For This Journey We're On » Blog

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  • Hi! My name is Brantley and this is my little corner of the web!

    Thanks for checking out my blog! This is the place where I share my heart & passions! I am a wife to an incredible man. The mommy to two beautiful girls. My husband and I are the founders of Voices 4 the Voiceless, a ministry focused on orphan advocacy! I am passionate about missions and educating the world about the orphan crisis around the world! I love being a mommy, documenting life through my lens and traveling the world!

    My heart is burdened for the fatherless. I love adoption and how families are made! Our first child was welcomed through adoption and we praise the Lord for the gift she is! Join with me as I talk about life candidly, the challenges of being a mommy & my heart for serving the Lord faithfully!

Cake Smash

Today has been great!  I’m still in a bit of shock knowing my baby is a year old today! We played, napped, ate, explored and even visited some friend’s farm to see their animals!  This evening… Annalise got to have a lil cake for the first time!!!

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Things got serious… really fast!  ;)

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She should sleep like a baby tonight!  Although I am starting to rethink how big I made that cake! lol

Until then… Brantley

Jill - Happy Birthday Annalise! I hope you had a great 1st birthday! It looks like you really enjoyed your smash cake. :0)

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Happy ONE Year Annalise!

Gulp!  I’m a tad overwhelmed with emotion as I look back at the year and think of all we’ve been through.  My baby girl is now ONE!  How can I already have a one year old????

I remember the day like it was yesterday.  My appointment was first thing.  The ultrasound did not go well and I was scared.  I could immediately tell something wasn’t right as they struggled to find her heartbeat.  They got it, and she was okay.  She was hardly moving,  and the amniotic fluid was dangerously low.  I was quickly told, “you’re having a baby today”.  After being on bed rest, in and out of hospital for fluids and those last few doctors appointments for ultrasounds… my pregnancy journey was coming to end.  I was 37 weeks to the day and we had a healthy baby girl!

Here we are ready for surgery!  (sort of)

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It was getting real at this point.  I was scared out of mind, and so anxious to meet my sweet girl finally!

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I will NEVER forget this moment!  Being handed your baby for the first time!  It brought back so many memories of being handed Katherine Grace… the first time I held her I knew she was mine!

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Sweet baby Annalise was welcomed into the world at 2:43pm.  Weighing 6lbs 7oz

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Katherine Grace meeting and about to hold her baby sister for the first time.  She was smitten!

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Daddy is in love.

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And this was the beginning of becoming a family of 4!

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Annalise, we have had an interesting year to say the least.  But one I would soak in every moment all over again to have you!  You struggled with colic for a good 6-7 months.  Mommy got her share of snuggles and those I will treasure for the rest of my life!!!

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You had a lot of hair and it was blonde!  It quickly started falling out on top… but its more than made up for it now!;)

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You made a new best friend… your big sissy.  You both love and adore each other.  And I have LOVED watching you both this last year!

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You were a sleepy baby that first month.  You slept 24/7 (no exaggeration) We struggled to get you to eat & gain weight.

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Christmas was a little brighter with you here!

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Oh and you hate hair bows, clips or anything in that goes in your hair.  :(

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You have the most amazing posture and gorgeous blue eyes!

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Annalise, you make mommy smile!  Your laughter is contagious and you brighten up the room each day!

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This tiny little bundle is now a year old.  How can it be?

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Oh how I love to play peekaboo with you around the corner of the couch!  You still love mommy’s snuggles and I hope you always do!  You are so sweet to your big sissy and I know you love her so much, even at this young age!  You’re a curious little thing, wanting to know what’s behind every cabinet door!  You are spunky and you know how to brighten up a room!

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Annalise, you are my little sunshine!  You have taught me so much this last year about patience and trust.  I have learned to lean on the Lord like never before.  We’ve had some hard times, you and I, and I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.  You are a blessing to our family.  Mommy loves you so much and I thank God everyday for the chance to carry you inside me!  My prayer for you baby girl is that you will learn to love the Lord and follow after Him with all your heart.  And when days get hard, that you will go to Him for comfort.  I pray with all my heart that you will give your life to Him and trust in Him completely!

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Annalise, know that mommy and daddy will always be there to support you, encourage you, pray with and for you!  I hope that as you grow, you are humble, kind and someone who brightens the room with your presence!  May you shine His light everywhere you go in life!  Baby girl, you are only 1 today…. but everyone tells me these years fly by!

Happy 1st birthday my sweet baby girl!!! Love, Mommy

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Until then… Brantley

Charlotte Jennings - Happy 1 year Annalise!!! I can’t believe it’s been a year!

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A year ago

Our story….

There is much to our story, so much I have yet to share.  About our journey, the pregnancy and the Lord’s faithfulness through it all.  But here is a small glimpse into the final days!

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This time, 1 year ago, I was awaiting Annalise’s arrival.  One year ago today (was actually a Sunday), and I had been in and out of the hospital.  I had struggled most all of the second and third trimester with dehydration and no amount of liquid seemed to help overcome this!  I was feeling defeated and overwhelmed with everything going on.  The Friday before, I had an ultrasound showing my amniotic fluid was dangerously low.  I was admitted for fluids yet again.  After several hours, they sent me down to have another ultrasound with a specialist to insure baby girl was doing well and the fluids were increasing.  Soon after I was discharged, sent home and was told they wanted to see me again first thing Monday morning.

I went home, still on complete bed rest.  Miserable, feeling terrible and anxiously awaiting what would come on Monday.  I was 36 weeks pregnant and my doctor really wanted me to make it to 37 weeks (which would be Monday).

Monday morning, we had the first appointment of the day.  I was tired, anxious and emotional beyond all belief!  My poor husband dealt with so much, and I am so thankful for his patience.

We entered the ultrasound room and immediately I could tell something wasn’t right.

Annalise’s heartbeat was low and I could tell on the nurse’s face, something wasn’t right.  I hate it when you know something isn’t right but they hold back!

I saw the doctor within minutes and they told me my amniotic fluids were even lower than previously and I would be having csection asap!  We hurried home, gathered our things and headed to the hospital.  It was a bit of a whirlwind.  I was scared at this point.  Wondering and praying for my baby girl.  I knew I was in good hands and I’m thankful for all of the doctors and nurses from the day.  The Lord truly blessed me with the most incredible nurses!!!  One of my best friend’s happened to be my post delivery nurse! (yay!) And then one of the nurses whom I adored in the Mac Unit earlier in my pregnancy who treated me with fluids – was in the operating room as my nurse!  I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

More on our story & journey tomorrow!  My baby girl turns ONE tomorrow!!!!!!!

Until then… Brantley

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Africa

In 43 days, my family (minus Annalise) will be boarding a plane for Africa.

I have struggled with my emotions,  fear mostly for the last few months.  But more than ever before, I am feeling an overwhelming sense of peace.  The Lord has calmed my soul, and shown His presence to me during this time.

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I have not done a good job dedicating time to prayer, especially for those things in which He has laid so heavily on my heart.

This last month or two now, I have spent some much needed time on me knees praying.  Praying for peace during my times of fear and worry.  Praying for our hearts to be molded and shaped.  Praying for humble hearts and attitudes as we journey back. And praying for discernment as we seek His plan for our lives through ministry!

Most recently, I have felt a strong conviction to pray for the Nations.  Everywhere you look, whether it be Facebook, the news or even through word of mouth – you hear of the destruction this world is facing.  Its impossible to turn your ear the other way.  Christian persecution through rape, beheadings, beatings and the list goes on.  Missionaries being shamed, and even those walking away from their faith out of fear!  Earthquakes taking thousands of lives, probably leaving several thousand orphaned! Starvation, aids, diseases… y’all its everywhere!

We, as believers, need to be on our knees, boldly praying for the world we live in! Its right outside our front doors and across the seas! There is no getting away from it!  Since truly opening my heart to what the Lord has broken my heart for, and praying on their behalf – He has revealed much to me.  He is teaching me daily and I have so far to go in this world – but I trust He has big plans for our family as we seek Him, serve Him and allow ALL glory to be given to Him!

With that being said, will you please pray with me?

Will you please commit to praying for our family?  If you would like some specifics, here are some below.

1) Pray for our hearts…

that we will humble ourselves before the Lord and allow Him to lead our every step.

2) Pray for Katherine Grace…

as this will indeed be culture shock for her.  Pray for her tiny heart, that in some way, the Lord can use even the children to make a difference in this world!

3) Pray for Richard…

as he leads our family not only across the planet – but leading us in prayer, humility and service!  Pray that He will lean on Christ for direction and clarity.

4) Pray for those will be caring for our littlest bundle while we are away.

As a mother, leaving any of my children is truly the most difficult part.  Please pray that mommy doesn’t flip a lid!  (kidding, sort of)  We know that we are entrusting her to Lord, but pray for a smooth transition as we leave and while we’re away.

5) Lastly, we ask that you pray for our family as a whole.

These past two years have been a growing experience in many ways – both personally and ministry.  We trust the Lord burdened our hearts for the fatherless and called us to care for them, and share the gospel with the world.  But we ask that you pray for us as we seek Him, and see where He may lead us next!  Please pray for clarity, and that we can discern what is from the Lord!

Thank you ALL for your love, support and PRAYERS!  We need them and we value each and every prayer!

Until then… Brantley

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