Monday, March 5, 2012

Just a crazy redemption revelation

First of all, thank you for your encouragement about EVERYTHING!! I love hearing about things that you go through, and how you relate to me. Even if my add mind doesn't always respond, I really really appreciate you sharing your stuff with me.

On a funny note, as I was writing this title, I was writing "crazy" and wrote "cray"...and I keep hearing these middle schoolers say "cray cray" instead of crazy and it makes me laugh so hard, just like omg used to. I cray cray redemption story.
Why does middle school reality make me want to join in? Getting too old...

This story has to do with my sweet Briar, and my new little man Eli.  Finn isn't involved in this story as much, although you know if you have read this blog for any time at all, that he is just the light of our lives at the moment ;)
As you know, (hopefully), we lost our first son, Briar, last year in September 2010. He was due in November 2010. You can read about the story here.  We started our adoption process a while ago.  You can see some of the process here.  Which, by the way, I'm not sure why I said in that post, "we got a referral".  More like "We got a child!!!" :)  Anyway, we always asked for a young child in our referral, we were thinking under 12 months.  Not long before we got our referral, our agency called just to double check where we felt like the Lord was leading us.  We said we really felt like up to two years old would be appropriate, we just wanted our children to be close together in age.  I had trouble with this, because I really wanted a young child, to make the transition easier (<---selfish) but I felt like I should be open to older, for whatever reason.  Brandon definitely felt open to that.  The night we got our referral, I really felt like she was going to say it was a child around 12 months.  Sure enough, she said that our child was around 13 months.  His age was estimated, so we actually don't know for sure, although he does have an estimated birthday.

I was talking to a friend at the gym.  A sweet, wonderful guy married to the funniest, sweetest friend I know.  She reminds me so much of Sarah Clore :)  Anyway, her hubby and I were talking about how I was bringing home a toddler, and I was nervous.  We were talking about toddler behavior, and I said he was about 13 months.  He said, "THat is the same name as Ezra".  I froze for a moment.  Because, you see, Ezra is one of those kids that most of the time I have no problem seeing, but sometimes I do, because he had the same due date as Briar.  Of course Briar was born early, but they had the same due date. So, for a while, I would look at Ezra and think "that would be how old Briar would be".  Things are not like that anymore, as now I see him and just think he is sweet and kind and cute, and that is not my first thought... is the crazy redemption part.  God knew this.  He knew that he would be giving us a baby that was Briar's age.  not to replace Briar in anyway.  But to bring his story full circle.  To ease my fear of raising a toddler by saying, "I have already equipped you to raise a toddler...Briar...".  I feel like God has been clear that this is no accident.  It is the story he has written.  A beautiful story...that I feel blessed to be a part of!   Eli Matthew....we cannot wait to meet you in a little more than three weeks!!

On another note, if you have adopted, or know people who have, do you know anyone who does fund raising or offers help with that? We are applying for the "both hands" project through lifesong, as well as a local grant through an adoption agency in our community. We applied for money through an awesome place,, but they do not offer money for travel.  Unfortunately, those are the only expenses we have left.  We are going to do a fundraiser with some things we buy in Ethiopia.  we are also going to do more t-shirts. But other than is time to get busy...we only have about $7000 left for expenses, and about $12000 or more left in expenses.  Just wondered if you have any ideas?

and one last note...I did zumba for the first time today. And I won't lie, I really enjoyed shaking it a little :) but I didn't sweat like I would in spin class or after a run. It was a workout I'll take it! Have you ever done it?  Will I sweat more after I start to get it? I felt like half the time I was lost with choreography..

gray ric rac copy


  1. Just wanted to offer a fundraiser idea. In our son's, Matthew, honor, we walk every year with the March of Dimes. It's a pretty huge deal to me. To help raise funds, I put together a year fundraiser. The past couple of years it was a spaghetti feed, this year is is a Taco Night. We go to the local lodges and clubs and one always donates the space and the food. I make and print tickets at $7 a piece. Then, I go to local businesses to donate raffle and auction prizes and have shirts available to sell. We usually make about $3500 in that night. And, it's a good time for everyone. It's a lot of togetherness. Another thing we've done is a day of photos. I contact local photographers who will do a mini session and donate the fees to our charity. The family gets 20 minutes for $40 and 100% of it goes to charity. Just a couple ideas :)

  2. Made me tear up a little bit. Such a truly amazing revelation....and very cray cray ;) We are so excited for your upcoming you and I cannot wait to see Eli...and meet both of your sons!!

  3. Some friends of mine adopted two of their children from Ethiopia, and they sold Ethiopian coffee through the 963 Project as a fundraiser. Here's the link:

    I can personally confirm that it is great coffee. :)

  4. Ah, this gave me goosebumps! It's amazing how God can lead us into and through what seems to be the darkest places only to end up in the brightest and sweetest place we couldn't even imagine. So happy for you! Praying for your fundraising efforts!

  5. Brooke,

    How amazing is it that God gives us extactly what we need and prepares us for this. Eli will always be a reminder of Briar and how perfect God's timing is, no matter how hard the journey may be.

    As for fundraising, have you looked into the ShowHope grants?

    Love you very much my friend!

  6. God sure does have his own special way!!! :) love it!!!

  7. Beautiful!

    Have you tried

    Also, I was contacted last week by a young man from They partner with to sell gift certificates. I believe that you just push the fundraiser on blog/twitter/facebook and your friends/family buy the gift certificates and you get a set $ amount per sale. (I think...we haven't started ours yet...but it sounds pretty easy.)

    I can't imagine being at the point where you knew the day that you will get to meet your new guy.

    So moved by the fact that brevity of your time with Briar hasn't stopped you from letting God bless you through him day by day.

  8. Oh. My. God. LOVE when God smacks us in the face with HIS Presence and Purpose!! How AWESOME!! :) tears...

  9. Seriously tearing up...and I barely know you (and still need to reply to your email!) This is wonderful& sweet & has the lord's beauty all over it. I'm sooooooooo very very excited for you & will certainly be praying.

  10. One fundraiser we did was with Thirty-One. A friend of mine sells it, and she donated the money that she would make from the party to our adoption. We just asked people to buy Thirty One, and they knew that all the proceeds went to our adoption. I didn't have a formal party, but I did have several people buy things. We raised a few hundred $ and I didn't do anything really. We also did a garage sale. I advertised it on Craigslist and had people from church donate items. That day we put a sign in the yard that the proceeds were to help bring our children home from Ethiopia. We raised $1000 in a few hours. Hope some of that helps.