our adoption journey {home study 1 & 2}

Our 10 year anniversary was September 1st. We dropped kids off in the morning and then headed to the airport for a flight to Chicago. Before we went through security, we sat at Starbucks waiting for a social worker. She so kindly offered to meet us at the airport for our first homestudy interview so we could get it in before our trip. I joked with friends that it was a reflection of my love for multi-tasking and taking advantage of every spare moment.

While we waited for her to arrive, we watched families saying ‘goodbyes’ at the security check point. There was one family…a mom, dad, daughter and son…that I couldn’t stop watching. My best guess is the son was boarding a plane for his first year at college. He was the oldest. The mom was a wreck. She kept hugging him and crying. He finally got in line, went through the checkpoint and turned to give one last wave at his mom. That is when I lost it. I’m not a crier, but I was sobbing…SOBBING at the airport Starbucks waiting for a social worker to interview me for an adoption. I tried to pull myself together. Moments later our interview began.

She asked me something related to our journey to adopt. I began sharing and eventually started talking about all our dear friends who have adopted…and then I lost it again. I had to apologize and tell her the whole story about the mom and her oldest son leaving for college…and saying goodbye to my kids that morning…and finally getting to point of our first home study visit. She was so gracious and understanding. Chris, whose sensitive nature is known by many to cry all the time, was all too amused with me.

9.11homestudy-01

She gave us some paperwork to fill out.  We took advantage of the short flight to get in done. Me = realist, Chris = optimist….that really came out in how we answered questions!

9.11homestudy-02The next visit was scheduled at our house with the kids. I had great ambitions to clean and actually dust the house for once. Ambition is where it ended. It is impossible to clean a house when Thing 1 & Thing 2 are running amok.

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The dusting didn’t happen, neither did the mopping…but I did get things picked up. My new rug…maybe if the kids weren’t acting so cute she’d be distracted by the cuteness of my rug. And back up plan #2 – chocolate chip cookies in the oven. I figured even if light sabers were crashing in the middle of the interview, I could win her over with chocolatey goodness.
9.11homestudy-10

Well, the second home study went reasonably well. Our five year old was in tears before it even started. Really, today…right now? As the doorbell rang, I realized FireCracker tried to wash her own hands and in the process drenched her cute outfit. I was changing her clothes as Chris was opening the door. This is not the pulled together family welcome I had in my head. The boys colored at the table. At one point I thought a paper airplane zoomed past my head only to hear my oldest declare, “I almost got you with my flying paper knife.” Yes, my boys like to attack me with handmade weapons, I take whatever crafting I can with them. FireCracker decided not to make it to the restroom and graced us with an accident in the middle of the room. Good thing I didn’t get around to mopping earlier.  When asked what the rules in our home are, my oldest said, “We don’t have rules.” Hmmmm….not even sure what to say about that. We were 3/4 of the way through when I realized my fly was down. Nice, Ashley.

All in all, it went great when you consider 4 wild cards were involved. She was gracious and even commented at the end how peaceful our house felt. My house is not peaceful in the sense of quiet and serene, but there is a different kind of peaceful going on around here. I was so grateful that despite all the real life that can turn some off…she saw what I see in my home. A peaceful that covers the battles, the accidents, the dust, the flying objects and a mom with her fly down.

If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know once you get that positive test result…your every thought and future plan involves that growing baby. For me, it is exactly the same with an adoption. Though my sweet one is not growing inside me, I see us as a family of 7. When I think of my kids…I think of 5. Four are here in Oklahoma and my youngest is in China…so far from me. Have I mentioned that before…China…my little one’s home. Just like when I was pregnant, I don’t know details about appearance, personality, health…but I know our family is growing.

We had grilled corn this week. As I was getting it ready to throw on the grill, I realized there was one extra. Unlike a pregnancy, where others are very conscience of your growing family, adoption isn’t so noticeable at this stage….but it is so real for us. It is real enough that at the grocery store I was thinking, I need 7 ears of corn – one for each of us.

And hopefully in the next year we will fly across this globe and return home complete.
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  • Danielle Bradfield - Hi Ashley! I am so excited for you as you continue on your adoption journey. You inspire me because I have always wanted to adopt but ended up having a couple kiddos biologically. You helped remind me that God may still have plans for us to adopt down the road. I just need to be patient and wait on his timing. Thanks for constantly writing in an honest, vulnerable manner. As a reader, I really appreciate that and will be praying for you as you wait on your little one to join your family!

  • Michelle - beautiful post… this non crier is crying :) We don’t know how big our family is going to be (we have one) but it is so nice to see you do it with such grace.
    xo

  • Whitney Benson - Beautifully written–so excited for your growing family.

  • Kelly (Kelly is Inspired) - Good Morning! So happy your Home Study 1 and 2 (How many are there?) Went well! Sounds pretty nerve racking! My husband and I are thinking of adoption for our second child. So it is great to read about your experiences. We were pretty set on adopting from Haiti but with the Earthquake not sure when that will be reasonable…

  • Shar Halvorsen - what a journey adoption is! my husband and i brought our daughter maizie home from the hospital in june, our 5th child, and what a journey it continues to be. a life changing experience. adopting has changed my heart and my life in ways i could have never anticipated. so excited for your family!

  • Jyoti - Ashley, you are a writer—a beautiful and touching writer.

  • Lydia Jo Martin - Well written. Just beautiful, funny, and real. thanks.

  • N - Wow! In the next year? We know two couples that just in this year received their children from China and both had waited nearly 5 years.

  • andy - loved reading your post. so real, so honest, so true. china. awesome. we have friends who adopted from there. congrats. can’t wait to hear more of your story as you go though it.

  • lindsey - And I’m crying. Ashley, I’m so excited for you in these days to come. What an extrodinary and beautiful person you are. Even though we are not in-person “friends”, I feel blessed to know you and read your inspiring heart every morning. Praying for your sweet China girl (I’m assuming girl? :) )

  • Celia - Love it!!!!

  • Jenni Goodlin - Oh the Joys of a Home Study, we are going to be having ours shortly, but I am also due in 2 weeks to have a baby. So not only will I have the dust, pee, and toddlers, I will also have an infant in hand… Praying for a gracious social worker. I am glad things went well for you, what an exciting journey!

  • Steph - That was so touching. I can’t wait to see your family come together, and how perfect that she could see what is really at the root of your family – love and safety. Crazy, wild, spontaneous families are beautiful!

  • colleen from alabama - Love the peace in your home. Several years ago, a neighbor that i so desired to show Jesus to was in our home. She didn’t have kids and my two are like four, especially in the energy department. I was trying to have a little stationery party. They were everywhere & loud. It was then that i heard her comment to one my friends, “i love coming over here, it’s always so peaceful!” I laughed but i thought to myself, only Jesus makes this seem peaceful. She did see Him afterall. Praying your social worker will one day know & experience the source of your peace!

  • Jeannette - You are awesome – love the story – love you! Oh, I wanted to see pictures of you crying!

  • Shannon Phillips - This post was a lovely way to start my morning. You bless me and inspire me in so many ways sweet friend. Your home IS always peaceful.

  • Shannon Phillips - Yes, I agree with Jeannette. Crying photos please.

  • Lauren - That kind of peace is something I strive for in my home. You’re such a good example. I love reading your uplifting posts.

  • Sarah Pratt - Love! Love! Love! It’s always nice when someone can see the real picture amongst the chaos. Best Wishes in your “wait”.

  • Jen G - Congrats on your adoption journey, chaos and all. I know the way that visit went was the last thing you wanted, but it was the best thing for her to have seen. They don’t want perfect. They want parents. Parents for real, water-spilling, floor-peeing, smart-aleck kids. And you rose to the occasion, perfectly. Hang in there on the wait and challenges – when you finally get that little one, it’s all SO worth it and you’ll find you can’t imagine having done this any other way. I have two children gifted to me through adoption; I’m blessed beyond measure. Happy journey.

  • Molly - Sorry but I giggled my way through your post today. I love starting my day with your stories:)

  • BriSchaaf - Oh thank you so much for sharing your story!! We are in the very early stages of our Adoption. We have our Orientation with our Adoption Agency the 14th of this month. Sending prayers up for your journey!

  • Bethany - The paragraph about the second visit made me laugh out loud. I mean really…real life is so much better than fiction. You can’t make this stuff up! Love your stories and good luck with the adoption!

  • cailan - I can relate to the completely unexpected breakdown – every once in a great while something just strikes a chord and I lose it. Such a sweet narrative of your home visit – made me laugh. And love the 7 ears.

  • Christine - You crack me up! Isn’t that so true how that always happens when you have it planned out perfectly in your head. Congratulations and best of luck to you all with your adoption. That child is going to be very blessed to be a part of your family.

  • Jamie - I love this post. I love all of your posts, but I REALLY love this one. So well written and so understandable.
    And one quick house question/comment: where is the vase from that is next to your 7 ears of corn? Anhro? It’s super cute… and so is your new rug!

  • Danielle - 7 is such a lovely number. We are 6 in our home and I always envisioned 5 littles… after infertility treatments to have four children is amazing. My heart has thought of adopting, however dear hubby is happily complete with our four monkeys. So I will live through your journey. Sending you much love and a quick adoption process so that your little 5th is in your arms soon (and eating corn at the family table).

  • Tricia - Tears. Wow. I, apparently unlike you am a crier. I cry when I’m happy. I cry when I’m sad. I cry while I’m laughing. I cry at commercials. I’m that girl. Actually I cry often while reading your blog. All for the very best reasons, whatever the reason is that day. What a blessed family of 7 you will be!

    xo*tricia

  • rutheah - you got me with that last paragraph…the ears of corn had ME sobbing. happy tears. such beautiful words and i am praying for your journey through adoption and for your precious new one. :)

  • Sarah - Did my best to not cry this time.
    It was a beautiful beautiful honest post.

  • Tess S - Every child has a purpose in this world. EVERY child. And this post is proof positive.

  • Erica - You are Paper Pregnant! And, just as a warning, I’m certain that “paper pregnancy” causes surging hormonal imbalances just like a physical pregnancy… I’m living proof! Praying that you will be able to fully enjoy this time of waiting, it really is a time full of blessing!

  • Carol - Having been through international adoption homestudies twice, I know what you are going through – especially the part about your children not exactly answering questions the way you want them to! Good Luck! It is SO worth it. My girls are now 10 and 16 and the lights of my life.

  • ASH - I can relate to you with the story of the other family at the airport. I enjoy the time I spend at the airports people watching. Sometimes you get to see something totally amazing that will move you.

    Couldn’t help but laugh through your description of the second home study. Glad it is all going well.

  • Lacey - Wonderful! I’m so excited to follow you on your journey!

  • Nicki - Thank you for sharing that. It brought me to tears, of joy. Life has so many blessings all around us.

  • giozi - Wow 7. Is good. I told many times that my husban has 4 siblings. He is the older. They are 3 boys and 2 girls.
    Is going to be marvellous.

  • Fiona - Beautiful post (and hilarious).

  • Rebecca - Loved the post, airplane knife, accidents and flys. It was awesome! Best of luck as you continue the journey to grow your broad.

  • Alice H - When I look at your pictures and read a post, I feel that peaceful feeling. It just comes out of you. I’ve heard that these adoption agencies like “REAL” people, real life situations. Not fake ones! So good for you that you cried, that you didn’t dust, and that you had your fly down.

    Hopefully you didn’t go commando that day :-)

  • Pip - Beautiful post..your fly down made me laugh out loud. I can’t wait to read the post you write about the day you pick up your new little one.

  • Erin - Oh I love the visual of the home visit. Your fly down – classic.

  • Kelsey - Thank you so much for sharing your personal journey with us. It has always been been my dream to have family with both children that I give birth to and children that I adopt. You’ve been an inspiration to me and encouraged me to trust in God’s plan and timing.

  • Hannah B - This was a beautiful post. And I so know what you mean about having a peaceful home even though you’re surrounded by chaos. It’s a peace that’s happy and positive…a total peace that’s all a God thing. My hubs and I have always prayed for that kind of peace to be felt when people come to our home. So awesome she noticed that.

  • Alison - Ah, I knew it! I knew it was China. I’d love to adopt from there as well – I can’t believe my favorite blog is now showing me this process step by step! This is going to just kill you, but I remember an NPR story about forced third-term abortions the government was trying to get away with in the poorer areas of the country, when the mother already had one child. Just gut wrenching. What you guys are doing is so powerful, and I’ll be cheering you on from here.

  • tracy a - Laughing.out.loud. Thanks for sharing this post. Sometimes I think you’re superwoman (and, who knows, you just might be!) and a post like this just brings everything into perspective! Oh the joy of little boys…thank goodness for that amazing peace you spoke of! may there be more of it in all our lives. (and congrats on your home studies going so well!)

  • Lisa Pummel - You made me laugh and cry. Well done! :) hehe

  • Denise - You have me both laughing and crying in one little post. Your blog is a small glimpse of heaven for me, because I imagine that in heaven we’ll have all of eternity to hear the “God stories” of people who were once strangers. And here you are, a stranger to me, and I get to rejoice in His story of your life! Thanks for that.

  • Kristen - Such a sweet story, thanks for keeping us updated on your journey!

  • Tiah - When there is love in a home it is always a peaceful place, regardless of the chaos.

  • Cindy steffan - Perfect!

  • danielle - So beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  • Stephanie Catlett (Mom's Happy Place) - Ashley I dearly loved your post today. You had me l laughing because I could totally imagine all those events unfolding as you were in your interview. Thing1 and 2 cracked me up! You made my day!

  • Christy - I loved the post–

    The color of your kitchen wall in the last picture popped out at me. We’re in the process of remodeling a house, and I want an aqua kitchen. I’m wondering if you remember the paint name and brand.

  • Rachel - I loved hearing that story…I love the peace in a chaotic house…for some it is hard to understand, but I totally get it! Can’t wait for your family of 7…yay!!

  • Amy - I love the way you write about your family. You had me smiling in the beginning, then I practically spit out my cereal laughing so hard when I read the line that transitioned from “…my oldest said, ‘We don’t have rules.’ Hmmmm….not even sure what to say about that.” TO “We were 3/4 of the way through when I realized my fly was down. Nice, Ashley.” Then you had me in tears over the corn. I am so glad I found your blog and it is truly a daily read for me. It’s so exciting that you’re on this adoption journey and I completely understand thinking of your family as 7 already. We’re in the baby/’family planning’ process, stalled by infertility, and everything — EVERYTHING — is, “when we have a baby” or “when we have kids” or “if i’m pregnant, then…”. Thanks again for sharing so much.

  • Brandi - What a fabulous post. I love home study stories. We are leaving for China next week to pick up our son. So excited! Can’t wait to watch your journey unfold.

  • Katie R. - so sweet to follow your journey!!

  • Erica - Dear Ashley:

    I have followed your blog for about a year now and although I’ve wanted to take the time to comment many times, this is the first time my twins are sleeping (and Lola is at my BFF preschool) thus allowing me the two minutes typing time.

    Here is what I’ve been wanting to say: Your photography is amazing but your talent with words matches your talent with the camera, if not at times, surpassing it all together. Thank you for the reflection and inspiration that you provide me with.

    Sincerely,

    Ej Ginham

  • Angela Oberdeck - Thank you so much for sharing your adoption journey. My husband and I are starting paperwork in the next month and we are SO excited to grow our family this way. It makes my heart soar to find others going through the process who really GET that this is such an incredible way to build a family. Lots of prayers as you move forward – Congratulations!

  • Teresa Johnson - Ashley, that was such a sweet post. I can relate to it all, the wondering of whether you’ll be liked by/get along with your social worker, the pressure that everything needs to be perfect when he/she comes to your home, the yearning for one (or two in my case) who is absent yet so present, the difficulty in the waiting, the questions people ask, and the never-ending anticipation. I know you have a lot of friends that have adopted, and I know they probably tell you that despite how long/tough/frustrating/great your adoption journey is, it is all forgotten once your child is home and it’s true. As soon as your little one is home, everything that has happened to that point (a fly that is open, potty accidents, etc) will all fade in comparison to the love and excitement to have your child in your arms.

    I know everything will go well for you throughout this journey, and I’m excited for you and to see this little kiddo find such a great family :)

  • Andrea - So well written. I look forward to following along throughout your journey. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

  • tamara - Ashley your posts are wonderful. They make me smile. Can’t wait for your family to grow for you.

  • Moriah - You have me in tears here. Thank you for this story. Your new baby will be so lucky!

  • Missa Lee - I just had to tell you that this is an amazing piece. I am young, no kids, and no plans for kids at the moment, but this made me jump to a place in the future where I know children will be my life. I can’t relate, but you made me in a way, tears welling up and everything. Kudos.

  • Susan - So awesome…such a good reminder to “don’t sweat the small stuff”

  • Jane Marie - I can’t tell you how much I love hearing about your adoption journey. It really makes me smile. :-) I think this is one of the best posts EVER.

  • amanda torres - I laughed and laughed at this post. Home Study #2 rocked!

  • Stacy Teague - Sounds like you guys were just keeping it real. {Sidenote: I want to know what camera bag you took on your trip! Do tell!}

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Ashley, you are the sweetest. Thank you for taking us on this journey with you!

  • Susan - Your airport story touched my heart. I’m sure I would have been sitting right next to you, asking for the tissue, had I witnessed the same events.

    I’m praying your adoption is an easy “pregnancy” for all of you.

    Susan
    http://www.susansutherlin.blogspot.com

  • pattilouwho - How exciting! I can’t wait to watch your wonderful journey unfold. :)

  • karen - so nice!
    I LOVE the pic with the coffee cup. so cool.

  • erica - laughing and crying!! thanks for your honesty. hearing and sharing our crazy but peaceful stories makes one realize (thankfully) that perception isn’t always reality. good luck in your journey!!

  • Amanda - People would be crazy not to see your home as a place children should be. Yours is an amazing story and I have to chuckle at ‘Thing 1 & Thing 2′ as I had put that in my BLOG a while ago and my mother was not impressed! LOL! :)

  • Barbara Janaina - You make me cry… :-)
    Your family is not perfect, but was made on purpose! I hope some day I will have a hapy big family, just like yours!

  • Barbara Janaina - You make me cry… :-)
    Your family is not perfect, but was made on purpose! I hope some day I will have a hapy big family, just like yours!

  • beth - Love the new rug- it would have distracted me! CUTE anthropology vase. I just looked at it today while I was there. As far as all the rest of your post goes, the REAL stuff of life….. thank you. Thank you for being real. Your taste is awesome, your diy skills amazing, your home adorable, but your heart for God beats it all. I can tell across the miles through the mirror of a blog that you are a special person and a great mom. I love that you’re adopting. I’ll pray you through the journey and I don’t say that lightly. In fact, I never say that because I’m afraid I won’t keep up. I don’t use words flippantly. In fact I’ve watched your blog for about a year- every post!- and am just now commenting. I’m not sure why I’m taking the time to do it now, but I wanted you to know you have a prayer partner for baby #5. I could comment forever about all the cuteness of life, but that’s not where I want my comment to go. Please know you’re journey is upheld before the Father- from up here in Minnesota. :)

  • Kimberlee Jost - I didn’t used to be a crier, but now I am.
    And this sweet love story is bringing it out of me.
    Can’t wait to hear more about it this weekend. :)

  • amber - This is so awesome & so exciting. I’m loving reading your posts about your journey. Can’t wait for our own one day…God’s good.

  • Kristin S - Precious, precious, precious, precious!

    What the social worker saw was a warm, loving, real home. If it had all been “perfect” it would not have been real. I’m sure she saw the love through it all.

    And that rug? Stunning.

  • Chris Klinge - I am new to your blog and you have no idea how much I can relate to and enjoy! Good luck with your adoption journey! But I must know…where is that AMAZING new rug from?

  • Jess H - just awesome!! You had me in tears laughing :) It was so exciting to hear the details and your perspective on homestudies. We are just in the “getting ready to start the homestudy” stage, and I can completely relate to the feeling of expectancy of your child being with you, part of the family, eating corn together :) I can’t wait for my little one, and will be praying for you guys as you await yours.

  • Karla LaPine Swalve - what a beautifully written post. so sweet and funny all at the same time. I know it is evident to all who come in contact with you and Chris that you are amazing parents! so excited to see all that God has in store for the Campbells! thank you for sharing your story. :)

  • Meagan - I pretty much lost it at the part about the paper knife flying through the air. This was the funniest and most heartwarming thing I’ve read in a long time.

  • Lisa Johnson - I love Thing 1 & Thing 2. ;) I’ve got a couple of those at my house too.
    I am so thrilled about your adoption. Praying for a special preparation time for all of you and for a joyous meeting soon of the 7th Campbell.
    When we started the process to become foster parents last year, I was so paranoid prior to our first in-home visit. I had my poor teenagers convinced that they were probably going to go through each drawer (good way to get the junk cleaned out ;) but it ended up being a fairly relaxed, laid-back time and we became friends with our social worker. It helped when I realized that they were on my side too, and just helping the process happen.
    Can’t wait to hear about the next steps!

  • Midwest Magnolia - Melissa Lewis - I’m crying Ashley, thanks a lot;) J/K! I know all too well those feeling from a homestudy, though ours was different since we did a local/private adoption, our sweet baby was already home with us when she came over for the visit.

    I love how you are talking about how you have always seen your family as a family of 7. I’ve never been pregnant, so I don’t know how that feels. But I do see our family as a large family. I don’t know what God has in store for us exactly, but I sure do hope its more babies, from where ever he wishes. We’ve got a lot more love to go, and their are still so many who need some lovin’.

    I read an interview once from Heidi Klum, weirdly enough. They asked if she and Seal were done having babies. She said “yes.” They asked how she knew they were done. She said, “When we all sit around the table for dinner, we don’t feel like anyone is missing like we did before.”

    I love that!

    So happy and excited for you and your family. Adoption was not something I saw for my life a few years ago. However, going through it, you are able to experience God’s love in a whole new light. It’s absolutely amazingly overwhelming!

  • nycole - I’m so excited for you! It brings tears to my eyes! I can’t wait till your family is finally all together! You are in my prayers!

  • allison - That made me smile – thank you!

  • Lisa Box - This might be my favorite post ever–LOVED it! I’m so excited to watch your adoption story unfold…thanks for sharing. Aaaaand I cry pretty much any time I’m at the airport watching people say goodbye, so you’re not alone! :)

  • Sonia - Just love reading your blog & seeing your beautiful photos – even from all the way over here in Australia. Any child will be truly blessed to be welcomed into your home & family! Congrats also on your 10 year Wedding Anniversary.. we share the same day/year too. x

  • KaraM - I love the “we don’t have any rules!” How funny is that! I love this post…I could almost squeal I’m so excited for your family. Home Study makes me nervous! BUT sounds like yours went really well, besides the humorous moments. :D

  • Crystal - Hilarious post! I’m sure your visit went great! And my daughter has the same shirt Firecracker is wearing! Sweet! She even has a frilly little skirt to match, that she wears with every shirt in her wardrobe except the one my mother bought to go with it!! LOL

  • mosey - I have to say, this is my most favorite post I’ve EVER read here… And… CONGRATULATIONS! (we’re “expecting” again too…) It’s such a great feeling and yet, like you said, one that other people don’t notice as much because if your lucky, you don’t gain all that weight (no stress eating!) hehehe… I LOVE your account of your homestudy visits… One of my kids told our social worker right after we finished saying we had no firearms in the house that “oh we keep all our weapons upstairs!” Meaning of course, decorative swords but you should have SEEN the look on her face for that few moments until we could explain! hehehe…

  • Emily - lovely. your 5th baby is so lucky to have you.

  • Lynsey W - I just found your blog a few weeks ago and have enjoyedreading about your family and day t day life. I was especially pleased to see today that you are going through the process of adoption and sharing it here with us. My husband and I have not been blessed with a child yet, and due to me having severe endometriosis we probably won’t be able to have children biologically. We have started talking about adoption, and I love hearing others’ stories about the process and bringing an adopted child into the family. I look forward to following your journey and learning more as the months go by.

  • Nicole - Love the Thing 1 and Thing 2 reference – we totally have that goin’ on in our house :) Sorry your mention of Chicago reminded me of your Hipstamatic comment the other day. Where would you get a book printed with that app? We are headed to LA next month and I’m contemplating using my iPhone and making a Blurb book with Instagram pix – just wondering if there was something comparable for Hipstamatic? Ok, one more question – HOW do you do it with 4 (and soon to be five!)? We have three and I feel like our hands are FULL.

  • Mindy - Hi Ashley,
    This is my first time posting. I’ve always loved your blog for your DIY’s, etc… but now I find myself checking back more frequently because of your adoption. You see, we just started the process as well and it’s so fun and exciting for me to hear someone else’s journey!! We have to biological kids and feel exactly the same way – like we are a family of 5… just haven’t met our 3rd yet! We have our first homestudy interview next week. I’m nervous and excited all at the same time. Anyway, thank you for sharing – love these posts!
    Mindy

  • Pix - OMG this post cracked me up! Thank goodness a good social worker can see past all this stuff! We were completely nuts on the day of our first visit. I can’t imagine doing it at a public place (although not having to scour your house sure does sound good!) And yes, you are a family of 7 already. Meeting that 7th is just a small detail. :)

  • Irene - What a beautiful person you are Ashley.. I feel like I am so lucky to came across your blog right when you were pregnant with Firecracker.. Hope all the paperworks will be a joyful process and soon the wait is over. Can’t wait to see the growing family of yours!

  • ruth@gracelaced - I simply love this.

  • Katie - …and now I’m crying. I’m so, so, so happy for your family, Ashley. I’ll continue praying that everything falls into place smoothly!

  • Katiane - I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes. The love of a mother is limitless. This is what your kids will remember, not if the floors were mopped and house dusted. So happy for you and your family.

  • Kirra Sue - Beautiful. And so exciting. Thanks for letting us in on all the real moments- they are what matter the most.

  • Trista - So happy for you and your family; congrats! Thanks for sharing the “real life moments” that impact important events! So funny and oh so rich; God sure creates beautiful children! Will be praying for your little one in China and the six of you here in the States…can’t wait for the photo of all 7 of you together! (Have you heard of the Chinese custom – Bai Jia Bei – The 100 Wishes Quilt? Neat idea for any baby, but often given as a special gift for an adoption from China)

  • Amy D - Love this post! Before our home visit, my husband and I met with the social worker at her office. I asked if she was going to talk with our kids (4 and 2 years old) and she told us that they were too young. Relieved, I didn’t prep our chatty, mischievious four year old daughter on what to say and what not to say. During the visit, the social worker changed her mind and asked to speak with my daughter in her room, just them two. All I heard were two things. When asked what her favorite thing to do was, she said “Jump on the bed!” You know, like we let her do that whenever she wants. And then she proceeded to tell her that her brother doesn’t like vegetables. Nice. We still passed :) And maybe there’s just something about airports that bring out the emotions in a waiting momma, I got all weepy last time I flew… Dreaming of the day when it’s time to meet/bring home our baby! I about lost it right there when a young Hispanic family with a young baby sat down next to me (our baby is Hispanic). Praying for your little one!

  • lyn - You made me cry!!! I just had my 2nd child a son. I am in love with him! I am in love with my first! I look forward to the day we can adopt our daughter! Thank you Ashley for your inspiration!

  • M for Short - This was SO delightful to read. Chuckled throughout b/c we have all been there! And I completely sympathize with crying at the airport over the mom saying goodbye to her son. A tear-jerker for sure.

  • Heather - I laughed and teared up with this post!! We have a done two homestudies ourselves. We have a 4 year old daughter from China at home and are on our way to pick up a daughter from Taiwan later this year. I am thrilled for you that you are adopting and especially from a country that is incredibly dear to my heart.

    If you EVER have any questions or want to bounce anything off of me…..please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. I feel like I get things from your blog and if I could return that to you in some way….I’d be honored.

    Best of luck!
    Heather

  • Melissa - thanks for sharing Ashley! we are in the process of finalizing our second adoption and just love to hear about others and the journey to adopt! we also lived in China for a summer and the kids there are beautiful! may God do immeasurably more than you ask or imagine!
    ~Melissa

  • Debbie Morton - Ashley, I am so thrilled about the journey of adoption that your family has started. Adoption, is a very active, fun filled,awesome adventure. My husband and I were married 18 years, yes, 18 years before we started our adoption process. We were unable to conceive a child, so we opted to conceive the notion of adoption. We live in Texas and realized that there were too many children in the foster care system whose lives have been turned upside down by bio-parents that have terminated their rights. My husband and I were both 42 years old…grandparent age! We decided that the prior years had been our retirement years and the rest of our lives would be to raise children. Long story short, God gave us a beautiful strawberry blonde, blue-eyed baby girl who was 8 years old, then in 6 years a 2 1/2 year old, defiant little blonde, blue eyed boy. Our lives have never been the same, thank goodness. The house hasn’t been clean in years, the laundry would rarely be finished, the dishes would stack up in the sink; however, we decided we would rather be 60 years old (which I will be next March, hubby in August)with children, rather than without children. Our daughter is now a beautiful 25 year old and our son is a handsome 15 years. Be sure to allow God to be in control and miracles will happen.

  • Suzanne - Posts like this are why I keep coming back to your blog. I love your honesty, optimism, sense of humor and most of all your willingness to share your heart with people you don’t even know. I teared up reading about the corn. It’s so sweet that a child far away has no idea what plans God has in store for her in the form of a loving, caring family that is already planning for her arrival. What a sweet example of God’s love for us as well. He thought of us before we knew him and has gone before us to prepare a home for us in eternity. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure I will be thinking of this all day and praising God for his love for me.

  • Rachel L - Hi Ashley. We had our first home study visit yesterday so I know how you feel! We are first time parents, so we are so excited about going from a family of 2 to a family of 4. Thank you for sharing your journey!

  • Elizabeth - I loved how real your home study was….the same kind I could imagine here in our home. So excited for what your family is about to embark upon…becoming complete!

  • Jess - Your kiddos {all five of them} are so blessed to have you for their mama. Thanks for sharing all the special details of your adoption journey. Praying for you and your growing family!

  • amy jupin - 7.
    what a lucky number.
    i have similar home study stories to share one day.
    but we will need to do it over coffee and maybe some of cindy’s crepes! :)

    btw, the story of the mom at that airport made me all choked up.
    if i can cry while reading about it, can you imagine what i would have been like sitting in the airport??!?!

  • Kim S - Ashley, I totally understand. We are fostering to adopt, we have the babies here with us, but we can’t change their names, we can’t put them in pictures with us, or post the cute things they do on the internet. I ache for the day when we can call our five kids siblings and when I can introduce them as such instead of here are our 3 boys and these are our foster twins. I look forward to when their identity will be forever changed. When we can really call ourselves mom and dad. Okay, I am not a crier and now I am in tears. Thank you for sharing your journey!

  • the inadvertent farmer - I have been that mother at the airport…and as proud of them as you are, you are also simply and completely heartbroken. I would post some sort of wise words about getting used to them being gone but it would simply not be truthful and besides I need to go find a tissue…and call a couple of grown up sons…sniff…Kim

  • Laura Delegal - I hope and pray all goes well. We tried to adopt foreign for years, each time having the child die before we could get her “home.” God finally gave us with an American blessing that was placed in our arms at 2 days old. He was a surprise for his birth mother and us. I’d love to share the story, but no time here. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that homestudies aren’t always perfect (our son was learning to walk and had huge goose-eggs on his head when ours was finished), but the social worker is trained to see through it all. Hoping and praying that your blessing will be “home” soon. God bless.

  • honeybeemama - and i’m balling my little eyes out…maybe because i identify with the realization that my kids may think there are no rules in our home, or the constant hope that i’ll get my house spotless. maybe because i have become accustomed to cooking feasts for 6 even when our whole family isn’t together. i’m a mother of 4 now, even if 2 are stepchildren and we’re not even all together more than a few times a month! i’m so excited for your family’s journey and i’m praying for you guys every step of the way!

  • Angela - Ashley–I haven’t read your blog in a few months (a crazy few months in my life). I am thrilled to read that you’re on a adoption journey. My husband and I adopted our first child at 3 days old in April. Adoption is such an amazing gift–both for your family and for the adopted child. I am such a huge believer in the whole process. I pray your journey continues smoothly.

    To read about our crazy, fast adoption journey here’s the link on my blog…only God could have written the story the way it happened.
    http://angelamoore.typepad.com/my_life/2011/04/945-pm-april-4.html

  • melany - Eeek!!! It is a dream of mine to adopt a little girl with pigtails from China. As a single lady I have a while to go on that, but I will live vicariously through you.

  • gkey - Dear On the Journey to SEVEN,

    Wishing you all the best as the road ahead takes you towards your dream becoming reality. I am behind reading here, ah, you know the LIFE thing….but I always enjoy visiting you. I had to laugh when you referred to yourself as the Realist and your hubby as the Optimist. Its the same for us!

    love,
    The number 7 for many reasons
    in
    NE

  • Shelah - We’re adding our #5 from China too. I found your blog from the adorable empty chair picture on Pinterest. Awww! We had a similarly insane homestudy experience. Our social worker said she’s suspicious of any home that’s too clean and perfect when kids live there, LOL! Maybe she was just saying that to make me feel better when I led her down to the toy-strewn playroom.

  • Jill Browning - I wish you the best with your adoption process. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  • Pam Wood - You feel about an adopted child just as I feel about my two boys, we missed adoptions going to completion once before each of our two boys. I still think about those boys that were almost ours (yes they were all boys, I was destined to only have sons!) wondering where they are and how their life has been. It’s true they don’t grow under your heart, but they grow in your heart:)

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