Tuesday, July 29, 2014

You Were Made For This

Today I'm sharing some thoughts over at Mercy Found about what it's like when you just don't feel like you're enough.

Life is hard and adoption is really hard.  The journey, the requirements, the expectation.

I think sometimes we think life is like a novel with a climax and then all of our dreams come true.

But things don't happen that way.  There are lots of climaxes to our lives, to our stories.

And sometimes (actually, all the time) things don't happen the way we hope.

I love my son.  I love my family but I was totally and completely unprepared for the extreme feelings of inadequacy I have been feeling since we brought him home.

And then one day, after I was so exhausted that I sent myself to bed at 7:30, I heard this voice whisper so softly to my heart.  That voice said "You Were Made For This."


Click over to Mercy Found to read more.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dear Toby


Dear Toby,
I hate to tell you, dude, but you have one sentimental mama so I'm sure I'm going to write you plenty of these letters and you'll just have to deal with it.  It's just one of the many perks of being a Todd.  Ask your sister, she can tell you all about it.

You've been in my arms almost 3 months now and I still can't believe it.  Your daddy and I waited so long.  Our adoption process, the journey that brought us to you was very long.  Your Aunt Chalice can tell you all about it.  She still can't believe you're home and that you're real.  And it's a little hard for me to believe it too.

We waited a long time.  It was like we were walking this really long hike up some hard, overgrown paths through some forest somewhere.  Some days were really hard and we could hardly see the sun. There were times we had to climb these really slippery cliffs and there were days where it was raining so hard we just had to seek shelter in some trees and we couldn't move.  Then we learned about you and it was like we came into a clearing that was well-manicured and someone had even planted some amazing flowers and had lined a little path with bright lanterns to help us find our way.  The last few steps to you were so easy.  Because you were meant to be ours all along.  Our arms, this little spot in our family, the places in all of our hearts were specially made for you.  You were meant to be a Todd all along.  God ordained you to be in our family all along.

I love this picture of us because I love that you just fit in my arms.  You are so tiny and my arms are so long.  Your Uncle Nathan jokes that I have monkey arms and it's true.  The sleeves of my sweaters are always too short.  But you in all your tininess fit into my monkey arms.  You fit here because you belong here.

Your sister.  Well, I don't have to tell you how in love with you she is.  She was hesitant at first.  She really wanted a sister (and she still does).  But she dotes on you.  It's amazing that you have any skin left on your face because she will not stop kissing you.  She wants to hold you and snuggle you and play with you and feed you and change your diaper.  She basically wants to do all.the.things for you. She loves you so much.

I'm realizing that God made her for you too.  When I see the way you are with each other.  The way you light up when she picks you up out of your crib. The way you laugh hysterically at her funny dances.  The way you grin when she walks into the room.  She was made to be your big sister, Toby. She was made to dote on you and protect you and make you laugh.  She was made to poke your belly and blow raspberries in it. She was made to help me give you a bath and make bottles for you.

I'm still in awe, Toby, of a God that did all of this.  That's another thing you better get used to.  We talk about God a lot around here.  He's a really big part of our family.  He's a really big part of our story.  He brought you to us, Toby.  There is no denying that.

And I'll spend the rest of my life telling you about this God that builds families.  This is just the beginning, baby boy.

Love,
Your Mama






Friday, July 25, 2014

Currently

It's been a while since I've written consistently.  It's always hard to come back after such a long absence.  I figure a good place to start would be to fill you in on what's been happening lately.

Currently I am...

Obsessing over: counting down the days until vacation.  We are renting a house in North Carolina with some of our best friends in September.  I can't wait.  I even have a countdown on my phone.  Yeah, it's that big of a deal.

Working on: t-shirt designs for our new family business that we are starting (I'll be sharing more on that in a few days) and tracking down Toby's medical records from Florida (which has been a huge headache)

Reading:  Orphan Justice, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Christianity's Dangerous Idea

Thinking about: orphans and adoption.  These are the things that are always on my mind.

Anticipating: the start of the school year.  We'll be homeschooling again.  Alivea will be starting first grade and we are all excited.

Listening to: This song by Kari Jobe and this song by Hillsong United

Drinking: way too much coffee and soda!

Praying for: Patience.  And for some friends of mine who are adopting and are having a rough time. And also for some medical tests that Toby has to have done soon.  


Now for some cuteness.

This little guy turned 5 months old this week.  What?

Playing with their Sara Jane Project bunnies

He seriously is this smiley all the time.

I just love the little lady that she is becoming.  I think she has aged about 6 years since we brought Toby home.  She is suddenly so grownup.

Alivea started swim lessons.  And she loves them.

We took Alivea and Toby to their first Orioles game.  It was a hot, exhausting day but we had a blast.

This little guy just loves his toes.  Look at that grin

Thanks so much for reading.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Toby's Adoption Announcement

So sorry for my absence in this space lately.  There has been a lot going on.  I can't wait to fill you all in.  But for now, I wanted to share this with you.

*********************** 

Toby's story is so special.

I knew we needed something special to send to our friends and family and all of the people who supported us on our journey to bring him home.

When it came to picking out his adoption announcement, I knew exactly where to go.

TinyPrints has a amazing assortment of announcements.  And I love that they have such a large number of adoption announcements.

I chose this one for Toby's announcement.



It is simple yet stylish.  And I love that it had a space for all the important information but also had spaces for us to personalize.  The back is also blank so I used it to write thank you notes for all of the gifts we received.

Look at that sweet face!  I just can't get enough of it.

I'm so glad we ordered these.  

You should check out TinyPrints if you need any adorable adoption announcements or invitations.  I am seriously a huge fan of their work.



Monday, June 30, 2014

3 Things {The Story of Us}

Last week I posted this picture and wrote about how I am trying to cultivate an attitude of contentment in my home.  

I'm honestly trying to be thankful for what I do have and not constantly looking at what I don't have.  
And truthfully, it's been a little hard.  It's really easy to notice the things you don't have.  We're bombarded with a list every time we log into Pinterest, Facebook or turn on the television.

                     

But stopping and looking around takes time.  It takes effort.  I think because we are so used to looking past the things that are right in front of us.

This week, these are the things I am choosing to love about my home.




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Toby's Adoption Story {Part III}

To be honest this entire story should be called “Look What God Did in 16 Days!”.
Honestly.  But I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
Picking up from Part II of the story finds us waiting in Maryland.  We had already signed papers to take placement of this little cutie and we just needed to let the ICPC process start to work and then we could leave for Florida to pick him up.
God had already provided, through a loan from a friend, all the money that we needed for Toby’s placement.  We would need to pay them back but we honestly weren't worried about that at the moment.
Read more here





Sunday, June 22, 2014

Keeping Up With Glory in the Valley


I love the internet.  I love keeping in touch with people.  It makes the world smaller.

Wondering how you can keep up with me?

Here is where you can find me:

Facebook- I update Facebook every time I write a new post.  I also post other little things I find around the internet like this new website I found