Home Study Completed. Raffle Now Open!

Today was Home Study Visit #3 and we reached what I would consider another huge milestone: The end of the application process!  We are now about 6 weeks away from becoming officially, legally eligible to adopt. And from there… it could happen anytime! We know a couple who were picked almost immediately, another couple who waited four months, and another couple that waited a year. It’s just one great, big surprise!

At least that’s what I tell myself when the anxiety starts to kick in. We really have everything we need, so if we absolutely have to boot Elise to the cabin-in-the-woods-wallpapered guest bedroom, then so be it.

And no, we did not choose that wallpaper. Just haven’t gotten around to making it our own yet. Taking down wallpaper is a daunting chore.

So next on our list: Finalizing our Photo Book, Writing our “Dear Birthmom” letter, making our profile page, and kicking off our fundraising. I certainly don’t want anyone to feel sorry for us, but adoption costs between $21,000-$24,000. Which leads me to the big announcement:

Our Raffle is officially open!

Check out the amazing prizes you can enter to win! (Most of which were donated – a huge thank-you to those who contributed: Sabina Williams, Vicki Goethals, Lacey Key, and our families.  And thanks also to my dear friend Michaellynn, who helped me set up the youcaring.com photo link over in my Sidebar! We were overwhelmed by the generosity of both our friends as well as people that barely know us. When I posted about doing a raffle, I really was planning on us buying the prizes ourselves. I had no idea people would be so excited to donate items!)

2 Night Stay at the J.W. Marriott, Grand Rapids



exterior-02-th JW1 JW2 JW3


Apple iPad Air 2 (16 GB)




Hand-crafted (by Tyler) Sofa Table (48 x 15 x 32)


(Not yet built, but here is an example of another [8 ft] sofa table he built):



$100 Target Gift Card




Custom Handmade Villa and Londyn Baby/Toddler Girl Vintage Romper




Crafty Momma’s Design Home Decor

(2 winners: 1 box and 1 sign)  –  $5/ticket

craftymomma1     craftymomma2


Young Living Essential Oils or Healing Reign Office Consultation


Entering is easy! To enter the raffle, just click the link just below that says “Cheyenne and Tyler’s Baby#2 Adoption Fund” or the “Donate” button in the sidebar. After you have donated, it will let you write a note in which you can specify which prize or prize-combination that you would like to enter to win! (For example: “1 ticket for the Ipad.”) All donations are through paypal, so it’s safe too!

Cheyenne and Tyler’s Baby#2 Adoption Fund

The drawing will take place on Saturday, June 27 at a dinner at our church (at which time you can still enter the raffle if you would like). All winners who are not present will be contacted by June 28.

Good luck! And our sincerest, most grateful “thanks” for giving a gift that means so much to our family.


Home study Visit #2 / Such.a.Gift.

We are well on our way to completing our home study! Typically, there are 4 visits spread out over the course of 6-8 weeks. We were told this visit would be a long one where she would talk to both of us separately for at least an hour. I was a little concerned about this. Not that we have anything juicy to hide, but I just expected it would be hard questions to answer about your spouse.

Turns out, the only questions she asked us about each other were, “How would you describe your spouse?” and “Can you describe your family’s relationship with your spouse?” and “What kind of parent is your spouse?” The rest of the questions were about our childhood. At no time did I feel uncomfortable or judged.

Again, this process has been so much easier than I had expected. And the more we talk about it, the more I fall in love with this little person that may or may not even be conceived yet. And the more I feel compassion for the birth mom who is choosing a better life for her child – chances are her life isn’t butterflies and roses, and she is not making the choice selfishly.

We decided to wrap things up in one 3-hour visit on April 4. After that, she has to write a 10 page report about us and get it edited and approved by her supervisor and the court. We are looking at being approved and available as a “Waiting Family” somewhere between May 18 and June 1. And then starts the fund-raising…

lemonadeHave I ever mentioned how much I love fund-raising? No?

Huh…. Yeah… no I think you’re right – I haven’t.

But I do love planning things, so I guess I just need to get over the label of “Fund-raising” and get to it.

Our plan is to do several things:

1. Start applying for grants.

This is pretty much like applying to college: Filling out paperwork, answering really personal questions, writing essays, etc...

2. Have a garage sale June 4-6 at my father-in-law’s house. 

Have you ever seen Storage Wars? Our dear friend and spiritual mentor for many years has offered to help us by bidding on storage unit auctions. I can’t tell you how overwhelmed with emotion I was when he shared this with me. 

3. Plan a food-event. 

Everyone loves to eat and we love to cook, so I thought it would be fun to feed people. I make a mean lasagna and have won a chili cook off.

Your Feedback please:  Any ideas for what time of year to do an event like this would be helpful. Seems like during the summer everyone is gone a lot. Weekday? Weekend? Summer? Fall?

4. Hold a Raffle.

Friends of ours adopted and this was their most successful fund-raising approach. They bought I-pads and several other expensive electronics that people could win. Then they sold tickets over the course of 2-3 months and drew winners for each of the prizes. People loved that each $5 bought them a ticket for a chance to win a prize. 

Your Feedback please:  Does $5/ticket seem like a good idea? What kinds of electronics are people into these days? What other prizes would you be interested in winning? Should we do the raffle drawing at our food event?

5. Publicize this Blog.

I’ve seen blogs where you can donate to the blogger’s cause, but have no idea how to get this set up! And honestly, I am very concerned that people’s financial information be kept safe. Also, I need to actually find time to network with other bloggers so that people besides my Facebook friends can follow along and have the opportunity to read my blog. It would be nice to maybe open the raffle up to readers. Maybe??? I don’t know…

Your Feedback please: Umm… just Help!!!

6. Work.

We certainly can’t ask people to help fund our adoption without working our hardest to save money as well.  We are both so thankful that we love our jobs so much. Tyler is tutoring on the side, and I have been working quite a bit of overtime. So far we’ve been able to pay out of pocket for the application and home study, but the other 75% of the cost is due when we finalize our adoption. 


THIS is what’s most overwhelming to me. The fund-raising part is why we decided to start the process earlier than we had originally planned. This way we have the summer to work on this, since Tyler has almost 3 months off.

I can’t sufficiently describe how it feels to need to depend on others to help you expand your family. Every gift is such.a.gift. Think about what money normally buys: food, clothing, gas, housing, repairs, medicine, vacation. Some of those things are such a drag to pay for and others – though fun and exciting – are still fleeting. The gift of a child is forever. And every little bit – even $5 – is still a part of that gift.

God will provide for us no matter what. We paid for IVF almost all by ourselves, and it was such a relief when we made our final payment on our 15-month 0% interest credit card! Adoption costs 3x what IVF cost us. But if we won the lottery it would be much less humbling than relying on the gifts of people who want to support this baby we are adopting. Not that we want to be humbled.

Wait, that doesn’t sound good.

But you know what I mean. ❤

VERY IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  You should in no way feel obligated to donate money to us just because you know us and are reading our blog. The primary purpose of this blog is to keep people updated and to create more awareness about what adoption is really like. While I think it’s important to be charitable, we all have different causes that are important to us – so give where you are led to give!