It’s late Wednesday night and I’m sitting here reflecting on a pretty incredible last couple of weeks. We have been lavished with three baby showers and at this point my baby girl is loved beyond measure before she is even born.
In the last month, we have answered a lot of questions from family, friends and other wedding vendors. It’s complicated. I know!
We made two major announcements last month. The first was our plans to foster/adopt in the summer of 2017. The next announcement was that we were pregnant and due in November.
This really confused people! Are you pregnant? Are you adopting? Are you fostering? Which one is it?
As the invitations went out for our showers, people started reaching out for clarification. It made us realize that we needed to let people in a little bit more about what was going on and become more transparent about our lives. So for the sake of being more authentic, real and maybe laying all the questions to rest…I decided to blog about it. It’s not just about growing our family; it’s the foundation of our business.
So here it goes… Our Family. The Good. The Bad. And all the Pearls.
Before I became an invitation designer, I was a child welfare worker (CPS in the Midwest). It has such a stigma. My husband and I saw so many difficult things. It was like our eyes were opened to whole other world. We often became faux foster parents to teens on my caseload because most of them lived in group homes and needed someone to tell them that they were cared for and valued. It wasn’t easy! We had teens runaway only to have them call us weeks later to pick them up, we had to deal with teens getting pregnant and move from placement to placements. Many weekends, Jon Marc and I started using our “date night” to take kiddos out on an outing for donuts and board games. It was at that point in our lives we decided God was doing something in our hearts. We wanted to offer a safe place for kids who’s homes were broken.
My husband was applying for his PhD and we knew that Oklahoma was not going to be our permanent home. We weren’t sure where we were going to end up, but we had to figure things out soon if we were going to foster/adopt. These kids needed a lot of attention and working an 8-5 was not going to work. However, with Jon Marc in school I needed to continue to work. It was at that moment that we decided to start The Ink Café. It was perfect! I could use my gifts to work from home and take care of kids.
Well…It’s never that easy, is it?! We moved two years later. I continued at DHS while taking classes to refine my graphic design skills. (Thank you, LL Studio). We received an acceptance letter to Mizzou and Columbia felt like home. We moved the summer of 2015 and started the business that August. Most businesses start off with a basis of friends and family support, but in Missouri we were truly alone. We had no friends, no family and we worked around the clock to launch ourselves. Jon Marc would go to school during the days and would help me in the evenings with all the cutting and printing. Can I just say…there were many tears shed?! We were working harder than ever, we missed our loved ones and we felt pretty alone.
By January of 2016, business picked up and it became our baby. We had won an award in St. Louis for our invitations, Jon Marc was getting the hang of school/teaching/helping me, and we felt Columbia become more like home. There was just one problem, the sole reason why we had started the business was lost in the busyness of the season.
We were driving home from Christmas in Iowa when I felt God gently remind me the reason why we had started the business to begin with. For two years, we weren’t show if we should try to have a baby first and then try to adopt. Might I add, our finances were not picture perfect. Heck, he was in school and I was just starting a business. We were far from family and friends that could help us. I started to cry. This seemed like the worst time to dive into growing our family and do what God had called us to do.
On the drive home, I prayed A LOT. I needed clarity about having a baby or starting to foster. We never heard God say anything so we decided to try both and let God open the door he wanted us to walk through. Well, wouldn’t you know it… He opened both doors. We got pregnant that very month and began the journey of fostering at the same time. I cried! There were lots of tears guys. Lol! Truth.
At the end of the day, it isn’t perfect, but we are going for it because we were made for it. If my business never takes off and if we have to make a bunch of sacrifices to have kids while Jon Marc is in school, it’s worth it! We realized that a pearl can only be formed after being refined by the rough sand and waves of life. So cheers to all the Pearls in our life and a year of adventure.
And feel free to ask us more questions… We really are excited to share!