Love, Crashing Over Me.

I have heard You calling my name.
I have heard the song of love that You sing.
So I will let You draw me out beyond the shore.

No fear can hinder now the love that made a way.
No fear can hinder now the promises you made.

“You Make Me Brave” – Bethel Music

Over the past few months, I’ve received texts and emails asking for a blog post/life update. But honestly, I just didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel like posting yet ANOTHER post about waiting & trying to wait with joy and contentment. I didn’t feel like posting yet ANOTHER post about the fun things Jay & I were doing to try to distract ourselves from the “still-no-baby” elephant in the room.

We got the email in January from our social worker. Not the “you get a kid” email, but the “it’s been 18 months and it’s time to renew your home study”. Woof. Had we really been waiting for 18 months already?! So in the span of a few weeks, we re-upped our home study, considered buying our sweet little house in Southend, discovered our landlords actually sold our sweet little house to a higher bidder, MOVED within a month, found a new place, claimed this new place in beautiful Elizabeth as the BEST we’ve rented so far, and then drove at midnight one night to Wilmington to welcome my sister’s first son, Levi.

January and February flew by. We moved and settled in our new place in early March. April we started to come up for air and then on April 12, 2015, at 10:30pm, we got a call.

Our beloved social worker called us late on that Friday night to tell us a birthmother had chosen us. Cue ALL the feelings of loss and disappointment from our previous failed adoption. When she said we were chosen, we both responded with a quiet, cautious “yay”, just dripping with forced excitement. We tried to be truly excited, but our heads were NOT allowing our hearts to feel. We were so cautious, we even considered not telling ANYONE, not even our families.

Saturday morning we both woke up feeling renewed. God dealt with BOTH of our walled-up hearts overnight. We woke up feeling the flood of hope we had tried to be anchored in all these years. We decided to go ahead and share the news, but only with our parents & siblings, and our bosses because we would have to ask off for that next Friday so we could go meet the birthmother.

That next week, I slowly began to wrap up projects & plan for the “what if” scenario of getting a baby and leaving the school year early for maternity leave..all the while, NOT allowing myself to dive in to the real excitement & anticipation of it all. Friday came and we got in the car for the 2+ hour drive to meet the birthmother. We got there early and stopped in for a little lunch & a drink to ease our nerves.


We met our social worker first at a Catholic parish, and then the birthmother got there. We had a wonderful meeting. She’s beautiful and so sweet. She was so excited for us. We talked life, we asked questions about her and her interests so that we could tell this sweet baby girl about her birthmother later.

We gave her a letter that we wrote for her, to encourage her and empower her and thank her for her amazing bravery and for giving us the greatest example of sacrificial love. By placing this baby’s needs and future above her own, she’s modeling what it really means to be a parent. We gave her a painting from our one of our favorite NC artists, Deona Fish, and we bought the same print for us to keep in the nursery so that we could use it to share her story. We left the meeting feeling VERY encouraged and reassured that this REALLY would work out. Still very cautious, but beginning to allow God to fill in the cracks of our broken hearts with His love and His strength.

She was due that next weekend, so that week, we tried to continue life as normal as we could. We allowed ourselves to buy a few more baby things…just in case. We allowed ourselves to think of names. We allowed ourselves to feel more excited and hopeful.

Luckily we had an insanely busy week filled with babysitting, Jay’s birthday (April 21), Jay’s DJ gig, a calligraphy workshop and the wedding festivities of our dear friends. The next Monday, I was coaching track practice and Jay was coaching his tennis team when we got the BEST call.

Our social worker called to tell us that baby girl was born on Jay’s Birthday, mom had signed the relinquishment forms and that we could come pick her up from the hospital the next day! We FREAKED, and then had to go back to practice & pretend like all was normal.

But we FREAKED. That night was like Christmas. We didn’t sleep at all, we installed the car seat, packed a baby bag and prayed to God that this wasn’t all in vain. We knew going into this that it would be a “legal risk placement” because in North Carolina the birthmother has 7 days to change her mind, so the baby could be with us and then not. Ugh.

We drove the next day to meet our social worker and then drove to the hospital to pick up our baby girl. We were led to this consultation room (i.e., closet) where the nurses prepped us a bit on caring for a newborn, and then the door opened. They wheeled her in and that’s when we saw our daughter for the first time. We both started weeping.IMG_4746_2

I got to hold her first and immediately fell in love…and totally drowned out the rest of the nurse’s instructions as I stared at her beautiful face. Jay tried to take notes in between holding our daughter’s sweet little hand. We needed to name her. The nurses left us in the room and we tried out the 3 or 4 names we had brainstormed and one in particular sounded like perfection. It sounded like the name God had been writing on our hearts for years…we just didn’t know it yet.

Amelia Rose.

This is our daughter. It’s been HER all along.












We waited the 7 days at home. I think we held her, rocked her and loved her more and more for all 7 of those days. Then last Thursday, May 7, Amelia Rose officially became ours. I was finally able to breathe. I had been waiting to exhale for about 9 years now, and with the short phrase “She’s all ours”, I was able to release it all.

Once her court adoption papers are processed, we can post her sweet little face, but until then, we will post the sweetest ears, hands & feet photos.

All in the span of a month…Amelia Rose was born, we became parents and we officially began our greatest adventure yet. All in time for Mother’s Day too. Man, God is really good. He is and has been faithful every step of the way.





Still Here.

I’ve struggled with what to write since I returned off my Lenten fast of Social Media. It was AMAZING, by the way, and I still wrestle with whether I want to fully engage again or start retreating away from it all.

So many times I wanted to write about where we are in this infertility journey, but found myself at a loss or just staring for hours at one lonely sentence.

“We are still here and still in it.”

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I wanted so badly to be able to log-on and type those exciting words that I typed last October only then to have to erase them in my heart.

We’ve been waiting, still, and the choice we made – I made – he made – was to try to live joyfully. Not to shy away in a reclusive state, but to find ways to move forward, to find reasons to smile and laugh, and to figure out how to live hopefully in this seemingly never-ending situation.

This is where blogging and life, in general, can get pretty weird. I started writing about infertility awhile ago, but even before that…years before that, I was talking about it with the people in our life. It’s not just been part of our journey…it IS our story and has been for the last 6-7 years. There’s no nice, neat red bow to tie on it…it’s not finished yet.

We press on, walking together Jay & I, and we try to figure out how to do more than just exist…we try to figure out ways to live life abundantly and with a strange joy in the unfinished…in this middle-earth sort of place.

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I have NO idea when or IF there will be some resolution to our story, if that red bow will ever be tied on. Our life’s story remains in this dichotomy of hopefulness in the hopeless. We fight to hope for the family we both believe we will have one day and yet, we try to not become fixated on the things we cannot see or make happen.

This weekend/holiday has been a hard one to wince through for the past few years, but this year, for some reason, all I want to do and feel is celebration.

To celebrate my mother & my grandmothers. To celebrate the many, many mother-friends in my circles. To celebrate the mothers I encounter on a daily basis who trust us to teach their children how to be better, educated, loving human beings at our school. To celebrate the mothers who are about to be – waiting and holding their breath while their bellies grow. To celebrate the mothers who are “mother and father” as they raise their children alone. To celebrate the mothers who are so, so strong as they battle disease, heartache and loss. To celebrate the mothers who FIGHT for the return of their daughters, ripped from their lives.

To celebrate with the mothers whose children may never become a reality. You, mother, I stand with in solidarity today and for you, mother, I will weep until our stories make sense. For you, mother, I will try to smile and I will try to look for the joy in this waiting place.

“We are still here and still in it…together.”



Reluctant Hope

I’m not sure if that even makes sense but that’s the state I’ve been living in for the last few months. In my head. In my heart…tucked away deep inside while displaying an “everything is okay” smile on my face.

I haven’t written in a long time and part of that is because I’ve not been able to put words to what I’ve been feeling. It’s this weird sense of stagnation…of transition. Jay & I have been in this transition period where there’s no definitive end on the table. I guess there’s never really an “end” for these things. Aren’t we all longing or hoping for something to change in our lives?

After we achieve one goal, there’s always something else right behind it. March…April…May…they all seem to be a blur. Sure, I did things, I saw people, I laughed, I cried, I lived. Life doesn’t wait for us, it goes on all around us.

We’ve worked so hard to finish our adoption home study. We completed the mountain of paperwork; we compiled pictures of our life, family and friends; and we had our home visit with our social worker. It’s all worked out beautifully and painless, really.

Now. We wait.

Wait for our home study to be approved. Wait for a birthmother to somehow CHOOSE us from a stack of couples, each longing for children of their own. Wait the months it takes for the baby to makes his/her entrance into this world. Wait for the birthmother to choose and make the most selfLESS decision for her baby, placing him/her with us. Wait for the moment we get a phone call that our little one is here. Wait the seven days for the baby to officially become Baby Masanotti. Wait for that little baby to be ours. Wait for the day our family of 2 becomes 3  (or 4…5…).

I wait with this reluctant hopefulness. When you’ve longed for something and hoped for something to happen for years and years, it’s hard to be in this place of waiting again. Waiting for something COMPLETELY out of our control. One thing that has remained during the last few months…peace. Peace that God is totally in control and he’s “got this”. No reason for me to worry with the “what if’s” or the details of it all. I am at peace. No really, I am. This reluctant hope comes from a place of wanting to be hopeful, positive and excited for this adoption process to be smooth sailing – for a short “wait time”, a pain-free exchange and interaction with the birthmother and for the thousands of dollars needed to somehow magically appear.

BUT (there’s always a but, right?!), I’m reluctant to fully allow my heart to sink into this hope because of the hurt, disappointment, and number of times the answer has been a resounding “no” for us.

I’m trying y’all. For my “cup-half-overflowing” self, I’m trying to maintain hope and find ways to talk myself into letting go of that reluctance and fully immersing myself in the hope that our family WILL grow this year.

In addition to the adoption process, there’s this: hope for a “yes” one day. Our “yes”. I’ve heard all the stories of a friend of a friend of a friend who was going through the process and then got pregnant?! “Aaaamazzzing,” said in my most sarcastic tone possible. I feel foolish to even begin to believe these stories or even allow myself to engage in that thinking. BUT (there it is again)!

BUT. We still hope & wait every month for that miracle of a “yes”. Every month to see if, just what if, we actually COULD become pregnant on our own. Even despite our excitement, commitment and wonderful anticipation for this adoption to work out, we still hope for that miracle for our family. We long for that day that we too can call our friends and family, SCREAMING from the top of our lungs to the mountain tops, that we are FINALLY and MIRACULOUSLY pregnant.

I’m not sure if that feeling, that longing will ever go away…even if the answer is “no” for that way…for the rest of our lives.

So right now we wait and try to find a way to lean into the discomfort of this transition period. Lean into it and somehow find the beauty in it all. Giving thanks for the way that life (does indeed) go on around us.