Shamblen Adoption

Hi There!

Thank you for checking out our fundraiser and taking the time to read our story. We are full of gratitude and thanks to all those who choose to donate, monetaryily or through prayers and support in other ways!

We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to all who have given so genorously to us already. We have been thoroughly showered with love, support, a temporary place to stay in NE, meals, baby clothes, diapers,  blankets, car seats and more! We had nothing, and at this point there has been a complete baby explosion in our home : )

Our Story

As a couple we are grounded in our faith and believe in God and that although life is not always easy or go the way we would like, we will trust Him. We believe this trust has brought us to where we are today.  We believe in being thankful for what we have, and that everything we have is truly a gift from God. Today we write this as a humbled couple who has finally been able to grow our family through the amazing gift of Adoption, we write this with the new identities of Mom and Dad.

We have dreamed about the day we would have kids since we were dating. Children to guide, love, and help grow up to be the best people they can be. We are overjoyed to be able to provide this precious child a stable loving home and encouraging environment to grow thrive and learn!

Our Journey to this point

-May 2005 - started dating

-2009 - Engaged Encounter Weekend. We discussed being open to adoption before marriage.

-May 2009 - Got married

- 2011 - The doctor used the dreaded word….........INFERTILITY.

- 2011 - 2015 - multiple infertility treatments were endured and tried through the guidance of the doctors and nurses at Pope Paul VI Institute. Hormone testing, hormone shots, multiple ultrasounds to figure out ovulation, sperm testing, endless pills and meds, tracking Ann’s temperature multiple times a day. Ann underwent two abdominal surgeries with the hopes of clearing up endometriosis……. infertility still ensued. Each month as Ann’s cycle arrived was another reminder that for some reason our bodies seemed to fail us and the medical bills  (approximately $10,000.00) piled in…… infertility treatments and meds are typically not covered by insurance. There were definitely some dark times as disappointment, and feeling like failures was very real for us. We continued to trust, and became more united as a couple by working through our struggles together. God has always provided and we were able to pay our medical bills in a timely fashion.

Adoption Process

2015 - Once our hearts were ready, and after coming to terms with the fact that perhaps we were not meant to conceive our future children, we decided to end fertility treatments and diligently began looking into adoption.

We looked into different agencies and explored both international and domestic adoption. After going to an info session for the agency we chose to use, we began the application process. We liked the people who worked for the agency (LFS), and liked the program and support they gave to all parties before during and after an adoption. Very importantly, we chose LFS as they worked to keep their costs lower than any of the other options we explored. It was daunting to find out that the average domestic adoption costs are approximately $35,000, with international adoption being much more.

2015 - Applied to be accepted in the adoption program
Cost: $100.00

Interview process with agency with the hopes of being accepted (the agency keeps 25 active adoptive couples in the program and they strive to have a well rounded diverse group of couples). We felt our interview went well, however,  we were told we were not accepted (we were told that there was not a particular reason for not being chosen…...we supposed there were too many Plain- Jane white couples in the group already : ) ). This was hard to take, and yes we cried and grieved, but continued to be patient and know that God had a plan for our family.

Fast forward 6 mo…. we interviewed a second time as the agency was accepting families again……. and we were accepted!!!
Being in the program does not guarantee we would be parents, but we were so excited to move forward in our process!!!

-Feb/March 2016 - Adoption Training
Cost:  $1,600.00

-April 2016 - Home Study Process
Cost: $3,500.00

-2016 - Completing what seemed like endless amounts of paperwork, local, county and federal background checks, health screenings….. more paperwork and the creation of our profile booklet so birth parents could get to know us, as adoptive families are chosen by birth mothers/parents. At this point, we are in the waiting process …….. waiting to be chosen …. waiting to be chosen by the birthpartents to be the adoptive parents of a precious baby boy or girl
Cost:  $200.00

- 2017 - In order to stay active in the process we will have to have our home study updated annually.
- Home Study Update -  updated some paperwork ……... more waiting and praying for our future child. Sometimes we were informed our profile was being shown to birth moms/parents, sometimes we didn’t. At first is was hard to know that we were not the chosen couple, but ultimately, we wanted what was best for the babies and trusted that the right family for that baby would be chosen.
Cost: $550.00

- March 21, 2018 12:30pm - while both of us were at work the Agency called …….. we were told that a birthmom we knew had given birth recently, that had seen our profile had decided to parent ……. as stated previously, a follow up call like this was hard to take early on in the process, as it is so easy to get your hopes up …... but we were totally understanding and were happy that baby was going to live and be loved and cared for by birth-mom ….. but, that was not the end of the conversation ……. Our Agency Contact went on to say, that another birth-mom whom we knew our profile was being shown to a few weeks prior had given birth a bit early, and birth-mom and dad had ………... CHOSEN US!!! We were told our baby was born the day before on 3/20/18 , we could go meet him …….. him, yes a baby boy!!!
Our baby boy that we had prayed for and waited for was at the hospital now waiting ....... waiting to meet us!!!  Waiting to meet his Mom and Dad. Yup! Just like that we were parents, just like that we would now be endowed with the long awaited names of Mom and Dad!!!!

We had gone about our day like any other day that day …. we woke up and went to our jobs that morning …….. and when we left work we were parents.

Words cannot describe what it is like being told that a couple has selflessly chosen you to be the parents of their baby, so humbling, so honoring, such gratitude, joy for our situation, sadness for the birth family, so many emotions,……

Hours after the phone call we were at the hospital, our case worker guided us to the maternity floor, we were assigned a room for the night so we could stay with our baby boy, and were then guided down a hall to the nursery. The nurses were swaddling a tiny little baby, he was handed from one nurse to the next, the nurse next to the door of the nursery as tears streamed down her face placed a sweet little baby boy in Ann’s arms …….... so surreal, so amazing!

We went to our room laid him down and litterly stared in awe ….. oh his little hands ….. his little face, and oh that hair!! He was beautiful, he was perfect in every way. We were instantly in love.  As we spent our first night with him, we began exploring names, we had not talked about names before, and had no idea what to call this precious little guy. The nurses asked us every few hours what his name was, and in the weee hours of the morning on Thursday 3/22/18 we decided on Theodore which means  "God-given", or "gift of God"........ yes, we had been given the greatest gift!!!

The support and love from those around us has been overwhelming in amazingly good ways!

As disclosed above, adoption is not cheap, and yes we have been in this process for awhile, and we believe in living within our means, and being well intentioned with our money, however, the cost of adoption is still a blow to the budget. We feel called to open up and be vulnerable in our adoption journey and the financial costs of the process of adopting our sweet baby Theodore.

We highlighted most of the costs we have cash-flowed already to this point in our process, here is a recap:

Adoption Application: $100.00
Adoption Training:   $1,600.00
Home Study: $3,500.00
Paperwork/Medical Screening/ Background checks/ Profile Creation: $200.00
Home Study Update: $550.00
Misc Costs from time from work and travel: $500.00

Total Cash-flowed costs to date: $6,050.00

As adoption will not be final for 6 months, the journey will continue and so will the costs. 

Future Costs:

Placement Fee: $4,500.00
Agency Legal Fee: $1,600.00
Personal Legal Fees/Adoption Lawyer: $1,500.00
Post Placement Visit (1): $500.00
Post Placement Visit (2): $500.00
Post Placement Visit (3): $500.00
Misc Expences/lost time at work: $400.00

Total Future Adoption Costs: $9,500.00

We are truley gratefull to you for taking the time to read our story, and if you are  called to help us, we again thank you! Please know prayers and support go a long way as well, and we want to again give a big thank you to all those who have provided prayers and support both along our journey and in the last few crazy weeks. 

We appreciate your continued prayers for our family, and we ask for you to pray for Theodore's birth parents as well.


For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jerimiah 29:11


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Ann Shamblen 
Council Bluffs, IA
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