Hey y’all – I’m mixing it up today and sharing a story that is not ours, but we feel so blessed and excited to be a part of! Stay with me, I promise it’s worth the read! Meet my friend, Angel. Funny story about how we met – Angel was moving from Camp Pendleton (California) when our mutual friend (Sarah in Quantico – check out her milso blog!) linked us up here at Camp Lejeune (North Carolina). Oh, how this military world gets smaller by the day. Sarah texted me and told me about a friend she had moving to Camp Lejeune. I was reaching the popping stage of pregnancy, busy with work and all the usual craziness of raising toddlers and being married to the Marine Corps. I literally told my husband when I went to meet her at Panera Bread that day, “She seems nice, but I don’t know if I have time for a new friend.” (I’ve told her this, and we laugh now!) We ate our lunch and chatted forever that afternoon, and I came home telling the hubby, “Well, I think I have a new friend!” I’m the type of person who loves to invest in relationships, and I was already feeling the need to dive deeper into friendship with my bible study girls that I just love to pieces, which was why I didn’t think I “had time.” But God knew better than I, as He always does, because when I mentioned the bible study to Angel and invited her to my house, she excitedly agreed. Y’all, when she showed up the first night, her husband was already linked up in a bible study with a husband of one friend, she attends college at Liberty University with another, and she was already familiar with another from seeing each other at the gym. Did I mention this Marine Corps world is small? Turns out when I said I “didn’t have time” for another friend God knew that she would fit right in with all of my very favorite people! And now we’re together all the time! It became immediately clear to me from the first day we met that she had a huge heart for children. She literally comes over and shuffles through the pantry to fix my kids dinner, and last night when the big kids were going crazy, she grabbed Aubrey and took her upstairs to change her diaper to give me an extra set of hands. She was one of the first people to come visit Aubrey when she was born and she was so, so, genuinely happy for us. She and her hubby were at our table for Easter dinner and cheering us on at Aubrey’s dedication on Mother’s Day. The love she has for our kids feels even greater to me, because she and her husband are unable to naturally conceive biological children of their own. Y’all, this girl comes to our bible study with babies everywhere, so excited to love and hold any tiny person she can. It is so clear that she and her husband already have parent hearts, and they’re just waiting for God to place the child He has planned for them in their life. Cue the Martinez adoption adventure! After years of prayer and planning, Angel and Justin are ready to take some big steps in their wonderful journey of parenthood that started in their hearts so many years ago. This week, they officially announced their adoption, asking for the support of friends and family in what she is calling – the greatest adventure of their lives!
A quick little bit about Justin and Angel. They are both from Tennessee. They met at the birth (how fitting) of a baby, which they were the godmother and godfather to. So technically, they’re kind of already parents together, ha! They fell in love, and the rest is history. Such an incredible story! Justin is a Staff Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and has been in for twelve years, and Angel is an oncology nurse. They have two sweet pups and love all things camping and outdoors! I’m telling y’all, these people are so selfless and so amazing. They’re working with Adopt-A-Love-Story to share their adoption story, who put together the following video. Just prepare yourself if you watch it, because it will give you all kinds of feels! All of us bible study girls have found ourselves crying watching their videos, so don’t say you haven’t been warned.
And here is another video, where Justin and Angel sit down and share the heartbreak they’ve endured on their journey of infertility. I truly admire Justin and Angel for being so genuine and open in their story. They truly believe that this heartbreak is God’s way of leading to them to the beautiful child they were designed to parent. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you this testimony of faith has been an incredible, Godly example to my momma heart, making me a better mom.
If you watched those videos, you can officially put the tissues away, because this is the fun part! I can’t wait to hold this sweet babe, so I can only imagine how Justin and Angel feel!
Here’s Angel’s story in her own words:
“Justin and I started trying to grow our family through natural conception in October of 2014. Within a year, we were diagnosed with infertility. After many extensive workups and what seemed like endless testing, we each conquered a surgery with high hopes of improvement. Despite the efforts, we were still facing the harsh reality of infertility and the need to consider other options for growing our family. We cried, we prayed, we consulted with friends and family, and we grieved something we never had (more to come about the emotional aspects of this journey at a later time). Through all of our prayer and time spent with the Lord, we quickly realized that we did not have peace with any of the clinical options being presented to us…God was calling us to grow our family through adoption! As the days progressed, it became less about pregnancy and conceiving naturally and more about the opportunity to become parents through the blessing of adoption.”
“Adoption has been near and dear to my heart since I was a young teenager. My sister placed my biological niece for adoption when I was just 13 years old. At the time, I had no idea what she was going through nor what she was doing for another family. God has a cool way of bringing things full circle and now here I am on this journey with such an immense love for birth-mothers and their decision in choosing life (insert tears)! I am so humbled and thankful to have experienced a placement firsthand and know that those moments were not by chance, but at the hand of our almighty God lighting the fire in me. When we officially decided to pursue adoption, we had no idea where to start. We spent countless hours online researching things and figuring out how to get the process started. We decided that once we were settled in North Carolina it was go time! As soon as we moved, God instantly made this dream seem like more of a reality when we were randomly connected with this couple who had just adopted their baby girl four months ago. They have since become our great friends and mentors in this journey. Again, another moment that did not occur by chance! The “godwinks” have continued to come as all of these intentional relationships have formed. We have a loving church family and a strong network of friends in our new community who continually point us toward the Lord and remind us of the beauty in the journey.”
“We are so excited to be on this journey, yet fearful of all the unknowns. There are so many aspects of the journey that are mentally, emotionally, and financially difficult, but we know that we serve an incredible God who always makes a way. We are looking forward to His redemption journey and that sweet moment we finally meet our baby and take on the titles of ‘mama’ and ‘daddy'”.
So, you may be wondering why I’m going on and on about this sweet couple and what you can do.
1. First and foremost, Justin and Angel are requesting prayers throughout this entire process. Specifically, the health of their baby, the heart of the birth mother, wisdom and patience in God’s plan for the adoptive parents, and for the resources to make this daunting journey a dream come true.
2. Follow their journey HERE:
3. If (and only if!) you feel led to offer financial support, they are accepting donations HERE.
So there you have it! Some of our favorite people and Mitchell and Julia making an appearance because Justin and Angel promised them s’mores for all their hard work helping with pictures. 😉 Happy Friday friends! I’ve officially cleaned oatmeal off the table, scrubbed lipstick off the floor, changed five diapers, two doctors appointments (and an eye doctor referral for Aubrey and digesting the worry that she, too, will need glasses), so I’m throwing in the momma towel and taking this crazy bunch to the pool with friends to relax and soak up the SPF.