If I have learned anything in the last year and a half, it is that Love Makes a Family.
I knew this before, but now I know it more than ever. I know it to the core of my whole self that blood and DNA, genetic ties and biology, are not what make a family. Sure, those are ties that create families, but so does love. Love runs thick.
Some of our closest friends are parents through the foster care system. Their two girls don't share their blood, their DNA, or even the confidence and assurance of "forever." But they share a whole lot of love and they are without a doubt a family. Love makes a family.
Our love for the boy who made us an official mama and dadda...the boy who does not share our biological makeup nor does our blood run through him...it is a fierce love. We would do anything for our son. The love we have for him pierces us in the best ways and we cannot imagine a life without him. Love is what enabled us to become a family of two and then grow into a family of three and then four. Love makes a family.
We love our son's First Mama as an extended part of our family. She is brave, courageous, and such a sweet soul. I am forever grateful for her and to her. Her love for her [birth] son and for us has created an even greater family. Love makes a family.
As we finish paying off the last of the fees from his adoption, we thought we would try another shirt campaign. The first shirts, Live Out Love, brought about $1200 towards our adoption fees. THANK YOU! And more than that, it is SO COOL to see people wearing them. Like, so beyond cool. Think we can bring in more with this campaign?
We asked Baylee from Whimsey and Wanderlust if she would be up for designing another graphic for us. She did not disappoint.
[Link to shirts available towards bottom]
When we signed on with Susan at Christian Adoption Consultants, she added us to her online group of clients and the mantra all along has been Adoption Is Beautiful.
I asked Susan, our consultant, to share a bit about the phrase #AdoptionIsBeautiful:
"In my work in adoption, I've had a chance to see up close all of the facets of adoption. I've been on both sides; serving as a birth parent counselor, a social worker, and an adoption consultant. I've sat with hopeful adoptive parents educating them about what to expect. I've labored with birth mamas as they've brought precious life into the world. And I've been in the room as her hands place that sweet baby into the arms of others, selflessly and bravely trusting them to raise her child.
It's hard to put everything I've seen and experienced and learned over the years into words. There's so many ways you could describe adoption...
Adoption is hard. Adoption is always borne out of brokenness; a birth mother who is not in a season to parent her child although she desperately wants to. Adoptive parents who may have gone through infertility and heartache. Both families coming together to make some sense out of it all.
Adoption is brave. Is there anything braver than a birth mother making the strong and selfless choice to give her child something she can't in a family? And an adoptive family stepping outside of themselves to welcome a child into their home takes a sort of courage many couples talk about but few actually act on.
Adoption is love. The kind of unconditional, steadfast, and faithful love it takes for a birth family and adoptive family to step into adoption is nothing short of miraculous. Trusting strangers to raise your baby? Adding a stranger into your family? Adoption can be love at it's fullest.
Adoption is redemption. Out of all of this; the brokenness where adoption always begins, a family is made. Beauty from ashes. Joy replacing pain. And while adoption is never simple, there's significance in a birth and adoptive family purposely choosing what they believe is best, even when it's hard.
In the end, I think the best way to describe the amazing way a family comes together...Adoption Is Beautiful. It's a beautiful mess of hard and brave and love and redemption. Ultimately, adoption is a beautiful picture of the Gospel; God welcoming us into his forever family. When birth and adoptive families decide to work through the brokenness together and choose adoption to create a family, something beautiful is born.
Adoption is Beautiful has become my mantra. My hashtag. My umbrella I gather my adoptive families under. My work and my life.
Adoption ALWAYS starts in hard. But the love, selflessness, and bravery in adoption means in can always end in beauty.
Adoption is Beautiful."
Visit Susan's blog: Gracefilledmess.blogspot.com.
These shirts would make an AWESOME Christmas gift! You don't have to be an adoptive family to support adoption or wear a shirt about adoption. If while wearing it people ask you if you are an adoptive family, use it as a time to share the beauty of adoption! There are so many stigmas and misconceptions surrounding adoption: let's continue to break those down and have beauty-filled conversations.
Do you have close friends you love so much that you consider family? Do you have people in your life who joined by marriage, foster care, adoption...they don't share your blood but they share your love and they've become family? This world is made up of so many kinds of families. SO. MANY. And I am confident that Love is the common denominator. This shirt is for you.
These shirts are gorgeous and we have quite a few people who already are sporting them. I will be doing a raffle of sorts on Instagram - basically when it starts, you are invited to tag friends and each subsequent tag is an entry into the raffle for a shirt of your choice! (Adult, Kids, Onesie).
Will you help us make it to print? Will you support adoption once again? Thank you in advance!
ADULT SHIRTS will print (met quota)
KIDS SHIRTSmust sell 10 total to print
TODDLERSS SHIRTSmust sell *7 more to print
ONESIESmust sell *7 more to print
The campaign goes for 21 days total, beginning October 13 and ending November 2 (oh hey thereelection week...maybe we should all order these as a reminder that the US needs some extra love...but for real, what a mess).
Here's the lovely Deb, sporting one of our adult shirts in the pretty blue color: