I lost count of how many times I was told my daughter looks like me. She acts like me too. Turns out, people have said the same about my son. And, really, I see resemblances between Cate and Ben, who are 30 1/2 months apart. The best part: They're both adopted. And I absolutely love their stories, which really is our story. I love how God put our family together and showed us he was there throughout with details along the way.

The short version of bringing Cate into our family goes like this: We decided to adopt in October 2006, having absolutely no idea what the process would entail but ready to see what God would do. At Christmas 2006, my sister told us she knew a girl who wanted to talk to us about adopting the baby girl she was carrying. We ended up meeting this girl on Jan. 18, 2007, when she was 25 weeks pregnant with the baby who would be our daughter. Cate was born a few days shy of 15 weeks later.

The story continues with Ben: We decided our second adoption story would probably involve an agency, even though we loved everything about our first independent, private adoption. We put it our desire to adopt again out there in October 2008, updated our home study in the spring of 2009 and chose an agency that we visited in July 2009. But that's not all that happened in July 2009: We ended up meeting our second birthmom. We first saw our son via ultrasound when the birthmom was 25 weeks into her pregnancy. And Ben was born 14 weeks later.

And then God surprised us with a third adoption process after we weren't sure it was going to happen. We'd been hoping to adopt a third time since January 2012, but then stopped pursing anything two years later. We met the birth mom in May 2015 and welcomed Rachel Elizabeth into our family on Sept. 19, 2015. This may have been our third independent, open adoption, but God still opened my eyes to so many aspects, including a new perspective on the generosity that exists among all the emotions of adoption.

And now we are five, officially.

Just get me started, if you want to hear more. Or you can go read many, many posts about adoption or "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family," my ebook that's available on Amazon.

I can tell these stories {with more details!} over and over again. I tell them because this is what God has done. He's the author of this story and all of our stories.

In November 2013, I hosted a blog series in conjunction with National Adoption Awareness Month. I loved the conversation that the following posts inspired:

Wanted :: Dara Maclean's song by this name inspired this series' theme. God adopts us into his kingdom family forever. Earthly adoption is such a powerful peek into the gospel message.

This is our story :: Adoption is an ongoing dialogue around our house. We may not be related by blood, but this is our family. Adoption is the story of how we became a family. It’s one I will tell over and over.

Cate's story :: Truth was, we had absolutely no idea what pursing adoption meant. We tackled it one conversation, phone call, and prayer at a time. Our daughter was born seven months after we stopped trying to create a family.

Ben's story :: God knew the desires of our hearts again and fulfilled them in his time. He showed us his faithfulness in such a tangible way. This time it came into the world on the Monday before Thanksgiving in 2009.

Helping orphans :: Not every family will bring an orphan into their family forever, but every family can make a difference. This post features Samaritan's Purse and Compassion International and offers other ideas of how to get involved without actually adopting.

Documenting the stories :: A glimpse into how I document my kids' stories, starting with their adoptions and continuing into the schools years with all those papers they bring home.

Meeting her birth mom :: For my 6-year-old daughter to meet her birth mom this year was such a blessing for our family.

Ben is 4! :: Without adoption, our family wouldn't be what it is. And without Ben our family wouldn't be like it is. Happy birthday, son!

Books & Resources :: This list is compiled from my own experience as well as recommendations from friends who have adopted or care about adoption. It's a list of mostly books but there are a few songs that have encouraged me in adoption.

The Future :: We believe we'll adopt again, even though we aren't sure how or when or who. We believe because we can look back on the way God created and grew our family and trust that He has a plan that will be better than anything we expect or plan.

Guest Posts 
Dana Butler :: How Adoption Opened a Family
By the time the Butlers left the hospital with their girl, they knew their adoption would be more opened than originally planned.

Mary Jost :: Fostering Family From the Beginning
The Josts want to make sure any and every child who comes into their home knows they are a part of their family from day one – no matter how long they are there.

Jennifer Jackson Linck :: Reflecting Christ's Love
God showed the Lincks what His plan for birth families and adoptive families could look like. It really can be a beautiful reflection of Christ’s love. And Jennifer wrote a book about adoption I'm excited to read!

Kristen Nicole :: Another Road to Family
“My husband and I are adopting. Does anyone know what that means?” There was more than one answer to that question for Kristen and Dan. She shares some of her story here and more of it in her book.