I took it all for granted.  Every beautiful sunset, every 110°+ day.  Every walk in the desert, every 60° winter day.  

I realized something, after being on the East Coast for ten days.  It is simply not my home.  As beautiful as it is, as lovely as the weather is, and as amazing as the houses are... it will never be my home.  I simply didn't like the East Coast.  And I realized, on that vacation, that the West Coast will always be my home.  No matter where life takes me, Arizona will always be my home.  The desert - as ugly as it may be on holidays like Christmas - is always my favorite place to be.  I like the way the cactuses grow tall.  I like the way the car feels in the Summer after you've been sitting in a cold, air-conditioned room for too long.  I like the way the grass grows and how the air feels in the middle of a monsoon.  I like how you can put your fingers on the car window in the middle of the Summer and it burns from the heat.  I like having brown Christmases and how the cotton grows on the side of the freeway.  I like how the mountains surround my city and how the pool feels when the sun is setting.  I like Arizona, because it's my home.  And home is my favorite place to be.  



Did I ever forget to mention that having brothers is the greatest?



Some people just have it.  When you can say, "Turn around", and they turn around, look straight into the camera, and look so natural.  This is Taylor, and she's so model-worthy.



Months ago, I received an email from a lovely girl named Natalia, who wanted to start a website about orphans and adoption with me.  Today, we have five girls on our team with 51 followers on our blog.  In our minds, one of the best ways to spread the word about a website is through the internet.  Below is our blog button.  If you read P147 - or even if you don't - but you want to help inform the world about adoption, please put this photo on your sidebar.  Copy it, save it to your computer, steal it, I don't care.  We would be so blessed if you would put this on your sidebar and help us inform the world about orphans and adoption.  After all, we are trying to change the world, and the only way to do that is to have more people read P147.



To me, Summer has no schedule.  There should be no where to be, no school to do, no specific time to wake up.  When my dad offered to take T & me to the desert for a photo shoot in our new neon pink  matching dresses, of course we said yes.  (By the way, please ignore how short I am.  5'1 and loving it)



Happy Sunday, friends!  Here's a picture of the very adorable and very squishy Mr. Trey from earlier today.  Somedays I just can't get over his cuteness.  That face is just way too much.  And what's better? He loves music.  When he cries, Taylor will play Call Me Maybe on the piano and he'll stop crying immediately.  When I think about the fact that God could have given me any baby as a brother.... but he chose Trey -- special -- for us... it is overwhelming.  He is perfect and I am overwhelmed by God's goodness.



We get stared at.  It's the craziest thing.  People just stare.  For me, I have no problem with it.  Being stared at doesn't bother me in the least.  People can judge me, and I won't care.  It's not a big deal.  I just want people to know that this is not necessary.  If you see a biracial family, don't stare.  They are a normal family.  That child is still their child.  We are not any different than "normal" families.  Just because one of the kids in my family has a different skin color doesn't mean we should be stared at.  

I want the rest of the world to be okay with adoption.  I don't want the rest of the world to see my family and stare because we're different.  I don't want the world to see a difference in skin color.  It's just color for crying out loud.  If you're a Believer, you shouldn't care about how God brings family together.  Natural, adoption, it's all the same to me.  You're still the same family.  Trey's still my brother, no matter the DNA.  DNA doesn't make up a family.  God does.

So, next time you see a biracial family, don't stare.  Adoption is beautiful.



 Taylor's shoot makes me love photography even more.  I've said it before and I'll say it again... photography, to me, is not about the camera, the photographer, or the location.  It's all about the people.  She made the photos lovely.  I think she needs to be an Anthropologie model.  I can just see her face on the cover of their magazine.  Photographing gorgeous people is my favorite thing about photography.  And that's why I love it.  Because it's the best way to capture people as they are, where they are... no matter their background.



This is Taylor.  I met her four years ago in an Algebra 1 class and I've never been the same since.  This month, she's staying with me.  I've had so much fun having an adopted sister for four weeks.  I'll be so sad to let her go.  So tonight, despite the heat, we went out for a photo shoot.  See the rest HERE.

I love you, Taylor.  So much.




I love the movie The Blind Side.  I love every second of it.  I love how truly they portray every character.  I just love it.  It's so perfect.  As I watched it this afternoon, something one of the characters said really hit me.

"You're changing that boy's life." 
to which she responded, 
"No.  He's changing mine."

Everyone is always telling my parents that they're changing Trey's life and that he is so blessed to be in my family.  This could be true.  Maybe we are changing his life.  But to me, it's the other way around.

Sure, he's blessed to be in a family with two awesome parents and a bunch of siblings.  He'll get to chase his dreams and find the Lord when he maybe wouldn't have had those opportunities before.  But I truly am the blessed one.  My parents truly are the blessed ones.  He changed my life.  We didn't change his.  God chose this life for him.  He didn't necessarily do it to bless Trey or to change his life.  He did it to bless and change my life.  My life wouldn't be the same without him.  Or without adoption.  Or without every second of experience I got to go through.  Adoption wouldn't be the same in my mind without him.  I wouldn't be able to bless other people with adoption without Trey.  I wouldn't be able to say the same things about adoption without Trey in my life.  Without being there when his birthmother gave birth to him.  Without being there when his birthmother chose my family.  Without being there when his birthmother so selflessly gave life to her son and a son to another family.  That is truly the blessing.  I am truly blessed.  He changed my life, and adoption will never be the same in my eyes.  Ever, ever again.  



Worth every single second.  I beg you... please take seven minutes and watch this today.



I've been through countless disappointments in adoption.  I'm sure everyone here thinks I'm crazy that I get so crazy over a new brother.  Most people my age wouldn't even care.  It was twenty+ presentations which led to letdowns and questions.  It was two failed adoptions.  To most, I was crazy.  Why the hexagon would I care so much about another brother when I already have three of them?  It's just a brother, why is she caring so much?  Here's the thing: I loved adoption and I had never been through it.

I watched many adoptions go through before Trey was home that made me want that.  It made me want a brother through adoption.  And then we went through it and it wasn't easy when I expected it to be.  We had our first presentation to a birthmother... who didn't choose us... and we got that phone call.  "Sorry, she picked someone else."  The next day, someone chose us.  Turns out, that baby wasn't our baby.  And God made that plan, so it had to be perfect.  Then, we went through nineteen more presentations.  Nineteen more moments of hope... "Maybe this is him.  Maybe this really is him.".  But it wasn't.  We got those nineteen phone calls too.  "Sorry, she picked someone else."  It was beginning to sound really repetitive.  And disappointing.  Most people my age wouldn't care at all about having a new brother.  Most people my age wouldn't care if you got nineteen "no's" to a new brother.  The thing was: I loved adoption.

I watched our dear friends walk through that airport gate with their three girls from Haiti and I loved adoption.  I watched those same dear friends walk through another airport gate with their precious son from the states and I loved adoption.  I watched another dear friend come home with their sweet daughter from the states and I loved adoption.  My two closest friends are adopted and I loved adoption for that.

What I'm trying to say: It doesn't matter.  None of it matters.  I went through seven months of pain and waiting because I wanted a moment like everyone else.  When I watched my dear friends walk through those gates with a child that God chose for them... I wanted that moment.  And it didn't matter to me.  If I had to go through seven months of that to stand here today with Trey... it's all worth it to me.

And today, when I look back at those times I loved adoption, I love it even more now.  I wake up to Trey's sweet face and not a moment goes by where I'm not thankful for him.  For his presence in my home.  How long I had to wait to love adoption this much... it was worth it.  The love I have in my heart for adoption is overflowing.  And I hope that never changes.



Currently // listening to the Biebs' new album.  I know.  I already know.  I'm one of those teenagers.  I already know that Justin Bieber is the #1 most overrated artist in the entire world, but I couldn't care any less.  As Long As You Love Me happens to be quite catchy.

You should check out // this video that I made with my friends.  Call Me Maybe happens to be one of the most overplayed songs in the entire world, but it's still this summer's theme song.

This month // my amazing friend Taylor is staying with me for the month of June, and gosh, you guys have no idea how fun it is to have another person your age to live with for four weeks.

This week // I played two games of Monopoly in which I got 20 million from Taylor after she landed on the two most expensive properties (which I happened to own both of and have hotels on each).  It's one of those moments where you love life.  I also built a really amazing fort with Taylor in which we made a million friendship bracelets and made a huge mess and ate lunch in it and attempted to sleep in it.  goodness, summer is my favorite.

Today // I've been working with Taylor all day on making a magazine out of magazines, and goodness, it's so much fun.  I'll have a post about it when we're finished.

Right now // I'm using a Kindle case as a mouse pad because I'm stupid.  That's right, I told my dad he needed to go out and bu a $70 magic mouse because it was "broken".  Turns out, the mouse pad was too bent to be used.  Kindle cases ftw.

That Awkward Moment // when Call Me Maybe comes on the radio (in your giant diesel Excursion filled with 8 people) and everyone in your car starts simultaneously dancing like this.

(the kindle case mouse pad)

(me killing taylor in monopoly)

(a page from our magazine)

(a glimpse at our fort and our friendship bracelet obsession)

(the mess we make on our dining room table when we make a magazine)

and there you have it.  the last meaningless blog post i will ever make.




nights at the baseball field.

this kid.

Trey is starting to talk.  It really is the cutest thing ever.  He looks right at you and says "oh." 

Going to a friends' Gender Reveal Party for their sweet baby... it's a boy!!!

Missing my friends.  A lot.  (And yes, W&O, if you're reading this, hi)

this face.  that is all. 

Two month photo shoot with baby boy.  oh my goodness!!!!!!!!!



My God is bigger than my problems.  He is for me.  He is on my side.  Why else, then, should I continue to worry about them?  He moved mountains for me.  I have to believe that it won't go down the way it could.



It's been two months.  Two months since I woke up to the news that my Lord-willing baby brother was coming into the world that day.  It's been proclaiming my love for adoption here, here, and here before I met him.  Today, I love adoption even more than I did when I wrote those three posts.  Today, adoption means more to me than anything else on this planet.  Today, I woke up to his sweet face.  Joy.  That is what he is to me.  Pure joy.  Tonight, he cooed and smiled at me.  He dances to Call Me Maybe.  He weighs 12 pounds.  He is pure joy.








He is such a gift.  Watching his smile turn into involuntary to really realizing who you are and cooing and smiling big.  He smiles with his eyes and scrunches his nose when it's really funny.  He is starting to attempt to giggle.  He is just a gift.  A sweet sweet gift. 


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