We’ve had so many sweet people book mini-sessions to help support our adoption fundraising efforts! Enjoy the gallery below of images from our mini-sessions, plus a few more I’ve taken in recent years. I am still taking on appointments for fall portraits – but the get-them-done-for-Christmas window is narrowing quickly! You can use the contact button over there —-> to reach out, if you’re interested in booking a session to support our adoption!
Recently I have found myself making book recommendations.
WHICH I NEVER DO. I am terrified of making recommendations. For most of my life, I have adopted my parents’ method of sharing books or movies, which is to say, “I [enjoyed it, was bored by it, really liked it, this one was okay], but I won’t recommend it.” It has rarely mattered how I felt about the book or film, I have never been willing to recommend it. Because what if the person to whom I recommend said piece HATES IT and then says, “Well, Sarah recommended it to me…”?!
I just can’t handle the risk. I am not a risk taker. I am a calculated, chronic over-thinker. One who does not recommend books. [Aside: I recently learned I am a six on the enneagram, which has totally wrecked me and explained half of my over-thinking all at once. I hate it and I love it, which is characteristic of a six. UGH.]
At any rate. I am now becoming the book sommelier (is there a word that works better for this?) for my mom and my aunt and a few other friends. This is making me think about books differently. In a good way. I can’t handle thinking I might give a book to my mom that has a sex scene in it (HORRORS) and I want the books to be realistic, but I don’t want them to be too sad, since all three of us are in the reader camp that believes “life is already sad, I don’t read for realism, I read for escape”.
To get here, I had to learn what kind of books I like to read and then be brave enough to admit it. Prime example: I still keep my Shopaholic books in the drawer of my nightstand and put my more intellectual reads on the bookshelf in the living room because as funny as I find Becky, I am just a wee bit embarrassed that I read her. It took me a while to find what I liked, too, because once I was out of school, I kept reading like I was in school for a while. I know. I’ve been out of college for over 12 years. Good grief. It took me a minute.
Sometimes I read for the intellectual challenge or for personal/spiritual growth. That is another post altogether. Right now, I’m evaluating and sharing what I’ve learned about reading for pleasure. So, in the spirit of not recommending anything, here are my tips for finding a good read:
There you have it. Best practices for being bookish.
And if you must know, this is what’s on my nightstand right now:
And you can check out my Goodreads here, to see what I’ve read, liked, not liked and what’s on my to-be-read list!
I am asking God for a very specific thing and quoting His words back to Him directly in so doing. I think I will be changed as I do this.
I am considering that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us.
I am writing out words every day and calling it an actual goal, instead of hiding behind “I don’t make goals because I always quit them”.
I am the Mystery Reader this week in my kid’s preschool class. I will be reading Max and Tallulah, a colorful storybook about two zebra friends. One friend believes he must do wild and exciting things to capture the attention of the other. But all along, she is waiting for him to just be himself. This is what I want for my daughter – to be completely herself. And that can be wild and exciting, or can be quiet and dreamy.
I am praying for a baby. I am crafting a bajillion things to sell in our “shop handmade for Christmas and support our adoption” shop that will go live in late October. Gestation through crafts. Whatever works.
I am making new friends.
I am going to stop eating sugar, probably, maybe, starting next week. Because good things start on Mondays. Or maybe I will start on Sunday. But I think my whole self will feel better if I do this.
I am slowing down the speed with which I agree to various commitments. Life is inexplicably faster, with a kid in pre-k and a husband on staff at a large church in a big city. And last week I felt swept away. So I am starting to stay “no” and I am very excited about it.
So, I am really very brave, you see.
Every day I learn a little more of how little I know. How little I am in charge of.
Last week, new friends (met through our shared consultant at Christian Adoption Consultants) flew to our state when they got the call that their daughter had been born. A month ago, when we exchanged numbers and started texting, this family had not yet been matched. And last week, I got to meet them at the airport, as they flew into a tropical storm, to meet their baby daughter. They waited on pins & needles for her brave birth mother to sign consents, but flew anyway – believing God would sustain them in the outcome.
During that same tropical storm that elevated into a hurricane, my cousin & her family spent two days without power (with a teething baby). Her best friend had a tree come through the roof and they stayed up all night mopping and swapping out buckets of water to make sure their house didn’t flood. The community is working together to meet the needs of the families who suffered from the storm.
Friends from back home are experiencing that unique sadness that comes when a spouse grows ill. The wife is not doing well and Thing A cannot be used to help unless Thing B changes…and thing B is not changing. The husband is watching and praying and…that’s it.
Isn’t that all any of us can do? Watch. Pray.
I don’t care for this method most days. I want to be DOING something. I want to be FIXING it or making it right or contributing to wellness or completion or whatever. I don’t want to watch and pray.
A friend told me recently that her bestie is adopting. This is their family’s first adoption and as they go through the process, they are experiencing the ups and downs we all do. (Note: for the record, the adoption process may follow a general timeline, but each family’s experience is incredibly nuanced. Have mercy.)
The bestie remarked to our mutual friend something in the spirit of: “The finances are such a big hurdle. And as we work to save and raise the funds, I realize that I get more caught up in praying for the money than I do praying for our child.”
Basically a sledgehammer to my heart.
It is hard enough to believe that God’s best for us is adoption: we can do nothing to speed this along or make it happen.
It is hard to consider that we must believe God for around $35,000: we can only do so much to work towards this. It’s humbling.
It is hard to watch and pray, when there is a frantic push in my spirit to WORK hard for that money, so we can JUSTIFY what we’re doing. What if people think we should have more of it than we do? What if people find it an unnecessary expense? Like many pregnant women discover, TOTAL STRANGERS suddenly have lots of opinions and questions.
It’s hard. It’s hard and I’m “septembering” and I am not getting a cold, I am just not going to get one and as I sit here with agency paperwork in the other room and photo sessions to book…I don’t want to watch and pray. I want to lay on my couch and cry and beat my fists into the cushions and wonder why it has to be this way.
Because autumn is coming and then winter and didn’t it just get light again outside?
And inside – didn’t I just get light again inside?