wrapping up

This week is wrap up week around here for so many things. We are wrapping up basketball. I am wrapping up the first SnapShop of 2013. Trying to wrap up random projects before we host an overnight guest in the studio tonight. Wrapping up just lots of stuff. So in this wrapping up Friday, this post will make not make any logical sense. Kinda of like me right now.

Chris is a GREAT coach. The boys and their friends enjoy having him as coach for now. I hope that lasts for a while longer.

All my pictures of them playing include too many kids I don’t know…so I won’t post those online. Just know that my 6 year old may be short but he can make a mean basket. I could not be a coach…I get too fired up. It is better for me to be in the stands passing out snacks to siblings.

I will use the pink flourish to designate my transitions today.


So, I am guessing a bunch of you have already heard of Hope Spoken…but I am sure many of you have not. Let me fill you in, here is a blurb from the Hope Spoken website:

“Hope Spoken is a women’s conference where we all can come to know Jesus more, and make Him known in our lives. Our conference will be filled with stories. Stories of Christ in each of our lives, and how we can use these stories for His glory. This is a weekend to rest and feel His love, to lay burdens and hurts down and feel His grace. We want to let women know that they are enough, to encourage women to use their passions, their words, and their creativity for the Lord. We, above all else, want to glorify Jesus’ name and share the hope we have in Him.”

The event will take place March 28-30, 2014 in Dallas, Texas

This is not a bloggers conference. You do not need to be a blogger to attend. Which is good because I’ve never been to a blogging conference and am still a little overwhelmed at the thought of ever going to one. A conference for women, that I can handle. I’ll be there as one of the small group leaders and I am so excited about the speakers lined up. Some powerful stories will be shared. You can find all the details, speaker line up and purchase tickets on the Hope Spoken website.

And just so you know, I already called dibs on rooming with my sister. She’ll be there as a small group leader too. I’m sure she has friends she’d like to room with and who would like to room with her, but I am forcing her to be my friend for the weekend! So if you are nervous about big group settings too…just force someone to be your roomie.  Worked for me.  We can be wallflowers together!

And, a big Thank You to those that nominated and voted for my blog in the Parents Magazine 2013 Blog Awards. This crazy ole’ blog was named the blog “Most Likely to Wow You with Photos and Videos”. Thank you.

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  • Bekah Decker - Your photos wow me every day!

  • Savannah Smiled - I’m shooting a wedding that weekend, but it seems so amazing! I hope the next time I’ll be able to go. Way better than any conference I’ve heard about lately :)

  • Necole @seriouslysassymama - Congrats on the blog win.

  • maggie may - that conference sounds awesome. i grew up near d-town! what, what!
    -best gangsta impersonation i’ve got.

    congrats on your blog win! wahoo!

  • Melanee - Congratulations on the win and most definitely deserved. I get so much inspiration from your photos and hope to take one of your workshops soon. I can only aspire to have your artist’s eye.

  • Nicolle - Congrats on winning! I voted for you. :)

  • Ann Voskamp - Hope Spoken! I *Love* the whole vision! You are a wonder!
    And congrats, friend, on the blogging award — I simply couldn’t agree more.
    More love than thin letters can carry…
    Ann

  • Kaylee Stevie - I didn’t know you were going to be a small group leader too! So am I! Can’t wait to meet you and serve together!

  • Kaylee Stevie - Congrats on the award! You definitely deserve it. I didn’t know you were going to be a small group leader too! So am I! Can’t wait to meet you and serve together!

  • amy cornwell - Congratulations! No one more deserving of that Parents award than you! Kudos!!

  • Kimberly Oyler - ohhhh my goodness. you’re going too? gosh. I think I’m just going to have to sell some blood or something so I can go.

  • tasha roe - Congrats on the award!!

    I’m exited about the Hope Spoken conference. We are moving to Dallas this summer. Love that I’ll be so close!!

  • teresa - Ashley, do you have an email that you share? We met w our builder Friday and I would love to get some ideas/info about your AH-MA-ZING studio! Would love to know the materials used for railing, brand/sizes of windows, how you heat/cool it, and any other info you could share! We started drawing plans 2 months ago then I found these pictures on your blog! I was excite to see better ideas that I had planned :) Our ceiling pitch is 19 feet (yikes!) b/c the other end is our farm machine bldg but I see you have lowered your ceiling in the big cathedral part but still have high ceiling for loft… that was genious and will save us heat and a silly looking ceiling that would look tooooo tall! I know you are a busy, busy girl but if you get a few minutes I would love your input! :)

  • Paige - i just registered for hope spoken today. i’m so looking forward to it. i hope i get the chance to meet you and give you a hug, and thank you for speaking hope in my life from your story.

  • Yvette Walshe - Congratualations!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay You!!!!!!!!!! You so deserve this!!!! Your awesome and totally real. A true child of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! God Bless you and your wonderful family.

    Yvette:)

  • Jacci in Ohio - Woohooie!!!!!!!!!! YAY! I’m so glad you won! :) that’s so exciting!

    I miss SnapShops :) I do! It was so great in so many ways, and I really think some of my best photos from the whole year were the ones I took during your class.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - 1. You are gonna be there?!!! EEEK!
    2. Congratulations on the award! I agree 100% I am wowed by your photos :) Kee hee.
    3. I like the pink flourish
    4. Go Chris! I love when daddies are coaches! Brian coached soccer for a while and I loved it! (I was a little too vocal sometimes and was told I should probably just take pictures sometimes – lol)

  • Lori - If you’re ever searching for a photo tip idea to give, I would be extremely grateful for some tips on how to get good action shots in low light! I tried to photograph my daughter’s basketball game this weekend (me=novice) and had lots of trouble. :/

  • Michelle W - Yay yay yay! You’re AWESOME! Congrats.

  • tracy a - a little late to see this post, but Congratulations! well deserved friend

duct, duct, cat

Thanks for your sweet comments yesterday. It is fun to look back on that day with you all. The next two pictures I shared last year too, but you didn’t know what FireCracker was looking at…so here they are again! She carried those two referrals pictures around with her for months…and showed everyone that would stand still long enough to see them.

So no tears today. How about a random story about painting floors? I started painting the upstairs floor of the studio. Alone time. A little Brad Paisley on Pandora. I painted myself in a corner. Literally in a corner. I had to text Chris, he brought a ladder and I climbed out the window as a tornado approached the house. My oldest could not wrap his mind around how I managed to paint myself in a corner. I blame it on Brad. (not really a tornado, but that cloud looks like one!)

“Fresh & Crisp” is the color…floor, wall, & ceiling.

While the painting project was going on, we saw a coyote out back so I told the boys to find Poppy (our cat). She goes in and out of the house all the time. We looked ALL OVER, in every cabinet and couldn’t find her. Finally we heard a little ‘meow’ so we knew she was inside. Then my oldest found her…in the duct work. I left the vent covers off the floor upstairs to paint and I guess she went exploring. Seriously. Poppy was fine, but my arms hurt from trying to hold the cover, the screw driver & the cat.

The upstairs is in progress…trying to decide what I want to put up there. I put the vent covers back on. Then I took them back off for another coat of paint.

This time Chris got to rescue the cat. He looks much more graceful at cat rescuing than I do.

Vent covers are back on…until I take them off to spray paint them. Poppy won’t be allowed in during that time.

Totally unrelated…these girls love to rock the guitar and dance.

Rock on. Rock on in your Spidey shirt and heart leggings. Rock on, crazy girl.

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  • Andy - awesome post. love the upstairs. it looks like a blanket of snow. just love it. cute girls jammin out. my little girl would fit right in. :)

  • Necole @seriouslysassymama - Your firecracker reminds me of the three firecrackers I have at home.

  • Alice H - Did Poppy not learn anything the first time?

    So funny about you painting yourself into a corner!!

    Love the studio! You are very blessed to have this extra space for you and your family. You have done amazing things to it!!

    And I love the pictures of Firecracker and Little One!

  • Debbie C - I love how fresh and bright the upstairs looks! Literally a blank canvas for all of your creative ideas. Looking forward to seeing the “after”. :)

  • Jody - Really, can we all come over & drink coffee in your studio (or wine – you can pick!)?! It is unreal. L.O.V.E. it. Is it part of your house or separate? How lovely!!!! You are one lucky gal. Enjoy all that sun streaming in through your windows!!!!

  • Tonya - I remember having Underoos….I think that is how it’s spelled. But they usually were super hero underwear…I remember loving them…Looks like Fire Cracker is loving hers too!

  • Lindsey McClennahan - A fellow photographer friend suggested your blog to me! I’m in love with your house colors! Makes me want to run away from our rent house and never look back! : )
    Love from Checotah, Oklahoma.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Love this entire post! love and color and cheer – rock on sweet friend!

  • kiley - ha! what a silly cat!!! love that bright, clean white!!!

  • Melissa - I love the way you guys have decorated your house. So eclectically beautiful. So bright and fun!

  • danielle - Such a beautiful space! Cats are crazy. My friends cat got it’s head stuck in a jar. So silly.

  • Lori - I love every single thing about this post. Every. Single. Thing.

  • Kimberly Dial - Oh Ashley, when I read the part where Chris was rescuing you with a ladder as a tornado approached I thought “Oh my goodness, Okies are really laid back about those things!” LOL I can feel the Vitamin D coming thru those awesome windows … no wonder those girlies are dancing ;) Sunshine makes ya feel good! Thanks for sharing.

  • Molly - i do love the random stories of life! Is your studio attached to your house? Just curious:)

  • jenny - this has me laughing…for real! I would totally do something like paint myself into a corner and then call me husband! So funny! ;)

    And I love the upstairs!

  • Jackie - I have a niece who is ten and daughter who is one. They so remind me of firecracker and little one. My daughter follows her niece around like she’s the best thing in the whole world. and My niece is a wild crazy girl too. Love your photos and stories!

  • Jack - Wow! The light in the studio looks amazing – so light and airy!

  • jules - I absolutely LOVE the space you’ve got for yourself! Adorable retreat, so fresh & new, with all those special touches that make it YOURS. It’s so much fun watching and living vicariously through your updates. Thanks for posting!

  • Teresa - You just can’t make this stuff up!

  • kelleyn - That is pretty funny! Looks like you started in the wrong corner. Good thing you were able to get out! Have a great weekend!

  • stephany @ home is what you make it - I absolutely LOVE your studio space. I dream of a space like that someday.
    What brand is the paint?
    I am looking for a white for our walls and cabinets.

  • Allison B - Ah, my cat did that once when I was painting. I ended up having to disassemble part of the ductwork in the basement to get her out because somehow she got down there and couldn’t get back up!

  • Kara M - That was a good distraction from crying during yesterday’s post! :D I love this story of Poppy in the vents…so hilarious! Hope your kids enjoyed that.

  • Lynn - Love the pictures of the girls…they are so cute together! Thanks for a good laugh this morning……real life!! Your studio is beautiful!

  • Laura@Ms Smartie Pants - just a simple thanks for joy, such joy your little family brings to my heart :)

  • Lex - Maybe there’s something really cool in your duct work that you don’t know about … ;)

  • Brooke - What kind of paint did you use on your floor?

  • Bekah Decker - I love your studio!! It looks amazing!! I do have a question..I painted the floors in 2 of my rooms white and was wondering what you use to clean them? I love them but so far in my experience they seem pretty hard to clean. Just wondering if you have found a favorite cleaner or something since you have had painted floors for a while now!

  • marcy - Umm… best blog post title ever! LOL

  • Tiffany - Oh my goodness I just laughed so hard when I saw the pics of Chris getting the cat out of the vent the second time. Great post today! Love your stories!

  • Sara - Our cat hides whenever a storm is nearby- maybe Poppy was trying to seek cover!

  • teresa - Discovered your blog a few months ago… It is my calm every evening… I so look forward to it! Your family is beautiful and you are simply an eclectic, smart, creative inspiration to me! I have a couple of questions… how do you keep that beautiful studio warm? I love the concrete floors and amazing windows… I live for sunshine and brightness! We are thinking of building a small metal building and everytime I see photos in that marvelous studio I want to inquire about all the details! Where is your house from there? Dimensions? heated floors? etc… I would love to see a floorplan! xo, a big fan! Teresa

    ps – I just bought a canon t4i w 18-135mm lense- a far cry from your equipment… :) but wondered also if you have any suggestions for another affordable lense- I have a 2 yr old and would love to take awesome photos of him (yes I know a lot is in the photographer :) despite the equipment! Thanks Ashley!

  • nancy - Well silly me! I was feeling kinda weird about rocking out in my spidey shirt and heart leggings. Guess it’s all the rage! Who knew!
    nancy

  • AshleyAnn - Nancy – Come rock out in that outfit anytime!

  • Cara Louise - Ashley, I’ve been praying for you and your family for so long now, reading your stories make sme feel like I am almost a part of it! Much love for the entire Campbell clan! You inspire me, and I featured your blog on my own this morning…
    http://carascrochet.weebly.com/1/post/2013/03/sunshine-on-the-web-some-of-my-favorite-blogs.html

  • Alma - Wow that light in that room is amazing… perfect for inspiration and snapping pictures. Those last pictures of the girls… love them!

  • Dina - Who makes Fresh and Crisp? I can’t find it anywhere and my paint supplier can’t either! Thanks!

  • Brooke - Hi! I was hoping you might be able to tell me who makes that paint color. I can’t seem to track it down by its name. We are picking the wall colors for our new home and doing white everywhere, which I thought would be easy, but I didn’t realize there are a zillion shades of white! We have to choose from Benjamin Moore but I was hoping to match this color with one of theirs. This is just lovely! Thanks so much!

  • AshleyAnn - Brooke – maybe it is called “Clean and Crisp”. I got it mixed at Walmart, but I am not sure the actual brand. I might have had them match it. Sorry I am not much help!

a year ago today, I saw your face

Today is such a tremendously special day for our family. It was a year ago today that we saw Little One’s face for the first time. I thought it would be fun to re-post the story of that day…and include those first few photos of her. I didn’t share her ‘referral’ photos a year ago, I am so happy to share them today. It feels like it has been so much longer than a year ago….

About once a month China releases what is called the “shared list” for the SN (special needs) program. There are a few routes you can go with the SN program. We chose to have our agency match us with a child. We had to be “logged in” to be eligible to be matched to a waiting child on the list. We were logged in on 2/15/12, and then got word late last week that the February list would come out on 2.27.12 at night our time. That meant we woke up on 2.27.12 knowing we might ‘meet’ our Little One….this is the story of my day taken with my phone camera.

Dear Little One,

I remember the days I met your older brothers and sister. I don’t remember every little detail, but I do remember the moments leading up to when I saw each of their faces for the first time. I cherish those memories. I will see your face long before you ever see mine. I will never know what you were doing on the day I met you, but I thought someday you might like to know what my day look liked. I woke up early, but couldn’t get out of bed. I laid there staring at the clock and listening to your siblings running through the house. I wanted to go back to sleep and wake up on Tuesday….but I got up eventually. I wasn’t sure how to face the day. I kept going back to 14 years ago in my head. I was 18, sitting on the floor of my bedroom flipping through a magazine. Time froze when I saw a picture of a woman holding a child quite obviously not from her womb. I knew in that moment, my children would not all share my genes. I’ve wondered for 14 years who you are…where are you…how old are you…what is your name. On this day, 14 years of wondering could all of the sudden end.

2.12name-1

Once out of bed…we did breakfast. Nothing fancy because I was basically worthless. You have 3 incredible big brothers. Most of the time they will be good examples for you. However, climbing on the cabinets is not among my favorite habits of theirs. Your big sister is a morning person….just a warning in case you are like me (not a morning person).
2.12name-2

The half of me that didn’t want to stay in bed wanted to head to the gym. I hate running, but running today was kind of nice.
2.12name-3

After wanting to throw up from running and anxiety, we headed to the park to meet a friend. She surprised me with my favorite Sonic drink. All day long I got texts, emails and phone calls from friends knowing how big of day today was for me. I have incredible friends. I want that so badly for you and your siblings. Truly great friends are hard to find and when you do find them, cherish them.
2.12name-4

Before I knew it, lunch time arrived. Lunch over and I did some work on the computer.
2.12name-5

I managed to stay focused long enough to get work done….then I visited some favorite blogs. Your daddy came home with lunch for me. He knew I probably didn’t eat and wanted to take care of me. He does that a lot – take care of me.
2.12name-6

Back outside for more fun to keep me distracted.
2.12name-7

I stayed moving all day until the school pick up line. We sat in the car for 10 minutes…10 long minutes sitting still and wondering if I’d see your face later in the evening.
2.12name-8

I usually drink my coffee first thing in the morning. That didn’t happen until after school today. A quiet, still break with coffee and my Bible. Much needed.
2.12name-9

Banging my head on the concrete table became the only acceptable survival mechanism. Well, that and taking ridiculous pictures with your sister. LONGEST DAY EVER.

2.12name-10

Dinner time finally came. Your daddy surprised me with my favorite cookies. 5:51pm in Oklahoma….7:51am in China. The list would be released very soon.
2.12name-11

Fish tacos for dinner. I didn’t eat. I didn’t eat right before meeting any of your siblings either. Baths & showers, done.

2.12name-12

The ridiculous cycle of hitting “refresh” on my email began. Then yahoo shut down and gave me a short panic attack. It came back quickly.
2.12name-14

Bedtime stories, prayers, lights out.
2.12name-15

And the business of the day was over. No more distractions. Just waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

And telling your sister to get back in bed.

And refreshing my email.

And waiting.

And telling your sister to get back in bed.

And refreshing my email.

And your sister not getting back in bed.

And then all of the sudden, with your sister and daddy at my side…an email popped up. It was from our agency and the subject was simply a name. Your name.

I turned to your daddy, “are you ready for this?”

“Yeah.”

“No, are your READY…it’s TIME!”

.

.

.

We skipped the words of the email and went straight on to opening the attached pictures.

and that is the moment we saw your face for the first time. Your sister squealed “Sister in China!” We laughed and cried and did all the things parents do when they catch a glimpse of their child for the first time.

You are quite simply breathtaking. And tiny. And pure awesomeness.

Oh sweet baby girl, you are worth every achingly long moment waiting….now to get you home!

You are our new Song.

********


 

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  • Kimberly Troth - WOW! Beautiful in tears all over again!! Can’t believe it’s been a year since you first saw little one. LOVE following your story :) THANKS AGAIN and AGAIN for sharing!

  • Erin - You brought tears to my eyes. Thanks you for sharing this amazing journey with us. Little one is so lucky to have been chosen for you.

  • Jenny @ Words On Wendhurst - Every.Single.Time I read anything about your adoption story, I cry. Every time! I’m not sure exactly what touches me so deeply, but it’s amazing. Love seeing the first pictures of Little One, and the ones of her today. She is blossoming! And that hair is amazing :)

  • Michelle H. - What Kimberly said……….too many tears <3

  • Lynne Malan - everytime one goes back to the first time you saw her photo, it’s like a time machine…flashback…feelings, emotions, thoughts, memories…and then in that instant… the amazing overwhelm of that first sight of YOUR little girl…. her sweetness… taking in every detail… and days later, you are still crying because she needs to be home now… not in a few months.. now.. you have loved her even before you have seen her… and you can feel the connection of mother-daughter in that instant. xx

  • Jenni - Ahh! I remember the day you posted. I remember the day that you told everyone that you were adopting. The one with the Starbucks cups that you were filling out paperwork. I could sob all day looking at that last picture. What a journey. It has been so much fun coming along for the ride:).

  • Martina - Campbell looks good on her! Blessings to your family on this special day.

  • Bonnie - I discovered your blog when you were waiting to get word that you could fly to get Little One. I went back and read all the adoption posts (and most of everything else too) within a couple days. While difficult at times, your family’s journey is so beautiful and I feel so special that I get to follow along. Thank you for opening your heart and your home and sharing these wonderful stories with all of us!

  • Stephanie - I need to stop reading these at work, I cry every time! What an amazing story, thank you so much for sharing it! She is beautiful, fits in perfectly with the rest of the family!

  • Jackie - Such a beautiful story :)

  • Rebecca Alexis - So so wonderful. Makes me all teary happy for you. What a wonderful day of celebration in your heart and in your family. xxoo

  • Sadie - Oh.my.goodness. Tears are here. What a precious, precious blog post. I love how you captured every bit of that day! What a blessing! Thank you, thank you for sharing!

  • Erin - I can’t believe it’s been a year. I’ve been following your blog the whole time and it’s such a beautiful journey. My heart celebrates for your family today- I am so glad she is finally in your arms. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  • Karen - You have done it again, I am crying. I found your blog when you were in China, collecting your new bundle of joy. I have loved every minute of your story and look forward to many more. Thank you

  • Jeannette - Made me cry all over again – praise God for bringing your sweet girl home!!!

  • maggie may - oh my stars. can you believe it? i remember reading this post and crying, and again today…i cried. God formed your family so beautifully.

    and on an unrelated note: i have that same mug! mine is blue and has an m, but you get the idea. ;)

    hey i have a question for yah: can i have your email so i can send you a question a bit more privately? thanks!

    enjoy your anniversary of seeing the cuteness for the first time :)

  • Nina - Ashley
    I read your blog religiously every morning over my morning cup of coffee. I don’t think I have ever commented, because lets be honest you are blogging royalty, so you don’t need to hear my little comment, however I wanted to let you know that I have been following your journey and praying for you and your family every step of the way and today’s had me choked up at “Dear Little One”
    I loved seeing her first pictures!!

    Nina

  • Cheri - Such a sweet story … and sweet family. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. If I were younger, with a young family again, I’d be adopting like you did! I am SO happy your family is all together!

  • Jessica - A year ago today I sat at my desk bawling as I read this. I felt an overwhelming sense of compassion for a family I have never met and probably never will meet. You blessed me by sharing your story and allowing me to pray for you. Today, I sit at my desk, reading it again, and crying all over again. Today, I am able to send praise to Jesus. Thanks for sharing!! I prayer for you today is that you feel an incredible amount of Joy and you end your day watching Little One sleep!

  • danielle - So beautiful! I am so happy for you guys!

  • Julie - Little One will treasure this letter for all her years. You have such an amazing talent to place your feelings into words, that flow just so seamlessly and heartwarming. What a special day for each of you! Many Blessings!

  • Lori - This makes me cry happy tears. So thankful she is with
    her forever family now.

  • Stoich91 - Best. Post. Ever. I love, love, love this and I’m sure Little One will, too when she’s old enough to read!

  • Debbie C - Wow, has it already been a year when we first read this post? She is so beautiful and looks so happy to be with her family now. Such an awesome blessing!

  • Jeny - Even though I have been following along with your adoption story- something about this post made me realize I am meant to be an adoptive mother also. I have no idea where to start (beyond sharing this with my husband) but I am going to bookmark this post as a reminder of the swell I just felt in my heart. You are a terrific momma and I know that I have more love to give. Thanks for sharing such an honest post about the day. It really moved me.

  • Lennie - I read this with tears in my eyes. I remeber it posted the first time around. What an amazing journey! So great that it is all documented for you to go back to and for Little One to have later in life, breathtaking.

  • Kimberly L. - I love how beautifully you express your love for your family and children. So glad for your family. (Thank you for sharing with us too, it make me so happy to know the depths of goodness that can be found in a mother’s (and wife’s) love.) Love to you and your family.

  • Cheryl - I’m so very happy for your family…so very happy.:)

  • Jena - Oh my gosh, I am in TEARS reading this. So, so beautiful.

  • Darcy Higgins - I read this then and reread now…and cried all over again. Thank you for sharing your family, stories and sweet journeys with all of us. Your blog is a bright spot for so many.

  • Flossie - I cried the first time I read this post. Now I’m wiping tears away again. She will be so glad you recorded these thoughts for her someday.

  • Rachel - Look at that beautiful little girl!!! And what a head of hair :) Congratulations on everything thus far. May God keep blessing you!

  • Courtney Connelly - Simply beautiful!

  • jenny - beautiful…every detail, because God is in them all.

  • ranee - even better the second time! have a wonderful day with all five of your lovely kiddos!

  • Dana - Whenever I’m having a low point in my day, I click to your beautiful blog and am reminded of everything I too hold deep in my heart. Thank you for sharing your experience so openly. I shed happy tears reading your words and soaking in the gorgeous images of your life story. With love and heartfelt gratitude, Dana <3

  • Karen - Beautiful! What a special treasure you are giving her to document all of these things. Isn’t it amazing that God was able to pick the perfect daughter for you. It gives me great hope as me and my husband begin the foster-to-adopt process ourselves. Enjoy this truely special day!

  • Monica - Beautiful story! Make me cry every time that I read it. I love it. Touch my heart so deeply! Make me feel so happy for little One to have you and GOD gave her a great family full of love. I can not imagine the happiness that you felt a year ago when you saw her first pictrues. She looks adorable, cute baby girl, so tiny , so perfect. But I think you have so many feelings at the same time, to feel pain in your heart because you could not hug her and kiss her in that moment. But I am so so happy that now both of you are together to never be apart again. Happy for you that you dream came true. Have a happy day with all your family. :)

  • Kenzie A. - Thank you for a good cry today! Such a sweet and special story. I know one day my husband and I will get to have this experience. Such an amazing journey.

  • Alicia Millis - ohhh crying! beautiful post. thank you for sharing this day with us! have a incredible time celebrating this special day with your family :)

  • molly quigley - Love. Could not get enough of this story. i was in a pretty rough mood this morning…having had strep throat the past days and nursing my kiddo from strep before I got sick. This really cheered me up.

    Thanks,
    Molly Q.

  • Ginna - I am crying, just like I did when I read this last year. Thank you for sharing again!

  • Kara M - Oh girl! You’ve got to stop it with the tear wrenching posts…especially for us moms waiting! (JK, keep them coming). Sometimes I dream about the day I will see our lil one’s face for the first time. I have weird moments where it is like I can feel our lil one with us…hope that happens for other people and doesn’t mean I’m going crazy!!

  • Nicole C - This is just a beautiful memory, even for me :) I remember following along with your blog and it made me anxious, so I don’t even think I could handle what you went through. Reading your honest, gorgeous words about the process and what you went through confirmed to me that if I ever decide to have children that it would be via adoption. I suppose I am 18 year old you (+13 years in reality) seeing those photos.

  • Gabriela - Hey, Ashley.
    I don’t remember how I came to your blog for the first time. I think it was about 4 years ago, a bit befor my husband and I got married. Since then, I think I never lost a post… This is new to me (commenting in a blog. I am more of a silent reader).
    I just need to say that everytime that I read your blog it makes me happy and I get the confidence that it is possible to be an awesome mom, be happy, have a nice relationship with husband, family and friends and do things for yourself (I stiil not getting how do you do all of that with 5 kids)!
    I’ve been following Little one’s story (as I did when Firecracker broke her leg) and there is no one single post that did not make me smile or cry! Hope your kids keep being such a joy in your life! Gabi

  • KIMBERLY4472 - So much beauty it this post. What a difference a year can make.

  • the inadvertent farmer - Tears…again! Bless your mama’s heart, you have touched mine, as usual. I am so happy that Little One is home in her family’s arms. Have a fantastic day! Kim

  • christine - oh….i love your little one <3
    i'm following your beautiful blog with love and send you all tha best over the sea ;-) greetings from switzerland, be blessed!
    christine

  • Liz R - What a perfect rendition…..and such a cutie patootie to boot! :) I remember when we saw the first photo of my brother, months before he was brought home from Korea. Those first photos are SO PRECIOUS!!!

  • Stefanie - Loved every word and every picture. Adoption is the most. amazing. thing.
    P.S. does she not look so much like Firecracker in that last picture?

    Happy “First Time I Saw Your Face” Day :)