Sunday, September 1, 2013

September's Featured Families

Fate. Chance. Serendipity. Coincidence.

Some may call it this, to have two families with stories like this month's Featured Families, to be paired with one another this month.

I don't. 

I call it Providence. I didn't even know that these families would be paired. I had no idea that their stories would be side-by-side. I didn't plan it. It just happened. 

I kind of think it happened this way for a reason. 

A Nest by Design was started because I wanted to earn money for our adoption. After a few months, I just didn't want to keep the blessing to myself, so that's when I got the idea for sponsoring different adopting families. I wanted to get adoption stories out there. I wanted people to see others that are following a path that is not for the faint of faith. My hope is that reading about these families, and knowing our story will inspire someone to take that leap into expending their heart and family through adoption.

It's an honor to share these stories with you, and it is a joy to share with you Brandon & Emily and Bryan & Lauren.


Brandon and Emily have walked an unexpected road. They always thought that they would have 3 children. After a very difficult, and dangerous pregnancy with their sweet Lily, Emily was told that it would be unwise to have any more children biologically.

That was it
For a long time they mourned the loss of having any more children. Emily couldn't hold babies without crying, so she quit holding babies, even her own nieces and nephews.

Brandon gave up his desire to have a son of his own, along with teaching him how to hunt, play sports or any other thing that fathers and sons may do.

In 2011 their pastor and his wife shared with them that they were beginning the process of adopting from Ethiopia. Brandon especially wanted to travel with them and photograph their experience, and he wanted Emily to join him. After much hesitancy, and even fear, she agreed to go.

Theirs was a trip that would change their world forever. There was one special little boy at the orphanage that completely stole their hearts. After leaving him behind on the third day, they were having dinner with their pastor, his wife, and the man in charge of Ethiopian adoptions through Adoption Associates. Brandon and Emily mentioned how much they were taken with this particular boy, that if they could, they would bring him home with them the next day.

He asked if they were serious because, "I can make it happen."

They realized that they were serious. It was time for them to step out in faith!

As it turned out, this little boy was already referred to another family, but to Brandon and Emily's amazement, the family declined him!

They forged ahead, doing everything required to complete their home study, and dossier, and have *just* brought Silas home! Being a Featured Family will help pay for those final travel expenses as well as other legalities making Silas's adoption final.

God has called us to adoption. That is very clear. We are excited to be following his lead in our lives.
We feel the most important thing one can impart on our children is God’s love & living it out daily in front of them.


I don't think I can share about Bryan and Lauren without first prefacing it with how encouraging their story has been to myself as we are on our own adoption journey. We've shared how we had a failed placement back in May, and I personally have struggled to get my feet back under me and ready to move ahead in our journey.

But after reading Bryan and Lauren's story, the tears flowed as I realized that our quest towards our child has been a smooth course compared to the ups and downs of their path to E.

Bryan and Lauren have known throughout their relationship that their family would need to be built though adoption, and 6 years ago their journey began when when they thought that they would be bringing home a child between the ages of 0-12 months at time of referral. They also thought that they would be adopting from Nepal or India, but those doors also closed.

After filing signing their first contract, they have been waiting to meet their first little one(s) from Ethiopia. We know God goes before us and their hearts have grown just as their parameters have expanded over the past 3.5 years. A variety of experiences have led this couple to expand their parameters to include HIV/AIDS as well as other special needs and older children. This allowed them to move forward in pursuing a little girl with their agency who happened to be an older child. Unfortunately, in autumn 2012, just days before leaving to meet their daughter in Ethiopia, due to circumstances beyond their control, they were unable to bring her home. They continue to pray and love that sweet girl.

Little did they know that by expanding their hearts to older children, it would be paving the way for them to be ready to see the face of their son on a photo listing from a different agency and in a different country only months later. For the past 9 months they have been working to bring home their 5 year old son, E, from Ghana.

They are now, unexpectedly, doing concurrent adoptions(!!!), which means that their second adoption for E’s future sibling(s) is mostly paid for, but this first adoption to bring home their son has been all from scratch! After spending a lot of time together in Ghana, this family of three knows they are a perfect fit and they appreciate your prayers as they step through the final stages to bring E home.

The opportunity as a Featured Family will help as them as they work through the US Immigration side of  E's adoption and final travel steps to bring him home to be with his forever family.

Two amazing, stories that you get to be a part of when ordering from us. Visit our website to place an order to move these families further in their adoption journeys!

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