Emma's Gotcha Day Video

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We have a caseworker!!!

We received a caseworker for our adoption process today!  Next steps are to get our home study completed.  I spoke with her this afternoon and we have our initial meeting next Friday!!!  Needless to say we are so excited!!!!   Our second meeting is scheduled for June 5th.  It will take about ten days to process.  After speaking with a representative from AIAA today, we should get a referral in 4-6 months after our home study is sent to Korea.  That could mean we would have our referral close to Chase's birthday or by Christmas!!!  

Please pray for us as we should receive our HUGE packet of paperwork tomorrow.  I've heard this is one of the most difficult aspects of the process (aside from the waiting).  I have started gathering items that we will need and organizing the paperwork that I've already filled out.  This isn't exactly the easiest thing to do since we are also in the middle of moving!  

I am constantly amazed at how God works in our lives.  My heart longs to know this little girl that will have a family to love forever.  I thank God for the support of our families and friends as we make this journey together.  

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sharing the News (cont.)

Thursday night after our softball game we were able to share the news with Ryan's uncle Dale.  He was surprised to hear our news.  He jokingly asked if we were getting a new puppy when we told him we were expanding the family.  He knew Aunt Mary would be excited about our good news, she always wanted a little girl in the family. 

It's been an exciting weekend.  Friday night I graduated from WKU with a masters in Social Work.  I am so thankful to be finished and am looking forward to spending quality time with my family on Saturdays instead of being in class!  The social work department held a private graduation ceremony that was very nice and personal.  After, we went to Longhorn to have dinner.  There we were able to share the news with Mema, Granny, Uncle Roger, Aunt Charlotte, and Joey.  Mema was excited for us as was the rest of the family.  Granny wanted to make sure she had dibs on giving her a crib since she gave Chase his.  Uncle Roger made Charlotte choke on her food when he mentioned that he wouldn't mind adopting a daughter!  Joey entertained us with lots of questions!  

On Sunday we were able to share the news with our church family.  They too were supportive and we definitely need the prayers as we fill out paperwork and wait and wait and wait...

Sunday afternoon I was able to share the news with my cousin and her family.  Well, almost...  It seems Chase was so excited that he told everyone he knew and they found out through the grapevine!  

We are closing on our house on Wednesday so we spent the afternoon moving as much of the big furniture as possible.  Leave it to the Johnsons to move, graduate, and adopt at the same time!!!  Thankfully one of our youth from church came to help us, otherwise I'd still be trying to lift the armoire!  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sharing the Big News

Tonight we were able to tell my family about our future little girl.  Nana and Papa were excited for us.  Papa said he had been wishing for another little girl in the family.  Nana said she would have something to look for at yard sales!  She was also excited about the extra shopping partner.  

Chase never ceases to amaze me at how compassionate and caring he is.  He told me this morning as he was getting ready for school that even though he hadn't met his sister yet, he loved her already.  What an answer to prayer!  We welcome your prayers as we think she may still be growing inside her birth mother or is just a newborn.  Please pray that God will watch over her and keep her safe and healthy.  Pray for her birth mother and the difficult decision that must take place in her life in order for our lives to be filled with such joy.   

A Word from Big Brother...

I have been waiting for you to be here.  from your big brother Chase

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Journey Begins

Today is a monumental day in the life of the Johnson family.  We completed and mailed our preliminary application to begin the adoption process for a little girl.  After months of prayer, we have decided to adopt from Korea.  According to the adoption agency, the process should take approximately one year.  We were told to be prepared for the placement to occur earlier, which would be wonderful for us!

I guess the journey really began several years ago when Jess shared the desire and calling to adopt.  For Ryan, it took a little more searching and prayer to know that this is how God intended for us to expand our family, but after persistent seeking, God provided the assurance that this was the calling He was giving to us both.  Having previously only casually discussed it at different times, we knew others that had gone through the process with China, and it seemed it would be a long time before we met the age requirements and processing times continued to lengthen as much as 36 months before placement.  So we placed our plans on hold waiting for the right time.

It became very clear and evident that His plans and timing were well beyond anything we imagined. We began to see sign after sign and had encounters with other people who had been through similar processes that opened our eyes to the possibilities that Korea had to offer and that we literally could begin the process immediately.  Of course, Jess, with her ability to research and gather information, soon had a wealth of information, facts and first hand experiences and recommendations from others that continued to verify the direction we were being led.  We have been amazed at how God has shown us individually and together His plan and purpose for this phase of our family's life.  As we shared together our excitement, we couldn't wait to get the process started and ultimately hold the little girl that will be ours to care for.  We chose a Christian adoption agency to assist us in the process.  They've already proved to be helpful and supportive with the many questions Jess has asked!

Naturally, the next step was to tell Chase.  After buying a "Big Brother" shirt, we took him to the park to tell him about his future sister.  His initial response was: "I want a brother." Of course now he is excited and planning all of the ways he is going to take care of "Sara-Beth Ann Johnson" (Chase's suggestion of a name for her).  

We decided to tell Ryan's family over dinner.  Gran is excited that she is finally getting that girl as much as she loves her 3 grandsons!  I'm sure Pap is disappointed that the UK basketball team isn't getting a future player but will love her just the same!!!  Aunt Kim can't wait to buy girl clothes for once!  Uncle Zak was slightly disappointed that Jess wasn't pregnant and wouldn't have that to harass her about for the next 9 months.  Dax was surprised and Max was preoccupied with the french fries!!  

We are amazed at how God has blessed us with the desire and ability to adopt.  We know the journey will be trying and the paperwork daunting, but with the support of family and friends, we will find our way to our little girl.  We're excited that she will have a family to love forever!