Porchraits

Your house is the place where you feed your family. It’s where you fold laundry and binge-watch The Office. In these last few months, our homes have also become our offices, our schools, and our playgrounds. It feels like every single aspect of our lives is now happening within the walls of our homes. For each of us, our house is the setting for the story of our pandemic experience. What better way to capture a memory of this crazy season than with a family “porchrait” at your home?!

The Ulness Family

While so many aspects of our lives have been put on hold during quarantine, there are good things growing in this time too. For me, one of the sweet fruits of quarantine has been more opportunity to see my neighbors.  We are all home all the time, lots of us with little kids, and we just need to get outside the walls of our homes. So we go outside and we walk and we play. The kids ride bikes and swing from the trees while the parents stand a safe distance apart and enjoy the chance to talk to another adult.

I’m really thankful for the families who have found their way to the same little neighborhood we ended up in. It’s fun to live life beside these precious people.

One

One year ago today, we prayed for God to hear our cry for a baby. While we were despairing over the hole in our family, a miracle was brewing in Texas. Because on this day last year, an amazing woman gave birth to a baby boy, and then proceeded to make (what I have to believe) was the hardest decision of her life. I harbor more love for her than I could ever put into words. She is the bravest, strongest, and kindest person. And because of her love for her son, I became a mother.
One year ago today, we received the phone call that set into motion a new chapter for our family. The last 365 days have been both exhausting and exhilarating. There are days that I look at my boy and can not believe that he has been entrusted to us. He is the epitome of joy – generously doling out smiles and giggles to anyone he meets. He is curious and observant. He loves music and animals and  playing in the water. His life is a daily reminder of God’s mercy and kindness.
Happy First Birthday to my miracle Milo!

Banner

In adoption, there are lots of days that are painfully hard. And then there are days where you get a phone call that your son has been born. Suddenly, the agony of the wait is swallowed up by joy.

This family has a unique and beautiful story. It’s a story that is near and dear to my heart because it’s woven together with so many of the same threads as my own family’s story. God has sustained the Teals as they waited for their son and He has blessed them with the most beautiful baby boy. The scriptures contain many references to the banner of the Lord. In victory over enemies, Moses declared that the Lord is our banner. Isaiah prophesied about the banner that will be lifted up to bring the people to Christ.  A banner makes a declaration. The life of this Banner is a declaration that the Lord is good.

“He brought me to the banquet room, and his banner over me is love.”  ~Song of Solomon 2:4

Hannah

At just a few weeks old, baby Hannah is already expressing her feminine side. She’s dainty. She’s delicate. And she looks amazing in a tutu. This sweet little lady has got her daddy wrapped around her tiny little finger. It’s pretty easy to see why!