Tag Archives: Adoption

2014 Hopping Family Newsletter

family 2014Dear Friends and Family,

Merry Christmas from Josh, Emily, J and introducing Baby Hopping – for the first time ever we have reached the 4-month mark of a pregnancy! Just a few months after our failed adoption this summer we found out that God had answered J’s frequent prayers for another baby in an unexpected way. After only 2 pregnancies in our whole 14 years of marriage – both of which ended within the first 2 months – we had given up on producing biological children and were happily growing our family through adoption (something that we still believe in strongly and hope to get to do again at some point in the future.) Then J learned how to pray and regularly prayed for God to bring us another baby (in addition to praying blessings for Andrew and his birth-mom who decided to parent) – the faith of a 4-year-old is pretty potent!

Thank you all for your prayers as well – we have really appreciated them throughout 2014 as we have faced a lot of transitions and hard times! We spent this spring finding a new pastor for the Vineyard church in Sweet and getting our house ready to sell. God brought the perfect couple to take our place and the transition was complete and official on June 1, 2014. The house, however, has proven to be a bit tougher of a process – after only one showing since April we put it on the rent market as well as for sale, but we’ve only gotten 3 lookers total even after dropping our price several times. We’ve reconciled ourselves to being here for the winter. It would still be nice to get the move over before the baby is born in early May – being closer to Emily’s parents would make it much easier to get help from Grandma!

J has been thoroughly enjoying his time at big-kid preschool. He was sad to miss school for a week for Thanksgiving – the kids were all giving each other big hugs the week before, missing each other in advance! Every week he comes home with a new letter that he’s learned and picks them out in his bedtime books. They’ve been getting ready for a Christmas concert in a couple of weeks, so he’s been singing a lot of Christmas carols lately (especially Jingle Bells and bits of The Little Drummer Boy.) Emily has been volunteering in his library every-other-week reading books to each of the 7 preschool classes (three 3-yr-old classes and four 4-yr-old classes.)

Josh has been filling the time he used to spend writing sermons with working on the book he started writing a few years ago and has been enjoying it immensely – he’s over half way done with the initial draft and is building his editing team to take it to the next level. He is also looking forward to his first class at St. Stephen’s University next fall. It’s the same module that he started last year and none of the books have changed, so he’ll be able to skim most of the books and has some of the papers already written. Luckily his brain tends to retain such things pretty well, so the fact that it’s been 2 years since he’s read some of these books won’t slow him down much. He’s excited to finally be making some progress forward in the dream of a Master’s degree that God gave him over a decade ago. He’s still been working as a Brand Analyst though his title recently changed to Reporting Analyst – a small change, but one that will free him up to do more pioneering with some investigative reports with which he’s been having great success and a fair bit of recognition throughout the company. Prayers would be appreciated as he moves forward in all of these areas.

Our future is still up in the air as we continue to try to sell the house and pray about God’s next assignment for us. We took a week in the mountains to pray in October and God did give us some first steps – including Josh continuing to pursue his education. The other cool project that we’re going to get to start in January is a family small group with a big focus on outreach and getting the kids involved in all aspects of learning and serving. It’ll give us a good chance to try out some interactive learning styles that we may be able to apply in our next church plant as well as giving us opportunities to do family activities together with other families – J our little socialite will enjoy that! A friend recommended this place: funtopiaworld.com/glenview/, so that might be something to look into as a possible outing with the children.

We’ve been going to church at the Vineyard Boise a lot of Sundays but have also enjoyed visiting the Sweet Vineyard regularly as well – Richard and Mardie, the new pastors, have been doing a really good job keeping things going there and the loving family atmosphere is still such a blessing.

Thanks again for all your prayers and support this year! Thank you all who sent in donations to help with our adoption this summer. Some of those donations will go to cover the expenses that we incurred for the failed adoption and some of them will go to fund another Christian family’s adoption and help a child find a forever home. May the Lord bless you all richly in the year to come. We love you all!

Lots of love and blessings from,

-Josh, Emily, and J

Just Those Few Weeks

two sonsIt’s just after midnight and I can’t sleep… too many emotions….too many thoughts….

June 3rd…

A day I lost my third child.

Yes, a third child…two of them were lost in the womb; the third through selfishness and the legal process.

I really want to shame the biological parents of the son I was to have…but that is not the way of Jesus.

The way of Jesus is to bless those who hurt you… so I pray blessings, love, grace and mercy on them. May the King of Kings ever be in their sight; may they be the parents that my son needs them to be.

And, Lord, while you are at it… could you help me figure out how to process this ’cause I don’t know how…

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The below poem has been hanging on our wall for the past six years in remembrance of the two children we lost in the womb. Now it is a reminder of our third child… Andrew, we only knew you for a few weeks…but in that time you changed our lives. May you grow old knowing you were loved.

 

Just Those Few Weeks
By Susan Erling
For those few weeks
I had you to myself.
And that seems to short of time
to be changed so profoundly.In those few weeks
I came to know you
and love you.
You came to trust me with your life
Oh, what a life I had planned for you!

Just those few weeks
When I lost you,
I lost a lifetime of hopes,
plans, dreams, and aspirations.
A slice of my future simply vanished overnight.

Just those few weeks
It wasn’t enough time to convince others
how special and important you were.
How odd, a truly unique person has recently died
and no one is mourning the passing.

Just a mere few weeks
And no “normal” person would cry all night
over a tiny, unfinished baby,
or get depressed and withdraw day after endless day.
No one would, so why am I?

You were just those few weeks my little one
you darted in an out of my life too quickly.
It seems that’s all the time you needed
to make my life so much richer
and give me a small glimpse of eternity.

Saying Goodbye to My Son

son and dogPart of my heart died yesterday morning….in a crazy sucker-punch move the birth mother of the little boy we were adopting decided that she wanted him back. Since she did this right before the judge officially terminated her rights, we had no choice but to turn him back over….so in effect, a son was born to us on May 23rd and died on June 3rd.

Pain, grief, hurt, heartache… all words that mean a lot more today than they did Monday when I posted a celebration post… it is crazy how fast one’s life can change…

Before I get too emotional (which I will in future posts), here’s a bit about the technical realities of adoptions. In any adoption there are three major landmarks: placement, parental termination, and finalization.Placement is when a child is placed with the adoptive family. When this happens there is usually a one to two week legal risk period where everyone is waiting on the courts to terminate the biological parents rights. Once the courts have terminated the parental rights of the biological parents, the child becomes a ward of the state with legal rights granted to the adoption agency who passes custody on to the adoptive family. At this point the biological parents can no longer get the child back – all their rights are gone (at least in Idaho, other states have different laws).

The third landmark is finalization when the child officially becomes a member of the adoptive family and a new birth certificate is issued. This happens about six months after the placement date. During this period the adoption agency will send a case worker out to the adoptive family’s house to check on them two and four months out from the placement date. If for some reason the adoptive family decides not to go ahead with things, the child will go back to the adoption agency who would then place the child with another adoptive family.

adoption-logo2Normally all this happens smoothly as the adoption agency has screened and counseled both the biological and adoptive families on all the ins and outs of the adoption (i.e. the emotions, legal issues, etc.). Yet there is still that slight risk…. as in our case when things went bad between the placement and parental termination dates. To give you prospective, this is only the second or third time in ten years that something like this happened with the adoption agency that we use (A New Beginning Adoption Agency – a GREAT agency who helped us with our first son’s agency and have been awesome to work with!!!).

So that does this all mean to us?

It means that we are back to square one (with a slightly more beat up heart…). We still want to add to our family (our four year old asked for both a boy and a girl next time!) so we have asked the adoption agency to put us back on the list… so now we wait until another birth mother picks us and we start the process over again. The good news is that all the funds that we raised will be rolled over to the next child so financially there wasn’t a total loss.

Emotional, spiritual… well that is a different post. 😕

 

 

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Baby Brain and a Birthday

brothersSorry for the lack of posts over the past two and half weeks… life has been crazy, to say the least.  On my last post I mentioned that we were looking at adopting a 3-month old baby boy – well, that happened. 😀

As of May 23rd, I am the proud father of two young boys. Much, much happiness!!!

Life as we used to know it as officially ended as we are trying to figure out the two-child parenting deal. Luckily our new son is sleeping through the night most of the time (last night being the exception…) and is adapting to our crazy house fairly smoothly. In fact, he loves watching his older brother run around (build in experiment!).

oh.. on the money front, thank you all who donated to our fund-raising campaign (adoptions are expensive!). We wouldn’t have been able to bring the child home had it now been for all of you pitching in and helping us cover the placement fees. We still have $3,000 that we have to pay this month as well as a few thousand later on this fall for lawyer fees (the adoption will not be finalized until November or December). Little by little things come together. 🙂

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This last few weeks also brought my birthday into orbit once again. My oldest son and wife gave me a pair of dart guns, which (of course) led to an amazing gun fight throughout the house! It was the best birthday ever – a new son and a great gun battle!!!! 😀

dart gun battle

Big News and a Request

Andrew

Andrew Soon-to-be-Hopping
Andrew Soon-to-be-Hopping

On February 1, 2010 we were in a hospital waiting room as our first son was born. Even though Emily wasn’t the one in that hospital bed, Jadon was no less our son and has been such a wonderful part of our family. Two years ago we started the process to add to our family once again. After a lot of adoption paperwork, we got onto the waiting list at the beginning of 2013 and have been waiting on God’s perfect timing ever since.

In the end it was a friend of Emily’s mom who introduced us to our new birth family. Andrew is already 3 months old and is currently living with his grandmother. She is a lovely Christian lady who is looking forward to being a grandma to Jadon as well – we’re excited to pursue an open relationship with her and her family! 🙂 We were able to meet Andrew and his biological family on May 4 in a park – Jadon had fun playing and we got to hang out and hold a cute baby. 🙂

We really hit it off and after a few counseling sessions with our adoption agency the family made the decision that they wanted us to adopt Andrew! Placement will be next week or the week after (May 21 at the earliest) and at that point we’ll owe $16,000, then in 4-6 months we’ll owe attorney fees as we pursue finalization.

God has already blessed us with a $4,000 grant from Show Hope and a $2,500 matching grant from Lifesong – both agencies that helped fund Jadon’s adoption. In order to receive the funds from Lifesong, however, we need to raise at least $2,500 so this is where you all come in! We have to have the full placement fee before we can take Andrew home, so please pray about what you can donate in the next week or so.

Take a look at the attached documents for ways that you can donate – you can send them a check or get online and use Paypal to pay with a credit card or your Paypal account – however you donate, all donations are tax deductible. To make sure your donation goes toward our adoption, you just need to put “Preference: #3538 Hopping” in the memo of your check or use the online button below:

LifeSong Donate Link

We’ve actually created a Facebook event with all the fundraising information as well. If you haven’t been “invited” to that online event and want to be, just let us know and we’ll add you.

Thank you all for your support and your continued prayers – especially as we adjust to having a 4th member of our family. We love you all and are so blessed to have you in our lives. May the Lord bless you all richly in the year to come!

~ Josh, Emily & Jadon ~

Adoption Quest: Searching for the Pieces of Our Family Puzzle

Today I have the pleasure of promoting a new blog site intimately connected to Requisite Danger and my journey with the Wild Goose.

Emily, my lovely bride of 11 and half years, has just started her very first blog (trust me, that fact alone is HUGE!) focusing on our newest adoption adventure.

Two years ago we adopted a precious baby boy from our local geographical area. Now we feel that the Lord is leading us to adopt internationally from somewhere in Latin America as we have always had a heart for that part of the world.

In order to help people participate in our adoption journey as well as to help others who are considering adoption by letting them hear our story, Emily has created the “Adoption Quest: Searching for the Pieces of Our Family Puzzle” blog.

Hopefully you all will join us on this quest and lift us up before the Father as we know the power of pray and the joy of walking together.

Blessings.

Show Hope: Caring for Orphans

Twenty-one months ago (minus a few days) our lives were forever changed with the birth of our son Jadon. Interwoven among the emotions of joy and extreme happiness was an uncertainty that we would be unable to bring him home due to the lack of funds.

I’m not talking about hospital fees or anything like that… this uncertainty had to do with the approximately $13,000 adoption fee that came with adopting a newborn baby within the USA.

$13,000… a fairly large amount of money….

Yet, under the grace of God, 92%~ of money was donated within two weeks!! Over $12,000 given to change a life – no, multiple lives – forever.

A third of this money ($4,000) came from a grant provided by Show Hope, an organization started by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, in 2003 to help families overcome the financial hurdles of adoption. Show Hope also runs an orphanage for special needs children in China called “Maria’s Big House of Hope” where they provide medical care as well as love.

In an awesome turn of events I was able to personally thank Steven Curtis Chapman last night for starting Show Hope and the program that changed our lives. We were also able to give back to the organization by volunteering to pass out information about Show Hope and help recruit sponsor to fund their programs.

Similar to a lot of non-profit organization, Show Hope is funded by gifts from individuals around the world who believe in taking care of world’s orphans either through helping families adopt or through Maria’s Big House of Hope.

Having been on the receiving end of Show Hope’s generosity, I strongly encourage everyone who reads this to prayerfully consider supporting them. They are truly following the Lord’s words to look after the orphans and those who fall through the cracks of society.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. -James 1:27

Our Adoption Story

Fourteen months ago Emily and I adopted the most precious child in the world (Parenting Handbook Rule 1: parents are allowed to make broad, wide sweeping comments about their kids!!).

The journey into the world of adoption was made smooth by the awesome folks at A New Beginning Adoption Agency. I can’t say enough wonderful things about them…the founders are adoptive parents; most of the case workers are adoptive parents; and the birthparent program coordinator is a birthmother herself, having placed her son for adoption when in high school.

In other words, these folks KNOW adoptions – shoot, they LIVE adoptions.

Seeing, therefore, all the help they gave us, we didn’t hesitant when they asked for volunteers to share their open-adoption stories on camera. It was the least we could do to support them and to help others who are on this same journey.

With that said, here are a few videos clips of us with our son’s birthmother answering some basic questions about the adoption journey and our relationship. More clips of us answering other questions can be found here.

Question: How was the first meeting with the adoptive parents?

Continue reading Our Adoption Story

Adopting Jadon’s Life Into a Sermon

jadonPoor Jadon.

His life as a preacher’s kid has started early. Now, for the record, I did ask his permission before I used his story in my sermon Sunday. He grunted at me – which I took as a “yes” (two grunts are ‘no’).  😉

As some of you know, I am now preaching the fourth Sunday of every month – giving the church 12 weeks a year to bring ear plugs (at least they are not bring rotten veggies). 😛

No – in all seriousness, I am trilled to be able to share with the congregation and they are loving and kind. It is a blessing to be in a place where I can refine my public speaking abilities.

This past Sunday (four days ago) was a special day as it was the first time my Dad and Stepmom had the opportunity to hear me preach. They live down south and only get to visit every few years – this year, God worked things out nicely and they were able to be at church the day I was scheduled to share. Thank you Lord. 🙂 Continue reading Adopting Jadon’s Life Into a Sermon

The Long Awaited, Overdue 2009 Newsletter

Today is a very special day for Requisite Danger as we have a gorgeous guest author  – the amazing  E!

Yelp. She is so famous – she only needs one letter to introduce herself.  🙂

Enjoy.

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Nashville, Feb 2009
Nashville, Feb 2009

Dear Friends & Family,

Wow – it’s hard to believe that 2009 is over already…and that the last time we wrote a letter to all of you was nearly a year and a half ago after our last trip to Paraguay! Sorry we haven’t been better at staying in touch! The time since then has been eventful and life-changing, so we wanted to make sure we got out a holiday note this year to fill you all in.

In our last letter in Sept. 2008, we mentioned that our little church was facing big changes as we and our fellow VLI-grad took on the leadership of the church. Along with our new service time and name, the PRV has been growing by leaps and bounds since then. We’ve seen some turn-over in attendance as is expected when there are leadership changes, but we’ve been excited to see new faces and have been consistently having 30-40 people every Sunday. We still have a good core group from before that have been stepping up in leadership more and more. This summer we finally made the official break from the VB and became our own church entity and just this month we finished jumping through all the hoops and are an official part of the USA Association of Vineyard Churches. Of course through all of this my (E’s) job has gotten bigger with the addition of accounting and more paperwork, but with more people in the church taking on event organization, etc. it hasn’t been too hard to handle. Continue reading The Long Awaited, Overdue 2009 Newsletter