Welcome To Our Blog About Adoption From India!

Monday, April 11, 2011


many have wondered where we went...how the adoption process is coming along and why we haven't been posting. I suppose blatant honesty is best: we have been on a mini vacation from focusing on all things adoption. We are still in the adoption process but not a lot on our end has changed so we shifted to day to day life.  It started to get to me I guess, all the waiting without any real news that we were moving closer to another daughter being in our home.  I'm a very "glass overfull" type of person and so I was a bit surprised that knowing that this process would be lengthy and knowing we are all experiencing delays, that it was affecting me to the point that it was easier to pretend "what adoption...wait,...we're adopting?!" than to live with the reality that it was taking a lot longer than expected. :) that is the honest truth. We are attempting to be patient, anyway we can. 

Recently, I have been lifted by news that 11 families have been approved to pick up their children in India.  Some of these families have been waiting for this news since last May due to the delays all year in India.  I'm thrilled for all of them and know that once they have their children home, we and the families waiting on the referral list with us, will be next in line! At that time, I will go back to all things adoption and put all my energy back to getting our Lilian home...and can hardly wait to see which child God has given our family. 

So bear with us...there will be an end to this journey eventually! :)    

Monday, January 3, 2011


In my true "timely" nature, I am finally getting around to posting news that hit us on Dec 22nd...and today is what?...Jan 3rd. :)  Mostly the delay is because the week of Christmas was INSANE (go ahead I know you agree on this one!) and also because we just returned from being gone on the "crooks 12 days of christmas" tour de family.  However the news we bring is still just as bit as fabulous as it was the day we heard it!

WE GOT THE GRANT!!! (what grant you might be asking?!) "THE" grant! You know, the one that we had been praying for to eliminate our fears of how in the world we were going to come up with the money we needed to present to our agency (out of thin air no less) in the event we got the call that we had been matched with our baby....yes...THAT GRANT!  We received $5000 (go ahead and pick up our jaws while you're down there getting yours) of a much needed grant from the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation and once we receive our referral, they will cut the check and send it over to Dillon pronto.  (HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF STARTS HERE...followed by cheers of joy!) Jennifer from the foundation couldn't have been easier or nicer to work with and I'm just blown away that both the grants (this and the local one from the Titus Task Foundation) we received came out of the blue, within a week of each other and lead to such positive results. 

So now all we need is India to announce things are back up and running (fingers crossed..prayers said) and $5000-$7000 in travel expenses saved back (when pigs fly) and *presto* we have ourselves a family of 6! It's still amazing to me how you start with literally nothing but the pen in your hand and an application and nearly 2 3/4 years later are still in the running for a chance to grow your family through international adoption!  GOD is SO GOOD!  Sometimes all your need is to jump (oh and don't look down!) and you may find yourself pleasantly surprised what transpires along the way.  Here's to a HAPPY NEW YEAR and the great HOPE that our daughter will be home with her family to enjoy some of this 2011 with us!

p.s. And to those that are waiting for their babies to arrive, having faces to put upon the longing in their hearts...we wish nothing but expediency to you and pray that your part of the process goes effortlessly from this point forward! Our thoughts are with you!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Putting Relaxation To Work

Just returned from day 1 of a little chair massage at a local advertising company to promote adoption awareness, as well as do a bit of fundraising. It went fantastic and I'm looking forward to a little more "R&R" tomorrow. The people were great and very encouraging about adoption. I even met one girl who is herself an adoptee from Korea and what an awesome opportunity to speak one on one with someone that can share a bit of perspective of what it was like to grow up in a similar situation as we foresee our Lilian experiencing one day.  I'm continually impressed with the people in our area...we have diversity as well as lots of families that are "pro-adoption" and particularly pro INTERNATIONAL adoption.  It's exciting to be a part of a community like this. 

In further great news, I received a call after the fundraising job from a woman who works with a grant organization that we are hoping to hear some great news from anyday now. She had a few more questions to ask us but was pretty positive that we should be awarded some sort of grant before the holidays! (whoo hoo!!!) The only thing left to be decided would be the amount, so prayers please!!! At a time when most everything "adoption" is up in the air, it would be a god send to have this particular facet of the adoption no longer a concern.  We would naturally be grateful for ANY amount as this is not something we have ever been able to do by ourselves, so we feel very blessed at the moment for opportunities to work and gifts we've received too. 

Lastly, I need to commend a local and very talented woman we love for taking it upon herself to create and hand paint clay monsters to raise money for our adoption. I was floored the first time she handed me a wad of cash and told me what she's been up to!  :)  They are beyond unique and we have 4 (one for each of our girls) that we got awhile back and LOVE them.  If anyone is local and interested in getting their hands on one, you can go and meet the owner of the store (and clay monster extraordinaire!), Betty Morris @

Avalon Nutrition & Indian Food

(479) 582-9158
1388 N College Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72703

Enjoy the holidays and be safe! Every day we are one day closer to bringing home our daughter! :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Patience is a Virtue indeed

 We have heard news today about the delays going on in India.  They seem to be continuing with no clear end in sight. I had hoped that any day we would have the great news that babies were being matched to families again and we were up next! I guess that was a bit unrealistic on my part but once you have an idea in your head of how this adoption is supposed to go, well it's a bit hard to shake! (I feel there might be a lesson I'm supposed to be learning here but can't seem to place my finger on it...something about "THY will not MY will be done?" haha)

 Our director of the India program mentioned in her letter today that India is implementing some changes to their guidelines on adoption and should be releasing those changes in the next couple of months. One of the changes that will take place is that there will be extra documentation that is required of adoptive families after we accept our match with a baby.  Another change is in how a child is cleared for domestic and international adoption.  This change will determine when a baby is ok'd to be adopted and therefore offered to a family that is waiting for a match with a child.  This would be the part that would affect us the most since we have not been matched with a baby yet.  Once the referral is accepted, it appears that the delays will continue making each step of this process a bit longer to complete than it used to, at least temporarily so.  Currently, the families that have been already matched with a child are having delays of their own and until they can pick up their babies and come home, there will be no room for any additional babies at the orphanage to come in. 

Not sure what to feel about all of this really.  At first I'm disappointed...naturally.  We had originally thought by this point we would not only be matched with our daughter but looking forward to traveling sometime end of spring of next year to bring her home.  Now it is all up in the air. I have no estimated time frame and at this point am not sure if we will be traveling next year at all.  At the same time I feel conflicted as God has been driving this adoption from the beginning and I can't lose sight of how He has a view that I don't have.  So I am continuing to be patient.  There is nothing on my end that can be done to bring things together any sooner than they will be and this does allow us more time to gather finances together so that when things start moving again, we will be ready!   (see... now I'm climbing back up on my perch of optimism!) 

This is the news. It is something, at least to gain a bit of perspective from.  So now what?  I suppose what's left is to settle in and enjoy the enriched life we already have rolling and see who around us could use a bit of encouragement and help as a much needed distraction from our stalled progress.  Time spent waiting for something to happen is not always wasted but can be the most worthwhile time ever spent in the end.  We will continue to appreciate everyday as we have been given and when the time comes, we will be very thankful and thrilled to welcome another daughter into our family!

"All human wisdom is summed up in two words - wait and hope"  ~Alexandre Dumas Pere

Friday, November 12, 2010


YAY! We found out yesterday that we were chosen to be awarded a $1000 grant from the Titus Task Foundation.  I feel so overwhelmed with joy!  This foundation is run by the Tugwell family and they offer one grant a year to one family in the NWA area and we are it! :) At this point we are putting most of our eggs in the "hoping to get a grant" basket to complete the rest of our adoption.  We have been so blessed to have made $1800 in fundraising and donations since August and we still have one more grant we are waiting to hear back about by the end of the month.  I am prayerful and hopeful that we will continue on with this adoption even despite the hurdles we seem to always have in front of us.  There are times it feels that this may never come to be real but on days like today, you see that it can be possible once again!  The comfort from not having much in the way of news is that you remind yourself from other trials you have gone through that God will see you through, no matter what outcome that entails.  On days it feels impossible, you tell yourself that perhaps the whole point is to go on the journey and use the tools that he has given and to sharpen your character and maybe that is enough. 

In India, things continue to be slow moving. Our India director is getting back today from a trip to India and I'm hopeful that she brings good news on the progress over there.  I imagine the face of our daughter daily and am prayerful that we will still be able to bring her home by the summer of next year. I think of those in front of us on the waiting list or waiting to pick up their child and know that they too wait along with us and are equally hopeful for good news. In the meantime, we rejoice in the kindness of the Tugwell family for establishing a grant encouraging people in our area to be able to adopt and for educating people on the many ways we come to be "family".  I feel thankful to live in an area that is "pro-adoption" and excited that more and more people are opening their minds and hearts to adoption.     

You can go to www.thetitustask.com to learn more about this Northwest Arkansas adoption grant opportunity and learn about an amazing family's journey to adoption and how they came to give other families the chance to build their family as well through their organization. 

On a quick side note: I want to congratulate a good friend of mine, Charla, for the recent birth of their daughter Emeline. Emelines birth mom, Nikohl, did fantastic and I am amazed at her strength and love for her children.  I feel blessed to know both of these women and to be able to see this relationship bloom between them. Emeline will never be without love in this world!  God is good!

Friday, October 22, 2010

all is quiet on the home front

Nothing new to report here. Everything with India is on temporary hold until the month of October ends. So things will be a little quiet for another couple of weeks at least as far as our adoption is concerned.  However, as luck would have it (or God for that matter), I went ahead and had a little surgery done last week since we had nothing better to do (haha!) and am recovering nicely.  Don't worry, nothing major..just bilateral hernia surgery, a varicose vein stripped and abdominal tear repair...(I'm a little like humpty dumpty right now...but they were quite lovely pregnancy battle scars I suppose!) sounds fun huh?! I will be out for at least 6 weeks from work and in bed for one more if not two more weeks..ugh. My mom is here (she rocks!) for the first two and Todd will be off for week 3, along with meals from church being brought in that week so we will be FINE! It was a "now or never" type of thing where we knew eventually our number would be called up to go pick up our daughter from India and since we couldn't pinpoint when and we knew I'd need a month and a half recovery for this..well, here we are! I'm happy to have it over with. The month leading up to it I was dragging my feet wondering daily if I'd cancel or actually go through with it.  I believe it's a blessing that we had it during a month that adoption-wise things are a bit more calm.  And I will be a stronger, healthier version of myself when I am back to being me again..so yay all around. Currently, I am feeling slightly spoiled as mom and girls and husband are all at my beck and call.  A girl could get used to this! :)  However, you know it's funny when you start to fantasize about what it will be like to cook for your family again instead of a the typical "if only I had an hour to myself' daydream us busy women normally have..I guess the break has been nice but I'm ready to be back on my feet once again.  Hope this finds you all doing well!  Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This and That

A fellow adoptive mom passed this info to me and so I thought in turn I'd pass it along to anyone that has adopted recently (or thinking ahead for when they do complete the adoption) and wishing they had professional pictures to capture the moment but not wanting to add another financial straw to the camel's back. Really neat that you can get pro-bono photography from some of your areas best photographers...at least most of the ones I saw for my area were good...and includes a free sitting fee and proofs.  As long as you do it in the year after you adopt, you should have no problems.  So check it out! Yay! for kind hearted business professionals! Makes me think of an idea for my own business...


Then for those of you in the NW Arkansas area who are past the home study process and looking for grants available (or for those that are just interested in a very moving story of the couple who set this foundation up based on their own adoption) then check out The Titus Task Foundation. If you are interested in helping out the foundation to raise money so they can keep the grant alive AND wanting to race in their fundraiser, there is one on Oct 16th out of Siloam Springs....it would HAVE to be the day after I am having hernia surgery naturally, but next year the good ol' Crooks family is there!


On a funny side note, an awesome graphic designer who does my business logo and cards,  put together and donated these business cards that say our blog site address (bandofcrooks.blogspot.com) on one side and "Donate To Bring Our Baby Home" on the other. I love them and they are great for handing to people interested in following along with our adoption story as well as raising awareness for adoption in general. Friends have left them at schools, dr. offices, and hair salons as well as restaurants and just kept them for themselves. It was only recently that I realized that most of the people that pick up a card do not have any idea of who we are nor does it explain on the cards that "Crooks" is our last name...which means these random folks have no idea why our blog site is humorously titled "bandofcrooks" nor why they are prodded to "donate to our adoption" via these cards we hand out...they are instead left thinking A) "is this some kind of joke?" or B), "why would I donate to a bunch of crooks that will take our money and run!" Hahahahaha! Irony is hilarious isn't it! :)  We have had a really good laugh at imagining what people must initially be thinking...on the flip side, it has to get some people REALLY curious as to what is going on and maybe they come and take a look for themselves which is exactly the point in the first place.