Monthly Archives: February 2013

First home study visit? Check.

Yesterday was a BIG day in the Gressman family household. After being up off and on since 2am with our youngest child violently throwing up, and going into work exhausted, getting home just in time to put myself and the house together, We completed our first home study visit!!!

Was it successful? I have no idea.

Did it go well? I think so.

Was it informative? overwhelmingly so.

So what exactly happens at this home study visit, you ask? This is a question everyone in the adoption world contemplates. I was super nervous about the whole thing, and often thought about what it might be like. So here’s how I imagined it would go, versus what actually happened:

Imagined: A lady walks into our home, nose in the air, hair in a tight slicked back bun. She is dressed in a black pencil skirt business type suit, librarian style glasses, a clip board in one hand, and a white cleaning glove on the other. She would use this white glove to wipe her finger on every shelf and ledge to check for dust. She would walk around our home looking about in a judgmental manner, checking in drawers, under beds, cabinets, and swiping her finger, all the while busily taking notes and making noises to show her disapproval.

Reality: A super nice, down to earth woman came into our home, and treated us like old friends. She engaged in conversation with the girls and sat down to explain the HUGE list of things she would need from us. She wanted to hear our story, and made us feel like her only job was to help us. I was so nervous that I confidently claimed to have been born in Florida, and was fully satisfied in this answer until my sweet hubby corrected my mistake. When she asked what state we were wed, I simply looked at him, and he answered for us  =) I told you I was nervous.

The girls showed her around the house and then she asked to speak with Riley. She had told us weeks ago that she would be interviewing Riley, since she was over 5 years old, so we were able to brainwash, i mean, prepare Riley to answer questions. 😉 We had no idea what she would ask, and even if we did, every parent knows that your child is sure to say anything but what you would want them to. Riley was a little nervous, but she answered everything , using as little words as possible.  Here is how her interview went: (we were allowed to sit in)

“Riley, what do you think about adopting a sister?”     “good”.

“What do you like to do with your mom and Dad?”   “go to Disney”

“What do you like to do with your friends at school?”  “play”

“what do you like to do at school?”  “Work”

“What would you do to help your new sibling?”  “reach things up high for them”

The lady asked for more details on each of these not so elaborate answers, and Riley would maybe give her another word or two =)

We have a full month until we see her again. Barely enough time to gather all the paperwork needed, including copies of everything imaginable… birth certificates, passports, marriage certificate, social security, diplomas, drivers licenses, medical reports, 20 page biographies, background checks, fingerprinting, references and reference letters,  ect… AND to raise the funds we need to pay her for the home study portion. $1800.

Thank you to those who have already started praying for us, and those who have already donated funds. We have raised $350!! $1450 more needed to pay for the home study portion of the adoption.

One more step.IMG_5139my table has turned into an adoption office =)

Here we go!!


I wanted to, oh-so-cleverly, name this first post “Step One” since the heading of our blog is “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” (for reasons in which I’ll reveal at a later date) ….but, the fact is, this really isn’t step one. It is, by far, the biggest step we’ve taken, but not step one. God revealed this journey to us in September of 2009, but its only now, 3 and a half years later, with my bittersweet 30th birthday barely behind me, that we can “officially” move forward.

If you haven’t already figured it out, this is Hillary. I am sure Caleb will blog here and there, but I think we can all safely assume it will be me blogging most of the time 😉

You see, to adopt from China you must meet ALL of their requirements, including: “X”  amount of money for monthly household income, medical clearance, do’s and don’ts of family history, and even a certain Body Mass Index you are not allowed to exceed, no joke. The one requirement though that had been holding us back was the fact that “both adoptive parents must be between the ages of 30 and 55”. So, even though Caleb and I have been raising our own kids for over 6 years now, and even though we are doing a “pretty ok” job of it in my opinion, (most days anyway 😉 ), We were deemed “unfit” to adopt a child from China until both He and I were at least 30 years old. That’s because it’s apparently a magical age that makes you all the sudden responsible and mature enough to rear a child…sorry, youll have to excuse my sarcasm, I just turned 30, so the magic hasn’t quite set in =)

So on my 30th birthday, this went in the mail….IMG_4861

Happy Birthday to me….. Here we go!! (I knew that was a great second choice!!)

We have so much to tell you all, of how we got to this point, what the Lord has been saying, and how crazy this all feels, that will all come in time. For now, please read the “about us” page for basic information, and we will fill you in more as we walk in this journey together. Thank you for joining us!!! Truly, sincerely thank you!!

“I will exalt you and praise your name, for in PERFECT FAITHFULNESS you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago” !!!! Isaiah 25:1

I love the fact that although we have only just begun this journey, God had it planned for us long ago!!! And that his faithfulness is PERFECT!!!

Ps- I owe a HUGE “THANK YOU”  to my brother-in-law, Ben, for putting in the time and effort to set up this blog up for us, and having the patience to help with all my questions. He’s a computer genius, and I’m really bad at computer stuff.  Thank you Ben!!!