Oaks & Arrows

Our Family Story


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our little Liv.

Friends – it has been WAY too long since I’ve updated this blog.  Hopefully, you’ve been following my instagram and Facebook accounts to see that in September of last year, we brought home the most beautiful little girl from India.  Words can’t express how much we are in love with her!

We named her Alivia Rohini Taylor – “Alivia” honestly because it’s always been a name we’ve loved!  “Rohini” is her given Indian name.  It means “Star” in Hindi.  Very fitting for a little girl who brings so much light and joy into our family.

It’s crazy how much a child changes your world!  The past few months have been filled with lots of family bonding time with just the three of us, sweet time for Liv to meet our family and friends, and time adjusting/learning how to live as a family of three!  The hardest part right now is sleeping, as our girl is fearful of the night and doesn’t like to sleep alone!  The best part is seeing her light up as she discovers and enjoys new things.  We are all learning a lot!

While I hate that we live in a world where adoptions must take place due to so many factors, I’m so thankful to get a front seat to watching my daughter experience and be a part of her forever family.

We can’t say enough how grateful we are to ALL of you who have prayed, fundraised, brought meals over, greeted us at the airport, cheered us on from afar, sent encouraging messages…..the list goes on and my heart is overwhelmed when I think of ALL of the love put into this adoption.

Here are (just a few of) some precious photos taken by my good friend Casey of Casey Rose Photography who captured our homecoming….and keep scrolling for a little video that captured the moment!

 

Our sweet friends made this precious video to capture our airport homecoming – enjoy!

 

 

 


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She is ours!!!

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve updated this blog. SO much has happened!

We celebrated 7 years of being married last week.  Still crazy in love!

The week before that I turned 30! ah!

Last week we received the final written declaration that we have guardianship of our girl.  She is legally ours!!!! I can’t even describe to you the pure JOY that is filling our house right now.  It really, more than ever, feels like there’s something missing around in our household.  Her orphanage has applied for her passport and once it arrives (hopefully next week), we will be given permission to book our plane tickets!!!  Therefore, we are guessing that we’ll be traveling sometime during the 2nd or 3rd week in September.  We can’t wait to post pictures and announce her full name when we’re there with her. (Stay tuned!)

So we are starting to pack.

Washing baby clothes.

Finishing new house projects.

Wrapping up final nursery touches.

Savoring sleeping late and going on dates.

When you’ve waited forever it seems (3.5 years it’s been for us), the joy is hard to contain!  I get all weepy when I think of the work God has done in our hearts throughout the wait, and while I wouldn’t have asked for such a hard journey to becoming a mama, I’m so thankful He had a bigger story to write than the one I thought we had pinned.  Nearing the end of this waiting journey, I’m starting to see the pieces be put together that I didn’t understand in the middle –

that our story really isn’t anything about us “getting”  a daughter, but rather a process of learning how to better trust our Creator in all things, including our heart’s desires and our life plans/dreams

how adoption is so much more complicated that I thought it was – but paints such an incredible picture of how Jesus longs for each of us to be in His family…our God is one who redeems brokenness…and we get to be a part of that through the honor of bringing this little one into our family

how in really difficult times of loss and grief, God is still worthy to be praised and is still working behind the scenes…there was a season where I didn’t really believe that this adoption was going to happen…when the path was changed and we were left confused.  So thankful to see that God was still writing our story in the midst of our confusion…He knew all along what would be happening…

We’ll come home as a family of 3, and we REALLY cannot wait to introduce her to all of you!  Since she has grown up thus far in an orphanage and hasn’t had a very consistent caregiver, we’ll spend time “cocooning” as they call it, teaching her to trust us as her mama and daddy.  That will involve lots of baby wearing and cuddling, family time with her, and a little break from our normal schedules so that she can get adjusted well.  Don’t worry – we will post lots of pictures!
More updates soon!


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Updates & Noonday Adoption Fundraiser!

After lots and lots of waiting, so much has happened in the last 2 months!

We sold our house in 5 days (!)

Our adoption case was filed in court (!!!)

We are moving and I FINALLY get to decorate a nursery!

Our girl had her 1st birthday last week! (you know we will be partying it up when she gets here!)

We have lots of adoption expenses all of a sudden! (and quite a few unexpected!!!)

We’re updating all of the adoption paperwork that expires this Summer (yes, right before she comes home, geez.)

All of that to say – life is a little nuts right now, in all the good ways. However – pray for:

1) us as we tackle this added paperwork (I thought it was over!)

2) as we fundraise for the unexpected fees that have recently come up with the paperwork updates and court fees

Want to help? Like NOONDAY jewelry? My friend Emily is a Noonday Ambassador and for the month of June is donating proceeds of her sales to our adoption!!! If you haven’t heard about Noonday, you should go check it out! Such an incredible company with gorgeous, I mean seriously gorgeous jewelry (I want it ALL!)

You can shop on Emily’s site here: http://www.noondaycollection.com/emilysexton


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No objections.

Our NOC is FINALLY here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We have movement people.

NOC is our last approval needed in order for our case to go to court for hearings!  NOC = non objection certificate.  This means, as of 5/2/15, our case was filed in COURT. Hallelujah!  You just don’t even know how long we’ve waited to hear those words.

Our India state’s court is on break for the month of May.  Then, once they are back in, our social worker is predicting it to take 2-3 months for the hearings to be finished.  Honestly, I don’t know what they are talking about in these hearings. After the hearings happen and we get final verbal and written approval that she will be ours, we get “the call.” I may just pee in my pants when we get that call –  the call that asks us to come get her!

Thanks for your prayers as we stretch towards the finish line!

~B


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The countdown begins…

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Best thing ever to see on my computer screen today!

Our dossier (which is pretty much our life story/personal legal docs and much more) + all of our signed and sealed referral (match) documents are finally en route to India!!!

For those of you in the adoption world, you know that the dossier is pretty much like a thesis paper/project that you do over lots and lots of months.  We had finished most of ours about 2 years ago, but finally were able to finish the most important part  – signing our name over our baby girls’ pictures, personal history file, and medical file.  It felt very surreal signing:

“we accept _________* as our daughter”

across every page of those documents.   Our DAUGHTER. Is this real? For those of you who have journeyed with us through the highs and extreme lows of this journey, you know that to be at this point, even though we have so far to go still, is a miracle!

So what now?

Our paperwork will be going through a few more approval processes in India in the coming months while we, here in the U.S., complete necessary immigrations documents and start the process to apply for her visa.  Eventually, we are thinking sometime in the Fall, we will get our appointed court date a month or so before we are to travel.  They’ve given us a timeline (countdown!) of 8-10 months before traveling, but we know with any adoption timeline, it could vary.

Why does it take so long?

It’s like closing on a house. So many legal processes to go through.

In the mean time, we’ll continue to get excited, pray hard that its all expedited, and soak up time for the two of us.  Please be praying with us that every piece of our paperwork gets in the hands of officials who need to see it.  Pray for an expedited timeline for us! Pray for our girl as she’s growing – that God is preparing our hearts and hers for each other.

*name omitted for privacy!


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sweet baby girl.

It’s with so much joy that we are finally able to update our blog with good news!

The past few months have been nothing but a roller coaster – not what we thought we signed up for, but we are definitely able to see God’s hand in all of it. We would love to share more of that story in person with you, as it’s long and detailed.

What we know to be true in this whole story is that God doesn’t forget about a dream He places on our hearts. When we think He isn’t working, He is working hard behind the scenes in ways we can’t even imagine. He truly is the God of the impossible.  For those of you struggling to believe that this holiday season, I just challenge you to test Him. Wrestle with Him.  Tell Him how you feel and beg Him to show up and move in your life. He won’t disappoint.

Back at the end of October, we got a call from our agency that changed everything.  You see, we were ready to throw in the towel and give up on the adoption that we had felt God leading us to start almost 3 years ago.

“This is always the best place for miracles: God meets us right where we don’t believe.  When our believing runs out, God’s loving runs on.” -Ann Voskamp

And then, we saw the little face of a sweet baby girl – a girl who needed mama and daddy to call her own.  And then…we said yes!

We are officially matched with this sweet baby girl!!! The next few months will involve paperwork on our part, applying with US immigrations, waiting on some paperwork to be approved in India.  We are hoping to travel sometime next Summer or Fall, God willing, to go to court and then bring her home.  We do ask that us pray with us for favor and speed in the paperwork chase!

Although we would love to share her picture, we can’t right now, but can guarantee you that she is a cutie and we cannot wait for you all to meet her one day!

Thanks for your prayers and excitement with us!


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and here we are…

I know. It’s time for a post, time for some updates.

This Spring has been crazy with mission trips to India where I met this sweet girl,


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Jake and I hiking on top of a mountain in Orissa, India
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I spent 25 days for me in India… And my mama came too!

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a very busy wedding season with C and D Events (getting to see some very close friends celebrate their marriages!)

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and welcoming in our sweet baby niece, Eden Blaine!

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So many of you have been so thoughtful in keeping up with our journey to grow our family – I love it that so many of you ask, often, what the latest news is.  The short answer is, there’s not too much happening, much to our dismay, in our adoption story realm. At least, in what we can see – we choose to believe, and have to remind ourselves often, that God is fighting a battle behind the scenes to bring orphans like our girl, into a forever family. Why? Because that is His very nature. He longs to bring us all into His family, to tell us we matter, to give us a purpose.

In early Spring, we heard some rumblings of movement in our case and really thought we’d had our referral (official match) sometime around then. We prayed and prayed and many of you rallied around us to beg, to plead, and to fast for this to happen. But it didn’t. And it still hasn’t.

So much of this spring has been a process of coming to grips with the fact that our plan, even as grand and wonderful as we thought it was, wasn’t happening. I remember when we were in college and dating, Jake and I would talk about our hopeful future. We would plan out just when “this” would happen or “that” would happen. We really thought we had it all figured out.  Funny how things change. We are having to remind ourselves often that our story isn’t over yet, that The great story teller is still writing. He is an artist, and when artists work, sometimes it’s so messy in the middle of the art piece, before it’s done. Well, we are right in the midst of the messy. I could certainly write a book right now on how even in the messy, there’s some really good stuff too. Like community. True authentic seeking going on. Relational growth. Personal goals reached.

I can tell you that our faith has never been more stretched than it is right now. We are still believing for a miracle, still clinging to the dream God spoke to us almost 2 and a half years ago…but many days, it’s hard to hold onto that dream.  We are the ever reoccurring prayer request and we certainly feel like that widow in the bible that just kept begging and begging and begging some more, until her request was granted because of her persistence.  We certainly have the persistent part down pat!

I still believe God longs to bring home “sons and daughters from afar” and that He will bring our girl home one day!

~B