that light.

Early morning, the start of a journey. Just about to board the ferry then head south for the weekend.

We were beginning a big adventure. We’re in process now. Adopting. It’s going to be a long time —— and we don’t know how long, so we’re going to be living in murky uncertainty for awhile —— but we’re officially in motion now.

A hundred clear images from those two days are rippling through my mind right now. However, I’m not going to write them down. This part of our lives we’re keeping private. It feels too intimate and important to share here. We hope you’ll understand.

Those days were porous with connections, new friendships, and hopes. So many hopes. I know that when I think of that time, I’ll remember this moment. The light, early morning, about to begin.

I don’t know where we were going here. Uptown, I’m sure. To the grocery store? To Lu’s preschool? To the library to pick up another dozen books for evening reading? To the ferry?

I really don’t remember. We could have been listening to the Wiggles, or Barenaked Ladies, or NPR. Maybe we were telling stories to Lu in the back seat. Or talking about Danny’s interpretations of his work place. Or talking about a recipe we were going to cook that night.

Honestly, there’s nothing I remember about that day, other than the light on the water and that bank of clouds high in the sky.

In the library parking lot with Lu, I looked down to see this wet black light on red leaves.

“This is why they call it fall, Lu,” I told  her. “Because the leaves fall off the trees. See?”

She looked at the leaves, then the trees. “They look like sticks, Mama!”

Yes, they do.

There was nothing extraordinary about this moment. Except everything.

Something about this photograph made my heart pulse in my chest a little more loudly after I took it.

It was the light. That light coming in from the doorway.

Something warm. Unexpected. It had been such a cold, grey day.

I kept looking at this photo for awhile, but I decided to not use it in a post. After awhile, all I could see is that I didn’t sweep the floor before I lay that roasting pan down on it. I couldn’t show that.

Screw it. I didn’t sweep the floor first.

Last week, the dishes needed doing. (They do again, right now.) Instead of jumping up to do them, I sat at the computer to write.

Temporarily stuck, I turned to see the light streaming through the windows, hitting the dirty dishes like this.

I had to take a photograph. It woke me up.


Next week, there are going to be a lot of dirty dishes. It’s Thanksgiving a week from today, of course.

Is it just me? Or is everyone in a frenzy about this? Every online source I’m seeing — magazines and blogs — is shouting BEST EVER or EASIEST or DIFFERENT THAN EVERYONE ELSE’S!

I do this too. We all do. We live in a culture that’s not content with “good enough,” unless it comes to school lunches for millions of kids. (People, pizza is not a vegetable. That’s pretty embarrassing.)

But god forbid that turkey is dry next week.

It’s one meal. And if we put this much emphasis on it being perfect or better than ever? I fear there’s going to be a lot of stressed-out people sitting at tables with the people they love.

Expectations are premature disappointments, someone wise said to me more than a decade ago. It has stayed with me since, that little hit of light.

I don’t know where I’m going with all this. It felt like something I wanted to write. I still don’t know why.

All I know is that I read this quote by Robert Mankoff, as the opener to the New Yorker’s food issue and I sat down to write right after:

“I know this makes me sound like a curmudgeon, but now that Andy Rooney has died I feel someone has to take up the mantle of cantankerousness. By relentlessly raising the bar for the satisfaction we demand from an apple or a cup of coffee, we assure that most apples and cups of coffee won’t measure up. And the very useful human capacity for adaptation only makes the quest for perfection more quixotic, because great food eventually gives us no more pleasure than what was good. So, when I hear ‘Good, better, best, never let it rest, until the good is better and the better is best,’ I say, “Let it rest.'”

Let it rest.

Most of us are probably trying to hide our unswept floors.

There’s an apple in the fruit basket, right next to the dishes that need doing. There are two nibbles out of it — Lu was sitting on the counter, sampling — and the flesh there has gone brown. I’m going to stop writing now and go eat my mediocre apple.

And stand by the window, looking for the light.

“If you stop photographing things, and start to photograph light, you will amaze yourself.” – Steve Coleman

86 comments on “that light.

  1. Letitia Camire

    This sounds like an amazing adventure, full of ups and downs. Both the adopting and the lights in your photographs and not setting expectations. I’m pregnant with my first child and currently out of work and have been looking for inspiration. I’ve often glanced at my camera, but until now I have resisted picking it up. Winter leaves me lackluster when it comes to photography. I’m going to try to photograph the light, a new experiment! Thank you, and congratulations and good luck on this new chapter :).

  2. Melissa Nunes

    I hate the Internet sometimes. It keeps people focused on tiny little screens instead of each other. But sometimes, I love it and can’t believe I am fortunate enough to live in this era of technology. Like today, when I get to read things like this. And learn things about the day to day of some really good people. I am thrilled that Lu will have a baby Bubba or Sissy. I am happy your photography is evolving. But the best thing is how beautifully you express all this.

  3. Denise

    Such a heart warming post. One of my favourite moments is waiting for the light to shine it weather sunrise or sunset. It’s the start of a new day when nothing is impossible or perhaps the end of hard day when you can take a sigh and say “yes, it’s over, tmr is a new day”. No expectations only acceptance. (:

  4. Lynn Tracy Pawluk

    I’m sending the most positive of thoughts out to the three of you. On this journey there is just one thing you all need to remember to do – breathe. Love to all.

  5. Jennifer

    Bee-you-t-full writing once again!
    I love the heart shapes and light in the squash.
    I remember once you pointed out the dirty stovetop in a photo, or maybe video, and I don’t think I would have noticed it myself. But it makes me cringe less at my own, and say- hey! it shows that we use our stove well. And that is what it is for.
    Thanks for being real.
    And best wishes on your journey.

  6. Beth @ Tasty Yummies

    As usual, an absolutely beautiful post Shauna! It is inspiring to hear your thoughts on letting things “rest”, I have such immense guilt somedays when I make that choice, then I remember how insignificant most of what I am walking away from, really is! Thank you for sharing!

    Congrats on the decision to adopt and good luck on the journey ahead. <3

  7. Elizabeth Giffin

    Ah, let in the light, let in the love. Little tears in my eyes as I read it.
    Some concentrate on good, better best and miss the real story.
    My younger sister always says she wishes she could stop keeping up with the Jones’ and just live. She’s pregnant with baby #3 and I think she is learning to live.
    I live. You live. We get it.
    I’m glad that you 3 will, in time, become 4.
    The human heart has a capacity to love well beyond it’s borders.
    The turkey won’t be dry.

  8. Carmen

    Wow… just wow. I have been blog-stalking you for quite some time and have never been moved to write a comment until now. Beautiful writing. Good luck on your journey, and thank you for taking us all with you.

    And for sharing your dirty floor. I’ll get over mine now too.

  9. Marie

    Wonderful post! Beautiful pictures. Every now and then, I tell my husband, “look at the light!”. Somehow, he doesn’t get it. You certainly do.

  10. Elizabeth

    I am looking out a rain-covered window now, looking for the light. Thank you for that.

    I have a very simple Thanksgiving day tradition that I’ve had for a few years now. I might have to share it .. because it is definitely not about good, better, or best .. but simply rest.

  11. Irina G (Fit Flexitarian)

    The light is so beautiful in all of these photos and your writing is so inspirational. I love the quote on the end. I’m just getting started with my own photography (finally buckling down to buy a DSLR for the first time in my life) and I am really inspired by the thought of shooting the beautiful light instead of focusing on the object (or food).

    I also love your advice about letting it rest. I am going to breathe deep on Thanksgiving day and only wish to enjoy the company I keep. I’m sure the food will be fantastic, but I’m really there to be with the people I love. Must remember that.

  12. harsi

    I had to go back and recheck that image for the dirt on the floor, Shauna. I never saw that even for a moment. My brain processed only the amazing color and shape of that squash and the warm blue glow of that pan. Dirty floor? Where?

    What’s wrong with dirt anyway? I have my own photographs of dirty dishes bathed in glorious light. That’s the wonderful thing about beauty. It is where it is. It doesn’t care if can’t live up to some society’s standards of perfection. It just goes right on being beautiful. (Consider yourself one of the special people that you can see it so clearly.)

    I treasure the photos I have of familiar places I pass nearly every day. I can’t always tell either which day or year the image might have been taken, but I could tell you 50 stories that happened in just that spot. I think this is when scenery transcends to become more than a static image of “place”, but truly alive with a surge of memories and feelings. Like looking at a photo of someone you’ve known and loved forever.

    “Let it rest” is a beautiful message to offer. Thank you.

    ~ Harsi

    P. S. Pema would be proud. (I still can’t believe you referenced her AND Mary Oliver in the same post awhile back. Possibly two of the most influential women in my life right now. *grin*)

    P. P. S. I am extremely happy for your little family. It must be terribly exciting starting the process of adding a new member to the circle!

  13. suzina22

    Wishing you love and light and to that child who is waiting for you. It may or not be that long, and I am sure Lu will be the best big sister. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Danny and Lu.

  14. robyn

    Shauna – it’s been a couple years since I’ve read your blog last but in the last couple weeks I’ve ventured back. I’m not sure what made me check back in with you…but once I did I immediately realized how much I’ve missed your words and general outlook on life and food and beauty. This post is wonderfully done. I’ve made a conscious decision lately to clear out some of the riff raff (so to speak) on my google reader. I had far too many blogs/news items in there that were nothing but a time suck. We have a 2 year old at home and if I’m going to take time out to read it needs to be something that’s actually fullfilling for my brain/heart/soul. Thank you for putting such beautiful and thoughtful posts out here in the internet world. This one made my day 🙂

  15. Sarah

    Oh Shauna,
    I cannot thank you enough for how true your posts are. How honest and real you are. I am so grateful that I stumbled upon your site one day, for how lucky I am to get these beautiful pictures and oh so important messages when I need them the most. Your photos make me think of light and warmth and all that is good. New beginnings and journeys, dirt on the floor be damned. It wasn’t even noticeable, and when it is, it only makes your posts better, more real, and just like my kitchen. I noticed only the beauty of the golden orange squash, and the deep, rich pan. Good luck on this journey you are embarking on, and you have all of us who are grateful to be brought along for the ride, and who will support you, even out her in cyber world. Thank you Shauna.

  16. Terry

    Yes to three becoming four.
    Yes to “let it rest.”
    Yes to photographing the light.
    Yes to gratitude, imperfection and enjoying our loved ones next Thursday.

  17. Elizabeth

    “Expectations are premature disappointments”

    I picked up on this quote just some months ago. Maybe a year or so ago. I’m not sure. When I stumbled upon it, it woke me up. It struck a chord. It resonated. Thank you for reminding me of this.

    I am actually thrilled to be making an entirely gluten-free Thanksgiving meal for just four people and only one of them needs to be gluten-free. Me. My husband and children and I did the entire spread gluten-free last year and it was absolutely, without a doubt, the best Thanksgiving ever. And not just because I could eat everything we made. Everything we made was outstanding! Everything was made from scratch and with lots of love. Our families couldn’t be with us. (Our respective families are 1500 and 3000 miles away.) We didn’t invite anyone over. We didn’t need to impress anyone. We didn’t scour the house.

    We cooked. Together.

    It was, hands down, the best Thanksgiving I’ve ever had. And it was the most work I’ve ever done for a holiday. And it was worth every second, cooking and eating with my family.

    And I didn’t even get grumpy or apologetic or embarrassed when my gluten-free pecan pie didn’t set up and the crust was soggy. It was okay. My family was understanding and supportive. Just something to work on. It certainly didn’t detract from the day.

    We’re doing it all again because we want to and we can. We are all looking forward to it. We all have so much to be thankful for!

    Good gluten-free food. Good family. Good life.

  18. Carol

    A new reader, and so excited about your family.We are beginning a “gluten free” journey for our daughter, AND we have adopted one precious little girl,and are in the process of another!! So excited for you!!!!!!!!

  19. Paula

    As I read through this beautiful and honest post I felt as if I was sitting in a chair in your home listening to you talk and the more you spoke, the more comfortable I got in the chair, sinking back into the cushion, totally relaxed, my eyes following your hand as you pointed to the pan on the floor, the dishes on the counter. I love the light and warmth you cast with your words, your photographs and your heart.

  20. SASKIA

    life seems to be all about ‘perfection’ to a lot of people at the moment, but I think a bit of joe average, ok, not-so-bad, imprefectness is just fine.
    No need to sweat all that small stuff, because there is so much small stuff!

    The biggest things in life to worry about are those that are imperfect; love, life, family.

    Sas x

  21. Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf

    This is a lesson I’m learning now. I’m a self-proclaimed mini-Martha Stewart and love to play the hostess and all my life I’ve built expectations of the perfect holiday or gathering. It’s pointless. I usually end up disappointed in the whole experience because it doesn’t match my ideal, when if I never made those ridiculous expectations, I would have had the time of my life! A friend of mine has really been helping me see things in a more relaxed manner and not try to force fit reality into my ideal. Let it rest. And let life flow. I’m much happier now. And yes, my first Thanksgiving dinner for this year is in less than two days and I still have dishes to prep and pecans to shuck, but unlike last year, I’m not sweating it too much. This time, I plan to enjoy the whole experience–dirty dishes and late-to-the-table meals included.

  22. Donna V.

    Shauna, if I’ve heard the “better, best” thing from my New Englander husband once (married to me, a die hard Southerner), I’ve heard it a thousand times…I echo your sentiment, “Let it rest.” Beautiful photos, as you are beautiful.

  23. Andrea

    Thanks for a beautiful post and thanks for sharing your life, thoughts and food with us all. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you 3…eventually to be 4!

  24. debra / eatquestnyc

    fantastic pictures and lovely post. as a former (and still am sort of one i guess) lighting designer turned food something, it made me remember my roots and reminded me how to see… from the light, from good to best and back to simply good is quite enough, i appreciate it. great good luck to you and many thanks.

  25. Soup and Song

    Another beautiful and inspiring glimpse into your life. Thank you for sharing. I am so thrilled for the news of your expanding family! Wishing you all the best on this journey.

  26. Cait

    Hi Shauna,

    I’m been reading your blog for a while now and I just wanted to let you now- I am so happy for you, Danny and Lu to have begun the adoption process. Your stories and words are so inspiring to me and I look forward so much to checking your website. Thanks for that.

  27. Brie

    As a former foster parent, I know only too well how many children in our own country need parents, and that doesn’t even begin to count the number of children worldwide who need them, as well. I wish you patience and peace in the muddle of the journey and joy at the end – which will be a new beginning. Thank you for the peace your posts bring to your readers. This one was wonderful.

  28. Joanna

    I find that I like whatever you write, Shauna, and whatever you photograph. And I like that you think about things in the way that you do. And can write about it. Today I am hearing a restlessness in your writing, an unsettledness. Which is completely the right place to be if you are setting out on this new journey. You may get more restless, more unsettled. It’s meant to be. Whatever it is. The light on the dirty dishes picture is beautiful. As long as you can always appreciate the light, you will all be fine. I won’t wish you good luck for this particular journey. If it’s meant it will happen. It won’t happen if it wasn’t.

    On another note, I’m a Brit living for a while on Crete, Greece and will have my first ever Thanksgiving dinner with a Greek/American friend of mine this year. In a house overlooking a pebbly beach and the Libyan Sea. It will be magic.

  29. Trish

    We had coffee this morning with our daughter and her second child, who is now 3 weeks old and he is still such a wee little guy….only 6#13oz. I held him for a very long time and was thinking back on our journey to this point……here we are with a wonderful daughter, her husband and their two beautiful children. I was telling our daughter about it being such a miracle for us because we had come to accept the fact that we would never be able to have a child and the adoption wait time was very long and might possibly not work out at all…….and then we got a call from a friend about a private adoption and were we interested, oh yes! Our daughter was born seven weeks later and we brought her home from the hospital and began the longest six months of our lives…..till her adoption was final. And now we have two grandchildren, we are so blessed!

    God bless you, as you begin your adoption journey. Thank you for a very special post.

  30. Julie @ Willow Bird Baking

    What a fantastic post.

    I’m so glad you included the Mankoff quote because it put into words something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately as I create recipes for family get-togethers. The pressure starts to build from the amount of research I have to do to ensure I’m adding the BEST version of a dish to the blogosphere and not just a GOOD version. But then it occurs to me: if I do that with every detail (would sage or thyme be the BEST flavor in this dish?) I’m not enjoying the process. And as long as the finished product is approachable and delicious, why does that extra exhaustive legwork matter?

    In fact, if we stop searching for the BEST and just search for GREAT, maybe we’ll find a lot more that we enjoy along the way.

    Best wishes on your adoption journey. My sister was adopted and I can’t tell you how glad I am she is part of our family.

  31. Sirena

    Thank you for inspiring me this morning Shauna! I love the sentiment, loved the pics, and the reminder to slow down and enjoy “just enough.” May your family have “enough” during the holidays! And most importantly, I am SO thrilled about the journey you are beginning to adopt… good luck with everything and thanks for giving us a glimpse into your lives to you both 🙂

  32. Kristin

    Good luck and best wishes! What a lovely post. I will look more carefully at my dirty dishes today, to see if they’re as beautiful as yours. And I won’t sweep the floor.

  33. Kate

    “Expectations are premature disappointments”

    This is a beautiful thing to begin my day with – thank you for rambling with us and sharing those photos <3

  34. Patti

    Dust and dirt? I never even noticed. What I did notice about your beautiful pan of squash were the two heart shapes offered back to the reader! Two big beautiful hearts opening wide to receive and give the gift of love and family.

    Blessings in your journey.

  35. Marina

    Thank you!!! I am in the process of sending out the meal “plan” to my guests. For their input or approval? Who knows? Anyway I came here to find the cranberry recipe I saw yesterday, and read your post. It’s beautiful.
    Good luck on your adoption adventure, and yes it it private, keep it for your family. Write about it, but not for us, for you Danny and Lu and the new life you are going to add to your beautiful family. I wish you the happiest of days!

  36. Amy

    It just occurred to me that my own website (not listed) should be called Maybe that’s taken. Forgive me if its a terrible website! 🙂 Thank you for sharing the light photo. My family is currently myself and my two children. I think there is never enough time to do things perfectly so I don’t. Or I haven’t until recently. Finding joy in the mundane moments is a gift. Hold onto it.

    Thank you for this website. It has been very helpful. I always look forward to reading it.

  37. Debbie Young

    I love your blog! The pictures are stunning and your layout is vibrant and clean.
    I think I will start using thesis with my new wordpress blog.

  38. Hannah

    What a beautiful piece – thank you for sharing. Reading this is a lovely way to begin my morning – to pause and look at the light peeking in and to remind myself to “let it rest.”

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, and warm wishes on your new journey.

  39. Kimberly

    Best of luck to you all on your adoption journey. I am sure you will handle it like you do everything else: with grace and awareness.

  40. Jennie

    MMM. Beautiful. I guess I thought the wood in the background was a table…it was a beautiful fall shot.
    Oh a walk yesterday with my six month old Larkin I told her the same thing…”See-it’s fall because the leaves are falling!”. May you have another little one to explain that to next Autumn.
    After that we visited with our 94 year old neighbor Alice who was slowly raking up her yard-and she said “Well-it’s not perfect, but it’ll do.” I’m trying to keep saying that-and if I can say it with the same smile in my eyes as Alice as 94-I will know what being the “best” is.

  41. Lynn

    I send you all my good wishes for your successful adoption journey. We have three children, two are adopted. Being in process for adoption is much more complicated than a biological pregnancy (at least it was for us). It is so worth it. Our family so belongs together, and yours will too.
    Thanks so much for your wonderful site. I only discovered it while looking for a good GF recipe to make for Thanksgiving for my newly GF sister. It is truly exceptional.

  42. Shauna

    I’ve always felt a bond w/you since we both have the same wonderful name (and as I’ve always said – we spell it “right”!), and have celiac disease. However, I’ve never been moved enough to post enough until now.

    I’m so happy for you and your family that you will be adding a new person – you all seem to have such love to share. Best wishes and much happiness to all of you.

  43. julie

    Shauna I love you and I have never met you. I am under a very dark cloud during the holidays and this year it is very heavy. Your blog today gave me a big smile and a little bit of light. You and Danny are such great parents and i am so excited another child will get to call you mom and dad. I used to work for an adoption agency and I am an adoptive mom and was adopted myself as an infant so I am very aware of all the in and out of this world and wish you a joy filled time and know that your child will come home to you.

  44. Sarah

    Good luck on your journey of adoption. What a beautiful stage for your family to be going from 3 to 4, and what joy and love another little one will bring.

  45. Megan

    I’ve read this 4 times over the past two days–it might be my favorite of all your posts.

    PS. I’m a NY-er and last week I was on vacation in Seattle. I went out to Vashon and had lunch at the Hardware Store. “Gluten-free deep fryer”–just hearing that combination of words made my heart happy. And it was a lovely lunch!

  46. Chrispy

    Isn’t it curious that the post you don’t think will go anywhere is sometimes the most warmly received by your audience? I’m at the start of my own unpredictable journey. I used to think I had to have complete control of my life. I used to have to know what was going to happen. I’m just a kid, though, and kids think like that. I feel so afraid sometimes to take that first step out my front door. I’m afraid because I know that once I get started, there’s no going back.

    That would fill most people with excitement! The chance to experience to world outside of their cramped childhood home! Maybe I’ve had it too good or maybe I really don’t know what I’m talking about. Whatever the case, your picture of the light at the ferry is what I feel inside.

    Restless… Lonely…just beginning an exciting voyage.

  47. Sandy

    Shauna, your photography is simply breath taking. Wow. Wow.

    Our daughter is pregnant with her third and final (she says) baby, two boys and wishing for a girl this time. Our amazing 5 year old grandson is wishing for a baby sister. I wonder how many five year old boys wish for a baby sister. hmmm. Congratulations on your expected little one. I imagine that the emotions of waiting for an adopted child would be similar to waiting for the birth of any child. Do you think???

    Best wishes to the three of you.

  48. Suze

    Light does the same thing to me, especially in winter. My house is well-shaded for the southern summer, but it makes it dark in winter. We added skylights, for the light, and it makes me want to weep some mornings, it’s so beautiful.

    And we are going out to eat this Thanksgiving. I don’t have the energy this year to cook.
    Praying blessings for your adoption.

  49. Heather

    For the record, I didn’t even notice that you hadn’t swept the floor until you mentioned it. And I’m still not even sure I can tell. Nor do I care. The squash look beautiful, and that’s all I care about. 🙂

  50. molly

    oh, shauna, you brave, good, shining soul, you.

    you do know melissa, at all buttoned up, yes? ( three kiddos, two adopted, a force of nature, a spark of light.

    speaking of which, this here’s a giant bright burning ball of light. you know that, right?

    happy thanksgiving to you.

    p.s. thx for the quote. copying in longhand, now…

    1. shauna

      Molly, I love Melissa. Our time with her and the boys in Portland included some of the best french fries I’ve ever eaten. And even better conversation. xoxo

  51. Tianna

    Your posts have become truly inspired. It’s heartening to watch this progression of you as a woman, wife and mother. Not to say that there was anything wrong, by any means, with your posts before; I very much enjoyed the feeling of your writing in this post. And I’m crazy excited about your upcoming journey!!

  52. Traci

    Yeah! So exciting!! I love to hear of people expanding their family through adoption. {happy dance}

    There is such hope and light in the journey you have embarked on. I thought your first photograph was very apropos; moving from the mist into the light. I loved it. Sending you hugs and wishing you peace on your journey.

  53. Ki

    You seem to be going through a transition period and some sort of coming of age. What is post-Exploring-New-Worlds-Living-The-Dream? I am very excited to see where this takes you next.

    Just try not to be frustrated with those who are expecting the same person you’ve grown into while you grow into the next phase of your life.

  54. Judy A. Johnson

    I’m glad you and Danny are taking this brave next step As an adopted kid myself, I know what good can come of it. And thanks for a bit of perspective on the quest for the perfect meal, or component thereof. And for the photographs, the light!

  55. Pétra

    Congratulations on your decision to adopt. I just see the hearts when I look at the squash photo it’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts no matter where they go.

  56. jas @ the gluten free scallywag

    gorgeous light. you take it for granted until it disappears, and then you realise just how magical it is when it appears. thank you for sharing all that you do share, here, and I wish you all the ‘light’ in the world for your everyday moments and those that are yet to come.

  57. Dee

    Congratulations! Seems like just yesterday I was beginning my adoption journey to China. But I got my baby when she was 9 months old and this week-end I spent teaching her to drive. Those 15 years have flown by. All the best on your journey!

  58. The Healthy Apple

    Congrats, Shauna; this is wonderful news! I am so happy for you and cannot wait to hear more. Have a lovely Thanksgiving; lovin’ this simple yet beautiful recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  59. ~Mrs. R

    Hello Shauna,
    Beautiful post. Just beautiful. Heartfelt, simple and real.

    Congratulations on the news that you are starting down the adoption road! May you find unexpected joys in your journey.
    ~Mrs. R

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