Friends! HI! Does it feel like forever since we’ve caught up- yet just like yesterday all at once?

I feel a (lotta) bit like I’ve been sucked up into some kind of twisted time warp. On one hand, I feel like so much of our private life has been exposed, laid out on social media for everyone’s viewing pleasure. Asking for help is humbling like that, you must be willing to be SEEN. It’s exciting- because so many of you have done the seeing, done the work of stepping into the mud and muck with us. But, in total transparency, there are moments in this whole process when I have just wanted to hole up in a hide away with all my business neatly put out of everyone’s sight.

Maybe that’s why- on the other hand- I also feel like we (me and the internets) haven’t caught up in forever, that the full story of our journey has been a bit murky and tucked away.

Last week, a friend and faithful follower the French Family journey (so many F’s there.. I’m smitten with alliteration, y’all), reached out to check in on us. We see each other from time to time, following the day-to-day on insta- but she wrote to say she didn’t fully understand the details of our process and was hoping I might be able to fill her in so she could be more intentional and specific as she prayed for us. I can’t fully articulate what her email meant to me other than it always feels good to be remembered, to be prayed for, to be desired for knowing. Her email encouraged me in more ways than one, but my primary take away was that we were far overdue for an adoption update.


First, I’d like to offer a simple apology for the lack of clarity we’ve given. I don’t feel like anyone is upset with us (especially not the friend above), but I do feel like we’ve pulled back from sharing details. Why?  

For starters- it’s CONFUSING. It’s hard to make it all make sense in our own heads, so imagine trying to explain it over and over again to people totally outside of the adoption world. I’m not the best storyteller (I ramble, okay?!), so it makes me sweaty to think about having to condense the long of it into the short of it. I guess if you have wanted the 90 minute version (which undoubtedly includes tears) I would have been ready to give it to you.

Also, we are nowhere FINANCIALLY close to where we thought we might be right now. Our first adoption moved insanely and UNUSUALLY fast. We decided we would adopt in March 2015, did our home study in April 2015, announced in late May, fundraised ALL OF OUR MONEY between June and July 2015, went active the first week of August 2015 and were matched with a birth mom just days later. Sellers came home the first week of December of that SAME YEAR. That’s 9 months from start to baby in arms. Lightning, unusual speed.

This time? We started fundraising in May and it’s January of a new year and we still have MILES TO GO. We are only about 1/3 of the way there. PLEASE,PLEASE do not – for one second- sense a lack of gratitude on our part. Every single time someone gives in our direction we are blown away. Not in a superficial, Taylor Swift “no way!” shocked reaction.. but a true HUMBLED, spirit-shaking reaction.  The sacrifice and kindness of so many of you IS never and WILL never BE lost on Herschel and I. It’s a kind of love we never knew existed and we are CHANGED because of all of you who have generously walked with us.

But- continuing to say “we aren’t there yet” is hard to get out. Mainly because we aren’t there yet- we aren’t to our babe, our birthmother, the little one we deeply, deeply believe God is calling us to. And? Because we feel a little embarrassed to continue asking for your help in getting us there. We don’t want to be schmoozy or appear like takers happily dependent on your charity. This whole process has taken us outside of any realm of comfort. I am no longer mistaken- discomfort for the sake of call is easy in theory, but it’s hard as hell in practice. So.. I think we have hidden a little bit in our own pain, our own shame so we don’t have face the reality that this journey is far less aesthetically and emotionally pleasing than we’d like it to appear.  

I hope you can trust that it’s never, ever been our intention to be vague.. that’s not really our style. It’s just that it’s complex and complicated in ways we aren’t always able to publicly articulate.

With that said, here is our prayerful attempt to clarify where we are:

Basically: We are paperwork ready/cleared to adopt, but not financially ready. We do not have a match yet (no specific “baby” we are waiting on). We are signed (signed=have paid our fees, been approved) with two agencies, and only active (active=birthmothers viewing our profiles) with ONE of them. Confused yet? Here’s more info:

One agency is here in Nashville. It is a small non-profit that does 3-6 infant adoptions per year. For that agency, we are fully funded as they are funded program through a local church and their fees are based on a sliding scale (because they get funds from the specific denomination/church conference). We are active with them and could get a call anytime (you may have seen in recent posts on social media that we have actually gotten 3 calls that have failed- those were from this agency). They don’t do nearly as many matches as our other agency because they are so tiny, so the process is LONG and waits are typically estimated in YEARS.

The second agency, which is the same agency we used for Sellers is a national agency. We are signed with them, cleared and approved for adoption- but we are NOT active with them because we need to raise another $28,000ish dollars. Yes. TWENTY EIGHT THOUSAND. Their adoptions range from 30-40k and so we are shooting for a budget of 35k. The reason we are not active is because as soon as a birthmother chooses us, we have to pay ALL OF THAT MONEY WITHIN 24 hours (to complete our contract). This agency is much larger and does 70-100 adoptions per year, so our chance of getting that call is much greater. So, we don’t want to be “active” because we don’t have the money that would be needed to turn over if we got a call and we don’t want to ever turn a birthmother away. So, we have to wait until we have all of the money to activate.

There is a third and fourth agency we have interviewed about potentially being added to their waitlist, but we have paused at this time while we discern what direction to go. Why more than one agency? It means more adoption education for us and more exposure to potential birth families.

Our financial status/needs: First, if you have given to us- your money is holding tight in our adoption account at Wells Fargo. To move forward? We need $28,000 to feel confident activating with the second agency. That’s what we would need to feel confident activating with the additional agencies as well. This would also cover our home study updates and give us the ability to stay active without interruption. (So many of you continue to ask the question “WHY IS IT SO EXPENSIVE”.. and it’s difficult for us to answer because it’s worth every bit of that to us. The funds- for the most part- are quite necessary for all the parties that are involved in the process. I’d encourage you to read up on this if you feel confused. We have been questioned, more than once - by family members no less- about the amount we were/are raising. It was insuated that we might be falsifying that number – for what reason I’ll never, ever know. We wouldn’t DARE. Ask any other adoptive family about their experience and I promise they can tell you that it’s a risky and financially enormous journey, but it’s worth it. Also, don’t be like that family member. Ever. I cannot even tell you how deeply that hurt us. If you have questions, please do your research.)

Our prayer needs: For an ease to trust. For peace in the mess and chaos of it all. For joy and satisfaction with the beautiful gift God has already given us in Sellers, in each other, in each of you. For the potential birth family we could be matched with (and all mothers and fathers considering placement for their children)- this wait has taught us a great deal about how we can better honor and respect them. For Sellers, that God would prepare his heart for this transition in ways we cannot. For our finances, that God would continue to supply every need and that we would be faithful stewards of every single dime of it.

I hope that answers, more specifically, the questions many of you might be wondering. There are different details that further complicate each process- one of which is that our current home study (done by a local independent agency) is set to expire in March. This means MORE money to update it and keep it current for our agencies standards. We also had to pay money to be signed with each agency, which takes from our overall fundraising efforts.


So many of you have supported our newest side hustle and God dream, The Welcome League (if you don’t know? TheWelcomeLeague.com). THANK YOU! It’s been a neat way to share our journey and our absence has probably had a lot to do with the fact we are pouring ourselves into that project. It is so fun and it’s SO CRAZY to dream about where God might take that. But, just like any “business” (we are still working on all of the official stuff!), they take money to start and maintain. So- we’ve had to take money from our own savings (that might otherwise go towards our adoption expenses) to step into this new opportunity. We aren’t mad about that and we trust that God has gone before. We are choosing to walk in that direction until God says stop.. so for now you can find us chugging along with product designs and social media marketing and shipping and just generally trying to pretend we know what we are doing!

I am so grateful to my friend, for asking the question that challenged the honesty in the words of this post. It’s not easy to give all the details, to let people in- but Herschel and I made a commitment to be transparent with every step of this journey and we needed the push from our friend to live up to it.

While I would have rather told you that it was all rainbows and sunshine over here (though I can’t lie, it’s close.. that little boy under our roof makes my heart BURST. His giggles and wiggles have been the push to joy that we’ve needed on days of doom and gloom), It’s actually quite HARD. I struggle deeply with impatience over the timeline, jealousy over the completed families of others, and don’t even get me started about the million shades of SHAME that I have felt these past few months (I could write a BOOK on it). I won’t pretend with you, ever, that this whole journey hasn’t felt like ripping and tearing. Thankfully, though- that means that old parts of me are dying and the new is grafting and growing.

TRULY, we are walking in hopeful days. What I am learning is that hope doesn’t always spring up in gardens of happiness or come glittered with smiley positivity. At least not for me. Lately, hope happens in the midst of the boxing match I feel like we are in, smacking us right in the face as we fight discouragement and defeat.

 I live in my TWL “Hope” sweatshirt these days– sometimes just to remind myself that where we are isn’t where we will always be and that our longing is refining us. I really, really, REALLY believe that the Lord is mindful of us- of you. We are NOT forgotten, even in days and months when it feels absolutely so.  

Thank you for consistently showing up for us. For sharing our statuses, for spreading our story, for buying our t-shirts, for showing up at our doorstep with hugs and words and the sweetest gifts like the one below- reminding us that our story is not over and the wait is ALWAYS WORTH IT. It’s going to be worth it all.






My decision to pursue youth ministry is 70% calling and 30% I-Didn’t-Ever-Want-To-Do-Math-Again. 

Actually maybe closer to 60/40.

But, when God calls you to adopt and you jump into the wild world of raising thousands and thousands of dollars- you have to suck it up and crunch all the numbers.

Today, I did just that. 

Stay with me: We need around $25,000 more dollars to bring our babe home.  While I’m no mathematician, I know that is a BIGGUN. And if I’m real honest that number has me a bit anxious. 

So, I decided to break it all down so my little brain could make sense of it .. and lookie what I found:

We have 13 t-shirts, 6 water bottles, 2 sweatshirts, and 15 stickers left to sell. We need to fill 140 more envelopes.

That's 176 items when added together.


If 176 people would buy ONE item or fill ONE envelope we would be able to add $17,884 to our adoption account.

-OR -88 people could buy TWO items (check out those division skills!!) and get us to the same number-

That would get us just $5000 from our overall goal. THAT WOULD BE SO CLOSE. THIS IS DOABLE. There is something for every budget- 5$ stickers, $20 shirts, and envelopes as low as $32 dollars. 

Friends: BETWEEN YOU AND ME AND OUR NETWORKS, WE KNOW 176 people. RIGHT? That’s not even a 1/3 of some of you popular peeps’ friend lists.

Will you help us spread the word? WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER. WE CAN, WE CAN, WE CAN! 


The Latest (and Longest) Adoption Update

Sunday ended another wild summer of ministry and travel- and I’m still finishing the long exhale of a crazy, exhausting, beautiful, JAM-PACKED few months. (I’m also still finishing laundry and its days like today that I wonder: WILL. IT. EVER. END?!?!?!!)

I woke up on Monday intent to pause- to take a minute to rest, to celebrate and reflect on all that’s come with the last few months of insanity.

In the silence of our bedroom that morning, I was quite honestly just overwhelmed. The last 60ish days have felt something like those spinning teacups at Disney World: stomach knotting, hilarity inducing, and an absolute blur. YOU GUYS, WASN’T IT JUST APRIL?

Being a Youth Minister, I’m learning, is blinking in May and looking up to see August. It’s a job specific time warp and even five years in, I CANNOT MAKE THE SLIGHTEST SENSE OF IT.

In addition to the trips and tours and travels (and attitudes) with 300ish teenagers, add a darling husband and job responsibilities and five hundred degree weather and a 19 month old WHO THINKS HE WAS BORN TO BE MY BOSS.


BUT- while this introvert would much prefer to take a lonnnngg sabbatical under a (very quiet) rock, life does in fact go on and on Monday morning I felt the Holy Spirit’s nudge to focus my mind less on the busy and more on the blessing. To give thanks for all the good the crazy brings. It’s easy for my thoughts to get wrapped in the hustle of it all and I’m always tempted to wallow in complaints, but chaos is not always synonymous with difficulty. This season has been more than brimming with good things.

I may be a very tired version of myself, but I have never, ever been more thankful than right here, right now. When I tell you that I’ve seen God EVERYWHERE this summer, I really really have.  

I’ve seen Him in the faces of my students as they spackled and painted and pulled weeds to make a run down plot a home for our new veteran friends. I’ve seen Him in the mountains and by the ocean and in the summer rains that pass by our house in the afternoon. I’ve seen Him in Herschel as he has juggled all his responsibilities (and mine) so that I could be free to go and work and serve. I’ve seen him in the face of my niece, Collins, as she proudly lives into her “Big Sister” role to my new teeny tiny baby niece, Quinn. I’ve seen him in the toothy grin of our little babe and every time his darling voice calls out to “MomMEEEEE” it’s as if God is giving me a hundred of the biggest, most cuddly bear hugs. I’ve seen glimpses of Him here, there, and everywhere.

And I’ve seen God in YOU. Yes, you. Every single one of you who have joined us on our journey to Baby French #2. Sixty days ago, we shared the news that we were jumping into this adoption thing again and you didn’t waste ONE SINGLE MINUTE in sharing your excitement. Summer has been insane, sure, but your support, encouragement, and friendship has provided us FUEL THAT WILL SUSTAIN FOR MONTHS AND MONTHS AND MONTHS TO COME.

Endless “thank you’s” for the love you have shown us. We absolutely mean it.


SO THE NITTY GRITTY? WELL, I WANT TO TELL YOU ALL THE THINGS. There are so many adoption-y updates and I need to do a little catching up. I’m going to bullet point it below (because my brain is, as mentioned, working at half capacity and I DON’T WANT TO MISS A THING):

  • T-SHIRTS AND SWEATSHIRTS AND WATER BOTTLES AND STICKERS were a big hit. Over 120 shirts SOLD! There are a few extras in the online store. Many of you have asked about these and I’d love to get them to you!


  •  In June, a few of our friends rallied to throw us the SWEETEST adoption fundraiser. You guys, it was BEAUTIFUL. I have to be honest, the whole idea was WAY out of my comfort zone and I had no idea what to expect- but our friends reallllly stretched me and I am so thankful they did.  Being that my love language is acts of service, one of the best parts of the experience for me was watching my friends exercise their gifts in planning and executing the night. My friend, Sarah, literally moved heaven and earth to make the most GORGEOUS invitations. In 3 DAYS. THREE. Other friends coordinated food and deliveries, while another went all in on managing donors. One friend decorated, another mastered the cheese tray, and another played an acoustic set as our guests came and went. Our gracious friend, Karol, offered her home for our gathering and Y’ALL. IT WAS PERFECT. They truly delivered the most relaxed, humbling, encouraging night in our honor and I will never forget their hard work. We got to share our story, they circled around us in prayer, and we left the night with $8,062 to add to our adoption account. THANK YOU, JESUS.


  • Herschel started a little campaign to fill 29 envelopes before my birthday, June 29. You guys filled 31 envelopes for a total of $1262 dollars. BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!! (well, besides my 2012 gift.. Ben and Ash gave me a NIECE for my birthday #canttopthat)

  • We celebrated Sellers official adoption day with some of our people. I can't believe how fast time is flying!


  • Another group of friends rewrote and filmed a version of Housefires “Yes and Amen” in an effort to share our story. It was the sweetest surprise - and again, it’s an incredibly humbling thing to watch your people use their talents and time on YOUR behalf. Especially when everybody has their own schedule and life and crazy. One of these friends is moving across the country in 4 days, another got home Sunday after a MONTH away, and the sunshiney girl on guitar is GETTING MARRIED on Saturday. Yet they made time for US. That feels really, really undeserved and really, really special. Thank you Juan, Molly, James, Olivia, Michele, Stephanie, Mason, Libby and Brooke. If you have a minute, I hope you’ll take a listen and be encouraged.


  • YES AND AMEN DAY is THIS Saturday, July 28th. Wear and use your Yes and Amen gear (old shirts work too!) and tag us in them on social media using the hashtags #yesandamenagain #thefrenchesadopt #bigbrothersellers. We can't wait to see your smiling faces!

If you have read this far on the blog.. you’re either a)recovering from some major life event that keeps you from doing ANYTHING else or b)half dead and definitely c)really annoyed that after the 9000 word essay above I STILL haven’t spilled the biggest beans of all: our current financial status. So without further ado….


We have a little over $12,000 in our adoption account with about $29,000 to go. WE ARE GETTING THERE PEOPLE.

There are days when I look at the numbers and I want to cry my eyeballs out. How will we EVER do it? But that’s fear, the opposite of hope. A hope we KNOW we can trust in because God has used you to show His faithfulness before and we believe He will do it again.

We’d love for you to continue to pray for us as we carry on with fundraising. Specifically- earlier this summer we submitted an application for a grant that could majorly impact our financial goal. We should get word the first few weeks of August if we were selected. Will you join us in praying for this opportunity? God knows our need.

Thanks for hanging in for this long overdue and WAY-TOO-WORDY post (I’m sorry.. I have tried for years to be short winded but it’s JUST NOT WHO I AM, FRIENDS.) We love you to the moon and can’t imagine this road without you.

 The Frenches

A Prayer for Today


I pray I never, ever take for granted the unique position God has given me in the life of this little guy. Watching him watch the world is pure delight, altogether fascinating. He has unearthed a new sense of wonder in me and challenged nearly all that I once thought absolute. He is everything I’ve ever wanted and everything God knew I needed


• • He may not have been born from my body, but he was absolutely born from my heart. 



Outside of Our Comfort Zone.. Gladly

So here we are. Adoption round two. Everything went so well with adoption round one that we probably have no fears or anything going into it this time, right?

I wish. 

Adoption is hard. It’s no secret that Lee and I can’t do this alone. We need money. We need prayers. We need friends standing by us through this whole experience. For a couple of introverts, this is extremely outside of our comfort zone. 

There’s this belief we all have that we should be able to do stuff on our own. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, they say. Don’t rely on anyone but yourself. 

And yet adoption requires us to do the exact opposite. We have to ask for help. And it’s really hard. And scary. And sometimes it makes us question if we should be walking through this door at all. 

But when we pray, when we meditate on what God is saying to us, well.. we can’t help but believe that God is calling us to adopt again. And we know that is only possible by seeking the help of friends, family, and the people of God. 

For those of you who are on our team, we are eternally grateful. For those of you whom we don’t know, or are still deciding if you are being called to help us, know this: we do not ask for help lightly. We recognize the sacrifice every single person who gives financially, or of their time, or of their prayers makes. We recognize that when you join our team, you’re part of our family’s story. 

It’s impossible to look at Sellers and not be reminded of the great love poured out on us by everyone who helped us during adoption round one. 


So thank you..And here’s to seeing what God does for round two!


- Herschel 

Yes and Amen. AGAIN.

I will never ever forget the moment in the hospital when Sellers was officially in our custody.

We haven't shared much of Sellers' birth story, mainly because it's deeply personal and the intimacy of those days feel best reserved for our little family. Also because it was the most insane paradox of deep beauty and excruciating pain. That's adoption in a nutshell. That's the gospel in a nutshell, really. 

The initial papers had been signed and I was laying in bed, foggy from 36hours of no sleep- trying to be as present and aware of each moment as possible. The task felt impossible. Herschel and I were juggling diaper and cuddling duty, and it was his turn. I closed my eyes to get a little sleep before it was my turn again, and I heard Herschel whispering to our little 6lb babe in the corner. He let out a monologue that was so intense, so haunting, so beautiful that I could hardly breathe. I whipped out my phone to type it as he went- I didn't want to forget a word. Somewhere in the middle of his prayer, he said - swaying side to side with his eyes sweetly surveying Sells-  ".. you're going to fall in love with so many things in this big world. Mexican food. Cardinals Baseball. Netflix. But most of all, Jesus. You just left His house, I think. You probably remember him. You'll forget about Him for a little while as you grow up and then you'll start to learn about Him again. You'll start to see Jesus everywhere. And one day you'll have a child, and you'll see Him as bright and as real as ever..."

There we were, holding this beautiful little gift- so happy, scared, so out of our depth. He was technically not "ours" yet, and we were trying to stay alive within the tension of both caution and deep hope. The words from Herschel's mouth felt so raw, so holy. And they were SO TRUE. 

 His last line was so prophetic for what had only begun to happen in my own heart. 

"And one day you'll have a child, and you'll see Him as bright and as real as ever..."

Sellers has given us new joy, new hope, new eyes to see the world. He has redeemed so many lost and lonely days, given us a sense of belonging, and provided us a chance at the most beautiful, big life. His birth family has widened our capacity for love, and have helped close the gap on our stereotypes and judgement. They have taught us about sacrifice, humility, and the most radical kind of courage. Sellers has given us new passion and purpose, placing new burden on our heart for forgiveness and reconciliation for all of God's people. I honestly didn't know how much stretching my heart needed until Sellers and parenthood forced me to confront the difficult, dark, uncomfortable parts of my story.

He is our living, breathing reminder that the One who promises is faithful and because of his little life, we see Him as bright and as real as we ever have before. 

And we REALLY, REALLY believe there is more to see. God is not done growing our story, our family.


For those that have loved us to and through this journey so far, our gratitude simply goes on and on. There will never be enough words. I hope Sellers life has pointed you, too, towards a fresh hope and a deeper understanding of God's overwhelming goodness.

Praying that you'll join us on our next adventure, that you'll go with us as we are stretched and shaped and pushed to see God as bright and real as ever. 


- Lee + Hersch + Sells








Coke Icee. Bowl of Microwaved Popcorn.

Also known as my BFF’s. They get me through all the feelings. Both have joined me for this blog post because I am 43 shades of overwhelmed. 

Friends, our adoption is FULLY funded. 

We lack nothing. Not one penny. I have dreamed about the day I could say that, tweet that, post it to our Facebook wall. I imagined all the flowery words and exclamation points. But y’all? I’ve got nothing. I am stunned speechless, truly lost for the words to articulate how we feel. 

There is nothing but time and a birthmother’s decision standing between us and our sweet baby. (I don’t at all mean to make light of the weight of those things, but besides them- all i’s have been dotted, all t’s have been crossed)


I cannot tell you what it feels like to type that, say that. 

I also cannot begin to express what it feels like to KNOW that. Can you even comprehend? Truly an act of The Father. Herschel and I left a fundraiser Saturday night and drove nearly 3 1/2 hours in total silence. Our eyes felt like faucets and our hearts were nearly raw. It's a beautiful and powerful and insanely humbling thing to be smack dab in the center of a move of God. There was NO way through this, NO WAY TO this without Him. Our prayer remains: "To you be all the glory,  Lord"

And to know we have so many huddled in our corner, walking and laboring alongside us? MERCY. Outside of our salvation and our marriage, it’s quite possibly the most humbling gift The Lord has ever given us. Friends, your generosity and your sacrifice is not lost on us and we will never forget your friendship in this season. Without you- we could not experience parenthood. Those words make me weep.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. For sharing our (bajillion) status updates, for buying t-shirts, for selling Porkburgers (no idea what they are, but oh my gosh- so good!), for hosting dinners and writing songs. Thank you for wearing our story (via necklace or keychain or tee) and for marking your spaces with our pictures and stickers. Thank you for running, lifting (NIKAO Crossfitters, you are NO joke), and emptying your piggy banks. And thank you for your prayers. Oh, friends, they have carried us.

We pray that the next time your soul is full of worry, the task feels impossible, and all hope seems lost- that you will find your back to our little corner of the web and be reminded that God is beautifully and forever faithful. 

So what now?

Herschel and I will stop blowing up your newsfeeds (though I pray that our story has offered respite from all the crazy). Our adoption activation agreement has been signed and our agency will officially register us as a “Waiting Family”. And wait we will. The timeline for placement is anywhere from 6 months to 1 year. 

Our website will remain up because it is home to our blog (and we hope to give updates along the way), but (as of midnight tonight), our donate button and envelopes will no longer be active. For those still wanting to buy stickers, you can purchase them through our site store until they are gone (I think there are only 40ish left). For those who have messaged or texted us with desire to contribute, we would ask that instead of contributing to us, you would visit our friends, Colin and Meghan (colinandmeghan.com), and consider giving to their adoption fund. They are patiently waiting on their little one and still have  $13,300 to go in their fundraising. It would be such an honor to bless them as the Pack’s blessed us


We covet your prayers in this season of continued unknowns and welcome your encouragement as we long for our baby. We anticipate hard days and know that there are more bends and turns ahead. BUT! We are more confident than ever that we do not walk alone and that our hope is secure in the giver of all good things. We lack NOTHING. 



"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflowsSurely your goodness and love will follow me
 all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Psalm 23

An Anthem

Herschel and I are good at things.. like puzzles, Parenthood marathons, and raising dogs who only  use the potty in the house one or two times a week. 

But our friends? They rule at stuff like prenatal medicine and winning nationally recognized court cases and running non-profits. 

We have TALENTED friends. 

The best part, though? We have TALENTED friends who care very little about recognition or fame but steward their gifts with grace, humility, and ease. Friends, like Josh Johnson, who is as gifted as he is good-hearted. 

Josh is so talented that he'll just about make you mad. HOW CAN ONE PERSON GET ALL THE GOODS?! I feel confident he is not as good at puzzles as us,  so we hold tight to that. 

Josh is a special, special friend to us and we have walked through so much together the last several years. We spent hours discerning our calling together, praying and believing that God would lead us. We celebrated together when He did. Josh sang me down the aisle of our wedding. This last year, we held on for dear life as he tragically lost his sister and we got the news of our infertility. We have had our fair share of "why's" and "how's". 

As early news of our adoption began to circulate to our closest people, we began to further articulate our calling and share the confirmation God had given us to go ahead. We were walking out of a season of darkness into an unfamiliar, but blindingly bright place- full of hope, full of total abandonment and trust. It was exciting to share that with our friends, like Josh, who had prayed us through the dark, weary, and ugly. 

Josh weathered the whole ride with us and was somehow able to weave together our heartache and hope - giving them melody and life. Allowing the Spirit to move, Josh sat down with our conversations and his journal and, as only he could do, penned the anthem to our story:

Light breaks, bringing hope as endless nights fade / We see the dawn of a new beginning / Hope blooms, in these broken hearts, you renew/ every lost long tattered dream/ Fleeting are the promises of man throughout the ages, but many are the promises of God in Jesus / Yes, we say Amen/ Lord we know that you are sovereign and we trust your gentle hand/ For God you are faithful on this journey you have planned/ We will abide in You. 


In his words, he "threw something together on guitar" (ok, whatever. let me tell you guys what it would be like if I "threw something" together on an instrument: painful), then grabbed his friend, took it to the studio.. and now it echoes all around our house as we claim the promise of God for our story, for yours.

Lord we know that you are sovereign and we trust your gentle hand.

We want you to sing along with us. You can buy the FULL song (that was just a snippet) for $4 right here on our site. I know, I know. FOUR DOLLARS. But we are trying to get to our baby, people! Two dollars of that goes directly to our adoption, two dollars goes directly to Josh and his upcoming mission to Australia (He is on staff at Crosspoint UMC in Florida and you can read all about their church/mission by visiting the link).  

Head on over to our site store and join our song, friends..

- Lee and Hersch


(ps: tune sound familiar? fun fact! it was the background to our announcement video!) 


I swear yesterday was May 28th. 

Somehow I looked up and it was, in fact, NOT the end of May. WHAT IN ALL THE HEAVENS. 

Instead? It's the end of JUNE and the legitimate suspicions I have about some sort of strange summer time warp have hit a level 10. 

How can it even be?!

Well- Somehow, here we are. One of my favorite parts of this whole youth ministry gig is all the summer fun and travel. I love, LOVE seeing and serving new places with our students. But, MERCY. It plays mean tricks on my internal calendar!

I've been home a whopping 9 days this month and those days have been unpacking, laundry, and repacking (the stuff summer dreams are made of, right?!). 

Right now, H and I are driving through the Mojave Desert in California. About 6 months ago, some of our friends asked us to take a little summer trip with them- something we have talked about and tried to plan for years. They had a plethora of hotel points and graciously offered them to us if we could just fly to meet them. We saved and bought our flight in February.. just a few short weeks before our lives sort of exploded with confirmation of our fertility issues.

With all the unexpected costs of doctors visits, tests, and now adoption costs - our finances have been put on lockdown. We have saved, cut back, saved, and cut back again. And again. I'm kind of a freak show when it comes to budgeting and saving and I know we would have never been able to buy tickets or put money aside for a trip if we hadn't done it before the crap hit the fan.  I can't help but think the Lord knew how badly we would need to get away, to get a little respite with our friends. I'll be honest- just the anticipation of our trip has helped us get through the darkest and crappiest of days. 

This trip isn't the only exciting thing going on, though- and before we unplug the crazy for a few days, we wanted to give you an update on all of the things. It's been a WHOPPER of a week for Baby French!

First, an update on financial progress. YALL. Are you ready for this?! 

We have filled 77 envelopes, signed up over 30 racers for The 5k, done our dog and babysitting duties, driven miles and miles for Uber, and received countless general donations.

This all  adds up to a crazy $12,334 raised for Baby French.



Our minds are blown, our hearts are exploding, and our hands are lifted high to the Giver of all good things. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, friends.

This means that we only need about $9000 to meet our goal (We know of about $2000 more on its way, so we are really looking at more of a $7000 goal.)



But, wait.. That's not all! We got this little jewel in our inbox on Friday....

As my best friend, Amy, said (through squeals) "this is your positive pregnancy test!!". I may not ever have a blue line on a stick, but I think I might have felt the rush of excitement and panic and "HOLY CRAP!" many of you have described to me when you found out your little one was coming. For us, this means it's REALLY happening. 

So what now? As soon as we meet our financial goal, our profile will "go live". This means that our profile will be shown to birth families who are seeking adoptive parents, like us, for their child. The timeline of placement after "going live" can be anywhere from 1 week to 1 year. 


The thought that our baby is most likely already cooking in their birth mother's belly? It is sobering, sacred. 

Baby French, we are coming for you. We are praying for you, for your birth family.. praying that God would prepare us and shape us for the honor of being your parents.

Friends, we are praying for you too. We don't close our eyes for sleep each night without thanking God for your investment in our little family. It's been a bit surreal to learn how far some of you would go for us and the friendship of so many of you will stay with us forever. 

Thank you for sharing our story, our statuses, for joining us, for praying us through. We could not have come this far and we surely cannot go ahead without you. 

We pray you'll enjoy this holiday week and weekend with those you love and that through our story, you might experience peace and joy that comes from His faithfulness. He is so good. 



Now time to put our phones and computers away for a couple days and enjoy some rest with our people (and some aircon because: 108 DEGREES). 


Bear hugs and endless thank-you's from the wild, wild West,




A Note from Herschel


In all of our discussions about starting a family, or parenthood, or thinking of our future children’s names, one thing kept creeping into our conversation: our mutual desire to build our family through adoption.  Both of us had seen the glory of God through the power of adoption, and both of us had felt a nudge in our heart and spirit to pursue it for our families.  Now that we were together, and especially after we began to plan our life together as husband and wife, we began to dream about adoption together. 


We wanted our family to be a mix of natural and adoptive children.  That was our goal.  Given our age, we actually started trying to conceive practically immediately after we got married.  Month after month went by with no pregnancy.  We began talking to our doctor and eventually entered into some fertility testing. 


Then we got the news. 


“All in all, you guys have a less than 1% chance of producing children.”


What does one even say to that?  How do a husband and wife, whose greatest desire is to be a dad and mom, respond? Honestly, not well.  We were initially hit with such deep sadness.  Follow that up with real, burning anger. 


As a husband, those words crushed me.  I knew the desires of my own heart, and I also knew the deep longing in Lee’s heart to be a mom.  Her dream in life is to be a mom. Lee’s desire to be a mom was one of the traits about her I was most attracted to. To hear that (naturally) we couldn’t make that happen.. well, again, I was crushed.  It was really a deep feeling of powerlessness.  There was nothing I could do as her husband to ease her pain.  There was nothing I could do to ease my pain. There was nothing I could do to change the situation. As a man, who wants to fix things, to care for my wife- this was one of the worst feelings. 


We were hurt and deeply disappointed.  Our challenge? ENDURE. Endure, Endure, Endure. Just go through it.  I’m grateful for the comfort and care of Jesus that meets us in our “enduring”. I’m thankful that though we are crushed, we are not destroyed.


In our enduring, hope started to root itself in our hearts.  This plan that we had from the beginning, this plan to adopt, began to take hold.  Over and over in my heart, I kept feeling, “The time is now.”  Lee also began to hear those same words in her heart.  Isn’t God amazing like that?


So we began to pray and seek counsel of trusted friends and family. 


Long story short, here we are, saying Yes and Amen to God and his call on our life to adopt.  We are so excited about the adventure ahead of us.  We are so thankful for those of you who have helped us so far, and for those of you who will help us going forward.   We will never be able to repay everyone for the gifts, prayers, and support we have received or will receive. 


We would love to have you join us on this journey.  We would love for you to pray for the birth mother and father of our future child.  We would love for you pray for our future child.  And if you would like to support us financially, you can go to either of these places here on our website to do so:




Thanks for loving us, 







prayer focus: for all the other families who have heard or will hear the soul-tearing words “you have less than a 1% percent of naturally conceiving” – for the journeys, their hearts, their future. 

Strangers to Friends

I have written and rewritten this post at least 37 times and nothing feels right. The truth is, no cute introduction can do justice to the fact that:




I know. Take a minute. Catch your breath. We’ll be sitting right here with our MINDS COMPLETELY BLOWN. 


Now that I hit you with the climax of the story (that’s always supposed to come at the beginning, right?!) let me back up. 


I have a friend named Heather. She is a darling, forever kind of friend. We haven’t talked regularly since we spent a summer together in Africa in 2006, but she’s that special kind that doesn’t need the constant connection. We shoot messages here and there and keep up with each others lives through instagram likes and Facebook comments. 


April 17- Heather posted a status with a link to a friend’s blog.  The link had the word ‘adoption’ in it, so it peaked my interest (Herschel and I had already committed to adoption, but we hadn’t told a soul other than our social worker at this point). The post was so different than I had expected and the reality of their story caught me by surprise. To be short, Heather’s friends, Elizabeth and Allan, were feeling God calling them AWAY from their adoption and they were writing about their plans to give the money they had raised to another couple who were entering the adoption process. (You can read their story here.) They had a couple in mind, but weren’t sure if they were committed to the process and would be trying to discern where to give the money if that couple fell through. 


A week goes by and I cannot get this story off of my mind. I finally talked to H about it and we were deeply challenged by their willingness to follow this call even though it wasn’t how they thought it would go. Could we do that? Would we do that? We made a decision to intentionally pray for the Pack’s, the family who would be receiving their money, and it reminded us to faithfully pray for other families like us who were navigating this adoption journey. I’ll admit we had a moment of “What if they gave the money to us?! That would pay for our initial fees!”.. but I promise you, it was fleeting. In fact, we never discussed it again. Not that anything is wrong with that thought, but we were truly caught up in the reality, difficulty, and humility of their story. 


April 25- After a week of weird nudges by the Holy Spirit, a conversation with Herschel, and some time to build my courage, I wrote a Facebook message to Heather sharing that we were prayerfully beginning the process of adoption. I told her that I had read her friend’s message and that I couldn’t get it off my mind. I mentioned that we would be fundraising and that if they had a “prospective adoptive families to give our money to” hat - we wanted to throw our name in it. I didn’t really know what to say other than that, but I know it was sufficiently awkward. Boldness isn’t my strong suit. 


April 25- Heather writes me back immediately.. firing back, per usual, with scripture and a note of encouragement for our journey. She knows my heart and she spoke to it so beautifully. She mentions that she is going to send my message to Elizabeth and Allan.


April 26- Heather writes me a quick message letting me know that she and Elizabeth had talked and that they were praying for us. Elizabeth had a few questions but mainly offered us incredible wisdom about the journey ahead of us. It has been so refreshing to know we are not in this alone. 


May 5- Heather sends me a message “Hey, if you get a call from Elizabeth let me know”. What? My curiosity is officially peaked. “I’m not SAYING A WORD” she says and just like that any attention I had left to give the presenter at the conference I was sitting in was GONE. Shortly after, I received this message from Elizabeth:


"Hey Lee, Heather gave me your name so that I could contact you! God’s timing is so perfect! I’m so thankful that you listened to the Holy Spirit leading you to ask about the money for your adoption. As soon as I read the message I was like 'Yes! we will totally give them the money!' Of course I had to talk to my husband, Allan first though. Your struggle with infertility is all too familiar with us and to be able to help ya’ll experience the joy of a child would be such a privilege! We had to pay back grants and several people wanted their money back so the funds are not as high as I would’ve liked but I know every bit helps. If you could send us the name and address of the adoption agency, we will send them a check! Also, if you are interested, I could send you some books on adoption and books about adoption for your child-to-be?.... I’m so excited for you and your husband to begin this journey! I know God will do great things along the way while you wait to bring your baby home!"



AND COMMENCE BAWLING. Like a small infant. I couldn’t believe it. The check arrived several weeks ago and is in our account and there is part of me that STILL DOESN’T believe it. 


While the actual number of their gift is incredible, for us- it is their faithfulness and kindness that have left us completely undone.  The Pack’s have no idea who we are. They were STRANGERS TO US. They didn’t do a background check. They didn’t ask us to write essay after essay. The did not push for us to prove ourselves. Instead, they let the very voice that led them into adoption call them to bless ours.


And just like that, we had $5,555 in our adoption account

before we had even gone public with our news.




 Truly, the two most difficult parts of this adoption are the public nature of our need (who likes to ask for help?) and the total and complete lack of control. The Lord busted through both of those fears with The Pack's gift.   

The “yes!” of this journey has not been hard.. but the “amen”? the actual minute-by-minute trusting in God to actually let it happen, pull all the numbers together, and bring my baby home? Man. It’s a fight. 


Whether it's the generosity of the Pack family, a friend who met us in prayer when we felt at our wits end with paperwork, or one of my BUMC youth who donated her report card money- our fears seem to vanish and our hearts remember the truth of 1 Thessalonians 5:24:  “the one who calls us is faithful and he will do it!”.  



We are humbled and thankful for prayers and provision (both big and small)..  and for strangers who have become forever friends. All the glory to the One who has done, is doing, and will do. For us and for you. 


-Lee and Hersch



prayer focus for today: That we would be good stewards of all that is given to us and we would live with the same open-handedness as those who are walking this journey with us. 

Yes and Amen (..and all the details!)

I couldn't possibly articulate the excitement that is so deep in our bones today. We have been busting at the seams to share our news! 

I'll admit that in the middle of all the joy, I also feel a little bit exposed in sharing our story, especially this chapter of it. It feels insanely personal and raw for us, but we know that God is using this process to teach us transparency and humility. It feels beyond strange to think that we can't have a baby without your help- but I feel like God is helping me understand the value of community in a new, authentic, and tangible way. Honestly, community isn't really my thing. That may be a tad surprising considering I make a living (that I LOVE) helping people find their place in the great, big Body of Christ. I find great delight in helping others find their community, but the introvert in me would so much rather keep to my people, my places, and myself. But.. here we are, living out our weird and exciting reality and letting the whole wide world walk right up into our business! While admittedly somewhat awkward, we are so thankful that people like you care and want to join in our journey and we have no doubt that we will be better because of this beautiful season and your generous friendship. 

So.. The details. Here's the skinny. We are pursuing domestic adoption through a private (INCREDIBLE) agency out of Kansas City, MO. Once our money is raised, we will have anywhere from a 1 month to a  1 year wait for an infant placement. 

The process looks a little bit like this:

1) Pick an Agency

2) Contract with an Agency

3) Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork (Gathering documents, fingerprints, background checks, reference letters, Interest Essays, Financial Records, Tax Analysis.. the list goes on and on..)

4)Organize that Paperwork for HomeStudy

5) Homestudy Visits (2 visits from Social Worker/Agency)

6) Completion of Adoptive Family Profile (Text, Video)

7)Homestudy Report Written, Approved, and Sealed

**7b) Raise Remaining Finances

8)GO LIVE! (Our profile will be unlocked on the agency's website and made public to potential birthmothers)


We have completed steps 1-6 and are hovering around step 7 (!!!! WE ARE SO CLOSE, FRIENDS!!!!) Our home study visits are complete and now we wait for our social worker to write our report and send it to our agency for final approval. Our role in that is complete, so now we are focusing all of our energy on raising the remaining $22,000 we need to go live. (To be clear, we could "go live" as soon as our home study is approved, but we want to be ready when we are matched and don't want to miss an opportunity to accept a referral because we don't have our finances in order. Does that make sense?). 


We can't wait to share every little step of this journey with you, so please do bookmark our page and stop in for updates. Thank you in advance for your prayers and encouragement. Maybe it's  overzealous, but it's as if we can already feel them. We love you and we are beyond grateful for your willingness to join our "Yes and Amen!". 


ps: don't forget to SHARE SHARE SHARE! 


Prayer Focus for today: Our potential birth family. Please pray that they might somehow feel the warmth and love you are sharing with us on this special day.