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Our story to Adoption starts here…Chapter one.

This is our God-daughter, Kenley, with me on my wedding day.
I was one of the first people who knew she was in her mother’s womb.
Her mom, who is the closest thing to a sister I’ll ever have, sat on my bed at my parents house and told me.
I was twenty-one and she was twenty, and she was scared.
Honestly, we both were.
Scared and completely over-joyed…all at the same time.
The next nine months would prove to be hard but life changing.
She would work hard to finish as many college credits as she could
and put away as much money as possible before the baby arrived.
God used that pregnancy to show my sweet friend and sister, Missy, how strong she really is.
And, most of all, how strong HE is in her.
It wasn’t just her being pregnant and unmarried that was hard.
Kenley’s dad is African American.
And, most people in our rural North Georgia town didn’t know what to do with her news except to judge it.
After a long nine months,
all of the people who loved her most gathered at the hospital on that hot and humid, 28th day of July
and welcomed a precious child of God into the world.
No one had any idea of the impact this child would have on their world view.
 Anyone who met her loved her.
And, once they loved her, they had to face that nagging racism that lived in them.
It was beautiful to see God change the hearts of so many through this child.

She turned sixteen this past summer.
I have no idea where the years have gone, but she’s the most beautiful person you’ll ever meet.
{inside and out}
I knew from the moment she was conceived that she’d be a world changer.
 God can take any situation, no matter how hard it seems, and he can make it good.
{Romans 8:28}
None of us can imagine our lives without her.
Thank God, so many hearts have been changed in that rural North Georgia town that we all call home.
Racism isn’t near the presence that it was years ago.
And, I have no doubts that these two were a catalyst to all of it.
Missy went through something that was bigger than her and watching her changed me
…more than she’ll ever know.
My husband, Andy, met Kenley when she was around six months old and took a part in teaching her to walk.
Somewhere in the midst of knowing and loving Kenley, a desire was birthed in our hearts for adoption.
I’ll share more later on about our journey to bringing our daughter, Lydia, home from China,
but, I couldn’t start the conversation without telling you about who God used to give us our desire.

I had to show you a picture of Missy with her husband, Daniel.
They got married almost eight years ago.
I’m so thankful for the love that he has for Missy and Kenley!
~He is the *perfect* fit for them~

Linking up with:
tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Magui - Tara dear … share the story is very touching and hopeful that we can continue fighting to change the world, as you did, from a small act that proves to be huge! … How good that your heart is no place for discrimination … I admire you friend … kisses … Magui

paige - what a beautiful girl
and what a beautiful story…

i want to hear more & more sweet friend

ps–i love your heart. have i told you that?

LuLu - Your story has completely captured me… such a beautiful family. Thank you so much for sharing it and i can’t wait to hear more,
xo,
LuLu

Marnie - Kenley is beautiful. She must get a lot of dates :0) I live in a very multicultrual part of Canada and I love it. I’m glad to see everyones hearts melted when they met her. What a boring world it would be if we were all the same :0) I enjoyed your post. Thank you for that. I look forward to the rest of your story.

Courtney {a thoughtful place} - What a beautiful story. Kenley is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to hearing more!

Pine Tree Home - Perfect timing reading this. My dear cousin, who is like a sister to me, just endured the most painful year of her life exactly the same way Kenley’s mom did. We all endured and have been blessed knowing through trial there is always love. The new baby in the family brings tears to my eyes often as she radiates love. I can’t get enough of her.

Kenley is beautiful! Thanks for sharing this story.

Farmgirl Paints - She’s a doll. Beautiful story. Can’t wait to hear the rest:)

Traci - Can’t wait to hear the rest!

Megan - A beautiful start to your story! God is so good to put people in our lives to teach and grow us. Thank you for sharing their / your story.

Hailey - Thank you so much for sharing. Can’t wait to hear more. She’s absolutely beautiful and what an awesome mom and Godmother she has!

Katherine @ Grass Stains - What a moving tribute to a beautiful family! It makes me wish I knew them all. :)

Sheri - great story and a beautiful young lady. You can hear it in your words how very proud (and rightly so) you are of them.

Tate Family - “Anyone who met her loved her.
And, once they loved her, they had to face that nagging racism that lived in them.”

so true. so true. <3

The DIY Show Off - I love you story and look forward to reading more. Beautiful girl, beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. :)
R

* French Farmhouse 425 * - ~*Beautiful post..she is so beautiful too!! What an amazing testimony to God’s greater plan!! Reminded me alot of my story with my oldest son I had when I was 19. God is good!!! Hugs,Rachel ;) ~*~*

Lynda - what a wonderful WONDERFUL story…..I have to keep myself from crying!!! Looks like Kenley was meant to come in to this world for a reason…..and look at her!!!!! THank you for sharing!!!

Love
Lynda

Southern Gal - What an amazing story! She is just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing.

Erin - Wow. “And a child shall lead them.” God can do so much with one tiny baby’s life! She is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this! I usually have time to read one blog post each morning before my coffee gets cold and the baby needs me and I’m so glad I chose this one!! And looking forward so much to Lydia’s story (love that beautiful name by the way)

Lissa - what a sweet story! what a lucky girl!

blondiensc - What a beautiful story Tara…wow..she is a gorgeous girl, thanks for sharing, can’t wait to hear more about your adventure!

Erin - love the story…she sounds like a world changer.

Amy Sullivan - Beautiful girl, beautiful story. Isn’t it funny how much best friends (and their children too!) change us forever?

Mama Abby - LOVE IT ALL! this is God at work…so, so beautiful:) and Kenley has the same birthday as both a niece and nephew of mine…also our “florida family” have 2 adopted children that are mixed race…we all love them so!

i praise God with you for this world changer!

LouLou@thelifeofloulou.blogspot.com - I’m a fellow adoptive mommy. I have 2 bio sons aged 14 and 16 and 2 little angels from Guatemala aged 3 and 4. I love to hear how God speaks to us and lets us know that we are SUPPOSED to adopt. Your story is beautiful, and so if your goddaughter.

Janie Fox - This God of ours is so awesome. I just love how his plans unfold!

LLH Designs - Goosebumps…all over! My sister is adopting a mixed race baby this month (and has a mixed race baby of her own; her husband is black). Your God-daughter is gorgeous. I get misty eyed every time I hear of a mama who did the brave and good thing of giving birth even when it was scary and hard.

Thank you for sharing!
Xo,
Linsey

PS – you’d like my friend Missy. Her blog is “It’s Almost Naptime.”

Brandi - My eyes filled up with tears as I read this story. I am so happy you found my blog and I in turn found yours. You are such a beautiful person! I am so happy to be able to read your stories and become inspired by them.

The Mac's House - I really love this post. My daughter had a child 2.5 years ago out of wedlock, her life is not what she thought it would turn out to be and has yet to find “Mr. Right”. Your sisters story gives me hope that one day not only will my daughter be happy in a relationship but that my granddaughter will have a father that she truly deserves.

Thanks for posting this.

:)
Teri

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