Tag Archives: adoption

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!

You May Also Like:

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. 

You May Also Like:

How our Adoption Story Begins

How our Adoption Story Begins | Maison EverettWe’ve had several friends asking us a great question since announcing our adoption news: How did we know we were called to adopt, and why now? I mentioned that Greg and I have always thought adoption would be something we do as family. We know there is a need for it, and it is something we strongly believe in. I imagined that I would have 3 or so babies biologically, and then we would adopt (big family, I know;). When we attempted to start growing our family again over the past year and a half, things didn’t happen as easily as the first go round. We experienced two pregnancies, and unfortunately, both of them ended in miscarriage. The first one never felt fully ‘right’, so it didn’t surprise me. It was earlier on, and I had a sense of peace that it happened for a reason.

The second, however, was a different situation.  Right away, I felt very pregnant. Greg and I were so excited! Remy would say constantly, “Mama, you have a baby in der?” Oh, how my mama heart melted. Just like I knew Remy was a boy from early on, I just knew this baby was a little girl. I journaled my thoughts a week before our ultrasound: “…I’m just so thankful. My body is exhausted, and I’ve felt more nauseous this go round but the signs reassure me that baby is growing strong. We praise you, Lord, for the gift of life. For carrying us through and allowing us to experience the many emotions that children bring to us, and that you use to grow us. I’ll have my appointment with Dr. Dickerson a week from Monday and look forward to seeing a healthy heartbeat, God willing.” I felt confident and allowed myself to be excited despite our previous loss. Little did I know, that excitement would take a turn on the morning of my ultrasound. I waited patiently on the table for the tech to come back in the room. She was the same one I saw for our previous miscarriage, and I almost mentioned my excitement to her, knowing things were different this time. She started looking around, and right away I saw our baby on the screen. A sigh of relief fell over me. There, my baby is there. Growing right where she is supposed to be. The tech’s words to follow still haunt me. She couldn’t find the heart beat. I asked her to keep looking, and she did, but there was no blood or oxygen flowing anywhere. She said based on the baby’s size, it appears the heart stopped beating about a day or two before. So there I was, all alone, being told that I had life inside me, but that it was no longer living. How is that even possible? Greg was halfway across the world in Tel Aviv, and I was in Louisiana without a way to reach him for several hours. I went in the next morning to have a d&c, and then just like that, I was supposed to carry on. No longer pregnant. Only empty. I felt empty. Our Doctor confirmed she was a girl, and that she had trisomy 13, a chromosomal disorder rarely viable with life outside the womb. While that news helped begin the closure process, there was a dark cloud that loomed over me. I returned to our life in Tel Aviv, but was cold and distant, particularly from Greg. I knew he couldn’t fully understand everything I physically went through in the loss of our baby, and for whatever reason I blamed him for that. It wasn’t until I had nothing left to cling to that I slowly began to let go of the pain. 

For those who haven’t battled with miscarriages or infertility, it may be hard to understand. But, in the chance you have felt the same way, I share this part of my story to let you know that you don’t struggle alone. I honestly believe that it was in the depths of that despair where the Lord started to change my heart. To trust that despite the sorrow and the loss, that He is good. There is purpose in all of this. I had been too focused on what I thought my life should look like that I didn’t see all the goodness He was providing. There was so much beauty amidst the brokenness. Over time, my heart grew less bitter. As a family, we started ending each day in prayer, giving thanks for specific things that day (we still do this now). As the list began to grow, I started seeing how God’s plan is better than anything I could plan for myself. My prayers slowly shifted from ‘my will be done, to Thy will be done.” My heart began to know peace again. 

In the months to follow, the idea of adoption kept popping up in my mind. I started reading stories about adoptive families and questioning why I was so interested in it. We were trying to get pregnant, and I desired as much. I brought my thoughts up with Greg, and adoption soon became a regular topic of conversation for us. We would ask each other honest questions like, “Do you think you can love another baby as much as you love Remy?” “Are we prepared for how this will change our family?” “Now?” “Are you sure you’re on board with this?”  In all the questioning and thought processing, there wasn’t really any area that we disagreed on. It’s almost as if the decision was made for us. Of course…we are called to adopt! And while our story begins from a place of loss, we don’t look at this decision as second best or “Plan B.” I believe it was the loss that made me let go of control. I wasn’t able to decide how or when our babies were going to come into our family.  So I started to let go, and let the Lord guide us. Through conversation and prayer, we arrived to our decision together…to begin this journey of excitement and unknown, but one we confidently pursue because we can trust Him. And trust in Him we do.
How Our Adoption Story Begins | Maison Everett Blog

You May Also Like:

SHOP SALE!


Sweet friends, first I want to say thank you…to each of you who have reached out to us since announcing our adoption plans. It’s been the most uplifting weekend for our family knowing we have the support and encouragement from so many of you. As I mentioned before, we don’t go into this process lightly so we need all the support we can get. 

Secondly, I want to let you know that Maison Everett Shop is having the biggest sale to date: ALL APPAREL IS 30% OFF, and once it’s gone, it’s gone! The video above was created for our launch last summer, and it still brings the biggest smile to my face. We are making way for new products, and I’m excited about what’s to come for the shop. I feel as though my heart is in it even more now because, well, we have a baby to bring home! All shop sales will be helping us grow our family through adoption,  and a portion of all sales will go to another family going through the adoption process as well. You can get to there by clicking on the SHOP navigation link above.

Wishing you all a great start to this new week. xo, Holly

You May Also Like:

We Have Some News…

Maison Everett Adoption AnnouncementIt’s been awhile, I know! Nearly two months have passed since we boarded our flight home from Tel Aviv. There’s been so much going on that I haven’t had time to sit and write. But now that we are more settled, I have some really exciting news I’ve been wanting to share with you…
Maison Everett Adoption Announcement
And we couldn’t be more excited about it! Greg and I used to talk about adoption when we were dating and always knew it would be part of our story – just not this soon. After experiencing two losses over the last year, we individually started to consider adoption as a way to grow our family. Short conversations turned into longer ones, and before we knew it we were both on the same page with all of it. It’s truly been incredible to see the way the Lord has prepared our hearts both individually and as a family. While we remain hopeful that I will birth more babies one day, we agree that if adoption is going to be part of our story, there is no reason to wait until we are finished having biological children. And so our adoption journey begins! 

We are in the beginning phases right now, which mainly consists of talking with adoption consultants and starting to work on our profile book. It will be a long journey over the next several months…in some ways, I imagine, similar to pregnancy! I know it will be emotional and trying, and we don’t enter it lightly. We trust in the Lord’s goodness and His plans. I’ve been really encouraged by other blogs where adoptive mamas have shared their stories, so I will try to do the same. Thank you to everyone who has already shared their excitement with us – we appreciate the prayers and support more than you know! 

You May Also Like: