welcome gwenyth jean! {just born}

When Priscilla emailed last minute asking if I could do a just born for her since this was her last baby and she and Eric were getting all sentimental about it, how could I say no? Especially since they are such a sweet family and I miss seeing her on a regular basis. They did not find out the gender this time, but having a second girl to round out the family turned out perfect! Priscilla went 10-12 days late with her other 3 kids, and I was so glad she was only 2 days late this time and that she got the perfect natural birth she desired. Precious little Gwenyth is so loved and was welcomed by older brothers Simon & Walker and older sister Eden. Congratulations to the whole family and have fun with 4 kids 6 and under 😉

Welcome Gwenyth Jean | Born December 5, 2015, 4:43pm | 7.9lbs | 20″

P Just Born.01P Just Born.02P Just Born.03P Just Born.04P Just Born.05P Just Born.06P Just Born.07P Just Born.08P Just Born.09P Just Born.10P Just Born.11P Just Born.12P Just Born.13P Just Born.14P Just Born.15

Love, Kelly

a beautiful beginning: bennett james adoption

It was such an honor and a privilege to be a part of Bennett’s homecoming. Jenn has been a longtime friend and I am so incredibly happy to see first hand how God answered her prayers and provided in such a huge way. I asked Jenn to share a short summary of their story:

David and I always knew we wanted to adopt.  We had talked about it when we were dating and continued to dream of one day adopting as our life together grew.  I had always pictured that we would adopt a little boy from Asia.  I couldn’t shake that this picture was what God had planned for us and David agreed that he could see us pursuing adoption from Asia as well.  As we began to settle into life with three kids, we still talked about adoption, but it seemed like it was too far out of our reach.  The cost of international adoption is so high and the amount of work necessary to complete the adoption just seemed like something that could not be done while raising three kids.  It just seemed like we could never do it.  

On July 19, 2014, I was driving in my car and I clearly heard God speak to me.  I don’t say this lightly, but I was absolutely sure that this was God’s voice speaking to my heart.  I was thinking about adoption and I felt God say to me “I have created you to do this and now is the time.  Share your story.”  I decided to google “China special needs adoption” that night, just to see where we would even begin and to see how likely it even was to be able to adopt.  I was led to a website that has thousands of pictures of children with special needs from all over the world.  I got to the second page of the website and just stopped.  I saw the face of a little boy that I knew had to be ours.  I clicked on his profile and saw that the agency had given him the name “Bennett”.  I smiled because that was the name I had wanted to give our youngest if she had been a boy.  I then saw his birthdate, 12.19.12.  He was exactly ten days older than our youngest, the one I had so desperately wanted to be boy and girl twins.  I sent his picture to my husband and said “I am flying to China tomorrow to get this guy”.  
 
Though hopeful, I never thought in a million years we would actually get to bring Bennett home.  I contacted the agency he was listed with and found out that China would allow “artificial twinning” (not all countries allow this).  Our agency did not always allow that, but after a phone interview, they agreed to grant us a waiver.  A few weeks later, we had wanted to put in a letter of intent so that China knew we were interested in adopting Bennett.  We were told that we could not because our home study was not complete.  The only way this could happen was if his status was changed from “special need” to “special focus” by China.  I sent out a text message to a group of friends and asked them to pray for this change.  Four days later we received an email that Bennett was now listed as “special focus” and we could submit our letter.
 
After our letter of intent was accepted, we were given his file from China.  We saw his Chinese name on the file “Tian Shi Long”.  Our last name is Long.  He already had our name.  Isn’t God so amazing?
 
I could spend pages telling you about how God has provided the over $30,000 we needed for the adoption.  One time, I was desperate for $4,250 that was needed upon our official referral.  I was so worried about the money.  Our funds were dry at that point and I had no idea how we would pay.  It really was silly that I even worried since God had provided so much through His people already.  Later that week, we were awarded $7,000 through two different grants.  I prayed for $4,250 and He provided  $7,000.  We started out with $0 saved for the adoption.  All we knew was that God had told us to do it and do it now.  He provided abundantly.  We received grants and more donations than I can even comprehend through so many generous people.
 
We traveled to China with our oldest son to bring Bennett home.  Brady had prayed for years for a brother and he was able to see how God answered his prayer in a way none of us could imagine.  It was so hard leaving our girls, Ella and Kinsley home, but they were cared for and loved by so many.  We are blessed and so thankful we were able to go on this journey.

I also hope to adopt someday, but until then I praise God for each and every family who gives a child in need a loving home and a new life:)Love you guys!!

Love, Kelly

A Beautiful Beginning: Evan Thomas’ Birth Story.

Kerren’s first L&D took 6 hrs start to finish. When she texted me that she was really crampy, I knew I was shooting that night. A couple hours later at 1045p, she said she was having real contractions and that she’d let me know when she was heading to the hospital. Not even 30 min passed and I got “contractions are strong and fast. Headed to hosp.” I had literally just laid my head on the pillow after having been up since before 3am the previous night. I thought to myself, “Sleep for a few min and get woken up by a frazzled, ‘she’s complete!!’ text and rush there and likely miss it.  OR  Get redressed and head out then knowing her last labor was so quick and having any sleep at all would make me way more drowsy.” I listened to my intuition. Thankfully. I ran through the halls after, sure enough, “she’s 9cm. we’re in rm…” rang in. I was greeted with long deep moans and Kerren laboring beautifully. She sounded great and as uncomfortable as she was, she was very calm as she swayed her way through each rush. The nurse was trying to get her registered before she delivered by the sounds of progress! As you’ll see in the slideshow, she couldn’t find any position worth staying in, to push without frustration. Once her bag of water finally busted, she only had a handful more of pushes to get out her baby boy. It was amazing. She was so brave and strong. Evan Thomas was born with all kinds of hair and the most delectable little plump lips. He was born less than 3 hrs after her first contraction at a healthy 7.11lbs and 21″, sweet as can be. Kerren was so glad he was here she didn’t even want to let go of him long enough to weigh him! Glad I she let me steal him for a couple portraits. 😉 I thoroughly enjoyed supporting you through one of the best experiences life has to offer. Good work, Mama. Congrats to all of you!

Love, Melanie.

Welcome Georgia Claire! {Just Born}

Tosha and Brian didn’t know what they were having but Daddy was certain it was a girl all along. Measuring small with a petite lil girl inside, Tosha kept fighting an induction. Miss Thang showed up just before her due date with a steady labor till Tosha got to the hospital at 6cm. Once checked in, Georgia was all, “Ok, I’m coming! Like right now!” And within an hr of arriving to the hospital, baby was in Mama’s arms. Fast but so much easier than super proud big bro, Jeffrey, during his delivery. I was able to document Jeffrey meeting little sis along with the excited Grandparents. From what I heard, there were 5 pediatricians in the room with me! I’m pretty sure these kids are well looked after.:)Congrats everyone! She’s beautiful.

Welcome Geirgia Claire | Born November 9, 2015 | 6.12lbs | 19.5″

georgia001georgia002georgia003georgia004georgia006georgia007georgia008georgia009georgia010georgia014georgia011georgia013georgia012georgia016georgia017georgia015georgia018georgia019georgia020georgia021georgia022georgia023georgia024georgia025Love, Melanie.