Saturday, January 31, 2015

But I Did It Perfectly...

So by now you probably know that I am experiencing a bit of frustration in the adoption world this week. Our fingerprints have expired. Boo. And we are now at a place where nothing can be done until our prints are renewed. We are waiting for our appointment letters to come in the mail so that we can go get reprinted. Each letter has a barcode that is unique to our case, and so we cannot go without them. Believe me; I considered it.

The most frustrating part of it all is that our prints expired SIX DAYS before we needed our approval issued. And now we are stuck. Grrrrrr. For the last four days, I have STALKED my postman and the mailbox, praying that our letters would come, but they have yet to arrive.

And I have been blaming myself.

For three years, I have tracked every single piece of paper that pertained to our adoption. I have met deadlines, gotten originals of all of our documents, made it to appointments on time, checked and re-checked everything. And I did it successfully. But now, in the eleventh hour, I dropped the ball. I somehow missed that our prints were expiring, so my lapse is causing this delay. And as result of this, I have found myself feeling a lot of things over the last few days. I have been sad, upset, angry, impatient, unfocused, but most of all, I have felt indignant. I have thought about all the paperwork we have completed over the last three years, coupled with where we are now, and I have said to myself…

"But I did it perfectly."

And God stops me right there. He stops me and reminds me that this process, bringing this sweet, beautiful boy into our family, does not hinge on me or the perfection I might think I have achieved. I cannot do enough fast enough to get him home. It doesn't depend on me at all. This boy becoming my son rests solely in God's hands. Color me humbled.

And I am starting to think that is why our print cards have not arrived yet. I am starting to think that God is, once again, using this journey to my son to reveal something to me about Himself. Namely, His sufficiency and my lack of it.

Maybe you are there tonight, too. Maybe you have worked hard and done all the right things for a VERY long time, only to get so close to the end and feel like you have hit a brick wall. I'm right there with you, friend. But there is purpose in this, too. God is still at work, molding us into who we need to be for what lies ahead. Hang on.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Another Step

I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all of you who prayed for us yesterday. From what we have heard and deduced, things seem to have gone well, but we will not know for sure for another couple of weeks.

For now, we are working on getting our fingerprints renewed. I know, right. Third time. We are pretty sure it will be the FINAL time we have to do this. But we would LOVE for you to pray for us, as this has the potential to delay our case. And that thought sends me into a tail spin. I'll be honest. I am feeling super frustrated that after three years of diligently keeping up with so much paperwork, I missed something so key as such a critical point. Grrrr.

For now, we are taking another step toward our little man, and we are SO ready to see him and BRING HIM HOME.

So I'm just trying to hang in there and trust that God is sovereign over my oversight.

Hopefully, I will have some awesome news to share with you VERRRRY soon!

Lots of love,

Sunday, January 25, 2015

BIG Prayers Tomorrow

Thank you SO much to every single one of you who has committed to praying for us and our son and our adoption tomorrow. Adam and I will be praying at 4 A.M. (CST) tomorrow morning if you would like to join us. But we will GLADLY take your prayers ANY TIME!

Here is what we are praying for:

-Courage for all parties involved, one in particular

-Compassion for all parties involved

-Swiftness in decision making

-GOD'S FAVOR. This one is the big ask.

Now, you are probably wondering, when will we know what comes of all this praying? And I don't have an answer for you. My guess is that it will be a few weeks. But believe me, dear friends, when I know, you will know.

Thank you for partnering with us and being willing to go before the throne of our Father on behalf of our sweet, sweet son. He has s one SERIOUS fighters in his corner. And by that, I mean YOU!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Semi-Annual Noonday Collection Sample Sale!

This post is for you beautiful ladies! My semi-annual Noonday Collection Sample Sale is officially open. I am selling some of my FAVORITE Noonday treasures at a discounted price. These beauties are about to sell through and be gone forever, so get them while you can! I'll highlight a few of my favorites here, and then you can click the link at the bottom to be taken to the actual sale.

Happy shopping!!

 Del Mar Necklace 
Made in Ecuador 
Perfect pops of color for spring! 
Retail: $78 
Your price: $58
 Luxe Horn Necklace 
Made in Vietnam 
Hand carved and polished water buffalo horn
Beautiful statement necklace that goes with everything you own. 
Retail: $58 
Your price: $42
 Threaded Charm Necklace 
Made in India 
Patina finish on the brass discs and chain
Retail: $52 
Your price: $39
 Arched Arrows Earrings 
Made in Peru 
Gold plated 
It breaks my heart to be letting these beauties go. 
Retail: $60
Your price: $42

 Moondrop Earrings 
Made in India
Perfect for a night on the town
Retail: $38 
Your price: $26 
 Onyx Infinity Earrings 
Made in India 
Sterling silver and green onyx 
I ADORE these. 
Retail: $120 
Your price: $88
 Antiques Cuff 
Made in India 
This beauty comes from our first ever winter capsule collection! 
Retail: $48 
Your price: $36
 Decadent Deco Cuff 
Made in Vietnam
This might be the most perfect bracelet in all the land. 
Beautifully hand carved from water buffalo horn
Retail: $48 
Your price: $34
 La Noche, Midnight 
Made in Guatemala 
Hand-faceted black beads give an edgy spin to our classic La Noche design. 
Retail: $42 
Your price: $32
Film Noir Clutch 
Made in India by a group of adults with special needs 
VHS and cassette tape film woven together and finished with a gorgeous trim
Retail: $78
Your price: $56

That is just a sneak peek of all the pieces that are available to you through my sample sale. Just click the link below to get to the sale itself, shop to your heart's content and email me with your selections. These treasures usually go pretty fast, so go and get your shop on! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

We Need BIG Prayers

Hello, dear friends. My heart is so deeply awed and humbled by you and your commitment to us and our adoption over the last almost three years. When we set out on this journey on April 10, 2012, we had NO idea what this path would bring. And now here we are. Close. So, so close. And I need to ask for your partnership again. I need to ask you to pray with us and for us.

With adoption privacy regulations, I cannot share here exactly what is going on, but I can tell you that it has the potential to be hugely wonderful and to move us closer to our boy.

I am asking that you pray for God's favor in our life and in the life of our son. That the step we are currently on will go smoothly. That you will give courage and wisdom to all parties involved.

And I am asking that you pray these things really early on Monday morning. We will be praying at 4 A.M. here in Alabama, and we would love for you to join us. I know it's early. As someone who HIGHLY values her sleep, I am genuinely sorry about that. If that is not possible (no judgment here), I would ask that you pray on Sunday night.

If you can commit to doing this, I would love to hear from you. Our goal is to share with our son exactly how many people have been a part of his life and his story even before he came home. You can leave a comment or shoot me an email (

Thank you, friends.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Referral Reflections

So when I posted about our referral call in November, I decided to let the pictures do most of the talking. I had to. For the first time in the history of ever, there were NO words in my brain. I could not think of a single thing to articulate to you what that moment was like. But now we are about six weeks removed from that glorious night, and I am ready to give my best efforts to explain to you what it is like to get a phone call telling you that you are a mom.

We were at Adam's mom's house for Thanksgiving. And, to be totally honest, it had been a difficult week. Adam's uncle had passed away unexpectedly on Thanksgiving day, shocking us all. We were gathered around the TV in JoAnne and Mike's living room watching the Iron Bowl and hoping that a Tiger victory would help cheer us up.

At half time, literally as the Tigers were running off the field, my phone rang. A 205 number that I did not recognize.

Me: Hello?

Voice: Hi, Baylor.

It was Catherine. I knew it right away. Phone in my right hand, my left hand shoots out and grabs Adam's arm. Eyes wide. Heart racing. This is it.

Me: Hi, Catherine.

Catherine: How are you guys?

Me: Can you please tell me why you are calling me right now?

Catherine: Well, I am going to make your Thanksgiving a little happier.

I am off the couch in a flash and sprinting into the kitchen. I can't believe it. Years of pain and heartache and love rooting so far down deep in my heart. And here we are. She is going to say it. She is going to say that we have been matched.

Me: Shut up! Shut up Shut up! OK, no. Don't. Tell me.

She asks me if Adam is there and we get her on speakerphone. My heart is pounding out of my chest, and I am clutching Adam, just waiting for my legs to give out.

And she tells us that there is a boy. A boy.

We collapse into each other and there is nothing but the arms of my husband holding me up, as he has been for years. Catherine, bless her, gives us all the time we need. And so we cry. We cry the tears that have been waiting for YEARS to fall. Tears of disbelief. Tears of shock. But mostly, tears of JOY.

She goes on to tell us more about him, and we continue to be amazed by God's hand. This is the information I can't share, but suffice it to say that God outdid Himself in the life of our little man. Wave upon wave of joy crashes over us, and in those moments, there is no one else in the world.

Just us. Just the THREE of us.

And then I ask the question I have been waiting YEARS to ask.

"Can we see him?"

And finally, the answer is "Yes."

We get my computer out and log in to my email. Catherine sends us our referral email. OUR REFERRAL EMAIL! But it doesn't go through! I cannot even handle it. If you know me personally, then you know it takes a whole LOT to ruffle me. But let me tell you something; I am losing it at this point. She tries again. And it pops into my inbox.


Adam is at the computer. My hands are shaking way too much to type or click on anything. The email opens, and we see him in a thumbnail.

I am not breathing.

He opens it.

There he is. My boy.

And my heart shatters into a million pieces, so wholly and completely overwhelmed with pure and unadulterated love for the face in this photo. He is mine. Always has been.

The best way I can think of to explain what that moment was like is to tell you that suddenly it all made sense. All the tears, all the paperwork, all the heartache, all the days and nights with aching arms and a heavy heart. All the ups and downs, the gut-wrenching sobs and desperate prayers. All of those things, in that moment, finally made sense. And I knew that I would do it a thousand times if it meant I could have him.

For almost three years, God had been growing and cultivating a deep love in my heart for the child He would bring us. And I always wondered how I would react when I saw my child for the first time. Now I know. I love you, son. I love you with a deep and unconditional love that has crossed oceans and continents. And I'm coming.

SHINE 2015!

This is the week! This is the week! I am leaving for Austin to spend four days with some of my favorite people… Noonday Ambassadors!

Our annual conference, dubbed "Shine" this year, has finally arrived, and I CANNOT WAIT! We are kicking the week off with a Rwanda reunion, and then I get to spend lots and lots of time with my adoption soul sister, Amy, and about 300 other Ambassadors from all around the country.


These women, oh, these women. They are women who long to see the world change and then do something about it. They fight poverty, slavery and violence. They promote women's rights, adoption and maintaining the family unit. They advocate for justice both here and around the world. They sacrifice, encourage and work HARD.

And I am so honored to be counted among them.

I wish you could see the kind of community that has been forged among these ladies, most of whom have never actually met in person. They pour into each other and lift one another up. They offer advice and counsel, encouragement and love. And they do it without judgment. They share some deep and hard things, both to look for help and to offer it.

Last year, I wrote about my experience in Rwanda with 24 of these fascinating and awe-inspiring women. It was unlike ANYTHING I had ever experienced in my life. And now I get to meet even more of these women, get to know them and their stories. I am PUMPED!

I have always wanted to lead an extraordinary life, and I am so thankful to have this group of women o challenge me and spur me onward toward what God has for me. They give me courage.

Bring it on Austin, we are ready to SHINE in 2015!



P.S. Odds are, I will be BLOWING UP my Instagram feed starting Wednesday night. Feel free to check out what this awesome community is like. @baylorknott Or you can follow our hashtag: #noondayshine2015

Sunday, January 11, 2015

An Overcomer

While driving home from work on Friday, I was thinking about everything that has happened in my life over the last three years on this journey to our son. I was in the middle of considering all that I have endured over these incredibly long and difficult years, and the Lord stopped me right there.

These are not things I have endured. These are things that, through the sovereign grace of God, I have overcome. There is an enormous difference between those two words and all that they imply.

So much of our adoption journey has left me feeling as though I have merely survived. Like I am dragging my bruised and bloodied self toward the finish line where I will collapse in a heap and say, "I made it." But that is absolutely not what God is doing. Yes, He is allowing me to experience things I NEVER thought this life would bring me. Yes, this path to our son has been the single most difficult thing God has ever asked me to do. Yes, there have been MANY days when I wanted to completely give up and walk away because it was all just too hard. And it would be so easy (and would be my natural inclination) to sit here tonight and tell you that by the grade of God I have SURVIVED these things.

But I haven't.

I have overcome them.

Now, that is not me tooting my own horn. My horn went out the window (along with my expectations) a LONG time ago. There is simply nothing left to boast about, save for the awesome power of God through the blood of Jesus Christ. I look back at the last three years of my life, and I fully and completely see that God has brought me to where I am IN SPITE of me, not because of me. And He alone has allowed me to OVERCOME the trials and obstacles this life has brought. That is huge.

To overcome something is to move past it in victory. And when I look at this journey to my son, that is what I see behind me. A loooooong path of twists, turns and pits that have not merely been survived. They have been overcome. Let's look at some of them.

Attacks on my marriage. If there was one thing about this adoption process that came completely out of left field for me, it is how much this would impact my marriage. Wanting kids, adopting, meeting deadlines that seem to hold the fate of your family in their hands… Those are tough things. Aching to hold your child, to see his face. Those are things that seem impossible to bear. And my husband is the lucky soul who got to live with me through all of it. He has seen the good, the bad and the unspeakably ugly. Whenever someone tells me that I am handling this so well, I politely suggest that they run that by Adam. He might be singing a different song. But God has been so, so, SO faithful to us in this. Our marriage has withstood some fiery trials and some not so graceful moments (almost exclusively on my behalf) and has come out on the other side stronger than I ever thought possible. Deciding to adopt is no small thing. You are handing over the future of your family, and the process is a long one. You have to decide together that you are willing to stand firm through whatever comes your way, that you will stay together and fight for your child together and pray together and believe together that God has called you to this. Before this, Adam and I stood face to face in love. Now, we also stand side by side in battle, willing and ready to do whatever it takes to protect and provide for our family. We have stared some of the darkest adversity in the face and refused to give in. We have cast our burdens on the Lord, and He has carried us. None of this was done in our own strength. Not at all. God's grace and love and mercy have flooded into our lives and our marriage, and we we have overcome what seemed impossible.

Attacks on my faith. Oh, this is a deep one. I have never, not once in my life, doubted God. Then we started our adoption. At so many points throughout this journey it has felt like I was totally and completely alone. Like God was nowhere to be found. And I was left to figure out if God is, in fact, who I have always believed Him to be. There were dark days, my friends. Days when I felt so certain that I had been abandoned. Days when I cried out to God begging for Him to say something, anything. And on many of those days, in His infinite wisdom, God remained silent. He chose to let me rediscover Him for myself. He never let me go, never let me out of His sight or out of the reach of His almighty hand. But He did let me take a long, hard look at my own heart and my faith. He let me search my soul and His Word to see if He is the One True God, sovereign and incomprehensibly good. I doubted, feared, cried, raged and begged. And He let me. He let me experience all of those things. He let me experience all of those things so that when I came up on the other side, I would know beyond the shadow of any doubt that He is EXACTLY who He says He is. He helped me overcome my doubt and my fear, my anger and my hurt. And He showed me that He has been right here with me all along.

I have said it before. God has met NONE of my expectations. But He has surpassed them all. He has helped me not just survive the trials of the adoption journey and of life in general, really. He has showed me how to overcome them. I am still working on it, believe me. There are days when I have to coach myself, "My son is coming home. God will bring him home. He is ours, and God is in this." So I am not perfect by any stretch, but God has shown me, through this incredible thing called adoption, that I can be more than a survivor; I can be an overcomer.

And you can, too! I don't know what your trial is, what the thing is that God has asked you to do. But I know that if He has indeed called you to it, then He will equip you for it. There will be days when you feel like you are just surviving. I have had too many of those to count, but He is strengthening you for something greater. And when you get to the other side, you will get to look back and say, "Look at what God has allowed me to overcome." And it is my hope that your heart will swell with gratitude, because being an overcomer means that God is training you up for something incredible.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Moving Along

Oh, how I love to open my inbox and see an email about our adoption moving forward! And it happened today. God's faithfulness (and speediness) since our referral has been so overwhelming and so humbling. Adam and I were excitedly talking today about our case's progress, and my sweet and God-fearing man said about our boy,

"I'm so humbled by how God is already at work in his life."

And I could not agree more.

God has His hand on my son. He has big plans for our little man, and I cannot believe that I get to be a part of his story. Adam and I get to see who he is and who he becomes. We get to see God grow and use him. We get to walk on this journey and tell him how loved and pursued and prayed for he has been since looooooong before he was born.

I used to say that there were moments when I would look up and say, "I can't believe this is my life." I meant that we were still waiting to be parents, waiting to be matched, waiting, waiting, waiting.

But now I feel the same sentiment. I canNOT believe this is my life. I can't believe that I get to raise this sweet boy, get to be the one who guides him in love and in truth. I can't believe that I get to watch the man I love most teach my son to be a man after God's own heart. I cannot believe that my heart has this much room to love. And I cannot believe how abundantly faithful my great and glorious God has been.

I am the FIRST in line to admit that I doubted, cried and raged against what God was doing. But He knows the whole story, and He has always known the name and face of my sweet, sweet son. So today I am choosing to bask in the joy of knowing that my God reigns, and I am believing more each day that He is writing a story beyond my comprehension.

And I would be remiss if I did not thank you for praying for us. Things are moving faster than we thought they would (WHAT??), and we are now in the next phase of the game. I can't go in to a bunch of specifics here, but I would ask for your continued prayers, that God would move our case swiftly so that we can bring our boy home to his parents (and his dog!).

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