Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Puzzle Fundraiser-Update!

Our puzzle fundraiser is exactly 60% complete!

179 out of 300 puzzle pieces have been claimed by donations so far! 
That means we have 119 pieces left until our puzzle is complete! 
1 puzzle piece = $30, so 119 puzzle pieces = $3,570! 


Here are some pictures of our growing puzzle! 
Each person represented on this puzzle has touched our hearts in an amazing way! We will always cherish this puzzle as a reminder of God's goodness, faithfulness & provision! It's also a daily reminder of the generosity & selflessness of people in our lives. Our sweet Baby K will always be able to see the tangible way our friends & family lived out the Gospel to help bring him/her home!


 


If you are interested in donating to our puzzle fundraiser… 

Here's how it works:
~We have customized a 300 piece puzzle. Each piece will represent someone who donated to help us bring Baby K home! 
~Each puzzle piece is a minimum donation of $30! 
~You may just want to be represented on one piece of our puzzle or on many pieces! 
~Your name will be written on the back of each piece you represent!

We would be so blessed and thankful if you were a part of this fundraiser! To get your puzzle piece, go to the paypal link on the right side of this blog! Or you can email us tylergordykoch@gmail.com for our mailing address if you are interested in sending a check, cash or have questions. 
  
Thanks so much for checking in! 

"All things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
~Matthew 21:22

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Various Perspectives & Prayer Requests!

Hi y'all! I wanted to share some posts, stories & articles that I've been reading lately! The topics vary from infertility, pro-life, open adoption, trans-racial adoption, birth mothers, etc & have all encouraged & touched me in special ways. I know every journey to building a family is unique, but infertility & adoption has made our journey very different. A lot of the time, I don't feel understood by other women or young married friends or mothers. Reading other women's stories & experiences has been important in helping me relate & navigate through this process! I hope y'all will enjoy reading these & gain new insights into some of the topics! 

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This post to birthmothers on adoption is beautiful & touched me in a deep way. I love how the author shares about the legacy of adoption in her own family. One woman's courageous decision to give her child life can impact a family for generations. I'm so thankful that there's a woman out there right now who will choose life & a family for her child. A brave, beautiful, courageous woman, full of sacrificial love for the child growing inside of her…a woman who will give us the most precious gift we could ever receive. I pray & thank God for our birth mother every day! This one is a must read! 


Love this pro-life post! This woman's story is inspiring, beautiful & reflects God's love so evidently! I love how she is sharing her experiences & standing up for other young unmarried women who find themselves pregnant. She gives some really practical & beautiful advice on how to reach out to & love on young pregnant mothers (I really love #6). 


You might also want to check out her previous post:


This post on infertility is raw, powerful, emotional, beautiful…and it's reached my heart & struggles. Check out the rest of her website to read more on her story of infertility, adoption & her faith journey through it all. She doesn't hide or cover up the pain she went through, but chooses to see how God was moving in her heart & life, even during her darkest days. If you're dealing with the pain of infertility, I hope this touches & encourages you. She has a book coming out this fall, I've already pre-ordered it! 


Link for the book!


I shared this post written to moms of adopted children a few weeks ago, but I had to share it again. This post reached right to my heart & made me cry "yes, this is for me" tears. This adoption journey is complex & different, & it's special to be able to read a post & connect with it in so many ways. 

This post is a series of pictures taken of a family & their precious baby! I love the range of emotion displayed in this photo series! Adoption is hard, emotional, so so beautiful & worth it. Their baby boy is so adorable! 


This post is written by a birth mother. It's so important to acknowledge & appreciate the birth mother's role, journey, experience, feelings, etc. in adoption! This post is simple but really beautiful insight from the perspective of a birth mother. 


I love the way this post explains the parallel between marriage & open adoption. We hope & pray that we will have the opportunity to treat our birth mother as part of our family. Whatever situation God has for us, I pray that we would do everything in our power to promote healthy, positive relationships with our child's birth mother & biological family. 


Photo Credit to r. guidry photographie 

How you can be praying for us:

We have a few more things to get done before we are "active" (ready to be matched with a birth mother & baby). We are really hoping to be finished with everything & active by mid-August! We would love for y'all to specifically pray that our profile book would be ready by this time. We also have some important decisions to make concerning what we are comfortable with as far as levels of alcohol & drug exposure to our baby. These decisions are big & really hard to make. We would love for you to pray for God's wisdom & peace to cover us as we make these decisions & complete our remaining paperwork. 

We would also love prayer over our continued fundraising, particularly for our puzzle fundraiser. Pray that we would stay faithful & encouraged throughout the high & low times in our fundraising. We need  prayers for wisdom & creativity as we continue our fundraising efforts. 

We cherish your prayers for our sweet Baby K & birth mother. We are specifically praying for our future relationship with our birth mother. We hope that we will develop a real relationship with her & be faithful in showing her the love of Christ throughout our adoption process & beyond. Please pray for her heart, that she would begin to experience the love, hope & acceptance that Jesus has for her in very real & tangible ways. Please pray for protection over our sweet baby & that God would divinely shield him/her from anything harmful or damaging as he/she develops. Pray that we would continue to trust in God's plan for our family & for our baby. Please pray that I would keep letting God into the painful parts of this process so that I can experience His love, healing & goodness. 

Pray that I would find other women & families to share with & learn from. I would love to be able to form a few friendships with other women who know what it's like to experience infertility & choose adoption. 

Pray that God would continue to strengthen our marriage & our faith as we walk this journey to adoption hand in hand. Would you pray that more people would be reached with our story & that God would work in the hearts of many for His glory. 

Photo Credit to Carolynn Seibert Photography

Thanks so much for all of the support, prayers, & sweet messages! We are blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives. 



^This painting from our Etsy shop has been the most ordered item so far! God is determined to continually remind (stubborn & doubtful) me of His faithfulness & perfect timing!  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Etsy Additions: Pendant Necklaces!

Cary & I are pumped about announcing the new additions to our Etsy shop: Pendant Necklaces! 
Check out our shop to see what options we have available. You can also custom order a necklace. They can be customized by wording, color, pattern, symbol, etc! These necklaces make great gifts & it's never too early for a little Christmas shopping, right!? ;) Let us know if you want something specific or have questions! The pendants are 30mm & come with a 24" chain necklace. They are $20 a piece, the price includes shipping. You can view & order from our Etsy shop by clicking on the link on the sidebar of our blog. You can also order directly through me if you prefer. 

Here are pictures of most the necklace designs we have available in the shop right now! 









Thanks for checking in! Back to crafting I go! ;) 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Heart Wide Open: A Letter to Baby K

Hey everyone! I've been so busy lately working on paperwork & fundraising for our adoption! Our Puzzle Fundraiser is going strong, & our Etsy shop is keeping me very busy! Cary & I have also been working on getting some of the remaining paperwork completed. I have been meaning to write a more personal post for a while now, but I haven’t been able to find words to express my heart. The truth is - it’s been a struggle keeping my emotions balanced on this adoption journey. I’ve been trying to hold it together by pacing myself emotionally & putting most of my focus on fundraising, paperwork & the few things I can control. I’m so thankful that God sees my struggle & meets me where I am. Today I was finally able to get out some of the things out that I’ve been carrying around in my mind & in my heart. It’s a really personal post, but I thought I would share it. It’s really messy, rough & raw, & has a ton of grammatical errors but I wanted to leave it unedited & honest.
Cary and I would love to have your prayers as we continue to walk through this complex adoption journey & wait for our precious Baby K! We continue to feel so loved & blessed by your support, prayers & encouragement!


My sweet Baby K,

A few days ago, your dad & I talked about baby names for YOU! It’s something we used to be do all the time before receiving our infertility diagnosis but have rarely done since. We’ve been through so much heartache & pain on this long journey to meet you, and that somewhere along the way I put a guard up around my heart. Don’t get me wrong, you’re on my mind everyday little one, I talk about you & share about you & wonder about you…but I’ve realized that so much of me has been fighting against truly letting you in. It’s been a daily battle for me. The truth is that I am scared. I’m scared to completely give my heart over again…I’m afraid to let my dreams of you run wild, I’m terrified to imagine what it would be like to hold you in my arms & have you home…because I have been so hurt & so disappointed. I’ve waited so long & I don’t want those hopes to be crushed again. There’s been so much pain in this journey to finally meet you so I’ve learned to pace myself when it comes to opening my heart. I know that nothing is secure yet, we don’t have any guarantees, we don’t even have any details about you yet sweet baby, and so I keep trying to wait to feel all of these emotions inside of me…it’s so hard to protect my heart when all it wants is to finally burst with love & plans for you. Lately, it seems like everyday I experience something that helps me inch my heart open a little bit more. Like talking about baby names…your dad & I talked for hours about names, we made lists & we tested out different spellings, wrote down names in both print & cursive, we looked up pronunciations & meanings & thought about middle names & nick names…& we laughed & looked at each other like “is this really, finally happening?!” then I took a shower & totally broke down in tears of both intense sadness & joy. Tears of sadness as I mourn so many things-our infertility, the uncertainty that comes with the process of adoption, the loss of ability to know you from conception, the heavy weight I carry everyday while I wait for you-ultimately the lack of control I feel & have felt throughout this whole journey…and tears of joy for the miracle & blessing that you already have been & will be to me & your daddy, joy for the moments like this when I’m so overwhelmed with hope for what’s to come…& joy for the relief I feel from letting my guard down a little bit more. In these moments of tangled emotion, I just try to be still & wait on God…I try to keep my heart open a little bit longer & say, “Lord, I trust you with my heart, with my dreams, with my family & with my child.” Standing there in that moment, I breathe a sigh of relief because I truly believe again that God really is in control…most days I know this in my head, but in this moment, I know it in my heart. He fills me with peace & He reassures me that He is good. He loves you, my little baby even more than I do. He has a plan & He is with me through this journey. He helps me trust in Him and not in myself or in my ability to control my emotions. He helps bring my guard down & helps calm my racing mind & soothes my aching heart. His peace allows me to be a little bit more vulnerable with Him, with myself & with your dad.  And because of His love & presence in my life, I can allow my heart to open up a little bit more to all of those dreams I’ve been keeping inside of me. I can dream about looking into your eyes for the first time, my precious little one, even though I don’t know what shape & color they will be, I know they will be the most precious little eyes I’ve ever seen. I can dream about bringing you home & snuggling with little tiny newborn you…I can imagine singing you lullabies and tickling your tiny cute toes. I am dreaming about laughing as your daddy changes your dirty diapers & swaddles you up with love & kisses. I can imagine him making you laugh with his silly faces & tossing you up in the air (when you get big enough!) I can imagine waking up with you in the morning, when I’m completely exhausted but so full of love for you, rocking you to sleep in the middle of the night & breathing in those sweet moments when you fall asleep in my arms. I allow myself to imagine hearing you mumble your first words, hearing your first laugh & even watching you throw your first temper tantrum. I can allow myself to imagine YOU & not just the thought of you. Little one, there’s been so much pain & difficulty in this journey to find you but there’s also been healing & joy. In the depths of my heart, I know that I am right where I am supposed to be. That God is preparing me for you little one, and He’s helping me through this complicated journey. I’ve known my whole life I was meant to be a mother, and you will make me one sweet baby. I love you so much already little one and I can’t wait to meet you. I’m so thankful that today, God gave me the courage to allow myself to sit still, with my heart wide open & imagine these moments with you.

 Love, 
Mommy 
Photo credit to Eva Cranford Photography 
Photo Credit to R. Guidry Photographie 

 I've been reading lots of adoption blogs & articles lately. Here's a post that really touched my heart today: http://www.kathylynnharris.com/dear-moms-of-adopted-children/

Thanks so much for checking in! 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." ~Romans 8:28