Adoption Process – Our 6 Steps to Adopt

Udall Family-31Ben and I have been working to clarify what our adoption process will most likely look like. I don’t know about you, but I love lists! From what I know at this point, here’s a overview of our expected process:

Step 1: Home Study –  Where we are Today

This is an assessment of prospective adoptive parents to see if they are suitable to adopt a child. It can take 2-5 months an involves 16 hours of classes, multiple interviews with a social worker, and a LOT of paperwork. The bottom-line purpose of the home study is to decipher any indicators that a child could be abused or neglected. It will be a good process for us to go through as we will be talking through our anticipated parenting plans, etc. before our child is in our arms (kinda like pre-parent counseling).

Step 2: Adoption Consultant Sign-Up

We are planning to work with Dawn and Jason Wright with Christian Adoption Consultants. Adoption Consultants provide added support and resourcing as we walk through the adoption process. They have 10 different vetted agencies that we choose from to apply for placement. Working with a consultant often results in a faster, smoother placement. Dawn and Jason have adopted 9 kids and have already started helping us with our questions.

Step 3: Profile Book Completion

Our profile book is what introduces us to potential Birth Families. They will look through several couple’s profile books at a time to help them choose who they would like to place their child with. It can also be a helpful process for Birth Mom’s to decide if she is going to place her child with a family. Our profile book will contain information about ourselves, including pictures. We will also have an online profile.

Step 4: Sign Up with Agencies

Once we have completed our profile book, we will sign up with several agencies and wait to be chosen.

Step 5: Wait and Selection

We will be waiting until Birth Parents chose us. Depending on how far along our Birth Mom is, we will meet with her before her due date and even (ideally) be at the hospital when our child is born. Some Birth Moms choose to place their baby later in their pregnancy or even right after their baby is born, so we’re waiting to see at what part of our baby’s development we’ll connect.

Step 6: Placement

Once we are holding Baby Udall there will be followup appointments with our social worker. Typically six months after placement, our child legally becomes ours for life and is issued a new birth certificate.

Fundraising and Saving

Throughout this whole process we are also working on Fundraising and Saving. If you want to help in this part of the process, you can send us a check or go to the link below to give. Right now we’re focusing on completing the first two steps of the process. We are almost half way to what we will need for Home Study! We have been amazed and humbled by the generosity of friends and family.

Give to Udall Adoption Through GoFundMe


It’s pretty exciting to step out in faith and to trust God to provide. We fully believe He will provide all we need for this process – financially, emotionally, relationally, etc. We are really thankful that He has us on this path. We are filled with joy as we plan for the steps ahead.



Four Months: The Linden Tree, A Poem

LeafMy Mom’s name, Linea, means Linden Tree in Scandinavian. Her middle name, Lynn, means lake or a body of water. Her life, as her name, reflects to me the truth of Jeremiah 17:8 from the Bible:

“They [God’s people] are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”

This is in honor of Mom at four months after her passing.


The Linden Tree stands tall and beautiful.
Leaves of bright green shimmer in the sun;
Love Leaves with shape of heart,
Exhibiting what flows through the Tree.

Linden is planted by a flowing stream,
Life-giving hydration soaking into deep roots.

The heat rises – fiery, bleak, strong.
Surrounding trees wither and fade.
Linden Tree remains untouched,
Her leaves robust and beautiful.

The deep Roots, hard-won keep Linden strong.
The deep Roots bring Linden Abundant Life.



Adoption: Worry vs. Trust

ocean-sea-stones-4358Since announcing our Adoption (see We Are Adopting!) l have been faced with an invisible battle of worry and fretting. Our Bible Study group is going through a book called Undone by Michele Cushatt. It’s a great read. In the book Michele describes worry as a way of seeking control over the unknowns in our lives. That really resonated with me.

See, there are a lot of things I’m worrying about in the adoption process. There are so many unknowns. The big one is not knowing how long the process will take. It almost certainly won’t fit into the ‘normal’ 9-month time frame. In our case, we don’t know what part of the country our child will be from. We don’t know what race our child will be. We don’t know who his or her parents are. We don’t know what part of our child’s first days we’ll be a part of: Will we connect with our Birth Mom months before she goes into labor? Will we get to be there for our child’s birth? There are just a lot of unknowns.

Then there’s the Home Study process that can take up to 5 months and involves a dictionary-sized book of paperwork and multiple interviews that examine every aspect of our lives. At the end of this process we will be either approved or not approved to adopt. That’s intimidating.

There is also the creation of our Profile Book. This is the picture book that introduces who we are as a family to potential Birth Families. It’s our first introduction to our child’s Birth Parents and how they will initially chose us to adopt their Birth Child. And of course I want ours to be perfect.

There are a lot of things out of our control. Bring on the worry! … But God.

Today God interrupted my stream of worried thoughts and led me to read Psalm 37. He rocked my world with this Psalm. In this part of scripture He says things like: “Do not fret, it leads only to harm.” “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.”

Then I ran into this part: “When they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” Isn’t that a beautiful picture? As Ben and I walk into this season filled with unknowns He holds our hand. Like a Daddy with his toddler. When we hit the cracks in the sidewalk, we aren’t going to fall.

This Psalm is so rich with truth. Powerful truth that today has stopped the raging sea of worry within my soul and replaced it with Peaceful Trust. I know this battle of seeking control through worry vs. peaceful trust in God has only just begun. But I’m so thankful that today, the Lord used Truth to over come my worry. I am going to be visiting Psalm 37 often over the coming months. God is our Help in this process. He is Good. He is Faithful. He will do it!



Adoption: Four Ways to Pray for Us

Square Udall Family-55My friend Amy asked me earlier this week how she can be praying for Ben and me as we prepare to adopt. I was so touched by her commitment to pray for us. It meant more than I imagined to know that she and her husband are standing with us in this process.

Lately I’ve been struck by the immensity of what we are doing. To move toward parenthood in this way brings so much heart-wrenching emotion. So many ‘what-ifs’. I feel the need for God’s help and the support of our community more now than ever.

If you feel so led to pray for us, here’s a short list of things to pray for as we fully step into the adoption process.

1. Wisdom to Prepare Well

We need lots of wisdom of how to prepare physically, mentally, and emotionally for welcoming our little one into our home. We don’t know at what stage we will meet our Birth Mom/child – it could be months before they are born or days after they are born or something in between. It’s a lot for this planner.

2. Healing of Our Hearts

We are working through the grief of infertility but still have more work to do. Even as we are so excited to welcome our little one into our home, we grieve the loss of a dream. We want to be as emotionally healthy as possible as we become parents.

3. Peace and Patience with the Process

As we move forward with the many adoption details and emotions, we have a need for God’s peace and for patience with the waiting. Please pray that we would rest in God’s sovereignty and trust His faithfulness.

4. Healthy Baby

We have already been praying for our future Birth Family and for how our child will be taken care of in the womb. Would you join us in praying for the well-being of our child even now?


Again, we have been amazed and touched by the support and love of our community. Thank you for walking with us in this.



Adoption Photo Shoot

Udall Family-32 square reducedAt the end of May, Ben and I participated in our Adoption Photo Shoot. It was a time to celebrate our commitment to adopt and I’m so excited to share the photos with you.

Our generous friends Tyler and Melanie Dexter are amazingly talented photographers and SO much fun to work with! We are grateful for them. (Check them out at their TMDexter Photography Facebook Page.)

Also, we have to give a huge shout out to our friend Sara Jerez who created these beautiful signs for us. Thank you so much, Sara! We are blessed!

Here are some of our favorites from the day:


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We Are Adopting!

 Ben and I are so excited to officially announce that we are adopting! It has been a long journey to get to this place and we are looking forward to see who God has planned to join our family.

After much prayer, thought, research, and conversation we are moving forward with adopting an infant from the US. This means we’re going through an agency in the US that connects us with a Birth Mother who is choosing to give life to her child and place him or her with loving Adoptive Parents. Ideally, we’ll get to meet our baby’s Birth Mother before our child is born and even be there for his or her birth.

What this means for us:


It costs an average $35,000 to complete an adoption in the US through an agency. There are legal fees, home study fees, classes, application costs, travel expenses, post-placement fees, and more. We are doing everything we can to aggressively save money and budget well, but a significant gap will remain that we are trusting God to fill.


We are busy learning everything we can about adoption. Talking with adoptive families, reading books, researching online, networking, etc. – we’re basically sponges right now. There’s a lot to learn!


There is a lot of paperwork to complete. Filling out home study paperwork, agency applications, and completing our family profile will keep us busy for months to come.


We don’t know how long it will be until we get to bring Baby Udall home. It could be a year or longer. Right now we see the waiting as a good thing. God gives Moms nine months of pregnancy for a reason! We have a lot of work to do to prepare our hearts and home for our baby.

What you can do:

Connect with Us.

We are in need of leaning into community now more than ever. We know we cannot do this alone.

Ask Questions.

We don’t expect you to know a lot of information about adoption if you’ve never had experience with it.  We are really happy to answer any questions you may have about our process. We love sharing the things that we are walking through and learning.

Share Positive Adoption Stories.

Raising children is risky whether they are adopted or your biological children. We are stepping into becoming parents with eyes wide open – and faith that God is in control. If you have any resources, ideas, or positive stories of adoption, I’m all ears!

Give Financially.

If you want to contribute financially to our adoption, you can use the link below. We’re working to raise an initial $5000 to cover Home Study and our Adoption Consultant. Once we reach $2000, we will be able to start our home study. Once that is completed (it can take up to 5 months), we will be able to apply for a tax-deductible giving organization. If you want a tax-deductible receipt, you may wish to wait to give at that time.

Give to Udall Adoption


Most of all, we want to communicate how thankful we are for the community of supportive people in our life. It will not only take a village to raise our baby but also to make it possible to welcome him/her into our home. Thank you for your support!


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Here are some other helpful resources about adoption I have come across if you’re interested.

What to Do When Your Friends Adopt an Infant.

3 Ways to Support Adoptive Families.

8 Things to Stop Saying to Your Adoptive Friends.

Respectful Adoption Language. (P.S. it’s okay if you mess up!)