Sunday, June 23, 2013

A HEAVENLY Celebration //Part 1

I was so excited I got goosebumps when I got the phone call. Carissa, the sweetest lady EVER had just found out that the adoption of her sweet little girl was officially about to be finalized, court date and all! I could hear her excitement and the love she has for this child all over her voice! I was so honored to be asked to document the ceremony and take pictures of all who were there to celebrate with them. I absolutely love and support adoption 100%, it's such a beautiful picture of the love that Christ has for us. So obviously when she asked me to capture this sweet and special day that her now daughter, Heavenly, (how gorgeous is her name?!) got a new last name, I melted. And loved EVERY second of celebrating with this sweet family. Her mom Carissa so graciously agreed to answer a few questions about adoption I thought readers might be interested in (especially those considering adopting) and kind of tell her story. Her story of their journey is below the images at the end. :)  Here's a few pictures from that special day, with sweet Heavenly Joy sporting her NEW last name on her adorable dress. Friends, meet for the first time on the blog Heavenly Joy Wingate, sweet as can be and so dearly loved!

Rachel: What inspired you to begin thinking down the long road of adoption? 
Carissa: The Lord laid adoption on my heart a few years ago and I just continued to put it on the back burner. Last winter, I finally finished reading The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns. Through that book, the Word, I really began to think seriously about it and spent time praying about adoption.
R: What was the hardest part of the adoption process?
C: The waiting was hard, because I knew that there was a little girl out there who was supposed to be living with me and was not. There were days/nights where my heart hurt so badly to be without her...even though we never met! Having her in my home and heart had been incredible but has also brought with it fun challenges too! I went from living the "single life" to being responsible for a little person!
R: What advice would you give to readers who are interested in or have felt the calling to adopt?
C: It is a calling, but if the Lord is laying that on your heart, be obedient. I lived in disobedience for a while, and that is never fun. But do your research, ask questions of other families, your family, agencies, books, blogs and whatever you can get your hands on. Build a network of support!
R: How has your relationship with Christ affected this whole process and your new family?
C: It has definitely been a journey of faith and trust! It has been incredible to watch her learn about Jesus and to have her remind me of His unconditional has brought me closer to the Lord at times and stretched my relationship with Him in many ways.
R: What has it been like explaining to your child that she has a new family that always be there?
C: This has been hard for her to fully understand due to her age, but when we do talk about never moving again, she gets so excited and is very sweet.
R: Now that everything is final, what is your favorite thing to do with your daughter and what do you look forward to the most?
C: Living life! And traveling together and all of the fun new experiences that we get to have together! I love all of our "firsts" together.
Thank you SO much for sharing Carissa! I will definitely continue praying for you and your sweet family as yall grow more and more in the love of Christ! Be blessed,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

2nd Year Lovin'

We just got back from one of my FAVORITE trips of all time. On June 10th, we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary! It is unbelievable that we have been married two years already! It absolutely flew by, and I love my handsome husband more now than I did the day I said "I DO" *Which by the way, I would have said was not even possible on the day of our perfect wedding!  It's amazing to me how God orchestrates our lives so beautifully that while we are glorifying him through our lives, everything just gets BETTER. We start dating, we can't wait to get married. We get married, we can't wait to just get to wake up every morning together. We get to find out we're having our first BABY (!), we can't wait to hold him. Our God consistently not only provides for our every need, but longs for us to live abundantly, and my my my--we sure have these last two years! God has been SO incredibly good to us. We have learned so much about each other and ourselves, but most importantly about God's love for us. Through the victories and struggles in marriage the love and character of Christ is to be reflected, and this is what it is to be truly blessed. Here's to another year of life with my best friend, as we come to a close on the best season of my life so far--as we begin to get ready for a completely new and just as wonderful season with our little man. You're everything I want him to grow up to be, and I love you every day--even more than this preggo lady loves mexican food currently. Which is a lot. :)  Thanks for loving me and our son as Christ loves his church, and celebrating each God given day with me.  :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Kira + Brian

This session had it ALL. Gorgeous light, two sweet dogs, a shotgun, fun hats and a beautiful couple in love. I was in photography bliss. :)  Kira and Brian it was such a blessing to meet you guys and your love for one another shows in every single image! Thank you for letting me be a part of this season in your life! Be Blessed,