📷: @joanna_gott


We love everything about how you capture life on your feed. For those who don’t know you, tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I am a born and raised Seattle girl who moved to Waco, Texas, 3 years ago. I have been working in the fashion/retail industry for 22 years doing everything from apparel design, styling, and visual merchandising. Currently, I am an Assistant Visual Director and I love my job more than words can say. Most weekends, you will find me doing projects around my house, and I can't go a day without coffee or chocolate. I think there is nothing better than laughing out loud, and I truly believe everyone should turn on some music and dance in their living room at least once a week. . . maybe more. The most exciting news to share is that I am currently in the process of adopting from China and becoming a first-time mom! Family means the world to me, so I am excited to start my own little family right here in Texas. 

Few photos get us more excited than adoption announcements, so we were THRILLED to see yours. Tell us a little about your adoption journey so far. 

As a single woman who was approaching my 40's (I turned 40 this past August), I felt like I was straddling this strange line as to what my life was in actuality and what I thought it was "supposed" to look like. Adoption had been on my heart for a while, as I knew I wanted a family and my sister has adopted 3 beautiful girls from China. But adoption was a big step, and I wanted to be certain this was the plan for me. Then this past summer, there were a series of events that occurred one right after another that made it so clear I was being called to adopt. In that moment, I had to dive really deep into my heart and trust that even though my life wasn't how I had planned (married with biological children), God's plan in calling me to adopt would be so much greater than anything I could ever imagine. I am a bit of an overachiever and planner, so I had already been researching agencies and knew I wanted to adopt from China, as my family has such a close connection to that program. That made the start of the process a bit smoother to have all that initial research done, so once I decided to proceed with adoption, within a week I filled out the agency paperwork, had been approved to start the process, and started the Home Study paperwork. Once I start something, I go full force, and to be honest, I am so thankful for that drive and determination, as it has helped me power through all the paperwork and processes that are involved in adoption.   

It sounds like you’re still in the middle of this journey, but how long does it take to complete the adoption process? 

That is a tough question to answer, as there are a lot of factors involved in the adoption process, so the timeline looks different for everyone. The first part of the process (Home Study) is very paperwork-heavy, so that part can go as fast or as slow as you want -- depending on how quickly you want to get all that paperwork done. I kind of thrive on paperwork and organization, so I completed my Home Study in 3 months. Once that is complete, you then send off all your paperwork to be approved, and at that point you are eligible to match with a child. Currently, China adoptions have around a two-year wait. It can be longer or shorter depending on the age range, gender, and special needs your family is open to. If you are open to adopting an older child (3 years or older) or a boy, the wait time is shorter. Every program is a little bit different, and even the China program can change a lot from year to year, so it's best to contact a agency to get more detailed in-depth information about the timeline for this process. 

What is the range of emotions you’ve felt throughout this process? 

It has been a rollercoaster of emotions! Not only am I going through all the emotions of the adoption process, but I am also becoming a first-time parent and working through all the feelings and thoughts that come with that. Some days I feel so at peace, and then other days I will randomly think to myself, "When do parents have time to shower?!?" or "How do I know which stroller is the best one to buy?!?" It is a constant back and forth between the overwhelming excitement and joy of becoming a parent, and then total and complete fear of the unknown. I am a pretty independent (and sometimes stubborn) person, so in this process I am learning of the importance of asking for help and reaching out to others when I am feeling overwhelmed. My friends and family are incredibly supportive and have been there during many of my "freak out" moments.  

How many names are on your shortlist? 

I have just one name on that list, but I won't be sharing it until I am officially matched with my daughter. 

For someone considering adoption, what words of advice would you share? 

Don't let the process scare you away from considering adoption, as you are about to enter into the BEST community you could ask for. There are lots of unknowns when it comes to adoption: the paperwork, expenses, timelines, and did I mention the paperwork? But what has been the biggest blessing for me is the adoption community that has surrounded me in this process. I have never felt so welcomed, loved, and supported by a group of people who in reality are strangers whom I've never met. Yet, they come alongside you and are with you every step of the way to offer guidance, information, and words of encouragement. The adoption process is intense. Don't get me wrong, as there are so many of moments of beauty and joy; but this process is also filled with sadness, trauma, and loss. You are putting everything out there emotionally, mentally, and physically; but with this community, you are not doing it alone. So for anyone considering adoption or who has just started the process, reach out to others to ask questions and talk about the adoption process. Many agencies have groups you can join (both in person and through social media), and for me social media has been an amazing place to connect with others.  

And finally, what’s on your letter board right now? 

"Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."