“Words are like nets-
we hope they’ll cover what we mean,
but we know they can’t possibly hold
that much joy, or grief, or wonder.”
-Jodi Picoult

They sit out there every afternoon, those egrets…

Herons in a tree

One by one, they fly over to those twiggy trees from all edges of the lake. Reminds me of a giant cotton plant…big white birds, dotting tall, skinny brown sticks.

They gather just before the sun starts to set, usually right around 5 o’clock. I’m sure it has something to do with safety in numbers (and height) overnight, but I like to think they’re just smitten with the sunset, too. :-)

You wouldn’t know it from these hazy-day photos, but they really do have a front row seat from that spot.

Unfortunately, I’ve discovered it’s a seat built only for birds…

Herons Flying

One step too close, and they all head for the hill. Oops! Sorry, egrets! I didn’t know you were so skittish!

There’s that word again: know.

It’s been on my mind a lot this week.

I told my Aunt Chriss yesterday, it’s such an interesting feeling to know someone is your child, but to not know the someone that is your child, yet.

Thanks to Three Angels Facebook page, I’ve known since last summer what what it feels like to know of him. I know his soulful eyes through my screen, but I don’t know how it feels to be seen by his soul yet. I know 7 seconds of his giggle, but I don’t know how it sounds in the air right around me yet.

This year though, I get to know! I get to be seen his soul, and I get to hear the sound of his spirit while he’s sitting right in my lap! :-D

The adoptive mamas in Haiti were kind enough to share some more fun “knowns” with me this week, too:

1. Our boy is a sunbeam. He has been nicknamed “The Greeter” because he is, as my friends put it, “the world’s friendliest little person, always smiling and toddling up to greet everyone who enters the orphanage”.

2. He “talks” a lot and his voice sounds like Boo from Monsters, Inc. He is very good at repeating words, and currently speaks Crénglish. Some Haitian Creole (which is a lot like French), and some English. (Wow. Friendly, cute and smart as a whip.) #TripleThreat ;-)

3. One of the adoptive papas taught him the sign for “more” because he LOVES playing Ring around the Rosie. Another adoptive papa taught him how to say “beep beep” while he was riding around on the orphanage’s toy car.

4. My friends are still “reading” him the photo book we sent, so now he’s talking to MAMA and PAPA, too.

There’s a good time comin’, y’all. I can feel it in my knowns. :-)

PS- For more adoption updates and pics between posts, join me over on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram!

Instagram Pic_Lettered_Cottage

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required


  1. Rebecca says

    Layla- I can’t stand this waiting period!!! I can’t even imagine how you feel!!! I am so anxious!!!! XOXO

  2. Angie says

    Your most beautiful post yet, Layla. I am getting so excited for you, all the way up here in Calhoun County! I can’t wait to see how this little blessing grows and thrives with you and your honey!

  3. says

    “it’s such an interesting feeling to know someone is your child, but to not know the someone that is your child, yet.”

    You just put into words exactly how I feel!

  4. says

    Can’t wait to hear this little man is home with you! Sounds like you’ll be blessed with quite a character! :) Have they given you any concrete timelines of when you’ll be able to visit, and to bring him back home? As someone that’s considering adoption, I’m curious on the timeline, etc.

  5. Becky says

    Layla, I have read your blog for a while now but never commented. But this post stopped me dead in my tracks and had me in tears at my desk – but the best possible tears! How amazing to know that somewhere so far away your little boy is memorizing your smile and falling in love. your positivity is inspiring and I’ve enjoyed following along this journey – can’t wait to see your family united :)

  6. baileywife says

    Goosebumps! Love.This. and praying for your new lil family! Can’t wait to “e-see” your new son!! ~Kim

  7. says

    This makes my heart smile. Adoption is such a different experience from being pregnant, and I’m frankly jealous that you get to see and know so much about your handsome boy while you’re “pregnant”! Also, no puking ;) I’ve said this a couple times before, but adoption is my very favorite picture of God’s love for us. Just like you guys and your son, He knew us before we knew him. Gives me goose bumps :)

  8. Sharon Kelley says

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, so heartfelt I can feel your Joy and anticiaption right along with you. Happy for you, and praying for y’all.

  9. lisa buchanan says

    This is just awesome to follow! So happy for you and love that you’re partaking in something so near and dear to the heart of God! His richest blessings on your journey!

  10. Allison A. says

    My heart is so full for you and Kevin and your little man. What an adventure you three will soon have. I think you all have won the lottery and have been given the greatest gift God could offer; each other. May the blessings continue.

  11. Hope Williams says

    This is such a soul moving post. I was never able to financially adopt. Your journey is moving slow and fast at the same time. I pray you every blessing to be the mama and daddy God meant y’all to be! Soon enough, you will be sharing with us. Your daily blessings of life as you now live it! Soon mama, real soon! Blessings of love to all, Hope

  12. says

    Oh – the sound of a little giggle…makes me miss those days so much…now with all the young adult angst and drama – I wish I could have those days back again…Here’s hoping it’s not too much longer until you know that giggle and can hold your little man!

  13. Adrienne says

    It’s very cool to hear you talk about your future son the same way a mother who has one in her belly might describe their own. I’m very happy for you and your family – that you get to experience something like this…and I can’t wait for son to get to KNOW you. You are beautiful. I woke up to so many disgusting things posted on the news this morning. Thank goodness for my blog outlet and remembering that their are kind, beautiful people in the world. Thank you for that, it’s been great getting to KNOW you.

  14. Joan Sommerfield says

    Dear Layla, This writing has been a lovely poetic flow of your thoughts and feelings. Thank you for taking us there with you and allowing us to share the beauty.. Blessings to you, Joan

  15. Lora says

    I can’t even begin to explain how BEAUTIFUL this post is..Such a range of emotions! My heart sings for you and aches for you at the same time (because you have to wait)!
    My husband was adopted when he was 6 years old. His Dad also made a book to ‘introduce’ his future son to family, friends, and neighbors while they were waiting for everything to be final. 33 years later, he still has this book and it is probably his most prized possession…
    Thank you so much for letting us be a part of this amazing season in your life.

  16. Cory S. says

    Ooh! I’m so frustrated for you at this moment. I want you to be with that little boy now, now, NOW!!

    • Layla says

      Oh, no frustration necessary, Cory! This chapter was written for us to cherish now and forever, too. :-D

      • Cory S. says

        Needless to say I flunked Quiet Grace 101 in church. I totally relate to the grandpa in the Kraft macaroni and cheese ad that is running right now! :-)

  17. Axelle the french reader says

    Of course, I’m not as impatient as you must be … But, I promise, I DO FEEL IMPATIENT to know this little boy too and to follow you in your new familial adventures. I fell really happy for you and your husband, Layla. Truly.

  18. Kathy says

    lovely, sweet post … but love the last phrase best: I feel it in my knowns! may have to steal that one from ya ;)

    so happy for you and Kevin …hugs from Texas

  19. Tami B. says

    Oh Layla, your post made me cry. Motherhood is truly wonderful. I have a son, too, and although he is a man now, I still can remember when he was a toddler. Enjoy it to the fullest, their childhood truly does go by very quickly. Too quickly.

    Can’t wait to meet this triple threat :)

  20. Terri says

    That feeling of love that just burns in your body, waiting to get out and hold your child…. Your patience and self-discipline is truly a testament to what a wonderful person you are inside and out.

  21. Teddee Grace says

    I’m sure with all the help you’re getting in Haiti that he won’t be as skittish as the egrets when you finally meet.

    • Layla says

      Yes, Teddee! He is definitely the opposite of skittish, it seems! SO excited to scoop that little one up for our first Mama-meets-Sweet P squeeze! :-D

  22. Laura S says

    I just signed up for your blog, what a nice surprise. I’m sure the waiting period is enough to drive you crazy but from the sound of things he’ll be well worth the wait. I look forward to hearing more and will take a few minutes to read some of your older posts. Congratulations to all of you & God bless.

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Laura! It’s so nice to e-meet you here today! And ya know, time has really just continued to whiz by at lightning speed (as always!), so (thankfully) our adoption journey has really felt steady and Full. We are excited to spend this year getting to know our little man in person though…what an adventure! :-D

  23. says

    Tears of joy for you! I LOVE to hear that he is the greeter and has the friendliest smile. I started beaming then because you, my friend, have always exuded a smile that is radiant like the sun, inviting to all who may see it, and a welcome to those who may not even know you. You exude the same qualities in your photos, words, and stories of friendships and those you encounter. This is a wonderful story and sign. God Bless you…I am so thrilled as each day gets closer for you and Kevin. You will be the best gift this young boy will EVER receive!

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Vanessa! Yes, he turned two this past November. The same month as my adoptive Grandma…the one who inspired my heart for adoption from a very young age! :-)

  24. Noelle says

    Layla, I have been reading your blog for years now. It’s my favorite blog and even though I don’t ‘know’ you, I’m touched you let strangers get a glimpse into your life. I love this post. Brought tears to my eyes, and I’m so happy that you and Kevin will be with your little guy soon. Thanks for documenting this journey!

  25. Shannon Fox says

    So precious. What a gift to know him through the eyes of your friends. Can’t wait until your blog is full of his little personality!

  26. Stephanie says

    Oh Layla, your posts move me to the core!! Even across the miles, your souls are connecting already. It is SO exciting. You are so ready… I can hear it in the way you dissect and cherish every morsel . I don’t know how you stand the anticipation. I am ready to burst just reading your posts. Your little guy sounds amazing! Can’t wait to hear more as your journey together unfolds. Surrounding you all in love and prayer.

  27. Phoebe K says

    I love how calmly hopeful you are. Your words and sentiments are lovely. I am a future adoptive parent as well, in the beginning in the process. I have many trepidations about what comes next for my husband and I in our journey to parenthood. Your attitude is so reassuring. Thanks for the post.

    P.S. I’m excited to “meet” your little one!

  28. Laura says

    I feel such joy for you that you will be welcoming a wonderful little boy into your world. He sounds so special. I pray that you will be able to bring him home soon.

  29. Peggy says

    Its so wonderful, Layla that you are able to get all these “gems” before you meet him but I know it must make you long for him even more!

  30. KK says

    Layla-this post left me wanting to reach throughout my iPad and give you a big hug. I can’t imagine how you and Kevin are feeling hearing about your little greeter and wanting to hold him. In Gods timing. Praying for the three of you from Texas.

  31. says

    Dear Layla,
    I have followed you for awhile now, and I am excited from afar for you, your hubby and your little one to join you soon. Just wanted to say your feeling of ” knowing someone is your child and not know the someone” is very similar to waiting for a child to be born, you know he is yours but wonder about what he is like. I know you both can hardly wait and wish you all a wonderful first meeting!

  32. says

    knowing and not knowing feels the same when you are pregnant too. 9 months of waiting to meet that someone and anxious to get to know them. so it’s like you are putting in the time, exactly the same as every other mommy! ;)

  33. Lisa W. says

    You BETCHA…good times a coming. And isn’t nature grand, I try to get close enough around my parts to get that really “good” pic of the red bird or the pretty little blue bird SO happy right now with our yard where there is a feeder in the 10 inches or better of snow on the ground. AND then I just take one step to close and then they are gone:( Don’t mean it,:)

    I can’t imagine how your feeling, warmth, nerves, excitement, joy AND then some. Sure is making all your readers excited. Thank you for the updates!!! He’s gonna be ONE lucky little boy!!!!!!!!!!

  34. says

    every. one.
    every one of these posts exudes your love for your son to the point that i get chills and leaky eyes.
    and i love every one.
    still so thrilled for you!

  35. Dawn says

    What a beautiful post! I feel the joy! As a mother of a now 7 year old boy I KNOW you are in for a future of the most amazing moments of love and laughter and I am so happy for you!

  36. Lin says

    Layla I was adopted and forever am indebted to my parents for loving me and caring for me as their own. God is getting your little guy ready for his wonderful parents and soon your family will be just that…a family! Love your story and this post so much.

  37. says

    Lovely post! I’m so happy for you and this little one who is already basking in your love and getting to know you through your friends and the book you put together for him. Bless you all!

  38. Jan says

    Layla…, I agree that this is your most powerful, touching post ever! There are so very many people waiting with you and Kevin for this precious baby boy! Ya’ll will be such a blessing to him, as he will also be to you!

  39. says

    Such a beautiful and heartfelt post Layla. Oh the wait is sooooo hard. We just celebrated the date (Feb1st) of when we first got our daughter’s photo. I think back every year to the first time I saw her face even though she was not yet ours. But she was in our hearts:) SO SO happy for you all!!

  40. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    Gosh, with each post, I cry. Teras of joy for you and Kev. I know you ache to hold this sweet little P!!!!! To feel his warmth, to kiss his cheeks and to hear his laughter.

    I can’t wait either, but I know we must. I long to see his little face and hear your stories about him adapting to your lovely home in AL. I wonder how fast it will take him to pick up the slurry slang sound of the south. I say that with great admiration!!!!! I am married to an East Tennessee man and his southerness got me before anything else!!!!!

    I think we all “KNOW” close to what you are feeling. I can’t wait. I can literally feeling the JOY coming………………………..

    P.S. Plus, he is such a smart little guy! What a blessing.

  41. Karen says

    Oh, Layla, when I finished reading this post, I let out a contented, knowing sigh. You see, each time our daughters were expecting our grandchildren, we knew how wonderful they would be just by remembering how wonderful their mamas were when they were born. Ah, but when the grandbabies were actually born, and we began to know them in the flesh, well, one cannot describe that joy! I pray that you and Kevin will know that joy sooner than later, in God’s good time. blessings, Karen

  42. gloria says

    Amazing how excited I can be for someone I haven’t ever met in person but read for several years. So looking forward to more mama posts. Get ready for your heart to grow ten times its size and inexplicably leave your body and toddle around.

    • says

      Aw, this post made me want to cry, it is so sweet and thrilling! I cannot wait to meet this little boy through your posts. What joy!

  43. says

    Oh this is just the most wonderful post!!! While there are certainly lots of unknowns in adoption, they just make the “knowns” that much richer and sweeter. Thank you for sharing your heart during this process- it has really helped me along the way during my own, especially when I’m feeling down and a little hopeless. So thanks for that! =)

    I’m so excited for you guys to meet your sweet little greeter!!!!!

  44. Kari says

    Reading what you wrote today I immediately thought of one of my favorite passages and a poem written with the words –
    “Be still and KNOW”
    I just thought of you watching those birds, everything quiet around you…my, how loud the silence can be. That’s when I listen. I listen to hear Him.
    Be still and know.
    Soon that silence will be shifting. You will have to go in search of it!
    God bless,

  45. Elysa says

    I stumbled upon your blog and your story some time ago, and feel like I am taking this journey with you. How wonderful for you to share this experience, I feel blessed to be able to be part of it (even if I am just reading your blog) I loved your photo book post but this one just made my heart sing. Thanks again for sharing your journey. Looking forward to meeting “The Greeter” :)

  46. kim says

    so excited for you… its great.. the most wonderful feeling in the world is holding a child and thinking you have the privilege of teaching them to be a wonderful person to the world.

  47. Christie says

    How beautiful! It sounds like his little personality is so perfectly matched for you two! I can’t wait to hear more! God bless you 3!!

  48. Kathy T says

    Congrats—my daughter and son-n-law have been fostering a little boy that they recently found out they get to adopt. What a blessing!! I still can’t wrap my mind around this blessing for our family!! Enjoy this anticipating time for when you know!!! This is the foundation of your life as a parent.And of course as my mom told me years ago…enjoy sleeping and doing the little things you can now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>