room before Friday.  Our home study should be completed by the middle of April and ready to be sent to US agencies for approval.  Aimee said that approval may take about 2 months.  Then everything goes to Honduras.

The one bit of news that was somewhat disappointing was that it looks like the time in country to finalize the adoption will be about 4 - 6 weeks rather than the 2-4 weeks that was originally thought.  Living Hope is working closely with the President and First Lady of Honduras to clarify the process for families.  There is a possibility that we will need to travel to Honduras twice for a few days each time instead of staying there for a full month.  The first visit would be an interview with the agencies in Honduras, and we would also have the opportunity to meet our daughter.  The second trip would be to finalize the adoption.  This is the "flexibility" part of the process.   That's it for now...thanks for reading my ramblings.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Here is a great video from Third Day about adoption, and our adoption as Children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

"Children of God" by Third Day

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What's the Process?

A question we have been asked about the adoption is, "What is the Process?"  Along with that question comes, "Where are you guys in the process?" and, "When do you hope to go to Honduras to get your daughter?"  I am going to try to answer these questions as best as I can.  Living Hope has provided a get outline of the adoption process for adopting a child from Honduras.  If you want to read their summary, follow this link, then click on brochure and go to page 2.  Here is our journey in the process, so far:

  • Once it was clear to all of us that the Lord had been working on each of our hearts to adopt an orphan (see Our Journey to Adoption), we discussed where we would adopt from (see Why Honduras?) and the age and gender of the child we were hoping to adopt (see Boy or Girl?).  As we made these decisions, we looked at various adoption agencies and decided to go with Living Hope Adoption Agency.
  • In early February, the journey officially began as we submitted the application for adoption with Living Hope, along with a non-refundable application fee of $200.  Alexa commented that $200 is a lot of money - and it is, but as we explained the costs that we yet to come, she realized that this was just a drop in the bucket.
  • A few days later, the contract was delivered to our door.  We were able to complete the contract and by the grace of God and the generosity of a friend we were able to submit the contract within a few days of receiving it in the mail. (see Hurdles)
  • Within two weeks, we had received our packet of training courses with Adoption Learning Partners.  We began the courses and each night was spent in front of the computer learning about the issues related to adoption. (see Back to School)
  • The schooling was completed by the end of February and we submitted all of our completion certificates to Living Hope...a few days later, our packet was delivered to begin building our dossier (pronounced Dah-see-ay, but that is a whole different story).  We started pulling together all of the paperwork.  Financial statements, employment records, background checks, birth certificates, marriage license, etc. (see Time to do the paperwork!
  • Last week, we submitted our paperwork to Living Hope for review.  Now we wait for our first Home Study, which means that Alicia and I go to Living Hope's offices for an interview.  something was mentioned about a psychological test...I always fail the ink blot thing.  It always looks like food of some kind - spaghetti, ice cream, steak, coconut battered shrimp...Hopefully, Alicia will pass.
  • Then there is a Home Study when the case worker comes to our home.  The Home study paperwork is completed, processed and reviewed.  This process could take up to 2-3 months.  We are hoping it goes faster than that.
  • After our dossier is completed, it goes to the US government Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • Once approved by the USCIS, it goes to the Honduran government for approval.
  • Once approved by the Honduran government, then we'll receive a referral from the Honduran National Institute of Families and Children (IHNFA).  The estimated time from dossier submission to referral is less than six months.
  • The next step is for us to travel to Honduras.  We will be in Honduras for at least two weeks to work through the finalization process for the adoption and with the US Consulate for our daughters US citizenship.
  • Once we return home, we will have a series of post-placement reports that need to be completed.
When do we hope to travel?  This is a tough question to answer.  We hope to travel tomorrow, but obviously this is impossible.  Realistically, we are praying that there are five of us celebrating the birth of Christ together this year on December 25th.  We believe it is possible that we will travel before the end of the year.  We would love for everything to move very fast so that we could go to Honduras in late summer or early fall, but we are content to trust the Lord in His timing.

This was a bit of a longer blog...sorry.  Hope it answers some questions.  Now that I thought about ink blots, I'm kind of hungry......see ya.....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Cost of Adoption

We had heard that adoption was expensive, but until we began really looking into adoption, we didn't realize how expensive it was.  There are legal fees, and training costs, and agency costs, immigration fees, travel costs, etc.  When all is said and done, adopting a child from Honduras will cost around $28,000.  God has provided all that we have needed so far but we are only a few thousand dollars into the process.  We know there is still a long way to go.  There are a number of grants and loan programs available for prospective adoptive parents, but most of them require a completed home study before you can apply.  (sidenote: we hope to have our home study completed in the next few weeks)  All of this to say that we are in the process of pulling together two fund-raisers to help bring our daughter home.

First, on Saturday, April 2nd at Clemmer Music Store in Harleysville (764 Harleysville Pike, Harleysville, PA 19438) a friend of ours who is a consultant with Thirty-One will be hosting an Open House from 3-5pm.  If you want to check out the products that will be on sale, go to  We would love to see you at the Open House on April 2nd.  If you are unable to make it to Clemmer Music, but want to make a purchase, you can go to the website above, click on "place an order", then select "Alicia Crossgrove".  All orders must be placed before April 6th.  10% of all purchases will go toward the adoption.

Second, we will be having a yard sale this spring.  A good friend of our has held yard sales for a purpose.  She makes sure people know what the yard sale is for, and that all of the money that is collected goes toward that project.  She allows the people making the purchase to set their own price.  She says that some people take advantage of this, but most people will pay more than you would expect because they know it is going to something specific.  In this case, we would let people know that all the money collected would go toward the adoption.  How can you help?  Go through your house, garage, storage unit, and any other place you have stuff stored away and see if there is anything you want to donate to the yard sale.  We have not set a date yet, but once the date is set, we would love to have people help out as well.

That's it for now, if you have other fund raising ideas that don't involve taking one of those glossy catalogs with popcorn and chocolates, or magazine subscriptions to my neighbors, we would love to hear them.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Superfluous Buns!

Have you ever seen the movie "Father of the Bride" with Steve Martin?  There are certain scenes in this movie that make me laugh or cry just by thinking about them.  The scene where his daughter is sitting across the table telling him that she met a man in Europe and they're going to get married.  Although she is in her 20s, he pictures his 6 year old daughter sharing this news.  Another great scene is the discussion of where the reception will be held, and the phrase, "I don't think we want the word "pit" on a wedding invitation."...great stuff.  This brings me to one of my favorite scenes and my request for prayer.  We are in the midst of waiting for adoption paperwork to come in, I am working on my doctorate, there is the ministry at church, and overshadowing all of this is wondering where the money for the adoption will come from.  There is a scene in the movie where Steve Martin has had it and his wife sends him to the grocery store to buy hot dogs and buns.  The number of dogs in a pack does not equal the number of buns in a pack and he finds himself removing the superfluous buns.  Thanks to Youtube you can see this scene:

Please pray that we won't have a superfluous buns moment!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Well, we are in the first of our many phases of waiting.  We are waiting on all of our paperwork to come in.  I knew it was going to be a bit difficult but didn't realize how waiting for the postmaster to arrive would be on my list of things I look forward to each day!  On Friday I got so excited because we received Andy's birth certificate, a bank statement that we were waiting on as well as our child abuse history clearance.  It was such an exciting day.  I am sure that won't even compare to the excitement we will have when our paperwork goes to Honduras, let alone when we receive our referral and then travel approval.  Yet, in all of this waiting time-I feel God's peace in all of this.  Such a mix of emotion-as Ariana likes to say "Oh no, are you going to cry again :)?!"  I am sure that statement will be said many time over the next months:)! 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Becoming a Woman of Influence

On Friday, I left with women from our church for our ladies church retreat.  I was very excited to go and yet leaving things "unfinished" with the adoption process that I hoped that I would have been able to finish before going.  I was excited to have a weekend with the "girls" and be challenge by God's word and yet still desiring to be at home to work on the paperwork.   Leaving a pile of papers for Andy to begin working on, I packed right before leaving and off we went to LADORE retreat center for our weekend where Kim Checkeye was going to be our speaker on "Becoming A Woman of Influence .  Little did I really know how God was going be challenging be and encouraging me at the same time.

Our speaker was Kim, from "The Truth For Women".  She started out her talk on Friday night reminding us that she had been at our church about 1 1/2 -2 years ago for a ladies tea.  She said..."Who was there for that event?"  After having to think back I remembered being there.  Then she said..."Does anyone remember what I spoke on?"  To which I felt terrible to realize I remember going away from that night being challenged at the time but now, not really remembering what she spoke on.  She said she couldn't remember either so she started looking back in her files..."Becoming a woman of Influence".  "Do you think God had something to tell us this weekend?"  Kim asked us.  "Something that he began preparing in us a long time ago".  WOW!  That spoke volumes to me as well as many of the other women in the room I think.  Through out the weekend God used Kim to open our eyes and hearts to "Becoming a Woman of Influence". 

Through this weekend I started to see how 2 years ago God pressed on my heart to pray that God would open Andy's heart to adoption if this was what he wanted for us (even though I was questioning myself).  Now, being at the same location that I prayed this prayer, my eyes were opened to how God was using me to "Be a Woman of  Influence" in my husbands life... my daughters lives... in the lives of my friends... through our family at Faith,  and now the life of my daughter,that we don't even know yet.  It is so amazing how you can have such a love  for someone you don't even know yet and such an ache in your heart for.  Just Wanting to know her.  I continue to be reminded of God's love for ME..How He Loved ME.  So much, that through sending His Son Jesus Christ  to die on the cross for my sins that I am able to be HIS child-ADOPTED into HIS family.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Time to do the paperwork!

Earlier this week, Alicia and I completed the required courses prepared by adoption learning partners (  We found these courses to be very profitable and eye opening.  There was so much that we covered, so we will probably return to these courses later to check out the resources and recommendations made in the course.  After completing the courses, we submitted all of the certifications to our agency, and moved to the next step of the process.  Yesterday, we received our packet with the information and checklist of paperwork to be completed in building our dossier (by the way for those of you like me that might have pronounce this word as "do-shur" or "do-si-ER", I have learned that they proper pronunciation is "dah-see-AY".  Why the the ending of "ier" gives a long "A" sound baffles me.  Perhaps this should be saved for another blog titled, "Blame the French" or something like that.)  Anyway, getting back from that tangent.  We received our packet with excitement, then began the process.  At the beginning of our packet, they inform you of various emotions that people experience at different stages of the process.  This stage is fear and exhaustion.  I have the picture in my mind of the guy from the old Dunkin Donuts commercial as he gets up extremely early and practically sleep walks out the door going to the bakery to make the doughnuts.  The whole time, he keeps saying, "time to make the doughnuts".  For us, it  is time to do the paperwork.  We have letters to write or have written for us, finances to prove, medical exams and so much more.  Time to do the paperwork.  The great part of this was having to call my mom to figure out everyone that lived with me since 1975, and every address that I lived at during that time.  We ended up having a great conversation and catching up on so many things.  Anyway, gotta go..."time to do the paperwork!"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Boy or Girl?

I remember when Alicia was pregnant with both of our girls, one of the questions we would be asked regularly was, "Do you want a boy or a girl?"  To which, I would typically respond, "Yes, I hope so."  This is one area where adopting a child is not much different than pregnancy. 

Usually, after we tell a friend or family member that we are adopting, there is the initial shock, then when sanity rests upon them again, they ask where we are adopting a child from.  We answer that we decided to adopt internationally, and we have begun the process of adopting a child from Honduras.  The next question is almost invariably, "boy or girl?"  This is one of those questions that we discussed early on as a family.  Personally, I did not have a strong opinion either way.  I would love to have a son, but I have also grown to really enjoy being a father of daughters.  Alicia and the girls all voted to adopt a little girl.  Therefore, we are in the process of adopting a little girl from Honduras.

The next question that we are typically asked is, "What age child are you seeking to adopt?".  Again, we have had a lot of discussion as a family about the age.  I lean toward 12 months to a few years old.  Alicia leans toward newborn to 18 months.  The girls shared their thoughts, so the age of the child we are hoping to adopt is in the range of newborn to 24 months.

Therefore, we are seeking to adopt a girl from Honduras that is under two years old.