Monday, November 9, 2009


Friday I posted asking you to pray.  I want to take a little time to share with you why now.  Before I start, its important for you to understand that for our adoption we are working with 2 different agencies.  Our formal adoption agency is FCA, based out of Connecticut.  They are the agency we're seeking placement through.  The second agency is Bethany Christian Services, who prepared our homestudy that was to be sent to Korea.  Our original desire was to adopt from Korea through Bethany because they are a local, Christian agency and we've had friends use them in the past and have a very positive experience.  However, their program is hard to get into as they draw a lot of families but are only allowed to place a certain number of children each year (i.e. they may have 20 families interested in adopting from Korea each year but only be allowed to place 10).  These families get chosen by a ranking system sort of based on need - families with infertility or no children get chosen first, etc - so it meant we were unlikely to get chosen into their program.  That is why we started looking out of state for an agency who didn't work the same way.  We found FCA, who had a long-standing, highly recommended program and chose to go with them, but we still needed a local agency to complete our homestudy.   So that's the background you need to know.

Late Friday afternoon I got a call from the adoption specialist who prepared our homestudy at Bethany.  She was calling with "good and bad news".  The bad news was that they had received word from FCA that the agency they work with in Korea would no longer accept a homestudy that was prepared by Bethany.  Also, because our original homestudy was prepared by Bethany, they would not be comfortable using ANY homestudy prepared for us.  Basically, the agency FCA works with in Korea would not refer us a child because we had worked with Bethany.

However, she also had good news.  The director of the Korea program at Bethany was able to find us a spot in their program.  Not only that, they would use our original homestudy date of June 3 (I think) as our application date, and therefore we wouldn't have to start our waiting all over again.

While this was exciting, it was also scary, since its not at all what we've been planning for months now.  Also, our concerns were: what was the difference in cost?, and what about the money we'd already paid to FCA?  The Bethany program is almost identical in cost to the FCA program, so we are still only going to be needing to trust God for about the same amount.  Also, I spoke with FCA today and they are refunding all of our money!  They are so disappointed and frustrated that they weren't told of this issue earlier (they had worked with Bethany in the past with no issues) and want to do whatever they can to help us complete our adoption.  While we haven't given Bethany our 100% final answer, we believe that this is now the way we're headed.  It is so amazing to see that God has provided not only the passion for our adoption, but he is breaking down all barriers to its happening, and even providing what we first desired and didn't think we could have (working through Bethany)!

Thank you for all your prayers and please keep them coming - we truly believe they are working!  God has clearly been providing for us so far and we continue to trust him with the rest of this process. 

Love to all!

Friday, November 6, 2009


There's a little switching and swapping going on in our adoption realm right now.  Would you join us in praying it will all smooth out?  We'll post details as soon as we have something concrete to share!

Thank you!

Monday, September 7, 2009


Below is an excerpt of the prayer and support letter we recently sent to many of our friends via email. We are working on a hard copy for family and the less technologically inclined, which we should be sending out soon. This is about the most concise explanation of why we are adopting, and why we chose South Korea to adopt from. It is written from my (Andrea's) perspective.

Dear friends

We hope this letter finds you well! As you may have heard already, Matt and I are in the process of adopting a child from South Korea. We’re writing to you today to share our adoption journey with you and to ask if you would be interested in participating with us in bringing our child into their “forever family”.

Both Matt and I have considered adoption as an open possibility since we got married. My pregnancies with Eli and Anna were very physically and emotionally difficult. We ruled out any more natural births after Anna was born, but we left the decision to grow our family further through adoption open-ended.

In November of 2008 I visited an orphanage in India for about 5 days. While there, I found it very easy to love the children and I felt the conviction that it was time to consider making steps toward adoption. At the very same time Matt began feeling emotionally prepared to start the process as well. When I returned home we had a long talk about our hopes for our family and the idea of adoption. We also met with some friends who had recently completed an international adoption and asked them all sorts of questions about the process and decision making that goes into international adoption. That next week we began the process ourselves!

Matt and I both felt a desire to adopt a child with Asian/Indian Asian heritage, and therefore took steps to determine what countries we were eligible to adopt from in this region. Since making the decision to adopt from South Korea we have learned a lot about the reasons children are put up for adoption in that country.

“Bearing a child outside of marriage brings shame to the birth mother, her child, and her immediate and extended families… When a child has no legal father, a fact easily discerned from the [mandatory] family register, both birth mother and child face social discrimination throughout their lives. In most cases they risk losing family ties and thus a social and financial safety net. They [both mother and child] may also sacrifice prospects for marriage or a sustainable livelihood.” (an excerpt from I Wish for You a Beautiful Life, Ed. Sara Dorrow).

We recognize that we are blessed as Americans to be able to give hope to a child who may have limited opportunities in their country of birth. We are already in excited preparation for the child we will bring home, and are thrilled to discover who our child will be! From this point, we are approximately a year away from bringing our child home. We know that the child will have a heritage and a history that we hope to be able to teach to them as they grow. We are looking forward to bringing Korean culture to our family. This will not only benefit our adopted child, but also allow our entire family to have a better understanding of the world. We are excited for the chance to provide a future of love, hope, and opportunity for the child we will adopt!

Because of the nature of international adoption, there are many people involved both in the United States and in the adoptive country. This in combination with all of the governmental and miscellaneous fees makes international adoption quite expensive. We are fully convinced that God will provide the funds we need to adopt a child, and ask that you would prayerfully consider joining us in this venture. You will not only be making an investment in our family, but an eternal investment into the life of a child who might otherwise not have the same opportunity for love and freedom.

*We think it will be an amazing testimony to our child to share with him or her the love and faith that was surrounding the entire process of their adoption. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want to know more about the adoption!

With love,

Matt and Andrea Moberly

As stated in the letter, we'd love to hear from you if you want more adoption info or have any questions. We are thrilled to be sharing this experience with all of you and appreciate the all support we've already been receiving to this point!

* Some information (mailing address, etc) was removed to protect our family's privacy.


Matt and I took the kids +1 (our nephew) downtown to the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday to get our fingerprints taken. This is the last governmental hoop to jump through prior to traveling to Korea, so yay! That is assuming our fingerprint results show no criminal activity, which I think is 100% likely :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And We're Off!

I got confirmation yesterday that our paperwork has indeed left for South Korea (on 7/23)! For me, this feels almost like the positive pregnancy test :) The expected wait time for a referral is up to 9 months at this point, so unfortunately we're looking at a longer wait than we were hoping for. However, this is always subject to change, so who really knows?! We are almost done with our support letter, and will be sending that out soon. We are so thrilled to finally be in the "wait" stage!

Monday, August 3, 2009

No News

There's nothing much to report right now on the adoption front! We are still waiting for our paperwork to be sent to Korea. We got a few things in a little late and had to wait till August for it to go. Right now we're pretty focused on enjoying the last few weeks of summer and getting geared up for school to begin next week! Please continue to pray with us for smooth sailing with all the paperwork!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


This week has brought about a change in focus for Matt and I. Up to this point everything we've done has been to work toward the ever-nearing date of our paperwork packet being sent to Korea (July 15th at the latest!). Now that our homestudy is essentially completed we've been stepping back, getting a fresh perspective and getting really, really excited! It feels so good to be on the other side of the paperwork and to have time to resume dreaming of our soon-to-be child :)

However, with the homestudy being completed and the paperwork being sent off comes all of the financial responsibilities. We're in the process of stripping away anxiety, pride, and fear, and beginning to trust God to provide the money we need. We're drafting a support letter, filling out grant and interest-free loan applications, and taking the next steps of faith toward the goal God set before us last November.

Another item of note is that if we calculate back from the approximate age the child will be when we get them (10-12 months) and the length of time it will probably be before we go to pick up our child (approx. 9-10 months), then we can see that our child is probably already born or about to be! Please join us in continuing to pray for the child's health, and for the mother who is making the choice to put her child's life and happiness ahead of her own. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Done Reading!

Hello, it's Matt. Tonight, I'm celebrating a milestone in our adoption journey... we are officially done with the "study" part of the application process! It blows my mind.

Well, to be more accurate, it would blow my mind if there were any pieces left intact. The last few months of online training and book study have completely shattered the paradigm that I initially approached adoption with. Through our reading, we've gained amazing insight into the experiences of birthmothers, the challenges for internationally adopted children in assembling a strong multiracial identity, and the long process of defining and shaping concepts of adoption with adopted children as they grow. So much insight, in fact, that I'm have a hard time connecting those initial wonderous, excited feelings I had late last year to my new understanding of my role. In a word, I feel disoriented.

I am really looking forward to taking this month to get my head out of the books and let my heart catch back up with my mind. I am truly excited about a third child. I am truly excited about our family embracing diversity on such an intimate level. I am TRULY excited about doing something bold with the boundless love that Jesus is filling our home with! But it's hard to feel excited while poring over chapter after chapter of statistics and research findings. (I'm going to go out on a limb and assume I don't need to qualify that statement.)

So, while I'm extremely grateful for the gift of new wisdom and insight into the world of adoption, I am indescribably happy to put an end to this chapter and get back to imagining our own very personal, unique future that lies ahead as a family. Thank you for being part of it!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


We've been given some more specific dates for our adoption. Our paperwork will now be going to Korea in July (a few families dropped out of the program and we got moved up!). At this point they are seeing a 6 month wait to be matched with children. That would put us into January. Once we have been matched, we will review all the paperwork on the child, ask an international adoption specialist about any heath issues, and then accept the referral if we're ready to do so. Then it is about a 3-4 month wait while all of the legal issues are worked out. So right now we're looking at somewhere around May/June 2010 as our date to bring our newest addition home!

If you're praying, please ask God to bless our child's health. At this point, it is most likely our baby has already been conceived! Pray for the mother of the child as she is dealing with the very difficult decision to give her child up, pray also for her health and that she is receiving support from the people in her life.

Thanks for all the continued support!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Disabilities, Revisited

Back in February we had to make some decisions about the types and severities of disabilities we would be willing to consider accepting in our adopted child. It wasn't easy, but we felt confident with our decisions when we were finished. However, we were contacted by our adoption specialist last week and asked to re-consider some of our choices. She was not trying to talk us out of the decisions we made, rather she was providing some new information that she felt we may not have had.

She shared that by checking some of the specific issues we had, it would almost guarantee that we would recieve a child with that issue. One of these was cleft lip. Cleft lip is not life-threatening in any way and is easily corrected by surgery. The surgery leaves a scar and therefore the child would not look "perfect". Matt and I felt confident that our child's physical appearance would not be an issue for us, and therefore felt comfortable saying we would accept a child with this issue. However, we hadn't considered what this might mean for the child.

As our adoption specialist pointed out (and we had also read in Does Anybody Else Look Like Me), our child will face some difficulties being the only person of Asian descent in our family. From what we understand, it is difficult for interracially adopted children at different stages of their life when they become oddities because they don't "match" the rest of their family. For some countries this is why it is not preferable to place children in a home that already has multiple "matching" children. It seems that interracially adopted children will face not only the expected insecurities of adoption ("Why did my mother give me up?", "Was I not a good baby?", etc) but will also face the challenge of explaining to their peers why they look nothing like their parents or siblings. They may hear things like "That can't be your mom/sister/dad, they're not Korean!" It is easier for these children if they are one of multiple adopted children with the same racial background, but when they are singled out it becomes very difficult. This is also true of a child with cleft lip. Once appearance becomes important (in early elementry school age) children with cleft lip can feel isolated and "different" due to the normally very obvious facial scar. How much more difficult would it be then for an interracially adopted child with cleft palate when they reach that same critical stage? Not only do they not "match" their family, but their scar makes them different even from other children of their racial heritage.

We are prepared to help our child understand that God forms families in many ways, and that God used another mother from another racial background to bring our child into the world. I am confident that with love and encouragement and constant communication we can overcome any difficult situation that our child will face. However, we now have to take a step back from what we're ok with and consider what is truly best for the child. Its not an easy decision, and we are going to have to go over our entire medical assessment again from the perspective of considering the child's interests first. Please pray with us as we do so!

Paperwork Push

We found out last week that we had the opportunity to move our "paperwork date". The paperwork date is what I call the day they will send all our info and homestudy to Korea. It was originally scheduled to happen in August, but last week our adoption coordinator contacted us and said that several couples had dropped out of the program and if we wanted we could move our date to July, assuming our homestudy was completed on time. Considering all that is left to complete our homestudy is Matt's physical (scheduled for the end of the month) and finishing 2 books, I think we're on track to be done with time to spare. Its starting to get exciting, but boring at the same time. It will be very exciting to have our paperwork all filled out and off to Korea, but then the boring part will come - waiting. However, once our homestudy is complete we will be able to apply for grants and/or no-interest loans to off-set the cost of adoption, so I guess it will become a whole new paperchase then. Phew. Who knew adoption would be such a labor!? It is not deterring us, however, we are just as excited as when we started :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Home Visit

Our adoption specialist visited the house yesterday. It was her only pre-adoption visit. She had to check around the house and get a good idea of the neighborhood so that she can include that information in our homestudy. We also had a talk about our parenting styles and she shared some information about parenting an internationally adopted infant. The biggest thing to consider is that it is HIGHLY suggested that the parents are the only ones to provide the baby's basic needs (changing diapers, feeding, rocking to sleep, soothing, etc) for a period of time after the baby comes home. This is to help the child bond with the parents and form a strong attachment. It will be interesting for us as we will have to scale back some of our involvement in outside activities, but it is the same type of thing you would do with a newborn that was biological - our "extracurriculars" will take a back seat to our new addition :) It is all starting to become more real! After we finish reading our books (I have one left, Matt has about 1.5) and we attend two courses at the Bethany office we will be done! Whew, its hard to believe we're at that point. After that, we wait... that begins a whole new chapter of the adoption experience!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


The major focus for Matt and I over the last few weeks has been Pre-adoption education. There are requirements that the homestudy agency and adoption agency have set out, and then there's just the curiosity that we have over what we're getting ourselves into. Matt is in the middle of the Hague Adoption counsel's online adoption course that is a requirement for our adoption. Its eight hours of information all about international adoption. I finished it a few weeks ago and found all the info quite insightful. I've also been reading couple of other books that are part of our requirements: I Wish for You a Beautiful Life, Does Anybody Else Look Like Me, and Talking With Young Children About Adoption.

I Wish for You a Beatiful Life is a great book full of insights about why many children are place for adoption in Korea. It is the only book we're required to read that deals specifically with adoption from South Korea. It contains letters from birth mothers written to their children as a part of the healing process following giving their children up for adoption. It gave me a much better understanding of the reasons for so many children being adopted outside of Korea.

I've started reading Does Anybody Else Look Like Me and can see it will be very helpful. It teaches parents how to deal with the questions that will inevitably come up as children recognize they do not look the same as their parents. It also gives age-specific ways to introduce the ideas of race and nationality and help children develop a healthy self-image and sense of heritage. I can see this book being one we return to time and again!

I haven't started reading the last book yet. I can only read so much at once! I'm looking forward to learning more to be prepared for this huge journey we're embarking upon.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Adoption Specialist

We met with our adoption specialist, Susan, for the first time yesterday. This is the woman who will be writing our homestudy that will be sent to Korea. It was a very good meeting! We got some paperwork and questions out of the way, and then we spent the rest of the time answering questions. Basically Susan's job is to learn as much as she can about our family in the 3-4 meetings that we have and then write out a comprehensive review that the Korean adoption agency can look at. It will help them in choosing a specific child for us. Susan did her best to reduce our anxiety about the meeting, assuring us that this isn't the "weeding out" part of the process. We've already been through that, and now is just the learning part of the process. She will learn about us, and we will learn about adoption from Korea.

The questions we were asked this time related to our motivation for adoption, specifically international adoption. And then more specifically "why Korea?" This is the question that is often the most difficult for us to answer concisely. I think (hope!) we did an adequate job of presenting our motivations.

We learned some interesting and probably important things from Susan last night. First, she described for us what our child would most likely be like when we go to pick them up. She told us that Korean foster mothers will in most cases carry the baby everywhere all day long. The babies typically co-sleep (sleep in bed with foster parents). Also, Korean mothers wake an infant up multiple times a night to feed them, as they believe babies should not go an entire night without feeding. There are several implications of all this. First, our child will most likely have low muscle tone when we receive it. We will have to do a lot of lifting and carrying. She said they quickly are able to adjust and build muscle, but the child will most likely prefer being held to playing on the floor. Second, the child will have to either sleep with us or in our room until we are able to wean it away into a crib and its own space. Also, since the babies are fed all night long, they are typically around 25 lbs! So, I guess its time to break out the weights and start preparing my body to be a mom :) All of this was REALLY good information for me as I think I would have been totally unprepared for that. I would expect our child to be at the same developmental stages as an American child of the same age. I am excited to continue learning more!

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's Criminal

Matt came home early yesterday to go with me to the Hendricks County Sheriff's Dept. so we could get local criminal history checks. Apparently the Sheriff's Department is IN the county jail, so that was interesting. We have scheduled our first meeting with our Case Worker who will prepare our homestudy for next week. It will be nice to finally meet someone face-to-face since most of this process has been done over the phone or by email!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More Paperwork

We got another packet of paperwork today. I can't believe how many forms a family has to fill out to adopt! Most of the forms are legal documents. The most interesting of them to me was a form that made us decide what types of possible birth defects we'd consider. That's a difficult thing to do, considering no child is unworthy of a loving family. Its hard to say "no, I won't take that child because it has X defect". But, as the paper stated, we needed to consider what types of defects we as a family could handle. Some for us would be easy, others very hard either emotionally or physically. In the end I feel we made choices that reflect our values and personalities. Its up to God to give us the child that's really meant for us!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Just before Valentine's day I was feeling a lot of stress and anxiety over the whole adoption process. There's just tons of paperwork to fill out: agreements to sign, letters to write, applications to fill out, info to compile... it started to become overwhelming. Part of the problem is that for a long time I was doing all of the legwork, but not really taking the time to process the whole thing. Friday night Matt and I sat down and had a long discussion where I really had the opportunity to unearth all of my frustrations, concerns, and fears. I want to think that I'll be fine - that I won't get caught up in the emotion of the whole process, but I realized that night that its a big deal! Its emotional, its exciting, its scary! We're not just filling out forms to help a child out of a bad place, but we're actually bringing a new life into our family. It should be just as emotional as a pregnancy, if not more, since you have to wait longer and you're totally at the mercy of someone else's judgment about your capability of caring for a child. That time of processing was very healing for me, and I now feel ready to face the mountain of paperwork ahead :)


Thanks for joining us on our journey to adopt! Our adoption story began years ago with a desire in Andrea's heart to adopt some day. It was furthered by having 2 difficult pregnancies. We still wanted to expand our family, but did not want to experience the stress of pregnancy again. The decision was confirmed by a conviction in our hearts to extend our family outside of the standard American experience. This conviction came to us separately while Andrea was visiting India and Matt was staying with our children. We both believe that we are called to know and love the people that God has created all over the world. What a better way to know and love someone than to have them in your very own family?!

We are currently in the very early stages of the homestudy process, and hope to send our paperwork to South Korea for matching late this summer.