Adoption Photo Book

She wasn’t where she had been.
She wasn’t where she was going…
but she was on her way.
And on her way she no longer looked for the answers,
but held close the two things she knew for sure:
One, if a day carried strength in the morning,
peace in the evening,
and a little joy in between,
it was a good one.
And two, you can live completely
without complete understanding.

-Jodi Hills

Kevin and I put together a little photo book for Sweet P on Monday night, and I’ll cherish that time we spent at our table forever.

Adoption Photo Book

It’s not a fancy book…just plastic pages, filled with pictures of us and our pets…and stickers that spell his name on the front.

Kevin and Layla Palmer Adoption

From what we’ve heard, two year olds don’t give a rip about “fancy”, and this book is really just about him getting familiar with our faces.

Adoption Photo Book Notes

We tucked a couple of love notes into two of the pages near the back, and it’s so exciting to know that someone will be whispering those words to him for us next week! (Thank you, Someone! We are already feeling so grateful for you taking the time to do that!)

There was a *chance* we could be traveling to Haiti this weekend too, but it’s looking like Kevin and I will (probably) be booking our bonding trip in late February or early March. (which is fine because I already knew that) 😉

We dropped our photo book off at our adoption agency (Lifeline Children’s Services) in Birmingham yesterday afternoon.

Lifeline Childrens Services

That’s sweet and hardworking Meredith (our caseworker) holding it in the photo above.

She’s new-ish to Lifeline, and to the Haiti program…which, come to think of it, is new-ish to Lifeline, too. The Haiti program, I mean. It’s technically still a “pilot program”, and we’re one of the very first families to be working our way through the (new) system. Oh yeah, did I mention our system is new, too? Yep. Haiti is in the process of becoming a Hague certified country, so the rules and regulations are changing (and tightening) by the month week day. The new system is a positive one, but we are definitely sailing through uncharted waters which makes for a very mysterious journey!

But that’s where knowing believing that it’s okay to not completely understand every-little-thing has come in really handy.

It’s made this adventure feel more like….well, an adventure, I guess- ha!

Sure, there have been bumps along the way, but here’s what I’ve learned about bumps: they slow you down, but they don’t stop you. You run up and over them, and they always end up behind you. And circling back to complete understanding- I’m no expert, but I do know this: chasing complete understanding can be mentally exhausting, and loosening our grip creates breathing room in our brains. Take comfort in the Assurance that clarity will always comes in Due time.

Complete living happens from here to the horizon, so here’s to enjoying more of the adventure in between! :-)

Stairwell Makeover
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  1. says

    I love your photo book! I remember it like it was yesterday making my photo book for my little man. Our 4th Gotcha Day is coming up on 2/25 and I remember the moment that I held him and we walked out of that Russian orphanage for the last time. It is unlike anything you will ever experience. Everyone will say that your child is so blessed to be part of your family but in my heart it is totally the other way around :) Cheers to you guys and a safe rest of your journey! I love following along!

  2. says

    What a precious gift! Neither of my kiddos would have cared about fancy at 2, but they definitely would have LOVED staring at those pictures. It makes my heart so glad to think of your tiny boy clutching that book in his little hands.

  3. Ter'e says

    Crimany………just put mascara on……….you made me tear up too. You two are just precious. Sweet Pea has no idea what blessings are about to come forth. What a lucky baby!!!!!
    God bless your hearts…………….again………..

  4. Heather says

    I’ve been following you for quite some time. And I know you have been waiting, wanting to share the love you and Kevin have….you have so much love and beauty to share…it’s overflowing. But there has been a shift in what I read and feel from you now. You are now
    ready – Your heart is open for whatever is to come. I just feel it, you are ready to be a mama. What a lucky little Sweet Pea! As a momma to 4 little ducklings, I too, know the overwhelming love that is bursting at the seams. Blessings as you start to write this new chapter!

  5. says

    Layla, what an awesome little book! My husband is adopted, as well as my Grandma,Brother In Law & Sister In Law & sister in Laws Mom…I understand what you’re going through! My husband and I are thinking about adoption as well..this gives us more of a push now! What an awesome opportunity to change ones life, whether they be younger or older. Wish you best of luck!
    With Love from the


  6. says

    How exciting! Especially that you know he will receive it next week. and hopefully you will receive pictures of him looking at it. I look forward to hearing about your trip next month.
    Right now we are trusting in God’s timing also. We had the ok to book our trip to Hong Kong for Feb. 5 but then it go put on hold because of a mistake the U.S. government made. So now we are waiting… again. Hopefully, we will still be heading out of here Feb. 5 to bring Esther home.

  7. Amanda says

    Seven years post adoption of my daughter (now 11) from China and the photo album is still a treasured possession. We had to put it in the memory box because it was falling apart but we pull it out to relive those feelings of becoming a family quite often!

  8. says

    gosh. tears spilled down my cheeks when I read:: “with love from your mama” and “with love from your dad!”

    wow. it’s happening. that little sweet p will be in your arms soon…prayers for all of you until it happens.

  9. says

    I have become completely captivated by your story. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I can’t wait to see, and read about, all the good things the next few months will bring to you and your family!

  10. Genny says

    I love your beginning quote! It says it all! How sweet and loving for you to put together a memory book for your new little one. What a lucky kid!

  11. says

    I don’t think I’ve commented before, but I’ve been here, cheering you on, praying for you, and wishing you well on this journey. Thank you for so bravely sharing it with us.

  12. Lisa says

    Layla, you always inspire me and brighten my day but this post in particular touched me deeply. You were meant to be this little boy’s mama and how blessed will he be to have you and Kevin (and you, him). I have been having a very rough time for the past couple of years and your last paragraph has given me so much comfort. I know your words to be true but at times, a little reminder doesn’t hurt. Thank you!!!

  13. Jen says

    Very cool! We did the same when we adopted our son from Russia. We also slept with a tiny teddy bear for a couple of weeks. We brought it with us on our first visit so he could sleep with it and adjust to some of the smells of “home.” I blogged about it here:

    We recently adopted his baby sister domestically. She was two months yesterday. We are going though the attachment process now. What a whirlwind!

    I wish you many blessings!