Our Brighten Storie...
This is a blog post I've dreamed about writing for the better part of three years. It's the dream half fulfilled, yet my heart feels so entirely full. It hasn't quite sunk in yet, but it is getting more real with every passing moment.
Jason and I are overjoyed to announce that we have been chosen to adopt a baby girl from Texas who will be born later this month!
We found out this past Monday that our "Baby Sunshine," who turns out to actually be more like a "Baby Lone Star," will be arriving in just a few weeks! We have gone into extreme get-stuff-done mode and we are loving every minute of it. A girl!! Who would have thought?
Our story has been such evidence of God's faithfulness, goodness, and best timing and I cannot wait to share it with you! This platform has afforded me the luxury of community and prayers for several years and Brighten's adoption story is certainly a beautiful one. However, out of respect for the ongoing process, I'm going to wait to share her story publicly until everything is complete. We would love to share some details with you if you'd like to contact us directly!
So, here's the million dollar question - how can you help us get ready? I'm sure I'm breaking every rule of a good southern lady, but most ladies have a lot longer than three weeks to prepare for the arrival of their first child and we do need help!
- Please PRAY!
- There are so many details that need to come together for everything to happen. From paperwork to travel, and so much more, please be praying for things to go smoothly, or at least somewhat smoothly.
- Let's all pray for Brighten's birth mother. We are so thankful to have been selected and our aim is to just be image-bearers of Christ along this journey with her.
- We have never been parents! All of you parents out there - you know what the next few months/years/decades have in store for us and good golly do we need your prayers!
- There are so many players in this game. Birth family, attorneys, social workers, judges, government agencies, hospital staff, and the list goes on. Please be praying for each entity and for everyone to (1) see God glorified through this process and (2) work together to for the birth and adoption to go well.
- Help us PREPARE!
- When we found out that we were chosen to be the adoptive family for this baby girl (one week ago), we had a crib, a bassinet, and a boppy that we'd been given, borrowed, or just saw for a good price a while back. Thankfully, our people are amazing and we now have more, but we are fitting 9-ish months of prep work into less than 3 weeks. PLUS, we have to fit everything into a car and transport it to Texas. We have attached a list of all of the things we are looking for to borrow either long term or just until we can get back home and have a baby shower.
- You can PARTICIPATE!
- We have to stay in Texas for 2-3 weeks while all of our paperwork is processed. When we began the domestic adoption process, we thought we'd be either in Florida or Alabama. We are happy to go to Texas to meet our daughter, but we don't have extended housing like we thought we would in Florida or Alabama. We are looking for a place in the Houston area to stay for the duration of our trip. We don't want to be too picky, but we do want to be able to have some space and privacy as we begin our life as a family of 3.5, and yes, Swanson will be joining us. If you happen to have a connection that might work as a place for us to stay, please contact us at your earliest convenience.
- We have priced out places to stay and it looks like it'll be approximately $2,500 for the two weeks, and more if it's more time. If we cannot find a free place to stay, we will be trying to raise some funds to offset this cost. You can visit this page if you would like to give. If we find a place to stay, your funds will go toward our adoption cost for this adoption and if we have more money than we need, we will apply it to our continuing Ethiopia adoption.
- We will be posting updates on our blog so make sure to check out updates as we embark on this journey to bring Brighten home. If you would like to find out how you can help while we are away, please contact our community group as they will be in close contact with us as we prepare to bring Brighten to Birmingham.
THINGS WE NEED TO BORROW:
Stroller that fits Chicco Keyfit
Video baby monitor
Baby girl clothes 0-3 months
Baby girl sleepers 0-3 months
Newborn diapers & wipes (we won't give these back)
Thank you all so much for your love, support, and encouragement along this journey. We know that some of you may be wondering where Judah fits into all of this. Currently, we are #65 on the waiting list and since Ethiopia is in their rainy season that means the courts are closed. We probably won't see very much movement for the rest of the year. We cannot wait for the day that our home is full with Brighten and Judah!
***We have to just say as a disclaimer that nothing in adoption is ever guaranteed until papers are signed and submitted. However, we are not dwelling on the "what ifs" and we have made the decision to be all in and love this little girl no matter what. We ask that you join us in prayer over this whole process.***