Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy 1st Birthday, Isabel!

Today our baby girl is ONE year old! 


This is going to sound so cliche, but this year FLEW BY! 
One minute we were driving home from Georgia thinking we had all the time in the world to snuggle our newborn baby girl, & bam…the next minute we were making decorations for her 1st birthday party & crying our eyes out over how big our baby is! I am caught between wishing I could rewind the clock to experience her 1st year all over again & looking forward to all that is to come as she continues to learn & grow this next year. 


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To beautiful Izzy, on her 1st birthday:

Years of prayer came to fruition the day our lives collided. We met in a hospital room, like mothers & daughters usually do. However, our story is not as simple as most. 


Your daddy held me close as the nurses in the room seemed to shift into high gear. You were finally coming & you were coming fast. Sterile hospital gown & gloves were slipped on & then all of a sudden it was time. My hands were shaking & my heart beating so fast. I looked up at your birth mother, at the clock & then back at your daddy one final time. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next.

 

As I stood near your beautiful birth mom's bedside, waiting for you to arrive, watching her bring you into the world & into my arms, time seemed to stand still. After all the waiting, dreaming & hoping, there you were in the flesh...tiny, beautiful & so perfect. As I held you, everyone else faded away for a moment & my heart exploded with joy. Our long journey to find you finally made perfect sense.







We love you sweet Isabel Grace. You have our hearts forever & ever. Happy 1st Birthday! 

Beautiful photography by Elizabeth LaRoche:
http://elizabethlarochephotography.pixieset.com

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Adoption #2 Fundraising Announcement: 
 Every month, the cutest shop on earth aka Live Sweet Shop, gives a portion of sales to an adoptive family. We are so thrilled to share that Live Sweet Shop will be donating a portion of all February sales to our adoption fund for Baby K #2! 
We absolutely adore Live Sweet's precious & whimsical products! They have the cutest dolls, blankets, pillows, headbands & more listed in their shop. Izzy loves her Live Sweet Flora Fawn doll, pictured below. If you're interested in shopping or just want to check out the happiness that is everything Live Sweet, links to their shop & Instagram pages (you can purchase products from Instagram as well) are posted below. So grateful to Live Sweet for partnering with our family to help bring home Izzy's little brother or sister! 




We are excited about celebrating Isabel's first year of life with family & friends tomorrow at her birthday party. Can't wait to share the photos here with all of the wonderful people who continue to follow & support us! :)

Much love, 
Tyler  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Love is Always Worth the Cost

I share a lot about the beauty, joy & hope in adoption. How can I not? Every time I look at Isabel I am reminded of God's amazing grace & plan for our family. 
Today, as I was reflecting back on this time last year as we waited for Isabel to be born, I had a flashback of how much "hard" there is in the process. We traveled a long road to get to where we are. So today I'm speaking hope into those of you who are in difficult stages of adoption. 

When I was in college on a summer ministry project, the project leader shared this quote with us, "If the cause is worthy, the cost is irrelevant." I'm not sure who the original author is, but I could not think of a better quote to sum up adoption. 

Adoption can be hard & messy. It is a long process filled with a wide range of emotions & complexities. From the adoptive parents side of things, there are emotional & financial risks associated with adoption. The cost associated with adoption can be staggering & a major obstacle that most families struggle to overcome. The waiting can seem endless & hopeless at times. The unknowns & risk of a failed match are terrifying... Sometimes when things are rough, the wait just feels too long, the fees seem to high or the unknowns too great...fear & doubt start to creep in & for a split second we might find ourselves wondering, "Is this all worth it?" 

I believe the answer is always...YES! 
What cause is more worthy of fighting for, sacrificing for & giving your heart to than love? Than life? Than children? Than YOUR child? Than family? Than redemption & hope? Adoption is the Gospel lived out. 

I want to encourage those of you who are dealing with the "hard" in adoption right now… When God calls us to something, He has a divine purpose & will be faithful to provide in EVERY way! The process might not look like we want it to, it might take longer, we might have to fight & work & pour ourselves out over it...we might face setbacks, get our hearts broken, struggle to see His plan in it all...but through all the crazy ups & downs...no matter the outcome, we can choose to keep fighting, to love deeply & to glorify His name...because the cause is WORTHY.
God is good through it ALL...even the rough, ugly, confusing, heartbreaking parts of the process. And even though it sometimes feels like it, we are never alone! God is in front of us, fighting our battles, bringing redemption, preparing our hearts & giving us the strength we need for each step. He is fighting for the child, the birth mother, the adoptive family... He is fighting for us all to experience Him in the midst of all the hard that adoption can bring, because He knows there is nothing more powerful or worth more than His love. On days when it all feels like it's "too much" I encourage you to bury yourself in His Word & ask for prayer. 

Adoption is an invitation to cling to the Lord & let His strength carry you. The adoption process made me realize how weak I am & how strong HE is. It has brought me closer to the Lord than anything else in my entire life. Isabel's life is a beautiful reminder of the Lord's faithfulness & provision. Our relationship with her birth family is a picture of the Lord's grace & redemptive plan. I am amazed at what God has done in our journey & am excited to see how He continues to lead us. 


I feel like the Lord put these words on my heart to encourage someone else going through the adoption process, but also to remind ME of these truths as we pursue a second adoption. I don't know what battles some of you are facing today, whether it's adoption related or not, but I hope my words & my story would encourage you to keep pressing on & fighting for the cause the Lord has given you a passion for...because y'all, it's worth it. 


P.s. It's Isabel's birthday week! We cannot believe our sweet girl will be ONE in 2 short days. This week has been filled with so much joy as we count down the days & reminisce on her 1st year of life. Can't wait to celebrate her life with family & friends this weekend. 

"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

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." ~1 Peter 5:7

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." ~Romans 12:12



"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose." ~Romans 8:28

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." ~James 1:2-4