Thursday, October 13, 2016

Why It Is So Hard to Write a Thank You

Well dang y'all.
I had every intention of blogging my mind away through this adoption, but honestly it has been heavier than I thought. My mind is so full that trying to figure out what to share when was just another "thing" I didn't need to add to my life. BUT this morning I was sitting here for about the 30 millionth day in a row saying "tonight I'm going to write thank you notes", but spoiler alert I'm probably not going to write a single thank you tonight and here is why.


That is the short of it. Adoption is hard, it seems like a beautiful God calling that shows you His provision (and it does) but it is also the heaviest thing we have ever done. We sit here thinking every day, morning in my quiet time, every free minute, about what life will be like when we bring our nugget home. We have been preparing for 6 months now, but there is still no "sign" of a little one, just more paperwork to put together, more questions to answer... more waiting.

So while we are unbelievably grateful for the gifts, the encouragement, the financial blessings, it is just a little hard to write a genuine thank you right now. And we believe whole heartedly that those that have been involved need a genuine thank you, not a "thank you for your gift, what a perfect blessing! Follow my blog for more updates!". We want to find the words to express how much it means that because of what they have given we are able to confidently follow a difficult path to a family that we are more certain of than anything in our lives. That each dollar, gift, encouraging word has been affirmation that we are going the right way.

Right now I don't want to sit at the kitchen table and craft a thank you note. I want to get our nugget home. I want to have a phone call that we are on the list, that we have been matched, and that they are ready for us to come meet this already unbelievably loved little one.

If you have given to our family and not heard a response, we are sorry. Our southern families are probably cringing that it has been 6 months with no thank you sent. But trust me, your gift means more than we can put in to words. We WILL write you a note, and it will be a note from the heart and most likely stained with tears of joy.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Headbands & Happy Hearts

So, by now you know that adoption costs a lot, and not just dollars. Adoption costs a lot of time, tears, and tedious nights doing paper work. BUT! God blessed me with the best partner to go through all the costs with. 

Reed and I have thoroughly enjoyed every piece of the adoption process. We are officially HALF WAY through our home study! We still have certificates to send in, background checks, doctors visits, and so many more pieces to read, sign and read and sign again. Our signatures are getting pretty good, almost rockstar status actually :)

So, as we continue to move forward I am amazed at how much fun we are having. Reed is such a trooper. I mean I have forced him to take more pictures with me than we have in a really long time, and most of them involve self timer, lots of back and forth, stand real still, don't move, look here, smile, make a funny face ect. Last night I called him on my way home and said I needed to get some pictures for our new fundraiser, that he was gonna think I was crazy but to trust me it would be a good thing. He agreed he would help after he worked on the AC in his truck. So after 2 hours of working on his truck he came in put the head band on with no question and let me snap away. 

I am so grateful for this dude and his ability to be goofy for the sake of our family. He is one of the hardest working people I have ever met and so not afraid to get dirty and take care of what needs to get done. But he is also the kindest, most loving, and fun person I know. I can't wait to see all the fun times ahead with our little Nica Nugget! 

Now, back to fundraising! If you are interested in purchasing a headband or cowl you can check out our Gathering Impossible page through ETSY. Everything in this series will have a percentage of the sales going directly to Gathering Baby Lathrop. We have partnered with East of These out of Lakeland FL, each cowl and headband is handmade by them and a percentage of the sale goes to us! Our goal is to sell 100 head bands and 50 cowls, so please share the link and ask your friends to purchase a super awesome product and help us bring our baby home :)

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Gathering Baby Lathrop

Holy Moly I can't believe all the love Reed and I have received since sharing the news about our adoption! I don't just mean on social media, but from dear friends and family that will be a part of our little Faraway babies life forever! Reed and I knew that we would have community interested in hearing our story and why we decided to move forward on something so many say is nothing but hard. We also know that this journey is going to be long and that not everyone is going to be thinking about it constantly like we are. 

So when trying to find a way to tell our nearest and dearest about our decision to grow our family we wanted to give them a physical object that would remind them to pray along with us ever chance they get. As I was trying to use my creative juices to come up with something special to us I realized a promise that God had given us and that it applied to so much more than we thought. 

At the very beginning of our adoption journey, like before we took our first step, God laid this verse on our hearts. It seemed fitting for our family that is spread out across the countries, so it ended up on our fridge as a reminder that though we see Reeds family very little God has promised to bring us all together. Then as our adoption progressed we realized the true reason this verse was put in our lives; a promise from God that He is going to bring our Faraway baby home!

We read through Nehemiah back in January when our church did a series called "Difference Makers". This series broke down the journey that God took Nehemiah on to restore His people.  This was the series that broke our hearts, that made us realize we didn't have any reason to wait. God called us to make moves and He would take care of the rest.

At the time of this series, we knew our hearts had been broken but I don't think we realized the significance of the promise God gave us.

God gave us a promise that was written thousands of years ago, but it could have been written just for us. It fit so perfectly, and became something I prayed over and over again. A promise that truly has taken away my anxiety because I know God will make good on His promise to me.

"Even if your people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name." 
Nehemiah 1:9

So when it came time for us to share with our family and friends it only seemed fitting to share with them the promise we were given. These little globes may  not be the nicest things, but they are a physical reminder and promise from God. He IS going to gather up our little Nica baby! 

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If you are interested in helping us bring home this little faraway baby feel free to check out our funding page. We will be sharing many opportunities of how you can get involved, so stay tuned :)  

Friday, July 1, 2016

God Broke Our Hearts and We Decided to do Something About it.

Have you ever used the saying "How heart breaking?" or "That just breaks my heart?", I know I have about a million times. But I realized this year that I don't think my heart had ever truly felt heart break, I had never been so emotionally and spiritually broken to actually DO anything about it. But this past January (Jan. 31st 2016) I heard a sermon and realized God had broken my heart completely and I HAD to do something about it.

You are pobably preparing for a post that is gonna touch your heart strings and maybe bring some tears so you are grabbing the tissues. But I want you to know that when your heart breaks it isn't always because of struggle or a hard time. God uses heart break to bring about action, He can use heart ache in ways we never imagined and right now I have a broken heart that has solidified a calling from God, and I couldn't be more excited!

So Reed and I have decided to step in to what God has for us, to make moves on a something God wrecked us with and now we can officially share with  YOU!

We know you now have about a million questions just ready to jump out of your mouth, don't worry we are going to be filling you in every step of the way! We fully intend to use this God given adventure to educate people on the adoption process, and how God breaks hearts to create difference makers that lean on Him to carry out great things. 
Now to answer a few quick questions!

Where are you adopting?

How far along in the process are you? 
-We just got accepted by our agency and have started our 6 months worth of paperwork. Our next step is to prepare for a home study!

How Long does it take?
-No one really knows, the variation in wait time with Nicaragua is what deters many people from adopting there. We have 6 months worth of paper work, then we send it to Nicaragua to wait on acceptance and a match. We have seen people matched within 6 months and others having to wait 4 years. We are praying that God will bring us our faraway baby quickly, but also that he will be preparing our hearts through the wait, no matter how long!

Do you have an age range you are looking at?

-We want to remember that adoption is not about getting us a baby, but rather about finding a child a home. So we have selected to stay very open. We are currently signed up for a boy or girl in the 0-5 age range.

Do you still want biological children?

-Yes, but we feel that right now God has broken our hearts for orphans in Nicaragua. We have decided that we want to be the people that do something about it. So we are beginning our adoption journey now and trusting that God is going to build us the perfect family!

How much does adoption cost?
-Well, this is a long answer and I plan to share a LOT more about this in the future. But I will share this for now. It costs a lot more than we have, and we do not want to go in to debt. God has broken our hearts for adoption, and He knows our financial situation better than anyone else. If He feels like it is time for us to adopt then I have no doubt that He will help us in the financial department.
In the mean time check out our Fundraising Page . This is going to be the place that has all the information on our financial goals and timeline, along with ways you can be apart of bringing our faraway baby home! We are going to be doing a bunch of different things ranging from BBQ Dinners, silent auctions, to selling my art work, and other crafts!

These are the questions we have found to be asked the most. There are plenty more details and things I am sure some of you may be interested in. But for now that is our basic story, timeline, and thoughts on the process. We are believing God to do BIG things and to bring us our faraway baby in the perfect time.

God has already done things in perfect time and is blowing our minds every day as we walk with Him through this. We are so excited to be sharing our adventure with you and can't wait to introduce you to our faraway baby sometime soon!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Finding Yourself In The Paint

Have you ever struggled to find yourself? Like to feel confident in your decisions about life? Not that you aren't happy, but just feeling a little awkward teenager-ish??

I was just walking through that stage. I was feelin real awkward, like one day I was a prep, the next day I was country, next day I was goth. Ya know one of those girls that tries out a million different styles because she can't quite figure out where she fits in. Except I wasn't doing it with clothes. I was struggling to find how to express myself through art.

As I have said here MANY many times, I am extremely blessed to have a creative family, my grandmother paints, my aunt is an artist, my mom and other aunt can make junk from the side of the road look like a million bucks. Basically, I was born to be creative. So I tried out a lot. I tried painting furniture, making furniture, water color, acrylic, oil and on and on. I liked them all. I just didn't feel like I was expressing "ME".

Art is a form of expression. Just like some people express themselves through music, writing or speaking. Creating is a gift from God that allows you to express yourself and your story in a unique way, and I don't want to waist that! I want to find how to express myself and my God story through creating. Gah it was such a struggle. Was I doing certain things because I saw other artists be successful with them, or was I doing that because that truly felt natural to me? Did I feel like it was MY story or was I just trying to tell a story someone was interested in...


After talking to an artist I have learned to really love and admired, she told me to put challenges in place. Put restrictions on my paintings. It could be certain sizes, or colors, but these restrictions would allow me to see similarities that are unique to me that I may have missed in the chaos of creating. And ya know, what I did.

I found that I love vibrant colors, buttery strokes, and southern subject matter. When I stepped back and saw how all of these things ran through each piece I created I realized I truly did find myself in the paint!

(find these paintings and more on my website
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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Not Losing Your Dreams

So, long time no blog right?! OOPs :)

Well, I have made a goal for myself to start blogging, just writing once a week. I am not sure what I will be sharing, just life. For me that means sharing my faith, things I am learning in my marriage, and of course my creative dreams.

There are plenty of DIY blogs, cooking blogs, and even artists teaching their skills. I don't want to be "competitive" with them. I just want to get back to writing because I always feel better after "talking it out".

I hope you find my ramblings to be something that inspires you to follow your dreams and share your faith.

First up, I will just give ya a little recap of my life since about a year ago.

April 2015 I started as gallery manager for Sozo Gallery in Charlotte, NC.

June 2015 Reed and I started to help build NewSpring Church in Rockhill, SC. We LOVE the community we have gained and can't believe we did life for so long with out it! We started meeting in a living room, then moved to 2 houses, took a big leap to meet in a CrossFit gym, and are now meeting in a local school with the average attendance hovering around 300 people and growing! Our minds are completely blown at how God has shown up!

August 2015 I rebranded myself and got a fabo new logo. I mean I love it like times a million.

October 2015 Reed and I finally took a step of faith and lead a group of 8 friends to Nicaragua for a missions trip to our parents pineapple farm. It was a HUGE learning experience and something that we both want to continue to do in the future. Sharing our faith, and love of Nicaragua is something God has put on our hearts and we don't plan to ignore it :)

March 2016 I decided I wanted to take another step towards my dream of selling my artwork. I did a lot of soul searching, spoke with mentors, and finally, started to find myself in the paint. I then created a few pieces that my heart skipped a beat for and launched my online studio and had my first sale in less than two days!

Now I am about to celebrate 1 year at Sozo, start our 2nd year in NewSpring RockHill, and start our 4th year in York, SC! To say that God has been a good good father is an understatement. He brought Reed and I to a place of overflowing joy in every aspect of our lives and I couldn't be happier for how we got here. GOD IS GOOD!

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