Thursday, December 12, 2013

God Knows

Here is a video that someone posted on facebook or twitter.  I saw it and it moved me.

I just loved it and cried right along with them. My favorite line in the whole video is when the dad says, "All those years, all those prayers were for him.  Were for Jacob."

I loved this line so much because it reminded me that all our prayers and all the preparations we are doing now are for a specific child.  It reminded me that this is not in my control and there is nothing I can to do to make it happen sooner or to mess it up.  God knows!  God knows the very child that is our son or daughter.  Adoption is not a random happening that takes place when our number comes up.  Just as God knits children together in the womb, He has a plan for their life from the very beginning.  It does not surprise Him that they are in need of a family or the timing when they will make their entry into the world.  God knows exactly when our child will be born and He will make us ready.  God knows what we need and He provides!  All of that is encouraging, but the thing that gives me the most comfort is to know that God already, knows our baby, whether conceived or not!  He already loves our baby and He already has a plan for our baby.  God already has His hand in our baby's life.  He can see our baby's face.  God knows!  When we don't, God knows!

 How can I not be comforted knowing that God is holding our baby and when it is His perfect timing so will we!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Adoption: The Raw Truth of Waiting

We are homestudy complete.  Yay...I guess!  What does that mean exactly.  Well, it means we have completed paperwork and waited and waited and now we are officially WAITING.

Here is the truth about adoption from my perspective.

Everyone has a different story to tell and the journey to adoption takes many different paths.  So, as you read this, keep in mind that this is our journey.  I am not telling you how everyone feels about waiting, just me.

We did not come to adoption through infertility, so I feel like our story is one that is not as common, or at least not as understood and as commonly shared.  We have two biological children and are ready to grow our family.  About a year ago we began to pray and talk about having another baby and God made it very clear to us that He had a plan to grow our family and that plan included adoption.  We couldn't be more thrilled.

So, here we are almost a year later and we are on what seems like a never ending waiting period.  It is hard!  I want nothing more than to have another little love in my home.  Adoption is hard!  It is not a calling for the weak and it can make you weary.  The difference in my experience is this:

Pregnancy went something like this for us...  We decided to have a baby.  We quit preventing pregnancy and began trying to conceive. In a couple of months we were pregnant.  I had great pregnancies; no complications.  I had beautiful births.  I did have to have two c-sections but that is how my little loves were brought into this world.  That is our story and I love it.  I wouldn't change it.  Because of modern medicine, my babies were born and are alive.  Thank you, Lord, for the c-section!  From the thought of wanting and child to the birth was less than a year for both of my children.

Adoption has been more like this...  We began praying about adoption about a year ago.  We went to our first informational meeting in January 2012.  We began the paperwork the very next day.  God poured a peace over us that this was His calling on our life and we ran with it.  We flew through paperwork and background checks.  We made our profile books and scheduled our interviews and our homestudy.  Anything and everything we could do, we have done.  And now, a few months shy of a year since we began  the adoption process, we are finally waiting to be chosen.  We don't have a child yet.  We have no timeline for when we will.  We are just waiting.

Along the way we have had to rely on a lot of other people to do their part for the process to move along.  Of this, I am not a fan!  You see, when we were trying to get pregnant, the only two people that were involved in the process were me and Adam.  Adam and I both felt equally excited about getting pregnant and we both felt very connected to the idea of growing our family, as we should.  Well, I have learned, that people are busy and my desire to have another child is not their desire to have another child.  Therefore, other people do not feel the urgency that I feel to move the process along.

Along the way, I have also learned that it is emotionally draining to know that God has a child, out there, for us, but not to know if that child is born yet, if that child is even conceived yet, if that child's mom is taking care of him or her like they should, will they be ok, is it a him or a her, what race will our child be.  It is almost unbearably hard to, in the deepest part of my heart long for another baby and to realize that I have absolutely no control over having one.  I have given control over to my Heavenly Father and while I know He loves me and I know He has a plan for our family, I do not know what His timeline is or that it will match what I want.  Knowing that He has a plan has not yet changed the aching in my heart hold my little baby, to know where in the world my baby is sleeping tonight or if my baby is even alive yet to be tucked in.

So, the hard part, for me, in adoption, is trusting God.  Trusting His will and His plan.  My uterus is screaming to have another baby and I have to quieten it at the prompting of my God.  It is hard to actively prevent pregnancy every month, when my strongest desire is to have another baby.  It makes no logical since to me.  Everything in my knows that God has called us to adoption. When I dream of our family growing, it is through adoption.  To be honest, I just don't want to wait.  I dream every night of the new little child or children that will run through our home.  I sit at the playground, watching kids, and wonder if my child will look like that or have hair that color or eyes that color.  I wonder when my child will be home and my family whole.

I know many adoptive parents who have had said to them, "Well, at least you got your kids the easy way."  I said it earlier and I will say it again...Adoption is not for the weak or the faint of heart.  This journey has been harder than the journey to having our first two children.  At least when I was pregnant, I knew where my child was and I knew when I was going to meet them.

It is the not knowing that haunts my dreams.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Audrey and Katherine

I had the privilege of photographing this sweet mom and her precious baby girl last week.

 I met Audrey through mentoring in the A Way Out organization here in Memphis.  Audrey came to AWO from jail.  She was pregnant and desperately looking for a way to change her life. She had tried to change before but always held on the the past and ended up back on the streets.

 Audrey's life on the street started early, being introduced to crack and prostitution, by a family member, as a young teenager.  As she would tell you, her time on the streets was not glamorous or fun; it was hard and empty.  She was beaten and raped and consumed by the drug that was destroying her life.  Audrey had spent almost 20 years on the street before coming to AWO.

God has used A Way Out to change Audrey's life.  It is amazing to see the ways Jesus is moving in Audrey.  She gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl less than a month after she entered AWO.  She has been an amazing mother since day one and strives to learn more about raising Katherine in a way that honors God.  She shows that baby girl the love of Jesus every day.  Audrey would tell you that God has used Katherine to save her life, but what I hope Audrey sees is that God is using her to give an amazing example of His grace to Katherine.  Audrey has completed the intensive recovery program offered by AWO and is currently working on getting her GED.  She has been clean around 8 months and inspires the new girls, that come in, to stick with the program.  God is working miracles in Audrey and her story is a testimony to God's love, grace and faithfulness to finish what He has started.  I am so proud of Audrey and smitten by Katherine.  It is an honor to know her and to be a part of her life.

Thank you, Audrey and Katherine, for letting me capture a little piece of your life.  I love you guys!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

God Provides

Here are a few pictures from my latest photo shoot.

God is providing throughout this adoption process in amazing ways.  He has provided families, like the Swetts (above), that allow me to capture moments of their family while providing money to grow mine.  God sold our truck in less than a week, which provides half the money for our adoption.

The finances are a huge part of all of this, but the most amazing way that I have seen God provide for our family has been in the peace He has given us as we walk through each step.  Adoption is a wonderful, but very hard process.  It is hard to have so many people taking part in such a personal part of your life.  It is hard waiting on reference letters, fingerprints to return, money to come in, home study being complete.  It is hard not to have any control over these things being done.  I have learned...God is teaching me that He is in control, not our case worker, not the people processing our background checks and not our friends who we have had to count on the provide references.
                                                              GOD IS IN CONTROL!
We will have a baby when the baby that God has for us, that God knows is our baby is ready.  Paperwork, timelines...all that mess doesn't matter!
                                                              GOD IS IN CONTROL!
All of this process is just the stuff that we humans do while God is really taking care of everything.  That is what lets me sleep at night.  That is what makes it ok that I don't know when my baby will be born or if he or she is already born.  That is what makes it ok that I don't know the sex, race or health of my baby.  God does and He is taking care of everything.

                                                              GOD IS IN CONTROL!

Thank you Doug and Holly for being a part of the process!

If you are interested in a session email me at  Feel free to pass along the info!

Sunday, April 7, 2013


This is a picture taken by a friend.  This is a picture of love, support, sacrifice and community.

Our church family had a yard sale to raise money for families in our church that are adopting.  Yesterday was an amazing day for us.  We looked around and saw people that love us, people that love Memphis, people that love Jesus.  

Adoption is an amazing journey.  We are only in the beginning steps and our faith is being stretched every day.  It is hard a journey!  It is a scary journey!  It is a wonderful journey!  

Community is a crucial part of surviving.  We are made to live in community.  This life is modeled for us in the Trinity.  Community is a beautiful thing when it is fueled by a love for Jesus.  A community fueled by a love for Jesus throws a yard sale for families that are adopting.  The families that spearheaded this yard sale are not currently adopting, but they love Jesus, this city, and the families that are adopting.  

I want to publicly thank all of the families that sacrificed time, energy and stuff to make yesterday such a success.  Thank you for the very bottom of my heart!  My child that is out there, the one we don't know yet, the one that so many of you are praying for thanks you!  I can't wait to introduce this child to the wonderful community in which God has placed us.  We are grateful to be raising our children with people that love Jesus!

Thank you V&E Parish!  You are amazing!  This is what community looks like.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Let the Journey Begin


Adam, Carter, Norah Lynn and I are adopting!

The ways in which God has changed us, shown us His love and grace and moved us since we have been married is amazing.  When I look back at the beginning of our marriage and then look at now, I am thankful to say that God has worked in our lives most wonderfully.

This work in our lives has brought us here, to this very moment, to this very decision.  We are adopting.  We are adopting domestically.  We are more than excited to be doing so.

Adam and I have always know we wanted children.  Even from before we were married we knew we wanted several children.  We knew we wanted to raise them up to love and follow God.  We knew we wanted our house to be one that was full of love and encouragement and fun!

What we didn't know or even suspect was how God would bring us to have these children.  He has given us two amazing biological children.  We are so blessed to have them and so thankful for their little lives.  When we started praying and talking about having another child, the answer became very clear to both of us that our plan, our journey included adoption.

We know that there is a little child either already out there or on his or her way that is ours, part of our family.  We not only know, but are overjoyed with the thought and knowledge that God is already preparing this child to be a part of our family just as He has with our other two children.

We are ready, little one, to welcome you home!