Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Details About Our Adoption Match

I suppose everyone wants details about our adoption match. I love how when adoptions come together, they are just so meant-to-be.

I love this quote by Hugh Jackman who adopted his two children due to infertility. “Everyone’s in the right place with the right people. It sounds airy-fairy, but it’s something we feel very deeply.”

Yeah, it kind of does sound airy-fairy...but I know God has a hand in how this all happens. Anyway...on to the details! 

Remember my last adoption update? I mentioned we were working with a lawyer who specializes in private adoptions? This is the route we are taking.

Let me back up a little…

Back in the beginning of January, a friend from high school named Nicole messaged me on Facebook saying that her brother-in-law is an adoption attorney and was looking for more families to represent. Nicole knew my husband and I wanted to adopt through my incessantly self-serving Facebook and blog posts. :) She asked if she could forward our info to her brother-in-law. Um…let me think about that for .00041 seconds. YES!!!

The next day, the lawyer called and explained how he connected birth mothers and adoptive families through private adoptions. He spent two years serving a mission in the Marshall Islands and speaks Marshallese. There happens to be a significant population of Marshallese people living in Arkansas, including a woman he knew during his stay on the Marshall Islands. The woman he knows refers women in unplanned pregnancies considering adoption to this lawyer because he speaks their language. (BTW, the lawyer is Paul Petersen. You can contact him at

We gave the lawyer the go-ahead to show our website to potential birth moms.

We were presented with a match on February 1st and took some time to get some questions answered and search our hearts. I discovered that two women I know from my childhood also went through this lawyer. It assured me to know that people I personally know have had upstanding, good experiences with this lawyer.

With all our questions answered, we took a few days to search our hearts and pray about the situation. We officially accepted the match last week.

Here are frequently asked questions for all my hungry readers:

Due date:
June 19, 2012

Ultrasound happened on 2/7 and says the baby is a girl.

Where will the baby be born? 
Arkansas, United States

What are the birth parents like?
Birth parents are in good physical and mental health. All indications say the adoption will go smoothly with no contestation. Both birth parents are from the Marshall Islands and have lived and worked in Arkansas for some time, so our baby will be of Pacific Island descent. We do have other details on the birth family, but these details are private and it’s not my place to share them with the blogosphere.

Will we have to go to Arkansas?
Yes. We will need to be in Arkansas for ten days (let me know of any fun things to do in that state) and then we will bring the baby home.

Will we have an open adoption?
Yes. I haven’t been in contact with the birth family yet, but hopefully I will soon. We will meet and spend time together at the time of the birth and hopefully will continue contact and openness.

Is this through the same agency we used for Jocelyn's adoption?
No. Although we were listed with them, we never stopped our personal finding efforts. About half of all adoptions happen through word of mouth and this proves it. This is considered a private adoption because it is facilitated by a lawyer, not an adoption agency. 

Where are the Marshall Islands?
The Marshall Islands or, more accurately, the Republic of Marshall Islands or RMI are located in Micronesia, west of Hawaii, east of the Philippines, and north of Fiji. Basically, WAAAAY out there in the South Pacific.

photo from Wikipedia

What do Marshallese people look like?
They are Pacific Islanders like Hawaiians, Tahitians, Samoans, etc. They have brown skin, big dark eyes, and black hair. The RMI was governed by Japan for quite awhile, so some Japanese ancestry is there as well.   

I have found a few blogs of children of Marshallese descent. If you want to take a look, check out these links.

Link 1  

How does Joci feel about becoming a big sister?
It depends on the day. When I ask her if she wants a baby sister, she often says, “No.” But when I ask her if she wants a baby to come to our house and if she wants to help change diapers and feed the baby bottles, she gets excited.

What happens next? 
Like any expectant parents, we get things ready for the baby to arrive. We will correspond with the birth family as much as they want and plan our long trip to Arkansas in June. We will fly out there for the birth, stay ten days in the state per Arkansas law, possibly finalize the adoption (Arkansas let's you finalize right away), and come home and have a big party. 

We are thrilled and very fortunate. A four month wait seems so long compared to our seventeen-day wait for our last adoption, but it will be nice to have extra time to prepare (and hopefully not stress out too much). Adoption plans are fragile and fall through all the time. Yes, I am worried about that. It is a risk of any adoption and we are keenly aware of what could happen. But worrying doesn't ever do anyone a bit of good. :) For now, we are just enjoying the emotions of today and praying for this beautiful baby girl and her expectant mother. 

Did I cover everything? What else do you want to know?

P.S. I've been getting a lot of Google traffic on this post. If you have any questions for me or want any more info about my experience with my adoption, don't hesitate to contact me. Leave a comment or message me on Facebook.


Haylee said...

Oh man, is she going to be so stinking cute you can hardly stand it, or what?! Congrats again. I'm so excited for you.

Topsy said...

That's great news! Congratulations!

Amber said...

Yay, so exciting! I can't wait to follow along as you continue down this road. Prayers for strength and good health for Mom & Baby!

Jennifer Steinmetz said...

Do you have any names in mind? Or are you waiting until it gets closer?

Maria said...

I swear that race has the most beautiful babies ever! She is going to be a doll!

Candise said...

I'm so excited for you. I met a stranger this summer (I HAD to patronize her adoption garage sale) who was likely adopting from the same, or a similar attorney. I was fascinated! One of these days we need to meet in real life and chat. Do you accept dinner invitations from only-friends-on-FB-and-blogs?

Woods: said...

So excited for your family! I had chills reading this! It's definitely meant to be and you guys are going to be such great parents to two darling little girls!! Congrats!

Amy said...

How exciting! I'm so happy for you guys. :)

Jewls said...

So agree with you. You have to hope for the best! One of my favorite quotes is:
"Fear not, worrying does not rid tomorrow of it's trouble, it only empties today of it's strength!"

Sooo stinkin' excited for you guys, how exciting!

Liz Smith said...

this is so so exciting! i can't wait till june so i can see pictures of your new little bundle. congratulations again!

Hays Family said...

How fun, a new little grandaughter. I can hardly wait. We are so happy for you and us too.

BumbersBumblings said...

Congrats---sooo exciting!! Prayers for the coming months of waiting!

hope2adoptbaby said...

That is so exciting! I've been blog stalking for awhile, and may have even left a comment or two. I hope the next few months go fast...:)

Are you willing to share your attorney's information?


Alicia said...

Arkansas is just right across the Mississippi River from us! If you need anything we are in Memphis and have space to share...And congratulations! We are so happy for you.

kareydk said...

the lawyer's contact information?

Melissa Giles said...

We are so excited for you!!! She is going to be a beautiful baby and we can't wait to see her!!! What will you name her?

Anonymous said...

Hi Lara, I came across your blog in our journey to adopt from the Marshall Islands and I was wondering if you would be willing to share the name of your attorney. I have some legal questions and would like to contact him. My email is I look forward to hearing from you.

Shawn and Teresa Nilsson said...

Hi! You used our blog as one of your links and we just want to welcome you into our Marshallese community! Congratulations! We're thinking of traveling to AR this summer too, maybe we'll bump into each other :)

6 Silly Monkeys said...

Hi Lara, I was wondering if you would be willing to share the name of your attorney?
God Bless you and your family during this special time!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for your family and it's new beautiful addition.
We would love to complete our family with the gift of a child, as we are working hard to achieve this.
Would you be willing to share your lawyer's information?
Thank You,

Anonymous said...

Would you share the lawyers name and info please? :)

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have adopted one child from the Marshall islands and we're wanting to adopt again soon. We are considering a domestic Marshallese adoption through Arkansas. Can you please send me your lawyer's information? Thank you,


Anonymous said...

As many others have already asked, I would love to find out more about the attorney who your worked with. Any info would be appreciated!

You have a beautiful family!


Triebenbachs said...

We have an adopted daughter and have been looking for 2 years for another baby. We are still on the waiting list just to get in the profile book at the agency we are listed with. I would really appreciate more information about your adoption process and the contact information of your lawyer.

Anonymous said...

We are also hoping to adopt a baby of Marshallese descent and just happened to stumble across your blog. Will you please send the information for your attorney? Loved reading your story.

Anonymous said...

We adopted our first son via infant domestic adoption. His bfather chose to end his life when he was 3 months old, and since then ALL of his birthfamily has dropped out of his life. The grandmother a 4 years old. How they could walk away from my son is beyond me, but he's now getting to the age that he is beginning to process the basic info we give him. He told me one day he was so proud that we stood by him no matter what, and hopefully one day his birth family will love him again. I

I hope for their sake he keeps that outlook. As one day, he may decide they are no longer worthy enough to know him. I do wish we still had that openness, and we have tried to reach out multiple times to no avail. Congratulations on finding your little girls. Thank you for allowing me to babble.

We have begun looking to add to our family, and would ask if you would be so kind as to share the info for your lawyer. If he is still assisting with adoptions. Our email is feyfollow @ gmail. com.

Prayers and hugs for you and your family while you recover from your surgery.

In His Light!

Anonymous said...

Would love the attorney/agency contact info. We've been on the journey for almost 2 years now and are still waiting.

Thank you.


seljaasfamily said...

Could you get me the name and number of your Lawyer? The birth Mother of my niece and Nephew moved near you and my sister in law has been trying to find a Marshallese speaking attorney to help them help the Mom who is pregnant. She will most likely keep her baby, but my sister is worried about her and needs someone who speaks her language.
They had heard of him before. Couldn't remember the name. Byu, mission to marshal Islands, Attorney, Oklahoma, Arkansas...Thank you!

Reach me @

Anonymous said...

Can you please forward me your adoption layers contact information? My wife and I have adopted one child directly from the Marshall's and would love to adopt another, but adopting from the islands has become cost prohibitive after JOH was forced to stop providing adoption support.


Christian Leeloy said...

Hi there. Congratulations! I, too, would love the name of your lawyer. We're in Nashville - originally from Memphis - and are home study approved and ready to go.
Would you mind sharing the attorney's information? Much appreciated.

Christian Leeloy said...

Hi there. Congratulations! I, too, would love the contact info for your attorney. We live in Nashville - originally from Memphis - and are home study approved and ready to go.
Would you mind giving me his/her contact info?
Many, many thanks.

Adrienne Fernandes Alcantara said...

Hello, and thanks for sharing your story about adopting your baby girl from Arkansas. Like many others, I'm interested in contacting the attorney who helped with your adoption. Could you pass along his name?

Thanks very much,


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