Friday, February 27, 2015

Puzzle Pieces

Sometimes it is hard to ask for help…and this is definitely one of those times. I have expressed to a few friends how hard this specific part of the journey is going to be. I was not created with a bone in my body that is okay with asking for financial help, so any aspect of that is not only foreign to me, but it’s uncomfortable for me!

Thankfully my circles have been reminding me that there are many people who want to help our family and want to have a person part in bringing our baby home. We are estimating our total expenses to be around $35,000. Just looking at those numbers as I type makes anxiety creep in. But, I am sure of three things. First, while that amount seems overwhelming to me, God is so much bigger than any sum of money and where the Lord leads, He will provide. Second, our child is worth way more than any monetary figure. And third, even though we don’t know anything about our child, God knows who our child is and He has picked him/her specifically for our family. And that brings me comfort. I’m so thankful for a Father who knows what is truly best for me and holds my life in His hands.

Through God’s provision, we have already been able to pay the consulting fees and home study fees ourselves (over $6,000). The remaining amount is legal fees, agency fees, medical and travel expenses. We are selling possessions, holding parties, Autumn is painting neighbors mailbox posts, we are having a HUGE yard sale in April, applied for grants, Easton saves every dollar he earns for “his baby”, and Cory and I are diligently saving in order to be able to pay for this adoption. And, we have been so incredibly blessed to receive some donations already from people who want to help. Our goal is to overall raise $25,000. 

We ask that you would consider supporting our adoption financially. We have a 252-piece puzzle (shown in picture above) that was created for our adoption. Every person/family who donates money (any amount) towards our adoption will have their name written on the back of a puzzle piece. When the puzzle is completely finished with all 252 pieces put together, we will frame the puzzle between two pieces of glass and hang it in our house as a memoir for all the people who helped bring our child home. So far, we have 13 pieces with names of people/families who have contributed financially towards our adoption! (Pictures coming soon for those who have already donated!) 

So, why a puzzle? We feel that a puzzle is very symbolic to the reality of our situation. Just like a puzzle includes many pieces that fit together to make a beautiful picture, our adoption journey is also including many people working together to help create a beautiful story.

I know we have some prayer points listed on our cards, but I wanted to list them again because we truly do covet your prayers. We have seen the power of prayer and believe so strongly in it. So, we ask that you would pray for the following requests:
• Pray that the Lord would prepare our family of four to become a family of five.
• Pray that the Lord would keep our new baby safe and healthy.
• Pray the Lord would bless our child’s birth mom and draw her to Him.
• Pray that the Lord would provide the finances throughout this journey.

• Pray that we would continue to feel the Lord’s presence and leading through this entire journey.

Sometimes, it takes going through something in life for you to be reminded just how blessed you are with the people around you. This is definitely one of those times for us. We have been so overwhelmed by the number of people who are genuinely interested in our adoption (from all over the US!) We have been encouraged by the people who want to connect us with other families who have adopted. We have been humbled by the donations we have received already, knowing it was a sacrifice to the giver.

THANK YOU doesn't seem big enough, but I’m learning to trust that you all are choosing to join this journey because you believe in it! As we keep taking one step at a time, we hope you will continue to walk with us!
instagram: @onecory @onejoy

Friday, February 20, 2015

Bring Home Baby Henderson

I haven’t talked much about my surgery last November.

It’s probably because for once in my life I was getting all my words out on one person. Poor husband J
You might know I had some ovarian cysts mid-year 2014, and one ruptured in September, sending me on my second ever ambulance ride. (Sorry about scaring the neighbor friends who run at 2 am … who does that?!)

My husband, my parents and my pastors wife all sat in the waiting room late November while my surgery was happening to correct the cysts and take care of my endometriosis. They all got the news before I did, but the Lord knew they needed to hear it first so they could be praying for it to fall softly on my ears.

They all gave me the truth, in super soft terms. But I chose to go to my post-op appointment alone. It had been an emotional ride, and I wanted to do this appointment alone. They all got the 100% scoop. And they had filled me in, but I needed to hear it one more time from my doctor.

As I sat across from Doctor B in the room, she said in no uncertain terms that due to what she found during surgery on my ovaries, she was not only not comfortable removing it, she was not capable. We could go to some specialist in Atlanta to have them try to remove it: It’s where they TEACH how to do laparoscopic surgery. Cool, right?! Yeah, kind of. It just meant it was really, really bad. She then showed me the pictures I had seen already from my husband. My sweet little ovary was entirely covered with endometriosis and had attached so well, it wouldn’t lift off.

Now, I KNOW Doctor B was speaking English during all of this.
But I was hearing another language.

Quickly, If you don’t know our story, then here’s the best recap I can attempt:  We had our surprise named Autumn out of the clear blue sky right after our first anniversary. Then we tried for another baby for 6 years. That 6 years didn’t come without two miscarriages, sleepless nights, crying in the shower and working through bitterness towards God. Now that our Miracle Mancub is 7 years old, it’s hard to believe that we’ve lost one more baby since he entered the world and we’ve longed for another one for what seems like forever. I won’t go into the infertility treatments, the amount of negative pregnancy tests, the explaining to your 9 year old that Mommy “lost the baby”, the fasting and prayer that has gone into this longing in our family.

Oh yeah, back to that foreign language I was hearing.

I was just hearing the Father speak and it was a language that was settling deep within my soul, from conversations we had been circling around for over a year. A language that said, “It’s Time.” Deep in my heart and my soul, as Doctor B was speaking, my heart was settling. I left and I cried. I cried hard in that parking lot. Not because I knew what journey we were about to embark on. But because I KNEW what journey we were about to embark on. The Lord used my surgery, He used my Doctor, He used my family and Mrs. Ramona. He has used countless people who have gone before us on this journey.

And last week we got the awesome privilege of giving our kids an amazing gift Valentine’s Day present.

Cory and I have signed with Christian Adoption Consultants and are working with a phenomenal woman whose desire it to match the perfect baby with the perfect family. The average wait time is 6-10 months with the people we have signed with. So, it is beyond my comprehension to think that our Mom could be carrying our baby RIGHT NOW!!!!! 

I have SO much more to tell you. But if you’ve ever been a part of Adoption, you know that my eyes are looking at this screen only by peaking over the piles of paperwork that are before us.

As we are already in the middle of our home study, we want to ask for a couple of things from you.
Would you be so kind as to rally around us on our journey? We need support in this process:
Prayer: will you commit to praying for our family? Pray for Autumn and Easton. Pray for our new baby. Pray for us as parents, as pastors and as a family.
Giving: You can support us through your giving at, directly through us or any fundraiser we are doing (Stay tuned!). This process unfortunately is more costly that we can do on our own. Average cost of adoption is $25-40K. While we are/have been doing our part, we are so honored in any way that you can join our journey! Anything you can support us with financially is a blessing. We know that the Lord will be faithful to us and that His resources are endless.
Creativity: We need fundraising ideas! If you are creative, have had great experiences with unique fundraising ideas, or are willing to help raise funds, please connect with us. All ideas are welcome!
Follow: You can follow us on Facebook: /coryandjoy. You can connect with us on Instagram: @onecory @onejoy

Friday, December 12, 2014

Let's Keep Dating Forever

Ever wonder what your life will look like five, ten, 
twenty years from now?

Well. Today is my “sixteen years from now” moment.

December 12th, 1998 a handsome young man knocked on my door.
The front door.
The door that no one ever used.
But, really, how was he supposed to know that everyone uses the back door?

He walked in and tried to make eye contact with my parents, while at the same time tried not to make eye contact.
You know what I mean.
Trying to be respectful but super nervous.
Like, if you look me too long in the eyes, you’ll read my soul kind of stuff.

We left for a casual date and I don't think either of us knew what was about to happen. 

That night started a journey I never knew could be.
A life I wouldn't trade for anything.
A joy I found that I had never known before.
A love that will last a lifetime.

Let’s keep dating forever, my love.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Henderson's Choice: Halloween

I've seen much debate on opinions regarding Halloween. I could give you opinion after opinion after blog after blog after origin after origin after scripture after scripture to back both sides. 

The truth is, every family and every community is different. 

We all must each discern what is right for our own families.

Do we let our children dress up? Yes.
But is their identity wrapped up in that? Absolutely not.

Do we pass out candy? Yes.
But is our goal to give every kid a cavity or send them on a sugar high? No.
Do we have pumpkins and bales of hay on our front porch? You betcha.
Do we have chopped off hands and bloody bones hanging from our trees? Gross.

Hear our hearts and don't just chalk it up to flirting with the world.
You see, we live in a community that is filled with young families. FILLED.
And we've made it a point to get to know our neighbors.
So we've chosen not to close the doors, turn lights off, and pretend they aren't knocking.
Now, do we think that by giving out awesome candy we will win them all to Christ? No. But maybe it will open some doors.

Could they ask us why we don't participate in Halloween, and we could give them an entire spill on the supposed origin of Halloween? Yes. But would that bring them close to Christ? Maybe. Maybe not.

And would they know if we were in the house with all the lights off, watching TV?
Maybe. Maybe not.

But instead, we've chosen to turn on as many lights as we can.
A city on a hill cannot be hidden, y'all.
Be that city on a hill!
Halloween itself may not be a redeeming holiday, but you are redeemed!
And if you know the Redeemer himself,  open your door and smile so big and so bright that you blind every dark thing that comes your way!  

You see, we as not only Christians, but Pastors, have the opinion
that the light shines brightest, when the darkness is darkest.

Be the house that all the kids want to come to every year! 
And you know what, you may smile so brightly, that they may knock on your door next week for your kids to play. And by your kids playing with them, you may have a bold lion like my A & E who just think EVERYONE goes to church :) So they ask them where they go!!  And sometimes they do already go to church. But sometimes they don't. My kids have br
ought more kids to church through these simple front yard conversations than any other. 

To go a step further, pray a simple prayer with your kids before you ever open the door the first time: "Lord, let every person who knocks on our door tonight see just how much we love You!" 
Make lots of popcorn.
Brew some coffee. 

Have Andy Mineo or Lecrae playing when the door opens.
Light up your fire pit for a warming station.
Pass out stuff to the kids AND the adults. 
Halloween is just a name folks.
And we've simply chosen to not shy away from it.
Give Halloween a chance.
Be a blessing to someone.
Love your neighbor.
Use this to your advantage.
When is another time of the year that you will have your neighbors knocking on YOUR door! You wanna talk about door to door witnessing. They are coming to YOU! Just open your door. 

You might still be shaking your head about our decision on how to enjoy this evening. And that is perfectly okay. Our best friends don't celebrate Halloween with their kids at ALL. And we honor that. We totally do. And just as we honor them for their decision, they honor ours. You can bet that we don't go toe to toe over the dinner table regarding our stance on Halloween!

Bottom line, we use this day to our advantage. We leverage it. 
And we totally have fun along the way.
Putting green eye shadow on my Tinkerbell last night brought me back to recital days for my sweet girl who is quickly reaching the teen years! When I zip up Lightning McQueen tonight in his race car, I'm totally gonna reminisce on the times we cuddled up to watch Cars together.
We dressed up for our student party last night.
We will dress up to walk around our neighborhood tonight.
We will be dressed up to pass out candy at our house tonight.
And will will dress up tomorrow night for our church's Fall Festival.
And we will be planning out what we get to dress up as next year :)

Let us not forget, that as believers, we are ALL on the same team. 
Choose your words wisely, if you choose to speak of this at all with others. 
It is not right for those who DO participate, to call people "super spiritual" for NOT participating. 
On the other hand, it is not right for those who DON'T participate to call others uneducated or young in their faith if they DO participate.  
This is most assuredly one way to tear down the kingdom, verses being a kingdom builder.

I'm gonna love you the same tomorrow, come November 1st.
I hope you feel the same about us :)
We love you deeply. And we love the Lord passionately. We promise!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Never Say Never

I said I would never ever, ever let a dog live in my house.


In August 2011 we uprooted our kids from all they had ever known. 

And in a moment of raw emotion, we promised our children a dog once we made the transition from Florida to South Carolina. 

My children are HUGE animal lovers. 

Cory and I are NOT. 

So we were internally relieved when we moved into an apartment for the first part of our transition, and we weren't allowed to have pets. Shwew. 

But then. 
We purchased our home. 

And once our year mark of being in our home hit.
And being asked a million times from our kids "when are we ever gonna get a dog?" 
We realized we had to keep true to our word. 
We had held off as long as we could without starting the actual dog search process.

So, we went to PetSmart when they were hosting the Homeward Bound Shelter dogs. 

We were fully intending on looking and NOT buying. 
That was established with the kids before we even left the house.

And then we saw this beautiful pup; took him out of his cage to play; and my kids were in tears. 

We left with them in tears. 

I texted my husband (in the drivers seat) and told him that we couldn't let the sun go down without that dog being in our house. 

This clean freak, sensitive nosed, everything in its place Momma, has really become quite fond of this sweet pup. 

Alas, welcome Cooper Henderson to our home. 
He has found his forever home. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Five. Cinco. Cinq. Pende.

However you say it, our little guy turned FIVE this week! 
Time really goes fast when you're loving life! 

I often wonder what he'll be like at 15. Teenager. Sports? Hormones? 
I often wonder what he'll be like at 25. College? Girlfriend? Career?
I often wonder what he'll be like at 35. Married? Daddy? Live close? Far away? 

But for now, I'm going to revel in the awesomeness of the five years we've already had with our boy. 

He's conquered that whole speech thing that he battled for years. 
He loves to be at home. Want to see him in his element? Just come to our house! 
He's really good at basketball. Even from the top of the stairs! 
He makes friends with kids his age at any play area, play place, or group setting. 
He has learned how to use the phrase "oh crap" perfectly. Oops. 
He loves school, his teachers and his friends. And the red bike on the playground.
He loves the color green. 
His favorite character is Luigi. 
He still tells me constantly that he loves me. Sigh :) 



Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Kind of Friend

There are people who walk into your life for a season. 
And then there are people who make a deep impact. 
The ones who are forever friends. 
You know the kind. 

The kind of friend who asks you to be her bridesmaid; and somehow a journey of sisterhood begins.
The kind of friend who comes and sits with you, and cries with you, when you lose your baby. 
The kind of friend who puts a cinnamon dolce latte on your desk in the morning; or on your front porch and then texts for you to open the door. 
The kind of friend who puts on a cocktail dress and heads to Captain Andersons for a girls night. Just because. 
The kind of friend who cries and screams when you call to tell them you're pregnant ... again. 
The kind of friend who sits in a waiting room for hours upon hours ... upon hours ... waiting for the newest arrival to the family. 
The kind of friend who sits with your 6 day old so you can take a shower and the 6 year old can have some daddy time.  
The kind of friend who moves into an office right beside you when there are better options. 
The kind of friend who introduces you to Rocketman.
The kind of friend who rejoices in your victories; and hurts during your defeats. 
The kind of friend who throws a rock star baby shower ... twice.  
The kind of friend who inherits a puppy simply because they are asked. 
The kind of friend who brings ChickFilA and Krispy Kreme when your one year old is in the hospital with RSV.
The kind of friend who makes this famously awful, yet cute face with you. 
The kind of friend who helps you moves into your new home ... three different times.
The kind of friend who sits outside of Starbucks way past closing time, to discuss potential life plans. 
The kind of friend who calls me first when she is pregnant; so it can give me hope during a dark day.
The kind of friend who stayed up late and then woke up at the "butt crack of dawn" to do yard sales together. 
The kind of friend who invites you to every family function, because that's what feels normal. 
The kind of friend who not only offers to keep your kids, but genuinely wants to. 
The kind of friend who gets me to join a gym and actually go to workout classes with her. 
The kind of friend is so much more of a giver than a taker. 
The kind of friend who cries when we sit down to lunch and no words have even been spoken; simply because she knows what's coming. 
The kind of friend that is an amazing mom, a phenomenal worship pastor, a Godly wife, and a loyal daughter. 
The kind of friend who is a sister to me by all definitions of the word. 
The kind of friend who my heart misses and my soul desires daily conversations with. 

The kind of friend who has a birthday today. 

She is the kind of friend I wish I could be there today to hug and tell her I love her! 
Since distance separates us, these words will have to tell her how much she means to me! 
I miss you more than you know! 
Happy Birthday to the best friend a girl could have!