It has been 365 days, little family of mine.

One full year since we were all together for the first time.

View More: http://minttobe.pass.us/julianneI was privileged to grow three beautiful babies who kicked at and stretched me from the inside before they were born.  The labor and the pain to bring them into the world… it was all worth it, and only weeks later, the memory of the pain had already begun to fade.

In adoption, the trip truly is just the beginning.  Often people mistake the arrival home as the end game, like we have ARRIVED at this new family unit knowing exactly what to do, like it’s instinctual, this new title of Mama-To-Four.

It wasn’t.

Truth is, learning to be a family with Julianne in the mix has been a labor like no other.  We have been pulled and stretched, made to be something that didn’t want to come together automatically, and, it has all be worth it.  Truth is, this labor was not easily forgotten; the memories lingered on for months, and have finally started to be completely resolved as we talked about and felt safe enough to decompress the difficult STUFF we experienced.  Truth is, one of my distinct memories is landing at home and hugging the neck of a friend and whispering in a crazed/tired/panicked voice…

“how do people do this more than once?!?”

A year later, I can see it.  I would do it again.  Not sure if we will, but I would.  After seeing the things we saw, we agree that the word “never” will not be a part of our vocabulary.

Today, we celebrate!

View More: http://minttobe.pass.us/oneyearsession

We were once a weary, tired, overwhelmed family of five plus one scared little girl.  Now, we are simply a family of six.  I am a Mama-To-Four, and it feels right; it IS right. We have been knit together, and not because we are great.

It’s because of Jesus — because HE is great.

He is the Master Sculptor, and He has been working to create something that is special, unique, and precious to Him.

When the sweet friend of mine who has documented many of Julianne’s milestones this first year came over for our One-Year-Home pictures, we wanted to recreate some of those first pictures together…

What a difference a year makes.

What a difference LOVE makes.

Photography by Amanda Cross at Mint to Be

 

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2 Comments on “knit together {then & now}

  1. I would love To know what agency you used, My husband and I are researching and trying to choose but the decison feels so overwhelming.

  2. Hi Tiffany! It’s so great that you are talking about adoption! There are many good agencies out there, and choosing one can be overwhelming. 🙂 We made a list of what we were looking for in an agency. We knew we wanted a Christian-based agency, one who believed in finding family for a child (vs a child for a family). We wanted one who did the legwork part of the paperwork for us, which meant we still had to complete everything, but they made sure it was sent to the correct consulates, got proper stamps, seals, authentications, etc… We ended up choosing Lifeline Children’s Services because they were the best fit for our family. There are other factors that play into people’s decisions… cost, size of agency, which countries they work with, home study requirements, if they require group travel… so many factors! I actually found a few people who were using different agencies and sent emails to them asking specific questions before applying. Hope this helped a little, thanks for asking the question!

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