Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Story of Grace {Chapter 1} Simple & Sweet

"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In LOVE he predestined us for ADOPTION to sonship {or daughtership ;)} through Jesus Christ. In accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious GRACE, which he has freely GIVEN us in the One he loves."
- Ephesians 1:4-6

It is with humbled, grateful, and full hearts that we introduce our daughter - and Ethan's sister!...

Grace Elizabeth Kyleigh Young

Gracie was born on June 3, 2013 at 8:01am
6 lbs 5 oz.
19.5 inches
Healthy baby girl!!

The Story of Grace {who we call Gracie} is a beautiful one with more facets than I'm sure we're even aware of! God is in the details and He most definitely was the author of this story.
I don't want to leave anything out, so in an attempt not to bore ya'll with any details you don't want to know, I'm creating "chapters" to her story.
This way you can pick and choose what you want to read.

Chapter 1
Simple & Sweet

The following is a simplified story of how we were blessed with Grace 
{oh how I LOVE the double meaning of her name!!!}

The purpose of this chapter is to quickly bring you up to date as well as bombard you with more pictures than you could ever hope for.
This should also take care of your cuteness quota for the day ;)

Here we go...

We were notified by email through a contact at our church that a birth mom - due any day - was looking for a family to place her child up for adoption.
We sent in our information, a letter with a brief story about our family with some pictures, and we were asked to come and meet the birth mom.
We met and visited several times over dinner, pedicures, and a doctor's appointment...

The birth mom told us she wanted us to adopt her baby girl.
Gracie was born.
Birth mom took 2 weeks to finally place her in our arms.

There was a 30 day period where birth mom could change her mind and take the baby back.
She didn't.

Gracie is now 9 weeks... cooing, smiling, and absolutely perfect!
Baby girl is sleeping 8-9 hours at night and 75th percentile all the way around!
Praising Jesus for our sweet, new, cuddly bundle!

{Gracie at 9 weeks}

Behind the Name:
Mark named Gracie, and named her perfectly.
It was very powerful to me that her daddy named her. Going from fatherless to fully loved sits well with my soul...

Grace {divine grace} means "God given, favor, blessing."
Elizabeth is after Mark's sister, Christie Elizabeth. It also means "God's promise, God is my oath"
Kyleigh is the name that her birth mom, Anna, gave her and means "beautiful"

All of the above are true and fit her story... and ours... perfectly.

GraceGod Given - Gracie was just that, God given, as she was literally dropped in our laps right when we thought we'd wait and pray about trying to adopt again.
Read more about our adoption journey HERE.

Blessing - I've never met a baby that was so easy going, smiley, and cuddly! I love Ethan more than my own life, but the child didn't like to cuddle as an infant! Also, I thought he was a good sleeper... the first time Grace slept 8 hours in her 7th week, I thought... thank you Jesus!! That has been a reoccurring, overwhelming praise of my heart since she has joined our family.

And those smiles!! Ethan took several months to smile. She smiled since the day she came home with us. 

Gracie Smiles Weeks 2-9

ElizabethGod's Promise - After a seemingly unfruitful journey toward adoption... a journey that started over 2 years ago filled with much brokenness and heartache, God proved Himself faithful. 

"As scripture says, 'Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.'" - Romans 10:11

Sometimes it's hard to see God's purpose in everything, especially when it's painful and the storm doesn't ever seem to lift, but I  knew with all certainty that if I was doing what God asked me to do... called me to do... and trusted in Him, that He would be faithful. He doesn't waiver. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow... and so is His plan for us.

How is Ethan doing with Gracie?

Ethan was super "guisguided" (excited) to have a little sister...
Here is a picture of the day we brought home Gracie. 

{Gracie at 2 weeks with brother}

Big brother is smitten and already protective.

{Gracie 3 weeks, Ethan 3 years}

We had a play date where one of Ethan's friends thought Gracie was so cute that he wanted to take her home.
Ethan piped up and said, "You can't take her home! She's my baby! She lives here!"

She has a protector for life ;)


Our journey has been anything but easy or comfortable, but God didn't promise us that. 
Through struggle, heartache, perseverance, and pure faith, God has been faithful to us as we carried our cross to follow Him and our calling to adopt. 

She was the plan all along.
She is perfect... just like His plan for us.
Thank you Jesus.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
- Joshua 1:9

"And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me."
- Jesus in Matthew 18:5