The Conclusion…for now

Ok, I’m back with the last bit of the story of how Ezra came to us…keep in mind it isn’t wrapped up all nice and neatly at the end…there are still things that are uncertain; legal documents that need signed, and a last name that needs changed, before he is fully ours in the eyes of the law…but, spoiler alert, he is already fully ours in our hearts…this is just the conclusion of our journey to one another…

“He’s here!” A strange voice spoke on the other end of the phone, she told me what hospital and that baby and birth mom were both doing great, and she would like us to come to the hospital. I got off the phone and looked at my dad and older son…we were packing up a pack-n-play at my aunts house which would serve as baby’s bed until we could get a basinet or crib…I don’t remember much after that point, I guess I drove home, waited for Ian to get there, called my mom I think…it’s all kind of a blur…I just kept thinking, “did she say he?”

When Ian got home we rushed to the hospital and made it there before she was even in her room. We went to a waiting area and I can not even describe the emotions and fear and anxiety flowing through me…and then I saw them…I won’t ever forget that moment. We were sitting in a waiting area…trying to decide just how long to wait before checking the room again to see if they were there…and then I saw a stretcher start to come down the other end of the hall followed by a baby in one of those weird plastic cribs they put babies in at the hospitals. As they got closer I saw it was birth mom. I stood up, exchanged a few words with her to see how she was and tell her we’d be to the room soon…and then I saw him.

 

He was perfection!

The first moment I saw him the desire to run over to him and touch him, to sweep him into my arms and kiss his face was so incredibly intense…but it was tempered by uncertainty and a desire to respect this young woman…so instead I watched him pass by with out touching him, sat back down, and waited until it was appropriate to join them in the room. The entire time I felt like my whole being…not just my heart…was just going to explode out of me.

When we finally got to the room there were other people there…a friend of hers and some teachers that had supported her through her pregnancy…I felt so awkward. But, they immediately greeted us at the parents and were so excited both for her and us and over this little baby boy. I spent that evening in awe of this young woman as she gushed over her little boy, telling him how beautiful and perfect he was, how much she loved him…and then asking us what we wanted to name him, telling us she’d already signed all the paperwork so we could stay at the hospital with him, asking us what we wanted on some medical decisions that needed to be made…I found myself in awe of how selflessly she was loving this little boy.

When we told her the name we liked, everyone in the room agreed…it was a good strong name, and it was perfect…baby boy became Ezra Dante.

I don’t know how to put the hospital experience into words really. I think I experienced a full range of human emotion during that time. The moment I held him I felt peace and wholeness…he fit and my arms didn’t ever want to let him go, it was like my arms missed him the minute he left them…the moments I had to leave him to spend time with birth mom my heart wanted to spin out of control into fear and anxiety…the first time a nurse left him with Ian and I and walked out of the room I found myself wondering if I really could do this…then I’d walk by the nurses station to ask a question and they’d refer to me as Ezra’s mom, or us as the adoptive parents and the joy would bubble up in my heart…but when the nurse came in and told me we would be going home in 2 hours I have to admit I got hit with a wave of overwhelming everything…fear birth mom would change her mind, anxiety that I didn’t know what to do, excitement and joy because soon I would be walking out of that hospital with my baby boy and taking him home!

It’s been a month and a half since we stood out front of that hospital and said goodbye to Ezra’s birth mom…crazy how something can feel like it just happened, but also feel so long ago…there were hugs and words of gratitude and so many tears. Then we put him in the car and brought him home for the first time ever.

There are still so many emotions…it’ll be 6 months before the adoption is finalized and he has our last name…which means that I find myself hit by waves of fear, anxiety, and doubt daily. But our hearts decided not to wait 6 months…we have completely fallen in love with this little guy…the newest Dizon!

There is so much more to the story…because so much of it hasn’t even been lived out yet…but this is where we end for now…Ezra in our home and in our hearts.

Legacy

For those of you who follow my Facebook & Instagram feeds, you may have noticed that I’ve been thinking about my Pa a lot lately…actually I’m getting ready to post a piece inspired by him in just a few minutes…I think there are a lot of reasons for this recent nostalgia. For one thing we’ve been cleaning out my Gramy’s apartment and sorting through all of all the things she didn’t take to her new place. In the process we’ve been rediscovering so many of his things; carvings he did, records he loved to listen to.

And we’ve also been discovering for the first time some precious secrets about my Pa, and a secret legacy he left that I never knew about.

My mom discovered that he had printed off and kept every email we’d ever sent him in our journeys around the world. All those years spent separated by oceans and so many miles, he had carefully documented it all.

There was even a file just for me! Every card, graduation announcements, newspaper clippings of articles I wrote in high school and college, and newsletters from the mission field. It was all there, a record of my life.

Pa

My Pa’s response to having only girls…become a boy scout!

I think this sparked nostalgia, and a lot of time spent thinking about my Pa, because more than anyone else I’ve lost, I have regrets about my relationship with him…don’t get me wrong, we had a good relationship…but I feel like I missed out on really knowing him. At his funeral, as I heard all these things being shared about his life and the man he was it hit me…I had missed out.

I should have sat with him more often. I should have asked him more questions. I should have spent less time avoiding his lectures…he was known for his lectures…and spent more time listening to the things he had to say, the wisdom and opinions he had to share.

When he passed I had thought I’d known the legacy he had left behind. There was this incredible legacy of family, a clan of tightly knit people who spent time together outside of major holidays, and who truly love each other. There was his legacy as a maker, and a story teller, and a leader, and an incredible provider, and as a man who loved God…I see pieces of this legacy lived out in the lives and characteristics of his children and grandchildren…but there was a piece of his legacy that I had not known, and it caused me to realize that I could have known him more.

At his funeral stories were shared of this secret. It seems that he was in the habit of walking up to the pastor on a Sunday after church…after hearing someone express a need…and handing him an envelope full of cash with the instruction to keep his identity secret. This habit was news to me…and most of the people there I imagine…and that’s exactly the way he wanted. Even the people he gave to didn’t know who he was.

This man, was not a wealthy man. He was not giving out of abundance, looking for ways to get rid of all the money he had. He was not looking for applaud, or a pat on the back. He was giving because there was a need, and he could, and he made sure his right hand never knew what his left hand was doing.

This is the legacy that he left us…a legacy of humility, integrity, and giving.

It’s fortuitous that I’ve been processing all this as I’ve been refreshing Frippery House. Because it’s helped me to realize something…personally that I want this same legacy…but also that I want Frippery House to be a business that gives…I’m not as incredible as my Pa, because I’m telling you all about it and not keeping it a secret my whole life…but I want you to be a part of this giving, to know the heart and purpose behind why.

lastphotowithpa

My last photo with Pa, trying to show Gramy how to keep her eyes open in photos.

Because, being a business that gives is not a new concept…being a socially conscious business is maybe even a bit trendy…but the vision of Frippery House is to inspire and to connect people and giving is a natural outflow of that…And, I want to give a bit differently.

So many businesses give to support…or to end…social issues, and while Frippery House will do this as well, we’re going to do it in a very different way. You see, to those who live among refugees, who run orphanages or take orphans into their homes, who live and work daily among women working in the sex trade, or who provide love and care for those who have been returned home after being trafficked…to those people these things are not merely “social issues”.

They are people, with stories, with hurts, with joys…with lives. 

So, here’s how giving is going to look at Frippery House…a portion of EVERY jewelry purchase will be given to someone…or somefamily…actively living their lives to love and serve others. We will be supporting “social issues” by supporting, loving, and encouraging those who spend their days living them.

This may mean the money they are given is spent on a trip outside of the war zone they live in, so that they can be reminded that life is not all pain and trauma, so that they can refresh and continue on. It may be spent on a massage, dinner with a friend, or even a new homeschool curriculum.

This money will be given to them for their personal needs and care, because we believe that life is not about connecting with “social issues” but with people. It’s because we believe a life surrendered to God’s call, living and loving people on every corner of this earth is what we are called to…and we want to be a part of supporting those who are doing just this…and we want you to join us.

 

Look for a blog post coming soon that details who Frippery House will be giving to!

 

Step away from the pit…

Good news everybody…I have decided to step away from the deep dark pit of loneliness and self pity that I was sitting on the edge of this past week…mind you I was not in the pit wallowing in the sludge at the bottom, I was just sitting on the edge…what was so horrible about last week you might ask…great questionmy hubby was on the other side of the world, just about as far away from me as it is possible to be on this earth. And, yes I am one of those girls that no longer sleeps when he’s away because I just miss him too much…not really sure when I became this personbut now he has returned, hooray, and I have decided to step away from the pit.

Upon my departure I realized that I have lost my focus a bit the last couple of weeks…I feel like I JUST wrote about this, am I seriously back here again so soon!?! I’ve kind of forgotten my purpose, forgotten why I started this adventure in the first place, and lost a bit of my brand identity in the process. I’ve gotten really caught up in the hustle of opening a shop, the anxiety of watching statistics and waiting for sales, the excitement of seeing them rise and sales come in, and the confusion of seeing them drop.

So, I’ve spent most of this week focusing not on designing or making jewelry, but on the businessy stuff of owning a creative business. Oh the businessy stuff…businessy is not a real word but please humor meit is the stuff of my nightmares and my #2 enemy in this venture…the post office was #1 but having conquered that enemy the sewing machine has moved into the #1 spotI’m just not really very inclined to business type things.

Historically I have done best at jobs with flexible schedules, lots of human interaction, lots of moving around and changing tasks constantly. I’ve worked as a secretary twice in my life both times for a couple of months, and both times the end of the job felt like the release from some sort of punishment that consisted of sitting in a chair, staring at a wall, and listening to the same stupid music all day…one of these jobs was working for my aunt and I feel I need to share that I loved the people, loved working with my aunt and cousin, but hated the desk, the chair, and the phone! I drank SO MUCH COFFEE when I worked there; it was like I was trying to drown my boredom with caffeine.

So this past Monday morning I made a giant pot of coffee and got right down to it. I started at the beginning…asking myself why I started doing this in the first place…who am I making this jewelry for…why jewelryand then I worked my way through my websites and blog and FB page and Instagram accounts, I evaluated my products, my packaging, my photos, about sections, shipping information, checked all my links…and now I have a list of things that I need to fix, adjust, change, and redo.

img_0025

Detail from my chalkboard…ADOPTION…every day it seems I want this more…I’m ready for the rest of our kids!

Basically, at the end of a very thorough audit of all things businessy I have a long…seemingly endlesslist of more businessy things I need to do. …but instead of being overwhelmed and stressed and discouraged by it I find I have drive…and even a bit of excitementto plow on and do it…and I think it’s because I started at the beginning.

Frippery House began…because I love making jewelry…actually I love making anything I can, but pretty rocks are so fun! 

Frippery House began…because I wanted to have a source of income that can go directly towards growing my home…adoptions.

Frippery House began…because there are things that God has put on my heart for the future with working in missions again and I believe this is step one.

Frippery House began…because being a SAHM is what is right for my family right now but there’s a lot of alone time involved…and me bored is just BAD news.

Frippery House began…because I believe God uses our stories to inspire, encourage, and transform lives, because I love people, I love the people in my life and their stories, I am inspired and changed by their stories…business allows me the platform and opportunity to share these stories with others.

Before I pounced on my to do list I sat down with my newly acquired chalkboard…It’s a precious gift from the Treus, made by Brandon and used by Ernie, and fortunately for me unable to travel to Irelandand I wrote down all the reasons for Frippery House, all the things I need to personally remember. And, you know what’s not on there…numbers! There’s not one reason for Frippery House related to sales, stats, likes, follows, or shares. Sure, I have business goals for sales and such…but numbers have nothing to do with why I stepped out into entrepreneur life.

At the heart of my business is people and stories…Love is at the heart of Frippery House….I don’t ever want to forget that.

For today I have learned this lesson, hopefully it sticks this time, I pray it takes root in my heart and I just live it out and don’t have to learn it again…but I’m human and I’ll probably need reminding, but the beautiful thing is that now I have all of you to remind me!

New Design.png

I did find a bit of time for the creative this week and I finished up a design I’ve been working on for a few weeks. I’ve had several requests for the very popular the Ernie but smaller. This 18″ necklace with a delicate mini spoon is precious…meet the Mini Ernie. 

Available now on FripperyHouse.com

the Julia

Oh my! I just did a count and I really have only written about half of my designs and the women that inspired them…that includes the final pieces I will be introducing the next couple of weeks…I better get busy!

Julia.jpg

Photo credit not me and not Julia…I think maybe Ernest

Julia is lovely!

She’s a very unexpected friend…we became friends during a season of my life that I was not really sure I wanted any new friends and I’m not even really sure how it happened…but one day all the sudden there it was, we were friends…I knew we were friends the afternoon that we were hanging out watching TV and I totally fell asleep and when I woke up she was still there and didn’t make me feel weird about it at all.

She’s gentle and kind. She reminds me of a deer frolicking around in a meadow of flowers…carefree and joyful…she makes living life look fun. She’s always quick to laugh and her eyes kind of sparkle with joy…and maybe a bit of mischief.

She’s also so incredibly cool! Her and her husband Ernest are kind of like rock stars in my mind…seriously though you should see these two pose for pictures, they would own any red carpet.

Oh yeah, and brave!

I have had the pleasure of watching her and Ernest walk the journey of starting their own coffee shop right here in Aurora. I’ve heard them talk and dream, I’ve seen it transition from dreams to saving and planning, and now I get to watch it as it unfolds before our eyes as Sonder Coffee becomes a reality and will be open very soon…check out what is happening at Dream A Latte and make sure to sign up for emails so you’ll know when they open…I am incredibly excited and can’t wait until it’s finally open!

This necklace took me longer than any other piece in this line to design. It went from two strands and pinks and purples, to one strand, to one strand with a bar and blue greens. It’s changed length, shapes, and materials so many times…I think Ian really started to get irritated with me showing him a different necklace every day and telling him it was the Julia each time...one design would be too rock star, another too delicate, but I think I finally got it…with a bit of help from Julia herself…

There are several different stones and colors and textures in this necklace, there is something delicate and soft, but also very structured about it. Oh yeah, and I love wearing it!

IMG_2624.JPG

Julia is complex but yet simple, so cool but so genuine and real, so much of a dreamer and yet also a planner…However it happened, I’m glad we are friends!

If you want a Julia of your very own click here!

Oh yeah, and this is happening 9/16…TOMORROW

2.png

 

 

 

Mommy Firsts

This year our boy started high school. And, I know for all parents it seems to come too soon…they just grow up so fast…but for us it really did!

Andrew’s only been with us a few years, and while much of the time it feels like we have always been a family, there are still so many new things, so many firsts. High school is a big change for all kids, and full of firsts, but I think that high school has had more firsts and changes for me than it has for him!

Since Andrew was my student before he was my son I have always known his friends, his teachers, and being on staff at the school have always known all the goings on of his day…sometimes this was a great thing, sometimes it was challenging…but now, I know only what he tells me. I don’t know most of his friends, I’ve met most of his teachers…but they aren’t my best friends…his teachers before are my besties…and I know only what information he brings home to me.

I didn’t do the kindergarten drop off, I’ve never been on this side of things as his parent because I was always parent/teacher, I’ve never had to figure out how to meet his friends and get to know them, I’ve never had to “mommy date”…back to school night and parent teacher conferences always made that easy…so this is all so new.

I don’t know who the trouble makers are or the good influences. I don’t know if he spends his lunch talking, playing soccer, or sitting in a corner lonely and sad…anyone who knows my child knows that last one is a ridiculous thought…and while I know that this is really good for him, and really very normal, I don’t really like it!

IMG_0679.jpg

I drove away from that first day of school just wanting to cry and feeling so sorry for myself because he doesn’t even need me anymore…when I told him this he reassured me by letting me know that he still needs me…because he can not drive or afford groceries on his own yet…he did follow the statement by letting me know he will always need me.

It’s just strange, to be in this place where I am the mom of a 15 year old but yet a mother for less than 4 years. I learn new things about him all the time…recently we discovered he had never mini golfed…don’t worry we took care of it immediately! I still get so anxious leaving him home alone because this is all still so new, he feels so new…the other day my mom reminded me that it’s not that Andrew is 3…I am…she’s a wise wise woman!

So, for now I am working on accepting that my life will be filled with lots of new mommy firsts, that it is a good thing that my child is picking his own friends, and that he is growing into a man…he is growing into such a wonderful young man and I am so proud of him! And, I will be excited about the new mommy firsts, I will enjoy the things he shares with me when I pick him up from school, and I will get to know his friends and their parents over time…that last part was a little pep talk because I’m still a bit anxious about it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

the Sharon

 

I know I’ve said this before, I think I say it every time…but this one was hard to write! In fact, I intentionally am writing and posting it today because she will be on an airplane for hours and then she will be jet lagged and overwhelmed by life back in America, so it will take her a bit of time to see it…at least that’s my hope.

It’s not because I’m going to say bad things about her…that would just be a horrible way to write a dedication page…it’s because she’s my mom, and I come from a family that doesn’t really gush feelings and emotions…I always have but it’s just one of my many black sheep qualities…so to publicly gush about how inspiring I find my momma is going to embarrass her and probably make her uncomfortable…but I just gotta do it!

IMG_7113

Like I said, Sharon is my mom. And, I would love to tell you amazing stories about how my mom and I have always been best friends and I was that sweet adorable child that cried when I missed her and ran laughing into her arms when she picked me up from school…but that just simply wasn’t the case.

…I want to put a disclaimer here that I have NO memory of who I was as a small child, I remember none of the stories told of me, and I have no idea why I chose to do the things I did…

From all the stories I’ve heard I was AWFUL. I screamed and ran away when she picked me up from school. I wasn’t kind or loving to my parents. I was strong willed and a destructive force…misguided creativity I think.

Crayons, scissors, markers…all banned from my possession…sometimes I wonder if either of my brothers had delayed fine motor skills because I’m not sure they were ever in contact with scissors or writing devices until they went to school because their big sister couldn’t be trusted with them.

My adolescent and teen years were less destructive to the home and possessions, but I continued to be a bit of a handful…strong, independent, insecure, and hormonal make for a rough puberty.

But we made it, we’ve come out the other side, and hopefully we are all better for it. Now, my mom is one of my closest friends. She is the woman I turn to when I need really wise advice, when I’m overwhelmed by being a wife and mother, or when I just want to talk. She lives far away most of the time, but when she’s in town I just like spending time with her…I miss her when she’s not here.

My mom is this amazing calming presence…which is probably why I like being around her, because I kind of have an internal storm of worry and anxiety swirling around inside me…I use to think that she just had this affect on me, until her ENTIRE house flooded and had to be completely remodeled. Most people would freak out if their daughter called and woke them up in the middle of the night to inform them their house on the other side of the world had been turned into a giant water feature at the end of the cul-de-sac. But, she didn’t, and through the whole process I kept hearing people say things like “at least it happened to Sharon, anyone else would be freaking out.” She just took it all in stride…and now she has a gorgeous newly remodeled house.

So, It turns out, my mom is just really calm…which makes sense because I think most people would have either had a mental breakdown or given me away if I had been their child if all the stories are true. 

My mom also is kind and funny and giving, so incredibly giving. She has spent her life serving others…her husband and kids of course…but she has also spent years involved with orphanages or homeless kids or homes for the elderly or kids with disabilities…whatever the biggest need was in whatever place we found ourselves. She found the best way to serve the people with the biggest needs and then she did it!

She shaped my perception of the world, and her kindness, humility, and desire to take the privileges she had and serve others with them changed me from a bratty and entitled teen to the woman I am today. She is the one who brought me to that orphanage all those years ago, who took me into slums and showed me poverty, and she’s the one who opened my eyes to poverty in my own town.

She also taught me to channel my destructive forces into creative ventures. She taught me to sew, cook, bake, quilt, cross-stitch, crochet, and bought me my first camera. She has always encouraged my creativity…she may not have always understood it, but she encouraged it…again shaping me into the woman I am today.

Oh, and my mom has this great laugh! When she really gets going it’s like she’s all rosy cheeks and nose and she laughs so hard she can’t really talk she just squeaks and she cries a little bit…it’s just the best!

 

IMG_2482

This bracelet is for my mom, because she loves jewelry and she always has great bracelets. She loves blue, and calcite is the perfect blue for her, soft and gentle with just a bit of shine.

I am forever grateful for my mom. We are so very different, and I quite often feel like she just doesn’t understand me…but she has always loved and supported me no matter what crazy idea I have, from moving across the world to adopting a teenager to starting Frippery House. Thanks mom!

Shop the Sharon

Now What…

I’ve launched Frippery House! I’ve spent a year planning, and designing, and creating…researching all the best ways to do everything…it’s all lead up to the moment when I hit “publish” on Etsy and now…well now I’m just not sure what to do.

I’ve found myself obsessing over views and likes and purchases. Watching every vlog and reading everything I can about search engine optimization and how to turn traffic into sales. My brain is fixated and running full speed with worries and fears…what if everyone has just been telling me they like my jewelry because they are my friends, what if it all breaks, what if no one buys it, what if too many people buy it, what if no one finds me on Etsy, what if they wish it was longer/shorter/a different color…you name it and I think I’ve worried about it this week. I literally had a conversation with Ian in the car after I hit the publish button and went live with the store where I asked him if it was too late for me to change my mind, if I could just hit rewind and go back…he said no I could not!

Amidst all this fear and worry I have made three major discoveries in the last week: 1) I am surrounded by really incredible cheerleaders…and I am sooooo thankful for them. 2) I really have no gauge for what to expect now, if I’m doing well, if I’m sucking…how do I measure this!?! And 3) I just totally put myself out there for the world!

The last two bring me face to face…again…with some of my deepest insecurities…I just really want people to like me and validate me and give my life purpose and oh yeah, I really want to be cool!!! Discouragement has come quickly and often this week as I’ve come up against these things. It seems like every time I leave the house someone asks me how Frippery House is doing…which is so incredible and I am beyond thankful to have such amazing support…but it just smacks me in the face with the reality that I don’t know!

It’s hard to put yourself out there! It’s hard to create something that you think is beautiful and kind of cool and means something special to you and then hold it up for all the world to see…and judge. In college I was an art major, but I never wanted to create art for others, I wanted to create art for myself and teach art to others. A big part of why was self defense…if you create your art only for yourself and not for others, if they don’t like it then who cares…so to be here in this place, creating for others…it feels very vulnerable! And, I just really have no idea what the measure is for success at a week in…so I just feel uncertain and inadequate when people ask.

But then I remember…my feelings are real but not always true.

I didn’t make the decision to start Frippery House lightly. It was on my heart the moment I moved back to Colorado 6 years ago, I prayed about it, I thought about it, I planned, and I dreamed…and yeah, and then I prayed some more. I wanted to make sure that if I took the brave step into entrepreneur life that God was for it…because if He’s for it there’s no stopping me! For years I hesitated, made excuses, and lacked the time to make Frippery House happen…I walked in a lot of fear of failure during those years. The very thought of failing kept me from ever starting.

But then…God brought people into my life that reminded me not to be afraid of what God had put on my heart. To not be afraid of failing. To not be afraid of sharing my story and my journey, because that’s why I was placed on this earth…oh, and one special person came along and told me not to be afraid of the post office…seriously…that was a pretty big turning point for me.

So, discoveries 2 & 3…they’ve got nothing on me! Because, no matter what gauge I decide to use to measure my success it will always fall short of just trusting that God has asked me to step out into this. And as far as putting myself out there…I guess it’s just what I was created to do!

My validation, my purpose, and my utter coolness…it comes from my identity in Christ…not my identity as an entrepreneur, wife, mom, friend, daughter, or any other thing…and I think I forgot that a little bit this week. I think I thought likes and views and sales were what made me valuable there for a moment.