The rush to get to Selah+ Part 1

I KNOW I am like a broken record here, but I LOVE this family. I love that in June when Cari and Michael started with Christian Adoption Consultants , this process starter as strangers and are 100% coming out of this as friends.

The next few months included the necessary first steps of adoption. The home study, getting the profile book together and applying to agencies. So often families come into this with one mind set and usually end up having a different one as time goes on. I see families start to truly want to surrender to God’s plan for their family, they start letting the fear go little by little and trusting the Lord.

Over the next few months they finished all of that and then started seeing potential adoption situations. One specifically stood out to them in November, expectant mama “S” who is beautiful. They were instantly drawn to her story and excited about getting to know her more.

They decided to present! A few days (years if you asked a waiting adoptive mama) and then they heard those 3 beautiful words. YOU WERE CHOSEN!!!!!!!!!

Over the next few months Cari and Michael loved Shone, supported and encouraged her in the most beautiful way. Then it came time for baby girls arrival and it was nothing short of GO GO GO! I’ll let Cari share the rest:

As I write this, our little one is eight days old, laying in her cradle beside me, and every time I look down at her, my heart begins to swell, and my eyes begin to water.



She is already so loved- my beautiful little daughter. I can’t believe she is really ours…

The details of the past week and a half are already getting a little fuzzy. A lot has happened in a short time span, and I don’t want to forget any of her beautiful story…

So where to begin?

Last Monday , May 2nd, began like every other Monday. We knew that Selah’s birth mom had a doctors appointment that morning.  We also knew that there was a good chance that she would be induced soon because they thought she wasn’t growing anymore. They estimated that at only 36 weeks she was a tiny 4 lb-er. Teeny tiny.

That morning Michael woke up with his heart beating fast.

I, on the other hand, had zero urgency that she would be arriving soon. I wondered and hoped but didn’t really move on those emotions. Like at all. Maybe it was denial? Maybe I didn’t want to be disappointed again.  Whatever the case I went about my day, planning dinner and looking forward to bbq’ing that night. Baby was not on my radar.  I took the kids to school, came home and did laundry, took a shower, rushed to a last minute photo shoot, went and had lunch with Caleb , and then went to a doctor’s appointment.

I didn’t finish packing.

I didn’t clean my house.

I didn’t do the million things I should have done.

While in the waiting room I got a call from the agency. I thought she was about to update me on the birth mom’s appointment, but assuming that there was no big news, I asked the agency to just give me a call back in an hour after my appointment.

See. Zero expectation of a baby arriving !

However, while I was being seen, Selah’s birth mom was also being seen. Suddenly I hear my phone buzzing , but it was across the room, and I couldn’t reach it.

The one time in the last 6 months my phone wasn’t in my hand. Go. Figure.

When I finally got to my phone the first thing I read was,

” …should have told you to look at flights for Florida…” 



All of these weeks of preparing, prepping and being ready, suddenly I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I wasn’t ready.

I had a million loose ends to tie up.


I at the very least had the fore thought to text Michael,

” Come home. It’s baby time! ” 

He of course took a while to believe me ! He thought I was joking.

WHY would I joke about something like that?!?

My head was spinning and I was shaking.  Finally, collecting my thoughts, I got into the car and drove across the street to a coffee shop. I just happened to have my laptop on me, so in a flurry of madness, I sent about thirty text messages and twenty emails in about a span of ten minutes. Friends on a moments noticed dropped their plans to take care of our kids, and manage a million logistics. I was also able to book us the next available flight to Florida for an awesome price! That price point gave us very little leeway to actually get to the airport and make it on the plane! Talk about cutting it close ! It was a risk, However, NOTHING was going to stop me from getting to Florida.

While I ran to the school to say goodbye to the kids, Michael rushed home to get our bags, and then we all met up at the kid’s school. Well he got his, and Selah’s bags! In the chaos I failed to communicate to him where my suitcase was ! Oops! Nothing like planning on being gone for a month with only the clothes on your back !

At the school parking lot, we must have been quite the scene of hugs, kisses, and tears, switching out vehicles so we could be on our way. It hit me in that moment that this was the last time we would be together as a family of five. So not how I had planned it. But still it was precious and sweet.

At that point I lost my ability to function like a normal human being! I couldn’t form proper sentences . I could barely put one foot in front of the other. Thank God for Michael who stepped in and took over. Without him we would have never made it to the airport !

It was so surreal to walk through the airport with an empty carseat in our hands.

But it was even more surreal to be on the plane, on our way to meet our little one. I spent the entire two flights watching a lightening storm while praying for her and her birth mama. It was beautiful and one of those evenings I’ll never forget. It will always be stamped into my heart.

When we finally landed in Tampa, it was almost midnight. We received a text from our agency that the induction was moved to the next day ! WHAT!

All that whirl wind and excitement got us to Florida, but we went to bed that night waiting once again…

Only confirming that adoption doesn’t run in a perfect sequence. Things change at a moments notice. And you have zero control, over everything and anything .


To be continued…

Stay tuned for Part 2 Tomorrow! For more information about adopting shoot me an email at or all me at 512-230-5313.

To follow along Cari and her beautiful family go here @cariduganphotography
To follow along my crazy family go here @zarubalife

Come back tomorrow 🙂


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