And we're off!

The day has finally come.  A day I felt like would neverrrr arrive.  I've prayed and dreamed for years about the day I would be on a plane headed out to adopt a child.  Since before I was married.   And y'all, I'm here to say, the Lord is faithful.  He is sovereign and good.  He has ordained every step of this journey and I am oh, so grateful.  I say that fully believing it but also preaching it over myself this morning.  I did not expect today to be filled with as many emotions as I have coursing through my body.  I just assumed excitement.  But it's all the feelings.  It's excitement and joy over being so close to feeling the weight of our girl in my arms...these arms that have ached to hold her.  It's anxiety and worry over how she will transition and attach and her future medical appointments.  It's a heart already missing my boys, ears already missing their laughs and lips already missing their sweet cheeks.  It's bittersweet.  The end of a current "normal" and the beginning of a new normal.  A normal I can't wait to begin but also a normal I'm sad to leave behind.  It's feeling protective and saddened by the grief that Scout is about to experience.  The leaving behind of everything she's ever known and the overwhelming days to come for her as she is taken in a car for 3 1/2 hours from her orphanage to the capital of her province to be handed off to strangers (us!) who will carry her out of her old life and into her new life.  And then it circles back around to joy.  This gift of seeing a further glimpse of the way God loves us, His children, and is willing to go to great lengths to bring us to Himself.  The way He gets to be glorified in our lives as He writes a story we just get to play a part in.  Joy.  It always circles back around to be full of joy for what He has called us to.  

As I write this we are sitting in the airport in Detroit waiting to board our flight to Beijing.  I thought I'd share a few things we'd love for you to pray for.  As we continue to feel all the feels it means the world to have you praying and petitioning the Lord on our behalf.  I'm clinging to hope and the power of prayer as we enter into the next sixteen days.  I'm so excited to see how the Lord puts His glory on display in the coming days.  

Here's a prayer card we made...I'd love for you to pray for any of these things! 

My sister posted these on her story and YES.  I would love for your to pick a few of these things to specifically pray for! 


Also here are a few pictures from our morning so far!  I'm hoping to update the blog but also I am going to be posting (probably excessively) on my Instagram stories.  So, if you are interested in seeing more details of our trip, follow me there (jennysconklin). 



Uh oh --- flight is boarding.  I'll upload pictures and our prayer card later! 


Wow!  We've been so thankful and overwhelmed by everyone's responses and encouragement to our announcement!  We are thrilled and absolutely can't wait to meet Scout and it makes it even sweeter that we are surrounded by people so excited alongside us!

When we began this journey of adoption we knew we didn't have the full amount of money to be able to bring a child home but we trusted that God had clearly called us to adoption and that He would provide a way.  Seven years ago I opened a checking account and started saving the money I made from sewing/monogramming and photography to go towards bringing home a baby one day.  It has been incredible to watch the Lord use that account to help fund our adoption.  There is a story in the Bible (1 Kings 17:7-16) about Elijah asking a widow for bread.  She tells him that she has nothing to give.  That she is gathering sticks to make one last meal for herself and her son to eat before they die.  Elijah instructs her to make him some bread anyway and then says "For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”  She obeys Elijah and trusts that God will provide and it says "So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.  For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.".  

Y'all.  This is what has happened for our journey.  Every time our account has run low the Lord has provided in such a sweet way.  One example of that was recently when we had to get our visas.  The total for this was $480.  That night when we arrived home I checked the mail and a dear friend had mailed us a check for $500.  It has happened over and over again as we've walked this path and we are so humbled and grateful for the way He has used our family and friends and community to come alongside us and help us bring Scout home!

As a final fundraiser before our trip to China (we're hoping to travel just after Christmas!) we are selling t-shirts!  (We have our final bill, the largest one, and our flights left to pay for.) We would love for you to purchase a t-shirt to help us bring her home!  You can find all the options at the link above (or by using the link in the menu bar!).  We have adults, youth and kids shirts so you can purchase them for the whole family!  

We decided to design a shirt that meant something to our family.  Wild and Free has become a mantra of mine over the last year and a half.  I read the book Wild and Free which was so encouraging and convicting and liberating.  A book about being exactly who God designed you to be.  Not holding back because you're worried you're "too much" or living under the lie that you're "not enough" but embracing who God designed you to be!  We also want this for Scout.  We pray that she'll grow up knowing that God designed her with purpose and that He will raise her up to be a God-gloryfing, Kindgom-minded, woman after His own heart!  

Not only am I thankful for the freedom to live out the life God designed for me, and to bring a baby girl home and raise her up encouraging her in the same thing but we wanted this to be a shirt that resonated with people.  We want people to live this one life they've been given as a wild and free people!  Living life to the fullest, exploring all God has created, and reveling in the freedom from sin we have been given through Jesus' death for us on the cross!

(Also:  the fact that we have three wildmen under our roof and that neither Jordan nor I have ever been considered quiet or calm added to the reasons for going for a Wild and Free shirt!)

So, if you're interested in purchasing a shirt, jump on over and order one!  There is flat rate shipping of $4.95 OR local pickup in Graham at The Flame Company (located on Highway 54) or in Shoals (at my parents' house)!  This is a preorder for shirts and they will ship by December 15th!  We'd love for you to also help us promote the shirts by sharing my posts on Facebook or Instagram or posting a picture of you in your shirt and using #shirtsforscout!   Again, we are so humbled and grateful for every one of you and the way you've supported us!  It means the world to us and it means a whole new life for Scout!

Good News!

Oh, y'all.  Today I'm here to update with the best news ever!  


May I introduce you to our DAUGHTER!

Scout's first picture 生活照1.jpg

We were matched with her three days before she turned ONE!  We've decided to name her Scout!  And we're hoping to travel to get her right after Christmas!  

Oh, y'all.  What a glorious day this was!  When I opened her picture and watched a short little video our agency sent of her, I was overwhelmed.  I burst into tears, couldn't stop giggling and jumped up screaming all in the course of a few minutes.  It was such a sweet night of so many emotions:  relief, hope, and joy.  I can't wait to travel to get her and I find myself totally in shock that she's OURS!  We got matched on a Wednesday and then went to Great Wolf Lodge for the twins' birthday.  While there Tate made a wish when he blew out his candle and said, "I wished for China Baby to come home fast".  We told them the following Wednesday on their actual birthday (before family arrived) and it was so fun to see Tate's "wish" answered so quickly :)  When our family arrived to celebrate the twins we ended up giving them each a little gift bag with a poem announcing her arrival and inside their gift was a framed picture of Scout!  It was such a fun night to surprise them and celebrate!

Scout's poem announcement.jpg

There are all the big details!  If you are interested in reading more of a timeline of how things have played out, I've added a tab to the blog to keep people up to date.  You can see a history of every step of our journey here!

If there are additional questions y'all have, I'd love to answer any of them!  I know adoption seems like this big, scary, impossible task but I think it's really the unknown of it that makes it so scary.  I'd love to chat with any of you who might be considering adoption or just want to know more about any of the details!  So please feel free to reach out and ask any questions.  We love to talk about it so I'll be excited to chat about it any time!