+The Story’s Not Over Yet+


I long to be a blogger. One of those that writes consistently and with great knowledge. Yet, here I am….MONTHS after my last entry and even now I can think of 1,000,712 things to do that I have neglected. But, so is life. Priorities lie with the diaper blow-outs, broken ornaments, boo-boos and ouchies, letting the dog out for the ump-teenth time, and melt-downs. Mommy has to take a phone call so cue ALL the FRICKIN melt downs. Where are my Mamas at?! You know what I am talking about. Pour that 3rd glasss of wine and just nod your head with me. (Strength in numbers, ladies) 😉

Life (in my inexperienced opinion) is never what we make it, rather how we respond to it. Many of you know our story, and if you don’t I’m not sure how you missed it. (I’m a self diagnosed photo hoarder and chronically long-winded.) So many times Kels and I have responded in a way that put us and our family in the wrong place. We had to fight twice as hard to find our way again. But, we did…and we always will. We found our faith, waver in our obedience, and remain constant in our request for grace and forgiveness. That, in a nutshell, is what has led us to today.

My sweet, patient, border-line psychotic for sticking by my side husband and I have had many “we need to talk’s” and they always end the same way….May our doors remain open and our table be large enough for an extra seat. We never had this defining ideal situation, it was never about actively and aggressively waving our “pick me..pick me” flag. In reality, we (he) spent many days hiding (denying) all possibility of our family growing. I said “What’s one more” to which he responded, “IT’S ONE MORE!!”But, like he knows  my heart, I know his.

For me, it was about obedience. Who am I to say ‘no’ when God isn’t one to take no for an answer. He writes our stories. He can change our paths. Like any good parent He does not simply bow out in defeat to our silly demands by saying “Oh, you don’t want to? It’s too hard. It will take to much. Yea, that makes sense. Ok.” We know by his own life and the sacrifice that he made for ours that He is a Father that does all things and knows all things, well before we do. Many times I threw my ‘no’ down on the table as if I would challenge him. (Come on, how many of you do the exact same. Fess up) And like a child who just got the crazy eyes I sheepishly crawled back and withdrew my tantrum and tucked it away. With each day I replaced that foot stomping no with a (sometimes forced) humble “If you ask, I will.”

When God asks, He doesn’t hold back. So, when we received a phone call that so clearly was Him saying “go”, we went. It really was as simple as that. Sunday, on my drive back home from visiting with one of my expectant mothers I stopped to visit with Ria’s grandparents. I was alone (which in hindsight was SO much God) and it was there that we were asked to take into guardianship, and when the family as a whole unit feels it is time, adopt Ria’s oldest (9yo) sister. Guys. I have no words. This was something that we felt could happen YEARS down the road. We were written into the ‘if something were to ever happen’ plan. There was never even a question. How could there be?!  Saying no was not an option, even when it could have been an option. As parents of 4 we could have justifiably made every excuse in the book…but why?! Don’t we as parents already sacrifice everything for our children? Our money?? Time?? Bodies?? Sanity?! Of course we do, because that’s what parents do. We die to self. We lay down all fears and raise up both hands. Logistics will happen. Time will allow all things to come together and as a family we will be stronger and closer than ever. Whether ‘S’ was here or there, she has always been ours. She is ours.

We won’t share many details, because they are not our details to share. We praise Him for the possibilities and the open relationships and trust He has allowed. We are overwhelmed with the responsibility that has been placed on us but trust Him and our village for guidance and support. We are grateful for the trust that her family has in ours. He will equip us because He has called us. Bottom line. That’s all there is to it. So, as I sit here drinking my 3rd glass of wine and I reflect back on the past 48 hours I do two things. 1. cry…because guys. I am a mess. A blessed, what the hell just happened, maybe a little bit tipsy and a whole lot overwhelmed mess. BUT 2. Pray. Praise. Prepare for some of the greatest adventures one life can hold. These babies are mine and I am theirs. I will forever and always be the lucky one. So, that’s it. The tease is over. Now, who is bringing me another bottle of wine! 😉



Let’s Be Real…

Shall we?! Let’s take off our stupid adulting shoes (or as I call them, flip-flops), pour a cup of coffee. Wait…Nope…Let’s be real. I am pouring myself a little bit of orange juice and a whole lot of Malibu. I don’t care. I said it. I won’t even apologize for the speed at which it will be consumed by my soul. I’m talking, if there were an Olympic event, I would bring home the gold. Like, Usain Bolt, gold. Smiling proudly for my country as the last sweet drops cross my lips. #Victory Because you know what, I can. It’s where I am in this life. I start my day with my coffee and end it with my wine and my Jesus….and netflix binging. Again, in the effort of being real.

Life is hard, ya’ll. Being a mom, a working mom, a homeschooling mom, a wife and mom, friend and mom…Hell, any or none of the above. Can we just say it out loud. It’s hard and we suck at it. I suck at it. I’m so exhausted just being a witness to all the “perfect” people, these alarming loud “perfect” social media pages, the false acts of perfection that drown out our justified cries seeking out confirmation that we are not the only imperfect in the bunch. There are the ones that are great at making me feel shitty about myself because of my own insecurities and the other ones that are just shitty because I know better but somehow I still let them get to me. I made a pact with myself and I legit had to unfollow every last one because they are just not good for this struggling heart. I am over here with my 42nd bottle of dry shampoo, husband’s ratty old college T (that he finds sexy which is both great for me yet a wee bit terrifying because what does that say about his taste in women. Have some standards, dude!), and I’m not sure if this is the 2nd or 7th layer of nail polish that has been slabbed over these Flintstone feet of mine. But WHO HAS THE TIME?! Seriously, I wanna know. Please, email me. Let’s talk. I’m open for pointers. I’ll pour while you talk.

Ladies…I woke up this morning, managed to get my 4 small humans out of the house dressed (in what look and smelled like clean clothes…5 points for Gryffindor), somewhat fed (it’s cool, we stopped for doughnuts and coffee. Doughnuts for me. Coffee for them. Wait….Something like that. Stay with me.) I pull into Co-Op, you won’t believe it…2 minutes before class started. BEFORE. Like, early!!!! And then I saw it. You all have been there, whether you admit it or not. The mirror tells no lies. I don’t care what cliff ledge your self esteem is leaning over…That damn mirror comes up and gives you a shove into the black abyss. Last night’s makeup. It’s there. You see it. Question it. Roll your eyes at it. But the question is, what do we do about it?! If your answer isn’t baby wipes then you can stop filling out my required friendship application. #Denied What’s a mom to do?! Me? I throw on a thicker layer of fresh eyeliner over the half and splotchy remains of what once was (because, boss lady) and I go about my frickin day (because, again…boss). I walk in to one Mama who tells me how she was so proud to have packed her kid’s lunch to discover she had in fact only remembered the snacks and forgot the actual lunch. Another Mama had just worked a night shift before bringing her babies to school and tried to apologize for being in the same clothes, mom bun, and 2 day old makeup. Ummm…No ma’am. Keep your apologies, here’s a baby wipe, pull up a chair and we can share my coffee #TwoStrawsPlease. They get me, I get them, we get each other.  These are my people and I’m a ride or die bitch for my people.

I’m tired, ya’ll. Maybe it’s my age, or my 4 circus acts that I wrangle day in and day out, or maybe it’s just I’m finally learning who I am and what I want out of this life and I’m okay letting all of the other mess go. I want to enjoy my life. I want to love my husband. I want to make fun of my kids…I mean…no, I meant what I said. I want friends, real friends, that want to dive into the ugly more than pose the pretty. I want a village that is full of grace, laughter, patience, and kindness.  Say what you mean and mean what you say. So, I’m proposing a toast. To all of the happy Moms, sad moms, good Moms, bad Moms, popular Moms, lonely Moms, busy moms, tipsy Moms (AKA my kind of Moms), or whatever you want to be Moms….Because we all fit into one (and more than one) of those categories from time to time. I want you to know. You belong. You are loved. Just as you are, the imperfect version of you, that is the one I want in my village.Maybe we will have advice every now and again but it’s okay when we are stunned silent too. Whatever it is, whenever it happens, in all that I do, I just want to be real. Don’t you?!

funny mom definition meme

My Favorite =What If=

My head hung heavily between the involuntary trembling of my knees, my body didn’t feel as though it belonged to me. Hunched over by the weight of what felt like 6,000 bricks I was attempting to hide from my husband, my children, and the world that had turned it’s back on me. I didn’t want anyone to see me like this, it would have most definitely scared the life out of my 5 and 7 year old. Of course they had seen Mommy upset from time to time but nothing like this. This was like the world had grasped it’s mighty fist around my throat and with each attempted breath it’s grip only grew tighter. This was my demise. This was now my life and I wanted nothing to do with it.

Miscarriage’s is riddled with “whys”. Why now? Why us? Why ME? You question your body’s ability to do much of anything. If it can’t do THIS, this one thing that God intended a woman’s body to do than what CAN it do?! How else will it fail me? And not just me. No, this is so much more than just about me. I have failed my husband. It didn’t matter how many times he told me I had not, I had failed to grow our child within my womb. My body had rejected my child like it was nothing more than a poor choice on a shady corner chinese buffet.

“You will get pregnant again.” “It happens to one out of every 4 women.” “The good news is that you CAN get pregnant.” “Oh, you weren’t that far along.” “Just adopt” “Consider yourself lucky. This was your body’s way of telling you something was wrong.”  These are the horrific (but well intended) things that are said to you. Hoping to help you heal but really it feels like they are leaning into the knife.

November 14th would have been our angel baby (Turtle)’s 2nd birthday. I think about what he would have looked like. (I say ‘he’ because of the pregnancy symptoms I experienced with him compared to his little brother’s almost 2 years later) Would he have Daddy’s brown eyes or would I go 3 for 3 and get baby blues again like his Big Sister’s. Would he freckle like Medium Sister or have long thick hair like Biggest Sister. What would he become? Would he marry? Have children? These are my what-if’s. My favorite what-if’s.


November is hard. No, November is impossible. On Wednesday evening (Nov 14th) to my greatest surprise I found myself in a similar state as mentioned above. Hiding in the furthest corner of my bathroom heaving an ugly cry into the last clean towel in the room. You know, the kind of cry that you would never allow anyone else to witness. I had just been talking to my husband about him. I was aggravated that still 2 years later this event, that was by all definition out of my control, controlled me. I was annoyed that my Husband didn’t carry his burden like I did (which is ridiculous, I know.) I was hurt that I failed to find the words to adequately describe both my feelings of loss and my embarrassment for still feeling pain at all. I should be better than this. 2 1/2 years have now passed, life has continued, I should have moved on by now. I have brought home an AMAZING, spunky, full of life daughter home by way of domestic adoption. I have grown a beautiful brown-eyed child, my first son, in my belly and birthed him into this world. By my loss I have gained great things, irreplaceable treasures. Yet, I am ashamed. For two years I have carried a secret and yesterday, for the first time ever, I said it out loud and I hate myself a little more because of it. The addition of my daughter and son have given me an indescribable feeling of complete triumph. They have brought a rainbow after the storm. With one child waiting for me in Heaven I get two here on Earth in my arms. But still, I miss him. Still, I long for him. My youngest two children healed a part of me that I thought would forever be broken yet they are not enough to make me forget. What kind of mother says that?! But still, they do not erase my memories or my debilitating sorrow. They give me purpose but they don’t give me back my child.

For 3 months my body failed me, my husband, and my child. Without any real medical explanation and with surgery not an option my womb held on to a pregnancy that was never to be. With each passing day my womb wept in a way that told me it was mourning as well. For 93 days I was subjected to blood draws, sonograms, invasive prodding, and still my body said, “Not yet.” Death loomed. Satan wanted to bear his weight down, keeping me where I was. He almost won. Almost. But you know the rest. You know how MY god showed up. He redeemed and renewed. He restored my broken heart, spirt, and flesh. But, what it left was an experience. An experience that in all ways formed how I would go forward in life.

This next part may not be pretty. It may rub some people in the wrong way so let me preface it. This is only my one blog. My one experience. My own personal feelings. I do not speak for all women. I speak for me. I do not speak for all miscarriages. I speak for mine.

I am now both a biological/parenting mother of 3 home grown baby loves, 1 angel baby love, and an adoptive mother of 1 heart grown baby love. {Labels are typically not needed but in this case they are.} But it doesn’t end there. In March of 2014 our family experienced loss for the second time. After almost a month of caring for a STUNNINGLY beautiful 3 month old baby girl, that we believed would be our daughter, we lost her to the Texas foster system.


For almost 23 days we bathed, changed, fed, and got up for middle of the night feedings. We talked to attorneys, state representatives, ad litums, and judges. And in an instant, with no warning whatsoever, it was over. We came with diapers, car seat, hopes, and daydreams of our future and I flew back with my arms empty and my heart shredded to pieces. Again, I found myself in pieces. Riddled with questions, anger, hurt, and desperation for a world that made sense. Shortly after I chose to place a tattoo on my left wrist. I relished in the temporary pain inflicted by that tattoo artist as it distracted me from a more permanent pain I would forever face. It was over. I had lost her. I had again failed. On December 3rd Sydney will be 2 years old. December is hard. SO hard.

For these mentioned reasons, these very intimate experiences, I know loss in 2 VERY tangible ways. Because now I have my home grown and heart grown baby’s home I find myself working through some things that only I can. It’s a heart issue, my heart issue. I know that. I get it. I claim it. But, now, I want to say it out loud.

It is also important to add, by failed adoption I am talking about an official match. The soon to be baby love does not have to be yet born but your family has been chosen by an expectant mother. You have invested emotionally, spiritually, and more than likely financially. The expectant mother’s change of heart could have happened prior to birth or at birth. Any and all of the above is considered a failed adoption. I’m sorry, presenting and not being chosen, is not a failed adoption, and by no stretch of the imagination can be compared to a miscarriage..

A failed adoption CAN be compared to a miscarriage when you yourself have walked through both. It CAN be similar when you know the devastating blow of what feels like the end of all things good. You have allowed yourself in both cases to prepare for a child. In one situation your body had to find a way to release the physical body  and emotional grasp of a child. In the other your heart had to detach from a dream that would never become a reality. You questioned yourself in both arenas. You felt isolated in your feelings and hoped the world would isolate you so you could avoid the awkward questions and well-intended words. I know. I stood where you stand/stood. And even now, I stand by you in your whatever you may be feeling. I recognize and acknowledge those as real and valid feelings. Whatever it is that you feel, feel them. Feel ALL of the feelings!

Now please, do NOT misunderstand me. Pain is pain is pain. It is infinitely defined by each and every person that feels it. If you have not experienced a miscarriage but you have survived (or are currently surviving) a failed adoption, I stand in the gap for you. I will never say my pain is greater than another. Allow me to storm the gates of Heaven for your heart, spirit, and sorrow. I recognize and acknowledge it. It is real and valid. To whatever extent it is, feel it. Feel ALL of it!

But this is why, if you have not experienced a miscarriage yet you have experienced a failed adoption, (I personally believe) you can NOT compare your failed adoption to a miscarriage. To say it bluntly, you simply don’t know.


When I lost Sydney, I was shattered. I remember flying home alone with a bag of baby things that I couldn’t bare to give away but didn’t ever want to look at again. I locked the nursery door in fear of what I would do if I caught sight of an empty crib. 3 weeks past before I built the courage to unpack my carry-on and crack open the nursery door again. I could not leave my house because emotionally I was not ready. And when I did, my face felt to the floor next to it. I lost track of time but I didn’t care. I laid there and I felt ALL of the feelings. I’m not sure I ever told my husband but I fell asleep on that floor, carpet and clothes soaked in everything I had been holding back. I didn’t see this turning out well for me. Again, Satan had his foothold in the door and I wanted to let him own the whole damn house!

When I lost our 3rd child to an unexplained and spontaneous miscarriage the miracle of what makes a baby poured out of my body. I was to remain within feet of my bathroom as that is where I lived out the burden of my loss. I could not leave my house because physically my body would not allow it. Weeks into my miscarriage, when I started to feel as if the world would not swallow me whole, I attempted a Mommy/Daughter trip to the zoo. It was only going to be for a couple of hours and the fresh air would do me good. 30 minutes into the trip I began to hemorrhage. In efforts of not traumatizing my daughters I wrapped my blood stained jeans in 2 sweaters, telling them I was cold on that 80 degree Florida day and I promised them ice cream if we could go home at that very moment. On any other day I believe I would have received fifty shades of meltdown but I believe this is where God shows up because they left without grief or complaint. I went on to spend 3 separate evenings in our local emergency room due to my body shutting down. Iron levels were plummeting by the day, eating was becoming a chore, and sleep escaped me nightly. This miscarriage controlled me, my life, my  body, my heart, mind, and spirt. It was all consuming. It owned me.

Miscarriage meant death for my child. The end of his life. The end of all things good for what would and could have been. Losing Sydney meant the end of my time with her. It mean she continued her life with another family. I pray one that will cherish her, hold her, kiss her squishy cheeks and tell her how loved and wanted she is. She will grow to do great things. I know in my heart that God has a powerful purpose for her life, and I can accept that now. I have made peace with the truth that I am not her Mother. I want to believe that the pain of losing Sydney is equivalent to losing Turtle but it’s not. Not because of any biological tie, but because of the emotional AND physical trauma that separates them. No matter how hard I try Turtle and Sydney will never find themselves on the same page of my story, and that has to be ok. It will be ok. I will be ok.

November is hard. December is hard. Miscarriage is hard. Failed adoption is hard. We can agree or disagree on all accounts, and that’s ok.  I only know my experience and my feelings. I know that even in my loss, I have abundant life. In my hardest of days, I have joy. In November and December, I have brownies and wine. Surely we can agree on that, right? 🙂

Are you walking out loss of your own? Allow me to stand in the gap for you. Allow me to bring  you brownies and wine. Together we can do all hard things. Together we will stand so close that Satan will have no space.

“I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord.” -Isaiah 66:9

++ The Sun Rises in The East ++

“Greater things are yet to come. Greater things are yet to be done.” This is the song that blares through the rooms of my new (to me) home sweet home as I wrestle yet again another package of fruit snacks from the terrifyingly strong death grip of my olympian qualifying shelf climbing 2-year-old. These are the lyrics blasting over the sounds of her shrieks, the only words that remind me to breathe it all in (this too shall pass, right?) AND to also exhale it all out…all over my floor…in a heaping pile almost as towering as my “to-do” laundry pile. I love this life of mine. Sure, it’s crazy loud, disorganized, and at my best I am only functioning because of the copious amount of caffeine surging through my body but it’s beautiful in it’s own disastrous way. If it makes me feel anything, it makes me feel alive. Signs of life are sprawled all over my home like a NCIS crime scene but I’m willing to bet my retirement that they would need more than one hour to bring this massacre back to order.

If you are anything like me, you catch yourself checking the clock. Only “this many” more minutes/hours until nap time, until the Bigs are home, until Daddy is home, until bedtime. Please don’t misunderstand me, our family is blessed in a very modest way but just enough so that I am able to stay home for the first time. I both adore and am tormented by that fact, and that’s ok. {Note to stay at home Moms, you are amazing! Note to working Moms, you are amazing!} If you are even more like me, our head finally hits the blissful comfort of your “Ross is the best place to find comfy AND cheap” pillows and you then lie in bed regretting that you had wished your day away. You think (read: overthink) all of your failures, short-comings, and somewhat comically embarrassing moments. You commit to waking up and being a better version of you, a version your children and husband deserve. Yes, if you are anything like me you are probably doing it ALL wrong ALLof the time. If you hear anything, hear this. These things are not your greatest demise. No, your grandest “oops” of the day is not that you didn’t get the laundry done, or the floors mopped. Your greatest failure of the day is your inability to give yourself the same grace that our God has already given time and time again. We are a society that preaches to live in the present and plan for the future but then allow Satan a foothold in our lives by trapping us in our past.

Maybe it’s not parenting. Maybe it’s addictions, toxic relationships, broken friendships, personal weight/health goals. What is it that holds you back? What chain have you willingly allowed Satan to shackle to your ankle? Aren’t you tired of white-knuckle dragging that burden? Do you want the key to releasing it? (I’m going to assume you said ‘yes’) Well, I’m sorry. There’s not one. There is no key because their is no lock!! There are no chains!! We are set free by our Savior. He rid us of our chains when He died on that cross. For me. For you. And for your adorably wretched snack snatching children. He loves us all. He extends His love and grace freely. Maybe it’s about time you do the same.

Let us continue living in the moment, taking one breath at a time when necessary, but know that our God has greater plans for us and they lie in the future, permanently scribed in the plan he pre-wrote for us. I charge you with this, do not be bound by your past for a second longer. Look at how far you have come. Remind yourself of what you have accomplished. Did you fall short of your goal? Maybe. But the word commands us to look forward. Cut yourself some slack, grab $1 pizza and wine (that’s where you will find me every Thursday), and know you are loved, valued, and irreplaceable.

Would you rise before the sunrise, stand on the East shores, only to face West frantically grasping for yesterday’s sunset? I won’t if you won’t. ❤

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” -PHILIPPIANS 3:13


Finding my beginning at the end

“Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.”
Henri Nouwen

8 1/2 months since I have last fallen apart all over this blog. Not because my life has not given me anything worth sharing, quite the contrary actually. The day after my last blog my life truly began, my new life as a Mommy of 3!! Ria came into our lives on May 13, 2014, well after she was in our hearts yet tonight as I tucked her into bed it felt as if she has always been here. I had never planned on the extended silence but found myself lost for adequate words. I have so much to share, and I will…promise, but today was meant for something different…something more. The weight of today hit me hard as I drifted off last night, securely in the arms of the man I love I fell into tears (you know, the ugly crier kind). Tears that came from exhaustion, gratefulness, memories of pain and voids that once were, and then the joy of redemption

Many of you were on this roller-coaster ride with me when I shared the brokenness and redemption of my marriage. {See: God’s Not Done Yet –> Here } Your response was more than I could have prepared myself for. The love, support, and even the “me too” emails poured in and in return melted away any hesitation I had about continuing to share our testimony openly with others. Something that was once so full of shame, embarrassment, and heartache is now feeding my marriage, friendships, and faith. Truly, beauty and life that has come from ashes.

January 25, 2012
I sat in my car, heater on as I obsessively watched the clock on my radio. The steady fall of rain only seemed appropriate for the occasion so I welcomed it. I had a few minutes before I had to face my new reality so I did what any rational woman would do, I checked my makeup. What I saw was not what I expected. Who was this person? How did she get here and where was she going? I panicked at the realization that I no longer knew and therefore maybe it was all a mistake. Maybe this wasn’t the answer, maybe WE had made a mistake. Was this only fear of failure talking? How would I even know if it were? We had made it this far, surely this was the only way. So I called him, I should have been strong enough but the pain came from my own weakness. I had to call him. On the other side of the world (literally), he sat in China with our daughters while I traveled to our tiny East Texas town by myself, to walk into an old county courthouse by myself, to finalize the end of OUR marriage….by myself. I should have been angry..hurt..sad..but a numbness came over me. It’s so obvious now but what I didn’t know then was this was my survival mechanism. I didn’t expect him to say anything, but yet I had to know, would he say SOMETHING? He didn’t. The silence of his words were deafening. It was no different than the lack of words I offered but in that moment it was what I needed to take that first step inside.

Passing through the security checkpoint it all seemed routine. Sitting on the bench outside of the massive oak double doors was only a formality, like waiting to be called in for a job interview. A woman approached me, I wish I could describe her for you but the blur of it all had taken over at this point. I am one of those people that can pass a person in the Walmart produce aisle and somehow remember their face for the rest of my life yet I couldn’t describe a single feature of the one person who held the fate of my marriage in her hands. I vaguely remember her explaining the process but my auto-pilot was already engaged and there was no turning back. The doors opened and as I stood I gripped the arm rest of the bench and only then did I notice my white knuckles and sweating palms. This was no job interview. This was the end of what I thought was my entire life. I think the judge called my name, I can’t remember. He had me walk up to him, I could reach out and touch his face I was so close. He spoke softly, he was kind and patient as I fumbled to say my full name. Without hesitation he pulled a box a tissues out and asked if I was ready. I only nodded my head as my throat was clenched tight holding back the vomit that was rising. He read over the papers, me only trusting him and the 12 point font in front of me. I only remember a few more things once he began, one being the moment he asked “Would you like to reverse your name back to your maiden name?” I had not even thought about that! That was the furthest thing from my mind. Why would I? As I stood outside of my body, watching the end of my identity die before me, I didn’t know this woman. I was a teacher, coach, mother, sister, daughter, and now soon to be an ex-wife. I may have been lost for who I was but I did know I was not the same girl I was before this. No, no I did not want to change my name back. And then he just said “okay”. He signed something, handed me something (again, no idea what it was), and I was simply dismissed. That same lady that walked in by my side now walked ahead of me. She shook my hand and walked out of the story. I can’t even remember how I made it back to my car but I remember the moments after that. It was the memory of those moments that haunted me for many days, months, and now years to come.

Some may think I should just ‘forget’…move on…stop talking about it. And, I could. I could suppress those memories if I wanted to. I have the ability to and in my old life I used it often but just as I knew on that day I know now, I’m not that girl anymore. I CHOOSE to relive that day. I CHOOSE to remember. The worst day of my life soon became the pivoting moment in my testimony. I knew who Christ was, my foundation had already been laid, but I lacked the walls, roof, and plumbing. Not yet had I found my walk or personal relationship with Christ and this was my rock bottom. Only now was I forced to stop, look, and raise my hands UP. I had committed what I thought was the worst of the worst. I had failed my Father, who was I to ask Him for anything?! I spent the next 15 months struggling with my own guilt and lack of self-worth.

I never saw it coming, never could have prepared for it but God knew. When he wrote the story of my life he already knew what January 25, 2012 had in store for me. He was ready to restore, renew, and redeem when I was ready to let Him. We do not serve a demanding Father. He does not command obedience. He only promises everlasting love and forgiveness, all we need to do is turn into Him. It took us 15 months more months, more heartache, and a lot more ugliness to find His grace. It took His word, His home, and His people. Prayers turned into devotions. Devotions turned into guidance. Guidance turned into a support system that would soften our hearts and turn our faces and hands to Him. The moment we stopped saying “I’ve got this” He said, “No, let me!” and He did.

January 25, 2015
Ny husband and I stood in the sanctuary of our church stronger and more steadfast in our faith and marriage than ever before. I raise my right hand to the Heavens while my left embraces the growing child that rests safely in my womb. Once again I feel myself watching from outside of my own body. I wept, overwhelmed with joy, when the weight of His grace and love consumes me. My marriage was and has been radically saved and renewed by the grace of a loving Father. My God still knows. 3 years later, to the exact date, he knew I would be standing in His home when our pastor would speak directly to me. Yes, there may have been 500+ other people, but he was talking directly to ME!! “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

Kelsey and I faced (and failed) many things in our first marriage, jealousy, anger, hurt, pride, inexperience, immaturity, lack of emotional support or spiritual guidance, even the voids left by our own childhoods. You name it….we carried it. But, don’t we ALL carry baggage?! Aren’t we all seeking answers and security? You may be facing something today that seems too big, too heavy, and too ugly and you would be correct. It is too big, for YOU, but not for our God. We are all left with the choice, we are given the free will. Do we stand alone in our battle and proclaim “I’ve got this”, let our struggles defeat us (aka letting the devil win) or do we surrender it to a father who is ready and waiting to fight for us. These are not my words, this is the truth of His word. Romans 327-39 tells us, “No, in ALL these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depths, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” NOTHING on this earth can separate you from Him.

Today, January 25th, 2015, we are crawling back in bed to end another crazy day as parents of 3 (soon to be 4). I am in love with the life we live, the baggage we left behind and the testimony we now carry proudly. I love the opportunity to tell people “My 2nd husband is so much better than my 1st”, mainly to see their reaction but also because it’s true. The radical change in our relationship can be credited to a long of things, I could write another blog about the way we CHOOSE love, patience, and forgiveness on a daily basis but no amount of words, blogs, or books can do what the simple presence of our Savior can do. He is now our foundation, walls, ceiling, and plumbing. He is the center of our personal walks and each step we take only brings us closer to one another. Do we still disagree, lose patience, argue, go to separate corners of the house to pout….You better believe it!! The difference…Our fights are no longer between he and I. We now have HIM in our corner, and HE is undefeated, HE is victorious. I would place my bet on HIM any and every day of my life.

P.S. Wanna know something else that is only God written? As we drove home from the service today I knew today was the day to end my blogging silence. I began collecting my thoughts, walked through my sermon notes, and I continued to revel in the the full circle my life has come. I glanced back and saw my three daughters, reached over and held the hand of my husband, and made the last minute decision to check our mail (randomly on a Sunday, I might add). To no surprise, because I know and love how our God works, I found the official birth certificate finalizing the adoption of our daughter. Our God is good, oh so very good!

“Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians who you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:13-14



Choose Joy….Always

I really shouldn’t post those teasers like I do!! Not only because you guys start bringing out the heavy artillery to heave my way but because I get myself 10 shades of flustered trying to finally blog about it!! All I keep thinking is OUR GOD IS SOOOOOOOOO GOOD…and a bit of an antagonists if I do say so myself!!


As you all know by now I was blessed with the opportunity to attend the Choose Joy conference in Laguna Hills, California last weekend. I have already blogged about the breakthroughs that took place in my personal journey and the surrendering that took place with my Father in Heaven. It was a BIG weekend!! I came home and announced my stubbornness and my willingness to be obedient. Months ago I promised Him I would go where he called me to go and I had failed at keeping that promise. But Wednesday, as I poured into my blog (a really long blog by the way, I apologize for that) I was truly telling Him, “Okay….I am yours….I will listen now”. And I woke up feeling better than I had felt in months. A weight was lifted. I physically and spiritually knew that I had laid my burden at my Father’s feet. I was trusting Him to play out His plan in His time. And then Friday came………..


I received a message from a friend (an Instagram friend, so very much a real life friend) on Monday, while in the airport, about her Florida agency in need of adoptive families. I thanked her for sharing but told her we were looking into other options. I received yet again another message from that same friend on Friday saying that her agency had posted about 2 immediate situations in need of families. Yet again, I thanked her for the information but disregarded it. I offered to call and get the information to share with all of my amazing 1,700 followers/family/friends. And I did. I learned of a 1-year old in need of a forever family. I learned of the details, the financial obligations, and the legal process. When I offered to share this with FB & IG the agency director simply said she didn’t have time to wait, she needed families to present immediately and would we consider sending in our profile. Wait…What?! No..no..no..You misunderstood. I’m not calling for me. We’re adopting from Uganda. I’ve already told you that. God has already told me that. I AM BEING OBEDIENT DANG IT!!!! I awkwardly tried to skirt around the question, asking if she had any other information about the mother or the child. It was a dead end. She could only tell me 2 things. The child’s name and the mother’s name. She mentioned we could even change the child’s name if we would like. (Why is she telling me this?! I don’t want to know this)

Without asking, she then said, I…KID…YOU….NOT, “The Mother’s name is Joy”.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING GOD?!?!? I just surrendered?!! I just promised my obedience!! I even googled airplane tickets to Uganda!! And within 48 hours…THIS?! Is this Satan dangling a carrot? Is this you rewarding my obedience? Show me…Tell me…I am listening.


I laid in bed Friday night asking that same question over and over again. It was after 11:00pm when I received this message from ANOTHER Instagram friend that felt God was telling her to help our family. She wanted to put on an InstaSale and donated 100% of the proceeds to our adoption. I wept! Well, I slapped my husband out of his sleep first but then I continued to weep. I laid there and I kept thinking, “Choose Joy, Nikki…With everything in you Choose Joy”.

Saturday morning came……….and so did a $750 donation from someone I have never met, never spoken to, and doesn’t know our full story, yet she knew that we are all in this as one big family unit. She wanted to help us complete our family the same way she had completed hers. Talk about “Go Be Love”…..That new friend of mine is radiating God’s love more than she will ever know.

And yet it gets even better…..At this point God is throwing stuff at me as well! As I am calling my husband to tell him the amazing news (and yes, still bawling like a baby getting their vaccines) I get an email, from a bride, asking to meet, to sign a contract and pay her October wedding fee!! Satan is getting stomped out left and right. God is making his presence known in a majestic way. It consumed me. I knew right then and there. I chose Joy, and Joy was going to choose me.


A…To….The….Men!!!!!! Enough said!


We had the opportunity to go out on a date night, and we took it. It was perfection. The weather was amazing, live music rolled down the brick paved streets of St. Augustine, and my handsome Hubs was affectionately attentive. It wasn’t until halfway through the night I remembered, the last time we had a date night we got a call about Sydney. That shook me to my core. Could I handle another ‘no’. Was I ready to be shattered when I finally felt so whole again? What if she does say no. What if I am one of those crazy women that says, “This is my child, I just KNOW it”……and then the fear took over. The fear of defeat and disappointment, and in effort of embracing my craziness, the fear of being wrong. I truly felt, even though I knew nothing about this child other than their name, this was my child.


So we waited…….and waited……and then I threw a little teaser out so you could wait impatiently with us….and then we ALL waited.


At 12:39pm today we received the news. Joy…Chose…US!!!!!!!

And at 11:00 tomorrow, we get to meet the newest addition of our family.

AND, if all goes well, it will be legally sound as of Friday.

Now, let’s all have a freak out moment together!!!!!!!!!


SHE CHOSE US TO BE HER CHILD’S FOREVER HOME!!! She loved us. She loved our home, our family ties, our christian values. We were everything she wanted her child to have. And all is well with my soul, because she is PLACING her child in my arms. She did not abandon! She is not walking away! And she is most definitely not giving up. She loves her child in such a way that she is making the most unselfish and loving decision she will ever make. I am honored. I am so blessed. I have loved this woman and prayed for this woman. And we shall have an open adoption that will allow me to continue doing so.

Now…..FREEEEEEEEAKING OUT is the understatement of the century!!! We are not where we need to be financially. We need YOU!! We need our village to come together to help make us this child’s forever family!! Will you?! Will you consider even $1.00? $5.00? $10.00. Again, in efforts of always being completely open and honest we are short quite a bit. We are lacking $9,000 and we need it by Friday! Craziest part of all of this, is I’m not worried. God has made it MORE than obvious that His hands are all over this.

And as you have obviously noticed. I have not shared the details of Joy and her beautiful child. Yes, I have pictures, I know the gender, name, and birthday, and I am dying to share but we are going to keep them to ourselves just a little bit longer. I will share. I promise. But for now, we pray. We fundraise. And we watch God do his work!


If you would like to donate to help bring our Starfish home you can do one of the two following things.

1.) PayPal directly to HeartGrownBabyLove@yahoo.com as ‘friends/family’ so no fees are taken out by PayPal.


2.) Click on this link for a debit/credit card donation and we will happily cover the fees.


Adopt Together

It with with the most humbled hearts that we have been accepted and have begun our online profile fundraising account with AdoptTogether. You can read more about our hearts for adoption and current status of the process. AdoptTogether.org is a project of Hoping Hearts Foundation Inc, a federally recognized 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Therefore, your donation would be tax-deductible. We do not take a single dime for granted, please know we pray daily over the plan God has set out for us and we trust Him to provide accordingly! Sending all of our love to all of you! 




First Time For Everything

I never saw myself writing this post. Mainly because I NEVER like to admit when I am wrong, because come on….I am never wrong. Don’t believe me?? Go ahead, ask Kelsey, he knows better than to say any different. Well, maybe don’t ask him right now. Right now he is gloating….just a little. When I first realized the error of my ways my first thought was, “Crap….now I have to tell Kelsey he was right!” <—-<< THAT most definitely never happens. He won’t say it, but he is loving every second of it.

As I contemplated how to begin this, as I attempted to organize my thoughts I kind of expected to be apologetic. I thought I would have to explain myself or make others understand. It doesn’t matter how many times people tell you not to worry about others opinions, we all still do it. It’s human nature at it’s worst. But as I sit here and type with no outline before me, I will not apologize because I don’t feel anything needs to be explained. For the first time in forever (totally busted out the Frozen soundtrack right there) I am beyond thrilled to share this news with you. Today is easily the best I have felt in months! This morning I woke up with the clarity I had been praying…no…begging God for. But before I can give you the grand reveal….I have a few confessions to make.

When I started this blog it was for me. I wanted a place to come back to so I could remember each step of our journey. I am so humbled by the blessing each of you have given me by following along, encouraging and praying for us. Every comment, message, text, and email has truly fed my soul. But I do owe you an apology. I have not been 100% honest with you. Even worse, I have not been honest with myself. So today’s blog is an attempt to rectify that. I want every step to be out in the open. There are certain levels of fear that comes with having such intimate details being laid out in such a way so go easy on me. (Seriously Kelli…NO more tomatoes)

So, you all know our story. We are a married couple that have seen both good and bad. We have two amazing daughters that bless our socks off on a daily basis. In one year we have experienced a miscarriage, failed placement, and failed adoption. We are biologically capable of having more children however adoption was plan ‘A’ for us. I first knew and publicly confessed that I would adopt one day when I was only 17. I was always amazed by it,  very curious about all of it, and I felt very strongly that I would one day travel the world rescuing children that never knew what it meant to belong to something permanent. We are unapologetically christians and even when the Devil throws water at our flame our God throws in another match. This past weekend I was given the privilege to fly to the other side of our country to attend Choose Joy. (I am fully aware of how many pictures I posted letting you know of just how amazing my trip was) but what I didn’t post was the reality of what I was facing. Nor did I realize what that one trip would do for me, my faith, and my family. And you are also all aware of the fact that we have recently ended the relationship with our agency. Who remembers me mentioning a bomb that my dear old hubby dropped on me?! Anyone?! Oh, just you wait…that part is coming too!

See, what you don’t know is that our journey has had a recent twist, an unexpected road block would probably be a better way to say it. I didn’t share this part with you because quite frankly, I thought it was irrelevant. Over the past couple of months I have been seeing my OBGYN and a few specialists due to complications that I assumed were miscarriage related. It was the only thing that made sense. I began some testing the week before we got the call about Sydney so naturally everything was put on hold. Upon returning home I kind of ignored it. God has a funny way of getting our attention, doesn’t he? I felt this nagging need to pick up where I left off so I called back in and got the ball rolling. I won’t waste your time with all of the gory details but I had to have a full list of tests ran that included just about everything down to my hair count being done. The results: Well…..that’s the confusing part. They simply can’t explain it. I have been diagnosed as 1. vitamin d deficient (easily corrected) and 2. unexplainable progesterone deficient. Every single inch of my body is thriving, healthy and just as it should be, except the one thing I need to biologically create a healthy child. Now…remember up above…adoption is plan ‘A’…remember?! This shouldn’t be a problem. But, the devil has a way of making it a problem. My initial reaction was, “Ok..no big deal…we weren’t trying anyways” but then the fears sank in, the anger began to take over. I slowly and very annoyingly realized, “This should be MY choice” and “This isn’t supposed to be a part of MY story” I was more angry that the choice had been taken away from me than I was that I couldn’t get pregnant without medical intervention.

Now, with this being said, I feel the need to go back a little. Just a little, I promise. I need to take you back to the day before I discovered we could no longer work with our agency. It was on a Wednesday, I had a loooooong conversation over the phone with my dear tomato throwing friend, Kelli (I was drinking coffee and I am sure she was drinking sweet tea) and I was truly unraveling. I was tired, lost for direction, praying for clarity and throwing down a whole bunch of “what if’s”. I started questioning if I was on the right path. Maybe I was the problem. I told her I felt like God had left me, as it was silent in every direction I looked for Him. For over a month, every since I lost Sydney, it was a deafening type of silent. I was losing all motivation, considering a nice long break from it all….I just wanted to stop. She encouraged me the best she knew how but it just wasn’t enough. I wouldn’t have admitted it to the Hubby at the time but I stayed in that recliner for over 2 hours. Talking to a God that had stopped talking to me. He didn’t have much to say but with everything in me He was going to hear all of my thoughts. My exact prayer went a little something like this, “God…You know I am stubborn…You made me this way…Deal with me” I knew that in order for me to ‘get it’ He was going to have to hit me over the head with a brick. “Lord, throw a brick already”. 

Fast forward maybe 18 hours later and the bricks came flying!! First, I learned (on accident I might add) that our relationship with our facilitator was strictly prohibited in the state of Florida and we received legal advice to end it immediately before any placement took place.

Fast forward again about 8-9 hours later and again…….brick!! We had just walked out of church, after learning the above, when we sit down to dinner and the Husband sucker punched me in the baby maker. Okay, not literally, but he might as well have. I kid you not when I say I would have been less shocked if he had admitted to an affair. My husband is a Christian. A solid man of God that is truly leading our family for the first time. In the 13 years I have known this man child he has NEVER said the words “God told me” or “God is leading me” to do ANYTHING!!! He actually began the conversation with, “Okay, so I need to tell you something but I need you not to freak out on me” (this is about the time I loaded the gun and started sharpening the knives) He continued, “I’m not asking you to change your mind, and I’m not saying this is what we have to do” (brass knuckles are on) “I have wanted to tell you this but I wasn’t sure how” (nun chucks are swinging) “Babe, for the last month (did you get that, the last MONTH) I feel like God has been talking to me. He has been putting this on my heart and I have tried to ignore it, I thought maybe it was just me so I kept pushing it down. Yesterday (Hear that part too?? The same day I was begging) I asked God for some type of confirmation. He had to made it obvious that it was Him talking and not just me trying to fix things. But tonight, at church, it was like a growing tightness in my chest. I couldn’t keep it in anymore. It was more painful to keep it suppressed than it is just to get it out” >>—-> Now wives…..Please tell me at this point in a conversation like this, would your husbands even be able to BREATH with your foot clamped down on their throats?!? GET IT OUT ALREADY, MAN!!!!!!! (good grief). “God is telling me we are supposed to adopt from **** in ******” (I can’t ruin the surprise this early in the blog)

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaby Daddy, say what?!?!?!

No…Absolutely not….Don’t even start! We have spent 13 months applying, fundraising, saving, and searching for THIS adoption. No sir. Save it. Not today. Was he kidding me with this mess?!? This was a joke right?! Come on out Ashton!

So being the good obedient wife I am, I said no.

So we move on, move forward……yes?? Not so much!!

The days continued to pass, I sought wise counsel from those that have walked before me, but more than that…I whined, I complained, I think I even stomped my feet a couple of times. And, you can forget about me praying for it. I knew what I wanted. I knew what my heart was telling me. I knew what was best. So I moved on. (Notice all of those I’s…Yea, I will apologize for that later….keep reading)

So, let’s return to the recent past. Choose Joy 2014 arrived. I couldn’t wait to see the faces of all of the amazing women that had become friends through a social media app. Women that had stood in the gap for me when I just couldn’t bare another second of heartache. But, let it be known, I came with my own agenda as well. I was going to reenergize, I was going to show my husband just how wrong he was. I was coming back a newly charged and on fire momma ready to attack THIS adoption all over again. He would see!! He would look so silly when he saw just how right I was. I attended 3 breakaway sessions, I will give you the cliff notes of each. The 1st — Breadcrumbs from God. I loved this one, it related to everything I had already been experiencing. Those little moments where God says, “I’m still here….I am right here with you”. I like breadcrumbs. The 2nd — The good, bad, and ugly of International adoptiion. This one was okay. I had heard all of that statistics before. I have always loved international adoption. It was actually what I always through I would do based on what I felt adoption was. Truly rescuing a child that suffered a grave future. So that was easy, I was in and out of that one. The last — The good, bad, and ugly of domestic adoption. (Here we go…This is what I am talking about) This…one….WRECKED….me!! It was all about her failed adoption. Every single detail mimicked our loss of Sydney. I sat in my little corner of the group and I sobbed. That really ugly cry, you know that one that comes with a surprise snot session. So sexy, let me tell you, that was me at my finest. SEE!! I told you!!! How could I be so wrecked if I wasn’t supposed to be doing this. I obviously cared SOOOOOOO much!! God was at work…I just couldn’t quite yet see how. 

Keep reading…..We are almost there!!

Choose Joy is one of the coolest things I have ever been a part of. Did you know that @ItsJustEmmy (Find her on IG, she’s rad) raised and gave away $7,000 to one lucky attendee. She also gave away an acupuncture package, a free consultant package with my favoritest consultant agency ever, AND a fundraiser package. Did I mention, I begged God to let me win. Not because I felt I deserved it more than anyone else in that room but mainly because I wanted to be right so I could shove it in my Hubby’s handsome face! But, I lost….and…I was…MAD!! Please understand, I was THRILLED for the winners. I think God knew exactly what he was doing. Did I mention how much I hate bring wrong?! Anyways..moving on! Over the remainder of the night I was allowed to casually share information learned, casual conversations turned into in depth discussions, and before I knew it I was painfully sobbing (yes,again) through a forced laughter in the parking lot. Little by little I was starting to see the error of my ways and it scared me. I refused it. I seriously told myself I was crazy and I may or may not have had some wine and yummy blackberry cider before bedtime. Morning came and I had to say goodbye to my new and forever friends. I was given the opportunity to lay in my hotel bed, staring at the ceiling (oh, and guess what, this hotel room had a ceiling fan! Love it) and it was then, at that very moment, that I surrendered. I physically, emotionally, and spiritually couldn’t carry this burden anymore. I visualized myself laying at His feet, asking God to take it. Asking Him to take over. I will once again commit to His will. I had this clarifying moment of Jesus. Right before he is taken to the cross Jesus begged, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Who am I to hold on to what ‘I’ want?! How dare I?? Am I really that shallow and self absorbed that I should ask God to give me MY wishes when His plan is always greater?! No more. I am His and He is mine.

Guys, I can’t in all good conscious come to you and tell you that the road will be easy. Heck, I’m still mid journey so I can’t say much at all. Heck, I’m still mid journey so I can’t say much at all. But what I can tell you, is that for over a month I have been tired, sick, moody, and just wanted to give up. I couldn’t hear God because I was throwing too big of a fit! I thought I was fighting the typical struggle of the journey but in reality I was fighting God’s superior plan for me. I can’t promise much of anything but I can testify to the power of God’s work. I needed a village and He took me. I HATED Choose Joy. It was AWFUL!!!!!! It didn’t give me what I wanted, but it gave me exactly what I NEEDED! I spent Sunday with two phenomenal women that love their families and are obedient to God’s calling. In a very short period of time they fed my soul, I believe they were the foundation for what was coming. I woke up Monday morning and guys….I could hear him again….I felt his presence surround me and I was energized, but for a different mission.

I arrived to the airport 3 hours early, what should have been an inconvenience was in fact again God’s work. During the international meeting I was given a book. A book that I have been wanting for close to a year and just never made the effort to acquire. If you haven’t read “Adopted for Life” get your hands on it….QUICK!! Before I opened it I had a little one on one time with the Big Man upstairs. I asked that if this was truly Him talking then please speak louder. I wanted to believe that He had not abandoned me, so please, speak louder so my stubborn heart can hear. These were the words I heard, that I wrote, before I even cracked open to the first page. 



And then I began. I go back and look at what I read and I can’t explain the emotions. The absolute turmoil that was resonating in my gut, heart, and apparently behind my eyeballs because the flood gates opened. I sat in a small corner of the airport (next to an outlet of course) and I silently wept. I knew what God had called me to do when I was only 17 years old but I allowed my fears, excuses, and the pain of a miscarriage sway me. I admit, I let the loss of an infant send me on the journey for an infant. My heart knew differently and my God knew better. And with surrender comes victory. 

I am here to admit, to each of you and still very reluctantly to my Husband. He was right. I was wrong. God is pulling my husband to the forefront, He was speaking clearly to my Hubs so that he could be the leader of his family. Tonight, I admitted what they already knew. Tonight we began our new journey to bringing our Starfish home.


Surprise! 🙂

Burst Your Own Bubble

Who here hates airports?? The crowd…the rush…the smells…the waiting?! It’s terrible isn’t it?? Such a pain!

Yea, I am totally lying right now. I love them. Not only do I love them, I am IN love with them. Do you remember when we were kids and your friends would say, “if you love it so much why don’t you just marry it?” If I could, I would.  Airports may be one of my favorite places to be. I am an avid people watcher, and not just for the typical oddities you are guaranteed to witness. I find joy in watching others as they navigate their own lives. Ever notice we live in our own bubbles? We get OUR coffee so we can get on OUR plane that will take us to OUR final destination. Something about the way I am wired doesn’t work that way. Don’t misunderstand, I can have road rage with the best of them, but in airports…..I am different. I am on an adventure. An adventure that requires my ipod on and earbuds in because every great adventure has a soundtrack, right? I am never in a hurry, I like the feeling of the burst of air that hits me as people speed by me. (Airport runners are HILARIOUS!! It’s not really a run, more of a quick shuffle with their rolling suitcases fumbling behind! Oh God, I love that part!) I’m never in a rush, I prefer to be the last one on the plane. For two reasons, but the selfish one being if I am last on the plane it’s pretty much guaranteed my carry-on won’t fit and they will check it to my final destination for FREE!! (Come on, admit it…that’s genius)  The smells?? Well, the smells come and go…some good…some not so good. Call me weird if you like, but I like that part too. I don’t mind the wait. Waiting comes with life (wow, maybe adoption really was meant for me. #ImAProAtWaiting). Take a look around next time you are in an airport, there is so much life. People from all over the world traveling to places all over the world. In very few places can you find both grief and glee. People saying goodbye while others embrace hellos. You will find kids of all ages, some flying for the very first time. The excitement that comes in a child’s eyes as they get to sit in the window and watch the planes take off and land….Man, that gets me every time! 

This post has no real point. It has nothing to do with my faith, our adoption, or even my life. I just wanted to share the moment. I wanted to challenge you to do the same. I have only been traveling for about 4 hours and already I have met an elderly couple that have the exact same departure and destination as me. In one quick skytrain ride we talked about careers, adoption, and God.  I have been very aggressively complimented on my country accent (What accent?!). While everyone fights to find a seat with a charging station I watched a young girl give up their spot so an elderly couple could sit together. I love it. All of it. Next time you are traveling take a look around. Don’t get lost in your bubble, there is a big ol’ world right in front of you. 🙂

I have to go now. They are calling our flight to board and the lady next to me wants to read my blog as I type. Now that I think of it, maybe I will sit here a little longer! #WinkyFace


Hurry Up….and Wait

“Can’t wait for your exciting announcement that you referenced last week!” <—— Ummmm….I hate to disappoint but I have none. zero. nilch. nada. nunca. In fact, I have less than nothing. What would be less than nothing?? In a way, we are back at day 1! 

The past week and a half have been like no other. Let me preface this by saying I believe with all of my heart and soul that adoption is joyous! It is wonderful, amazing, to be celebrated. But…the process….it’s just a big ol’ exhausting butthead that waits to tackle you even after the final whistle has been blown. Outside of my newest sewing sessions (aka obsession), blogging has been my mental and emotional outlet. It’s the place I can fall apart without fear (or care) of judgement. In the past I have apologized for the randonmness and hot mess of an outline but tonight I offer no apologies. Tonight, I am tired. I am not defeated or giving up. I have not lost faith or sight of the treasure at the end of the rainbow. I am simply taking rest. Seeking shelter in the cool breeze of the shadows. Save the scripture, cliche’s, and quotes….I’ve read ‘em all….twice. Just sit with me, won’t you? Pour a glass of sweet tea, kick up your feet, and let’s enjoy the silence together. (Oh…and there will be no spell checking today either)

I want to make this blog interesting. I would love to think I have you on the edge of your seat just waiting for all of the dirty details…..Again….not happening. I would absolutely love to be inspirational and full of ‘umph’…..nope….don’t have that either. This is actually my THIRD attempt to complete this ONE blog so I’m just going to lay it out for you, bullet style.

** Two weeks ago Kelsey and I became aware of a law that prevents Florida residents from completing legal adoptions through a facilitator. We questioned it. Doubted it. And then unfortunately, with the help of 7 different attorneys we verified it. What does that have to do with us, you ask? Our agency…The agency that we hired…that has been working to find us a birth mother…is a facilitator.

For those that don’t know: (don’t worry, we didn’t know either when we began)

Adoption Agencies are licensed by the State Department of Social Services or the State Department of Youth and Family Services to provide adoption services to birthparents and adoptive families. This usually includes counseling and other support services. (and include a much higher upfront cost)

Facilitators often present themselves as adoption agencies, but they do not provide the necessary adoption services that agencies and attorneys do; they only link families with a baby. (less costs upfront, pay placement fees to outside agency/attorney)

With that being said….We were in BIG trouble!! What do we do now? How do we move forward knowing the facts? We couldn’t ethically use our agency, it just didn’t feel right. When we began our journey it was to join two families in open communication, honesty, and love. How could we do that with this type of information staring back at us?? It took many phone calls, one amazing attorney who stood by our side the entire time, and tons of prayer. Even though we knew an placement COULD happen, did we really want it to? Luckily I am married to a man that wants to end this journey the same way we began it, with honest and pure intent. So with that being said, we ended our relationship with our agency. We have zero ill feelings, they worked tirelessly for us and believed they could find our birthmother. But we agreed to disagree.

** Almost immediately after the dissolution of one relationship we began building new ones. We were invited to a very last minute dinner that brought us face to face with other amazing adoptive couples that are in the crossroads of their journey. We are all standing at a fork in the road and too afraid to take the first step into a brand new path. Oddly enough this brought a little bit of clarification. It clarified that NOTHING in this journey is predictable, easy, or clear. It’s the extreme opposite, chaotic, hard, and foggy.

** I’m not ready to share the bomb that the husband dropped in the midst of all of this. It’s the kind of news that leaves you a little dazed. You know that scene in the movie where the actress kind of goes blank standing in the middle of the screen, yet the world continues to move around her. The sounds blend together causing one loud humming blur of noise. Yea…That’s me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good bomb, it could definitely bring much joy to our lives but it’s something only stirring in his heart right now so for now we will pray for clarification and direction. 

** So at this point we are trying to decide, what’s next. And in all honesty, we don’t really know. It’s like everything in adoption says Hurry…Hurry…Hurry….But now you have to wait! We know we are still on the path to adoption, just trying to find the path we are meant to take our next step towards. We are in talks with a couple of different licensed agencies but with that comes more financial demand. We continue to share our desire to adopt by word of mouth. But for right now, for just for a minute, we are choosing to catch our breath. I have found myself in survival mode. I am lacking motivation, energy, and desire. My heart is hurting. It’s seeking God’s clear voice and yet I am surrounded in silence. I desperately need a moment to step away and reevaluate. 

I have been blessed with the most amazing opportunity. Tomorrow morning I am boarding a plane that will take me from the East Coast to the West Coast for the sake of adoption. I get to spend the weekend surrounded by over 100 women that are seeking the same guidance, support, and shadows that I am. It couldn’t have come at a better time. (wanna know more? http://choosejoyevent.blogspot.com/)

I don’t mean to sound whiny or like my burden is bigger than anyone else’s. My burden is simply that….mine. In one year I have experienced a miscarriage, a failed placement, and a failed adoption. I have found so much joy, so much love, soooo many new friends, and yet still so much pain. So, I’m not done…I am way too stubborn for that. I’m not giving up…Everyone knows I refuse to lose. I am just tired…and if you know me well you know I love a good nap. So the next 6 days are going to be my nap. I am going to rest up, rejuvenate, and come back ready to tear down some more walls.

You don’t have to tell me my God’s got me…..I know He does! He is mine and I am His.


I find peace in the crash of the waves. The silence that comes right as it settles near the sand is quickly disturbed by the shattering sound of the next wave meeting the shore. It is never ending. Predictable. I find calm in the birds flying over me. They don’t bring burden with their search for food and I do not hinder their quest. When I need Jesus, I know where to find Him. I seek Him by name and He knows me by heart. -N.C.