subsidy shades

i just love this adoption community. since bringing vivi home we have gotten to know some of the best people though instagram, facebook, and email. it is so SO encouraging to hear the hearts of so many families across the country who are walking the same journey  we have, and it is the biggest blessing to read their stories.

on that note, i wanted to let you guys know of an absolutely amazing company. its called subsidy shades,  and they sell the cutest, most stylish, most affordable designer style sunglasses around! (but really. they even had a gifting suite at the MTV Movie Awards!)

even better, the company was started by a family to raise money for their adoption, and since it’s taken off they are now able to fundraise for other families in the adoption process. their story is unbelievable. no. i mean it. you will be BLOWN AWAY by this family’s heart for adoption and their love for birth families.  you HAVE to go read about it here.   i just love supporting small business as it is, and finding a company that also has its heart in adoption is a win win!

so, i just got my new shades in the mail and i LOOOOOVE them. i NEVER find sunglasses that look good on me. i feel like the ones i am willing to pay for ::cough, target, cough:: are so cheap-y feeling and they inevitably break in like 2 days. but these puppies are the real deal. they feel like a million bucks and are 100% UVA/UBV protectant. i now own 3 pairs and i have 4 more pairs in my cart as we speak :)   they sell men’s women’s and children’s styles….so….move over bow obsession! bring on the shades for vivi!!

family, don’t be surprised if these wind up in your christmas gifts! :)

seriously. check them out. do it now. thank me later. :)

be sure to check them out on instagram too! @subsidyshades

wearing the madison here...love them! hate weird selfies of myself, but LOVE these shades.

wearing the madison here…love them! hate weird selfies of myself, but LOVE these shades. also these are $12! $12!

Yep. All three of these are currently in my car, diaper bag, and purse. LOVE THEM.  in order these styles can be found here, here and here.

Yep. All three of these are currently in my car, diaper bag, and purse. LOVE THEM. in order from top to bottom these styles can be found here, here and here.

 

i wish you a “swell forever”

one day, a week or so before we left to go and meet our precious birth mom and soon-to-be baby girl, i received an email from the sweetest woman named brooke. she is the founder of the company “Swell Forever” and asked if i would like to receive a beautiful gift from them in honor of our up coming adoption. UM. YES! i sure would! as i began to discover this amazing company and what they stand for, i became more and more overwhelmingly thankful for this precious gift we were about to receive, and fell in love with what this company stands for.

brooke started her company in 2013, creating beautiful, one of a kind  blankets to be given as treasured heirlooms gifts. what makes these blankets over the top, extra special is the message she includes with each one. on every blanket is sewn a sweet message from a loved one–something they want the receiver to cherish forever. as she says on her blog, it’s a way of wishing someone a “swell forever” or a “happily ever after.”

not only is she amazingly creative, brooke also has a beautifully open heart for children in foster care and those who are need to be adopted. she calls her company “Swell Forever” because that is what she wishes for the 100,00 children waiting to be adopted in the US foster care system– she wishes a happily ever after for them. not only do these blankets provide someone with a cherished heirloom, but a portion of each purchase goes toward their adoption fund and grants! their goal is to one day provide one grant per month to a waiting forever family. their hearts are specifically for foster-to-adopt children and well as special needs kiddos in need of forever homes. such an amazing heart on this girl. to find out more about their adoption fund and their hearts for adoption, or to support this amazing company, check out their page here.

in light of our adoption, this idea is beyond precious. after talking with brooke, i contacted our birth mom Mo and asked her if she would like to include a special message for viv on the blanket; something she would want viv to see and remember forever. immediately she said “i want it to say ‘i’ve always loved you, and i always will.’ “…….yeah………tears.       i emailed this to brooke, and a few weeks later we received our most treasured baby gift. this blanket means the world to us, and will to viv some day too. its our way of keeping Mo close to us everyday, and a reminder of her loving heart for her baby.

i cannot recommend this company highly enough. for anyone looking for a special gift to give a loved one, this. is. it.     snuggling with our cuddly soft blanket, our cuddly soft baby, and reading those precious words from Mo is…..priceless to us.

thank you brooke and Swell Forever! we absolutely love our blanket!

 

 

tour through blogland!

hi guys! if you are on the ‘tour through blogland’– welcome! i’m glad it led you here :) if you are a returning reader–thanks for coming back. it’s nice to feel like someone other than my mom is reading (love you mom!). either way, let me introduce myself to you a little better! hopefully you will like what you read, and you can introduce yourself to me! i love new friends…..and old friends… :)

what is a blog tour?

this tour through blogland is an awesome way for readers and writers to get to know each other! it’s a way for me to introduce myself to you, fill you  in on the happenings in my life, and give you suggestions on other amazing blogs i know you will love! i was nominated by my wonderful “insta-friend” tamara (you will find out more about her below!), and i am thrilled and honored to take part!

what am i working on?

currently i am working on motherhood. oh, you know, just trying to tackle that little thing called BEING A FREAKING MOM…for the first time! no big deal…i should have this figured out by next week sometime..

paul and i just adopted our first little girl, vivi, and we are blindly groping our way through the dark (quite literally during night feedings) trying to figure out our new roles as ‘mom’ and ‘dad’. i am working on letting go of trivial things that take my focus off of viv….like laundry….or personal hygiene…. and savoring every second we have with our little babe.

i am also working on finishing up her nursery….. i’ve got a long way to go….. (wait.what?! i need a crib AND a crib mattress? shouldn’t this all come in the same box??!)

in addition to all things baby, i am finding my love again for healthy food and cooking, and i am nursing my newest addiction to the tv show ‘the blacklist.’ and you should too, it’s so good!

how does my work differ from others in it’s genre?

well…..i think my blog is different because i am not an, “(insert blog description here)” blog. it’s one part ‘mom blog’, one part ‘health and wellness’ blog, NO PARTS fashion blog, unless unwashed yoga pants are considered hip, and day old spit up is considered an accessory…..it’s an eclectic read here at T&H. i love to talk about healthy, holistic medicine (the kind that has helped me heal my ulcerative colitis), sharing yummy and healthy recipes, building our first home, decorating (or rather, wandering overwhelmed through ikea and homegoods trying to figure out “my style”…), and other various “here’s what happening in our life” posts……….however lately it has been all things adoption on the blog!

i have fallen. in. LOVE. with adoption. and i LOVE to talk about it. so, in addition to being one part “mom blog” i also blog about what it’s like to be one of TWO moms that love our girl (ie: viv’s birthmom), how to support our birth family, what our open adoption looks like, and what it means to embrace the transracial aspect of our newly formed family of 3. (again….groping blindly through life on these topics…..). i hope that no matter what you are looking for in a blog, you can find a little bit of it here. “all things to all people”, am i right? :)

…….i guess maybe this blog doesn’t differ too much from others…i just hope you like my spin on things and want to keep reading! :)

why do i write/create what i do:

this blog started because i wanted to start documenting my life in such a way that made me stop and realize all the amazing treasures i have. i wanted this to be a reminder to be thankful, a way to look back and see the faithfulness of God in our life, and now with our daughter, i want to have our adoption journey documented for her to read someday.

as a result, through my blog i have been able to connect with other people who are wanting to get healthy and heal their bodies naturally, prospective adoptive couples, amazing adoption-grown families, people building homes of their own, and so many many amazing bloggers who encourage me, motivate me, and inspire me in all the different facets of life.

so, i guess in short, i write to count my blessings, be blessed by others, and try to bless others myself. (hashtag: blessed.)

how does my writing/creating process work?

mmmmmm…….that’s a good question….as of right now, i blog “as the spirit moves” you might say. no rhyme or reason…some weeks i blog a few times….sometimes i take a month off…i am trying to be more consistent though… i have tons of post ideas rolling around in my head, and as soon as i feel like i have enough in there to write, i do. this is usually why my posts are unedited, raw, and sometimes rambling…. i just barf it all out there and hit “publish” !! i really do love to write, and i hope to get better at it someday :)

so, there’s a little bit about me! i hope you enjoyed it! thanks for reading, and i hope you come back again!

BUT WAIT! there’s more!

to continue your tour through blogland, check out these three amazing blogs! i love the honesty, creativity, humor, and insight these  blogs have to offer….plus the women have become some of my greatest ‘blogland’ friends! i KNOW you will enjoy these! (these bloggers will have their “tour through blogland” posts up next week, along with their recommendations!)

 

Kelly Bee! 

My name is Kelly and a write at a blog called Kelly Bee, named after what my mom has called me my entire life. I write about my life, the things and people I love, and the things I am passionate about. My husband and I just adopted our first child after struggling 10 years of infertility.  I love adoption and how it has changed my life. I have a loving Heavenly Father who has made it all possible.   I share openly and sometimes I can be a bit silly. I love the friends that blogging has brought to my door. 

 

My So Called Glamorous Life!  

*Lisa Owen is a writer and blogger at My So Called Glamorous Life: The Adventures of a Domestic Engineer (www.mysocalledglamlife.com) and she has been a featured blogger on Blogher.com, Project Underblog, and in the supplemental materials for The Princess Problem (available at Rebecca Hains.com). She is a mother/step-mother in a blended family with five children ages 6 to 23.  Lisa has a B.S. in Journalism from Southern Illinois University and spent 15 years working as a corporate/transactional paralegal for law firms and corporations before becoming a SAHM and pursuing her passion for writing.

 

 

Adoption Mama Blog! 

Tamara writes at Adoption Mama Blog as well as Hosts Adoption Swap Box. She shares stories and thoughts on Adoption, her Faith in Jesus Christ, Parenthood, Home Decor & whatever else comes to her heart. Tamara just celebrated her 10th year of marriage with her husband Mark, they are parents of two beautiful boys who entered their family through adoption. Tamara & Mark are once again waiting to adopt their third child & share this most recent adoption journey on the blog as well. Adoption Mama Blog is full of Faith, Honesty, Encouragement, Love & Laughter. Come check it out!

5 things i want you to know about our birth mom

since we’ve been home it has been a WHIRLWIND! lots of visitors, trips to see family, lots of snuggles and hugs, and oh-so-many-diapers. listen: SO. MANY. DIAPERS.  but we are thrilled to be home with our girl!

so, a lot of people have asked me about our relationship with our birthmom. i thought i would take a few minutes to talk about her before posting about viv’s birth story. i think it will help you better understand her birth story, her birth mom, and our adoption process in general.  there are things that i will share with you about her, her son, and our relationship, and there are things i won’t. the biggest lesson we have learned through this process is that her story is not our story to tell. the intimate details of her life are not ours to share, and because we are family with this woman, we will protect her as such. so, please feel free to ask questions, or email me about this process and our relationship, but just know that some things are not our story to share. also, going forward i will refer to her as “M” because typing ‘birthmom’ every time is annoying :) and hyphenating ‘birthmom’ to ‘BM’ just seems….wrong.. :) so here are 5 things i want you to know about our M:

1. she is confident: the first time we talked to M was on the phone, about a week after we learned she had chosen us. we were nervous and excited and i think i paced the house the entire morning waiting for the phone to ring. our consultant, courtney, had coached us a bit before hand on what to expect, questions to ask, and what not to ask on this call. this was going to be her opportunity to get to know us better, not our chance to grill her about her life. when we got on the phone and heard her voice, tears filled my eyes. her voice was beautiful. she was so kind, and you could hear the joy and love in her voice. i think i opened by saying something like, “ah! we are so nervous! are you?” ..hoping she would say yes and put me at ease….but instead she said “i’m not nervous! i know you guys will be good parents!” BAM. that knocked the wind out of me! she was so confident in us ALREADY. she was so strong, and brave and loving. it put me at ease 100 times more than if she had been nervous too. that she could be confident not only in her decision, but in OUR decision, showed a level of faith and security i only hope to attain someday.

she is strong: because of various adoption laws, M did not give birth in her home state. instead, at 36 weeks pregnant, with a 4 year old son in tow, she hopped on a plane for the very first time in her life, and flew to a new state where she knew no one. she packed up her life for the next 3 weeks, navigated one of the nations largest airports all by herself, and went to give birth, essentially alone (or at least away from friends and family) for the good of her child. that is more strength than i could ever muster.

she is selfless: for most people in life, coming upon a decision and then realizing “hmmmm…making this choice would be hardest thing i will ever have to do..” is the end of the discussion. at least for me, when my choices are doing the hardest, most selfless thing ever, or NOT, i always seem to choose NOT. but not for M. she faced the hardest, most selfless fork in the road of all time, and she chose the hard way. not for her, but for her baby. this was unspeakably humbling to watch.

she is a loving mother: placing vivian with us was not an easy choice for M. even though we have built a loving, trusting, family bond with her, this was the hardest thing she will ever have to do. i can tell you without hesitation that M loves vivi with her whole heart. it is because of this love that she was able to place her with us, and it is that loving spirit that i know resides deep in vivian too. seeing this love first hand during her pregnancy, and after viv was born, softened our hearts to M even more. we loved her beforehand, for sure, but seeing how well she loved her son and viv melted us. the kisses and hugs she showered both vivi and her son with was beautiful. her selfless choice for adoption displays her clear, deep, and forever love for vivian and us. we are so honored to be loved by her.

but more than anything, what i really want you to know about our M, is that she has shown us how to be parents. not just parents: good parents. she has shown us what unconditional, selfless love looks like. she has shown us what it means to sacrifice for your child. and she has given us the confidence to know that we can do this parenting thing.

before we started the adoption process i was so nervous at the thought of the birthmom being involved in our life. it seemed foreign and scary to have another person’s feelings and life to consider in all of it, and it wasn’t something we were sure we wanted, to be honest. after meeting M though, all that changed. when we realized that this is not just “some woman” that we were meeting, but the MOTHER of our CHILD, it changed everything.  M is our forever family. and we are forever grateful.

ps. i realize that not everyone’s adoption story goes as our has. not every birthmom is willing or able to be as open as M is with us. but i would like to encourage you to be open to your birthmom in your hearts, if nothing else. choose to see how confident she is, or selfless, or strong, or loving. love your birthmom for who she is, not just for who she is giving you. it goes such a long way, i promise. and if all you can see is her brokenness, then i encourage you to remember that despite our incredible brokenness we are infinitely loved by our Creator. choose to see her brokenness as an awesome opportunity to love her regardless, and pray for her always.

home sweet home

we are back! it feels so weird to be writing again! i think i have taken the easy way out lately and “blogged” via instagram instead of actually sitting down and writing…but i want to get back into this because i want to remember and have these stories written out for viv someday. and let’s be honest, “too lazy to blog” really translates into “what the F just happened over the last 14 days/ i haven’t slept in DAYS!!!!!! so, giving myself some “mom grace”. baby steps.

i have gotten so many amazing emails from women from all over talking about their adoption journeys, congratulating us on Viv, and asking questions about our process! it’s amazing and so beautiful. disclaimer: if you have emailed me i am working hard to respond as fast as possible! i will respond though! pinky swear! :)

well, this one is just going to be short and sweet. letting you all know that this was the trip of our lifetime, and that we are so so SO SO SO (i’m shouting now) SOOOOO thankful for all of the sweet texts, messages, emails, phone calls, visits, and gifts we have been blessed with during our time in AZ as well as now that we are home. this village, i’ve said it once and i’ll say it again, it’s better than all the rest.

ill be blogging as much as i can too now that i’m home! i have a ton of entries i’m working on such as:

-Vivian’s birth story

-how to love your birth mom well

how to pack for your adoption

-what the H did we just do?!

-gah! i JUST changed you!

-does she feel warm to you?

-how to bathe your child and simultaneously rip their belly button off

-mom guilt

and much much more! so stay tuned!

okay gotta run– my baby is crying… gosh. it feels so amazing to type that. :)

Here’s some vivi love for your….what day is it…….

 

PS. she’s not ALWAYS in this bow…just MOST of the time. :)

 

 

adoption option: miracles

okay, sorry for my cryptic instagram today :) it’s been a whirlwind (or rather, continues to be a whirlwind) around here lately, and it has been amazing to see God work in it all.

how amazing you ask? well for starters we got to meet our birthmom on sunday! yep, you read that right: we MET HER!! guys. guys guys guys guys. i can’t even…….it was incredible! she is as loving and beautiful and selfless and hilarious as when we talked on the phone, but to SEE her, HUG her, BE WITH HER in REAL LIFE??! IS THIS REAL LIFE??!! :) and it is. and it’s beautiful.

here’s how God worked that: we were planning to be out of town for a wedding last weekend.  it “just so happens” that our birthmom lives in that same exact city. (what?!) and when we sheepishly asked if she would be open to seeing us, she was as thrilled as we were!  if the wedding had been a few weeks earlier, we wouldn’t have been picked yet/we wouldn’t know her. if the wedding had been any later, she would have been out of town and we wouldn’t be able to meet until the birth.  this was the EXACT weekend for us to meet her, and we had plane tickets booked months ago. God is good. really, really good. it was a day we will treasure forever, and we are beyond thankful and blessed. #blessed.

*i would also like to take a moment and give a shout out to faithful adoption consultants, and more specifically our consultant, courtney. she helped orchestrate this entire day of meeting, drove hours out of her way on a sunday to meet with us and our birthmom, drove our birthmom to and from the get together, and still made it home to her 6 kids for family dinner the night before their first day of school. she is a real life super hero and we are so SO thankful for her and her work.( if you have any questions about what faithful adoption consultants does, please feel free to email me! i would LOVE to talk them up to you :) ). *

okay, so that’s pretty amazing by itself, right? it gets better. so, for many different reasons, our birthmom is not giving birth in her home state, but is flying to another state to give birth there. (friendlier adoption laws, etc..) so, today was the day that she was going to fly from her home state to the state where she will give birth. she has never flown before and was nervous about how it would go, understandably. her flight was scheduled to leave at 5pm today, and when i talked with her at 3pm, she was planning to leave her house at 4pm for her 5pm flight… for those of you who fly….one hour from house to gate is not anywhere near enough time. let alone on your first flight ever. with tons of stuff. at an unfamiliar airport…..yeah. i panicked. i called her social worker, and mine, and hers again, and paul, and my mom. we were all nervous. across the board. i was pleading with God at this point, like, borderline, “i’ll never gossip or lie and i’ll give all my money to the homeless if she just makes this flight!”, kind of praying.. there was no way she was going to make it. at 4:40 she ARRIVED at the airport and got in line at security. 4:40! that’s 20 measly minutes to get through security, find her gate, and board the plane. not. gonna. happen. *enter, stage left: God*  at 5:10 i get a text from her social worker that said “she made it!” SHE MADE IT! i texted her right away to see if it was true, and she said “we made it but i’ve never been so nervous! i was rude and budged in line, and asked for one of those cart things, but we made it!” i cried. i cry a lot these days.

it’s a real life miracle people. all of it. our relationship with her is a miracle. her making this flight was a MIRACLE. this baby is a miracle. thank you Jesus for how well you love us.

stay tuned! it’s guaranteed to get crazier! :) the baby is due August 25th, and we are scheduled to fly out the 20th to be with her! please continue to cover our story in prayer. it works! it really really REALLY works. God is good! (can i get an, “ALL THE TIME!”)

 

for the last time

it was a big day in the PLerg household! today marks 9 years of wedded bliss. if we were a child, we’d be a third grader.  if we were a goldfish, we’d be dead.

of course special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries cause all sorts of nostalgic feelings to swell, and today was no exception. however, since my personality is prone to the dramatic/at times depressive realistic, big occasions also cause me to think about all the ‘lasts’ that an event marks. for example when we graduated from high school, pretty much my entire senior year i would say things like “awwwww! this is our last friday of class!” or “wow! we this is our last lunch break as seniors!” or “(teary) guys, this is the last wednesday before the last thursday before the last weekend before the last week of class we will ever have in this school..” i’m sure i was super annoying, but i like to think of it as sentimental. :)

so as the days closes, here are some of the ‘lasts’ that i have been thinking about as we embark on what is sure to be our most influential year yet (in no particular order):

the last anniversary date night without kids

the last birthdays we will celebrate without kids

the last single digit year of marriage

my last first and last days of school as a teacher (for a while at least!)

the (few) times we will stay up until 2am catching up on “Suits” or “Sherlock” (amazing TV, fyi..)

the last times we will sleep late and wake up refreshed

the last times people can ask us, “so when are you having kids??!”

 

 

there are many many more lasts and i am SURE i will post all of them to instagram :) but for now i must quit so we can go and have our last dessert for our last anniversary without kids.

ps: (and i have to do this here, because i forgot to get him a card! whoops!)   i love you pauly. you actually do make me a better person, i’m not just saying that. there is no one who loves as well as you do. you motivate me to be a more selfless person, and you are an amazing example of what it means to both stick to your convictions and grow as a person at the same time. i am so thankful for you, there aren’t enough words to describe it. i love you more and more each day–for real.

 

the last late night trip to paul's office to do the last of the adoption paperwork!

the last late night trip to paul’s office to do the last of the adoption paperwork!

 

the last selfie of the last time we are at pauly's office doing the last of the paperwork!

the last selfie of the last time we are at pauly’s office doing the last of the paperwork! …..i’m out of control….

 

adoption option: …and then our whole life changed

if you follow me on instagram i am sure you’ve seen the complete roller coaster that was July 24th, in the PLerg houseshold!  if you don’t follow me (you should!), i’ll catch you up: We were chosen last night, by a birthmom and we are officially parents-to-be! the whole night was a total whirlwind, but i want to fill you in on as many details as i can remember :) it was hands-down the best night of our life so far, and this unexpected surprise was perfectly perfect in every single way. our God is good like that, isn’t He!? here’s how it went down:

yesterday i was in a FUNK. with a capital F. as you may have seen from my first post on IG of the day, i was feeling super sorry for myself because we had been waiting to hear from a birthmom for 4 days. yeah. 4. i’m not patient…have we talked about this?…… anyway, this birthmom has had our profile book for a few days, and yesterday i had completely convinced myself that we were NEVER going to be picked, that she must have HATED our book and that the only GOOD thing to do was lie in bed and eat sleeve after sleeve  a few oreos and watch netflix. a few hours…and several dozen chick flicks, later, i pulled myself out of bed and got ready to go to the party.

when i got to the restaurant i decided i was going to just put it all out of my mind, enjoy the night, and keep my phone in my purse so it didn’t stare at me all night long. i just wanted to have fun with friends and not think about ‘not being picked’. about the time i slipped my phone into my purse, our consultant from faithful adoption consultants, courtney, called…….aaaaaaaand, i missed it……. thankfully pauly kept his phone in his pocket, because all of a sudden he shot up from the table and yelled “LEAH! IT’S COURTNEY!” i responded with the only logical answer, “no it’s not.”  he didn’t even respond to this utter ridiculousness, and ran out to the patio to answer the call. ……i am still sitting at the table…….after a few beats my friend summer yells “leah! go with him!”  i snap out of it and dash to the patio.

i run up to pauly just as he tells courtney, “i’m not sure why you are calling, but my heart is pounding out of my chest!” she laughs and said she had great news– we are going to be parents! immediately we both BURST into tears, and all i could think to say back to her was “thank you for calling us!”……….. i mean…come on, leah. i should’ve practiced what i would say….. whatever. it was all that was in my head at the time. we talked for another few minutes, and honestly, i have NO CLUE what she said to us. my mind was buzzing with everything and nothing all at the same time.

as we were taking the call, my friend summer had lightning fast reflexes, grabbed my phone, snapped a few pictures, and took videos of the whole thing! it was amazing! what an incredible gift and blessing for us to have that video and those pictures to remember this night by! oh, and did i mention that we know drew the attention of the ENTIRE patio section?? people were cheering for us and some women were even crying with us! one table sent over champaign! it was so so SO special.

that is what i love about adoption…it’s totally community. we could NEVER have gotten here on our own. we will NEVER be able to parent on our own, and we would NEVER want to celebrate these milestones in our life, alone. adoption attracts community. and it is beautiful.

man… we got one phone call at a restaurant on a thursday night…….and then our whole life changed.

ps: the baby is due august 31st, but we are thinking she will be induced sooner than that. we do not know the gender of the babe yet, and we hope to be there for the birth if possible! as we get more details i will be blogging them here so stay tuned! and, thank you village. the literally hundreds of IG comments, likes, notes, messages, facebook posts, emails, voicemails, texts, phone calls, and love from you is……indescribable. it brings us to our knees in thankfulness and we are forever grateful for you all.

so..i can’t figure out how to post the video straight to this page, but here is the link to the video of us getting the call! it’s up on youtube now if you need to watch it 150 million times a day, like me :)

 

hug

 

 

 

life changer thursday: the adoption option edition

remember when i said that we have been blessed beyond measure by our friends and family supporting us in our adoption process? yeah. that’s not just lip service my friends. literally every day we are blown away by the support of our village, and today is no exception. the way our community has come around us, and how well they understand our hearts for adoption is really unbelievable.

so. amy (lucy, as i call her….long story) is one of my very best friends. we met in grade school and have been pretty much inseparable ever since. she’s so giving, so loving, so supportive. she’s the kind of friend that shows up every. single. time. you need her. if you don’t have a friend like lucy, i HIGHLY suggest you get one….but you can’t have her–she’s mine. :)

thank you luc for writing these unbelievable words of encouragement for me. thank you for loving us PLergs so well, and for always being there for us. love you so much –love, ethel :)

here’s what she wrote:

I asked Leah if I could write a “Life Changer Thursday” for her blog.  If you are reading this, you probably know what an amazing, sometimes inappropriate, but always hilarious couple Paul and Leah are.  I’ve known them for about 15 years.  It has really touched my heart to witness their process of adoption.  I have learned so much through my dear friends about how the process of parents adopting children mirrors the process of God adopting us into his family.

I came across this article by John Piper, our former pastor: http://www.desiringgod.org/conference-messages/adoption-the-heart-of-the-gospel   He outlines 8 similarities between human adoption and God’s adoption of us as his children.  I’ve paraphrased the two that were the most powerful to me:

1. Adoption was (for God) and is (for us) costly.

To redeem means to obtain or to set free by paying a price. What was the price that God paid for our liberation and adoption?  It cost God the price of his Son’s life.

There are huge costs in adopting children. Some are financial; some are emotional. There are costs in time and stress for the rest of your life. There is something very deep and right about the embrace of this cost for the life of a child!

We look to our heavenly Father for our joy rather than rejecting the stress and cost of children in order to maximize our freedom and comforts. Adoption is as far as possible from the mindset that rejects children as an intrusion. Praise God for people ready to embrace the suffering—known and unknown. God’s cost to adopt us was infinitely greater than any cost we will endure in adopting and raising children.

6. Adoption was (for God) and is (for us) seriously planned.

He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:4-6)

God predestined us for adoption before the creation of the world. His plan was was creation, fall, redemption, adoption so that the full range of God’s glory and mercy and grace could be known by his adopted children. Adoption was not second best. It was planned from the beginning.

Paul and Leah have taken a huge step of faith that mirrors what God has done for us.  My husband, Ryan, and I are not called to the “adoption option” right now, but consider it a privilege to be able to take part in what God is doing through the PLergs.  I would ask you to honestly search your heart and pray about if God is calling you to do the same.  Check out the link below.  Encourage them, pray for them.  Then be prepared to watch what God can do through us, his adopted children.

http://www.youcaring.com/adoption-fundraiser/bringing-home-baby-berg-/191713

adoption option: here’s to you!

you guuuuuuuuys! it’s been such a long time since i’ve sat down and blogged! Over a month now! :/ i think i have just been so overwhelmed with adoption paperwork, that sitting down to write more has seemed like a chore rather than an outlet. i am hoping to get that back now that it’s calming down and i am writing less for process. i do love this, and i SO appreciate when people have asked when i will pick up writing again! :) you guys are the best.

it’s been a busy 4 weeks around the PLerg household, but i am happy to report that all of our paperwork is in and we are just about to be an ‘official waiting family!’ this means that we will soon be available for birth moms to read our profile and *hopefully* choose us! i have had a VAST array of emotions over the last few weeks, all of which i plan to write about (lucky you! haha!) but overall this is an amazing journey; wonderful and exhausting in ways we never could have imagined, but honestly we would (and will) do it all over again.

SO. more than anything i want this first post back  to be a giant THANK YOU to you, our dear village! over the course of this process we have received countless, emails, phone calls, baby gifts, prayers, facebooks messages, instagram encouragement, financial help, and countless other sources of support and encouragement, and we cannot even begin to describe how much that means to us. you are refreshing to our weary, dry souls; always at the perfect, most needed moments. we are truly truly blessed by you, and so thankful for you all everyday.

 

okay now: **scouts honor** i will be blogging more and keeping you up to date on all things going forward! it’s really happening people! but, really really now! :)

 

i can't wait to be a parent with this guy. i mean...come on....

this picture has nothing to do with anything other than i can’t wait to be a parent with this guy. i mean…come on….