“Watching Waves” 6×6, oil on gessoboard, $75 Buy Now SOLD

You know those people you knew before facebook existed? And then you’re facebook friends, you watch their lives develop in the pictures you see, but you haven’t actually spoken to them in years?  I don’t think I’ve seen Amberly in at least a decade. We went to college together; I attended her bridal shower and then wedding, but after that, the business of life brought us in separate directions, cities, lives.

Amberly and her husband Marshall recently adopted a beautiful little girl, Anna. They now have three girls, Claire (age 8),  Hailey (age 6), and Anna (age 2). I was doing my usual facebook procrastinating last week, when I came across this beautiful picture of Anna at the beach. I reached out to Amberly and asked her to tell me a little about the adoption, and she readily agreed. Today’s painting is based on that photograph that so captured me– perhaps because Anna reminds me so much of my Ezra– exploring, laughing– or maybe because of the story of how she came to her family. When I read what Amberly wrote, it is as though she’s telling me in person. I can hear the excitement behind her words, the love she has for her family.

Amberly’s Story

We have a huge heart for the orphan community and have truly always known we had a desire to adopt one day. We had been blessed with two beautiful biological girls and knew we were done physically having children (with strong urging from my OB), but knew our family was not yet done growing!

In December of 2012, we [Amberly and Marshall] decided that our gift to one another would be to submit our application to an adoption agency, specifically focusing on China. Life went on, and we proceeded through the various steps required to be approved for international adoption. In November of 2013, our social worker called and said she had a file for us to review… It was ANNA!!! We knew from the moment we opened her file that she was ours! It was truly like seeing your first ultrasound picture. We were granted travel approval and permission to adopt Anna from the Chinese government in April of this year, and we traveled to China to get Anna! She was placed in our arms on Mother’s Day. It has been an amazing journey… Hard, expensive, but worth everything!  We have learned to trust that God provides even when it seems impossible, and that he ordained this union and made it happen.