Baby Banderman Family Adoption Fund

For: Val & David Banderman
Austin, TX
Organizer: David Banderman
$8,590
of $35,000 goal.
Raised by 30 donors
24% Complete
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The Story

Open, honest and vulnerable.  These are words you do not hear much of these days.  In this world of social media we generally put out the best photos and the best versions of ourselves on display for all to see.  We want to share with you our story and in the process we can make our story your story as well.  


When Val and I met in 2010 in Puerto Rico, we knew we had found something special in one another.  Who turns a brunch date into a 9 hour outing unless you just did not want it to ever end?  That is what happened to us and it was just the beginning of what continues to be a God ordained relationship.  


It was during that very first date that we agreed we both wanted children and we were both excited that we wanted to have them soon. So once we were married on April 14, 2012, we began the journey of growing old together but wanting to share that joy with a family.  


Val got sick right after our honeymoon and after much research and lots of doctor’s appointments we found out she had hypothyroidism.  Unfortunately the typical medication used for hypo was making her worse until she finally found a great doctor that was willing to prescribe a new medication that started to help her feel better. We also noticed in Puerto Rico after several months of trying to have a baby that we may need some help so we began to see fertility doctors while on the island.  These doctors were very expensive and did not even accept insurance because Puerto Rican insurance companies had a reputation for not paying them properly.  By then, we knew we were transferring David’s job back to the mainland in Austin, Texas.


Once we found a place to live and health insurances in place we began again the task of finding help for growing our family.  We saw several fertility doctors and started fertility treatments right away.  So for over two years we tried unsuccessfully with fertility drugs and IUIs.


Since we were being unsuccessful with our treatments the doctor suggested for Val to have surgery to make sure everything was working properly, eliminate the possibility of endometriosis, scrape her uterus and make sure her tubes were not blocked - the works and Val wanted it all done at the same time. Val had surgery in August 2014, where she had Laparoscopy with Laser of Endometriosis, Chromopertubation, Hysteroscopy, Polypectomy, D&C, myomectomy. 


The doctor found: a polyp in the cavity of the uterus, a fibroid inside the uterus and another outside of it. He removed these and scraped the uterus.  She also had endometriosis stage 3 in the uterus, on both ovaries and outside the uterus on both sides. Her colon was stuck to the uterus on the left and on the right by the endometriosis.  All of it was removed & her tubes were confirmed not to be blocked.  The doctor also found and removed a Tumor the size of a tennis ball under her right ovary.  They froze it and sent for testing and Thank God it was benign! 


The doctor said this would reset everything so we should try three more IUIs after that.


After the surgery we tried a couple of more times when the doctor finally said that he did not see any hope in what he was doing and our last resort was to try a very expensive In-Vitro procedure.  We were not sure about the procedure so we decided to go to a free consultation to get all the details.  We quickly learned that we would not be able to use Val’s eggs for the process.  Although this may be okay for other couples, we knew that we did not want a family that had David’s genes but none of Val’s genes.  So at that point we just stopped altogether and stayed in a grieving stage for nearly a year.


Val would cry every time she would see a baby or pregnant woman, especially at church.  She borrowed from the library “You can Adopt” but could not come to read it.  We had talked much about the loss of being able to have a family but may have thought that with time we would forget about the longing and desire to have a family of our own.  But God knows the desires of our hearts and has a way to get your attention even when you think you may be over it!  


We were in attendance at a church service at the Austin Stone when they talked about adoption and crisis pregnancies. Our ears perked up.  After the service we began to talk again.  Over that year of grieving, we believe that God was working on our hearts to be available to His Purpose and not just Our Purpose.  Sometimes God does not give you what you want but what you need.  We began to look at scriptures like Psalms 68:5-6 that says “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families” and James 1:27 which states “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”


So we could not get it out of our minds no matter how hard we tried.  Val borrowed the book from the library again and we started discussing all we were learning.  David had a day off so we drove to the Austin Crisis Pregnancy Center that our church had mentioned which cares and gives supplies to young women in a crisis pregnancy and provides counseling.  They gave us several local agencies in the Austin area that they worked with or helped with girls in crisis.  We knew there were several different kinds of adoption but we felt a peace about a domestic infant adoption.  


So through our research we kept coming back to one adoption agency.  Generations Adoption out of Waco, Texas, seemed to be made just for us.  They are a Christian agency which helps to match mothers in a crisis pregnancy with Christian couples who have been married at least three years and will raise the child in a Christian environment.  Because they believe so strongly in saving the orphan they keep their prices lower than any other agency in Texas.  We kept having positive feelings about the whole process even though we had heard it could be costly.  Who knew helping the orphan was going to be so expensive? $22,000 per child, not including attorney fees and we want two children.  We knew though that if this is what God wanted for us, He would provide a path.  

Our anticipated expenses for the adoption are approximately $50,000 which includes home study expenses, agency costs, birthparent adoption counseling and related services, approval for waiting list and placement fees, medical and birth mother expenses, legal and finalization costs plus possibly lodging. We have worked hard to save much of the cost and are still in need of approximately $35,000.

So David has been working and saving every additional dollar that comes our way through overtime and Val has created a lifestyle blog that focuses on fashion, beauty, and home decor called acheekylifestyle.com so she may be able to work part time and be a stay at home mom.  We have saved quite a bit in a short amount of time and we wanted to do it all ourselves and even felt guilty about asking for help.  That is until we had a conversation with David’s brother and sister-in-law, Steve and Debi.  They are an amazing couple that were foster parents to many children and adopted two girls through the foster care system.  They are great girls and Steve and Debi have been a huge inspiration for us.  They mentioned something that stuck with us.  They said God calls all Christians to serve the orphan and the widow and when we adopt we are directly helping with that call.  However, not every person is called to adopt so when we ask others for help they are able to share in the blessing of fulfilling that call to help the widow and orphan.  And by not asking, we may also be preventing someone from receiving a blessing that comes from giving to help the orphan.  



So now we want to ask you all.
Our friends and family and friends we have yet to meet.  If God is prompting you to help us in this endeavor to provide a loving family for two children (or twins if God willing) then please donate to our fundraising site and pass it on to your church family and all of your contacts that would share in this blessing.   Thank you for allowing us this moment to be open, honest, and vulnerable with you.

Love you all, 

David and Val Banderman

PS Some of you have asked if you could send us a donation directly.  If this makes you more comfortable our new address is:

Val & David Banderman
5163 Hartson
Kyle, TX  78640

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on November 17, 2016

Posted on November 17, 2016

Hi everyone! It must be time for another adoption update.  David got the day off for Veteran’s Day and we took out Val’s dad for a special Veteran’s Day lunch (Korea War).  We wanted to share an update with all of you then, but life has been a bit busy.



The last time we left off we were waiting to print off the “Dear Expectant Mother” letters and photobooks to see what changes needed to be made since our adoption agency is merging with Nightlight Adoptions which will be in eight states, including Texas, beginning in January.  



Here we were rushing to have everything in order and ready for approval and just when we thought we were ready to print we were told to wait for the new agency’s guidelines.  Val was a bit frustrated since this was one of the last steps, in our control, that was needed in order for the agency to start showing us to potential birth mothers and now there were more changes and more waiting time.  I know it seems like nothing but after you’ve been talking about having a family for over 6 years and you feel like you’re almost there and then there is more, it just gets to you.



The format was quite a bit different and our agency had to learn the new requirements along with us. In the end, however, we didn’t need to reinvent the wheel since we had a good base for both the letter and the photo book and we feel they turned out awesome! Val was able to make the “Dear Expectant Mother” letter really pop with these beautiful watercolor borders, we were able to keep content we initially had to remove since the new agency allows for the letter to be up to 2 pages, 12 font and spaced 1.5.  Our agency initially wanted a 1 page letter and we had edited it but how can you tell someone about yourself, your spouse and the life you would like to provide for a child in 1 page! This is what an expectant mother reads to decide on a family but we can’t assume she has made an adoption plan yet so wording had to be very gentle and careful.



Val then spent days compiling new photos and writing captions that would paint a picture of who we are so an expectant mother could imagine what the life of her child would look like if she made an adoption plan with us.  We also had to add to the book some Family info of us at a glance, the Dear Expectant Mother Letter as the 1st page, edit content to keep it at 21 pages and change the size of the book to 8.5 x11.



We finally sent in both the new and improved letter and link to the book for review and followed up with Puerto Rico for our pending certificate from the Puerto Rico Family Department.  We are so grateful to Val’s cousin Carlos in Puerto Rico who followed up with the Social Worker and got our letter expedited, we received the certificate, stating no abuse or negligence, and one minute later an email from our agency stating we were an Approved Family!!! Yayyy!!!



We received an approval on our letter and book as well and we sent the Dear Expectant Letter to a professional printer here in Austin and it was ready the next day, 10 copies, in color, double sided.  Val immediately picked them up and mailed them to our agency!  We also placed an order of our photo book.  8 books total, one for every state to be shipped directly to our agency.  



Our adoption agency has received our letters and photo books and can start showing us as a family here in Texas and it will start showing in the other 7 states come January when the merge finalizes.  Without further ado, we want to show these to you all as well.  This is what expectant mothers who are considering an adoption plan will see online or at the adoption agencies in their states.  You may also share the link with those you may know who are considering an adoption plan. 



David & Val's Hope for Adoption Photo Book (click the link to view the book or share: http://bit.ly/2e5dKo9, it can be changed to a larger size.  PS: it uses Adobe Flash, not available on Mobile)



We were also sent a new form to fill out and submit.  The new agency uses a different “Child Desired Form”. They designed this worksheet to assist us with careful consideration of the age and condition of the child we wish to adopt. It includes a list of circumstances which may or may not arise with an expectant parent to which our family is presented. It is necessary to know this information prior to showing our portfolio to an expectant parent. They urge us to please consider our answers carefully and remind us that the more open we are, the more likely our portfolio will be shown. It is important also that we discuss these circumstances and our family’s ability to address any issues that may arise in parenting with our home study social worker.  



As you can imagine there is a lot of research and discussion that takes place prior to filling this form out.  We had already filled one out for our agency but this new form had new scenarios and circumstances to consider.  We sent it in right away and now we wait.



As you can see, we haven’t had much time to relax since we’ve moved or even have friends over to see the house, so we finally scheduled a house warming party and it’s this weekend so our friends can finally see where we will be building our family.  



We want to thank all of you for being so supportive.  Some have asked how they can pray for us specifically and if we may please ask it would be for healthy twin babies. “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.”

Psalms 37:4 NLT



Much love,

David & Val


Posted on October 12, 2016

Posted on October 12, 2016

Since our last update, we have been going about a mile a minute! The day of the home study finally arrived and we were prepared for a white glove test to make sure our home was spic-n-span.  Val does such a great job to make sure the home always looks inviting with artwork, plants, curtains, decorative pillows, flowers, and smelling nice with all these wonderful smells that men just don’t understand but we sure do appreciate.  

When the social worker arrived, everyone introduced themselves and we proceeded to sit down at the dining table.  We had read that the home studies generally last about 2.5 hours where they interview you as a couple, and again individually, and then a home inspection.  I think we enjoyed talking with her so much ours lasted 3.5 hours and only 15-20 minutes was inspecting the home.   

It seems social workers really enjoy their work to be able to make sure the homes that adopted children go to are going to be loving and they are going to be given great care.  Topics like budgeting, our relations with parents and siblings, discipline, resolving disagreements were just a few that were covered.  Everything is fair game and an open book.  But it wasn’t scary and actually it was reassuring to know they take this amount of time and depth to get to know each adoptive family.  We commented, “we wondered how can you get to know us on autobiographies and answers alone” and she said she had been studying us all last night and that she brought her overnight bag since she was sleeping over! lol.

Once she left, we went to our patio to chat and it felt like a huge weight had been lifted and all of a sudden Val felt so tired.  I guess we had been running on adrenaline to get everything done on time.  The social worker couldn't believe we had moved in 1 month to the day and had accomplished so much.

Well, a week before our home study we received an email from the adoption agency letting us know that this is no time to rest, work must be done! We needed to send a draft of our letter and book for approval.  Before the matching process can begin, we have to prepare a “Dear Birth Parent” letter.  This is a one page letter that is written to someone making an adoption plan.  It introduces ourselves, our interests, and a glimpse into what they could imagine their child’s life would be like if they chose us to be the parents of their child.  On the back of the letter are several photos, with captions,  of us or with friends and family and even Saber, our cat, getting some face time.  

The other item we have to have before the matching process is a photo book.  Once an expecting parent who is making an adoption plan has narrowed it down by looking at the letters, she may ask to see the photo book which will be a beautiful hard cover book of photos that we have compiled showing us and our life together.  They can then even be able to imagine their child enjoying the same activities.  We had so many photos that it was hard to narrow them all down to give a full picture of everyone and everything that makes us who we are and we thank all our friends and family that helped us gather photos together.  

We have also been informed that our adoption agency will be joining forces and is merging with another Christian agency: Nightlight.  Nightlight is a Hague Accredited agency with offices in 7 other states, they have international programs in 15 countries, and hundreds of profiles of waiting children in need of parents, they offer Foster Care options, ReNewed Hope which is a program placing children from disrupted adoptions into adoptive families and Professional counseling services.

The expansion of services will offer exposure to more birthmothers across the nation which often results in reduced wait times. The agency will be able to offer life affirming services to expectant mothers in 7 other states in addition to Texas:  California (corporate offices are here), Colorado, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Missouri.  They will now be able to show our profile to expectant moms across the nation, increasing our exposure to more expectant moms.

We are now waiting for our background checks to be cleared and are helping our agency with getting a certification from Puerto Rico from the State Child Protection Center on a search for histories of abuse etc.  Criminal/Child abuse record check. The agency requires a certification for every state that we have lived in.

We were also told to wait on printing the Dear Birth Parent letter and Photo Book since there may be different guidelines from the new agency.

So we started our journey thinking our babies would come from Texas and now it’s a bit of the unknown and there could be additional fees.  Our existing fees will be grandfathered in but medical expenses will not be included in our current flat fee. Most birthmoms and babies are covered by Medicaid. However, in a few rare cases some birthmoms have insurance but some of their prenatal and delivery expenses are not covered. In these cases we would be responsible for the medical expenses not covered by her insurance…

In spite of all the unknowns we know that God is in control and has just the right babies picked out for our family.

Much love,

David & Val


Posted on September 20, 2016

Posted on September 20, 2016

Hi everyone, 



I bet you may have been thinking, ‘It sure has been awhile since we’ve seen an adoption update from the Banderman's’.  Well, you would be right! But not because there is nothing to report.  We have tons to fill you in on since our last update so buckle up! 



We last left off with a teaser that we were going to be moving because we needed to have an extra room in preparation for the adoption.  Well, that particular property did not work out as we had hoped so we had to get into gear and look and look and look some more at available properties suitable for what we needed.  



Just when we didn't think we were going to find anything in our budget which would allow us to continue to save for the adoption, we finally found us an entire house in south south Austin, Kyle TX.  It is a cute little Craftsman in the Plum Creek neighborhood with an open layout and lots of windows and just the space we need for a nursery. As soon as we had a signed lease Val was able to finish the formal adoption application with details about the home.  Drawing out a floorpan of the home with measurements of each room and their purpose, photos of the front and back of the home, distance to hospitals and drs, entertainment and activities for children, distance to schools and shopping, etc., and directions to our home from the Generations Adoptions Waco office. We have learned so much from the required book for the August class: “Dear Birthmother, Thank you for our baby” that we updated our “Level of Openness agreement with birthmothers” document. We’ve also made another payment, this one for the Domestic Application Fee.



So we moved in on the 22nd of August, just barely in time to get settled in time for the adoption class presented by our agency in Waco on August 27.  But before that class we had to do and pay for a few more things.  David needed to get his TDAP shot, our cat Saber needed her latest vaccines and both of us had to get our fingerprints taken for the background checks for the adoption.



The adoption class was 8 full hours packed with information.  We heard from the head of the adoption agency, the adoption educator, social worker, and a video presentation from the adoption attorney.  We then got to listen to a presentation from an OB/GYN doctor regarding risk factors which may come up in adoption plans and what to be prepared for.  The doctor has also adopted two of his children so it made the information really personal as well.  



The part of the class which I enjoyed the most was the live panels.  The first was a couple who shared what it was like to adopt someone from a different culture and a different race and issues they had to face when they chose to do that.  Some of the things you could understand, but others like not getting support from some family members, were tough to swallow.  Val and I are so grateful we have supportive friends and family!! 



The panel I enjoyed most was having three different couples there who had adopted with Generations and how it worked with open adoption and having the birth moms involved in their children’s lives and what that means for them.  Each one’s experience was a little different from the others but all were positive and glad they had the birth mothers involved.  This was the panel Val enjoyed the most but for a different reason.  There were many happy tears and the reassurance from adoptive mothers that no matter how much you have struggled with infertility and the hopes of having a family God will bring you this amazing blessing that is beyond comparison and so much more than you ever expected.



The final panel was birth moms who had made an adoption plan with Generations and shared with us how they were able to choose the parents.  They also shared how the open adoption is good for them.  It helps to confirm that they made the right decision on choosing an adoption plan and to see their child at least once a year to make sure they are thriving.  Depending on the situation, some birth moms and adoptive parents had a much more open adoption plan.  



We were able to share some details of the adoption class with our Foster Adopt group at our monthly Sunday meeting.  Some families have adopted internationally and because of social media some birth mothers have found the adoptive mothers. These adoptive mothers are now encountering a new issue of open communication.  We are so grateful that our adoption agency has educated us in open adoption and the benefits it provides the child and we were able to contribute some of the facts we have learned.  We are hoping this can help our friends.



Now that the adoption class was completed, we had to submit letters of reference to the agency from people who knew us best.  We were so grateful that everyone we asked was more than willing and excited to help us get these done.  After all of them came in, we received an email that it was time for a home study.  Since David needs at least two weeks to get clearance from work, the earliest we could schedule was September 22.  So right now we are hurrying to finish unpacking and Val is decorating to have the house ready by Thursday. The home study will last at least 2.5 hours and includes home safety, and interviews with David and Val together and also separate.  We are looking forward to getting this done and puts us one step closer to realizing our dream of growing our family.  We’ve made another payment, this one is for the Home Study.



We are so happy for one of our friends who’s pregnant expecting a baby girl! Our group continues to grow and our baby(ies) are going to have amazing little friends.



Thanks to all of you who have supported us emotionally and financially.  Thanks to you we have been able to cash flow all of the fees as they come up.  The largest ones which includes placement fees, and matching fees, and attorney fees are still to come but we know that with our hard work, combined with God’s grace, and support from your amazing generosity we will be able to complete this without debt all for God’s glory.  



Much love,

David & Val

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