Adoption - International

In January 2012, God started pulling our hearts towards adoption. Since we already have 3 crazy boys under five, I thought I may have been losing my mind to think that we could possibly handle adding a fourth.

After A LOT of prayer and countless hours of research…we decided to follow His lead and take the chance on adopting.

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Read about our journey below, including why we decided to adopt, what adopting a child really means, all the training involved, and hopefully {coming soon} meet our newest child!

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If you have ever thought about adoption or want more information on the adoption process make sure you read THIS.

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WE ARE ADOPTING! – Read about our decision to adopt from the Philippines.

Your Adopting A What? – A few common things I have heard from friends once we told them we were adopting.

{Our Adoption} The Beginning – The very first phone call that I ever placed to an adoption agency.

{Our Adoption} The Training – Going through the 12+ hours of adoption training and understanding “expectations of adoption”.

{Our Adoption} My First Taste of Disappointment – Our home study coordinator quit days after our last adoption training.

{Our Adoption} Home Study is Complete and Now We Wait – Waiting on the state of IL to approve our home study.

{Our Adoption} Boy or Girl? – Answering the question, “Are you adopting a boy or girl?”

3 Thing I’d Like My Husband To Do As A Spiritual Leader Of Our Family – Explaining how I need to be “led” and what I would like to see from my husband as a “leader”

{Our Adoption} Adoption is Not Possible Without Loss – The misconception that I had about adopted children and the trauma that a child will have experienced by being separated from their birth mother for life.

{Our Adoption} UPDATE: The Philippines Moratorium – The Philippines puts a hold on U.S. adoptions for the category we are trying to adopt from.

{Our Adoption} A Father To The Fatherless – Realizing that our child is loved by Him. He is enough.

{Our Adoption} Thankful That God Has Placed Adoption On Our Hearts – Realizing that just a short year ago I would have never dreamed of adopting a child. When God speaks…he speaks LOUD & CLEAR.

{Our Adoption} The Wait List – We have officially been added to the Philippines “Roster of Approved Applicants” as of November 22, 2012.

{Our Adoption} When the Silence Feels So Lonely – You’re Still Holy – Four months in to our wait and a great reminder that God hasn’t forgotten.

Mother’s Day 2013 – My last Mother’s Day as a mother of three.

{Our Adoption} I Had A Dream That Everyone Would Have A Family – A drawing from our five year old that truly made us realize that our kids “get it”.

{Adoption} They Are Just What I Needed – Fellow blog friends spend an entire year volunteering at The Children’s Shelter of Cebu.

{Our Adoption} Change Starts With One – An update and how we feel like we can make a difference during our wait time.

When You’re Mad At God – How hard the waiting period can be.

How To Talk To Your Kids About Adoption – The way I explained our adoption to our inquisitive 7, 4 and 3 year olds.

A Hard Decision – ICAB comes to Minnesota to meet our agency employees and we have to decide whether we will fly there on last minutes notice.

Who Makes The Orphan A Son And Daughter – We thought we would for sure be a family of six by now, but God has different plans.

The Adoption Process – If you have thought about adopting or need more information? READ THIS.

*Listen to our latest podcast from Marriage More where we talk about WHY we chose to adopt.


  1. says

    I came across your blog to look at your decorating stuff, and I saw your “Adoption” tab at the top. My husband & I have one adopted daughter & are waiting to adopt another child. I just love hearing other people’s stories of adoption! Thank you for sharing your story! God bless you in your journey!!

  2. Melanie K. says

    I also came across your blog to look at decorating and came across your “Adoption” tab. We are in the process of adopting our first little boy through the Foster Care System. We fostered a baby girl for 6 months that came to us straight from the hospital and when she went home I was devestated. Then all of my friends and especially my husband kept reminding me that there would be a baby that would need us more than Ella did. Sure enough we got the call for our little Cooper and we couldn’t love him more. We will be adopting him by the end of the year. He just turned 2 months old on Monday. We also just got the opportunity to keep his 3 year old twin brothers for the next 2 weeks and I am pretty sure if they asked us to adopt them too we couldn’t say no:) Congratulations on your journey! I can’t wait to hear more!

  3. says

    Hi! I found your blog through Thriftydecorchick. Very mod house! I like it. What struck me though was your adoption. I was wondering if you could share what agency you are using? My husband and I do a mission trip to the same orphanage in Ukraine twice a year. We work with LifeSong for Orphans. Right now we are hosting a 11 year old boy from said orphanage. We are pursuing adopting him and possible one or two other children. We have two kiddos ourselves 11 and 9. There are so many agencies out there and we need to get started. Just seeking out more info. and we are going to pick one. Thank you for sharing where and how God is leading you. HE is the Father to the Fatherless and the Defender of widows. The call is never easy, but we are not meant to do it on our own.

    • says

      Wow! What a cool story! Our adoption agency is actually out of Minnesota (and we live in IL). Kind of a long story. My advice to you would be to search what U.S. agencies work with Ukraine. For us (and the Philippines), I went to the Philippines government website and they had a list of all the U.S. adoption agencies that they work with. I started calling the ones on the list until I found one that fit us. So awesome that God is calling you to help orphans! Will definitely go check out your blog! Thanks for commenting!

  4. Kayla Daphne says

    Just started following your blog but the fact you are trying to adopt is so inspiring and amazing. So many children do not know a good family but deserve it more then the many of us who take advantage of our own families.
    Stay strong and good luck in the future!!!:)

  5. says

    Hi there! Just started following your blog, but was excited to see that you are adopting from the Philippines. We adopted our little boy, now 6, from an orphanage in Manila when he was 2. He is our fourth child as well (after 3 girls), and has brought so much joy to our family. One of our daughters was adopted from China, and we found the Philippines adoption process so much easier from start to finish. Good luck and God bless!

    • says

      Wow, loved that you shared this! I have heard that the Philippines adoption program is one of the easier ones. Glad to hear it first hand though! I can’t wait to check out your blog and read about your family!!

  6. says

    Mandy- I am do excited about your journey! We adopted our now 10 year old twin girls from Russia. It was a long process, full of ups and down, and full of the greatest joy! Keep your hope and excitement! Love your blog and your creative spirit! Michelle :)

  7. lindsey says

    As the mother of 4 boys I totally get what you are saying. They always assume that we had #5 “trying to get that girl” (and we did) but we totally had 5 being completely happy with the fact that we could have 5 boys! When I tell people if I had to pick all of one gender it would be boys they think I am nuts! But I love it, boys are so much fun!

  8. Katie Spinks says

    Found your blog through your decorating post and was so excited and happy to see your a Christian and your adopting! My husband and I are in the middle of adopting our baby girl is 3 months old we have had her since the day she was born we are just waiting to sign the official paper work! It’s a long process (at least here in Canada it is) but once you hold your baby for the first time it’s all so worth it!!

  9. Kevin says

    Great site.

    My Wife and I went through the adoption process in 2006 for our little boy. I am also in Illinois. My adoption was a domestic private adoption and with the help of our attorney, it was as if the red carpet was rolled out. The process couldn’t have went better. Our attorney was awesome. All she does is adoptions and helped to write some of the laws in Illinois. If you would like any info that might help your cause just e-mail me.

    • says

      Hi Kevin! Thanks for commenting! Even though we are adopting from the Philippines we will be actually adopting our child once we get back to IL. We are only granted custody while in the Philippines. We are still about a year (or longer) away from that, but I may need the name of a good IL attorney down the road. Would you mind to email me the info? Mandyjrose(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. Amber says

    I stumbled across pictures of your kitchen. (which I love by the way) while I was looking, I found your adoption part. I do not think it is possible for anyone to feel like I do about the journey my family just started, but then… the words I was reading came directly from my head and more importantly my heart! <3 your family is in my prayers, and congrats to your family!

  11. Alyssa says

    I have always been interested in adopting someday and today I looked into a bit more. Nothing serious but wanted to see what info I could find on adopting from the Philippines. I looked, was bewildered at all the information..I stopped looking and went on Pinterest. Saw your blog for your house and then saw your adoption tab. I was blown away at the fact that you are going through this in the country we someday would love to adopt from. (My husband in half Filipino) and his family is from the Philippines. I went to this Philippines for the first time last February.

    I will be following you for now on. It’s amazing to see a step by step on how this process worked. Thanks for sharing your life with us. I hope that someday I can do what you are doing now.

    I will keep you up in my prayers.

    -Far away stanger

    • says

      Thanks Alyssa! So glad you found my blog! I have never been to the Philippines so this will be my first time. I am so excited about this journey. If you have any questions in the future feel free to email me!

  12. says

    I found your blog via pinterest, but it was your “adoption” tab that pulled me in. :) God started opening my eyes up to the needs of orphans a few years ago. Oh, the things that He has done to this heart of mine. We started an orphan care ministry via our church, I have watched countless adoptions take place, including my sister in law who adopted sweet James at 8mo. old from Tawian– who “just so happened” to be born on my birthday (oh, how that journey unfolded… GOD is SO SO good!!!!).. and we just welcomed home Joy, our good friends & Youth Pastor little 7 year old daughter from the Phillipines just 3 weeks ago. (OH, how my family loves this little girl!!!!!!!!!) It was a (long, long) hard process for them… 3 years. They are having a hard time adjusting with the transition, but GOD IS GOOD and will provide wisdom, patience, grace, and will put the right drs. in their path to walk this new journey. Adoption is so beautiful, it’s also very hard., but so so SO worth every, every ounce of it!!!!!!! My heart has been so opened to stepping out, and God has been tugging my heart for so long. I feel that tug more now than ever, so I’m seeking His face for guidence and *confirmation* more than ever right now. I will be following your blog from this point on :) so excited to see how your journey unfolds. I will be praying for your family, and ask that you could possibly do the same for mine. :) ((Thanks!!!))….. SO SO excited for you!!!! GOD IS SO SO GOOD!!!!!!
    Chrystal´s last blog post ..Good Intentions.

    • says

      Hi Chrystal! Wow, love the inspiring words that you wrote! Thank you so much for commenting and sharing the stories of adoption that are close to your heart! I went and checked out the blog you suggested and I was on it for hours reading! So glad you passed along the info! Truly appreciate it! Keep in touch!

  13. Kates says

    Hi, i came across your blog while im browsing for ruffled curtains. I feel inspired and happy with your adoption journey. Im only 23 with 2 boys and im pretty vocal to my whole family that i will adopt in the future.. not everyone is blessed with parents and complete family. :)

    I am from Philippines by the way.. its nice to hear that you considered our country. I’ll be definitely come visit again and see how your journey goes.

    You might want to try Hospicio de San Jose (A very reputable orphanage, Jolie-Pitts recently tried contacting them) or Grace To Be Born shelter (Place where they temporary adopt pregnant women, take care of them and get their babies after birth if the mothers wants to give them up).

    Good luck, God bless and i’ll pray for you :)

    • says

      Hey! Thanks so much for the information. I don’t think we can choose an orphanage. We have to be placed with a child through ICAB. I appreciate the prayers a TON! :)

  14. Judy Davis says

    I just wanted to tell you my husband and I are adopting from Peru, we are in the approval stage in Peru. We also know God is taking care of our little girl until she gets here. He has chosen her for us and are excited to meet her when Peru approves! God’s blessing on you and your family.

  15. Christy says

    Hi! I also adopted both of my children. I became a foster parent with the intent to adopt so they were always aware that was our goal. The first child we fostered was my daughter, she was 9 months old. We got her brother when he was born straight from the hospital. After going through 7 in-vitro cycles literally back-to-back, I realized later that these kids must have been meant for us and maybe the reason the in-vitro didn’t work. We have never been more blessed and I wish you all the luck with yours!

  16. Amie Aya-ay says

    I love your blog! I saw that you are adopting form the Philippines. My husband is Filipino. We were lucky to take our family there couple years ago. Let me know if you want me to send you some recipes that quick and easy to make. I am also a mom of four!

  17. says

    I have a family member that placed her child up for adoption. It just wasn’t time for her to be a mother. However, she picked the perfect family – one that was definitely ready. The adoption is “open” and the birth mother has contact with the adoptive parents, is allowed to see the child a few times a year, and stays in contact thru pictures and emails. The process was handled beautifully and everyone wanted what was best for that beautiful baby. Congratulations on your decision.

  18. Madja Capetillo says

    Amazing! I adopted two children who are relatives. It was difficult to see a relative lose their children. My husband and I took them in and then we adopted after the mother’s rights were terminated. One of the kids was 7 years old

    and the other was about to turn 1. This was all a process. God gave me the courage and strength. We had our biological son; and we always wanted more kids; but I was having trouble getting pregnant. We never thought we would have more children by adoption. It wasn’t something we planned. But, we feel very blessed. Congratulations!

    • says

      That’a a cool story and I appreciate you sharing! I can imagine how hard it is for the biological parents to have their rights terminated, but I am happy that the children are now in a loving environment! Congratulations on being obedient to God’s plan!

  19. Lauren says

    Hi Mandy! I have been a huge fan of your blog for almost a month when I came across it on pinterest. I was going through a very difficult time (still am) and your blog helped occupy my mind and my time when I needed it most. ( I can explain why if you want in a more private forum:)) so, anyway as I was reading through your archives I came across a very sad but touching story about a couple who lost their baby. I can’t recall specifics on where the story is located but i hope you know what I am talking about, however the story really stuck with me and just today I came across another inspiring/ touching story I wanted to share with you :)

    I hope you find the story not too sad but rather inspiring. I don’t have a blog or a public forum so I wanted to put this story in the right hands to get the word out if you should decide to share it, I figure it couldn’t hurt to pass it alonG.

    I hope I’m not coming off as “weird” and you understand why I wanted to share this with you. Again I would love to share more in depth as to why I started reading your blog, what lead me to you and how God does put people in our lives for a reason.

    God Bless, Lauren

  20. Sandy Ling says

    I am looking to start a mom blog and fell upon your blog. I started poking around and next thing I knew, I had tears coming out of my eyes, reading about your adoption. My husband and I are both adopted and we just had our first child 7 months ago, and plan to adopt the 2nd, and possible 3rd. When I hear about people wanting to adopt, that already have their own children, I get so overcome with positive emotion, that tears burst out of my face. I wish you good luck and will continue to follow.

  21. jennifer says

    My name is mrs jennifer am from united kingdom i married for 25 years but no child to call my own my mother in-law was calling me all kinds of name i prayed for God to give me a child i did every thing i could do visit many doctors to no what is wrong with my body system but the doctor said nothing is wrong with me then i said to my self what is wrong,a friend of my said to me that i should adopt a child at the first time i never want to do that but things was not easy with me i cook and eat alone no child to eat with me i was living in the dark,so one day i make up my mind and i said to my self i want to adopt a child i discuss it with my husband and he refuse that at the first place after few months my husband called me and he said he needs a child and he is nothing getting any younger,that was how we visit CHRIST ADOPTION CENTER to adopt a child we love her and her name is KELLY,he is a very lovely kid and brilliant too,you can contact this agency at CHRISTADOPTIONCENTER@GMAIL.COM

  22. says

    Amazing! My husband and I are in the beginning, Beginning, BEGINNING stages for adopting from the Philippines (I’m actually starting to spell it right on the first try) and we are so excited. Also ready to wait… :)
    Amy´s last blog post ..Processing…

  23. says

    I just came across this after watching your guitar project video. Well Done by the way! I am adopted. I was adopted at the age of 4. Its probably the favorite part of my life story and I just love people who choose to adopt and instantly feel connected to them. Adoption changes lives. God speed to you and Jeff as you continue down this life long path of being an adoptive parent! :)

  24. says

    Hello! I came across your blog through Natalie at The Busy Budgeting Mama…I clicked over and saw your adoption tab. My husband and I are pursuing a domestic infant adoption and we are matched with a baby girl due December 15. We are super excited!! I looked at several of your posts but can’t seem to find where you’re currently at in the process. I don’t think you’ve adopted yet, have you? Hope all is still going well!! :)

  25. Lisa says

    Stopped by to check on your adoption status.

    We, too, are adopting from the Philippines! Have been on the roster for 2yrs and no news yet either. It is so very hard to wait! We have had some major hurdles including being kicked off ICAB’s list because we turned down a referral, and thankfully being put back on.It’s been quite a journey! Hope we both hear some news soon!!

  26. says

    II was born in the Philippines and adopted as a baby too. I have always been so grateful to my parents for following that prompting from the Lord to adopt. They already had 4 boys and the youngest of them really wanted a sister :o) So they prayed about it and one day while traveling, my mom saw a woman at the airport with a cute little Filipino kid (lol) and just struck up a conversation with her. It turned out she worked for an orphanage over there! They exchanged information and the rest is history! God is so good!!
    I pray for favor and blessings for you and your family while going through this process and for your newest addition that you will be providing a better life for. I think people who adopt are so special and have such big hearts! :)


  27. Kelly says

    I’m so happy to have found a blog about Philippines adoptions! My husband and I live in Michigan with our two boys ages four and five. My family has been in the process of adopting since April 2011. We actually started in Bulgaria and switched to the Philippines just this past January. It’s been a long road, but I have been so blessed to see God’s hand every step of the way…even when we hit a pot-hole or take a turn we never anticipated. We started this journey approved to adopt a girl under age two from Bulgaria, but instead we’re adopting a four year old boy from the Philippines! Whew! God’s plans are so much bigger than mine. And I’ve never been more joy-filled. Last spring we found a four year old boy in the special homes finding program and were officially matched with him in November.

    Thank you for blogging about your adoption. I will pray for you as you wait. It stinks. Hang in there and keep your eyes on Jesus. His plans are BIG for you.

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