2017 Small Shops Christmas Guide

It’s time for our 3rd annual #ShopSmallChristmasGuide … and everyone said, YAY!!! Please consider doing some {or ALL} of your shopping here from this list.  If you are looking for something specific email me & I’ll do my best to help you locate a shop with the items you are looking for.

I love that I can support adoption, mamas working from home, and support women working to improve their life/their family’s life, and the list goes on and on.

If there is an (*) beside the shop, I have personally shopped there. All the other shops were recommended to me by friends on Instagram. Happy shopping, friends!

 

CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES for Mommies & Babes

New Every Morning Shop – beautiful prayer bracelets and more.

Duke’s Darling Designs – customized shirts, mugs, hats, tumblers, ornaments, candy jars and MORE!

Truth & Gold – tees for the whole family with messages full of truth!

Three Sisters Handmade – vintage inspired hand tied hair bows.

Honey and Hal – handmade, vintage inspired out of Mobile, AL.

Stylin Sophie – Stylinsophie is an online children’s boutique based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Little Foot Clothing Co – a hip and modern children’s clothing brand.

As The Dear Handmades – accessories for mamas and babes

Turban for Tots – tons and tons of options for headbands, scarves, bows, and even headbands for mommies! {Evie has some and loves them!}

CheekyCheekyBaby – Nicole {the owner} is absolutely precious! She has made a good bit of Evie’s custom onesies. She creates onesies, precious and super soft leggings, adorable shoes. So yeah, just go check it all out.

 

SUPPORTS ADOPTION & ORPHAN CARE

Natalie Brenner Shop – “win, win: support adoption + wear awesome shirts + have pretty prints”

Theresa’s Crochet Shop – Theresa creates precious hats + animals + crochet patterns.

The Knotted Nest – prints + nest necklaces + nest bracelets + more!

Little Lettering Shop – hand letter creations supporting adoptions, go check out my sweet friend’s shop.

*High Street Littles – Evie has mutliple onesies and a precious hand stamped blanket with her name on it. All proceeds from Naomi’s shop go to support their THIRD adoption. Go check out all their products for your babes!

WilderEveLittles – super cute mocs for littles, plus paci clips, and headbands! Evie loves her two mocs from you, Ms. Jana 🙂 Also, if you are an adoptive family and would like to partner with raising funds, make sure to contact her!

Hazel and Holly – modern, unique and comfortable baby clothes & accessories // All proceeds from the shop go towards an adoption fundraiser.

 

JEWELRY & ACCESSORIES

*Swankaroo – THE CUTEST purses, pouches, and backpacks for littles!

The Priceless Collection – women are purchased with coins every night & sold into sex trafficking. We turn these coins into jewelry to set them free {donating 25%}

The Adopt Shoppe – words from the owner, Kate – “I started The Adopt Shoppe out of necessity. My husband, Jason, is a church planter and I am a stay-at-home mom. So we didn’t have money to adopt. Like no money at all. Before I started making things, I looked all over the internet. I wanted to make something different and authentic, as well as uplifting and inspiring to bless women everywhere.”

* Stamps Of Grace – Jessica, the owner, creates beautiful hand stamped jewelry.

APRONS

Towns Carlson – Towns is a precious friend of mine and creates very unique aprons that would be the perfect gift for your mom, aunt or grandmother!

 

BABE THINGS

*Dwell Darlings – the softest loveys and blankets for you little loves.

SwellForever – Brooke, the founder of SwellForever is so passionate about her work. I personally purchased a ForeverBlanket from her. I love love love the personalized tag that I was able to write to Evie. We use the super soft and cozy blanket all the time. This gift is one that lasts and is so special to the one that receives it.

MIXTURE OF GOODIES

The Knotted Nest – prints + nest necklaces + nest bracelets + more!

Jumping Jack Apparel – graphic tees + headbands + art for you & your little {all goodies inspired by the owners son, Jack.}

Little Warrior Nika – wow – just read Nika’s story & you’re gonna want to do that NOW! what an amazing little girl & what a calling the Lord has on her life. go support their shop and help her continue to get the medical care she needs.

 

PRINTS, STATIONARY, BOOKS & DEVOTIONALS

*In Due Time Devotional – 60 day devotional written by one of my precious friends, Caroline. Go grab this devotional and join Caroline as she shares pieces of her own story, including both loss and longing.

Rooted Ink – a sweet friend of mine and her sisters started this shop where they have created prayer journals. I own one and LOVE it. They also offer super cute prints. /// They will also work with families who are needing to raise funds for adoption.

Lotes Love Notes – Mary Cam is my cousin by marriage and is Towns’s sis 🙂 She is the creator of all the watercolor stationary and beautiful prints. She’s so talented and an absolute delight to be around!

Joyful Papery – Emily, the owner, is a personal friend of mine and has the most gracious and beautiful heart. she is majorly talented and a love her creations // go check our her site for beautifully made prints, coffee mugs, greeting cards, word wall hangings and more

 

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Thanks so much for checking all of these shops out. If you have another shop you would like to share, PLEASE email me {CheersToPlanA@gmail.com} or share in the comments but make sure to put the link to the shop.

Much much love!

KB

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November Adoptive Family :: Ashley & J.D.

What an adventure it’s been these last 16 years. I say 16 years and not 8 years, which we’ve been together, because that was when J.D. got in trouble in our 11th grade English class for talking to me too much. Yep, J.D. has always been one to push the limits and I guess I’ve always thought he was handsome, funny and the whole package. I also loved the challenge of (trying) to keep him out of trouble (the innocent kind of course- the kind where he tells a joke in the middle of a serious meeting, but there really is no stopping that).

We began dating in late December 2009 and the excitement has continued ever since. We got engaged on July 1st (Canada Day for trivia peeps) 2011 and married 9 months later on April 21st 2012.  After several years of wonderful memories as a couple, we decided we were having too much fun for just two people to enjoy. So, we started talking about growing the fam.

I remember early on when J.D. asked me how many kids I wanted and when I said 3 he loved that idea but insisted that he wanted to try and have them VERY close together, after discussing HOW close together, the math didn’t work ladies!  He basically wanted them to overlap.  Then he REALLY caught my attention by saying ‘I figure we could have one then adopt one and then see where to go from there.’ ‘Adoption?…’ I replied with a tug at a heart string of adoption since I was young. ‘I don’t know why, but I always thought I would’ he replied having no influence (other than the Lord’s) of adoption in his life. I cried. Then we cried. Then off we were. After a year of nada in the biological kiddo trying, followed by two years of fertility doctors saying ‘we’re not sure why it’s not happening (believe you me they ran enough tests to find out… kidding but not kidding). We tried IUI several times to no avail, when the doctors basically shrugged their shoulders and said ‘We can always do IVF.’ We realized our plan may not be the same as we had thought years earlier.  

The idea of IVF never felt right to us.  My body really didn’t like IUI to begin with.  I ended up in the ER 2x in one week with a complicated migraine, unable to see and forgetfulness and confusion where they thought I was having a stroke, to a ruptured massive ovarian cyst that kept me literally on the floor.  So even more drugs just didn’t feel right.  Before every next big step in our journey we had committed to pray before we made a decision.  This time we knew prayer was our next step.  We felt that God was telling us to take a pause and to “Be still” while He worked.   It was quite beautiful that God place all of this at the time of 21 days of prayer in our church. We faithfully prayed over what God had in store for us as our next step, whether it be IVF, adoption, or to pause and continue be still.  It was Day 9 of prayer and J.D. and I started our morning like every other, listening to the devotional and then going in different directions to pray.  I like to go outside and sit on the floor and he stays near his seat.  On the walk back to J.D. the song “Good Good Father” came on, you see, this song had played almost every time I was worried or feeling stuck.  We like to think, that “Good Good Father” was like a “God wink” as if He was telling us “relax my children, I’ve got this.”   I continued my walk back to and J.D. gave me a huge hug while the song was still playing and excitedly asked me to look at his Bible.  He was pointing to Mark 9:36.

He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them. Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.

I can’t find the words to describe the peace that came over me in that moment. I cried, J.D. cried and while others were continuing to sing “Good Good Father” in the auditorium around us we knew that God had just told us our next step, and that we would have Him to walk with us through the entire process.   

We’ve felt called to talk about our story from the beginning to share the good parts, the not-so-good parts and the beautiful parts in between. So, feel free to ask away.  We don’t want fear to hold anyone back.  

Since we have begun our adoption journey we have found that our friends and family are the best support system that God has orchestrated. We like to call it our Village- and we believe what they say It Takes a Village so we are so grateful that every single one of you are a part of it. We couldn’t do this without our Vibert Village.  

We love that adoption was in both of our plans before we even seriously thought about growing our family, but we are so thankful that God has shown us that adoption was God’s plan A for our story.

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Please go follow along with Cheers To Plan A on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with ways to support the Viberts for the month of November!

As always, thanks to each of you for supporting the families every single month! We couldn’t do it without you guys!

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the first words out of my mouth {a chapter from my sister’s story}

Nathan and I had been married for 6 months that September. I was starting my first semester of Nursing School at Troy-Montgomery, and Nathan was starting his last year of seminary school. Nathan worked two jobs, one full-time at his family’s business and the other as a bi-vocational family pastor. We were living out in a small, country town in a house that was owned by the church. Our plans were to knock out school for the both of us, find really good jobs, buy a house, and then start a family.

Wrong. I had been having several headaches while at school and had been just feeling really yuck for several days. The nursing student in me, at the time, started diagnosing, but then the realist in me started denying the diagnoses. I thought “what the heck,” I’d take a pregnancy test and just mark it off of my list of possibilities. I went into CVS, very ashamedly (as if I had done something wrong), and got two pregnancy tests. When I got back to our house, I went ahead and took one of the tests. While I was waiting, I was thinking back to my last period and then adding it all my symptoms. I began to feel like I was going to vomit.

Positive.

No way.

I can’t be.

Took the second one.

Positive again.

I immediately started crying and screaming…. “God, I’m going to have to give this baby to my sister!”

I had no concern about anything accept for what this was going to do to my sister. I began pleading and asking God for this to not be real. I was 22 years old, just married, still in school, broke, and had a sister who desperately longed to be pregnant. Nothing could shake the fact that my sister was going to be heartbroken. I knew she would still love me, but I knew this would tear her insides apart.

After taking three more pregnancy tests when Nathan got home, and throwing up several more times, we needed to prepare ourselves. We couldn’t get past the idea of us having a child. Even Nathan kept bringing up how much of a struggle this was going to be for my sister. I had to tell someone and there was no question that the person I would tell would be my mom. We were at lunch at Olive Garden and I started acting all weird and finally just blurted out that I was pregnant. Shock. Then immediately, I told her about Kailey. I just did not know what I was going to do. Since my mom is the best ever, she immediately turned it back to the fact that I was the one that was pregnant and how much of a blessing this is and that Kailey would be ok, eventually.

I scheduled an appointment with my OB/GYN to confirm the pregnancy and have an ultrasound. Nathan had to be in New Orleans for school so my mom went with me to hold my hand and tell me to breathe. I figured I was maybe 4-5 weeks along and we wouldn’t be able to see anything…wrong, yet again. I was 9 weeks and 5 days and the little one inside of me had the strongest heartbeat. It all became real. There was no mistake. All the feels and emotions became just as real. I was going to have to tell my sister. Ready for one of the worst ideas I have ever had? I’ll tell Kailey over lunch, in a public place. That way she’ll be mildly distracted.

Dumbest idea ever. My mom, Kailey, and myself went to Panera in Auburn and grabbed lunch. Towards the end of lunch I told Kailey I had something to show her. I pulled out my freshly printed ultrasounds pics (ya know, the ones every mom is so excited about getting) and handed them to K. Of course, she was like “no way!” trying to act all happy/surprised…and then immediately started to cry, hysterically. Worst. Sister. Ever. We all began crying and had to leave. Kailey told us before she left that she was really upset but she’ll be ok. She didn’t come over immediately to my parents’ house but eventually showed up later. The whole time she wasn’t there, I just knew she would never be ok. I did not realize it until I became pregnant, but being pregnant is a BIG deal.

Not everyone gets to be pregnant. Many, like my sister, pray hard and dream of the day that they can carry a child. And here I am, wishing I wasn’t pregnant. How do you deal with those thoughts and emotions? After we all hugged it out and knew that we would get through this, I became intentional with my words and thoughts about pregnancy. I began to see how this affected my sister and knew that she can’t be the only one.

She wasn’t the only one. There are so many, heartbreakingly, too many woman who deal with infertility. They long for the one thing I didn’t want right at that moment of my life. What could I do? Not complain. Yeah, pregnancy was not my cup of tea. I puked my guts out with both of my pregnancies until about 20 weeks. I was dilated early on in pregnancy with both of my kiddos and was uncomfortable. But I would not gripe about that to those who I knew would do anything to be in my place. I also began to retract those questions to friends and acquaintances. You know, the ones like “Hey, isn’t it about time for y’all to have some kids?” OR “So is she/he your only one? Don’t y’all want more?” Those tear and rip some waiting mothers to pieces.

So, to complete my pregnancy story, Brooklyn Chase Farris was born on May 7, 2012 at 5:42pm, two days before my last final of my semester. Which is totally fitting because I prayed almost everyday that she would be born after May 9th (her due date was May 21st). God just really showed me what was up during this season of my life. He showed me that HE had plans for Nathan and me. He showed me how to love my sister better. He showed me that my words, and other peoples’ words, could have a huge impact on someone’s heart. This all led me to become more sensitive and aware of the women around me who might have the same struggles as my sister.

My sister and I shared things when we were growing up BUT, by far, killin’ this whole motherhood thing together has been the best.

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We would love to hear if you have experienced something related to our story or if you need prayer.

Leave a comment or touch base on social media.

IG // Facebook 

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October Adoptive Family ::: Matt & Kaylin

My husband, Matt, and I got married in April of 2014 and began trying to grow our family about year later.  We got pregnant in August of 2015 and were excited for what the future held.
Even though we had just found out, we could not keep the excitement to ourselves and we immediately shared the news with our parents, siblings and a few close friends.  I remember going to get my first set of blood work drawn at my OB’s office at around 5 weeks, excited that it was my turn to experience this miracle.  We were so thrilled as this was the next big step in our lives and everything seemed to be falling into place accordingly.  The same day I had my blood work completed was the night we spent six hours in the ER because we were experiencing a chemical pregnancy.  We spent the next few days working up the nerve to inform those who knew that we, in fact, would not be welcoming a sweet baby like we thought. I felt many emotions; sadness, anger, embarrassment and grief – just to name a few. It took us a while to grieve this loss and muster the strength to try again, but almost 6 months later, we felt ready.
We found that we were pregnant again almost a year to the date. We were ecstatic.  This is what we had dreamed and prayed for, but there were a lot of nerves.  We were very cautious due to our previous loss, but after my OB confirmed that my levels were rising, we felt a little bit of ease.  At 8 weeks we had an ultrasound and were able to see our little baby’s heartbeat on the monitor.  Although it didn’t look exactly like a baby yet, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  The more time that passed was a little more weight off our shoulders and the farther we got from 5 weeks, the better we felt.
In October of 2016, we had plans to travel to Disney World with our friends. It was a trip that was planned prior to finding out about our pregnancy and we scheduled our 13 week appointment a few days before leaving.  We were looking forward to being able to not only see our baby’s heartbeat again, but to hear it for the first time.  Our wait time took longer than expected and unfortunately, my husband had a very important work meeting to get to.  I assured him that it was fine if he left and that he would make it to the next appointment.
After they took me back and put the doppler on my belly:
silence.
It took the doctor what seemed like an eternity to determine that there was no heartbeat.  I was alone and was so numb that I couldn’t come up with what words to say. The blob that was hard to previously make out, couldn’t be mistaken for anything but a baby.
He immediately began talking about next steps.  The next few days were a whirlwind of surgery and carrying on with our vacation.  We made the difficult decision to carry on with our plans and felt that it would be nice to get away from our lives at home and deal with our loss elsewhere.  It was helpful to be away from the additional stresses of life, but made it that much harder to settle back into our lives with the knowledge that my womb was empty and we had to find a way to move forward.  The biggest step included God and trusting that His timing is perfect, even though it was not our original plan.  He knows best and we needed to lean on Him to guide us forward.
After another year, we decided to meet with a fertility doctor to determine the cause of our miscarriages and struggle to carry the pregnancies to term.  After months of blood work, various tests and non-invasive fertility drugs, we were told that our best bet of having a successful pregnancy was through IVF.  Prior to this information, we felt a strong calling towards adoption and decided that if we were faced with IVF as the next step, we would pursue adoption instead.
This strong pull was something I like to think of as God’s way of guiding us to the path we were are supposed to be on.  In May of this year, after much praying, we decided to officially take the first step in our adoption journey and signed with Christian Adoption Consultants. We are just finishing up our home study and will be a waiting family before we know it.
Although we came to the decision to adopt by way of infertility, we know that this is what we were called to do and feel confident that God knows our baby and everything will fall into place in His perfect timing.
Our hope is that as we share our story, it will provide a small sense of healing for others who have walked a similar path.  We want other women, couples, and families to know that you are not alone and that God will guide you to where you are meant to be.
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If you would like to donate to support Matt & Kaylin click here. It will take you straight to their donation website. You can follow along on their journey to their baby on IG.
As we journey through this month of raising funds for the Barnett family; please make sure to lift them up in prayer. Also, please pray for all unborn babies, mothers choosing how to best care for their babes, and for every relationship involved.
Thank you again for caring and supporting this family, the ones before, and the ones to come.

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a gift for my husband & for you.

My husband, Dru, is the first person to say he doesn’t want anything or need anything. Always. Without fail. I can tell you his words full of humility and grace before they even come out of his mouth.

I do not think it’s because he doesn’t want anything, I think it’s just that he is satisfied with what he already has been given. His birthday is coming up and he will be the BIG 33! Evie and I wanted to bless him with something out of the ordinary. Something special. Something that he wouldn’t normally ask for. A wooden Jord Watch was the perfect choice.

The even more awesome news is that if you are reading this, you have a chance to win a $100 gift code to use on the JORD website. One person will win, but everyone who enters will receive a code worth $25 once the contest ends. <—- best news ever! Enter to win here!

It is truly the perfect birthday gift, anniversary gift, or a just-because-I-love-you-gift.

You can order a watch like Dru’s here.

You can shop women’s watches here or men’s watches here.

This post is sponsored by Jord, but all thoughts are from my heart to yours.

  Luxury Wooden Watch

take courage my heart

This song is undoing me these days and putting me back together. I am constantly listening to it when my thoughts seem to get out of control. Turn it up and let the words cover your heart, mind, and body. {lyrics below}

Slow down, take time
Breath in He said
He’d reveal what’s to come
The thoughts in His mind
Always higher than mine
He’ll reveal all to come

Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing

Sing praise my soul
Find strength in joy
Let His Words lead you on
Do not forget
His great faithfulness
He’ll finish all He’s begun

So take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing

Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing

And You who hold the stars
Who call them each by name
Will surely keep, Your promise to me
That I will rise, in Your victory
And You who hold the stars
Who call them each by name
Will surely keep, Your promise to me
That I will rise, in Your victory!

So take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
And hold onto your hope
Watch your triumph unfold
He’s never failing
He’s never failing

So take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
And hold onto your hope
Watch your triumph unfold
He’s never failing
He’s never failing!

He’s in the waiting…

{lyrics by: Kristene DiMarco}

never been pregnant and I’m thankful.

Close your eyes and think of something you want so badly. Think about what you would do to make it happen. What would you endure to see it come to pass?

Pregnancy. That was what I wanted to badly. I was in a single-minded-pursuit of that one thing. I wanted to do whatever possible for ME to make that happen. But it never happened. And still hasn’t.

Because it hasn’t happened, I wanted to share a little bit of our backstory so you will know where we’ve been. I think people probably assume we have either experienced miscarriages or been told we will never conceive a biological baby. Neither is true.

I don’t think I have ever written those words on the world wide web which seems odd. Me not conceiving became the catalyst for growth in my faith like I’ve never experienced before.

I’ve never ever seen a positive pregnancy test. Like ever. I have no idea all the emotions that come with those two pink lines staring back at you. I do not know what it is like to sneak around for a few days to plan how to surprise Dru with the news. I do not know what’s it’s like to feel a baby kicking inside my belly. I do not know what it’s like to have to pee every five seconds because a baby is all up on my bladder.

And six years ago this was the only thing on my mind. The desire to have a baby in my belly consumed me. It trapped me every single day. Questions plagued my mind, heart, and body daily.

I am here to say today that our GOD IS BIGGER than the biggest desire of our hearts. He has an even greater plan than the one we’ve dreamed up in our heads. {#shockerIknow}

My Evie girl was the very reason why I had never conceived. What I thought was being withheld from me was actually allowing me to receive the best, most perfect blessing of my life.

These are the questions we continually lay down at Jesus’s feet and really never expect an answer this side of heaven. BUT God. He allowed me to hear words from my birthmother that forever shaped my faith in my God.

She told me in December of 2014, one of the reasons she chose us to be Evie’s parents is because we did not have any children. FRRRRRRIENDS!!!!! Go back and read those words again. No really. Do it.

Do you see that? Do you see that He was in it ALL??? He was there all along!! He was guiding us and NOT withholding. He was preparing. He was aligning our hearts with His most perfect and awesome plan.

Today, I am asking you to maybe not hold so tightly to your plans. Loosen that grip. You’ll never be the same. Promise.

As always, if you have comments or questions, I’m here. Reach out and ask.

So much love for each of you,

KB

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birkeland family update: now what?

it’s been two weeks since we found out that I am not pregnant and I want to share what happened in my heart over the course of last month.

I think I shared in one of the live fb videos I did that I didn’t plan on sharing our journey this time around. I thought that we would just precede with everything and then share when we were finally pregnant. But I was assured my the Holy Spirit that I must share. I had a lot of reservations as to what people’s reactions would be to us taking steps to a biological child now after adopting. And let me just say, those were lies from the enemy that I let my heart believe. Every single comment, text, email, and call I received was supportive and loving. {we have the best support system!!}

As I read each comment, it’s like the Lord was removing every lie I had believed, one by one. I found healing by sharing. I have seen this happen so many times, not sure why I didn’t think it wouldn’t happen this time. Obedience precedes blessings.

During the course of all the meds and such last month, I told Dru that if I’m not pregnant then I am experiencing this and sharing it for someone else. I knew deep down in my spirit that I was not pregnant…. so whoever is in the midst of something out of your control but taking steps of obedience as the Lord leads; I’m here for you. I see you. I get you. please reach out, tell someone of the struggle. Do not do this alone.

Now for what’s next..

I talked with my nurse after the negative pregnancy test to see what they believed would be the next step. Basically, there was nothing abnormal about anything during the cycle, so we would do the same course of treatment. So that’s where we are. We talked last night and I feel peace about not doing an IUI next cycle. That means we would still do the meds/monitoring.

I am not sure when we will start again, but I am gaining more and more peace about what to do. We would love your prayers to surround our family.

specific prayers:

1:: prayers for peace as we make next step decisions.

2:: prayers that Dru and I would continue to grow closer together/our marriage would become even stronger even in the midst of making a lot of decisions/doc appt/meds/the fact that the drugs most definitely alter my moods/emotions 🙂

3:: prayers that when I do become pregnant for a healthy babe & uneventful pregnancy.

4:: prayers for me to use my time and words wisely. also that the Lord would continue to allow me to speak/minister to women in the midst of struggle and waiting.

Thank you {as always} for reading and loving us so well. If you are entering into the world of infertility and/or adoption, I would love to chat with you and help you in anyway I can. shoot me an email {kaileyabirkeland@gmail.com} or come join me over on IG {@kbirkeland}

Much love,

KB

how to love a waiting mama

Mother’s Day has looked different for me every single year for the past nine years. At the beginning of our marriage, there were thoughts of one day having little ones making me homemade gifts with *mommy* written in their precious little handwriting. As we approached year five and still no little loves to call ours, my heart was torn and broken in so many ways.

I was alone…isolated…desperate and dreaded the weeks/days leading up to the day. I did not want to be around anyone on this day + I did not want people to tell me *happy mother’s day* ASSUMING I was a mother + I did not want to look at social media to see all the mamas with their babies. It was all too much.

I want to challenge you {really everyone} to be careful of your words and be so-full-of-grace leading up to Mother’s Day and especially on Mother’s Day. It isn’t a happy day for everyone.

I want to list a few things to think about and then I have a challenge to those of you who I have mama in waiting in your mind right now…

  • let her stay at home give her the space to do so. do not push her to go to church or to lunch or really anywhere. it will just make her heart hurt more.
  • she needs grace. so much grace on this day. I have found that the best thing to do is say *I love you and I am here for you.*
  • lower your expectations of waiting mamas. do not put any of your expectations on her to do or be or act a certain way.
  • her feelings are real. her wanting and desiring a baby that isn’t in her arms is the most real thing to her. she longs to hold that sweet love so badly it hurts sometimes so badly that she doesn’t even want to get out of bed.
  • if you have a close friend/family member that IS a mother but her babies are in heaven… she is still a mother. however you feel lead, tell her Happy Mother’s Day. she is a mother. {in my opinion, the best and most non-invasive way is a simple text.}
  • so to sum it up: waiting mothers need to be affirmed, acknowledged and celebrated on Mother’s Day.

now for the FUN part! I have two ways I want to celebrate waiting mothers.

1)) I am going to be hosting a giveaway for waiting mamas on my Instagram feed this weekend. I am asking you either ARE a waiting mama or you WILL send the gifts TO a waiting mama. So please consider entering!

2)) oh I’m so excited about this. I am going to share links to donate/purchase items in support of adoptions. You will be making it possible for a waiting mama to be ONE step closer to bringing her baby HOME. here are the links! YAY!!

Mullaly Family Adoption

Baby Vargas Adoption

The Guntlisbergen Family Love Story

Salinas Family Adoption Journey 

Schaaps Adopt

Green Family 

Adopting our daughter from India

Matthew and Megan Adopt 

Cooper Family Adoption

so much love to each of you! please let me know if you are going to join us over on Instagram or if you are going to support one of the waiting mamas above.

love,

KB

birkeland family update :: growing our family

I know, I know so mean of me to make you wait. But I had good reason, I promise {it’s all about timing, don’t ya know?} A lot of friends in our new city didn’t know about our journey to Evie so that has made this {re}sharing even more fun. And of course, you lovely people that follow along and have been for a long time. We are just so grateful. We couldn’t have made it this far without all of you. Your prayers, love, and hope have inspired us and encouraged us to keep-on-going and keep believing.

When we were in the waiting room with Evie’s birthmother, the Holy Spirit whispered a promise. I do not feel like it’s the right time to give all the details but you need to know that we serve a God that fulfills promises that He gives to His children. We can put our HOPE and FAITH in those promises. He says He will never leave us or forsake us. In my thirty years on earth He has never left my side. He has always been a closer than a breath.

He was so close as we have been waiting and praying about what’s next for our family. I have been taking care of myself by going to my annual OB appointments, but I have not inquired about infertility related things at all. My heart has been so so so raw. It has truly taken all four of these years in between to heal and hope again. All of the ladies in this world of infertility would all be saying a resounding *AMEN* right now if we were in a room together. Nothing compares to all the stages of infertility.

At the beginning you are so hopeful and sure you will stop taking birth control and there will be a baby in your belly. But after couple of months of negative pregnancy tests, you start thinking you might should go to the doctor. You make the appointment – the doc {probably the nurse} says they do not consider you infertile until you’ve been trying for at least a year. So back to the house you go. A year passes, still no baby in your belly. You go back. Then all the doctor appointments begin – the blood work, surgery, the HSG test … and still nothing. All of that can just really really bring someone down. Month after month of being told that your dreams are not coming true. It’s hard. So hard. So much loss and hopelessness and fear.


Take a look at that picture —–> that just screams BUT GOD! Our God has a plan for all our pain and it’s not wasted. Not one bit of it.

So here we are. It’s 2017 and for two years we have been praying and praying and praying some more… asking God what’s next for our family. Do we adopt? Do we pursue biological children? Do we wait? Do we make appointments? Do we call up a social worker and start the home study process?

He answered us. He gave us peace. This past 21 days of prayer & fasting, the Lord answered.

We are pursuing our precious biological children – I have my first appointment in the morning with a new OB {not a fertility specialist yet, one step at a time friends} It’s at 9:30am. I would appreciate any and ALL prayers. {Please pray for peace for me + pray that the whole experience would be life giving and full of hope + pray that my heart would be steadfast and know where my hope lies.}

I will update at some point after my appointment and let you sweet people know what’s next for us.

CRAZY love for each of you,

KB