Our Adoption Agency’s Birth Mother Party

If you’ve seen me this past week, you’ve probably heard me talk about the AIM Birth Mother Party (AIM is our adoption agency). If you haven’t, don’t fret, because I’m sharing all about it here! It was one of the most beautiful days for me this holiday season. It’s been very eye opening for us to go through this adoption process with an agency that is so intentional and thoughtful. AIM will tell you they are a service for birth mothers as much as they are for adoptive families. They believe in loving every woman that comes through their door and helping them make the best decision possible in regards to their baby. I got to witness one way AIM does that this past weekend.
Adoption Blog
I ventured out to the annual birth mother’s party with my friend Renee. She is the one who introduced me to AIM. She and her husband adopted baby Charlie through them this summer! It was also her first time attending the party, and we were anxious to see firsthand what it was all about. When we arrived, we took a peak inside the huge tent set up outside for the free garage sale that happens at the very end. We were amazed and excited for all that had been donated! We then went into the auditorium where they were setting up for lunch and other activities. We helped with the remainder of set up while the women starting making their way inside. Some of them had little ones or family members joining the fun. It was amazing to look out at everyone knowing that this day is something many of them look forward to all year long. We all enjoyed a yummy lunch and then they broke into groups to play white elephant. I joined the fun with one group and loved watching the excitement fill their faces. At the end of all the games, each woman was gifted a teddy bear with the year on it.Several of them have been collecting bears every year since they made the hard decision to give their baby up for adoption. Each was given the choice of a boy or girl bear, and I had the honor of handing these out to the women in our group. It was a very humbling and beautiful moment. 

Maison Everett on Adoption
Maison Everett on AdoptionAfter the party, we all headed out to the white tent! The ladies had the opportunity to go in and collect as much as they could – all free of charge. We helped them load their items into cars, and at times, stood watch over things…even in the rain;)
Maison Everett on AdoptionMaison Everett of AdoptionAs Renee and I drove home, we couldn’t stop talking about how thankful we are for the work that AIM has been doing for over three decades: to love on every person involved in the very complicated process that is adoption. Even if we weren’t adopting, we would support AIM – each person working there has a heart of gold. They are not only intentional about serving these women but also educating their adoptive families on how to love them as well. They have opened my eyes in many new ways about adoption, and I only hope more & more people will learn from all the work they’re doing.

PS: A huge thank you to all that donated to the garage sale! I collected two carloads full from friends and strangers alike. THANK YOU!

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Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Give Thanks
I want to start Thanksgiving week off by showing my thanks to all of you that support Maison Everett! If you don’t already, go sign up for the newsletter (you can do so here). I’ll be sending the first official newsletter later this afternoon that’ll include a discount code along with some of my personal favorites pieces in the shop that help encourage me to give thanks every day – and in particular, this time of year. Jump over and sign up now so you don’t miss out! xo, Holly

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Friday Food For Thought

marketfriends BLOG
I want to say thank you… to each of you that has sent a note of encouragement or made a purchase since the new shop launch. It has helped curb my fear of putting myself and my work out there for all to see. These past few months have taught me a lot about not boxing myself in and being open to new ideas. I’ve learned that trying something new is (almost) always a good idea. I didn’t know I could draw/illustrate until this summer. I literally thought I couldn’t do it, and so I have simply never tried! I always skipped drawing classes out of intimidation. But, oh how I’ve missed out on so much by not trying. It was like breathing new air creating all the little illustrations for my shop – including my personal favorites, our Market Friends. I’ve felt something missing in my work for some time, and I’m slowing discovering it as I embrace new territory. Illustrating and designing offer an avenue to create color palettes, to add a cohesive interest to my entire body of work and to push past comfort zones. I believe this is only the beginning so long as I don’t grow lazy or fearful to keep pursuing new boundaries. If you’re thinking of trying something new, I encourage you to go do it! There will be plenty of mishaps along the way, that I can assure you of. But it will be worth it, if only for the process. Here’s to pushing past boundaries and trying something new. Enjoy the weekend! xo

Food for Thought to Explore over the Weekend: 
A toddler nutrition guide that’s easy to understand

Since I don’t have my own French cottage to renovate, I’ll vicariously live through this one!

Do you think we’re sending our kids to school too early

I’m thankful it’s becoming more common to share about miscarriage 

I’ve made this chicken tortilla soup twice in the past two weeks! The secret: don’t skip a thing

A great weekend art project for the kids if it’s rainy or too cold to get out

Did you hear? It’s good news to have a strong-willed child

And, lastly, be sure to check out all of our market friends and read their story in the shop!

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The brand new Maison Everett!

Maison Everett ShopI am thrilled to share the brand new Maison Everett with you!! It’s been several months in the making, and I’m thankful for your patience while we took time away to focus our efforts on working through new ideas and creating new paper goods and gifts to share with all of you! If you’re interested in seeing more feel free venture over to the main site to peruse through the different pages, and let us know what you think! 

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Hello 30s! + an Adoption Update

30th Birthday and an Adoption UpdateHappy Saturday, friends! I know I haven’t posted in a little while. I’ve intentionally stepped away from my computer during ‘work hours’ as much as possible to focus on designing and creating. I’m hoping to have an updated website with new pieces and products to share with all of you soon! In other news, I celebrated my 30th birthday this past week. Hello new decade! To be honest, it doesn’t feel all that different. Maybe its because I was in bed by 10pm that night;) But truly, I welcome this new decade with hope and anticipation. My 20s offered so much. They made me a wife, a mother, and a friend to many I love so dearly. I got married when I was a baby-bird at 23! I wouldn’t change that for anything. We have been through a lot of changes, but we’ve weathered them together and have finally found our groove to carry us on for years to come. We’ve moved from Nashville to New Orleans to Baton Rouge to Jordan to Tel Aviv and now to Houston. I’ve had to kiss my hoarding tendencies goodbye! Throw in other lessons along the way: mostly learning how to release expectations, be less selfish, take myself less seriously and find reasons to give thanks every single day. And now here I sit, a few days into this new decade, with a hopeful heart as we settle into a home in a new city (where we think we’ll actually be for several years;). I look forward to all this is to come. 30s…I welcome you with open arms!
30th Birthday and an Adoption Update
“Happy Birthday, Ma!” Remy always calls me Ma:) He picked out the chocolate cake!

I also wanted to share an adoption update for those who have been wondering. It is going…slowly but surely. We had a few setbacks in August, but it was made very obvious that we needed to wait before moving forward at that time. Looking back, I’m thankful things had to be put on hold. I didnt want to get to the point where we could potentially be matched with a birth mother only to say we aren’t financially ready to move forward. My heart felt conflicted because I know there are birth mothers out there who need families to say ‘yes’ to their babies. I recently found out that some African American birth mothers are turned away from agencies simply because they don’t have families open to transracial adoption. Crazy, right? There is a huge need for families open to babies of ethnic minority, and in such cases, the entire process typically moves much faster than normal. That can be exciting and overwhelming. It’s exciting to think that you could be matched sooner than later. Let’s be honest, I’ve been ready for another baby for a couple of years now! But, regardless of how ready you are and how open your family is, it still comes with a cost. The cost of a local adoption is quite expensive, around $30,000. You have to be prepared to pay that price in full by the time your baby is placed in your home. That’s where it gets overwhelming, very quickly. Honestly, it seems like the system is somewhat broken and that costs shouldn’t be so high, especially when there is a need for families wanting a baby regardless of race or specifications. But the reality is, everyone that goes through the adoption process carries the burden of that price tag along with it. Part of the reason I haven’t updated recently is because it feels awkward to talk about the financial side of adoption; however, it is a huge part of the process and not really something that should be left out of the conversation. I also think it helps to shed light on the reality of domestic adoption costs. I don’t know about you, but before we got into this, I had no idea it was so expensive. I’ll admit, there are times I say to myself, “This is crazy. There’s no way we can save this much money.” But I know without a doubt we are called to adopt so we are slowly and steadily moving forward. We have rescheduled our home study for mid-October. This means we could potentially be matched with a birth mother before the new year, but of course, it does not guarantee anything. We still have a long way to go in being fully funded for our adoption. That is where we are focusing our efforts right now! If you or anyone you know may be interested in helping us bring home little baby Everett, you can visit my shop by clicking the link at the top of this page. Every single purchase goes directly toward our adoption fund. We were also sweetly surprised by some very dear friends that created a YouCaring page to help support us in this journey. You can find out more about that here. Above all, thank you for listening (well, reading, really;) and being a part of this journey with us. We couldn’t do it without you. 

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