How can I put into words what last week felt like for me? I’ll try to make this short and sweet due to the fact that I have a feeling a whole lot of people are going to look at these photos.
Sharon and I have been best friends for years now. She is my closest, closest friend and she means the world to me. Sharon has a blog that tells a lot of the story of what she and her husband have been walking through for the last few years.
Sharon and Ferrill started their adoption process and have walked through a lot with it. They were matched in December with a boy that was due in April. In March, I journeyed down to Florida to throw her a baby shower. (Read here.)
In April, the adoption fell through with the mother of the child keeping the baby. It was an emotional time for all of us, mostly for them of course.
A week ago today, my day started out blah. I drove up to Chick-fil-A to get some food. While in the drive through line, Sharon calls me. I answer… “Hey…. (bored voice) Whats up?” Sharon said… “Well….” quietly and then her voice raised to an excited tone and she said “I’m going to go pick up a baby!” I started sobbing.
You can read Sharon’s entire story here. It’s much better than I could ever tell. Within three hours, Sharon and Ferrill made their way to the adoption agency and picked up their sweet baby girl.
The photo below is sort of the timeline. Picture #1 is them about to leave to go get her. And I was on pins and needles for an hour until I got picture #2, at which point I crying non-stop. And then after another hour I texted her with a smiley face (pretty much a hint, saying… picture please!) and she sends me picture #3. A few hours later, my best friend, now a mom, Facetimes me with her little girl in her arms (picture #4).
I left Friday afternoon and spent the weekend with this sweet family. When I arrived, I walked in the house and Sharon walked around the corner holding her bundle of joy. We said nothing–just cried a little and basked in the goodness. Sharon is mom, and she is a beautiful mom.
It was an honor to feel all the new emotions of love for baby Finley Elizabeth. That very first picture I posted is the moment I choked up. I’m so proud of Sharon for walking through everything she has gone through and now the Lord’s faithfulness to her and Ferrill is shining through beautiful baby Finley. She is worth the wait.
So here are a few favorite photos I took of the Gallaway’s new family…. <3
March has seriously been insane. Brandon and I were gone almost every weekend, traveling. The weekend I’m sharing now is just one of the many trips I took in March. I feel like this month has seriously been one of the most amazing–yet emotional–months for me since I’ve had Laef. The next five weeks or so, I’ll be blogging a lot about March. Baby showers in Florida, funerals in Georgia, weddings and our anniversary in Arizona, an incredible moment toasting to seven years of marriage over the Grand Canyon, our sun setting over lady Sedona’s red rocks, chatting and talking about the Lord by a fire with an inn keeper family, being so overtaken by the Lord’s love while staring at snow capped mountains in the middle of Indian Reservation, deserts with the edge of the Grand Canyon beside me…oh man! So, so much…and I’m not kidding. lol.
The Lord has been extremely present to me this month. And it’s almost so much that I feel overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I wish I could say, or even emotions I wish I could remember. I believe that they would have been scripted beautifully on my glassy computer screen if I had only had a moment to jot down the emotional chemistry I felt with the nature created by Jesus. But maybe I can redeem those moments with my words. We will see. Hopefully I can relive some of those tears by letting my soul out through my keyboard.
So here goes week one of March.
The first weekend of March, our family ventured down to Jacksonville, Florida to celebrate something amazing. My best friend, Sharon, and her husband, Ferrill, are adopting a baby boy in just a few short weeks. (Read her story here.) His name is Isaac and I’m over the moon excited for them! Sharon has been so much to my heart throughout the last 4 years. We have cried together about the crazy roller coaster of life. Through disappointments, pain, beauty, hopelessness, depression, thankfulness, hope, and now Baby Gallaway, we have followed each other’s hearts down the cliffs of life and down the passageways of the soul. I’m so thankful to have a friend who knows me so well. It was only the kindness of the Lord to bring her into my life.
So as a baby shower gift and also an opportunity to encourage and celebrate Sharon as a new mom. Three of her friends and I rented a bed and breakfast in Saint Augustine, FL. It is actually one of the oldest bed and breakfast inns in the nation. It was so incredibly lovely. Sigh. I get warm and fuzzy thinking about us pulling into the gravel parking lot with the Spanish moss blowing above our heads in the wind. We walked into this lovely old home trying to not act like we were fifteen. We got a cottage that sleeps six people. We spent time cooking dinner, sipping coffee and sweet tea while laughing so much among the purple flowers, fish ponds, Spanish moss, and bamboo plants on the back patio. We walked the streets of Saint Augustine in the evening hours, buying chocolate and popsicles from one of my favorite places in Saint Augustine (The Hyppo) feeling the ocean breeze and talking about the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord in our lives individually. We stayed up into the early morning hours chatting like high school girls and painting our toenails while watching “Say Yes to the Dress.” It was so good for my soul.
The next morning we had a wonderful breakfast with fresh latte’s. We then gave Sharon our gifts for baby Isaac. We prayed, cried together and blessed her on this beautiful road ahead of her, thanking the Lord for even the difficult process of it all. His timing is so perfect.
To top the day off we rode bikes around Saint Augustine and let the wind carry us along the cobblestone streets past small, old cottages with blooming bushes. We had lunch and shopped at the little shops along the ocean bay.
It was an absolutely incredible and relaxing, yet emotional weekend. (I lost my Grandmother the next day. Crazy! I hope to blog about this as well.)
I took a few photos to share with you all. Just some fun moments we all shared together. I also included photos of Baby Isaac’s room. I love it.
Please keep Sharon and Ferrill in your prayers the next few weeks. Hoping this adoption process will go smooth and amazing! Hopefully I’ll be blogging photos of Isaac very soon! eeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3
Wanna see my past trips to St Augustine?
Five Year Anniversary.
Six Year Anniversary.
I have been dying to share this with the world!!! FINALLY!
Sharon is my closest friend. I feel like we have probably spent two or three years on the phone together if you add up our conversations. Living six hours away isn’t horrible, but she used to be my neighbor, seriously like seven doors down. (We actually weren’t really friend back then… long story) Sharon and her husband, Ferrill are youth pastors in Florida. They have always felt strongly about adopting and have finally come to the place where all the stones are falling into place.
They began and completed their paperwork (35 pages, background checks, doctors appointments and interviews). They were told that the next phase of adoption usually takes about four months. They were stunned when they received a phone call four days later from the agency. The agency had a few moms who were wanting to see their profile and they needed to get it in immediately. (Ferrill and Sharon are one of a few couples that put no limitations on race or gender) Their home study is complete and they are waiting to be matched. They are currently raising funds to bring home a baby. They are adopting out of Jacksonville, FL. The agency is certain that they can place a baby in their home by the end of the year. Ferrill and Sharon need $25,000 to get a beautiful baby. And half of it is due immediately when they are matched.
Yes, I guess I am going to throw this shout out… maybe to the wind but maybe not. If any of you read this and want to help out…. hey… its worth a shot. I am so excited for my friends! Being a parent is an incredible gift!
They stopped in for a few days at the beginning of August to spend some time with our new baby. I did a small photo shoot for them to help out with putting together their profile. I litterly took fifteen minutes behind my house and shot some photos of them. I love this couple so much. And I’m overjoyed at the beauty that they are taking on.
If you want to help them…
Make a check out to:
New Life (with the “New Life Ministerial Adoption Fund” in the memo)
Mail to: 2701 Hodges Blvd Jacksonville, FL 32224
Or you can give directly online at www.nlcf.org and click on giving. At the bottom under “Other Designation” type in “New Life Ministerial Adoption Fund” and the amount you would like to give.
Thanks for reading! <3