A Patio (Barely) DIY and a Few Spilled Beans

October 7, 2015

diy-patio-set-seats Welcome back from the longest blogging break I’ve ever accidentally taken! Whoops!

After months of strictly enforced vagueness about our plans and what’s going on behind the blog, today I’m ready to spill some of it.

If you were here with me, we’d have a seat on our new little patio set that I’ve just spruced with some new cushion fabric, and I’d set about explaining. I’d explain that we’re in Texas (although you’d likely already know that because we’d be sweating), and I’d explain that we’ll be here for a while. We’re not sure how long, but we’ll be here long enough that this little patio set is sitting outside our apartment. Our Houston apartment.

And the reason we don’t know how long we’ll be here is that we’re hoping and praying and planning to adopt a baby. diy-patio-set In person, when I spill those particular beans, I somewhat sheepishly rush through that big, fat sentence at the end. I think because it’s a sentence I’ve said in my head for years before uttering it aloud to anyone other than Michael. It still sounds a little surreal to say the words. It feels surreal to be here, spending my afternoons avoiding the Texas heat, filling out adoption paperwork.

Why Houston, you might ask if we were hanging out on our little patio? Well, to adopt, we couldn’t stay in Ireland. This heartbreaking article in the Irish Times explains in more detail why that is, but it essentially boils down to a shortage of adoptable babies, a years-long application process before you can begin your search, and the insurmountable cost of foreign adoption from Ireland.

We have known for a long time that there are babies who need families here in Houston. Michael’s godson was one of those babies ten years ago (this is a video about his adoption story, I cry every time I watch it), and our dear friends here have told us stories of many more since then. When Michael and I got married, we knew adoption would be part of our plan, and we envisioned it would happen at the end of our children, adopting a bonus baby to round out our family. Instead, it will be our beginning. diy-patio-set-metal We’re working with an agency here, and the couple who run it have known Michael for many years. We trust them completely, and we trust that God has a baby for us. I know in my heart that he or she has been chosen already, and that that baby will be so loved.

I wasn’t sure I’d ever share this part of our journey online. In my head, I really only pictured writing a post that introduced our new baby once we had our birth certificate in our hands on adoption day. I’ve written that post in my head at least once a week for a year. But this story isn’t only mine to tell, and while Michael is grudgingly agreeable when I ask him to model something for a blog post, he is otherwise quite private and I have wanted to honor that.

A few days ago, I mentioned to Michael that I was having a hard time with my blog, and he suggested that maybe it was time to start sharing part of this journey. I’m grateful. I’ve never been the type of blogger to share all the nitty gritty details of my life, but this is one big detail that is dictating every move we make at the moment. It has been a hard to speak so vaguely about it all. diy-patio-sets-lime My days here in our Houston Heights neighborhood have been split between working on freelance projects and working on our adoption paperwork. Michael has started a job teaching in a local charter high school. We adore our neighborhood and our apartment is becoming more and more cosy by the day. We’ll be finished with our paperwork later this month and then we wait for the phone to ring, with the news of a baby who will join our family. And I probably won’t stop crying for a month.

Since the start of FCV more than five years ago, Dublin has been so much of my identity and a huge part of what I write about and share with you all. For now, that will change. I worried that you all would expect stories from my life in Dublin and that you would be disappointed by this change. But I was reminded recently that this has always been a space for me to share my life and my adventures. This isn’t Dublin (oh, man, this so isn’t Dublin), but it’s our biggest adventure yet. I hope you’ll come with me as I share it with you.


As an addendum, our patio set. I found it on Craig’s list (thank goodness for Craig, our apartment would be empty without you!) for $30 and ordered $8 of indoor/outdoor fabric from Amazon to cover the seats and had a piece of glass cut to fit the tabletop. The DIY instructions go like this: cut fabric, staple gun to the bottom of the seat. Place glass on top. The end. It’s still too hot in Houston to really sit there for very long, but those days are coming and before you know it, I’ll be sitting there with a cup of coffee and a baby in my arms.


  • Reply Nicole Kirchler October 7, 2015 at 6:09 am

    This is wonderful!!! Good luck and all the best for you and your family! Everything will be fine. <3

  • Reply Holly October 7, 2015 at 7:03 am

    This is what life is about – following your dreams. Sending you my very best wishes that things turn out the way you hope. Good luck!

  • Reply cbb October 7, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Oh wow! Couldnt read & not reply. Wishing you every bit of luck from Dublin! Really hope the adoption process goes smoothly & you have a lovely baby in your arms before too long!

  • Reply Christine October 7, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Emily I have so so happy to read this , what a wonderful thing you are doing , can not wait to read & see the post introducing your new addition. C xx

  • Reply Au Fil d'Isa October 7, 2015 at 9:04 am

    This is great news! Thank you for sharing, and I hope you’ll be holding your baby in your arms as soon as possible.

  • Reply Courtney F October 7, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Awe, thank you so much for sharing a little piece of the journey! I am so happy for you and Michael. Exciting times are ahead :o)

  • Reply Ciara Spillane October 7, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    wow, what an exciting time. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to hear about your little baby.

  • Reply gerry October 7, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    A lovely way of delivering important news, Emily. I look forward to the future post, the one with the photo of the three of you.

  • Reply Katie October 7, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    “Instead, it will be our beginning. ” This really got me. It will be such a beautiful beginning.

  • Reply karen October 7, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Many many prayers and best wishes, Emily! xx

  • Reply Elizabeth October 7, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Emily, that is so exciting! Thanks for sharing!! My brother is adopted and adoption has such a special place in my heart. Your future son or daughter are already so lucky to have you two! And to be honest, I feel like now I can enjoy all the Texas posts a bit more since I know why you’re there. 🙂

  • Reply Stephanie October 7, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Prayers, good vibes and virtual hugs headed your way Emily! That little one will sure be blessed. 🙂

  • Reply Dara Flynn October 7, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Emily. What a lovely piece. Thanks for sharing so eloquently and best of luck to you and Michael! x

    PS Great patio. And it’ll be even better when there are much-appreciated filthy nappies and baby spew on your lovely new glasstop!

  • Reply Caitriona October 7, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Heart in my mouth here Emily. It will all work out for the best. What a journey you’re on. Thinking of you and Michael & sending much love. xxx

  • Reply Jackie October 7, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Emily, I cried when I read this post. I am so happy for you and Michael and so gld that you shared this. I am sure many of your readers share my same opinion that wherever you are or whatever you are doing- we come to your blog to hear about YOU! So I don’t think there is any disappointment with the geographical change. Only excitement about what the future holds! Much love to you and Michael!

  • Reply Susan October 7, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks for sharing- wishing you all the best!

  • Reply Lauren October 7, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    What wonderful news, Emily! Best wishes to you and Michael! I’m excited to you use your guide when I head to Dublin next week. It’s been a life saver during my planning process. 🙂

  • Reply sunny October 8, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Sending you and Michael lots of love and prayers and best wishes!!! 🙂

  • Reply Stasie October 8, 2015 at 1:05 am

    Wishing you & your husband best wishes & prayers. What a wonderful journey you are on, hopefully you will be rewarded shortly.

  • Reply EJ October 8, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing and best wishes to you and Michael !

  • Reply Raffaella October 8, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing! Sending good vibes to you and Michael for this new chapter of your life!

  • Reply Torry October 8, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    What exciting news! Wishing you all the best and look forward to hearing more about the journey x

  • Reply Lou October 8, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing – many good wishes for your future!

  • Reply Christine October 9, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    So sweet, good luck and best wishes!

  • Reply Suzy October 10, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Gorgeous post Emily, wishing you and Michael lots of luck and years of happiness when you get your gorgeous baby, missing you here x

  • Reply Anamaria October 10, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I’ve not commented before, but I found your blog while planning a trip to Dublin (which was delightful!) and have been following ever since. Just wanted to add all my best wishes. I’m sure you will find lots to keep your hands busy while you are waiting for your baby!

  • Reply Hello, Queensland! October 10, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    I am so excited for you both! Thank you for sharing – I can’t speak for all your readers, but I feel that your blog has a strong support. I got emotional just reading your exciting news and beginning this chapter of your life even though I don’t personally know you! I wish you two (soon to be three) all the best in this journey. Xx

  • Reply Nathalie October 12, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Oh Emily, what a journey you’re on! The very best of luck, sending lots of good vibes your way.

  • Reply Catherine October 13, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    All the best to you both – what an exciting journey. I suspect there are many more delightful things in your future x

  • Reply Thank You - From China Village October 20, 2015 at 3:47 am

    […] all the ends of the globe on my last post. I clicked “publish” after writing about our adoption journey and thought, uh-oh. Did I really mean to do that? But I woke up the next morning to the kindest […]

  • Reply Sarah McKenna October 20, 2015 at 7:18 am

    How exciting, Wishing you the very best with your journey to parenthood

  • Reply Marjorie October 20, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Hi Emily!
    The adoption process is long and hard, but the end is so joyous! Will pray for you and Michael to have a peaceful, joyous journey. We planned, as well, that adoption would be the end of our child journey and it was our beginning. We adopted a 7 year old girl, who is now 22 and a mom to a 5 y.o. step daughter. She seeks advice and shares that “I” come out of her mouth more times than she can count. What a blessing and honor. Best wishes!

  • Reply Sydney October 20, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    Just wanted to share I am so excited for you! I will keep you, and your family in my prayers!

  • Reply Kristin November 15, 2015 at 2:29 am

    Glad you shared a post on the most important journey of your life. Our prayers are with you guys.

  • Reply Our Biggest News Yet: Welcome Maya Catharine! - From China Village November 25, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    […] October 6th, I closed my eyes and clicked publish on a post about beginning our adoption journey here in Houston. I was finally able to explain to you all why we hadn’t made it back to […]

  • Reply Styled in Ireland / Exercising in Dublin - From China Village February 22, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    […] we left Dublin for Houston (all explained here if you’re just catching up) last summer, I put together a bunch of Styled in Ireland posts […]

  • Leave a Reply