Every month I post pictures of his face on that Facebook page.

For her and her family.

Every month I take photos and edit them and choose the best ones - the ones that show he is growing and learning and being loved - and I go to Facebook and upload them.

Nine months of photo albums, nine months of memories, nine months of love.

Every month I log onto that Facebook page and catch up on her and her family's Facebook updates.

Every month I am reminded of one more month that she lives with the reality of the fact that her son is not in her care.

Every month.


She's my hero.



Remember this post from almost two years ago?  God gave me a promise through a rainbow.

Well, yesterday, he fulfilled it:

Genesis 9:13 // 
I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

The differences?  Today I am watching this kid crawl.  God is faithful.



Monday Trey turned nine months.  Today, I wanted to do some shots with him in the desert around the corner from my house.  So I put his jeggings on and his H&M shirt and the shoes his birthmom got him.  He was quite serious, but he's cute anyways.  Love this Mr. Sassy & blessed by the gift of life and joy we have through him.  

(tickling helped.  for a second.)

(the biggest smile he gave me)

(shoes are annoying, you know?)

(working on walking)

He is such a joy and I love my life.


MLK DAY 2013

Years ago, my mom read the I Have a Dream speech for school, by the amazing Martin Luther King, Jr.

It was really amazing to me, at that young of an age, to realize that some people really stood up for what they believed in.  I thought it was fantastic that he did all of that, just to set his people free.  I thought it was wonderful, I really really did.  But today, it means so much more.

It means so much more because I have a black brother.

I have a black brother who would not have the chances he was today without MLK's fantastic act of standing up for what is right and true.  He would not be treated the same way today.  I am so grateful for the fact that God stepped in and changed the path our country was going into.

What a fantastic day today is.  To honor such a man.  I pray that one day we can have a day to honor the person who abolishes abortion.  Because I believe God can move mountains.  He moved them for MLK... He can move them again.

Happy MLK day, friends.  Spend it wisely.  And remember, color never matters.

"And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.""



It seems crazy, the way things can change in a year.  I know how cliche that sounds, but it's really, truly true.

Last month was crazy with the busyness of Christmas, and I had things on my mind that I wanted to write about.  It just didn't come.  I think what I realized the most this year, with Trey's first Christmas and all, is that you never fully realize the extent of the joy that comes with having a baby in the house.

During Christmas, more things seem to hit you all at once.  Maybe it's the stress, or the pressure the world puts on us, or maybe it's that when you dwell on what Jesus did for us, you begin to dwell on the things He's done personally in your life, especially in the past year.

Well, today marks the ninth month birthday of our precious Trey Malachi.  You could say that a year ago I had absolutely zero idea just how profoundly blessed I would feel a year later.  The joy he has brought to my home, even amidst the hard days, has been unspeakably perfect.  A gift from God.  Totally.

It is absolutely crazyinsane when I think of what has honestly honestly been done for me to sit here with him today.  I cannot describe it.  I honestly can't.  But when I dwell on the amount of love and $$$$ and prayers and tears that were all given... just for him to come home... I cannot.  I just cannot describe it.

Nine months has always been an age that I love.  I've looked forward to it since he was just a few weeks old.  I love their joy and how their personality has finally come out.  This month he has just blossomed into this joyful, giggly, sassy-but-too-much little boy who makes my every day lovely.

Happy Nine Months, my gorgeous Treybe.  I love you I love you I love you I love you.



"Do you sometimes go out and feel the opposite? People smile and admire? Or just judge? What area do you live in for people to staring and judging like that? how sad."

Let me start off my saying something that I've wanted to say for a long time.

I do not blog to scare people away, make them never want to talk to me or other people about adoption, and it is definitely not my intention to say that everyone looks upon my family and judges.  

Because that is definitely not the case.

I live in an area that I would consider to be more wealthy.  I do not wish to put my location out on the internet, but I can tell you that I live next to a major city of the United States.  Although I am in a fantastic community full of countless adoptions, people who love God and love adoption, there are people that just don't get it.  And I have to agree with your statement.

It is sad.

It saddens me that I have to write blog posts like that.  It saddens me that not everyone sees the beauty in it.  It saddens me that this is how some people view adoption.

And that right there is why I blog.  Because in the area that I live, people have their "normal" lives.  They have their children and they are living the American dream.  My parents have always said that we are a peculiar family.  And it's true.  We are not your normal American family.  We just aren't.  With that being said, though, I don't always blog about the wonderful parts because there are hard parts in adoption that people do not understand.  I want to educate more people on adoption and I want them to understand how my family feels.  I want to tell them that yes! my family does feel judged!  we get judged!  and that should not be okay! 

I also want to comment on the fact that I am a fifteen-almost-sixteen-year-old girl.  And when people see me, a teenager, with a baby, there is the assumption that he is my son.  And I get that.  I totally see how people would think that.  And I will also tell you that although there are more people that do not assume and therefore judge, there is always one person that will.  Always.

I also want to say I am not upset or hurt or have any negative feelings about being judged and stared at.  In fact, I take it as encouragement to continue to inform and educate the world about adoption.  Although it gets a little hard, I try to remember that it's just part of the story.  It is not a negative thing unless you make it negative.  I try to smile anyways because getting beat down by it is not worth it.  Life is short.

I do not go out every single time and get judged.  People smile and people admire.  People say God bless you and people tell us that we're fabulous for doing such a thing.  But alas, that is not always the case!  And I too am extremely sorry for that as well.  I agree that it is such a terribly, terribly sad thing.  But if no one else will talk about the hard parts, the stares, the judges, who will?  If no one else is willing to change the way our culture looks at adoption, who will?

That is the real reason that I blog.  To educate and to be real and transparent about adoption.  The good and the bad. 



I see it every time I walk out the door.

Even if it's just to get the mail with him on my hip, it's the most obvious thing.

I cannot walk into a grocery store holding my own baby brother without feeling judged.

My family cannot be anywhere in public without feeling judged.

And it's hard to feel that way every moment of your life in public.

It's hard to feel as if your every movement is being watched and judged.

It's hard to feel as if God is allowing people to judge you.

But maybe that's just the beauty of it.

Maybe it's God's way of saying they will judge you and they will persecute you.

It is not always words that hurt.  It is eyes and thoughts.  Judgment is a feeling.  You can feel it through others.

But God does not promise us a dandy time doing what He calls us to do.  He doesn't promise a life of ease just because we obeyed Him.  And although the blessing is huge, God is using the stares, the judgmental eyes, all to say,

This world that you are a part of.... it is an evil place... and though you obeyed Me.... I am only showing you that there is nowhere that will be equivalent to My kingdom.

& they will stare.  & they will persecute.  & they will mock.  & they will question.  & they will judge.

But I will persevere.

For following His calling is not in vain.



It's the little things in life.

Like walking down the hallway at 10:43pm and hearing his little tiny snores coming from his bedroom.

Or waking up to a baby that reaches out and tries to hug me.

Or hearing his birthmother say "I love you" in every voicemail.

It's the little things that make you realize

Oh wow, I'm blessed beyond belief.



I can't believe I'm saying this.... but I think, after 3.5 years, I'm finally ready to go back.  I've been "ready" ever since the day I got back.  But now?  It's a feeling.  I feel my readiness.  A little homesickness going on over here.  They say home is where your heart is.  I've always said I've left my heart in Africa.  & even though my heart is here with my family too..... now I know that I know that I know that my heart is in Africa.  I also know that I need to get myself back there sometime soon.  We'll see how that goes.  Prayers appreciated. 

"And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation."

Mark 16:15



A little late, but.......

Twenty-twelve was such a lovely year.  It was the pure picture of God's work and utter control in my life and in those around me.  Some took their first breath, some took their last.  In the end, though, through the tragedies and the heartbreaks, God was present.  And He made it clear.  And even if I go into this year with unanswered questions.....

God is present.

So, here we are, my friends.  My favorite moments of twenty twelve, captured.  (in no order whatsoever apparently.)

I learned too much this year to put it down on words.  But all in all, I learned that every day matters, and to live it that way.  The breath we breathe is a gracious gift.  That simple things can be beautiful.  Simple things like baby hugs and the way I watch the sun rise over the neighbor's trees every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30am sharp.  Family is a beautiful thing.  Babies bring the most joy.  True friendship can't be bought or forced.  To keep my eyes open more for the moments worth remembering.  To photograph more.  To love more.  To miss more.  To be more.  I pray that your twenty-thirteen is the best year you have ever lived in all your life.  Take chances, be who you were made to be.


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