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For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a mom. I’ve always dreamed of having a large family. Then when getting pregnant wasn’t happening for us I started questioning my dreams wondering if they would ever be a reality. Then came the answer to our biggest prayer, a complete miracle and dream come true; Lily Rose. She is amazing and wonderful I can hardly remember life without her. I really want her to have a sibling. I wish I could say that experiencing all that happened surrounding the circumstances in which God brought Lily to us gave me a super human faith and I don’t ever worry about or wonder how and when we will have more children but it didn’t. It is something I am thinking about more and more these days. I think in the back of my mind I just thought that I would finally get pregnant after we adopted. I’m sure you’ve heard about many couples getting pregnant immediately after they adopt and “stop trying.”

Side Note: Let me just say if anyone out there has adopted I’m sure you have heard this from someone along your journey; (or perhaps you’ve said something like this to an adopting couple) you have announced you are going to adopt and someone says to you “you know you’ll probably end up getting pregnant after you adopt” and yes that does happen, but it doesn’t happen for everyone.

These comments can be tough for an adopting couple to hear and those ideas can begin to mess with your thoughts. First, it kinda makes you question “Am I adopting just so I can get pregnant?” Secondly, you may begin to find yourself wondering “once I adopt am I just secretly waiting to receive that positive pregnancy test? Then what if I never get pregnant after adoption? You start the questions all over again “why am I not getting pregnant while so many others around me have. What’s wrong with me? Why does it seem to happen so easily for others? Is it because I’m not doing a good job with the one child God has given me? All this to say please choose your words carefully to anyone you know that is going through any kind of infertility/adoption/fostering. When in doubt just validate their feelings. Tell them you are sorry for their pain and let them know you support them. Those words mean more than you’ll ever know.

Once we had Lily I didn’t think at all about adding to our family in the beginning. We had our child, an amazing tiny baby girl, a complete miracle. I was trying to adjust to motherhood and all the new feelings and emotions that come with it. That desire to get pregnant had vanished. However, the closer we got to her first birthday I started thinking about having more children again. I’m not entirely sure where it came from but I’m guessing all the posts I see on social media of everyone’s growing families had something to do with it. Suddenly I started to feel this uncomfortable pressure like we better figure out what’s next for us. Also, it was always so important to me that when we did have kids that they were close enough in age to enjoy each others company and be best buddies. Sometimes it really hits me and it’s hard to think about the fact that we can’t just decide to have another baby tomorrow. For others it happens “by accident” or they can plan out the entire process and literally pick the time of year they want to be pregnant. Our family planning means talking to lawyers, adoption agencies and hoping and praying that a birth mom picks us. Or on the other hand do we go through the pain and uncertainty of fostering. I’m not sure my heart could handle that. (and God bless those moms and dads who do that so well) I can’t help but think of the the things that could go wrong with either option. With all of that being said. I’m learning to embrace our story the absolute beauty of Adoption and whoever God has created for us.

We are praying and waiting for God to let us know what our next step is in growing our family. I am nervous and excited to see where, when, and how we will bring home our next miracle!

For those of you out there struggling, wondering, and hoping to grow your family, I understand and know how you feel. But more importantly God is right there along side of you. He is walking with you every step of your journey.

This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls

   Hebrews 6:19

 

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Hi!!! I am so excited to share my new project with you! My new blog is finally done and I am ready to share everything I’ve been working on. OurAnchoredLife.com has been a dream of mine for a while now and it has taken some time and a lot of work but it’s done.

I have been blogging for several years but never really put any regular focus in it. It was a casual whenever I felt like it kinda thing. I know there have been some insecurities holding me back. Well I’m working through those insecurities and going for it. I love the above quote “You Know All Those Things You’ve Always Wanted To Do? You Should Go Do Them.” This is kinda how we ended up adopting. After reading the book “Start” I remember thinking I’ve always wanted to be a mom what are we waiting for?!

This blog is one of those things I’ve always wanted to do. It never seemed attainable to me until now. I remember reading a post from my favorite blogger Emily at Jones Design Company several years ago on The Truths About Blogging and it seemed impossible. There were so many things to figure out and I knew I wasn’t ready for it. However, recently that’s changed. I believe I am ready now. I took my time and didn’t rush through it like I normally do. Here are some of the steps I took to get started.

-The Process-

  • I wanted to encourage others and had some things I wanted to share. Blogging is a great platform to do that.
  • I decided on a name and bought the domain on GoDaddy. Picking a name was so hard for me but then once it came there were no questions about it.
  • The biggest concern for me was what platform to go with. I decided on a WordPress site although it’s more work initially it is the best if you want to grow your blog in the long run. I had been using blogger up until now.
  • I found a great affordable blog designer on get ready Etsy!! Yes, Etsy I am so happy with how things turned out.
  • My sis in law shared an ebook with me How To Launch Your Blog in 90 Days by the girls at Who What Wear. It was so eye opening ummm a lot of work but it has been well worth it. I am figuring out this whole SEO thing little by little.
  • The ebook helped me think about and plan out my content in ways I hadn’t done before. The book explains in detail how to do this. I had always blogged about random things in the past usually events I had done and decorating but this time I really wanted to dive into some deeper subjects.

So there you have it. Here are the steps I took to take the plunge into the world of blogging. Having been a mom now for a whopping 18 months I have seen first hand how quickly time goes. It’s weird because when I wasn’t a parent it didn’t seem like time moved this fast, right? It’s crazy how raising a little one makes time go by so much faster. Well as I was saying I have seen how fast time goes and I didn’t want to wake up one day and realize I never did that thing I always wanted to do. I guess you can insert anything in that. For me it was blogging and sharing our story.

It’s been fun putting all of this together. I hope you enjoy it and come back to check out what’s going on in our anchored life.

ashley

As I approach my second Mothers Day I thought it would be good to reflect on what has helped me the most when it comes to mothering. I read parenting books, ask friends for advice and pray a lot when it comes to parenting our little girl Lily. Here are few things that have really influenced my mothering these last 15 months.

 

 

These books have been an incredible help! We practiced the eat-wake-sleep method and loved it. Lily was sleeping through the night at 8 weeks old. She was and is a content and happy baby. I just finished Pre-Toddler Wise and next on my list is Toddler Wise.

 

The overall theme in these books is “Begin as you mean to go” it is summed up best taken right out of Chapter One
“We encourage parents to begin as you mean to go during the babyhood transition months (5-12 months), because this is a critical period of brain formation and adaption. It is a time when parents are intentionally (or unintentionally) imprinting learning patterns that will stay with the child for many years to come. Since growth and development takes place in stages, with each new experience building upon the previous, it is imperative that the first learning patterns established be the right patterns- thus, begin as you mean to go!” 

 

 
2) I learned about something called containment from two of my favorite authors Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.
They describe containment this way.
 
“Containment is the mothering function in which the mom literally keeps the child’s feelings until he can handle them for himself.” 
 
“This is what containing is. She takes in and holds on to the feelings that the child can’t bear. Then, she gradually feeds them back to the child in a way he can digest them without being overwhelmed by them. In this way, she then prepares the child for taking responsibility for his feelings when he has matured sufficiently.” The specifics of containing are Soothing, Validating, Structuring, Confronting and Thinking.
 
“When babies or young children are upset, their only comfort is the secure safety of a loving mother. When they are hurting, and a loving mother offers comfort, their misery is transformed to safety and gratitude. When that happens literally thousands of times, they come to expect and end to their pain, and they develop the virtue we call hope -the expectation that good will come eventually, no matter how bad things are right now.” 
 
These two principals were life changing for me. I am in awe of the responsibility we have as mothers. I thought it was also a profound view into how God loves and cares for us when we his children are hurting.

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3) A few helpful tips from Focus on the Family’s

 

– Give them a choice over small issues. There are so many things they have no control over but small choices help them develop decision making skills that will help later on in life.

 

– Don’t ask “Can you?” If they need to stop doing something that you don’t want them to do you should not ask them “Can you stop or Can you come here” tell them to stop or tell them to come to you. By asking them the questions you are giving them a chance to answer with a no.

 

4) Playing and living in the moment trump cooking and cleaning.
5) Let Dad (Matt) do things how he does them and don’t interfere. This is by far the hardest and most challenging thing for me. I am learning that just because he does things different, it doesn’t mean they are wrong.
Lily Rose 15 months old
Currently there are two disciplines I wish I was better at and I hope I can start getting my act together and putting them into practice.
1) Getting up earlier. Ugh, this is so hard because I love to sleep.
2) Meal planning, I have tried meal planning here and there but never stuck with it consistently. My excuse is I can’t find a cute enough printable to write our weeks meals down on hahahahahahaha. What a lame excuse 🙂
Thanks for the taking the time to read some of what I’ve learned along the way. I know women say this all the time but it really is true; motherhood is the most amazing, exhausting, exciting, scary and wonderful role I have ever played in my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Happy Mother’s Day
Photos: Traveling Suitcase Photography

 

I know I am a little late with this blog…about 6 months late but nonetheless I still wanted to share our amazing newborn pictures. We were blessed to have two different sessions with two amazing photographers.
The first was Melissa Babasin she came to our house and took our first pictures as our family of three. She is amazing, professional, kind and so gifted. 
 
Here are some of my favorites. 
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Our next session was with a friend Brooke Odgers I met through my pregnancy center work. She loves newborns and has a studio in her home dedicated to newborn photography.

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I am so grateful for these precious pictures of our first days with our sweet girl.

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Hi there! I’m so excited to start blogging again. I can’t believe how time has flown by these last several months. It has been four months since my last blog post which means that our sweet little Lily is 4 months old now!! I have had my hands full with my new life as a mom. I wanted to tell our whole whirlwind of a story about how we become parents overnight…literally! Here we go!

My husband Matt and I have been married almost 12 years. We’ve struggled with infertility for many of those years. We met with doctors and had consultations but never felt God’s desire for us to pursue the route of fertility treatments.

Back in November I started talking to Matt seriously about adoption. We had always talked about adoption even before we were married but this time I felt we were really ready. Matt’s initial reaction was one he always had in the back of his mind but never had shared with me before. He told me how expensive adoption would be and that we did not have the finances that were required. We talked about it and he said we would need to start saving for the adoption and pay off our debt. After we had some significant savings set aside we could evaluate starting the adoption process

There was something about his answer that didn’t sit right with me. I didn’t believe God wanted us to wait any longer to become parents. A week or so later I came to Matt with an idea of starting a business where we could could sell handmade crafts and inspirational items in an online store. The ideas was that this business could help us pay down our debt and then jump start our saving for the adoption cost. Before we officially launched the new business we asked friends of ours out to lunch. We wanted to get their opinion on the business idea. They agreed to meet later the following week for lunch but also mentioned they knew we were going to ask them to lunch.

At lunch the next week we explained our situation. We had never discussed our infertility struggle or desire to adopt with them in the past. We also went over the business idea we came up with to accelerate our savings plan for the adoption.
They had some great input and a couple tips we hadn’t thought of. After lunch they told us why they knew we were going to ask them to lunch.

They shared that adoption had always been on their heart. The imagined they might adopt after they had a couple children of their own but still hadn’t felt the call to adoption. Next they shared with us that when they met us years earlier they knew very quickly that God was going to use them to help with our adoption. They shared they had been waiting for the right time to share this with us and now years later when we had invited them to lunch and shared our desires and plan they knew the time was now. That is when they told us that God had already provided 100% of all the adoption costs for us. We were speechless and in complete shock. This was the truest example of living like no one else so later you can give like no one else!

This would be an amazing story of God’s miraculous provision and timing even if the story ended here but it doesn’t!!!

Shortly after this lunch meeting our pastor asked us to share this story on a Sunday morning. We agreed to share what God had done in belief that hearing about this could increase hope and faith for others.

On Friday two days before we were scheduled to share at church our pastor received a Facebook message. It went something like this. “Pastor my 17 year old sister is pregnant and believes she is too young to parent and would like to choose adoption for her child. Do you know anyone in your church that is looking to adopt?” Our pastor was shocked at the timing. He quickly replied and said “not only do I know a couple ready to adopt but they are sharing this Sunday at church, come and I will introduce you all.”

We shared our story that Sunday. After service we met the young man who sent the Facebook message and scheduled a lunch meeting for the next day.

 

Sunday Interview January 25th 2015

 

Later that same evening
(about 12:30am) Matt received a phone call.
Long story short we were invited to the hospital to meet the family that
evening. The lunch date for the next day couldn’t wait as the 17 year old birth mom had gone into labor Sunday evening and was already at the hospital. I was asleep Matt woke me up and we rushed out of the house to the hospital. We
met with the family then we were introduced to the birth mother. A couple hours
later when the Doctor was alone with the birth mother she was asked if she
wanted anyone to cut the umbilical cord. Without hesitation she said she wanted Matt to do it. At 6:23 that morning Matt cut
the umbilical cord of our first born daughter, Lily Rose. We were even able
to fill out the birth certificate and when we left the hospital two days later we left as a family of 3!
Moments before Lily was born! Can you tell I had been crying?!
Our first moments with Lily

 

After our Pastor interviewed us earlier during that Sunday Service he prays for our upcoming adoption process (we hadn’t even signed with any agency or law firm). He specifically asks God to speed up the hands of time in this process for us. We never imagined God would answer a prayer so quickly and literally.

 

On our way home as a family of 3!!

When we got home from the hospital we had our own personal baby store. Our family and friends were amazing they went out and got us everything we needed for Lily.

 

 

 

Lily is now 4 months old and it really is true what every one says, time flies by. She has changed our life in the best way possible. She has such a sweet spirit, always happy and smiling all the time. Thanks for spending some time reading our amazing God story. It seems like that is the best way to describe it our “God story”
xo
Ash, Matt & Lily