September 27, 2016

Junia!!!!


Right about the time we decided to adopt again last summer, this blog became pretty neglected. All the time I would have spent blogging was taken up by adoption paperwork, profile book making, and fundraising. Oh yeah....and raising a two year old. And the more time that passed, the more overwhelming it felt to try to make a come back. So, I posted the occasional adoption update, wrote my thoughts down in notes in my phone, and just stuck to sharing my favorite pictures on Instagram. But, now the adoption is finished, and I have the prettiest little babe to show off, as well as the cutest toddler, and so many thoughts consuming my brain that I must get out, so I'm going to see if I can't get back in the game. 

So, let's start with this new little girl rocking our world right now.
Our little Junia Je'Brianne Swenson Kinnier was born on April 29th at 7 lbs 5 oz and 18.5 inches long. 
We first heard about Junia just 2 1/2 short weeks before she was born. As soon as I read the email about her and her birthmom, I felt incredibly drawn to her. I couldn't shake the feeling. After much discussion and prayer, we decided to have the agency present our profile book to her birthmom. Our only hesitation was the fact that we were pretty short on the funds we would need for the situation.  But, we knew that if this was our baby (which I REALLY believed she was), we would be chosen and God would provide. Well, sure enough, she chose us, and sure enough, the money came in! We got to talk with our birthmom that night on the phone, and it could not have gone better. We were in shock that this was all happening so fast but so so excited to have a daughter on the way.
We flew to Utah the night before our birthmom (I'll refer to her as J from this point on) was induced so we could have dinner with her and get to know her better. We were all so nervous to meet,  but conversation flowed easily, and we loved getting to know each other. 

The next morning, our Junia was born bright and early, and we headed to the hospital to meet our new little one. We couldn't believe how beautiful she was when we first laid eyes on her. We spent the next two days at the hospital with her and J. That time together was so special and is something I will never forget. We bonded with J in ways that made it so hard to say good-bye at the end of the hospital stay. We talked and laughed and cried and hugged a lot. We covered the full gamet of conversation topics and we were so thankful for the ways she opened up to us and shared her life. Her love for Junia was incredible, and she got to see how loved Junia will continue to be. It was a beautiful, heartbreaking experience that I would not trade for anything. I've said it many times before, but the whole experience and the compexity of emotions is indescribable. To feel such heartbreak and elation at the same time is difficult to explain, but the whole experience is an amazing gift. We are blessed to have this special relationship with J and love that she will remain a part of our lives. Even though saying good-bye was hard (like so SO hard), we know it wasn't good-bye for good.


Top 2 Hospital Moments:

1) When Silas met Junia. Our parents brought Silas to the hospital to meet Junia a little later on the day she was born. He was so sweet and gentle with her and kept saying "Look at her" and "That's a baby" and wanting to hold her. I love that he and J got to meet and that she got to see how much he loves his little sister. 
And this also happened at the first meeting....

2) At the end of our second night in the hospital, we were going to leave to let J get some sleep. After everyone left, she asked Nick and me to stay a little longer. A little bit later, a dinner cart was rolled in with steak, flowers, a box of chocolates and some sparkling cider. She had ordered the "celebration dinner" to surprise us and share a special meal with us. We were blown away by her thoughtfulness and so thankful to have that special time with her.

The entire experience could not have been better, and we are so enamored with our little Junia. She is such a joyful baby, and we are so incredibly happy God chose her for us and us for her. We are the luckiest parents in the world. 

And now for photo overload of our time in Utah...
 About to go in to meet our girl for the first time!
Court to start the process to finalize the adoption! Nick had pants this time!

Thank you for all the prayers and support that helped get us to our girl! We are eternally grateful to everyone who played a part in this adoption.

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February 6, 2016

Adoption Profile Book II

Our latest profile book is done! It's actually been done since October, but I'm just now getting around to posting it, as blogging has been a little on the back burner lately. For this profile book, I wanted to do something different than our first one. I loved our first book but felt like I wanted something a little cleaner and simpler this time around. I designed all the pages in photoshop then uploaded them to blurb to print the book. I loved the quality of their books last time around, so we went with them again and were not disappointed. Also, Silas is in this book, which significantly ups the cuteness factor.
And, here are the digital versions of each page, in case you want a closer look...

 
I've had a lot of questions since posting our last profile book about where to find graphics and how to design the pages. If you are looking to design your own profile book, there are great fonts on dafont. You can also find tons of great graphics in their dingbats section. If you don't know how to use adobe programs like photoshop or illustrator, you could try picasa. It doesn't work for everything, but it allows you to make collages and create pages. I made most of our first book in that program before learning how to use photoshop.

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