Adoption Update

It's been a while since I've done an adoption update - yes we are still adopting!  For those of you who might be new, we started the adoption process in January 2012 with Uganda, and we were placed on hold during our pregnancy up until Liv turned 6-months old.  We are approved for ages 0-4.  This blog was originally started to chronicle that journey, and while it still will, it will also be a place for me to blog about motherhood and our lives in general.

Liv turned 6-months old in May, and we officially went back on the waiting list for a referral.  We had to update our home study and get re-fingerprinted with the USCIS.  You get one free fingerprint renewal, so hopefully we'll be in process by the time this one is up!

We've moved up 2 spots since going back on the list, but it is really impossible to say how long we might be waiting.  It could be months before we move again.  It all depends on so many factors out of anyone's control, and we're at peace with that.  We're just enjoying this precious time with our sweet girl - as any parent knows, it goes by so fast!  We are so thankful in hindsight that our agency's policy is to put couples on hold when they are expecting.  New parents really need time to bond and enjoy their new baby, and I'm really thankful we've had that with Liv.  I know once we adopt our son, no matter his age, he will need a lot of bonding time with us too.

It can get a little overwhelming when I begin to think about all the details that will have to fall in place with travel and work once we actually get a referral, but I just keep reminding myself I serve a faithful God who is interested in those details, and everything will come together when it needs to.  There's no use wasting time in worry.  Like He knew Liv was coming all along, He knows who our son is and we're trusting Him with those details and timing too.


Sharing My Story: Infertility

GloriouslyRuinedYou guys, I am so honored to be guest posting today on my dear friend Wynne's blog, Gloriously Ruined, as part of her Fertility Friday series.  She has been such a sweet friend to me throughout my infertility and adoption journey, and she has recently been sharing her infertility story on her blog.  She has inspired me to be brave and share some of mine as well.  I truly hope it encourages someone, so hop on over and read my guest post 


Big Changes, Slowing Down and Focusing on the Important Things

I'm not sure I still have any readers after not posting for approximately 6-mo., but hello to everyone who has stuck around!  This post is what's on my heart and may be a little sappy, so you're forewarned :)

Our lives have changed so much since the birth of our daughter, Liv Carolina on November 3rd.  There is much less free time and rest around here, but there is much more love, joy and contentment than I could have ever dreamed possible.  She has brought such light into our lives, and everyday I just look at her in awe.  I find myself staring and soaking up every detail of her - tiny fingers and toes, her daddy's eyes when she laughs or smiles her open-mouth grin that I can't get enough of, baby-soft skin and grey-blue eyes that look at me with such love it literally hurts.  It blows my mind how quickly she grows and changes every day.

I have also changed a lot since becoming a mother.  I don't have it all together, but I'm okay with that.  Slowing down and living more simply has been refreshing.  I spend much less time on social media and worrying what everyone else is doing, and more time focusing on my family.  It's been quite freeing honestly not keeping up with everything and everyone all the time.  I try not to stress too much about my house being perfectly clean/neat (who am I?!) or feel the need to have my to-do list checked off every night before bed.  I spend my days off playing, rocking, feeding and holding this baby girl.  I let the unimportant things come after spending time with Brandon and Liv.  I remind myself daily that in 10 or 20 years I will never wish I had cleaned more or folded that pile of clean clothes rather than rocking Liv to sleep or watching a show with Brandon after she's in bed.    

I am more aware of how sacred and fleeting time is and how much wonder is in those little eyes when figuring out something new.  Being present has become a conscious effort of change for me.  Knowing this could very-likely be my only experience giving birth and raising a baby has made me so thankful and aware of my time as a mother.  I held her non-stop during my maternity leave, letting her sleep on my chest as much as possible and guess what, she sleeps just fine in her crib ;)  I wouldn't trade that time for anything; feeling that tiny newborn snuggled up against me.  That is perfection.  We rocked her or walked her around to sleep every night for months, and we still do if she lets us, and most nights she falls asleep on her own just fine now.  Those are sweet, sweet times in the dark breathing the silence and weight of her in my arms.  I love that bonding time with her.  Witnessing her first time rolling over and then sitting up, seeing her expression when tasting food that I made her for the first time and watching the gleam in her eye when her daddy sings her songs  - these are the things that fill my heart.

The Lord is so good, and I am so undeserving.  All the years of waiting to become her mother were part of His plan, and although I wasn't always happy about that, looking back I am thankful for the process.  God was preparing my heart to love and trust Him fully - the years of waiting were not wasted!  This happy, lively, spirited, sweet girl, well God knew she was coming all along.

Stay tuned for an update our adoption process soon!


New Christmas EP is Now Available!!

New Christmas Music.

Im excited to be releasing this Christmas EP.  It was super fun to record - as it was done with some really great friends.

Here's the scoop.  I really like Christmas music.  But Im a traditional guy when it comes to Christmas music.  Im not a huge fan of "new" Christmas songs.  Thats just me, and I know many people are different.  So when we went to record this project, our vision was for you (the listener) to be able to add this EP to your already awesome Christmas playlist and to enjoy the songs while hanging out with family and friends, or driving down the road!  We recorded an instrumental track too, called Christmas Medley.  One of my favorite things to do is to just listen to Christmas Instrumental music.  Fire lit, Christmas Tree lights on, Coffee/Hot Chocolate...and Christmas Music.  Its the small things.  Merry Christmas!
This EP was recorded at the Bongo Tree Studio.  It was produced by myself and Joe Dunlap.  This album also features some really awesome people - Kile Yurchak, Robbie Householder, Lauren Householder.  It was mastered by Swaff.

You can download the new Christmas EP, along with any of my other albums, by clicking on the SHOP link above or by clicking HERE!  It will only be available for Download here on this website for now.  Also, you can buy Digital Download Cards to give out to all your friends and family this holiday season!

Merry Christmas!

Visit Brandon's Website at www.brandongilliam.com


Our Daughter Has Arrived!

Liv Carolina Gilliam
Born: 11/3/13 at 7:13PM
Weight: 9lbs 12oz
Length:  22 1/2 inches

Liv was one of the first names we put on our list after we found out we were pregnant, but we didn’t officially decide until just a couple of months before our due date.  We love the name Liv for several reasons.  It is classy, beautiful and a little bit different without being strange.  It’s smart and sassy and adorable. 

The best part about her name though is its meaning.  We knew we wanted her name to mean something special to us.  Once we found out the meaning of the name Liv, we knew that was it.

Liv means, “my God is a vow” or “promise” in Hebrew and “life” in Scandinavian. 

Over the years we waited and prayed for a baby – some of the most difficult times of our lives.  Despite the pain, the Lord never left our side, always promising good things for us in His time and vowing His love over us.  He has been faithful to fulfill the promise of a baby through this special little girl, and her name will remind us of that every single day.  He brought a beautiful, miraculous life into the world named Liv.

Her middle name also has special meaning, because it is a nod to both of our lives.  One of us being from North Carolina and the other from South Carolina, we felt Carolina would be the perfect fit.  We both have wonderful memories growing up in the Carolinas, places that we will always feel at home whenever we think about or visit them.  Naming her after such special places honors both of our families and our roots.