Welcome to my little piece of the World Wide Web.
The day I created this blog I titled it “everyday things.” The look, the layout, the series, the projects, the weekly and monthly posts and more have often changed, but the title never has. This blog is my online journal. A place where I write for memories’ sake, the place where I write to give a voice to others and the place where I write to simply air it out. Writing is therapeutic for me and I thrive off connecting with other people whose journeys are in ways similar to mine.
A little bit about me for new readers …
I am an East Tennessee gal transported to Cincinnati, Ohio where my husband is finishing his medical training. He has wrapped up his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics and is now completing an additional three years of training in pulmonary (lungs)/critical care. He is the hardest working person I know and an exceptionally thorough doctor who cares a great deal about his profession and the people who he calls his patients.
We married in May 2003 (which is where 503 came from) after dating for 6-months and being engaged for 5.5 of those 6-months. Yes, we were engaged in only 2-weeks, but we have known each other since high school and were the best of friends for years leading up to the big kiss. I adore him.
Tenderly and as vulnerably as possible I have written often about our journey with infertility. In 2006 (as we were wrapping up our last year in medical school) we slowly began the process of starting a family. By the summer of 2007 we had wrapped up work and school in Memphis, traveled through Eastern Europe for 3-weeks and settled in our new house in Cincinnati. We were truly ready! Unfortunately, nothing happened and by winter of 2008 I wrote this post. Early 2009, with the help of fertility treatments, we finally got pregnant and quickly miscarried. I grieved heavily and then, as grief always does, the heaviness started to lift. We tried our very best to stay grateful, hopeful and optimistic that year, but hope came and went and came again. Yet, with all of the waves of sadness and despair God was so faithful and present. God used infertility to change me for the better forever.
In October of 2009 I was hired for the 2nd year in a row to photograph a week-long bike tour across the state of Tennessee promoting adoption. Again, I was so inspired by all the stories from adoptive parents and adoptees themselves. On that trip I begged my reluctant husband to open himself up to allowing us to at least just call an adoption agency. He agreed and more importantly I felt the okay to make the call. On the Monday after I returned home I called a local agency here in Cincinnati and shared our story. Information came in the mail just 2-days later and I tore through every page. I was ready, excited and totally freaked out. Corey was just freaked out.
We sent in our paper work to officially start the process, attended the classes, read the books, received visits by a social worker way too many times, had a fire marshal inspect our home, gave our fingerprints, received background checks, made trips to the doctor and more and finally … finally we were approved! I stayed up all night one night creating our “Dear Birthmom,” profile book (a scrapbook of sorts to show birthmoms who we are, our family, friends, things we like to do, etc.) and in February our homestudy was officially done and our book ready to be shown.
The third week of April we received a call that we had been picked by a birthmom and July 15, 2010 we welcomed home our first daughter, Charley.
It wasn’t until months later that one of my readers pointed out that the title of the post I wrote when we miscarried is the same name we gave our firstborn. We had never made the connection!
Of course everyone told us we would easily get pregnant now that we had adopted, but still to this day that has yet to happen. So, spring of 2011, just months before Charley’s first birthday, I started to get the itch again. Thanks to a relationship I had developed with a reader (I love my readers!) we were introduced to a lawyer in California who specializes in adoptions. We made the announcement that we would be adopting again in August and flew out to meet the lawyer just a few weeks later. The details of that trip can be read here. September 21, 2011 we were informed that our check and paperwork had been processed and we were officially in the “ready to adopt” file. We had no idea how long the wait would be, but felt strongly we would hear something in the spring. Scratch that. A little over three months later in the dead of winter …
January 10, 2012 we received a call that we had been matched with a birthmom and that THE BABY HAD BEEN BORN! The following morning we flew out at 6 a.m. in order to get to California and meet our 2nd daughter as soon as possible. She is full Korean and absolutely scrumptious! We named her Lola.
We have a semi-open adoption with both of our birth moms and communicate with them regularly through letters and pictures. We want both of our children to know their birthmoms’ stories and we are thrilled that both of them will have the opportunity to meet their birthmom if they so desire.
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When I wrote that first post back in 2008 I was inundated by emails from women experiencing the same thing. I created a private online forum where we could all connect with one another and most all of those women have gone on to get pregnant and become mothers (most to more than one baby now!). I have since learned that infertility like ours that is unexplained with no eventual pregnancy is quite unusual. I say this because if you find yourself unable to get pregnant do not lose hope. Successful pregnancies take time and truly God is in control. I pray you know that. If you are getting impatient like we were adoption is a *beautiful* option and has left us grateful (like for real, I’m not just saying that) for infertility. Our girls are the cutest babies in the whole wide world and we had no idea our hearts would feel so full.
Any miscellaneous posts I have written in regards to adoption can be read by clicking here.
If you are experiencing infertility or are curious about adoption we are happy to be a resource so please do not hesitate to email (——–> contact) with questions. We know full well just how overwhelming life can feel when pregnancy doesn’t come easily.
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Apart from adoption I am quite fond of creating photographs and teaching others how to do the same. This is why I founded The Define School : an unconventional online school for the evolving photographer.
I have had the privilege of interviewing some of the best in the business. If you are just starting out or need a little inspiration you, too, may benefit reading some of these interviews I hosted right here on my blog:
In addition, I love writing for other websites and blogs. Apart from miscellaneous interviews I have done, I wrote a 2-week series for MCP titled “From Hobbyist to Professional” which can be read here. I also wrote a post for MCP titled “Eradicating Stiff, Nervous and Awkward Subjects Forever” that can be read here.
I also used to write regularly (pre-baby-crazed days) for The Creative Mama and have written several posts on DIY projects, notes on infertility and motherhood and bits and pieces on photography, including my most popular post titled, The Importance of YOU in Photographs. All of those posts can be read by clicking here.
I did an 11-week series where I critiqued readers’ photos emailed to me. You can read and watch all of those critiques here.
And, a bit off topic, you can see Charley’s nursery which was featured on Apartment Therapy’s Ohdeedoh here.
Oh, one last thing: I care a great deal about every one of you who read this blog and wrote a post about why here.
Thank you for being here,