Monday, December 31, 2018

2018: A Year of Valleys and Mountaintops

2018 was definitely one for the books. There were so many highs and lows and my faith has never been shaken or strengthened more. It's funny how when I look back on different years, a particular word or words come to mind. This year will always be the year of the baby. Our precious girl.

In January I was featured in the Wall Street Journal because of my very controversial bookshelf. It's humorous to me how something so simple but precious to me in our home has become my most liked photo on social media but has also made some book-lovers show disdain for my decor choices. Apparently displaying your books non other than the very traditional way is the only right way. I still get a kick out of people's very strong but petty opinions.

We started the year off with a weekend trip to Chattanooga for a little Valentines celebration. Chattanooga is one of our favorite cities and we had an amazing time staying in a bed and breakfast there, exploring the city, and finding some pretty amazing spots. If you are planning a trip anytime soon than check out my Chattanooga city guide here.

In April we welcomed my sweet little niece, Hazel Kay, into the family. She is the happiest little baby and it has been a joy to get to know her sweet little personality this year. I was also able to be present for her birth and snap some photos of her coming into the world and those memories I will cherish forever. 

In April I began infertility treatments in preparation for our IVF cycle in May. Josh administered shots to my abdomen every night for about a month. He was such a trooper and was there for me every step of the way. I would go see the doctor every week as we prepared for my egg retrieval. My hormones were crazy and that time was a very emotional ride for us. Anyone that has been through IVF can relate to the excitement and hope but also the anxiety and fear wondering if you will have a little baby at the end of all this. We wanted to put it all out there and let God close the door if that path wasn't right for us. 

We received the news in May, on the very day we were supposed to go in for our embryo transfer, that our two little embabies hadn't made it. To say we were crushed would be an understatement. 

We then began seriously considering adoption. Adoption had always been discussed as a way to grow our family but we came to realize that it was more important to us to have a family than to go through more infertility treatments. 

In May we took our annual family vacation to the mountains of North Carolina. We had a wonderful, much-needed get-away to unwind and rest and to spend some quality time with family. 

We announced that we were adopting in June! We signed on with an agency and began fundraising and our home study process. We were so excited to move forward with becoming a family of three! 

We are forever indebted to the countless people who prayed for us, who gave to our adoption financially and invested hours of their time helping us fundraise and prepare for our little one. We truly learned who are village is and the people who have our back and those special ones will always have a place in our hearts. 

I was really blessed this year with many collaboration opportunities with my blog and social media. I had the pleasure of working with companies like Fossil, Le Labo Fragrances, Mejuri, Daniel Wellington, and Vitruvi, just to name a few. Advertising for these companies has been a lot of fun and I look forward to more opportunities this year. 

To use my photography in such a fun, creative way has been very enjoyable and it's been nice to make a few extra dollars on the side!

Our sweet little nephew, Augustine Wolfgang, was born in August and entered our family by the glorious gift of adoption. I love all the nieces and nephews that God has added to our lives. They bring so much joy! 

We became officially active and began presenting to potential cases in September and matched with a birth mother in October. We discovered that our baby was due in March of 2019 and a week or so later were told we were having a girl! We were over the moon! 

Near the end of November we discovered that we had been scammed and our adoption was a huge hoax. We lost $13k of our adoption funds and learned that there was no actual birth mother or baby. Our hearts were completely broken and our faith shattered. We began questioning God and what His purposes were. We cried out to Him for direction and wisdom in moving forward. 

Exactly one week from the day that we discovered that our adoption was a fraud, our baby girl was born. We even later discovered that the very day we had sent in an application to a different agency and had desperately prayed for direction as to how to proceed, our little girl was entering the world. 

Our sweet Colette Arya was born on November 21st and we discovered that she was here and that we would be her parents on November 26th. We drove out to meet her a few days later and then brought her home a week before Christmas! 

This year has been full of ups and downs and life-changing surprises, but one thing I have grown to learn more and more is that God is faithful. I have questioned Him so many times over this past year but He proved Himself over and over again with the beautiful truth that He is sovereign and He is good. Here is proof...

I can't wait to see what 2019 has in store! I hope you all have a wonderfully blessed New Year! 

No comments:

Post a Comment