Friday, April 18, 2014

MEET THE MUGAR FAMILY!

Melissa and I are two peas in a pod! She has a shop where she sells sunglasses and all proceeds give back to adoption! I'm so excited to feature them this week. 20% of all Love is Waiting sales this week go to support their SECOND adoption AND we're also teaming up to do an instagram giveaway! Can't beat a free tee and a new pair of shades! Read more about this cool family below and don't forget to check out subshades.com for another way to support adoptive families every week!


"Adoption has certainly blessed our lives in more ways than we could have imagined. In March of 2012 we started the process (infant domestic adoption) and had many hiccups along the way. We were matched in January 2013 and our tiny bundle of joy arrived the next month, weighing in at 5 pounds, 12 ounces! Since then our adoption costs have been tremendous. Our sweet birthmother is a single mother to four children and had major health complications during her pregnancy. Being the adoptive parents we were responsible for all of her costs during that time. I joke and call Jacqueline our “million dollar baby” but in all seriousness, her adoption cost us nearly $60,000.

In June of 2013, Jacquie’s birth family became homeless on the hard streets of Detroit. With the help of family and friends we were able to fly them in to our home, to live with us while we raised funds to purchase them a residence. In the end, we were able to get the family a home but were unable to reach our fundraising goal. Robert and I were happy to help, however we were put in another tight financial situation. 

Here we are in 2014. Jacqueline is a thriving one year old. We want to start the adoption journey again! (Are we crazy or what?!) Robert and I are so excited to expand our family through another infant domestic adoption and give Jacquie a brother or sister of the same race. In order for us to do this, we need help. Our friends and family so generously donated funds for her birth family to purchase a home that we do not feel comfortable asking for straight donations. Instead all proceeds of Subsidy Shades will go directly to a fund to help expand our growing family. Thank you for everything! We love our family, friends and kind strangers so much! "

Thursday, April 3, 2014

THE QUESADA FAMILY

After a surprise diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis in their biological daughter, the Quesada's have found themselves on a grand adventure! They have completed paperwork and are waiting to be matched! Shop Love is Waiting this week and give 20% to the Quesadas. 



We are excited and blessed to start this adventure in growing our family through adoption! My name is Kristina, and my wonderful husband of 5 years is Levi. We have an amazing, loving, happy biological daughter, Ellis, who is 3 years old.

When Ellis was born, she was diagnosed, to our surprise, with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) through a newborn screening. CF is a genetic disease that is passed down from both parents. Sticky mucus builds up in the lungs and digestive tracts, calling for treatments and over 15 pills a day. Although Ellis is doing extremely well, we have chosen to forego having more biological children. Through lots of prayer and reflection, our family has chosen the path of adoption!

We have finally completed all of the calls, paperwork, interviews…and now we are a family waiting to be matched! We know that, when the time is right, we will welcome a wonderful child into our family. Thank you for getting to know our story and supporting our journey.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

ZIBELL FAMILY


From Stephanie herself! 

"What a huge blessing to be a part of this community of support! My husband (Scott), myself (Stephanie) and my chatty toddler (Emara) can’t thank you enough!
I have wanted to adopt since I was a little girl. I had big dreams of a HUGE family and that family was going to come from all over the world. But, of course, my “plan” was to wait until we were older and more financially stable to adopt, after we had a few babies naturally.
Boy, was I way off course.

{Thank God for that}

I could literally spend hours talking to you about our story. First, I would want to tell you how incredible and good God has been to our {at times} fragile hearts. I would want to walk you through every moment of joy when we would celebrate a pregnancy. I would want you to join me in our complete excitement and emotional lovefest when we discovered we would get to bring a tiny little person into the world. Then I would want to cry with you as I tell you about all of my precious babies.  Little lives who have changed me, wrecked me for the best. I am the proud mother of 7 children. But, five of those children, I will never get to meet until heaven. In one paragraph, I cannot honor them enough, explain to you my love for them enough.

My five little ones in heaven. 5 portions of my heart poured out and waiting to be filled again. God knows you. And He loves you more than I ever could. And so, my heart rests in that. But, gosh, I miss you. To the core of my body, I ache for each one of you.

Emara Jane. She is my miracle. Our miracle. She should not be here. By the total grace of God, my body grew her and she is a thriving 2 year old who loves life and shows me Jesus every. single. day. There are no words that could describe the gift that you are to me and your daddy.

And our little Ethiopian baby. Our 7th child. We have been waiting for this little one since August, 2010. Praying, hoping, wishing, crying, yearning. Our dossier made its grand entrance to Ethiopia in May, 2012 and not one day goes by that you don’t cross our mind, sweet child. Not a day goes by that we don’t pray for you. Hope that the phone will ring with our referral. We are {IM}patiently waiting. Your room is ready. And so are we.  

As you can tell, it is hard to talk to you about my children without wanting to talk directly to them. My heart is for my kids. And our little one in Ethiopia has been “mine” since 2010. This child has been my longest pregnancy!! And my expectancy for him (or her) to come home is so magnetic and palpable.
With everyday that we don’t get that referral phone call comes a tiny smidge of sadness that we still have to wait that much longer.

But, we know that the story God is writing for our lives is far more beautiful than the one we could ever try to write ourselves. 

So, we find hope in that as we wait for our little one to come home."

Saturday, March 22, 2014

MEET THE WILLINGHAMS!

I'm so excited about this week! I met Paige at an artist market. I was selling my Love is Waiting tees and she was selling beautiful handmade dresses and clutches to raise money for their adoption. I love hearing her say, they "just know" that they have a little boy out there waiting for them! That's exactly how we felt about Arthur. It's amazing how the bond is already forming between this family and their newest brother! Meet the Willinghams!

Hello Love is Waiting readers! We are so excited and so grateful to be a part of this beautiful support system that Heather has begun to help families like ours bring their little ones home. My name is Paige, and my husband is Russell. We have three biological children, twin daughters Emma and Abby (6), and Samuel (3). We know without a doubt that we have another little boy across the ocean, who is waiting for us to go and get him. We have just finished our home study interviews, and are hoping to send over our dossier to China before long. With each passing day, I have a growing bond that is forming in my head and in my heart for my little boy. God has been so faithful, so awesome, so gracious in His goodness to us. It may be a long road ahead, but we are clinging to and trusting in His perfect timing. If you want to read more of our story, or follow along our journey, head over to www.willinghamfamily.blogspot.com.

Friday, March 14, 2014

MEET BRAND NEW, BABY HOLSOPPLE!

How adorable is this little one!? And big sister looks so proud! For the Holsopples, their wait is over! Kellen is home, but we know that doesn't mean they no longer need support! Their court date is in just a few days and I'm excited to celebrate with them this week and give towards their adoption. When you shop this week, a portion of the profits go to the Holsopple family.  Read their story below.


Soon after the birth of our daughter, Emerson, we knew that another pregnancy was not an option to grow our family.  Adoption was our next choice… but it wasn't in God's timing yet.  Kendall and I were on separate pages on what we thought our adoption should look like - international or domestic, infant or toddler, boy or girl, open or closed, etc.  We knew that unless we were united on every part of this journey, it wasn't going to happen for us. 

Years went by, and I mean years.  But we were finally united!  We already had an agency picked out (the same one we had picked years ago) and began our journey.  We started in March of 2013 and after many meetings, the home study, and mounds of paperwork, we became an official waiting family in August 2013.  Now the real waiting began - we were paper pregnant! 

Anyone who has been down this road understands the roller-coaster of waiting.  I teach and Kendall farms, so we were always able to stay “busy” and not let the waiting consume us.  Kendall was actually on his way home from a farm show in Kentucky when we got the call.  It was a Thursday night and we were told that a birth mom was in labor and we were the family!  Kendall was home in a couple of hours and then the real waiting began… through a long labor, our son Kellen Eugene Holsopple was born on Valentine's Day.  What an amazing addition to our family he is.  Emerson absolutely adores him and we are so thankful and humbled that he is ours.  Our court date to make everything official is on St. Patrick's Day - he will be forever ours. ��.

Thank you for taking the time to get to know us!  We are so thankful and grateful for your  support.  Thank you again. ��.  

Love Kendall, Heather, Emerson, and Kellen

DEATH & RISING : WAITING FOR ARTHUR

(December 1, 2011)

I've wanted to share this part of our adoption story for a while. Arthur came home just over two years ago and life has been happening at full speed ever since! It's the part of the story that is scary and hard and ugly. I have kept it close, but now I'm ready to share. And the timing just happens to go along with this season of death and rising.

It was November of 2011, I didn't know it, but we were SO CLOSE to getting the news we were desperate to hear. We had been waiting for almost 6 months to get clearance from the Embassy so we could go get our boy. And when I say "waiting" that doesn't seem to capture it well. In just six months we had experienced so many ups and downs, scary news and then more scary news. Over and over I had to face the idea that maybe Arthur would NEVER come home. I had moments of clarity and peace. Moments when I could declare... "Arthur is not the prize, Jesus is the prize. Arthur is yours, God and you are still good even if we never understand. You are good even if he doesn't come home."

But those moments would pass and I would be in BAD shape. And I don't mean just sad... I mean my physical body was being overtaken by anxiety. I could not sleep, I had no appetite. I saw a doctor who prescribed xanax (which did nothing), I saw a counselor (first time ever seeing a counselor) who had me try visualization exercises, tapping exercises, I put little drops of herbs under my tongue... I was drinking calming tea (I had to stop drinking coffee), I wasn't performing at work. I was crying all the time. And for those who know me... I am just NOT that way!

I still remember exactly what it felt like... I described it to my mom as a gear spinning in the middle of my chest. It would NOT STOP spinning... around the clock, my adrenaline was on overdrive! Finally my mom sat down with me and was determined to help me work through it... she said

"Ok, when you think about Arthur coming home, what does that look like? Walk me through the steps."

Even with my anxiety, I couldn't help but smile at the thought. I started to explain,

"Well, the Embassy will call the police department and they will agree that the information recorded is correct and we will get clearance!

Still excited, I kept on going in great detail,

"Aaron and I will probably yell and scream and dance around the house and then call our travel agent to get the next flight out. We'll tell our family and friends, call into work, make an announcement on social media (of course). It would be a day of celebrating."

"And then... ?" my mom asked

I couldn't get much further into the story without shaking. The anxiety would flare up again. As soon as I got to a place where I would visualize being reunited with Arthur, instead of being overcome with joy, the fear and sadness would set in.

"Wait! What happened?" my mom asked "You were  getting to the best part, why did it stop?"

"Almost as soon as I think about having that sleeping baby on my chest, I stop myself and think... 'but what if that never happens?'"

As soon as I said that out loud, I lost it and the tears began to flow. My tears were met with equals parts compassion and frustration from my mom. She hated to see me hurting, but she also wanted me to stand up and fight for my boy! It was clear to her what was happening. I was grieving the loss of my son maybe a hundred times a day and it was wrecking me! It was a cycle of grief and hope all day every day for 6 months and it was time work through it!

The next day, I went out for a run and I prayed and prayed... It may seem weird and maybe I will be the only one to really understand what happened that day, but it became so clear to me that, in a way, I was burying Arthur alive every time I had that thought. It was so crazy to come this realization! I was so disappointed in myself as a brand new mom, but I became very excited about the opportunity to fight these thoughts and believe in something bigger for my son.

...so I started to "dig" ...until I saw his face. I wiped the dirt away and he opened his eyes and gazed at me. Are you weirded out?? Maybe you are, but it's ok because this is the image that God gave me to help me work through the last hours of my long "labor" with Arthur and it's probably one of the most important things I have ever done.

Just a few days later, we got the call we were waiting for and the spinning gear was forever quieted when my son was back in my arms, sleeping soundly on my chest.



Friday, March 7, 2014

GRATEFUL

I've been so excited to enter into the Lenten season this year. For whatever reason, I was very motivated to commit to fasting and I'm ready to spend some good time over these 40 days to pray and prepare for Easter. I knew right away that I wanted to/needed to fast from watching television. What I didn't know was that this decision was going to deprive me of joy of watching the SEASON FINALE of the Bachelor. Yes, I watch the Bachelor and a lot of other dumb, life-sucking shows... which is why I'm fasting from television. 

It's been pretty interesting these first few days to see how my time is spent when tv is not an option. The first night, I slept, the second night, I went out and celebrated my birthday and tonight... 

Tonight I put my boys in their beds, cleaned up the kitchen and then got totally lost in Instagram. One comment led here and then this hashtag led there and I ended up on an instagram account of a mother who lost her infant son about 5 weeks ago. I went back in her history to her pregnant belly and then back to the day she gave birth to her 10 pound son. I read her post, sharing sad news and asking for prayer. I saw this beautiful, perfect newborn baby change into a sick, swollen baby with tubes and cords. I read the post she shared the day she lost her son. I got lost in this gut wrenching story. 

When I was finally able to peel my eyes away from my phone, I thought about my two boys sleeping in their rooms. They came to us in different ways, but they both CAME HOME. Healthy, happy baby boys. Tonight I'm not taking that for granted. Thank you, Jesus for these two AMAZING boys. I am grateful.