Wednesday, July 17, 2013

We are Mommy & Daddy!!!

10 weeks ago, our lives suddenly and unexpectedly changed.  It changed in about the most dramatic way I can fathom!  A black and white kind of difference.

God surprised us like only He can.  

After trying, praying, crying, trying some more, and yet trusting Him for children for 7 years we found ourselves crying for joy and praising God for answering our prayer in a matter of mere hours!  Never underestimate God and His plan.

We're rejoicing as we share with you ....... our new family!!!!

These precious little dolls are our children, our Little Lady and Little Bear!!!

Folks, we have adopted sibling toddlers!!!

Our son, Little Bear, is 3 years old.  He is bright, inquisitive, and very compassionate.  His big smile will melt your heart!

 His ocean blue eyes will draw you in.

And he hugs long and strong!  Better than any child or adult I've ever known.  We LOVE our Little Bear's hugs!!

Our beautiful daughter Little Lady is 2.  She is fun, energetic, and chatty!  (A true Southern gal.)

She is blessed with the most beautiful brown eyes and eyelashes I've ever seen!

She's a sweetheart and the best little mommy to her baby dolls.  She loves to sing and make up her own songs.  Her latest (and my personal favorite) is "Jesus loves me, SO MUCH"!  I'll never tire of hearing this sweet one proudly sing that out!

They're 11 months and 1 week apart, and they love each other so much!  What a wonderful thing it is to have children who cherish each other.... well, most of the time!
We practically have twins, and that was actually something God has laid on our hearts years ago.  Heath and I have always been drawn to the idea of girl and boy twins to be the most precious!  (We always have desired to have at the least 1 child of each gender.)  That was no coincidence since God knew these children would be ours since the foundations of the earth were made.

Our family is nothing less than a testament of God's sovereignty and faithfulness, and the children are sunshine in our newly "awakened" life!  Our long 7 years in the desert has come to an end, and now we're learning each and every day how to parent because--let me tell you-- with two toddlers there are plenty of teachable moments...
                                                                                                           for Heath and I!

Our friend Lee-Anne Fenwick, who graciously took these gorgeous photos of our new family, adopted their 3 children and knows the ins and outs of it all.  I had to laugh when she asked if they have "rocked our world", because that is a good way of summing up our experience so far!  Imagine us being married almost 9 years with agendas all about the two of us, living in a quiet, tidy home, and all of a sudden enter two beautiful & busy toddlers.  Lol, yes our world has been officially "rocked"! 
God is who got me out of my perfect little organized box into the beautiful mess He calls my destiny.  I told Him this year in January that I am in complete submission to His plan and purpose in my life.  My expectation fell to the wayside, and His direction became my new compass.

We began this process with a specific idea in our minds, but we also told the Lord to close doors no man can open and open doors no man can close to direct us to the baby He wants for us.  This is how he did it.

1. Instead of international adoption it's a domestic...technically, independent.  HUGE change, and I can touch more on that in another post.

2.  Instead of having a 1 1/2 + year wait from our start to bringing home baby, we had only 5 months.  Only about 3 weeks after our home study was completed, and about 12 hours from the initial phone call whether to pursue these children or not!  We literally had 5 days to transform a room for the children.  We had to buy everything from scratch.  We had nothing!!!  That week was a blur, and yet I still found the time to get my hair cut and highlighted.  (I knew that my personal time was ticking fast!)

3. Instead of a baby (1 year or less) who basically just poops, pees, eats, cries or coos and sleeps..... we have a toddler(s) who have, of course, have mastered walking running, talking for the most part, who are learning to potty train, and wants to do everything Heath and I do.  Big change! lol 

4. But, perhaps the biggest change of them all is the fact we have adopted TWO precious children whom the Lord has called us to raise in His love and carry down our family legacy.  Two closely-knit biological siblings who already have bonded with others, which is both good and also rather complicated.  God double our family, Hallelujah!  What a redeemer He is.

(Just to let you in...  this photo sure captures Little Lady and Little Bear's little personalities well.  LOVE!)

Now what?  I know you want to hear more details of the adoption, and I wish I had all night to talk to you, but now I have early mornings every day so I really need to get to sleep.  I'll write again, and I'll try to make it sooner!  I feel like there's so much to share.  Thank you all so very much for waiting to hear the news!  It's been the most blessed, wonderful and yet hectic and frazzled 2 1/2 months of my life.  I really haven't had much time or energy to blog, and I wanted to wait until some of the legalities were sorted through before we went "public" with the good news. 

I hope you leave my blog after reading this realizing how God loves YOU and has a plan for your own life far greater and beyond what you can imagine.  A real plan.  One that if you don't stop crying out to Him and seeking Him, you will also experience!  No matter how cynical and depressing this world may seem, please.  PLEASE hear me on this....

God works miracles today.  He redeems His children!  His promises never ever come back void.  They can't, because He is Truth and cannot lie.  :D  That's good news!!!


All photography is courtesy of Lee-Anne Fenwick Photography in Louisville, Ky.

*In order to maintain extra privacy, I've replaced our children's real names with nicknames that accurately describe them. :) **


Maria said...

Congratulations!!!! I'm so happy for you, Leslie! What a beautiful family you have, your children are just adorable!!! And what an amazing testimony of God's faithfulness and miraculous ways! I LOVE where you wrote "His direction became my new compass", I need to apply that to my life in a new way! God bless you and your beautiful family, and have the most wonderful summer together! :)

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Leslie when I saw your post on your kitchen blog I was hoping this was what it was. I am over the moon excited for you. How wonderful. They are darling. Oh I know how this can be overwhelming time with them so little and busy but it goes so quickly. Just give in and enjoy the mess. I know it is hard. I means your life is very full and blessed. That is what I tell myself when I look at piles of laundry and dishes. Life is full because my loves made that mess. LOL.. So excited for you my dear. You are such a gorgeous girl. Love the photos.

Leslie said...

Maria, thank you so much! I'm so glad to hear you're encouraged!! We're still in disbelief over our family and feel humbled and blessed. There's still so much toward about parenting, but it's a fun journey to be on! Thanks for your kind words. :)

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh how exciting and they are so precious. I love how wonderful the Lord is to give us just what we need. Perfect. Hugs, marty

Heather said...

Congratulations on bringing your children home!!! What a beautiful story of God's perfect timing!!!!!

Jessica OBrien said...

Beautiful story and beautiful family photos! So much love being shared already. :) Congratulations! God IS good!

Shelia Williamson said...

Oh, Darling! I'm so happy for you and your hubby! These little children are complete dolls and how it warms my heart to hear how God did this for you! He knew the perfect parents for the perfect little children. What a blessing they are in your Christian home and will be raised in His Word! I'm so glad you popped in to see me so I would get to read your post and rejoice with you! Praise God!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Patty from Lemon Lane said...

Hi sweet lady! I am over the moon with your blessing. Our desire for children are so similar down to the wait of seven years for answered prayer. We adopted siblings only 14 months apart (ages 4 and 5) and knew they were planned and placed by God. They are now 27 and 28 and have blessed us with two precious grandbabies. God is indeed our Redeemer! The photos are gorgeous but the expressions and love that is already so obvious is just priceless. I know it's been awhile since I've been exactly in your shoes but please feel free to use me as a resource and sounding board when you feel overwhelmed (and you will). Praising Him and praying for your new family. Patty

sharonavinger said...

Congratulations! I have sent your post to our daughter. She and her husband want a family and are having fertility issues. They are very open to adoption. Your story holds much promise for them and others like them. Thank you for giving all credit to God for you beautiful family.

maryaguer said...

Oh, Leslie! A very special delivery from our Heavenly Father! What a beautiful family!
Your post made me cry at the love and goodness of God!

Congratulations on your beautiful babies!
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father." James 1:17

Leslie said...

Mary, I love that scripture!! Truly a gift from God.
Thank you all for sharing in our joy and excitement!!! Your words are precious. We hope to keep you better updated on our family:)

Beth @A Little Country House said...

I am just blown away! I can't even say anything..just tears....sooo precious and beautiful those babies are! Jesus, you are so wonderful.

laurie said...

What awesome news, and such a heartwarming story! You make such a wonderful family. God's Blessings to you!

kitty said...

Leslie, what wonderful news!!!!! Congratulations on adopting your two little darlings. Aren't they the most beautiful children that God has blessed you with?? Oh my goodness, I am so happy for you and Heath. Love, hugs and blessings sent to you. your days will be filled with so much joy and laughter. xo

elizabeth said...

Congratulations! I'm praising God for His miraculous grace and goodness to you and your Hubs AND to your precious little ones! My two oldest grandchildren are adopted biological siblings 11 months apart to the day! What a miracle their story is and God bringing them into our life. (They are my second born's children. I told you previously about my firstborn daughter's struggle with infertility and miscarriage for 10 years before God blessed them with two daughters.) Anyway, I'm overjoyed for you!

Jocelyn said...

I was in tears as I was reading your story!! It is wonderful news!! And even more wonderful for your two children to have you two as parents. So happy for you!!!! Praise our wonderful Savior for His faithfulness!!!

Vetty said...

Found your blog and read your opening paragraph. I wanted to stop by and congratulate you and your husband for God's blessings. It is amazing how life works out when we give our lives over the God. Children are a blessing. Good Luck to the both of you. Enjoy the ride. It's amazing.

Vetty said...

I found a post on Pinterest from you and decided to check out your blog. And what a wonderful surprise. I just had to send you a quick note to congratulate you and your husband on your children. What a blessing.

Michelle said...

Congratulations! I have twins and your right, yours are as close as you can get. Be warned they will work together to get what they want. Manly by melting your heart. May God continue to Bless you and your family.

Ani Stull said...

Leslie-I have been reading your blogs for the past several months. I am an OB/GYN physician, and my heart goes out to my patients who struggle with infertility, miscarriage, and stillbirth. I have been checking your blog every few days in anticipation. I am SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!! PRAISE GOD FOR HIS GOODNESS!!!!! Love, Ani

Heather Carter said...

Hi Leslie and Heath. Congratulations on your recent adoption! Praise God and yes, He is GOOD! I'm so happy for you both! After 8 years of trying to have a baby, my niece and her husband adopted triplets. The triplets are about 8 years old now and she just delivered her 3rd baby yesterday, so they have 6 children now, 3 girls and 3 boys! lol. So happy for you guys and for little Kylie and Jayden!


Ceil said...

Something tells me you are going to be one busy Mama! I am so happy for you :) My husband and I are adoptive parents too, so I know the longing and the frustrations.

God is so good!!

So great to meet you here.

Ali @ said...

Gosh I am so behind on reading! Congratulations!!!! They are gorgeous :) I can't wait to read more on how your life has changed and what kind of fun you guys get into :)

Melissa Bo said...

Congratulations! Im new to your blog, - your post and photos are amazing!!

Your words are a source of inspiration to me today,..( going thru some things this week )..
Thank you.

Lora said...

so so amazing! i am so happy for you. your children look just like you and your husband, too! God is so good! :)