Friday, July 27, 2018

Our Adoption Story + A Summer Look Featuring the Hourglass Scattered Light and Caution Extreme Mascara

Welcome home, Johannah Elle. 
On July 19th, 2018, we welcomed our adopted baby girl, Johannah Elle into the world. Looking into your baby's eyes for the first time is unlike anything I could ever imagine and I can't believe I'm at the point in my life to detail this experience freely and with much excitement! 

Today's post is dedicated to our adoption process (I will do my best to encapsulate a year and a half into a few highly descriptive paragraphs) with a dash of new beauty thrown in for good measure. 

Kindly scroll on for the full story and the beauty products I've been reaching for over the past week, including the Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow and *Hourglass Caution Extreme Mascara, swatches galore and the Bottom Line...
Holding Johannah for the first time, mere moments after her birth. 
January 2017: Our adoption story started early last year. We were eager to build a family and felt, after much prayer, like we were being led to adopt. Simply put, my husband and I had so much love to give and wanted to share that with a baby who needed a home. Quite frankly, figuring out where to begin was one of the most daunting aspects of this entire endeavor. After much research, we decided to work with an adoption attorney in our area and had a 2+ hour consultation that allowed us to ask questions about the process and what we could expect to encounter. 

The only thing we knew is that we really knew nothing about how adoption works in California and our attorneys were so patient and attentive in explaining everything. Since our relationship is so close, I had my parents attend the meeting as well; I knew they'd be walking side-by-side with us in all the steps along the way and loved that they could start that journey with us from the very beginning. 

Johannah Elle was born at 6:06 PM on 7/19/18. This was probably taken at 6:10 PM. 
First feeding with Johannah.
February 2017-December 2017: Shortly after our initial meeting, my husband and I created a profile that included a letter to prospective a birth mother, detailing our lives and why we wanted to adopt. This profile would be used by our attorney to give a birth mother a better sense of who we were. Because we were trusting God to lead us to the baby that was meant for us, our preferences for who that baby was (e.g, ethnic background, gender etc.) were completely open. 

We then embarked on the home study journey. Every prospective adoptive parent needs to work with a social worker to complete an extensive home study which is like a very comprehensive background check. It's the precursor to adoption and must be completed before a child can be placed in one's home. Everything from finger prints and medical physicals to family and relational history are addressed, along with a need to have letters of reference, thorough CPR training and baby proofing of one's home. This entire process, which resulted in a 100+ paper packet, took us a little over 8 months to complete and when we finished, we felt a major sense of relief, satisfaction and accomplishment...it meant we were one step closer to the baby that was meant to be ours! 

The morning after Johannah's birth...we stayed a local hotel so we could return to the nursery right way the next morning and be with her for the day. 
January 2018-February 2018: Once our home study was complete, we went on a blissful trip to London and Paris while staying in constant contact with our attorneys regarding potential situations. In all honesty, sometimes the waiting became really tough but, at our core, we were resolute that God already had the baby for us picked out and we needed to trust His timing (which is nearly always different than our timing) above all things. It was that trust and the encouragement of my family that got us through those moments of questioning and uncertainty. Upon our return from Europe, we unexpectedly found out that we had to move (a family member of our landlord needed to move into the house) and we found a larger house...little did we know at that time that it would be the ideal dwelling for the baby that would shortly come into our lives. It was a whirlwind of a time but, looking back, God was preparing us even then for her arrival. 
All of my family together with Johannah 24 hours after her birth. 
March 2018: After returning home from another trip to London and Paris, this time with my family, we found out that we were official matched with a birth mother, who picked our profile through our attorney! So many feelings converge in a moment like that...excitement, hopefulness, anticipation and, to be fair, nervousness regarding how the process will proceed. We had two dinners with our attorneys and the birth parents (rare!) which enabled us to get to know each other better in good faith for the adoption to come. Out of respect for the birth parents, I will leave the details of their lives and situations out of this post...just know that the brave and selfless decision they made to place their child into adoption was motivated by pure love and care for their baby...and we're forever grateful to be the recipients and beneficiaries of that choice. 
With Jan, one of the nursery RN's who I spent a full shift with as I  took care of Johannah the day after her birth. 
April 2018-July 2018: This time period was marked by more preparation; we were linked with another social worker who would act as a liaison between the birth parents and my husband and me, clearly detailing everyone's rights during the adoption process and making sure everything was being done to the letter of the law. We also had the opportunity to attend the birth mother's ultrasounds...it was incredible to be able to see our baby in that way and the connection with her, even at that point was undeniable; the birth mother did everything she could to support that, encouraging us to name her early on and even introducing us as "mommy and daddy" to the medical personnel on duty for the appointments. What amazing and unprecedented moments those were. 

We continued to gather the things we would need for Johannah and family and friends were so sweet and generous in helping us to prepare for her homecoming. She was originally due on August 9th, so we knew that the month of July would be our time to get everything ready and we did little projects around the house each day in anticipation for the due date. On 7/18, my mom offered to come over to help me set up the last of the nursery. Feeling very ahead of the game, we cheerfully put clothes away and nestled the toys on the crib. Little did we know...
With Courtney, the last nurse Johannah was with before she was discharged. 
July 19th, 2018: We got a call from our attorney at 3AM, letting us know that the birth mother's water broke and she was going to the hospital (she had told us she wanted us at the birth). Half asleep and entirely caught off guard, we hurriedly packed a bag and rushed to the hospital, slowly as the sun rose realizing that it could be the day that we meet our daughter. Dialating to 10cm took much of the day and, after some visiting time with the birth mother and her family, my husband and I proceeded to catch up on work in the waiting room and try to keep our nerves and anticipation at bay! 

At around 5PM, the birth mother went into labor and I, along with her sister-in-law helped her to count her way through contractions and pushing...I remember my heart skipping a beat, saying a quick prayer and realizing that our lives would change forever as Johannah entered into the world through natural child birth. It was breathtaking. She was instantly taken to a warming table at the back of the delivery room where she was cleaned and than immediately handed to us. There we stood, holding our baby girl for the first time...I get tears typing the sentence. My family was able to join us and ultimately, we went to the nursery where Johannah was given her first bath and we spent the rest of the time holding her, feeding her and marveling at her existence. Around midnight, we grabbed some In & Out and stayed at a nearby hotel so we could get right back to her the next morning. That night of sleep was particularly deep.

On Friday, we found out that the birth mother and Johannah wouldn't be discharged until Saturday per hospital policy so we spent the day in the nursery, bonding as much as humanly possible...it was a beautiful day with our new little girl. We slept at our home that night, knowing that the next time we'd be there, she'd be with us...what a feeling. 

That Saturday, we returned to the hospital to wait for Johannah's discharge. We also met with the social worker and birth mother and birth father and all said our goodbyes in one of the most poignant life moments I will probably ever experience. 

We returned to the nursery and when the doctor discharged Johannah we, once again, cried tears of joy...we put her in her stroller (full disclosure: there is definitely a learning curve with that process!) and drove home...very slowly. I sat in the back with her as I just didn't want her out of my sight, even during a half hour trip down the freeway. My parents and brother were waiting for us at our house with dinner and happy hearts and I will never forget that sweet, sweet evening together. It's imprinted on my heart. 

As we reflect on those precious, complicated and important days following Johannah's birth, we see so many manifestations of God's precise timing. He coordinated complex dynamics in ways that benefited everyone involved, further affirming our faith in His perfect plan. 

Beyond excited to be headed home! Stroller by Doona
Learning how to feed Johannah...every two 
The Present: Due to the waiver signed, the adoption became irrevocable at the start of the week (Monday at 5:01, to be exact...that time will forever be special to me) and the amount of sheer emotion--namely a melange of intense happiness and relief--that she was officially and unequivocally ours couldn't be contained. Let's just say that there were a lot of happy tears at the house that afternoon.  

Abundantly loved, Johannah Elle is now 8 days old and growing leaps and bounds. Her appetite is steady and were getting used to the way in which she communicates her needs. The baby routine (which, of course, stands the test of time) involves feeding, burping, changing, cuddling, comforting and sleeping and, though cracking the code about which one she needs in a particular moment is challenging, we are learning to read the signs and use our intuition. During her first check-up earlier this week, her pediatrician noted how wide-eyed and thriving she is and we are so grateful that she is healthy and happy. 

Most adoptions are finalized in the court system between 8-12 months of placements and our attorneys are filing all necessary paperwork to complete that process within the timeline. At the point, of finalization, Johannah will get a new birth certificate that names us as her legal parents...what a precious and momentous day that will be! 
Her napping skills are enviable. 
Taken by Laura Lynn, on Johannah's first full day at home. 
First bath...she wasn't particularly fond of the water but really likes her robe. 

To close: My husband and I are learning how to best take care of Johannah day-by-day, moment-by-moment and relish the opportunity to provide her with the most optimal, love-rich life that we possibly can.  She is such a sweet and mellow baby and we are ever thankful to God for blessing us with this tiny wonder. The pure and selfless love of all parties involved in this adoption allowed us to become a family and we will be forever grateful for this process. 

I hope our story has raised awareness, intrinsically answered some questions and maybe even inspired some of you to consider how adoption may be right for you as it was for us. 

Stronger, even closer, filled with gratitude and definitely more resilient, we are forever changed for the better because of adoption and loving Johannah Elle is a gift beyond measure. 

Edit 7/30/18: Many of you have asked me about the meaning behind Johannah's name. We picked "Johannah" because it means "God's grace" and that's exactly what she embodies to us. 

Her middle name, "Elle," is in honor of my mom Laura. Unfortunately, giving her the middle name of "Laura" would have resulted in a super long name (Johannah's last name is hyphenated) so then we though of simply giving her "L." as a middle initial. It dawned on me that "L" could be spelled out as "Elle" and thus her name became complete. 

Please don't hesitate to reach out via email (beautyprofessor@gmail.com) should you have any specific questions that I can answer! 

Family portrait by Laura Lynn
The complete look. 
// THE COMPLETE LOOK // Because of the extra-hectic nature of the past week, I've been reaching for the same products each day for nearly 7 days straight and they've performed beautifully...keep reading for details and swatches. 

The Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow and *Hourglass Caution Extreme Mascara.
At the center of my look is the new Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow (also available at Beautylish, Sephora, Neiman Marcus and Hourglass). Ever since catching glimpses of this new release on social media, I knew the glimmering formula was destined for my eyes. 

Weightless and exceptionally luminous, this eyeshadow packs serious color payoff without settling into fine lines and creases. The shades can be layered and blended to create a custom hue and the nearly liquid-looking shine is more incandescent than anything in this category that I have tried to date. I am so impressed with the texture (smooth as silk), wear time (10-12 hours, no fall out, no touch ups) and optical effect (pure lustrous illumination) and am beyond glad that I ordered these sight unseen. Keep reading to see swatches of the the shades I selected! 

To complete my eye look, I applied a couple of coats of the freshly launched *Hourglass Caution Extreme Mascara. This voluming and lengthening formula boasts lash-transforming powers and I am happy to corroborate this claim. The brush's bristles are designed to dispense the jet-black, fiber-free formula over each lash, creating dense volume and intense length with minimal effort. The mascara is fragrance-free and smudge resistant...I've been testing it in some of the hottest, most humid weather we've had in months and cannot believe how stalwart it is while still being friendly to sensitive, allergy-ridden eyes and easily removed with soap and water. The *Caution Extreme Mascara is indubitably my favorite mascara offering from Hourglass and I implore you to consider giving it a try...curious to hear your thoughts when you do! 
*Hourglass Caution Extreme Mascara
Swatches of the *Hourglass Caution Extreme Mascara and Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in direct sunlight. 
When ordering, I chose four of the five shades of the Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow
  • Reflect: A neutral champagne beige with plenty of pigmentation.
  • Aura: A cool baby pink that is incredibly wearable and, like Aura, makes for a lovely transition color.
  • Foil: A lavish true gold with warm depth. 
  • Blaze: A bronzy copper that's bright without being over the top...so divine! 
hourglass scattered light glitter eyeshadow swatches
Swatches of the Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in direct sunlight. 
hourglass scattered light glitter eyeshadow swatches
Swatches of the Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in outdoor shade. 
hourglass scattered light glitter eyeshadow swatches

Eyes and brows under control with the *Hourglass Caution Extreme Mascara and Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel in Chestnut (reviewed HERE).
Base + face. 
 // BASE + FACE // Even skin and a soft glow for an effortless, real-skin look that persists even through a hot day. 
Swatches in direct sunlight. 

Lips. 
// LIPS // A melange of pinky peach in varying textures for continuity and maximum lasting power. 
  • Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk: I have run through multiple pencils in this shade and am consistently impressed with the perfect nude tone, creamy opacity and strong lasting power. It's truly a must for lip color lovers. Quick tip: Apply it all over the lips (rather than just the perimeters) for color that stays in place all day. 
  • Dior Addict Lacquer Stick in Bel Air (reviewed HERE): This lushly moisturizing peachy tone offers plenty of color payoff and a creamy shine. It's a staple in my purse and I wear this so much, I think I'll need to buy a backup soon! 
  • Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bare Baby: I completed the lip look with a coat of this glorious 1960's-esque pearly nude peach gloss...not too white and delightfully un-sticky with a gorgeous shine, this particular shade looks lovely on a spectrum of skin tones.  
Swatches in direct sunlight. 

The following images reflect all products in action in afternoon sunlight...


hourglass scattered light glitter eyeshadow swatches
Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in Blaze, Reflect and Foil. 
hourglass scattered light glitter eyeshadow swatches
Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in Blaze, Reflect and Foil. 






Style notes. 
// STYLE NOTES // Daily summertime staples for me include a neutral men's button down, cutoffs and an ultra comfortable pair of blush slides. 
  • John Varvatos Star USA Button Down: Whenever I buy men's button downs (which is often), I look for a soft and lightweight cotton material in a neutral color that matches everything and this John Varvatos fits the bill perfectly. Worn loose or tied at the waist, it's a modern classic (and currently on sale).  
  • Levi's Wedgie High Waist Cutoff Denim Shorts: It's my personal belief that Levi's makes the best cutoffs available...slightly high waisted with an easy fit, I reach for them multiple times a week. 
  • Melissa Cosmic Python Baja Slide Sandal in Light Pink Mixed: I am completely smitten with this breezy pair of blush slides...they're wildly comfortable and a fresh and sophisticated update on sandals. 
  • Gold hoops: This particular pair--a timeless classic--is the perfect size for daily wear. 
Melissa Cosmic Python Baja Slide Sandal in Light Pink Mixed
The Melissa Cosmic Python Baja Slide Sandal in Light Pink Mixed
Melissa Cosmic Python Baja Slide Sandal in Light Pink Mixed
The Melissa Cosmic Python Baja Slide Sandal has a 1 1/2 platform for a touch of height with a molded foot bed for comfort. 

Love of a lifetime. 
Last look. 
--Shop the Post--


Bottom Line: I truly hope you enjoyed this very special BP post...it was my sincere joy to share elements of our journey with you (I know that it is only the preface to a long and beautiful story yet to unfold) and I welcome you to extend your questions about and experiences with adoption in the comments section. So looking forward to reading! 

Additionally, the Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow (also available at BeautylishSephoraNeiman Marcus and Hourglass) and *Caution Extreme Mascara have become incredible parts of my eye routine and, if you are even the slightest bit interested, I highly recommend giving them a try as they do not disappoint. 

Also, there are less than 10 days left for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (ends August 5th)...I've been wearing/using my purchases nonstop since the middle of the month and if you are looking for some specific inspiration, swing by my shopping guides HERE and HERE

Good things ahead, including a host of new product procurements, the BY TERRY Nude Expert Duo Stick Foundation and my picks from the new Westman Atelier Collection

More than ever, thank you for your loyal readership and support of Beauty Professor...xx and more soon,

--The Beauty Professor

**PR samples provided for review denoted by an asterisk (the rest purchased by me), however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  © 2012-18 Beauty Professor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.

47 comments:

  1. Congratuations on your beautiful dauther.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In a world where the news is not always good, your story was the first thing I read this morning. It was such a joy and so generous of you to share it with your readers. I have always been drawn to your blog not only for your knowledge and command of language, but by your good heart. Rachel, your are truly beautiful in the best way. God Bless you and your family and may his perpetual light shine upon you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations!!! She looks so precious.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Huge Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter! She is adorable. Thank you for sharing your story with us xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. So many congratulations to you and your family! What a blessing.

    Those Hourglass eyeshadows look intriguing, and your endorsement of the mascara has put it on my shopping list.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am so very happy for you and your husband! Your daughter is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Huge congratulations on your baby girl!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate you writing about the faith you have in trusting the Lord's guidance through the process. His timing is always perfect. She is a beautiful baby. Enjoy every moment. My "baby" girl turned 19 this week and she will start college this fall. It goes by so fast!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a wonderful story, brought me to tears being an adoptee. Couldn't be happier for you, best wishes!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Rachel, words cannot express the depth of happiness I feel for you. Your post ignited joy, celebration, beauty and tears! May every blessing be yours today and in all the years to come as you walk in God's love, light and grace...together as a family. God's plan encompasses more than we can ever imagine...and on July 19 He brought heaven down to earth for you to show you His deep abiding love. May you all be blessed with the true gifts in life that nourish and sustain and may you continue to call upon His wisdom and everlasting presence as you hold one of His angels in your midst.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Reading your adoption story made me tear up-- what a challenging, but ultimately rewarding, ride that must have been for you, your husband, and your family! As a reader since (very close to) the beginning, I admit I have often wondered if you and Tyler had any interest in becoming parents. I know you have an incredibly close relationship with your family, and all of you (even through the internet) radiate such immense love that it seemed you'd almost be doing a disservice to the world by not passing this positivity on to the next generation! I think it is commendable that you chose to adopt, and bless your little darling's birth parents for making what was surely one of the most difficult (but absolutely correct!) decisions of their lives. Wishing you all the best as you settle into your new roles as mother, father, grandma, grandpa, and uncle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was able to be Comm student of hers and English student of her brother (when I was in high school) and they really are such caring, magnificent people that truly radiate that immense love in-person!

      Delete
  12. The most beautiful, meaningful post I have read in a long time. May God Bless you and your family. Enjoy every precious moment of your journey!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wishing you a lifetime of joy with your beautiful baby girl! I'm also an adoptive mother of two sons, now 20 and 16. Many blessings, Rachel!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wishing you, your husband, and baby Johannah
    a lifetime of joy together! Our family was also formed through adoption. Many blessings!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Congratulations on your beautiful little boy! You look absolutely radiant holding your boy, no doubt you are bursting with love and joy. Wishing you and your family a lifetime of good health, happiness and unlimited bliss.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am crying tears of joy looking at these photos of your beautiful Johannah Elle. I feel like my heart is about to burst with love. Seeing you, Tyler, Seth, your parents, and little Johannah... "congratulations" seems like an understatement, but congratulations! Welcome to the world, baby Johannah Elle! Sending all my love. Thank you for sharing these photos, which are truly beautiful in every single way. Love, Catherine

    ReplyDelete
  17. Congratulations on your beautiful little girl You look absolutely radiant holding your little one, no doubt you are bursting with love and joy. Wishing you and your family a lifetime of good health, happiness and unlimited bliss.

    ReplyDelete
  18. “Gods gracious gift” what a beautiful blessing and thank you father sharing so freely. It makes me cry as it was so perfectly orchestrated. My brother & wife have adopted 3 children. He was 54 years when they began! XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  19. Congratulations to you all. As I read, I felt all the nervousness and scary stuff we experienced in our adoption, and again was reminded how much God was in control and how good He is at organizing things beyond our ability to foresee....and felt again the joy and the marvel of His process and the birth and gift of a child. It is so life changing in every way. I could ramble on about how much this has touched me reading about your journey and my happiness for you, so I'll just end here. I'm so extremely happy for you all.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congratulations! Such a beautiful baby girl for a wonderful couple. I loved this post. All the best!

    Angela
    http://blushandpearls.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Rachel I am beyond happy for you and your family. You are beaming with such a beautiful love that it makes me emotional as well . Thankyou for sharing this and you and your husband will make the best most loving parents . Having your parents and brother just makes it more perfect for Johannah and so much more love and support . So happy for u. Xo

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am so happy for you and your husband - and entire family! This is one of the most touching stories I have had the pleasure of reading. Wow. Your daughter Johannah, is absolutely beautiful. Wishing you and your 'new' addition all the world of blessings.
    Best,
    Elaine, Toronto, Canada

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you for sharing your story, Rachel! She is a lucky little girl because uou guys are her family.Sending love from Germany...Susanne

    ReplyDelete
  24. In true Beauty Professor style, you captured these moments perfectly. I feel your happiness. She's a beautiful girl and she's truly blessed to have you and your husband as her adoptive parents.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Favorite post ever! Beautiful family! Congratulations on this incredible blessing. She is gorgeous. What an angel.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm in tears! What a beautiful story and I couldn't be more excited for you!!!! Congratulations!!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have been a subscriber of yours for years. I am snot nose crying with happiness at the sheer joy that leaps out of the post of your new daughter! What an incredible and momentous blessing that God has bestowed on you and your husband. I can't wait until the day she will be in Nordstrom with you for the sale :) (couldn't help it). Such a treasure. Congratulations!!!! May God continue to bless your family.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello Rachel,thank You for sharing this personal story of Your way to parenthood. I wish You and Your family all the best in this hectic and exciting time of Your life. It is great that You still managed to find time to review new Hourglass products - I definitely will purchase some of the eyeshadow shades as well as the mascara.

    ReplyDelete
  29. What a beautiful beginning.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wow!! She is gorgeous, and you all make a BEAUTIFUL family! I can tell that Joey is going to have gorgeous hair, just like her mama. :) What a wonderful, selfless story! I'm so happy for you. I have a 6 month old little girl, and each day is better than the last. Enjoy every stage! Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Omg... Congratulations Mom and Dad... Thank you for sharing the story with us... I saw your post with the picture of Johanna on facebook but really lovely of you to tell us more... She is absolutely perfect! Precious baby girl... I am beyond happy for you. I wanted to say a few words about Johanna's birth parents... Actually I have no words when I think about them... What a phenomenal couple to not only do what is the best for the baby - and lets be real a decision like that is not easy!- but also to invite you to fully participate in the process.... Baby Johanna is blessed with two wonderful sets of Parents... Congratulations again. Oh and I love her name!!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. So inspiring! I hope that I one day I can adopt a child too! All the best for you and your lovely daughter!

    ReplyDelete
  33. A huge congratulations to you and your family! What a perfect bundle of joy! You will be an amazing mom - you look like a natural in these pictures. It was written in the stars!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Congratulations! She is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Congratulations, Rachel & Family! How amazing Johannah is and what an incredible gift that you all found each other. xxoo Kashi

    ReplyDelete
  36. Enjoyed reading this beautiful story, thank you for sharing!
    Your baby is blessed to have you and her father as parents. And may this bundle of joy bring lots of blessings to her loved ones. ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  37. Congratulations on your new baby! Wishing you all the joys of parenthood! The first six months are the most exhausting, but it gets much easier after that. Love and prayers to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  38. What a wonderful post- congratulations on your new daughter! <3

    ReplyDelete
  39. Congratulations to you and your husband on the adoption of your gorgeous baby. Thank you for sharing your story with your readers.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Rachel thank you for sharing such a wonderful and personal story. Johanna is blessed to have you and your husband as parents and your beautiful extended family, too.

    Keep your faithful readers up to date on her growth thru the years to come. Possibly a seperate Instagram account just about Johanna. hmmm has a nice ring to it!

    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  41. Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. This is such an amazing story! I didn't know that the adoption process is so long. What a blessing for her to be blessed with a family that loves her so much.

    https://www.bluelabelsboutique.com
    https://www.fashionnotfear.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. This is the most wonderful, inspiring story on so many levels. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Congratulations, and many blessing to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your wonderful journey with us. God bless <3

    ReplyDelete
  45. So happy for you and for your precious daughter!May God enlighten your paths with love and lots of happy moments!

    Caterina-Greece

    ReplyDelete