Adoption Update {October 2022}

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If you’re new to our adoption journey, start here. The basics are that we’re adopting through our state’s Department of Social Services (DSS), which means we will adopt a child who is currently in the foster care system. We have applied to adopt a child or group of siblings between 7-16 years old.

In July I received an email that, like many others I’d received over the summer, said “Thank you for your interest in [child’s name]. We reviewed your home study and have decided that you are not the best fit for them.”

This email went on to say something different from the others.

It said, “I know these things happen for a reason. While we were reviewing your home study, we thought of another sibling group that might be a good fit for your family. Would you like me to send you their information?”

That was an easy yes! During the summer when we were hearing lots of no’s, we said yes and walked through any door the Lord opened for us. He closed lots of doors, just like the situation I described at the beginning.

We found out a little more about these children over the summer, and in September we had a virtual interview with 11 professionals and volunteers related to their case. They asked us questions about how we planned to parent, our home life, our work and our personalities.

A few days later we were notified that we were chosen as potential adoptive parents for these children! As I mentioned, we received about 15 no’s over the summer, but we felt like this situation would be extra hard to hear a no from. These children, who we hadn’t met, already had a special place in our hearts and in our immediate family’s hearts as well.

Now a month later, although we have photos of the children and a little more information about their lives, we have not met them. We’re working through a LOT of government red tape. Domestic adoptions through foster care are not expensive, but they go through government agencies. If you’ve been to the DMV you can imagine how this goes. 🙂

Here’s the adoption update in one sentence: We have been chosen as the potential adoptive parents for a group of siblings and we are so excited to welcome them into our family!

I put together a little Q&A of questions you might have at this point in the update.

When will you meet them?

Our paperwork has to go across about 5 people’s desk, and then we’ll have a “pre-meeting-meeting” with many of those same 11 people from our first interview. We’ll talk through the process of meeting the children through the transition of moving them into our home. Once all that is set, we get to meet them!

Their case worker asked us to send a digital photo album that they could use to gently introduce us to the children. I put my church office skills to good use and assembled a newsletter style PDF introducing them to us, our home, and the way we live.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed during a task like this, agonizing over how they will receive photos or details about our lives. I had to remind myself by saying out loud “God is bigger than the pictures and words on this document! God is sovereign over this project!” I can always trust these truths to calm my heart.

Read More: How To Find Comfort When Life Is Uncertain

When will they move into your home?

Right now it looks like we’ll spend gradually more time with them, from a few hours up to weekends. Once everyone feels comfortable (especially the children) with making the move from their foster home to our home, they will be able move in. I’m guessing that’s a couple months away.

How many are there? Are they boys or girls? What are their ages? Where are they from?

I have one answer for all of these questions: we’re choosing to keep a lot of those details private. We can’t take it back once the information is out there, and we want to do everything we can to protect our children’s privacy. Their story is not ours to tell.

I love how Russell Moore compares the waiting process of adoption to the waiting process in pregnancy. God is using this waiting time to prepare our hearts, just as parents prepare a newborn’s nursery. Those parents may not choose to reveal details about their baby (namely the gender) until a specific time, and we are doing the same.

We so appreciate the interest that our friends and family express toward our adoption. You share our excitement and our anticipation, and it means the world to us. Although your questions might be answered with “we aren’t sharing those details,” please know that we truly appreciate your heart behind your questions. ❤

When will you adopt them?

I do not know. Adoption isn’t final until the judge bangs the gavel on adoption day. Until then there will be lots of meetings, paperwork, social worker visits, and at least a 90 day trial period where they live in our home before becoming our legal children.

We are considering it final in our hearts right now. There’s the risk that it won’t work out and that we won’t get to adopt them. Queen Elizabeth famously said “Grief is the price we pay for love.” God extended his love toward me before I knew him, and that knowledge compels us to love these children even in the uncertainty of today.

How can I help?

Please pray that our paperwork and approvals won’t be tied up in government processes. We would love to get through this initial approval so that we can meet them and perhaps even have them in our home sometime in December. If they are not able to move in before the end of the year, that is alright – God is to be trusted – but would you pray with us to that end?

“Such a bountiful heart our God has, that while we are asking for a little peace and joy, he bids us to open our mouth wide and he will fill it. We can set all our needs before the Almighty. God has strength enough to give.” (William Gurnall)

Blessed be the name of God forever, to whom belong wisdom and might; he changes times and seasons…He knows what is in the darkness and the light dwells with him. (Daniel 2:20-22)

Thank you so much for praying with us! I can’t wait to have a new update for you. ❤


29 thoughts on “Adoption Update {October 2022}

  1. Aww, this is sweet news, Whitney! How wonderful to see God’s plan is unfolding before your eyes. I’m going to update your situation in my prayer journal now. And will especially be praying for the children’s hearts to be prepared, open, and trusting. Hugs!


  2. I just love reading your updates, Whitney! It’s been a lengthy process, but it’s so evident that God is working in the details of it all! Will continue to pray for you and Paul…. Looking forward to the exciting “births” that are taking place soon in the Pendall home! ❤️❤️❤️


  3. Whitney, what wonderful news! I’m envisioning you & Paul and your sweet children, together! God is so good. He is working right now to accomplish His good plans for your family. As you said, He can be trusted!


  4. What an exciting update and exciting journey for your family. I know that things feel slow in the moment, but it will be special to look back on this time and see the blessings as they unfolded in God’s time. Thanks for sharing your story and the way that God is growing your family. I’ll keep praying for God to guide your steps in the months ahead!!


  5. So excited to read your exciting news of possible placement getting closer. These children will be so BLESSED to be a part of your family. Will pray all these final details go smoothly and quickly and Blessings are wished for you. Rhonda and David V.


  6. I’ll keep you and the children in prayer through this process, I’m so happy for all of you! God is sovereign over all things including red tape and paperwork.

    …Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 ESV ❤️


  7. Your deliberate and wise decisions are an example to me. I am praying for you and Paul and these children who were fearfully and wonderfully made and are loved by God.


  8. You’re in my prayers, Whitney. I know that slog of paperwork can feel endless, but I’m praying that it goes as efficiently as possible, and I know God’s timing is perfect. I’m so happy for you and Paul.


  9. Continuing to pray for wisdom, the kiddos and their hearts, for y’all’s hearts, the process to run smoothly and for God to be glorified in this beautiful picture of how He adopted believers into His family to be His children. Excitly waiting to see how God works His best!


  10. Praying and trusting that every paper will get to the right person on-time, that they’ll feel impelled in their spirit to review and sign (and not put it to the side for later), that the meetings with you and the children will be scheduled soon and that those meetings will go as easy as possible. Praying for your hearts and minds as you wait — and live through all the details of life as you wait. All good news. I love hearing about Christian parents who want to foster/adopt!


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