how you can help (so far)

I suppose I shouldn’t be embarrassed- everyone needs help of some sort when they bring a new child (or two!) into the home. When our second child was born I had help getting groceries, with meals, I even had to have someone come over a few times to watch the kids while I took a shower! It was temporary for sure, but there is nothing like adding a little child to the family to reveal your total need for help. And so, I’ve been mentally preparing to enter into a season where I am going to have to rely on others and their gracious offers to help once again!

It seems I’m getting help with that “preparation” already as the time has come to ask for help! There are two primary ways that you can help us with where we are currently at in our adoption journey

-Financially. While we can handle the month-to-month expenses of two additional kids, the cost of adoption is steep and we are hoping to do it debt-free. We have partnered with a non-profit that helps families raise money for adoption so that gifts are tax-deductible. You can read our profile and support us financially here:

-Prayer. While we ask you all to generally be in prayer for us, we are looking to build a team of people who will very seriously and intentionally commit to pray for us through this time. If you would like to be part of this team, you can leave your email address in the comment line or email me with it and I will add you to a list of people who will receive regular updates about how they can be praying.

There will be more opportunities to help in other ways as we continue to move forward in this process, but I wanted to share those two with you now, as they are both pressing needs. To stay up to date on our adoption journey, please hit the “follow” button on this page. That way, you won’t miss a thing! This will be the primary way we keep people posted on the process going forward (I won’t always link to Facebook or send an email as I don’t want to be too pesky).

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for your desire to be part of this adventure we are on. The love, support, and joy that surrounds our family has compelled us to share what we have been given. Thank you. We love you all.

what dad thinks (guest post by David Ludwig)

When people hear that we are inviting in two kids from Africa to join our family, the response we frequently receive is either a look of compassion (typically not for the kids we’re adopting but for Jess and I and our apparent inability to make rational decisions on behalf of our family), and/or a look of unmistakable curiosity.

To make things worse, when the person finally asks “why” we are adopting, as an internal processor, I typically resort to as brief of an answer as possible.  Something like “it’s gonna be fun…” which usually doesn’t give people the type of insight into my thought process they are looking for.

So here it is…

There are three things that have been the primary influences on my decision to adopt two kids from Africa.  First, my three years of teaching Jr. High math/science in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and second, two guys who, if you saw them walking toward you on the sidewalk, you’d think they were twins: Rob Bell and Kid President.

For 3 years after college I taught for an LAUSD Jr. High school that was 70% black and 30% Hispanic.  Over the course of those 3 years as I became more familiar with my students, their lives, and the struggle they routinely had to overcome that I didn’t even know existed (because I never had to or never will have to face), Jess and I began a conversation about what it might look like to bring a child in as our own who typically wouldn’t be able to experience stability, support, and consistency in a home environment.  So the conversation of adoption between Jess and I started over 13 years ago as a result of my teaching experience and has just resurfaced in this last year as we have been talking about our future as a family and if there were any more “Ludwig children” to come.

Post teaching I began to spend the better hours of my day in ministry to students, and like every other Youth Pastor during the early 2000’s, I became very familiar with Rob Bell’s Nooma films.  The teaching in the film Rhythm had a profound influence on not only my decision to adopt, but also my attempt to understand God. Rob Bell begins the film by stating that we can’t know God fully (this resonated well with me b/c I’m convinced you couldn’t explain to me how my car works in the same amount of pages as the bible let alone fully reveal a God we cannot see). He goes on to say that although we can’t fully know God, He can be compared to a song that has been “heard” all throughout human history through acts of love, downward mobility, justice, righteousness, compassion, and mostly through Jesus.  And so at the end of the day, as his children, we are best off orienting our lives around the “song” of God, keeping rhythm with what he is doing in the world. In my mind, the idea of adoption is something that is in rhythm of what God is up to in the world- extending a community of love and grace and peace to those who do not have it.

Finally from the endless wisdom of the cultural icon that is Kid President… “if Robert Frost is correct and there really are two roads that we can travel… I want to go down the road that leads to awesome.”  Jess and I know it will be difficult at times, but we feel that adopting children who don’t have a family fits into the category of “awesome” and we are excited to be heading down this road.

dossier adjustments


dossier adjustments

As much as I had hoped we were done with the dossier, there were some more adjustments that had to be made (our agency tells us this is very normal although it was hard to not be discouraged by the apparent set back). Thankfully our buddy Cody was able to help us get the documents notarized extremely fast so that there was no delay in getting the forms back.