Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Noah's 1st Birthday: Photos

Last month, Noah turned ONE!


His party was so much fun. We had a blast celebrating 365 days of loving our precious son! 

Cary & I are so thankful to have loved our boy for an entire year now…feels like a blink & forever all at once. I love watching Noah explore, learn & grow more each day. I love the sweet connection we share & the way he looks up at me with his beautiful brown eyes. I love how cuddly he is when he wakes up & how he puckers his lips so perfectly to give kisses. I love the way he laughs with his sissy & follows her around everywhere. I love this stage & wish he could stay a baby forever…but I'm also excited for year 2 of loving him!











Happy Birthday Noah! 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Birth Mother's Day

Today is recognized as Birth Mother's Day. 
Everyday, but especially this weekend, I carry my children's beautiful birth moms in my heart. I wouldn't be celebrating Mother's Day tomorrow or living out my dream of being a mother everyday if it weren't for these two women & their brave decisions... I am beyond grateful for the loving sacrifice both Izzy & Noah's birth moms made when they chose life, chose adoption & chose us... I am forever humbled & blessed by their decision to entrust the most precious gifts in the world to us... 


I am thankful that God made a way for us all through the option of adoption. In both situations, He knit all of our hearts together in love for the sake of our children...through His grace, we share an incredible, bitter sweet, beauty-from-ashes kind of bond... Together we are motherhood.

Would you join me in lifting up two very special women in prayer today?!

With love,
Tyler 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Loving Waiting Moms on Mother's Day {A Word to the Family, Friends & Churches of the Waiting}

I love celebrating the amazing women & moms in my life every year for Mother's Day! However, after experiencing infertility & adoption, my perspective on this holiday has been forever impacted. I'm now aware that Mother's Day can be a very difficult day for many for a variety of reasons. Today I'm focusing on how to love women walking through infertility or adoption on Mother's Day, but I want y'all to know my heart goes out to everyone who struggles on this day, no matter the reason. I believe we can wholeheartedly celebrate the wonderful mothers in our lives while also being intentional to remember & reach out to those who are hurting on Mother's Day. 

For a woman dealing with infertility or waiting to adopt, Mother's Day can be one of the most painful days of the year. It's a day when everywhere she turns & everywhere she's looks, she's reminded of what she longs most desperately for & despite all of her trying, praying, believing & hoping, she doesn't yet have. It's a day when every emotion she's tried so hard to control often confronts her head on. It's a day she tries so desperately to be strong, when all she really wants to do is crawl back in her bed & cry herself to sleep. It's a day she dreads going to church because as women stand up around her to be honored, she sits forgotten, with shaking hands, a throbbing heart & her head lowered to hide her tears. It's a day when buried questions bubble to the surface of her every thought...
"Why me? Am I unworthy? Do I not have enough faith? Has the Lord forgotten me? How much longer will I have to wait? How many more losses will I have to endure? How many more not yets? Will I ever have what my heart longs most for? Will I ever hold the sacred title of mother?" 

As she spends her day celebrating all the beautiful, wonderful, amazing mothers around her, all she longs for is for her momma heart to be acknowledged too, even in the simplest or smallest of ways. She doesn't want to take away from any mothers' much deserved praise, not one bit...not ever...she's just hurting. She needs to know others, especially those close to her, are praying for her & believing with her for the day all her dreams come true. She needs to be extended grace & understanding if she needs to duck out of the celebrations early or avoid them altogether in an effort to protect her heart. She needs to be reminded that the Lord sees her, loves her & is with her. She needs her church to recognize her struggle, to affirm her strength, to honor her heart & to lift her up in prayer.

Here are a few simple, thoughtful ways for spouses, family & friends to honor a waiting momma on Mother's Day: 
  • A thoughtful note/card/text of encouragement
    • Recognize & honor her momma heart
    • Remind her that she is loved & remembered   
    • Acknowledge her pain, longing & losses 
  • Give her a big hug & tell her, "I love you, I'm praying for you & I'm here for you." 
  • Flowers or a small gift like jewelry, art, bath bombs, candle, journal, plant, chocolate, gift card, etc. It's not the specific gift that matters, it's the thoughtfulness that comes along with it! 
  • If you know someone who's experienced miscarriage or child loss, consider dropping off breakfast & a sweet note at their door the night before Mother's Day 

Easy, meaningful ways the Church can minister to waiting moms on Mother's Day: 
  • Verbally acknowledge that Mother's Day can be a hard day for many & pray for those who are hurting 
  • Include those dealing with infertility, miscarriage, child loss in your prayer intentions
  • When you honor all the moms, also honor the women walking through infertility & adoption 
  • Whatever way you bless moms in your church on Mother's Day, include the waiting moms/moms who have lost babies too
Also, please...
  • Pray for those dealing with infertility or waiting to adopt year round 
  • Recognize & celebrate families built by adoption just as much as you celebrate other families in your church 
  • Offer support groups/resources for those dealing with infertility, child loss & adoption 
-----------

To all the waiting mommas...my heart goes out to you this weekend. Even though I am now momma by adoption to two precious babies, I remember the heartache of Mother's Day like it was yesterday. I hope & pray your friends, family & church make you feel seen, loved & celebrated for your beautiful momma heart this Mother's Day. I hope they tell you this, but just in case they don't: You are already a fantastic momma. Your strength, your determination & your love for your future children is beautiful. 

So this weekend, even if you don't feel seen or celebrated, I want you to know you are. You are honored by me & by the many other women who have walked this road before you. We know firsthand how hard Mother's Day can be when you are still in the wait. We are all holding you in our hearts, lifting you up in prayer & rooting for you. Most importantly, you are seen, loved & celebrated by our Heavenly Father who knows your momma heart better than anyone.

Friend, I know no one but the Lord knows the future...but today I'm hoping & believing on your behalf that one day you will experience beauty from ashes... Oh how I pray your day comes soon! When you hold your child in your arms for the first time, you will be so overwhelmed by the Lord's goodness & perfect timing. On that glorious day, you will understand the reason for your wait in a new way. You will understand redemption in a deeper way. The desperate longing you feel for your babies now will translate into a deep appreciation for the gift of motherhood once your child is in your arms. The absolute miracle of motherhood will never be lost on you. 

Sweet sister, as someone who has stood where you stand, allow me to gently speak some powerful truth to you today...let me remind you that His timing is never late, or early...it's always perfect. He has not forsaken you, He has not forgotten you. He is with you & has gone before you. He has plans for you & a purpose for your wait. He is with you today. He has joy for you today. He has hope for you today. He is enough for you today. I hope you will hold these truths close to your heart this Mother's Day. 

I am praying for your heart this weekend. I'm so sorry you are hurting & grieving. I'm so sorry you are facing trails & walking through this hard season. I'm sorry you haven't received your yes yet. I'll be thinking about you on Sunday as you put on a brave face to celebrate your loved ones. I am praying for your weary heart to be filled with hope today as you set your eyes on the One who makes all things possible! I am believing for your miracle babies & rejoicing for what the Lord has done, is doing & will do in your life. 

Thinking of you & holding you in my heart, 
Tyler 


"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." -Romans 15:13