Beach Buddies

Beach Buddies

Monday, April 27, 2015

Next Step...Adoption Training Weekend

Last Friday we headed down to Boise, Idaho for our Adoption Training weekend with A New Beginning Adoption Agency. We are going through a private agency so that we will be able to adopt from Foster Care from the entire U.S. (and not just Idaho). We had 12 hours of training ahead, and a four hour drive. On the way down we were talking about wanting to be sure we were heading in the right direction with adopting. It's intimidating to think about the cost, the permanency of our decision, and knowing that adopting through foster care is not an easy step. We'd ask friends to pray, and had been praying ourselves. We decided to step out in faith, and continue down this next step.

On the way there we were notified that we had a donation in our GoFundMe account. We were initially hesitant to start a GoFundMe account. I thought it was a good idea, and then Jeff told me he saw a news story about a GoFundMe situation. There was a guy who had accidentally been invited to a bachelor party of a stranger. He ended up befriending the groom-to-be though e-mail, and decided to go. He started a GoFundMe to fly to the party on the east coast (from Seattle). He got thousands of dollars in support. Jeff said that if some random guy could get funded to go to a bachelor's party, then we should set one up because what we are doing matters. We are adopting a child (or two) that need a home. We want to have children, and be parents. We're not saving this child. We will be blessed to have them as our child, and we hope to be able to bless them. We are becoming their parents, and family. It's the same for us if that child is biological or adopted. They will be our kid...always. We will love them, support them, and give them a safe, secure home full of love, patience, and whatever else they need.

Our weekend training was informative, interactive, and made us talk and think through the topics presented. We had a great group that we were part of and it was encouraging to see others who want to adopt through Foster Care. We also heard a few stories from those who had adopted through the program. We had a long day Saturday, but completed the training feeling good, and were encouraged by the adoption agency to keep going! We had another great moment Friday night. After the first evening of training we went to our hotel and checked in. The lady who checked us in asked why we were in Boise. I hesitated for a half second and then told her we were at an adoption training. She got a HUGE grin on her face, and told us she was adopted. She had a great adoption story, and told us how great it was that we were going to adopt. What a blessing! I left the checkout desk feeling so excited!

Our next step is our home study. We will get mailed a pile of papers after we send in our next payment, and do a phone call with the adoption agency to talk through the weekend and the next step. It's another step, and we will face it being encouraged by this weekend. An adventure can seem overwhelming at first, but really it's a series of steps. If you take one at a time you will find yourself far along the path.

Friday, April 17, 2015


I'm sitting in my hotel room at the SCBWI WWA (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators- Western Washington Association) Conference thinking about home. Missing my husband, and the kiddos who are both endearing, and exhausting all at the same time. I love this conference, this is my sixth one, and it's worth the long drive. People are surprised when I tell them I live in Idaho. Then they ask where Grangeville, Idaho is located. It's hard to explain to people if they haven't been there.  It's North Central Idaho, only fifty air miles from Oregon. Four hours North of Boise, three hours south of Couer D'Alene. Here's what's on our city page.

Grangeville is located along U.S. Highway 95 where the edge of the Camas Prairie and Nez Perce National Forest converge before rising 2800 vertical feet from the floor of the prairie to provide an unequaled backdrop for the City of Grangeville.
In the 1860’s and early seventies, prospectors and gold seekers crossed a large meadow on the Camas Prairie on their way to the Gold Fields near Florence and Elk City. That meadow later became the incorporated City of Grangeville in 1889, and in a few short years gained the designation of the County Seat of Idaho County in the election of 1902. According to an article in the Lewiston Tribune, the Nez Perce name for Grangeville was Sike-sike, meaning “the foot of the mountain”.
How did I end up in Grangeville? When I met Jeff I was living in West Seattle. I was a nanny, and on the Advisory Committee for this SCBWI chapter (I was the blog editor and loved it). I was all about writing, and being here in this vibrant writing community- though I did hate the traffic. Then I met this pretty amazing guy who lived in Grangeville, Idaho. He had actually just moved from Elk City, Idaho in 2010 (look up Elk City to see how much more it is than Grangeville). Jeff works for the Forest Service, which is why he ended up in Idaho (he did also go to school at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho).

As our relationship progressed it was time to make the drive to Grangeville. Recently my mom sent me an e-mail I'd written her a while ago telling her how great Jeff was, but that he lived in Idaho. I told her there was no way I would ever move to Idaho. But I decided to give it a try. The drive was gorgeous, and as you near Grangeville it's all prairie with the forest as a background. Grangeville has a little over 3,100 residents. Kids ride their bikes around town, people go up to the high school to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July, and there's a drive in movie theater. It has a nice community feeling to it, and I realized I could live there. As I have lived in Grangeville over the last few years I've come to know what it's like to be part of a community as a library director, wife, and now as foster mom. Jeff, in addition to his Forest Service job  is also an EMT, so he gets to have different views as a member of the community as well.

But it's not the drive in movie theaters or cute coffee shops (we have a wonderful one that's right next door to the library) that make a community. It's the people. The people you work with, the people you see at the grocery store, the friends you make. I love our community. I love how our community has supported us as we've been fostering the last few months. Friends and strangers that help fill practical needs, friends that watch the kids, or ask us how it's going. I love being in a place where people know who you are, and what you're doing. I recently got to share our story with my friend Lorie at the paper. There is such a need for fostering in our community (as there is in many communities). We're excited to adopt through foster care, and to share about that journey with others in our lives- both in our community and beyond.

I never thought I'd be living in rural Idaho, but it's part of our adventure, and will be the place we get to bring a child to live when we adopt. I'm excited to show them the beauty of the area where we live, and to be part of the community that we love.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Green Means Go

                                           Our First Picture Together (at a Mariner's Game)

I'm going to confess something. Jeff and I totally kissed on our first date. Now that we've been married almost three years I'm fine sharing that detail. We'd "met" five months earlier through E-Harmony (thanks to some prodding from friends). Jeff was in Elk City, Idaho and I was nannying in West Seattle. The funny thing is that he didn't want to connect with anyone as far away as Seattle, and I definitely didn't put Idaho in my preferences (ew, Idaho)...but divine intervention is a wonderful thing!

We matched up in November 2009, starting e-mailing outside of E-harmony in January, and then started talking on the phone in February (Jeff asked for my phone number for a birthday present--pretty slick on his part). We talked and talked and talked. We found out we knew mutual families (my former boss's mom had worked with Jeff's mom for years! His cousin went to school with some of my Cannon Beach friends! Crazy!?!). We also had mutual interests, goals, and dreams for the future.

For our first date met in Yakima, and spent the evening talking and talking more. He was exactly how he seemed, and it was like a continued conversation from the last few months. After a few hours of talking I was thinking, I'd hold his hand if he offered it, and then there it was reaching for mine.

Now about the kissing...Jeff mentioned in one of our many conversations it was sometimes hard to know when it was alright to kiss someone on a first or early date. Girls give mixed signals, so he said. I told him I'd make him flash cards. Red light meant no way, and Green light was go! We had such a nice evening, and I felt at peace about everything that Jeff got the green light!

We dated for almost two years (long distance, I might add!) until February 29th (Leap Day) in 2010 when we got engaged, and married six months later in August 2012. Now, this isn't a plug for E-Harmony. This is our story, and I love that everyone has their own story of how they met their true love!
                                            The first picture I saw of Jeff...I love this still!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Little About Us

Becky & Jeff in Cannon, Beach, OR

In this blog we'll not only share about our Adoption Adventure, but who we are, where we live, and our road to come parents. You don't have to be married to foster or adopt. We've been married since August 2012, and as foster parents of two kiddos, we're thankful to be able to have each other to help, love, and support the kids, and one another. 

Jeff is from Gleed, Washington. He is the youngest of four kids, and his parents have been married for 58 years! Jeff grew up playing, and loving sports- Baseball, football, basketball! Being a Washingtonian he's a loyal Seahawks, Mariners, (and if they were in Seattle) Sonics fan! Jeff loves fishing which is great since Jeff works for the Forest Service as a Fisheries Tech. His job with the Forest Service brought him to Idaho (he's also lived in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon). Jeff loves the outdoors, and travel, which is wonderful because so does Becky. We look forward to being able to travel together with our kids in the future! 

 Becky is originally from Portland, Oregon. She's the oldest of four girls, and all her family now lives on the Oregon Coast. Becky has lived in Oregon, Washington, Maryland, and now Idaho. Becky loves reading, travel, writing (she writes children's books), animals, and community theater! So many of these tie into her job as the Library Director at the Grangeville Centennial Library. Becky's worked professionally with children, teens, and families for over 25 years. 

In the next blog post we'll share about how we met and became a family!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Welcome to Our Adoption Adventure!

We're so excited to start down the road to adoption! We've always wanted to be parents, and have been trying to have kids since we got married in 2012. We've had two miscarriages, and have learned we have unexplained fertility. We decided to keep trying, but also to adopt! We know there are so many kids waiting for a forever home in foster care, so we wanted to adopt through foster care. To adopt in Idaho you have to become licensed foster parents, and we started the licensing process to become foster parents in Idaho in January 2014. We became licensed in May, and have done respite for a few months, and became full-time foster parents in December 2014. 

We have learned through fostering in Idaho that it's very hard to adopt through Idaho (through Foster Care). Idaho is all about keeping kids with their families. We love this, but also want to adopt so we have decided to go through an adoption agency- A New Beginning Adoption Agency in Boise, Idaho. They have a Waiting Child Program that will allow us to adopt from foster care in any state. They also offer tons of training, support, advocacy, and resources before, during, and after adoption. 

Our blog will be all about this adventure! We want to share more about who we are, what we learn through this journey, and encourage others who are interested in fostering, adopting, etc. We love that we have amazing family, friends, and a wonderful community that is supporting us as we keep going through the process to become parents!