I wanted to post about this article because I wanted to stand up and jump up and down and say YES!!! THIS!!!! as I was reading the whole thing…. Here are a few excerpts of my favorite parts… but really it all was my favorite so go read it HERE. 

The end of mass abortion to the Christian can only mean the commitment to either serious mother-mentorship or mass adoption.

And this isn’t going to be volunteering at the pregnancy crisis center every, you know, 6 months. This is going to be 31,000 new babies in my state alone that either need a new home or a mother who has been mentored and supported to keep her baby post-birth. This will require changing the life of everyChristian family in every church. This will mean a lot more mouths to feed and mothers to mentor, and a lot less time for excuses on how busy we are.

This personally challenges me when I look around at my life, at my house even. We have an extra bedroom. It was originally intended for guests to have their own separate room and bathroom. But guess what? If the end of abortion ever comes, then I’d better be ready to have that room permanently filled with a mom in crisis or an adopted child. Sorry guests, you may have to—gasp!—travel a few extra feet to the bathroom next time or maybe even—how insane!—stay in a hotel for the weekend.

See, this abortion thing is more than just opening up a sign at a protest. It’s opening up your home, your whole life.

Are we willing to do that?

The goal of a pro-lifer is to give a chance to an unborn baby to be welcomed in the world. The goal of a Christian is for an unborn baby is to be welcomed in a home. The mission of a pro-lifer is to lobby until the system changes for unborn babies. The mission of a Christian is to, sure, try to do the same, but furthermore, astound the society by using its own resources to take in those children regardless if the system changes or not.

The cry of a pro-lifer is “don’t kill them.”

The cry of a Christian is “we want them.”

Thank you Ashley for penning these challenging and beautiful words! May many hearts be impacted by them.

stand for life

IF you want to have this filter put on one of your photos… Go to www.standforlifemovement.com

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  • Ashley GormanAugust 29, 2015 - 7:16 am

    I’m SO overwhelmingly honored that you’d choose to feature this as your favorite post of the year! What a privilege! Thanks so much for reading the post, and much love and support to you and yours.

    -Ashley M. Gorman
    ashleymgorman.com
    If you want to connect: (Twitter + Instagram: @ashmarvgorma)ReplyCancel

Dear 17 year old, Mentor elementary age kids and become best friends with middle schoolers. They will become fellow moms and dads and the age difference won’t matter a bit. In fact you might be learning a lot from them in 20 years.

Dear 21 Year old, Spend your summers in far away lands. Sign up for every mission trip you can. Do Radical things and see things that make you be in Awe of the Creator on a regular basis. Oh… and print real photos of your travels. Your kids will want you to tell them all about your adventures.

Dear 27 year old,
Be way more concerned and passionate about putting your investment of time, energy and money into other people vs. a bank account. You might be shocked to see that when you’re making even less in 10 years as a mom or dad with a job thats family friendly vs. the working all the time person you were back then… you’ll be richer somehow and wish you had slowed down and spent more time and less money back then. p.s. when you are making money, buy furniture that will LAST!

Love, A well traveled wealthy 37 year old!

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Drumrolll please…….

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Now…. Wasn’t that fun? Well… okay, not near as fun if I could have sent everyone awesome beauty supply. It’s SO hard to announce only one name. But I’m so humbled that you guys gave not only because you love makeup but because you see the beauty in Adoption!!!  I love you!!!

Want a little sneak peak into next month’s basket? It’s going to be called the Best of Belonging Basket!! <3 Hope to have it up on the blog by the end of the month.

kelly moore bag and abel

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Beauty is as Beauty does.   

This basket is MUCH more than just fun products and everyday routines… it’s about bringing beauty and belonging to the life of those who have families waiting and longing to wrap their arms around them and say you belong with me.  

After adopting Abel we quickly knew that we would want him to share in the joy of having a sibling with a similar story as his.  So we renewed our home study and got back on the NDSA registry and after lots of calls and possible situations we have been matched!!

It’s a girl! Due October 20th! And she will not only share the love chromosome bond with her brother but also his birth state of Nevada! Yes, we will have another Vegas Baby! We will strike it rich there twice… what are the odds of that?

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#theluckyfew is used because the numbers of babies diagnosed with T21 who are aborted is around 93%. So we are over the moon excited that our family will belong to two of these lucky few!

Our Adoption being a private domestic special needs adoption* will be around 7 Thousand for fees and then whatever travel to Las Vegas, lodging for us while she is in the hospital and once she’s discharged while we wait for ICPC to clear us to go home.   (*domestic special needs adoption costs range from nothing… to 25K… it really depends on the agency you go through, in our case it will be through Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada) 

But something that IS happening sooner… like as you are reading this soon… is our friends The Gerber family is heading to China to bring home an adorable little girl who also has the super power that’s found in that extra 21st chromosome!

Check out this sweetheart! Ruthie is a 4 year old little girl with Down Syndrome who can’t wait to have a family of her very own.

A portion of this basket’s donations will go to help her family bring her home and get settled into her her family and community.

 

So without further ado….

I present my BEST OF BEAUTY BASKET!!!

I love love LOVE stores like Sephora, Ulta and Mac. I think my many years as a cosmetologist and in the wedding industry  as well as desiring a simple life has given me a love for quality products. I want a few products that I know work and last and that I will use all of it. How many of you have lots of products you don’t use but are taking up space in your makeup bag or bathroom?

This collection is worth $600!! Again, quality is costly but if it’s things that lasts, and stands the test of time and saves you time then I find them to be very worthwhile investments.

So… Here’s how this basket of goodies can be at your front door in a few weeks!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED!!!! Thank you to everyone who participated and helped bring our baby girl home. You are Beautiful! 

Alright now…. on to the good stuff!

 

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Face the music:  The first step to awesome looking makeup is awesome looking skin.  Origins skincare has been a favorite of mine for some time now. They are paraben free and free of lots of toxic ingredients. Now, while I may not be able to have everything natural… I can choose some things to get my routine started on a great foot.   Modern Friction is the BEST face scrub… it’s soft but definitely is doing it’s job! Then I follow up with Check and Balances... Ya’ll this is so gentle and creamy and minty and works great even for my combination skin issues.  Then about once or twice a month… I use Clear Improvement. This stuff is BLACK and uses charcoal to make your skin feel cleaner than ever. I even use the tiniest dab on my blemishes and they take care of them super quickly! It’s the best face mask to use for a sleepover because it is so fun to put this dark as mud mask on!

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All about those lips…bout those lips:   This is my Favorite combo… okay, I probably should stop saying favorite because these all are obviously my favorites.   I’m a MAC girl. I love this brand. And one thing I swear by is their Lip Liners and Lip sticks. But since lipstick is tricky to pick just one, I went with a lip liner that is super versatile and will look great on anyone and can be used for a dark look or a super natural one. The shade you’re getting is Whirl and is one of my favorites as well as supposedly one of Kylie Jenners go-to liners.  It just so happens to pair super nicely with my TOP pick Lipgloss which is Buxom (gotta love these names) in Dolly. Of all the lip glosses I’ve tried… this is the winner, it’s minty, it’s not sticky, it lasts, and it delivers great color! This is a pinkish nude color which everyone will love!  Elf…. okay, as much as people swear it has a lot of dupes for high end brands… it just doesn’t in my opinion. BUT I do love their Lip Exfoliator. It looks just like a lipstick and it goes on like a rough sugar and even tastes fine if you get any in your mouth, you scrub and then wipe off and you’re set for any type of gloss or lipstick!

 

Day and Night: That’s the difference a good concealer and contour will provide.  There are actually a lot of pretty good drugstore brand concealers out there but I find that after you spend $8-9 on them and they don’t last as long I’d rather invest a little more and get something I know works and lasts!  And Bo-ing by Benefit takes the cake!  It’s Industrial Strength y’all… but it’s not cakey at all and can be layered well. It’s perfect for under eyes! TRUST me as a mom of lots of littles I know A LOT about undereye issues!!

Benefit Cosmetics also brings us our contouring powder. Benefit Hoola comes in a cute box and goes on beautifully matte. I hate bronzers with shimmer… so this does not have any it in.  It’s also important that you have a bronzer that isn’t super orange… this is really neutral.  For super ivory pale skin I’ve found that NYX eyeshadow in taupe is great to use for contouring. You can dust this all over or use it to help give your face some definition!  Some go overboard with contouring and unless you’re having photos taken then I’d just use it in one or two ways in this chart. ———————->

 

 

 

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Monica and I got to each pick one of our favorite fragrances and get a purse size bottle of it for you. Hers was Happ & Stahns Tear Catcher from from Anthropologie. Can I just say that I love that they now carry makeup!! This scent is a light mix of wisteria… grapefruit and alba roses! I’m now a fan. I want to try their lipsticks but just need to wait to use up the ones I have first.

Did I make you Blush?:  Picking a favorite blush was a bit tricky for me because I LOVE blushes! I think they add instant life to my face and they just make me happy! A lady one time told me that it’s scientifically proven that looking at all the colors of makeup increases seratonin levels in women. hmmm… Well, not really sure about that, but whatever the case… I get happy when I play with blushes! I really like Mac, Cargo and The Balm blushes. They all pack color and are beautiful. But this one by Tarte…. it’s all of those and it LASTS 12 hours!! Their Amazonian clay line is great and every color is awesome. But this one, as shocking as it looks is the perfect natural looking flush.  The shade is actually called Natural Beauty. I used it the other day on Monica’s daughter who is 12 and she texted me the next day and said… where do I get that?

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Eyes are the window to the soul: If that’s the case.. then let’s draw some attention to them. I typically use Mac eyeshadows on myself but it’s hard to pick a few shadows that go with everyone’s style. So I wanted to give away a eyeshadow pallet.  As a makeup artist at many weddings I’ve come to call this Natural Eyes Eyeshadow pallet by Too Faced as my go to Winner!! It gives several beautiful looks and can do day looks as well as night. It’s shadows are pigmented and it lasts ALL day. Especially when paired with their Shadow Insurance. It’s sheer so any skin color can use it. And you can use it under any eyeshadows to give you a long lasting look. (as much as I love the look and colors of the UD Naked Pallets they just have so much fall out that I feel like my whole face looks glittery after just a little while)

Ask any makeup artist and they will tell you that Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliners are the BOMB!! And they are. They go on like butter and they won’t budge once dry! These are great for all day lines and to kick it up a notch they are perfect for lining your waterline (the secret to getting those smokey sultry eyes). This one is the best deep black… but they have a ton of other shades as well. This one is just the one that looks great on everyone! (especially you brown eyed beauties!)

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You’ve got to bat your eyes like this….: Mascara is probably second runner up to my favorite make up product. But it’s tricky too because so many mascaras flake off and leave my eyes a hot mess by the end of the day.  They’re Real by Benefit… it goes on and STAYS on. Actually, you’ll want to remove this with makeup remover or coconut oil works great too. But I’ve found that with mascara I get the high end travel size and it’s really great because once I go through it it’s about time for me to get a fresh tube.

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Brushing up on Tools: If you’ve never purchased quality makeup brushes… then you’re missing out. They are by far my best investment in my makeup bag. They last forever. I’ve had some for probably 10 years and with proper care they still work great. (proper care does not include your child dumping fingernail polish on them… I might have cried that day.) But the two brands of brushes I use are Mac and Sigma (which are made to be a duplicate of Mac brushes) So I got you two Mac brushes.  The 129 is a blush brush! Works great for blush and/or contouring. And the 224 A F SAVVwhich if you know the secret to a professional eyeshadow look it’s blend… blend…blend, and this is a wonderful blending brush.  There are many more brushes to add but these are a great start to having a quality set!

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Two things I feel are the key to fuller hair! Roller Brushes and a good root lifting and finishing product. My favorite one right now is It’s a 10 Miracle Blowdry Volumizer spray. It smell great and works! It’s pricey… but I had to include it for you.  In all my years of hairstyling… I wouldn’t be without my Kenra 25 hairspray. It’s won so many awards as a hairspray and it earned every one! It’s incredible! So you’re getting a can of it.

Also drying your hair with a roller brush. Well, actually I recommend drying it with a dryer and your hands and then finishing it off with the roller brush!  These are Jibere lightweight ceramic roller brushes that I have used for decades now.

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Get’er done: I HATE spending a ton of time fixing my hair. I don’t have a ton of time to fix my hair. And as a hairdresser time equals money. So when I started using the Rusk Speed Freak Hair Dryer I knew I had found my best friend! It seriously cuts time off of drying and it’s super powerful!   I also use Hot Tools curling iron which heats up so nicely and makes curling my hair not such a daunting task.  I’m linking to Kate’s How to Video on curling hair HERE.  She even uses a Hot Tools Iron!!  A curling iron is a must have… even if you have curly hair already, you’d be surprised how you can take it to the next level with a few curls here and there with a curling iron. If you get this basket we will order the size that best fits your needs!

And my little loves… bobbi pins! If you buy bobbi pins in the store, they hold like crap, or so I’ve found. So I get the professional ones and those can take a hairstyle from blah to wow in a few minutes! So I’m including some for you whatever your hair color may be. Also… I love using little dishes to keep bobbi pins (so they don’t fall into the abyss behind my bedside table) and I love this gold and white one, so you’re getting that too!!

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After 12 years behind the salon chair, I can’t think of a salon brand shampoo I haven’t used.  My very first salon was an Aveda Concept Salon and their Shampure shampoo and conditioner became my first love I guess you’d say. And I still LOVE it. The smell is heavenly, lightweight and It’s also paraben free.

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One of my closet friends Kristin introduced me to the light airy scent of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue when she lived with us a few years back. It’s wonderful and makes me think of her! And you’ll love it too.

 

These goodies might seem like nothing fancy… BUT they are essentials and I really had to include them!

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* My Tweezerman Tweezers! MUST HAVE!!! And they are in bright colors so you don’t lose them in your purse or makeup bag! These are so precise and I’ve had a pair last me years! (and gals, they are ONLY $5 at Sallys… right near the checkout)

* Nail buffer. It just makes such a huge difference when you use this and then paint your nails!

* Target Makeup Removing wipes. I’ve also used these for years and when you have 5 kids and you want to fall in bed at night, these are perfect for taking the day off without a huge nightly face washing routine.

* My mother in law gave this razor to me last christmas and I absolutely love it. It’s something I probably would never have bought for myself but I haven’t used anything but these razors since! It’s so super smooth and very forgiving when you go days… ahem… weeks between shaves!

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And my basket wouldn’t be complete without OPI. Seriously, I try new polishes all the time and nothing yet holds a candle to OPI staying power! These are my three top classic colors, Big Apple Red, Bubble Bath and How Great is your Dane, and a top coat!!  This collection will have your nails looking fabulous for fall, everyday and even into the holidays!

AND FINALLY… You get to also be a giver when you get this basket!! Giving is SO fun! Whoever gets this bundle gets to give an Adoptive mom of their choice a $50 gift card to Sephora! How fun would that be for a mom who probably would love nothing more than a little shopping spree at a makeup store!

sephora gift card

So there you go…. THE BEST of Beauty Favorites!  $600 worth of wonderfulness and pampering!Best of Beauty Basket-015This benefit is closed but I hope you still enjoy looking at all my favorite recommendations!!

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  • caseychappellAugust 4, 2015 - 6:10 pm

    Sorry guys about the glitch in the comment section! I’m running some updates and trying to figure out why it won’t let people comment. Check back with the post and leave a comment once I get it up and running. Thanks for being a part of this adventure!ReplyCancel

  • Jamie KellyAugust 7, 2015 - 8:06 am

    Shared on fb! I don’t know you at all, but I’m very excited for your family!ReplyCancel

  • Becky GardnerAugust 10, 2015 - 10:19 pm

    Donated and double-shared! Blessings!!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole franklin RossAugust 13, 2015 - 9:38 am

    So excited for you guys!!!! Hooray! (And to get the word out, my big mouth fb shared, re-iGrammed, pinned and tweeted your news! Congrats!)ReplyCancel

  • brettAugust 14, 2015 - 3:44 pm

    Shared on FB! One day I would love to meet you and your beautiful family!!ReplyCancel

  • Angie fletchAugust 15, 2015 - 11:00 am

    Sharing on Facebook and Instagram. What a beautiful story you have! And we love all the same products. Be my friend! Haha Seriously though, praying for protection and a smooth adoption process for you and your friends.ReplyCancel

  • VeroniqueAugust 18, 2015 - 4:35 pm

    I just donated and shared on FB and IG!ReplyCancel

  • Brandy SeagoAugust 18, 2015 - 9:21 pm

    Gave and pinned! So excited you get another superpower baby in your family!ReplyCancel

  • Laura JonesAugust 19, 2015 - 9:31 pm

    Hey Casey! So excited for both families!!!
    I donated and share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
    I thought of you last night. A sweet friend spent time teaching me some makeup tips and sharing her fav products. It was a lot of fun. You two could talk and play for hours. I would have fun just watching you two get so excited about it all. It’s about time I start looking classy so let’s hope I win! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Emily ByfordAugust 19, 2015 - 10:13 pm

    Shared on FB. Excited for you, sweet friend!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah LindenAugust 19, 2015 - 10:18 pm

    I love you and what you’re doing! You inspire me, do you know that? I hope so, because I’m serious! Donated and shared on Facebook. Looking forward to seeing you soon.ReplyCancel

  • MarissaAugust 20, 2015 - 9:42 pm

    Donated and shared to Facebook and Instagram! So so excited for your family!ReplyCancel

  • SamanthaAugust 21, 2015 - 5:23 pm

    So excited for you! Shared on fb and twitter!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie DeanAugust 21, 2015 - 7:35 pm

    so excited! Shared on Facebook and Twitter!ReplyCancel

  • Holli StanfordAugust 22, 2015 - 3:08 pm

    Wow. This makes supporting adoption easy. 😉 Im not sure if I entered correctly but $25 dollars donated through PayPal (notquiteasian@gmail.com) and shared on Instagram, facebook, and Twitter.ReplyCancel

  • Jess ConnellyAugust 22, 2015 - 7:32 pm

    This is such a fun idea and we are so excited for you guys! I shared on Instagram and Facebook (I am not a Twitter person)😊ReplyCancel

  • KatieAugust 22, 2015 - 7:37 pm

    Posted on Instagram and Facebook. Praying for lots of money raised for these sweet chosen littles!ReplyCancel

  • JordanAugust 22, 2015 - 10:44 pm

    Posted on fb and insta a couple of times… Before I knew it got me “bonus points!” So excited! And someone I know but you don’t know donated. Which fills my heart with crazy joy! Your story is worth sharing!!!ReplyCancel

  • Katie BakerAugust 23, 2015 - 12:25 pm

    Shared on FB!ReplyCancel

The Identify Network

Have you ever been in a place in your life where you are at peace and settled but part of you feels ready to bolt at any time…. I have. I think it’s honestly been more of where I stay in my life than a place I get from time to time.

I’m feeling it big time lately! The past two months of going ALL IN to this new ministry has been so incredibly exciting, and also unbelievably exhausting.  I’m smiling as I write this because I see God’s hand all over this and at work in my life and the life of my husband in ways we haven’t ever experienced before. I can see how trusting Him through losing our son, through five quick one right after the other adoptions, through marriage difficulty, through a move across country, through the churches we’ve been members of, and through SO MUCH that He’s carried us to and through. I see how each and every thing has been preparing us to trust and obey, to take and leap and lead, to put it all out there and not look back, to tell our story and to give Him the pen to write more.

At first I was acting like we just would keep living life as usual and add a ministry on top of it all…. not so much.  We are starting a chapter of life where this is our life. It’s our family ministry, it’s our family being on mission together. And that will bring some awesomeness like having daddy home for most meals and getting to travel together. It will also bring some big time adjustments like not having summers off and me having to work with the ministry along side of Dan on a daily basis. We will adjust and we will find out what works best for our crew within our calling.

I have found in this process already two surprises in launching this ministry that I’ve been processing in my head and heart. They are things that weigh heavy on my heart as I fall asleep and when I wake up.  First, The Identify Network is FOR the Church.  And it’s in a way for the church who is struggling with things like loving others who don’t believe as we do, and understanding biblical sexuality, and having a posture of humility when it comes to some of the culture wars that are being waged right now.  It’s for the church that frustrates me because of the pain that I see it causing those I love.  It’s for the co-worker of mine (the only believer I worked with at the time) who overheard Dan’s testimony a few years ago and marched up to the christian school Dan worked at and demanded that a pervert like him be fired or else.  It’s for the church who when my friend confided in her friend that she was struggling with same-sex attraction found herself banned a few weeks later from the children’s department without ever having been talked to… only talked about. It’s for the small groups who when another friend finally found the courage to tell them about her past failures and current battle got chewed out because she had been leading in certain areas of the church and everyone else was so stunned that they just sat there and let her take the lecturing without a bit of grace. It’s for the christian  family who finds out their daughter is becoming their son and can’t handle the pain so they let her walk away into a new life without them.

It’s for them. It’s for a ton of others who do understand grace and love well… but I think where the most impact will be will be with those who don’t.

And the second thing that took my heart off guard is that we will probably lose friends along the way who don’t stand where we stand in the convictions of biblical sexuality. Friendships where previously it was fine that we disagreed… or where it might not have ever or would have ever come up even.  But because this is our focus and ministry calling and we will be very public about equipping the church and counseling those who are struggling and wanting out of a lifestyle that doesn’t identify with Christ, they will choose to distance themselves from us and probably even judge us, call us offensive, and think we are being spiritually abusive. I can to the best of my ability go after those friends and make sure that the conversation is clear and not misunderstood and let them know that it’s okay to disagree on this and still be friends. But I know that to some this will feel like a rejection of them altogether. And I hate that.

So be praying for my heart. Be praying for our family. This is going to grow fast and furious and part of that excites us and part of it scares us.

Real Strength and Courage is a complete

 

Bulldogs of Belief 

For months I’ve wanted to hone in on a group of ladies to pour into in a greater capacity and to invest in their friendships more consistently.  Friendships are a huge part of my life and I’m not a huge fan of shallow relationships. Time and Deep conversation is definitely my love language! (although happy mail and cute gifts don’t hurt either!) I want to be that kind of friend to a specific group of gals in my life!

And I’ve found over the past few months that the ones who I have felt my heart drawn to are the same one who have been so encouraging to us and who who have asked to contribute to the needs of the ministry (which, ask any non-profit, are abundant in the first year or two). These precious friends are who I’m calling my “bulldogs of belief”. Their loyalty and love to Dan and I and the kids is something fierce and they grip hold of the gospel and don’t let go especially when we need reminding of it! They are the ones who are making sacrifices so that we can further the gospel in a dark and confusing part of the church and society right now.  I’ve got lots of exciting plans and ideas and can’t wait to spend time pouring into the lives of our support team in tangible and creative and consistent ways.

IF you want to be a part of this special group of ladies in my life, please email me at Caseylynn_78@yahoo.com.  It’s going to be so good!

bulldog of belief

More Babies: 

Over the past few years I’ve been asked many times “do you think you’ll have any more children biologically?”  And honestly, I don’t know how to always answer that question. We don’t use birth control or actively try to not conceive a child. God’s opened my womb twice to the blessing of a baby and they are thriving in a kingdom much more awesome than life here. I know that I really don’t want to go through loss again. I know that God will sustain us though if we do have to walk that path again. And I know that I am fully satisfied and content with the children He has given us through adoption. In my heart I believe that this is the story He has written and is writing for us for a reason… for probably a million reasons.

And I kinda LOVE LOVE LOVE adoption!

We are still planning on adopting a little baby girl… hopefully THIS year!

She has a baby bed ready for her and she’s already taken over the majority of Abel’s dresser! <3

 I don’t really talk a lot about the details of what’s going on behind the scenes, but at any given time we are getting calls about potential birthparents, emailing back and forth with birthparents, and waiting for the match to be made official.  This takes time and it takes a lot of letting go and trusting God in each situation.

I have only to look at each of my kids and see how perfectly God placed them into my family. He knew those would be the kids He wanted to be ours and nothing could thwart that. I couldn’t have orchestrated it if I tried. So we get a call…. we say yes…. we wait… they pick another family…..we are bummed for a day or two… we wait… we get a call…..we say yes…. we email back and forth….. we rejoice that a birthmother decides to parent…. we wait… we get a call….we say yes… we email back and forth…. we email back and forth again…. we…..  to be continued.  😉

Best of Basket Coming Your way!  

In light of that… and we hope the adoption happens sooner than later…. HOW about we do a BEST OF BASKET Giveaway ????

I had so much fun with them 3 years ago with them….. It was clear ya’ll loved them too. So I’m teaming up with my good friends The Gerber Family who are bringing home two awesome kids home from China SOON!!!

I’ll have it up on the blog sometime the first week of August!  And it’s going to be BEAUTY-FULL!!!

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  • Nicole Wilson ConleyJuly 20, 2015 - 8:06 pm

    Best of Basket!!!!
    And baby girl coming one day!!!
    And going “all in”!!!
    I heart the Chappell family and continue to enjoy seeing how God molds and uses you in the lives of so many! Grace upon grace!ReplyCancel

  • Linda SueJuly 21, 2015 - 8:06 am

    Wow! So much going on! Praying for your latest ministry, and future addition to the Chappell clan! I imagine Abel will be an awesome big brother right along with the other big sisters and brothers!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel KeithJuly 21, 2015 - 10:17 am

    AHHH! I just love you so much. I want to hug your heart.

    So much information here! You were spelling out my feelings in the first third of this post, and so beautifully and purposefully. I am so thankful for the lives you both have led and the lives you both have witnessed to be affected and effective in such a way as you are, and will get to be.
    I love the clarification that this is for the Church and the Churched. I love the entire concept. I love the entire ministry. I will fight for Gods command to love and love well at any time. And that is what you are doing, and it makes me cry with warmth because sometimes it feels like there aren’t people out there who want to love and love well. Like you’re trying to move a giant bolder with a little rock. I love knowing that you both are so passionate in showing love in truth.

    The second third. Just. Oh my goodness. The waves of excitement. oof.

    And the third third. EEEEEEEKKKKKKK!!!!!!!! I LOVEEEEEE the baskets. Can I just tell you that every Thanksgiving season I ask to put out our Christmas things early, just so I can look at that beautiful nativity set? And those wonderful ornaments? And that wreath makes me grin every time I see it on our front door? I LOVE this way of funds raising. And they’re always just so stinkin cool!!ReplyCancel

When friends ask me what conferences to attend I usually say, I’m not sure, it depends on what you are looking for but let me tell you about my favorite conference I’ve ever went to.  It’s the Linger Conference. This year Ben stewart gave one of the best messages I’ve heard. It shot right to my heart and has lingered ever since. So I wanted to share it on here… but also so I could have a quick way to find it again when my heart needs the reminders of His sufficiency and provision.

“The world is unimpressed when we talk about the Prince of Peace but live lives of stress.”

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Someone was telling us today (as a form of encouragement I guess?) that it would be very difficult for us when we are in our 60’s and Abel passes away in his 20’s. (yes… I was making the same face you are.)

And that’s not the first time a person has made mention to his supposed short life span.

So I want to not get frustrated (it’s so hard not to) but instead educate with truth.

Did you know that in 1910 that very few babies who were born with Down syndrome lived past the age of 10? But today they live pretty average lifespans…definitely long past the age of 20. That’s because a lot of times heart defects can accompany Down syndrome… it’s not the down syndrome, it’s just something that can happen in a higher occasion than those without DS. In 1910 they didn’t have near the knowledge and medical treatment and equipment for heart defect repairs that they do now. We are so grateful for the gifts of medical treatment and trained surgeons!!

They also were often institutionalized and well, we’d probably not want to live long that way either.

What people rarely talk about is how freaking lucky any living person with Down syndrome is because he or she is in the 3-5% of babies who were not aborted after a T21 diagnosis.

I think that women won’t stop looking to termination as an option until we stop treating those living with Down syndrome or Spina Bifida or any other person who isn’t “typical” as a burden or a medical problem or as someone who will die early (not that that the length of life has anything to do with the value of that life) and/or cause us a great amount of suffering.

Let’s get out of the early 1900’s….. and embrace the opportunities and gifts of today!

#theluckyfew #downsyndromerocks #livelongandprosperlittlebuddy

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What an incredible first half of 2015!

It’s been 6 months of paradoxes for me.  It’s flown by but it’s crept forward. It’s been super stressful (I mean who tries to quit their job, start a ministry from scratch (check out Dan’s blog for more information about that), and adopt a baby girl with Down syndrome (possibly as early as October!!) in the same timeframe? we do!!)  but yet we’ve had an abundant amount of peace.  I’ve been so happy and fulfilled in living where we do but yet it doesn’t feel like home. I’m more intentional in my relationships than ever but some of the ones I care about the most feel the most distant. I’m getting better at saying No to things but the things I’m having to say No to are getting harder to say no to… and vice versa, the yeses are more of things that I know my future self will thank me for, not necessarily the me of today.  I’m more confident in my faith than at anytime before but yet need Christ more than ever to help my unbelief.

Life is hard and keeps me longing for eternity…. and yet amazingly beautiful and fulfilling.  It’s paradoxical.

Here are my weekly photo picks for a blog I’m so honored to be a part of called The Dallas Littles Club (which is sorta a DFW collection of photographers who take a weekly photo using their big cameras of their own kiddos!  Here’s the first half of 2015!

*and every one of these images were edited with Mastin Lab Film Presets for Lightroom. (I have the Kodak Portra set and Ilford B/W set) I LOVE these presets and they give me the classic look that I fell in love with when I shot film back in the day.

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  • Nicole ConleyJuly 2, 2015 - 1:06 pm

    Cutie patooties! How has it been a whole year since I got to see them again??? AND YOU! Ugh. Love y’all!ReplyCancel

This is a post highlighting my husbands story and how his story became intimately linked with mine. He’s written several blog posts about his testimony and how we are preparing to begin a network that will come along side of churches to counsel and care for those struggling with or loving family members who deal with Same sex attraction (SSA) and Same sex orientation (SSO).

It was our first date. I was smitten by this man’s zeal for Jesus and his dashing good looks. He wanted to be honest with me and told me what he’s telling you now. He shared how just a few months earlier his identity was in his homosexuality. I surely thought that would be our first and last date. I’m so glad God had other plans!

Read PART ONE of My husband’s story HERE.

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After almost two weeks of being without their daddy due to his summer phD class in Wash DC we are More than ready to pick him up tomorrow from the airport. When he gets home we will rest for a few days and then will hit the ground running, we have a non-profit ministry called The Identify Network to get up and going. So far it’s been similar to an adoption process…overwhelming and easy to feel unprepared and unqualified by the many details but when you take it baby step at a time it’s doable and Gods been so faithful to show us in many ways that this is what He’s placed in our heart for such a time as this. We want the church to be known by their love and the authenticity of their lives. We want those who are struggling with their sexual identity and those who are choosing identities not based in Christ to be heard, and loved and to be known…and not with an asterisks by their name. I know personally what it feels like to have my faith questioned, assumed the worst of and accused of leading others astray by my life choices by people who would rather throw stones instead of talk or come closer to see and hear and know. I don’t ever want to be that or to make someone else feel like my love is conditional or that my sin problem is somehow better or less than someone else’s. May I always be like a beggar telling other beggars where to find bread! My faith is in the only One who can change the human heart and change our desires and change the way we love others! 

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It’s easy to get overwhelmed in moments like these when friends and family and co-workers have widely differing beliefs and opinions on things. It’s easy to put those who disagree into a category that’s more distant than before you knew of their stance. But I understand that most of the time people don’t come to their convictions lightly. I know that sometimes we wish that we could believe something different or approach scripture with a different hermeneutic…. but our convictions stay…our hermeneutic is consistent…and our gospel driven love doesn’t change the way we feel about people. Living this way is challenging but worth it because our faith is rooted, loving people isn’t optional and our hope is finding our Identity in Christ alone.

I have long wished for the time where we could tell our love story in it’s fullest most God glorifying way! It’s here!!! In the second post of my husbands story he tells of how we met and the beauty and struggle that came with dating and marriage and how we are resting in His power and sanctification to carry us through all that is to come.

Check out PART TWO of our story… how we met and married and the abundant struggles but more abundant grace that we have come to live in! 

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I’m sitting here watching my kids in full summer mode… the mode where they eat fruit ALL day long and go from playing pretend and being so bored and back to playing over and over again.

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I want to say a lot on here… but then I don’t. I’m struggling in so many areas to know how to put what I’m thinking and feeling into words. I know that I’m not the last word on these issues but I know that He’s given me a voice and I want to use it to share what I know about Him. I know we live in a broken world that makes me long for the day when all will be made right again. But here’s the deal, when people don’t live for the Kingdom of God and for His Glory first and foremost… even at the cost of their comfort, safety and reputation, then we fail to live for what matters most and we will hurt and harm those around us and hinder them to know Him and see Him as Glorious!! 

When people who are trained to keep people safe only do so for some at the expense of harming others…. that’s not being Christ like, it’s letting anger and fear rage.

When people only support businesses who fall in line with what they believe and publicly call for a boycott others who don’t…. that’s not being Christ like, it’s letting law and judgement rule.

When families let things like personal convictions on drinking, holidays, lifestyles and other non salvation issues keep them from living in community… that’s not being Christ like, it’s being judgmental and selfish.

When people are mean and distant to their adoptive family friends because they aren’t doing it the way they think it should be done… that’s not Christ like, it’s letting pride and personal convictions take the throne.

We are a messy people who thankfully salvation and sanctification wasn’t put into our hands to accomplish! But more and more I’m longing for Christ’s return and a righting of wrongs and everything sad to be untrue. A new Kingdom of glory and goodness is coming… and it will be more real and tangible and incredible than the one we wake up to and fall weary to sleep in!

That’s where my hope is.

Come quickly Lord.

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To the mamas with rowdy boys who act before they think and who bounce off the walls and see EVERYTHING as something to either deconstruct, sword fight, climb, touch, throw, dig, or lick.

Keep on keeping on for the day will come when you will be so glad you endured and didn’t give up pressing into him.

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I’m so glad to have spent the past 5 years studying how this guy learns and training his heart towards obedience and his mind towards attentiveness. And I know I have a lot more studying to do in the coming years. Jack is the last person you think is listening or paying attention (he’s usually humming or talking or hanging upside down) but he by far hears and retains more than any of my other kids…and I’m serious you would think he’s worlds away when you’re trying to talk or share something with him, but he’s not!! (I wouldn’t know that though unless I intently study him)

I think we as moms want our training and mothering to pay off far sooner than it does and so we give up or switch courses or remain very frustrated when we don’t have results as quick as we want them. I’ve found that I’ve had to tell myself…”what kind of 20 year old do I want my child to be?” It’s when I think long term that usually the more immediate worries of the right now fade and the focus becomes that of their hearts. I know my kid will be reading, not wetting themselves, and not taking toys from their siblings when they are 20…or let’s hope so.  But will they love learning, respect boundaries, take initiative, and honor people? That is what I want to spend the bulk of my parenting on….but those are very often the things that take a whole lot longer to see cultivated.

I love movies like The black stallion and The man from snowy river. Movies starring magnificent horses who most everyone wants to shoot because they are wild and looked at as harmful and useless to a tamed society but then someone special comes along and they help turn this horse into the very one to do the unthinkable and accomplish the incredible! 

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Right now many of us moms are dealing with wild bucking hearts that are difficult to tame and society rolls their eyes at our efforts.  I want to be that special someone who celebrates and nurtures the great potential in them. A parent who trains with the end of the movie in mind when everyone’s jaw drops because an unexpected hero emerges!

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The first time I met Kari 2 years ago was when she showed up at my door with dinner and homemade watermelon sorbet. We had just adopted Abel and she contacted me and said “I’m bringing you dinner.” as a mom of 5 under 5 I didn’t argue!  We sat together and she was telling me about research and planning she was doing because she had a dream of opening a farm to cone local ice cream shop.  We became a part of the same book club and then we moved into the house right behind hers. The day we moved into our home we didn’t have anything in our fridge but we did have 4 pints of MELT ice cream in our freezer because she somehow knew that after moving in the dead of summer in Texas nothing says “I’m home” like ice cream!  I’m so glad God has brought this sweet and fascinating person as well as her sweet and fascinating frozen creations into my life.

If you live here in the DFW area… you have to take a trip to this  bright yellow shop of local and hand crafted ice-cream. Her flavors change with the seasons… but my all time favorite flavors is Salt Lick, so whenever she has it, get it before it’s gone!

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Check out our other adventures around Cowtown! 

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  • Ashley TremaineApril 12, 2015 - 3:05 pm

    I just recently started following you on IG, and came to your blog today. I live in Fort Worth and will be visiting Melt with my 4 kiddos soon!! Sounds yummy! I can’t wait to continue reading your blog and learning more about adoption. { I feel this desire in my heart that I can’t quite put my finger on, and feel God is working through me, but hasn’t made the way clear.}

    Anyways, beautiful blog…gonna go read more now!!ReplyCancel

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