Monthly Archives

June 2014

Adoption, Marriage

Little Happies: Announcing Our Adoption

June 30, 2014

It’s been a big week around TGB. Many Little Happies to recap this week! ūüôā

–one–

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Adoption Photos!

All props to Alzbeta over at Voboril Photography for being AWESOME! We literally did this photo shoot on Wednesday night and within two hours we had these photos since she knew we needed them to launch our Adoption Page on the True Good and Beautiful blog. We had a lot of fun taking this shoot, especially wondering where those giant balloons ended up when they floated off mid-shoot. LOL! Good thing we snapped a few photos with them first.

Oh and¬†can you¬†tell that Jonathan used blue crayon to color wear marks on his jeans or that he used brown crayon to darken the worn tips of his shoes? Didn’t think so. Pretty clever Lifehack.

–two–

sharing

When we launched our Adoption Page here on TGB, generous people began sharing our information on Facebook. This spiked our blog traffic and we had nearly 7,000 views that day alone. We are so grateful to see others rooting for us!

Infertility has been a long and lonely road…and I understand that it’s hard to concretely support a couple going through it. However, with adoption, we really feel a community rallying behind us. They’ve likely all been praying for us all along but now have a tangible way to help. I couldn’t be more grateful. It’s made me realize how we’ve never been alone in this like I was tempted to believe on the dark days.

–three–

FinancialFreedom6Last Wednesday night we took those Adoption photos…then proceeded to stay up all night building the Adoption Page on the blog.¬†We would’ve went to sleep but we had to catch a flight at 5:50 AM to skip down to FOCUS New Staff Training in Florida to teach a class on Finance & Budgeting!

We landed in Florida, drove to Ave Maria and were teaching within 15 minutes of arrival! A few hours later we taught the class again. We slept like the dead that night, especially because we had separate twin beds and no one could steal the  covers. The next day we met with several staff in 15 minute increments for over 3 hours before hopping back on an airplane.

Might sound exhausting to some (and it was) but we absolutely LOVED every second of it. I only wish we took a photo while teaching, as the staff were great students! ūüôā

I also realized we are officially “old” in the FOCUS world. One lovely first-year staff member even asked for our autographs! Yep, we’re getting legendary AKA old.

–four–

adoption page

Last but not least, the launching of the Adoption Page!

Not only have we had people reaching out with ideas on how to connect with potential birth moms, we’ve also had generous people participating in our Puzzle Fundraiser! So far We’ve raised over $1,300 and need to put an update photo up but the puzzle is harder to assemble than anticipated! LOL. An update will come soon.

I’m also excited to see such a positive response from others in the adoption world about our page, photos, and ideas. Honestly, I credit Jonathan’s creativity for 100% of how cool it all looks. I credit myself 100% for making sure it got done. ūüôā We’re opposites but a very complimentary team indeed!

Adoption, Marriage

The Adoption Puzzle is Here!

June 25, 2014

We¬†are publicly kick-starting our plans to adopt and giving you TWO ways in which you can help our family grow. We talked about finding a birth mother in the first post. Now,¬†we’ll explore the second¬†way¬†you can help.

The Puzzle Fundraiser!!!

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Y’all know that adoption is not cheap. We’re intentional stewards of the money God gives us to manage but no…we don’t have a spare $30,000 laying in the bank for adoption.

With time we could save that amount on our own but through praying about this for the past several months, we feel a strong call to invite others to help us financially in bringing our babe home.¬†In our self-sufficient society, we hear God asking us specifically to make ourselves vulnerable in this way…as if sharing our infertility story hasn’t been humbling enough!

‚ÄúReligion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans* and widows¬†in their affliction‚Ķ‚ÄĚ James 1:27

If there is one theme that has been showing up in our prayer, it’s that God is writing a story here and we are simply along for the ride and need to hold on tight.¬†This adoption is not just a means of growing our family. It can be a way to bring The Body of Christ together to answer God‚Äôs call to care for a child in need of parents.¬†Who are we to prevent YOU¬†from being able to answer this call in a concrete way by supporting our adoption efforts financially?¬†For many, perhaps even yourself, this will be the¬†only chance to care for a child in this situation in an up close and personal way and we invite you to come alongside us in this journey.

*When we use see this term orphan, we are in no way implying that birth families are abandoning their child. That’s really not how adoption works. It’s an intentionally chosen path the birth family moves towards BUT in the end the child does need parents to raise them and that is who they are looking for.

Here’s how it works:

  • We have designed ¬†a beautiful 1,000 piece puzzle
  • Each piece can be purchased for a $25 donation or more
  • You¬†can buy one or many puzzle pieces
  • Your name and personalized message (optional) will be written on the pieces you purchase scaled to size
After the puzzle is completed, we will frame the puzzle between two pieces of glass and hang it in our child’s room.¬†This will be a wonderful keepsake to see all the people who loved¬†Baby¬†Teixeira before he/she was even born!

How to Donate:

  • Click on the Donate button below¬†and pay securely through PayPal
  • Write a check¬†or donate cash and hand deliver to¬†Jonathan and/or Amanda Teixeira
  • Mail a check to us¬†(email us¬†at¬†truegoodandbeautiful@gmail.com for our address)
  • If you are interested in¬†a tax-deductible donation, email us and we will provide¬†a link on how to set one up

***Any funds we raise above and beyond our final adoption costs, as they could vary significantly, will be saved for future adoptions!***

Let us know if you have any questions! 

We are very excited to begin this portion of the journey, as we wrap up the home study process with our agency! This step is getting me to understand this adoption is going to be real some day…hopefully soon!

 

Adoption, Marriage

Help Us Find A Birth Mother!

June 25, 2014
We are publicly kick-starting our plans to adopt and giving you TWO ways in which you can help our family grow. In this first blog post, we will explore the first way you can help. We cover fundraising in the second post.

Help us find Baby Teixeira!

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¬†Designated Adoption is where we meet a birth mother via family/friends connections. There is a significant price difference between this route and the Domestic Infant Adoption route, which is the path we will go down if we cannot find a birth mother via family/friends connection. Pursuing Designated Adoption means our agency doesn’t have to provide all the services they would if we didn’t have any birth mother connections, which is why there is a legitimate price difference.

Check out the price differences below:

Domestic Infant Adoption $27,580

Designated Adoption: $8,700-$17,000*

*The reason for the Designated Adoption range is that if the birth mother is¬†also from Colorado, it would cost $8,700. If she is out of state, we are required to get an agency in that state to work with our agency in Colorado…hence paying twice the amount of fees. Still costs less than the Domestic Infant Adoption route.

What can you do to help us pursue Designated Adoption?

Teixeira037

1. Share our photo(s) and intentions via any social media site.

Example: Hey everyone! I know an awesome couple looking to grow their family through adoption. If you or anyone you know is looking for an adoptive family, let me know. Thanks!

2. Ask around about any adoption situations, particularly if you know anyone who works in Emergency Pregnancy Services, Labor & Delivery hospital wing, OBGYN office, etc.

3. Pray!!

Thanks everyone for your generosity and support in our journey towards adoption!

Uncategorized

Little Happies: Wedding Festivities

June 23, 2014

We are back from our trip to Omaha and it was one heck of a jammed packed and fun week.

The primary reason we were in town was for my cousin’s wedding. Leading up to the big day we had several shindigs¬†with out of town relatives. We also were given the task of providing a few deserts for a mini-desert bar at the wedding.

The easiest way to throw these Little Happies together is just to do a photo collage from the week. Here you go:

–one–

lighteningA Severe Thunderstorm rolled through Omaha this past week while we were at a family barbecue.

Naturally many of us gathered in the open garage to be spectators of the hail, wind, rain, and lightening. The bolts were getting closer and closer to our location…so close that one intense and blinding bolt struck a nearby house!!! It was a serious rush of adrenaline for all and the house was fine with minimal exterior damage.

About that time Jonathan ran inside to get the camera and snapped the above photo. BEAUTIFUL and TERRIFYING right? Truly a wonder of nature!

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Directly after the rain storm was a nearby Fireworks show.

Since Jonathan already had the camera out…he snagged this photo.

Getting excited for the Fourth of July! ūüôā

–two–

desertbar.jpg

The mini desert bar! ūüôā

This was a lot of fun and a good portion of our time this week. My mother, grandmother, Jonathan, the Bride’s Mother and I were the busy bees working on various deserts while my Aunt Denise was the creative genius behind the decor.

There were various flavored mini cupcakes, white-chocolate covered oreos and pretzels, lemon bars, carmel apple bars, and brownies. Not to mention there was a three-tiered gorgeous cake these all were complementing.

As you can see in the photos – Jonathan more or less took charge of the desert bar both in making the items and in setting them out and frosting. His love of creating and making things really kicked in and the rest of us were shooed away while he entered his zone.

–three–

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A pre-wedding photo shoot with my parents. We don’t get many family photos together so we took advantage of everyone being dressed up.

Of course, Jonathan and I had to slip some goofy faces in.

–four–

theceremony.jpg

Jeff & Caitlin’s Wedding!!

We snapped some pics from the ceremony. It really was beautiful outside – one day after that severe thunderstorm!

My brother was the best man, so of course, we had to get a shot of him all snazzed up.

–five–

reception.jpg

The reception was right indoors from the wedding, which was really convenient! We snapped some pics from a few of the special moments from the night as well as some silly ones.

I grabbed a photo of Jonathan playing with the kids…since he is really just a big kid himself and I love him for it. I also snagged a pic of my younger cousin who found an afro and proceeded to run around in it for a while.

–six–

photobooth.jpg

Photo Booth!

At our wedding we had one of these photo booths but I never made it in there the whole night. It was a serious regret on my behalf.

I guess to make up for it, we took lots of photo booth pics for the Bride and Groom that hopefully leave a smile on their faces for years to come.

Catholicism, Infertility

God Is Always Good

June 20, 2014

Ever read the book of Job?

To sum it up,¬†life is going really well for Job. He’s got lots of kids, land, sheep, camels, etc. For the time in which he lived, Job was more or less Bill Gates. You couldn’t miss the abundance of God’s blessing on his life.¬†Job was also was a God-fearing man, so he knew where his blessings came from.

If you fast forward a bit to a conversation between God and Satan about our man Job, things begin to change. (Not sure I ever want to be the topic of such conversations…)

In summary, God brings up Job proudly and points out what a faithful follower he is. Then Satan points out that it’s not like Job has had any reason to NOT be faithful, everything going so well for the guy and all. Satan even bets that if God stopped this abundance of blessing, Job would likely be singing a different tune altogether…and not one of praise but of curse.

God then permits Satan to test Job’s faithfulness by allowing him to curse all Job has except his very life.

And it begins. Job’s life falls apart piece by piece. All his hard work, dreams, and health begin to be shred a part.¬†Job’s support starts to dwindle away. His friends and even his own wife began to question WHY Job was staying faithful through such hardship. Despite it all, Job does NOT curse God and deny his faith.

I want to highlight my absolute favorite verse in the book of Job. It’s straight from his lips right when everything is starting to fall a part:

Then Job arose, and rent his robe, and shaved his head, and fell upon the ground, and worshiped.¬†And he said, ‚ÄúNaked I came from my mother‚Äôs womb, and naked shall I return; the¬†Lord¬†gave, and the¬†Lord¬†has taken away; blessed be the name of the¬†Lord.‚ÄĚ(emphasis added) Job 1:20-21

that’s something we don’t hear much of in our comfort, perfection, and blessing obsessed society. Just log in to Facebook once and you will see that 99.9% of the posts (if relating to God in any way, shape, or form) will be praises of God in times of blessing. Now, there is nothing wrong with praising God when times are going swimmingly. We should!!! But, it’s all too easy to ONLY praise God when things are going well. It’s really hard¬†to privately or publicly praise the Lord in times of suffering and hardship.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, of course, in relation to our battle with infertility. I cannot claim that the pain in my life looks exactly like Job’s because that would be a gross overstatement and dramatization. However, ¬†infertility is the worst suffering I’ve ever experienced and I find myself relating to many of Job’s questions to God.

With infertility, I feel like so much potential for good has been stripped from our life. That many¬†hopes and dreams we had have been shattered, since much of them involved children. Unlike Job I can’t say “the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away…” because the Lord has simply not given any children¬†to be taken away. It’s tempting to feel like the Lord has simply withheld. Or to think that “better” people receive the blessing of children from the Lord but not us because we must be undeserving or bad.

Another line from Job sticks out and brings me closer to the entire point of this post:

“Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?”¬†In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Job 2:10

Job, who had everything and then watched it all be taken away, simply states that we should receive whatever the Lord gives to us…and to praise him despite the circumstances we face.¬†That’s incredilby hard to do, especially in our culture today that is hyper-focused on positive, instagramable, pintrest-worthy lives.

The way in which it’s become so EASY to publicly praise God when things are going well sets us all up for something dangerous.

A subtle lie.

The lie that God is only good in times of blessing. That God is only worth praising when things are hunky-dory.

And that is so untrue. God is always good. No matter what our circumstances look like. And our praise? It’s even more powerful when we’re NOT in a season of blessing. When we’re in a season of *$#@ and we can still shout “GOD IS GOOD!” That’s when that statement will hold the most power because it’s a tested statement.

Who¬†wouldn’t shout God’s praises when everything is sailing along nicely and everything is going according to their plans? It’s those times of hardship when Christians need to step up and proclaim God’s faithfullness and goodness. That will speak volumes. I actually think Christians, specifically Catholics with a deep history of redemptive theology ,¬†need to show people how to suffer with hope. They need to know how to allow God’s goodness and mercy to show up in rough and painful times. They need to be taught how to cling to God when it feels like God has turned on them.

I¬†want¬†to praise God in the midst of infertility but it’s hard because of all the anger, fear, and rage I feel inside… He knows my desires even if it’s not always shown in my actions but I have a deep need to proclaim his goodness – for my own sake and for the sake of anyone else reading this who will inevitably run into suffering now or in their future.

I need¬†to testify that GOD IS STILL GOOD even in a life filled with struggle, pain, and un-fulfilled desires.¬†I’ve seen examples of others testify to this when a family endures a tragic illness with a child or an untimely death and they still choose to praise God in the storm. Those proclamations have encouraged me. They’ve given me hope and gratitude that we have a God who can redeem anything, no matter how dark and scary it may be….even if we don’t¬†see that redemption yet.

They’ve inspired me to cling to hope…and I want…I need to do the same.

I don’t want to adopt a kiddo or have a miraculous pregnancy someday (hopefully sooner than later, Lord!) and only THEN praise God. It will be easy to praise God then. You will have to strap me down to keep me from praising God wherever I go. His blessing and goodness will be palpable and clearly seen.

That’s why right here, right now, in the midst of a season of *$#@, I testify that GOD IS STILL GOOD! He is now and will be forever, no matter WHAT happens with our family. God will take care of us and YOU even if we don’t know how it will look.

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall be always in my mouth.” Psalm 34:2

Uncategorized

Little Happies: Our Pup and Some Gambling

June 16, 2014

We’ve been in Omaha, NE for the better part of the week and it’s been non-stop since we arrived.

Many things that make us happy have happened over the week but I forgot to take many photos of most of it…and part of my thinks that is how life should be. Lived. Not constantly photographed and “shared.” That is an different blog post though. Of the moments I did manage to capture, they are below:

–one–

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It’s The Final Paperwork….duhn duhn duhn duhn…duhn duhn duhn duhn duhn. (The tune of The Final Countdown anybody?)

This leg of the adoption process is DONE!!!

Everything was gathered, triple checked, packaged, and finally mailed off to our agency and the States we’ve lived in. Next on the list, we need to schedule our home visits with a social worker in the upcoming weeks. After that? Hopefully approved to adopt! ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā

Please keep your eyes and ears peeled for ANYONE who may be considering adoption for their child and let us know! Thanks!

–two–

mug caminoThis mug.

I leave it at my parent’s house so I can come back and find this gem in the cupboard when I pour my morning cup of joe.

If you haven’t heard about El Camino de Santiago, you need to.¬†During the summer of 2009, I walked The Camino with other FOCUS staff and students and it has and will continue to change my life until the day I die. I am¬†still¬†drawing lessons from that trip. Especially on the road of infertility. I should write a blog post comparing the two journeys and how similar they can be.

Despite the real sufferings experienced on the trip – I overwhelmingly remember all the good things and want to go back and walk The Camino again someday.

–three–

AmeristarAtNight

Wild Pixies at Ameristar Casino.

Friday night we went to the Casinos with my Mother and Grandmother, primarily to watch the fireworks at the College World Series Opening Ceremony….OK and to gamble responsibly.

My mom won some cash off the bat so she gave us a lucky $20 so we didn’t have to cough up our own dough. Thanks mom! From that we ended up nearly tripling her winnings playing Wild Pixies. It was a lot of fun!

By the time we met up with Grandma and Mom later on, everyone had won! A great night overall!

–four–

jonathan bloggingThe World Cup!!!

We’ve been watching the games and will DEFINITELY be watching the USA play Ghana tonight!!

What’s making me happy is seeing Jonathan’s awesome graphics going up on the FOCUS blog breaking down each country complete with stats on what the Church looks like there.

–five–

pupThat guy.

Another FOCUS missionary’s family breeds Labrador Retrievers and we’ve been wanting one FOR-EV-ER but had to wait till we were no longer renters. The pups were born a few weeks ago and our little guy will be set to come home with us later this summer! Can’t wait!!!

–six–

facebook_logoI’m leaving Facebook for a while and feeling HAPPY¬†about it.

Call it cruel fate but Facebook pretty much only shows me pregnancy photos, babies being born, or family photos these days. Seeing these posts one after another sends me into a depressing place I refuse to keep going to. I’m sure one day I will be stronger and better able to handle the bombardment…but that isn’t today and I am happy to finally admit that.

Catch me here on the blog or by phone/email if you want to get a hold of me!