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Monday, October 3, 2011

{Perfect} Timing.

You all may remember over the summer that adam's blankie hosted a "Spring into Summer" MEGA giveaway with about $1000 in giveaways going to just ONE {super duper!} lucky person!  Now, I'm sure some of you were sorely disappointed that you didn't win {as I would be!}, but I think it might help to know a bit about the story behind the winner...I know that I, for one, was AMAZED and touched by the journey she is currently experiencing in life!!  And honestly, I {er, random.org, that is} couldn't have "picked" a better winner!

It all started when I emailed Megan to let her know she had won the HUGE giveaway!  And she said something about how this was such perfect timing and such a blessing to her family....  Curious as to what she meant, I asked her to tell me more about that.  And she then told me her story....  It's a story of love, acceptance, heartache, patience, determination, guidance, obedience, perseverance, happiness & fulfillment all rolled into one beautiful making.  It is the "how," "when," "why," and "where" of how Megan, her husband & her son came to adopt a beautiful baby girl from far, far away....and how that action has forever impacted their lives!
Megan and her daughter {headband by adam's blankie}
So here is an intimate glimpse into that story, as told by Megan herself {her wording is in pink, just to make it easier to distinguish my words from hers throughout the remainder of this post}.

What made you decide to adopt?
My husband and I began talking about adoption when we first started dating (in high school).  We had adoption in both of our families and it was always on our hearts.  However, after we got married and made the decision to start our family, adoption was in the back of our minds.  After a difficult pregnancy and delivery with my son, we both knew we didn't want to try to get pregnant again any time soon...and yet we both began to have the "baby itch".  It was our friends' adoption that refreshed that desire and we knew that God had arranged every detail to lead us to this decision.  
{hat by Hooked by Kristen}
How did you decide on Ethiopia for adopting your child?
Back when we decided to start our family, I began having dreams about Africa.  We kept brushing them to the side thinking they were just dreams...but every friend I shared them with said we were meant to adopt from Africa.  =)  When God laid adoption on our hearts and we began researching country guidelines, Ethiopia was one of the few countries we fit the criteria for.  Suddenly those dreams seemed more like a calling.  Putting in our application just filled our hearts with peace, and we just knew that we were making the right decision.  
{headband by Purposed Life}
 What were some of the struggles you went through in the process of getting her?
Financially this was very straining on our family, but we had great support from our family and friends.  We made a couple lifestyle changes and began fundraising - we sold t-shirts, threw a garage sale, sold Ethiopian coffee, and worked with a few reliable organizations to help raise the money. It was not easy by any means, but very successful and proof that God truly funds what He favors!  =)  

Emotionally though, the wait took a HUGE toll on us.  After we announced our adoption we watched friend after friend announce their pregnancy and welcome home their bundles of joy...all while we were still waiting to find out ANYTHING about our daughter.  Twenty-two long months after we sent in our initial application, we brought our precious girl home.  Apparently God had a LOT to teach me about patience.  The verse I clung to during the hard times was Habakkuk 2:3.  

"For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.  Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."
brother and sister {custom dress by Night Owl}
How long have you had your little girl?
We have now been home with our Lil' Lady for close to three months.

How has your son responded to having a new sister?
We have a three-year-old at home and at first, it was not an easy transition for him.  Despite the two years we had to prepare him for his little sister...once she got here, he didn't want much to do with her.  He was never mean to her by any means, he would just ignore her and refuse to touch her.  After about a two week transition...you would have never known he ever had any hesitation!  The two of them are now great pals!  Our Lil' Man now loves to make his sister giggle and lovingly calls her "sweetheart".  And he will often cry if we don't let him run in his room and say hi before we get her up from naps!  He is an AMAZING big brother! 
Tell us about what a blessing your daughter has been in your lives.
Words can't express what a joy she is.  The question we constantly get is, "Is she always this happy?"  And in one word - YES!  She has a smile that lights up the room and a laugh that just melts us.  She is content and a CHARMER!  Sometimes we have to hold her back a little bit from charming the whole world while she is still learning that we are her mom and dad.  We know we are going to be in TROUBLE once she starts talking!  =)  It still feels a little surreal that she is home...but at the same time hard to remember what life was like without her!  We are so in love... 
{happy birthday banner by a to zebra celebrations}
 What would you recommend to anyone reading this who might be considering adoption?
First of all, PRAY about it.  It is not all smiles and laughter and love.  It is also hard, HARD work.  Yes, we have a lot of smiles...but those came after the tears, and looks of terror, and inconsolable sobs.  I think in order for an adoption to be successful, it needs to be a calling.

Second, you'll want to find a good agency.  For us, it was important to seek out one with high ethics, who was finding families for children....not children for families.  It also really mattered to us what kind of care our child would be receiving until she was in our arms...and I truly believe that our agency's transitional home is one of the best care facilities in Ethiopia!  The staff's commitment and love for those kids was WAY beyond what we could have imagined.  We are SO grateful for the women (and men) who loved those children as their own.
{sign by Sassy Talk}
Thank you for sharing that AMAZING story with me & our readers, Megan! I think I speak for many others when I say that you are a true inspiration to us, and we admire your courage, spirit, & patience in this journey!

So now that we know the important stuff, next we gotta know...
How did you feel when you won our mega "Spring into Summer" giveaway?!?
I was in complete shock!!!  This came right in between our two trips to Ethiopia and was such a blessing to our family.  With the financial strain caused by the adoption, our budget was rather tight.  And being that this is our first little girl...I had been looking forward to spoiling her with all kind of goodies.  That just wasn't a reality though.  But after winning this amazing giveaway...I got to pick out colorful and original headbands, dresses, hats, room decor, birthday party decor, invitations and more!  Not to mention lots of goodies for mama too!  =)  It was/is such fun! 
Megan at home {shirt by splash designs}
What was your favorite prize you won from the giveaway?
I don't think I could pick a FAVORITE since they fall under so many different categories.  But I think the most meaningful is the living locket I got to pick out with Origami Owl.  I designed it in honor of our daughter.  It contains the birthstone for both the month she was born and the month we gained custody of her, a cross for our faith that carried us through the wait, a tiny airplane for the journey, and a stamped plate reading "forever".  It is so beautiful and both my kids are drawn to it....our daughter for teething purposes...and our son just loves to look at the "baby airplane"!  =) 
{living locket necklace by Origami Owl}
 Anything else you'd like to add?
THANK YOU!  Kari, I know it takes a LOT of work to put together a giveaway, let alone one of this size. Thanks for hosting it and for choosing me as the recipient!  And thank you for allowing me to share our story to our daughter.  It is one that has forever transformed us, and our prayer is that God will use it to touch someone else's life as well.   If anyone wants to find out more about our family or our adoption journey, feel free to stop by our blog!  And don't hesitate to ask questions! =)  thisdomesticateddiva.blogspot.com
Megan & her beautiful family

Thank you again, Megan, for sharing your story with us!  I am so, so happy that this fortune {of getting your daughter} was laid upon you, and even more excited that you now serve in a position to help others in taking similar steps to adopt!  You have a BEAUTIFUL family and much happiness to revel in!  God bless!

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MamaMimi said...

Thanks for sharing our story Kari! =)

Welcome! said...

You're so very welcome, and thank YOU for providing such a wonderful story for us to share in! xoxo

MamaMimi said...

Hahaha...well you know I have to thank GOD for that =)

Cherry Blossoms said...

Beautiful story and what an adorable family!

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