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 :)






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:   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.