Interview Time

I can’t begin to tell you how many people ask me on a fairly regular basis, “So how’s that adoption thing coming along?” My usual response is usually something to the effect of, “It’s coming along. It’s a lot of rush, rush, rush… wait…. rush, rush, rush… wait…” Sadly, that is the nature of the process. Hurry up and get all the paper work in so that you can wait for the evaluation of it and then get more paper work to fill out.

This morning we had our first of three interviews in the home study process. This was two hours of us and the social worker, Mary Beth, talking about our relationship, our jobs, our lifestyle, and anything else she decided to ask about. It was actually rather fun. Aside from the lack of sleep last night in anticipation. Turns out that Mary Beth is really nice (go figure, huh?). The whole interview was much less daunting than some would assume (actually far less painful than the actual preparatory questionnaire and forms).

Near the end of the interview we had to answer a bunch of yes/no questions that had to do with some of the legal aspects of the process. Here’s the part that made us feel good about how things were going:

“Have you ever been rejected in a home study or adoption program?”

“No… not yet…”

“Well, it looks like you should be okay this time too!”

Next up is… more forms (including physicals and more financial documentation). Our next interview will be 4/23 and that will be individuals (while one of us talks with Mary Beth the other will watch a video of some sort) and then a week later will be the in-home evaluation (assuming all our papers are done by then).

Stay tuned for more details! 🙂

Counting our blessings…

So, it’s been a while since our last update… Life keeps marching on. We have turned in the second (or is this the third?) batch of paperwork for our adoption. This is the one where we had to prove we had wills, life insurance policies, etc. as well as answering all sorts of questions (pages in fact) on everything from parenting philosophy to personality to how we met each other and everything in between. We’re currently in the waiting process again — this time for our references to come back, so that we can schedule our interviews. And then, of course comes the visit in our home and — you guessed it — another batch of paperwork.

We’ve been celebrating with several friends though in the meantime: George and Holly had their first, Elia, on Jeff’s birthday in November. In the beginning of February came two more bundles of joy: Jeremy & Anita’s second, Tyler; and Peter and Brandi’s second, Elijah. Greg and Sara also just had their second, Grace, last Saturday (and are still waiting on finalization for Mathieu to come home from Haiti to live with them). Joel and Andi just received their referral for two little ones (a 2-year-old girl and an 8-month-old boy) from Ethiopia. Noah and Carol are expecting their first, Micah, in June. Ben and Rachel are getting married in June. So wow… as far as blessings go, we’re just counting and counting!

That’s about it for now. I think it’s time to go and feed the boys!


The Further Mediocre Adventures of Us!

The questions of, “So, where are you in this whole adoption process thing?” have been ramping up of late, and I realize it’s been a while since our last post. So, here’s where we’re at:

Filling out forms, answering questionnaires.

“But wait,” I hear you say, “Isn’t that where you were a month ago? Doesn’t that mean that things are going really, glacially, astonishingly slowly?”

Yes. Yes, that’s what it means. Things are going ridiculously slowly. And the main culprit of that is our own, gonzo-crazy schedule. But, we’re making headway (slow as it is), so there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It’s just a very, very long tunnel. 🙂

Also, I discovered the meaning of the phrase, “comment spam,” as I’ve gotten about two dozen comments on the blog of late from people offering pictures of Egyptian lotus flowers that go to websites that have names like, “”. I may need to restrict the way comments are registered, just so I’m not forever having to delete things like that. Shouldn’t be too much of a hardship on you, the actual readers of the site. Please don’t let any changes prevent you from posting! I like reading them and pretending I have a social life…



Sorry about the lack of new toon on the un-suffixed version of the site. Had a busy weekend. Actually finally working on creating a cast page. Something that I started doing back in, oh, 2004 or so, but just never followed through.

Main reason for this post (and the title) was that yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. And I did something I’ve never done before: I listened to the entirety of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Inspiring stuff, I tell you. Dr. King was a gifted orator, a magnificent visionary, and while the world has continued since, it has been made incomprehensibly worse-off by the loss of his voice.

God bless you, Dr. King.

Merry Christmas!

So, I didn’t ever get around to sending Christmas cards this year, but I’m thinking a lot about my family and friends and how incredibly blessed I am. I have more friends and family than a lot of people in this world, and there’s a lot of love from everyone. As I read cards and letters sent to us, I continually thanked God for each one of you who touch our lives.

This has been another busy year in the Burkholder house. Dante is now three with everything that entails. He’s very independent, and is a “good helper” as he constantly reminds us. He’s decided that one or two naps per week is really more than enough for him (despite the fact that Mommy still seems to need more than that!). His favorite things to do usually involve some sort of letters or numbers and he’s becoming very proficient with the mouse on the computer (parents who use computers have children who use computers). He also LOVES playing games with us, especially Uno, Memory, and Chutes & Ladders.

Jeff is still working full-time at D&E Communications running numbers and theoretically helping things to run more smoothly for the company. We are still sharing our part-time job at Hosanna Christian Fellowship as Program Director/Coordinator, but have scaled hours back to 10 for each of us for the upcoming year. As much as we love working at the church, it will be nice to have a bit of extra family time! I recently joined the worship team at church and am loving the chance to sing more often again!

The biggest news of course is our upcoming adoption. We are still working on our formal application but hope to really get the process in full-swing come January. For more on that, please see previous posts here. Dante doesn’t entirely understand all of what is going on yet, but he knows that Mommy and Daddy are working on getting him a sister or brother. He’s apparently decided that he will have a little sister, because this is what he talks about the most. Hope he isn’t disappointed if he ends up with a little brother instead!

We’re all looking forward to Christmas. Dante has been ready for weeks and he’s been very excited, hyper, and occasionally ornery as a result. If he could just kick this cold he seems to have caught, he could enjoy the holidays a bit more. He’s very proud of our Christmas tree with the blue lights and tells everyone about it!

If I can figure out how to upload some family photos I will do that soon. I tried earlier and didn’t do something right apparently… Maybe I can get Jeff to help with that later. We’ll do our best to keep this blog updated this year, so please check back soon!

Merry Christmas to all of you and your families!

–Nean (on behalf of all three Burkholders)

Christmas Hijinks

So, Friday was Dante’s birthday, and given that he just turned three, he didn’t really have that lengthy of a wish list. Pretty much the only thing he specifically asked for was to go to Isaac’s for supper. Love that kid. 😉 Anyway, as we’re packing him into the car to head back home after supper, he announces that, “Now, we go home, put on our pajamas, and get ready for Christmas!” Cute, huh?

We decided on Saturday to follow through with that: The get ready for Christmas part, specifically. We ran out to Wal-Mart to pick up a new artificial tree, since we chucked our old, mangy one last year. After a brief flirtation with a pre-lit (and over-priced!) tree, we decided to go with a regular one, which was half the price, and after all, “We have all those lights at home, anyway.” We bring it back home, put Dante down for a nap, and start to move furniture around in the living room to accommodate the new tannenbaum.

That’s when we discover the wall behind our Futon was starting to fall apart. Old, painted-over wallpaper was peeling away from the mildewed plaster. A quick visit from my mom (quick house-repairer extraordinaire!), a bucket o’ bleach, and a tub of ready-to-use spackle later, and we’ve got the wall fixed, and the tree is on its way to being set up.

After completion of the tree, we rifle through the boxes of decorations looking for the lights. A brief exchange follows:

“I can’t find the lights!”
“Um…You sure you brought all the decoration boxes down from the attic?”
“They were the only ones there!”
(insert attic rummage here)
“I can’t find the lights!”
“Told you.”

It’s at this point that we recall that we chucked the lights (read: half-burned out, tangled-up messes of wires and broken hard plastic bulbs) in addition to the tree last year. (sigh) The upside is that this led us to purchasing these nifty new LED lights that are brighter than fabled direction-pointing stars, have the life expectancy of a twinkie crossed with a cockroach, and I think if they pushed just a little bit harder in the R&D department, could actually generate electricity on their own. When these puppies turn on, you can’t help but stand there and go, “Ooooh!” Of course, part of that may be a bad reaction to the eggnog you just quaffed, but you need to take that up on your own with your stomach.

So, as you’re decorating your own domiciles this holiday season… Um, I really wanted to wrap this up with a nifty, pithy saying that would be quoted on the blogosphere for decades to come, but I got nothing. Sorry. Uh, Merry Christmas?


Updates? We don’t need no steenkin’ updates!

So, I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me and said, “Hey, you guys haven’t said anything on your blog about the adoption lately.”

Well, actually I can tell you how many times people have come up to me and said that. It’s zero. I just don’t really want to, because it makes me look emotionally needy. And I’ve heard that emotional neediness is bad for the image. Does this emotion make me look fat?

Anyway, things are progressing quite … glacially … at this point. Nean & I are still reading up on the pleasures and pitfalls of adoption. And we’re starting to stress out about what needs to be fixed around the house and whether or not we need to do it before the home study. One happy thing that kinda dropped in our laps was the fact that Sesame Street this week was doing a storyline where Gina, the veterinarian on the ‘street, went to Guatemala to adopt a baby. This very nicely helped Dante to understand the situation. In his words, “Oh! Marco’s adopted and Gina’s his mommy!” ‘Twas a good moment.

So, yeah, not much else to say. I’m sure we’ll have more news after December 11, which is when we have our class at the agency. Stay tuned.


Jeff Says…More!

Heya, folks–

This will be the semi-official site of news updates on the Burkholder family, particularly focusing on the adoption process that we’re about to undergo. What’s that you say? “Adoption?!” Yep, the Eponymous Neaner and I are planning to increase the size of our family while not increasing the size of Neaner’s waistline. Although it will involve a significant decrease in the size of our bank account. I guess you can’t add something without subtracting from somewhere else, eh?

We’re still in the process of forming this part of the website, so expect to find things looking a bit different from one day to the next. Perhaps even from one hour to the next. We’re new to the whole blogosphere and are just starting to hammer some of these things down. Watch your step; we may leave a stray nail or two lying around.

Feel free to pull up a stool, grab an apple to munch, and comment or whatever. Keep it clean and neat, though. Hard enough of a time taking care of our own messes without having to patrol yours.