Sunday, December 27, 2009

Logan's First Christmas

Here are a couple of pictures from our Christmas celebrations this year. He got to meet a lot of new family members and everybody has adored him. You may remember back in October my friend Jenn took maternity pictures. Well a week ago she took baby pictures of Logan and I added the link to her blog at the bottom. They are wonderful!! I am having trouble narrowing down the ones I want. (Ryan has already said that I can't order every one.) :( We hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


We are proud to announce the birth of Logan Jack Foust born December 10, 2009. He was born at 9:20 p.m. and weighed 8lbs 7oz and measured 22 inches long. The labor and delivery went great! The best part was that I only pushed for 40 minutes and he was out! We have been home since Saturday night and everything is going really well! He sleeps most the day and likes to be awake from 10pm - 2am but that's Ryan' shift (except when I'm feeding him in between:) ). He had his first pediatrician appointment yesterday and the doctor gave him an A+. When we left the hospital he weighed 8lbs 1oz. and at the appointment he was up to 8lbs 6oz. She checked his eyes, ears, heart and lungs and everything looked healthy. God has truly blessed us with an amazing little boy and we thank Him every day for the opportunity to be Logan's parents. Here are a few more pics:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

39 Weeks!

We had our last doctor's appointment this morning. I am about 1 - 2 cm dilated and my cervix has lowered and is about 50% effaced. We went ahead and set the induction date for Wednesday, December 16th, if I do not go into labor before then. Of course, we are hoping that I will naturally begin labor but we look forward to meeting our little guy next week at the latest! Bags are packed and ready to go! I am feeling well, just a little tired from restless, sleepless nights and getting up to go to the bathroom every 2 hours. :-) Ryan will post updates and pictures on Facebook when he's born and we'll update the blog once we are home from the hospital. We appreciate your prayers for a healthy (and fast) labor and delivery!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

37 weeks!

We had our 37 week doctor's appointment yesterday. The doctor is checking my cervix now and the past two weeks I have been dilated 1 cm and my cervix is still quite high. She estimates that he's about 6 1/2 - 7 lbs. I haven't had any contractions yet and am anxiously waiting for him to drop since he's been kicking my ribs for the past 4 weeks. :-) I'll post an update after our doctor's appointment next week if there are any changes. We hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Maternity shoot

My friend Jenn is an amazing wedding photographer. She is the mother of the little boy, Brady, who I watch twice a week. This past weekend we went to a local park and she took our maternity pictures. She already has some up on her blog. They are wonderful and I can't wait to see the rest! Thank you Jenn!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Baby Showers!

I had two baby showers these past two weekends. One in my hometown and the other here in Fishers. Ryan and I learned that we are very blessed with wonderful family and friends who gave us so many baby gifts. It has been so fun to go through everything. Below are a couple of pics from both showers. The first four are from my shower in Greenwood. Thank you to my mom and sister for throwing it for me and to my grandmother for making the yummy cake. My sister made the cute diaper cake in the first picture. :-)

These next pictures are from my shower in Fishers. Thank you to my friend Jenn for hosting it at her home, to Marcia, my mother-in-law, for the fun games, to my friend Renee for the cute Lion cake, and to Nikki, my sister-in-law, for the cute diaper wreaths! Yes, in the last picture we are drinking juice from bottles. We were timed to see who could drink it the fastest. I think I only got an ounce or two down in 5 minutes! :-)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Nursery Pics

Next week I am beginning my third trimester. I can't believe it! Time has flown by but we have been very thankful for God's faithfulness and protection through this pregnancy. We have been working hard at completing the nursery and I posted some pics below. We really like how the closet turned out. Ryan did an awesome job building the shelves and I am proud to say that I put the drawers together. :) We still have a lot to do before this little guy comes in December and that mostly consists of finishing the basement. Ryan has most of the drywall up and his father, Lonnie, has completed the plumbing, so we are almost there!

Adoption update: Ryan talked with our adoption specialist yesterday. We were excited to find out that when our paperwork goes on hold in December, Ethiopia will hold our spot on the waiting list until after the 6 month wait time. For example, if we make it to 10th on the waiting list for a referral before our biological baby arrives, then when we open our case back up next summer, they will reinsert us in that 10th spot. I hope that makes sense. But we know that God has it all planned out in his timing. (even though we still try to have some control) :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's a BOY!!

We had our 20 week ultrasound today. Everything looked very healthy and we are praising God for that. However, the little one was being very stubborn by keeping his legs crossed. The nurse thought we might not be able to find out the sex. After some pushing and jiggling of my belly, he finally revealed to us that he was a boy! We are very excited and can't wait to meet him in December!! Here is the 4D picture of his little face. He's so cute!! :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dossier submitted!!

Today we submitted our Dossier to our adoption agency. It will be sent to the National office in Grand Rapids and then they will put a hold on our eligibility to receive a referral until next summer. It feels very good to have all that paperwork turned in!

I had my 18 week appointment today and everything is still going well. We are very thankful to hear a strong, healthy heartbeat each time we go. :) We scheduled an ultrasound for Thursday, July 30th to find out the sex of the baby. We can't wait!! We haven't had an ultrasound since 8 weeks so it will be fun to see how big he or she is now. We will definitely post that day to let you all know what we find out!! We are off to Seattle and Canada for the next couple of weeks. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Change in Adoption Timeline

Sorry we haven't written in awhile. We have had a lot going on and we're now ready to give an update on things. In mid-April we found out we were pregnant. Because of my history, we went to the doctor right away for blood work, and had three ultrasounds up until 8 weeks. Everything looked really good. When we made it to 10 weeks, the doctor said it was time to talk with our adoption agency. Bethany Christian Services told us that we could go ahead and submit our Dossier, but they will put a hold on the referral until our biological baby is 6 months old. Our due date is December 12th, which means about a year from now they will re-open our adoption case so that we will be eligible to receive a referral. Last week we received our I-171H approval form in the mail and that was the last piece we needed for our Dossier. We will head down on Friday to the Secretary of State's office to have it State Sealed and then we will drop it off at Bethany. We appreciate your continued prayers for the pregnancy and for the timing of the adoption.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fingerprinting completed

We had our fingerprinting appointment yesterday morning at 8:00 downtown.  There were quite a few people waiting so we were a little concerned it might take awhile. But at 8:05, we were called back!  It only took about 15 minutes. Ryan had a person who was training so his took a little longer. :-)  They scanned our four fingers together and then thumb on each hand. Then they did each finger one at a time rolling it on the glass. It was neat to see our prints on the computer. So, now we are officially in the FBI system. We expect to wait about 3 - 6 weeks for the 171-H approval form so we can finish our Dossier.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I picked up our homestudy at Bethany this afternoon.  We will now mail it to the Department of Homeland Security. We are being fingerprinted on Monday and then hopefully within 3 - 6 weeks we will receive the 171 approval form so we can finish our Dossier. Then we will be completely done with all paperwork until the Referral! I am on spring break this week so we decided to paint the nursery. Here are some pictures.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fingerprinting Appointment

Just a quick note to inform everyone that we received our fingerprinting appointment notice that will be at the Department of Homeland Security. It is Monday April 13th at 8:00AM in downtown Indianapolis.  This is part of the process of the I-600A application.  We are still waiting to receive our home study from Bethany, but hope to have it in the next couple of weeks to submit that as well.  

Friday, March 13, 2009

One month down...

Our Home Study was approved on Friday, February 13th which was the official start of our waiting period. One month has flown by. We pray the next five to seven months go just as fast. On Monday we filed the I-600A which is the form sent to the U.S. Center of Immigration Services to get approval to adopt an orphan. It usually takes about 3 months to process. In the next couple of weeks we will be looking for a letter that informs us of the date and time of our fingerprinting appointment. When we receive the approval form we will submit our Dossier and officially be done with all of the paperwork! Please continue to pray for no delays in paperwork and that our I-600A form will be approved quickly!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ethiopian Insight meeting

On Monday I attended a meeting at Bethany that focused solely on Ethiopian adoption. Ryan was out of town for work so unfortunately he wasn't able to come. It was great to meet other people in the program and hear how their process has been going.  There were probably about 20 - 25 families there and most of them were at the point where we are. There was a family who had received a referral the end of January for a little boy . It was fun to see their pictures. Their court date is set for April and they plan to travel the beginning of May.  The meeting gave more information about Ethiopian culture and what to expect when we travel.  They recommended traveling 3 - 4 days before our Adoption Week to adjust to the time change and to spend time learning more about the country. One thing Ryan is very excited about is participating in a coffee ceremony. Ethiopia is considered the birthplace of coffee and I got to see pictures of people having a coffee ceremony. They roast the beans right in front of you and serve popcorn with it. I will stick to just the popcorn while Ryan will surely drink enough coffee for the both of us. :-They spoke very highly of the orphanages and how the nannies are very affectionate with the children.  There is about a seven to one ratio of children to nannies. We also learned the process of the court systems and all of the legalities that must take place in order to make the adoption official. I also got to hear from the pastor of an Ethiopian Evangelical church in Indianapolis.  He passed around a Bible written in Amharic and talked about the culture of Ethiopia.  Ryan and I most definitely will visit his church. Overall the meeting was wonderful and I went away with a lot more knowledge of the country our child will be from. Currently we are still waiting to receive a copy of our home study so we can file the I-600A form. Again we are learning to be patient...thank you for your prayers!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

February 13th...

Today we get to celebrate love with some great news.  We received an email from Holly last night that are Home Study has been approved and it is headed to the National office in Grand Rapids. This means that Friday, February 13th was the official start to our waiting time to receive a Referral!!! We are hoping for a 6-8 month wait for the referral.  At that time, provided everything goes smooth with the referral, our court date in Ethiopia will be 2-3 months from the date of acceptance of the referral.  We could travel before Christmas!  Happy Valentine's Day to all, may you celebrate and love well!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2nd Seminar completed

Ryan and I attended our second workshop this evening entitled "Come Out and Play With Me." In this workshop we played different attachment based activities. It was very interactive and we had a lot of fun. Some of the games will also be fun to play with my students. We are looking forward to attending the Ethiopian Insight workshop on February 23rd. We are in a waiting period right now. Thankfully Ryan called and found out his criminal history check from Pennsylvania is in the mail. We are waiting on that in order for our home study to be approved. When the home study is approved and we receive a copy of it, we will file the I-600A which is the document that we send to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to obtain a visa for our child. Once that is approved we will be able to submit our Dossier and wait patiently for our referral. We have learned there are many times where we have to be patient through this process. Please pray for us to be patient!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Final Home Study Visit

Holly came to our house last night to complete the Home Study visits. We gave her a tour of our home and showed her where the baby's room will be. The discussion was mostly about our childhoods and how we were raised. Then we talked about what we look forward to about being parents, how we will discipline, and the values that we want to instill in our family. We finished up with a family assessment checklist to verify that Holly has covered all the information with us. Her goal is to submit the Home Study report to the directer of Intercountry Adoption at Bethany this coming week. It will take them a week or so to review it and then she will send it to the national office in Michigan. Once it is approved in the national office we will officially be in the waiting period for a referral! Holly said she will call us with the specific date, so of course I will post that when we hear. :-) We are still waiting on Ryan's criminal history check to arrive from Pennsylvania and he has one more book to read. Then we will be able to submit all of the paperwork to Bethany and focus on completing the Dossier. Our goal is to complete the Dossier in the next two weeks. I want to take a minute to say thank you to Ryan for his hard work with all of the reading and paperwork. He is also in the process of finishing our basement and I know that he is sacrificing time to work down there to get the reading and internet course done. :-) I Love You Ryan!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

AIDS Crisis in Africa

I just finished reading a book called, There is No Me, Without You. It tells the story of a woman, Haregewoin Teferra, living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia who, in the year 2000, begins opening her home to orphans who have no other place to go. Before she knows it, families stricken by the AIDS pandemic are coming to her home daily to leave their children in her care. In her heart she can not say, No. By September of 2005 she is housing about 80 orphans ranging from infants to 14 years of age in two different compounds; about 30 of the children are HIV positive. The end of the book shares encouraging stories of families who have adopted children from her orphanage. I learned so much from reading this book and here are some of the shocking statistics that I read:

- " In 2005, Ethiopia had 1,563,000 AIDS orphans, the second-highest concentration of such children in the world; and 4,414,000 orphans from all causes, the second-highest number in the world."

-"HIV/AIDS in children generally takes one of two paths. 80 percent of children infected in infancy will die before they reach the age of two. The remaining 20 percent may reach their 8th birthday."

-"At least 30 million Africans are expected to die from AIDS in the next twenty years."

-"The cost of fighting the AIDS pandemic in the 1990's with brand-name drugs was estimated at $3 billion a year. The drugs were not expensive, the patents were. The patented drugs cost $15,000 per patient per year although production cost was closer to $200. Though the U.S. government subsidized the cost of Americans, Africans governments were too poor to do the same." (doesn't that make you sick that it costs so much)

So I hope you are thinking, "How can I help?" I have put some links down below to some websites where you can help get involved. Ryan and I sponsor a child from South Africa through Horizon International. I hope you will take some time to get involved.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Second meeting with Holly

We met with Holly to work on our Homestudy again this morning. She asked us how we were coming along with all of the paperwork and what we learned from the internet course and books we have read so far. Then we began our discussion of our marriage. She asked us how we met, what attracted us to one another, what we each thought are the best and hardest parts about marriage, how we deal with conflict, and why we want to start our family throught adoption. It was fun to reminisce about our college days, but tough to talk about these past 18 months. Reflecting back, we are very thankful to see how we have grown closer together through the trials. Our next meeting will be at our house this Friday evening. That will most likely be our last meeting together. Holly will have our homestudy written soon after and then it is up to us to finish gathering all of the paperwork. We feel blessed to have such a diligent caseworker! Thank you for your continued prayers!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Dance of Attachment

This evening, Ryan and I attended an Educational workshop offered through Bethany. The topic was on attachment - the affectionate bond between two individuals that endures through time to join one another emotionally. The speaker was Pat Johnston, an award winning author, adoption educator, and mother of three adopted children. She shared her attachment struggles with her youngest child. They adopted her when she was ten weeks old and previously she had been in two very different foster homes. She gave us a list of practical tips to help transition from the orphange in Ethiopia to suburbia in America.:-) Even for a young infant, the transition can be quite dramatic. I think an important, but difficult, tip that we learned was that Ryan and I should be the only ones to hold the child for the first two weeks home. This will help the child to know that we are his/her primary caregivers. (But that doesn't mean that family and friends can't visit. :-) This leads to the two key elements in attachment - stability and consistency. When I heard that this evening, I immediately thought of beginning each kindergarten year as a teacher. The first few weeks are critical for the students to be able to adjust and feel safe so my main goals are to develop stablility and consistency in the classroom. She reminded us to be patient because with infants, a rough estimate of how long the attachment process can take is to take how many months they have not been with you, and double it.

Update on Adoption paperwork and requirements:

I have finished the 8hr internet course and have read one book. Ryan has also read one book and is working his way through the internet course. We've both had our medical exams and have ordered our birth certificates and marriage license. (Thank you, mom, for picking up our marriage license at the courthouse!) We are excited to meet with Holly again this Saturday to continue the work on the Home Study. It is so encouraging to see it all coming together and to know that each completed step gets us that much closer to welcoming our child into our family!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

First Home Study Meeting

We met with Holly, our case specialist, today. She is wonderful and we are so excited that she will be helping us through this process. First she shared with us what we will expect when we go to Addis Ababa to meet our child. The name of the orphanage that Bethany works with is called Galgulla (not sure of the spelling). When we receive and accept a referral, our child will be moved from the orphanage into the Bethany Foster Care Center. Holly said the children are well taken care of and the caregivers will give us lots of important information about our child. We will get to visit our child for a couple of hours each day for the first 2-3 days we are there. Then we will be able to take our child back to our hotel with us. One of the last few days we will be in the Embassy finalizing the adoption. We will be there for about 7-8 days.

She also reviewed with us the procedures and guidelines for completing our Home Study. We will meet with her the next two Saturdays, and then she will be ready to write our Home Study. We are required to attend a couple of educational workshops offered through Bethany, complete an eight hour internet course, and each read three books. We have a lot to do in these next 2 - 3 weeks, but we are up for the challenge. The best news we heard today was that as soon as our Home Study and Dossier are completed, we should only have about a 6 - 8 month wait for a referral!! This will be our motivation! After we receive the referral, we will have to wait for the court date in Ethiopia to be assigned (about 2-3 months) and then our travel plans will be finalized. We will travel about two weeks after the court date. :-)

While we will be completing the requirements for the Home Study, we will also be working on obtaining documents for our Dossier. In the mail today, we received the Ethiopian Dossier Packet that lists these documents. Needless to say, we have a lot that we will be working on in the next 3-4 weeks. Please pray for us to prioritize our time and take each step of this process one day at a time.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

From the beginning...

When Ryan and I married four and a half years ago, we had planned for adoption to be a part of our family; however, we did not expect it to happen so soon. A year and a half ago, we decided to begin trying for a family. Well, we've learned life does not always turn out the way you plan it. After two miscarriages and lots of prayer, we decided to attend an adoption informational meeting last October. At the meeting we heard a couple share their experience of adopting a two year old boy from Ethiopia. Listening to their story deeply touched both of our hearts and in December we submitted our formal application to adopt from Ethiopia.

So here we are in the beginning of this adventure that God has called us to. We are working on completing lots of paperwork and we're excited to meet with our case specialist for the first time next Saturday, January 17th. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to use this blog as a tool to keep you updated on developments throughout our adoption process.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11