Sunday, December 21, 2014

Adoption Journey, pt 3. Finalization of the Home Study

After some delays (that I understand are oh so very common in adoption processes), our homestudy is in our hands now.  It is complete . . . that is until we have to do an addendum in January after we get moved into our new home.

I imagine that this process is going to really become difficult now as we wait.  Waiting is always the hardest.  At least prior to this document being completed, I was following up on paperwork and such.  It was also really nice to have the distractions of selling a house, buying a car, buying a house, end of semester work influx, and Christmas festivities.

So December 29, if all goes well, we will sell our house at noon, and buy another house at 2pm.  The new house and yard are much more conducive to having children.  The yard is relatively flat, and it doesn't empty into a major road.  There are four bedrooms and lots of living space.  When we move in, the house will instantly become a construction zone, as we have alot of updating to do.  We won't do all of it when we move in, but we will be doing a very large portion of it when we move in.  This will probably help the waiting process, but having all of that space will increase my desire to share it with a child(ren).

Download a free report on the adoption home study to adopt a baby or child
If you want to know more about the homestudy process, I found that these websites were pretty helpful.

Now on to distributing the homestudy and applying for adoption grants . . .

Monday, November 10, 2014

Adoption Journey, pt. 2: The Home Study

This is the part of the adoption process that was really unknown to us.  The descriptions were very vague, and depending on who you adopt through the process can vary some.  Our experience was not only good, but it was actually enjoyable.

Kristy was the name of our home study examiner (I'm not really sure what her official title is).  She was extremely pleasant and easy to talk to.  For our first meeting, she actually came to my office at work, and she only met with me.  She just wanted to get to know me and our story a little bit.  She asked some questions about me and about why we wanted to adopt.  She answered my questions like what the process looks like and what things we need to have for the home inspection.  She told us that the home inspection is such a minor part of the home study, especially for adoption.  If you are doing foster care, than there is a list of things you have to have in your home to meet the expectations outlined by the state.  She never really did give me a list, but she recommended a carbon monoxide alarm and a fire extinguisher.

For our second meeting, about a week later, she came to our house.  She met Miles and talked with us as a couple: How do we resolve conflict, how do we communicate, how do we anticipate sharing parenting responsibilities, what is our philosophy on parenting, how do we anticipate handling some of the awkward situations that may arise when people find out that our child is adopted, what have read, what kind of support system do we have.  She interviewed Miles thoroughly.  She wanted to know his life story, so she met with him for over an hour while I went to another room.  She has excellent counseling skills, as she was a superb listener and conversationalist.  She actually acted interested in our stories ;)  She looked over our house to see what the layout was, where were the fire extinguishers, and how would we protect our child from the chemicals stored under the sink. We didn't even have to have anything in place; she just wanted to know what our plan was.  Where would the child sleep?  If we adopted tomorrow, what would we do about the minor construction zone that we were living in?  (We were doing some remodeling to put our house on the market.) What kinds of safety measures would be needed (e.g. cabinet door locks)?

The next week, she met with just me again at my office, as she wanted to hear my life story.  It was kind of fun to tell.  You don't get many times in your life to just talk about yourself, and people be that interested.  She asked questions about my upbringing, my siblings, my parents, my adolescence, my interests, my education, my work life, etc.  It was actually really fun.

The part that I didn't expect came right at the end.  I'm a Christian, and I didn't try to hide that during any of our meetings.  Our relationships with God color everything we do and every decision we make, so I can't hide that.  When she was all done, she asked me, "Is there anything that you haven't told me that you feel like I need to know to really get a feeling for who you are?"  I thought for a minute, and then I told her about how God changed me as a 28 year old.  It was so life altering, that I couldn't NOT tell her.  It is the core of who I am.  She was very polite, and I even saw her eyes tear up a bit.  She was extremely professional, and she did not comment on its content at all.  I just pray that the Lord used it to impact her.  It was at that moment that God said to me, "Even if I don't give you a child, the experience is now worth it."  I felt content.

I truly hope that God will give us a child through this process, but God has done many things in my life that are not in line with my dreams.  I used to resent God for this.  I took on the martyr syndrome.  I found myself being very selfish asking God why He didn't ever give me what I want.  He seems to give everyone else what they want! There is a verse that I learned many years ago, and I often hear it used incorrectly.

Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

People miss the first part.  When you delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart.  He will give you the proper things to desire.  Just because you really want a child, doesn't mean that you are going to get one.  But if you delight yourself in Him and the things that He values, I assure you, He will give you the things that HE has caused you to desire.  Many times we seek Him, but we still hold on to our desires.  We need to align ourselves with Him and His desires.  Because God has taught me this over and over, I am finally learning that contentment only comes from aligning yourself with God.  He is the source of joy . . . not marriage, not children, not a new car or house, not success, not friends . . . ONLY Him.  If you can't find contentment in Him, you won't be content with anything.
I say all of this to say that God knows what is best for Miles & Liz Moseley.  Miles is 41, and I am nearly 38.  We are a bit old to be starting a family.  We look around at families with young children, and realize that we are nearly twice their age sometimes.  We are old enough to have children in college, but God has chosen to not give us children yet.  During my struggle with not having children, God told me that He gave me lots of children . . . they just aren't small . . . they are students at Cleveland State and Lee University, employees at Starbucks and Panera, and youth group students, etc.  Maybe that is all God has for us, but for now this is the journey we are taking.

So now we are waiting.  Kristy told us it would be 2-3 weeks until the home study document was completed and returned to us for review.  Three weeks is in two days . . . we'll see how it goes.

This is an expensive process.  It isn't like having a baby where insurance pays for much of it.  We have to pay it all.  It will be around $11K.  It could cost upwards of $18K, and there is a small possibility that it could cost less.

If you would like to help us, you can donate through this link:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Adoption Journey, Part 1: Why Adoption?

I am going to take detour from my typical blogs, to answer a request from some of my friends.  I have had a few friends ask me to blog about our adoption journey.  So here I go :)

Adoption is one of the most beautiful things on earth that demonstrates what Christ did for us.  

In May 2004, Miles and I met.  We started dating in August, and we were engaged officially in December (though unofficially probably September :)).  We got married March 5, 2005.  We actually loved the idea of adoption and talked about the possibility of adopting months before we got married.  

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:14-17)  

My sin came between me and being able to know God.  I had to die to pay for my sin.  God had a son, Jesus.  He gave up that Son to pay the die for me, so I could live.  Jesus died a humiliating death on a cross, the death of criminals, so that He could have me live with Him eternally.  Because I accepted the gift of His death, I received the Spirit . . . God is my Father.  I call out to Him "Abba, Father"  or "Daddy".  I am His child.  I am an heir of God!  

Paul continues on in the book of Romans:
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:22-25)

God adopted me! He calls me His Child! I have all the rights and privileges of being a child of God!

This is what we want to do for another child. We want to help a child that could not help themselves because this is where I was in standing before God. I could do nothing to help myself. I was at the mercy of God Almighty, and He chose me! I want to choose a child, and give them a life that will be more stable. Life in Christ is much more stable than life away from Him. I can't imagine how depressing and meaningless life would be without Him. Knowing that I am loved by Him and that He gives me meaning, keeps me from losing hope. He is my hope! Being able to help a child who has no hope, and give them a stable life of love and security based in the love that I enjoy in Christ will be a dream come true. I want nothing more than to have a child come live with us, and walk away when they become an adult knowing Christ and being a witness for Him because of their personal story . . . not because of us.

So for us, it is something that we have felt called to do.  Little did we know that it would actually be our only option physically (at 
least according to medical doctors who really don't know;  only God really knows.) Miles' health has been progressively getting worse since the mid 90s.  We have been to countless doctors, and no one really knows.  They know his body is having an auto-immune response, but they don't know why or what.  After getting to a point where he was nearly bed-ridden, we gave up on doctors and started changing the way he ate . . . drastically.  He has gotten much better, but fertility doctors told us that his health had damaged his sperm.  We probably will never have children.  This was devastating news, as it was a dream that both of us had had for years.  

During this time, we learned much about God.  We learned that His plan is perfect.  We learned that He carries us.  We learned that God is bigger than anything else on earth.  We learned that His love for us is all that is important.  We learned that following Him is all that matters.  We need to live with eternity in mind.  

I prayed for children for years.  I watched as girls who should never have children (in my human opinion) get pregnant every time they had sex.  Seriously God, she has had 3 children in under 3 years!  God, this girl is a drunk, and you have given her 4 children.  I just don't understand.  He reassured me that I could trust His plan.  He told me that He gave me children.  He told me to love His children, regardless of age.  I work with college students all week long that need parental figures.  I watch other people's children that need help.  I teach students all year long how to properly care for their own children.  This is what God has called us to do.  

Until July . . . When Miles told me that it was time.  He had been praying about it.  Miles' health had greatly improved, but he wasn't expecting to ever be well.  We need to proceed with adoption now, if we are going to do it.  So we talked with friends who have done international adoptions, private adoptions, foster care adoptions, and agency adoptions. We even considered IVF one more time. We left the consultation for IVF in agreement that we needed to just go the adoption route. 

After praying through these options, we met with two adoption agencies: Harmony Family Center (Knoxville, TN) and Bethany Christian Services (Chattanooga, TN).
We connected very well with the lady at Harmony.  She was very helpful.  She also told us that an adoption would cost anywhere from $11K on the low end to $17-18K on the high end.  

We went to Bethany's information meeting, and we didn't feel comfortable from the beginning.  Nothing seemed to fit well.  This is nothing negative about Bethany.  They do a great work all over the world.  They prepare everyone very thoroughly (maybe too thoroughly for us, if that is possible).  The last thing that helped us choose Harmony was that Bethany has a flat fee of $18K.  Then there are some other fees like attorneys and adoption finalization on top of the $18K.  

So this is how we came to the decision to adopt as well as what kind of adoption we chose.  I will blog again soon, telling you about the next step in the process . . . the home study. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Beauty for Ashes

It is a phrase I have heard often over my life, but I have been heavily impressed with God's ability to bring beauty out of ashes this week.  Sin, disappointment, divorce, sickness, brokenness, disillusionment, infertility, violence, etc, have been everywhere around me this week.  Here is what Scripture says about it in a prophecy about Jesus:

Isaiah 61:1-3"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor." (NIV)

Jesus came to provide a way for us to be with Him.  Our sin blocks us from being able to know Him, but Jesus paid for our sin.  So in this passage, as it talks about the devastating situation that we are in--brokenhearted, captives, in darkness, prisoners, mourning, despair--He brings beauty, joy, and praise. 

So as I have been watching people fall prey to the consequences of their sin and the sin of the people around them, I am reminded that in spite of our self-centered sinfulness, God can still bring beauty from it.  

Have hope in Him today. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble. (Psalm 119:165)

The other day I was sitting on my couch doing something, I have no recollection of what right now.  I sensed a bit of angst in my spirit, but I wasn't sure what the root was.  The verse above came to mind, and as I mulled it over the angst disappeared.  

I am still not sure, but there is a good chance I was checking my facebook page.  Facebook is full of antagonistic postings: political, social, and religious. I even stopped watching the news because I get so tired of hearing about anti-God things.  I don't ignore the news, because we are told to watch and be aware of what is happening and coming (Luke 21:28).  We know what is going to happen, and even in Revelation 2:10, he says "Do not fear what you are about to suffer." But I digress . . . 

The point that the Lord confirmed in my soul this week is the power of His Word.  When we read, apply, and believe His word, the peace that overcomes us is only of Him.  So this morning, I read through Psalm 119 to remind myself about the power of His word.  

Here are a few of my favorites this morning: 

My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. (vs. 25)
If Your law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction.  I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have revived me. (vs. 92-93)
The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. (vs. 160)

So as you go throughout your day have a verse or two in your mind to mull over, because His word brings great peace.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Self-Control:  "restraint exercised over one's own impulses, emotions, or desires" (
As a new year begins, we all see commercials/advertising for ways to lose weight, eat better, work out more, diet pills, gym memberships, cardio machines, Weight Watchers, athletic exercise apparel, etc.  It seems a bit ridiculous, but even though many people don't hold to these things, they do try.  They do typically have success at least for a few days.  I appreciate that people at least want to do a little better. 

2013 was not the most pleasant of years, but it certainly wasn't the most difficult.  Miles health has been a little better.  Work has been more stressful.  Max has brought us much fun and laughter.  Friends and family struggle.  Two credit cards were paid off.  God has taught us very much, and I do believe the root has been self-control. 

I was at the gym a few days ago, and someone I had not seen in awhile asked about Miles' health.  We have made so many diet changes that it is ridiculous.  We have seen some glimpses of improved health, but for the last two weeks we have seen a significant improvement in his health.  For a year, Miles has eaten basically meats & greens.  He cut out sugar, corn, gluten, grains, carbs, fruit, dairy, caffeine, etc. Two weeks ago, he started eating homemade fermented foods, and drinking bone broth.  It seems to have healed (or at least begun the process of healing) his leaky gut, and now he can eat more things.  The lady said to me, "I am so proud of you guys.  Most people just give up and live with whatever their symptoms are.  You two have implemented a difficult diet, and continued to do your own research after doctors just tried to label an autoimmune disease that you were going to have to live with.  That is an incredible amount of self-control that most people don't have.  They would rather take a pill, or give up."  I had never thought about it that way before.  Another friend was so encouraged by Miles' improvement, that they asked if he would talk to one of their friends who was bed-ridden (as Miles had been two years ago) to tell them what he was doing.  Miles talked to the person, and they were unwilling to do what Miles was doing.  They were BED-RIDDEN, and they didn't have the self-control to just eat better to feel better.  We are so lazy as a society. 

The other night, I saw bits and pieces of "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" on HLN.  It is an excellent documentary on obesity.  I hope to soon find time to watch it in its entirety.  We as a nation are so concerned about how a food makes us feel that we don't even have the self-control to eat what will help us.  We will eat ourselves to death . . . literally.

Though I struggle some with self-control, I know that my temperament is more self-controlled than the average person, as I recall my childhood.  My mom would give me $1 a week to buy a $0.20 ice cream each day at lunch.  If I wanted to save the money, I could.  I went years in elementary school with no ice cream at lunch, because I knew that I could save the money and go on vacation to the beach with alot of money in the summer.  My mom almost felt bad for me because I was one of the very few kids that didn't have ice cream at lunch.  I saw the benefits of delayed gratification at a young age. 

If you aren't familiar with the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, you need to search for videos about it.  A child is put in a room with a marshmallow.  They are told that they can eat the marshmallow.  The other option is for them to wait as the researcher leaves the room and then returns.  If they wait until the researcher returns to the room, and they haven't eaten their marshmallow, they will be given another marshmallow.  So eat immediately and enjoy one, or don't eat now, but eat two later.  Kids were licking the marshmallow, they were turning their heads away from the marshmallow, etc . . . very funny videos!  They found that the children that could delay gratification were more successful in life.  They could see the value of controlling themselves to wait in the face of not being happy in the moment. 

As Americans, we are all about doing what feels good, and it has resulted in a lot of problems:  poor health, obesity, out of control children, bullying, disrespect of people, dropping out of school, failure, misery, falling away from God.  Self-control is a struggle for everyone, but it is crucial to life in this world and the one to come. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.  Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. (Galatians 6:22-26)

Though self-control comes more easily to some (as do other parts of the fruit of the Spirit), self-control is a result of living in the Spirit.  It is crucifying the flesh, and living by the Spirit.  It is about the change the Christ makes in us when we live in the Spirit. 

As a child, I was able to sit next to my classmates all year long as they ate ice cream and not buy any because my eye was on the prize:  Having a large amount of money to buy something bigger when I went on vacation.  Miles was able to cut all of those things out of his diet because his eye was on the prize:  Better health.  Parents that have the self-control and discipline to inflict temporary pain (time-out, spanking, not getting what they want) on their children are able to do this because they have their eye on the prize:  Respectful, independent, and well-adjusted children.

So this year, make a resolution to keep your eye on the prize:  Christ,
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  Colossians 3:1-3

The prize is Christ . . . the self-control is:  abiding in Him, being grateful, choosing to love people, forgiving, etc, etc.