Hi! I’m Briana.
I blog because I like to write, reflect, and think. I blog like an open journal, mostly for myself, but I think it’s pretty cool when others follow along and connect. I blogged for over ten years at Shine From the Inside. I shared recipes and home updates and used my limited html knowledge (thanks, Myspace) to make it pretty – – – I generally ran a lifestyle blog before that was cool and actually profitable. But honestly, for me, it’s never been about clicks and comments… Blogging helps me chronicle God’s hand in my life, and I think it’s important to share those realizations with others.
First, I’m a wife.
I’ve been married for over a decade to my handsome husband Jake, and we’ve been together for 15 years. We met at church as teenagers and have been head-over-heels ever since. He is quite literally perfect and spoils me and treats me like a queen. He’s more than I deserve. Our marriage is the greatest gift next to salvation itself.
Secondly, I am a mom.
I have a big-hearted, goofball daughter, Makinzy, who is a now a *~teenager~* and keeps me laughing until my belly hurts… and often she makes me pull my hair out. We adopted her at age seven, shortly after our first miscarriage, and what a crazy-amazing blessing it was. That story is long and complicated, but God’s fingerprints are all over it.
I come highly experienced in grief.
I have experienced six miscarriages (the one prior to Mak’s adoption, then five more after) and lost my beautiful daughter Mira (who we adopted at birth) at five months old to a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. We pursued adoption after giving up on ever having a successful pregnancy and despite her prenatal diagnosis, we knew we were called to adopt Mira. She was a gift. Her life changed mine. Because of this, I write a lot about the intersections of motherhood, faith, and loss.
We have adopted for the third time – our perfect little boy, Finley. He is a gift. He is what you might call a “rainbow baby” – a child born after a loss. His story is beautiful and full of love. Because of him, I can write on parenting after loss and the beauty of open adoption. He’s such a stinker, and we are so in love with him.
I’m a mother because of adoption. And I’m a Christian, so I’m adopted, too – as a daughter of the King. I’m flawed and imperfect but highly favored by the Most High King.
To add to our complicated story, shortly after starting our 4th adoption journey, I ended up sick for four months. Multiple medical appointments and specialists later, an unexplained miraculous pregnancy was discovered at 16 weeks. So now, Baby Boy Amos James will join our family in the fall of 2019. Sometime in 2020, we hope to finish that 4th adoption we started prior to this miracle pregnancy.
I’ve been a middle school English teacher for the ten-ish years. I now work as an ESL teacher in elementary schools across our school district helping English Language Learners build vocabulary and gain proficiency in English. It’s a wonderful gig, and I enjoy it immensely.
I’m a bit of a DIYer, a southern “Granny-style-meets-Whole30” kind of foodie, and I love advocating for adoption. I have an off-again, on-again relationship with running/working out. I love my plants, my dog, my cat, and my sassy chickens. I love painting, reading, hiking, kayaking, fishing, and I’m a sucker for bargain shopping. I’m a type A list maker who drools over color-coded spreadsheets. I’m an introverted extrovert – I’m just as content in a crowd as I am alone on the porch with a cup of coffee, which by the way, I drink obsessively. I get through my daily struggles with a cup in my hand (seriously, can you really call yourself a coffee drinker if you just drink cream? Pu-lease…), a little bit of sarcasm, and a whole lot of grace.
I won’t lie and tell you life is perfect and always pretty – but even in the storm, God is still good, and His love is overwhelming. He has been so very, very good to me. I’m glad you’re here and appreciate you reading about my life. I hope you are touched, inspired, motivated, and drawn closer to the One who made you.