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adoption

Family

Traveling the Road Less Traveled: Adoption Update

We had a call about a placement for adoption last weekend. We were ecstatic. We jumped through hoops to get our work stuff covered, make plans to take our children out of school for the day, hired a pet sitter, packed our bags and drove seven hours to Texas. Our adrenaline was through the roof! This was the call we had been waiting for. We were SO hopeful and enthusiastic to meet our match.

But it just didn’t work out.

The whole entire story isn’t ours to tell. It involves a child and his family.

The story is covered in a great deal of grief and pain. The emotion we just dove into was all over the place, from joyous to the deepest basement of sadness, and that’s just it, we dove RIGHT into it. We were a mess last week. And honestly we still are.

We are doubting our adoption journey. We are hugging our bio children tighter.  We are finding a way to regroup and move forward. I never knew how hard adoption would be.

Sure I knew the paperwork was hard. I knew the waiting was hard. But I never knew the emotion that a failed match would bring.

A friend of mine said this to me this week: “It’s emotional because it’s emotions you’ve never experienced! It opened my eyes up to a whole different world… so many people hurting and needing love!” And that exactly sums up everything I’m feeling about ALL of it right now.

For our friends that have been praying- thank you! Can we ask you to keep praying? We had a glimpse into the life of a boy on his journey to find his forever family and he needs your prayers even more than we do.

 

Family

Our Adoption Profile Book {3.12.18}

Hello there. We are back from vacation and I’m back to work this week. Post-vacation on a week where we loose an hour is a little rough, but we’re hanging in there. The extra sunshine we’ll be gaining each day sure will be worth it!

We were home study approved for our adoption a few days before we left for vacation and we had already printed our profile book, so I dropped the copies by our agency office and then we headed out on a flight the next day to beautiful South Florida. The day before we arrived home from vacation we received an email from our social worker “There’s a mom who has already birthed a baby girl and we will be placing her next week. Can we show her your book?” We had less than 24 hours to respond and we said yes! We were excited, but also experiencing that nervous feeling like: “are we going to come back from vacation and get a baby?”

Unfortunately we didn’t get a call about that placement, but I thought it would be fun to share our profile book if you’d like to see. We are currently home study approved for infant adoption in the US. I know I researched a lot of books before I put ours together so I thought I’d share our final version just in case someone out there is trying to prepare their book and is looking for ideas! We used mixbook to create it- I’ve used them before for family photo books and I love them. They have colorful, easy to use templates.

Our agency gave us some guidelines including what types of pictures to include and which ones to omit. For example, we have a cat, but she never comes out for our kids and we didn’t want to promise anyone that we have a “friendly loving pet” so we just left her out of our book.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the book. Feel free to comment below or send me a message through the contact section of this blog if you have any questions we could help answer about our journey so far.

XO Ashley

Family

What’s Up Wednesday {7.26.17}

Hey it’s Wednesday! How are you this mid-week? Are you dragging through the week or are you coasting towards Friday? Work training has my routine all mixed up; I’m trying to find my bearings, but it’s so great to shake it up every once in a while and get the brain cells movin’. Today I’m writing about what’s new; here’s a quick glimpse of what I’m sharing!

This link up is a fun way to check in with all of you to share just what’s been going on; I’d love for you to share what you’re up to in the comments!

What we’re eating this week

We are in survival mode in this department. My husband is taking night classes two nights a week and we head to church one day a week so that equals 3 nights of easy suppers. Think quesadillas, make ahead meals, homemade chicken nuggets and Annie’s Mac and Cheese.

What I’m reminiscing about

July! How did this month slip by? I wrote a post about all the things we were up to in July; we had a great month! Here’s one fun picture from our stay-cation.

What I’m loving

Right now I am excited for all of my Nordstrom items to arrive from the SALE! I am also loving this backpack that I bought for work- I’ve had so many co-workers ask about it, and every single time I tell them it’s less than $20 they’re shocked. I also bought my husband this one and both are extremely similar in size and quality. Finally, I’m back-to-school shopping and ordered the nap map below. We have one just like it in another pattern and we love it- it has a soft inside.

What we’ve been up to

We have been hanging at the pool and had a stay-cation in downtown Memphis. I talked all about our fun month of July here. Here’s one fun picture of us scoping out the sunflowers in Memphis right before sunset.

What I’m dreading

I am dreading an early school start time. Right now we’re in a daycare format where drop of is between certain hours. The structured school year will have us shooting for a more punctual approach. Don’t leave me summer!

What I’m working on

For the blog, I just ended two great interviews with two inspiring people. You can check them out here:  Why Limit Happy to an Hour and Hola and Hey Mon!

Personally, as a family we are working on our adoption plan and our FPU plan. Click the links to learn more!

What I’m excited about/ What I’m looking forward to next month

I am excited for the Elvis 5K. We do it every year. We live in Memphis and August is Elvis Week which is actually 10 days of activities with an Elvis theme. One time I flew back to Memphis at the start of Elvis week (I had forgot about it) and there were 4 Elvis impersonators on my flight! What we really really love most about the race is that they give out Krispy Kreme donuts, Old Venice pasta and Jim ‘N Nicks biscuits at the end… so basically whatever we burn off is immediately wasted away on a full feast of carbs!

PS: Speaking of Krispy Kreme, they came to my work to talk about their social media plan and so I started following them on Intagram and their posts are so fun!

PSS: Since we’re talking about Elvis, I ordered the Memphis Moonpie in Nashville off a menu once and they brought me this- what??? That is Elvis’ face in chocolate!

What I’m watching, reading, and listening to

I just finished up this book. It’s a great read and I’m sad to see it end. I think this one is up on my list next. I did a full recap of all the resources I am loving right now here.

We are listening to Johnny Lang (a quick snipet of his music) on Pandora right now. It’s been so long but I feel like this music really belongs in our house right now!

What I’m wearing

Well right now it’s “dress for your day” at work so I’m dressing down any time I have the chance because this all changes when summer ends. On weekends it’s shorts and swimsuits and flip-flops on repeat. I’m also wearing this necklace and still loving it. I have a blue one. She sells them right through her Instagram page.

What I’m doing this weekend

We are headed to meet friends at a fun art studio for kids for a play date. Here are some past pictures of some of our previous masterpieces in action. I am so happy to say that when we leave the studio I don’t have to clean up a thing! The kids also wear the cutest aprons.

What else is new?

In 4 weeks I am going to be an aunt to my sister’s baby! I am stoked and my sweet little niece can’t come fast enough.

I also did this post on getting organized with spaghetti jars, flower delivery vases, and potted plant containers.

Otherwise we’re trying to enjoy the last of summer and keep cool in this 100+degree weather until school starts. 

I hope you’re all having a great week! If you’re visiting this site for the first time I’m glad to have you here. Feel free to take a look around and follow me on social media for info regarding the most updated content.

 

 

 

 

Family

Adoption: Where to Start?

Today I’m sharing a piece of our personal life that I’ve been avoiding.  I’ve started and stopped this post over the course of the last couple months. It’s a difficult topic to approach because it’s a goal that we have as a family that is not always well received by others. It’s a topic that a lot of adoptive parents aren’t open about, but that’s even more reason for us to share, so that others starting this path aren’t in the dark. So here goes. Here’s how we feel about adoption.


A Calling

In 2006 I started my first professional job in a field I’m passionate about- Marketing- for an incredible region- the Caribbean! I was also just embarking on my marriage with my husband Daniel with only two years under our belt. My first official solo trip for work was to head to Kingston, Jamaica to meet the Orbis flying eye hospital and handle sponsor coordination and support. I hadn’t been far from the US (my passport stamps included Canada and Mexico), I was 24-years-old, and I was excited to add that third entry stamp to my travel document! When I hit the ground in Jamaica, I got to work, organizing customer tours of the plane, coordinating support to help in the unloading process, and I attended a community outreach event where my company went to a local hospital with the Orbis team where we gave away goodies and good vibes to the patients.

Our tour of that hospital included an orphan wing, and I remember my disbelief that these children we were visiting didn’t have families. Some of them had severe medical conditions. I met a little girl who appeared to be six months old, by my estimate, but I found out from the staff that she was a little over twelve months. It was devastating and disheartening, and when I arrived home I announced to my husband that I wanted to adopt. He really wasn’t sure, we didn’t have any children of our own, and after years of discussion I agreed, with his guidance, that we would start our family on a more natural path and explore adoption later. I put my thoughts on hold, but quite honestly in, the back of my mind, adoption was calling to be a part of our story.


What we’re doing now

Right now there’s not much more to tell except the things we are doing to be proactive in this journey; here’s how we are being intentional.

  1. We’re doing research.

We are meeting with agencies and going to info sessions to learn more about the process. We are reading about people who have adopted. We’re meeting with people who have adopted. We’ve purchased books about adoption. Basically we are learning what this process would mean for us.

  1. We’re praying about it

Our life is a little hectic, but we know that this stage won’t last forever. So we are praying, keeping our eyes open for opportunities to learn more and we’re leaning in to what God wants for our family.

  1. We’re preparing financially.

Adoption is expensive. Although there are some tax benefits and my company offers reimbursement in some cases for a small portion of the cost, there is still an extremely large upfront contribution required. We are preparing for those expenses. We’ve set up a fundraising page and we’re thinking over fundraising ideas that we could potentially move forward with.

Although not immediate, we will be preparing our home study. There is an expense to that, and it also has an expiration date and could expire if not used within a specific time frame (with a small fee for re-activation), so we are trying to hit the time just right for that exercise.

Most of all we just keep moving forward. Even a small step is a step in this process.

We will keep sharing significant stages in our process through this page. Please keeps us in your thoughts as we find out more about what this means for us. And hey, if you have experience with adoption and would like to share, please send me a note through the contact section of this page or through IG or Facebook.

**Update: We are home study approved and moving forward with an agency in Texas! We are currently awaiting placement and we’re fundraising for some of our adoption fees.