Have you ever come across a phrase or image at random (or it seemed random at the time) and then you see and/or hear it everywhere? That’s how our shirt logo started… with a phrase that I could not escape. I don’t even know when it started exactly, but it was several months ago.
I started following adoptive families, adoption agencies and birth moms on Instagram back in 2015. I have seen, and participated in, many adoption fundraisers and I especially love the t-shirts that families design to bring their babies home. This past fall, there was one shirt in particular that I loved, with the phrase “Move Mountains” on it. Then, I started seeing and hearing that phrase everyone. I listened to Andra Day’s “Rise Up” for weeks. Mountain scripture kept popping up in my devotionals. When we started our adoption fundraising, I really wanted to do our own adoption t-shirt… and I knew our shirt needed mountains!
Next, I reached out to the family that originally used the “Move Mountains” t-shirt as a fundraiser to adopt their second son. We talked about how I loved their shirt and all the meaning behind it. They gave us permission to use their idea for our shirt and wished us success in our adoption fundraising.
We used a great Tennessee company, GOA Merchandising, to design and print our shirts. We did want to alter the design of the original shirt a bit. First, we wanted a mountain range on our shirt that looked like the Smoky Mountains. It took me a while to believe it but those mountains feel like HOME. I grew up with the mostly flat of Alabama and middle Tennessee, and Tom spent most of his life in middle Tennessee too. Growing our family in East Tennessee for five years changed something in us and we are looking forward to planting our family’s roots there permanently in less than a year. When driving from NC to Knoxville last May, I realized just how much our shirts’ mountains look like the Smokies and I absolutely love it! GOA did an amazing job on the design!
I love so much about our shirt, but my favorite part is all the Biblical meaning tucked into those words at the bottom. Promised. Chosen. Loved. Adopted.
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her.” Luke 1:45
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4
God put the desire to adopt a baby, to love a child beyond my own blood, on my heart when I was just a child myself. I did not really know why, but I knew that He did. And he pushed that desire to the front of my heart over and over again, despite many ups and downs and life veering away from “my plan.” It took me a long time to realize that the veering away from my timeline would lead us to the child that was meant, destined and promised by God, to be in our family. It is something that I have to continue reminding myself of, in the wait of being matched with a birth mother.
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Ephesians 1:4
God chose us to be His, even though he already knew how many times we would turn away from Him and how many times we would fall flat on our faces. The ups and the downs. The rights and the wrongs. He chose us anyway. And just like He chose me, He chose our sweet baby, who may or may not already be formed in the womb of his or her birth mother. No matter the timing or gender or race or future needs of our child, he or she will always know that they have been chosen by us and, even more importantly, by God.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” Ephesians 5:2
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” John 15:9
There is so much scripture about love, especially about the ultimate love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. God loved us enough to send His ONLY son to Earth, already knowing the heartache, pain and death that Jesus would have endure. Jesus was willingly crucified for us. Jesus loves us THAT much. What a crazy, wonderful kind of love. And just as God loves us, he calls us to love each other. “These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” John 15:17 God has called all of us to love our families, our friends, our neighbors. Specifically, He has also called us to love others through adoption.
“In love, he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” Ephesians 1:5
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in him, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13
“God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. ” Galatians 4:4-7
We are children of God, who believe in him and receive him, through Jesus and we have been adopted into His Kingdom as His sons and daughters not of blood. The part I like most about this section of our shirt is that, in Ephesians, it says “he predestined us for adoption.” It wasn’t his Plan B. It was predetermined, possibly before the creation of the world. It was never second best. It was planned from the beginning. The same is true for us. Adoption was never my Plan B. It’s been a part of my “plan” for my family from the beginning. It may have come sequentially second to our biological children, but we were predestined to adopt and we are so excited to grow our family in this way!
Faith to MOVE Mountains
The Bible verse listed on our shirt is Matthew 17:20 “He replied,” Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain,’ Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible to you.”
Oh man, is adoption a lesson in faith. We have very little control over the adoption process. There are so many unknowns, yet we know the One who has all the answers. The One who has already written our story down. The One who knows the exact child that is coming to our family at the exact time he or she is supposed to. It is so easy for me, Miss uber-Planner, to get bogged down and anxious over all the unknowns. The finances alone cause eye-twitching. $40,000. FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. How?! We’ve been saving money for a while, but we do not have $40,000 to bring our baby home. In fact, we do not have half yet. And when we match with our birth mother, we have 3 to 7 days to write a very big check. Days, not weeks. Some agencies require full adoption fees upfront. Others require half now and half later. Either way, we are looking at a $20,000+ check and I falter. I stress. How, how, HOW are we going to do that?! Pastor Kendrick said, “I know that God will provide for you guys.” Others have said,” God funds what He favors” and “Where God guide, he provides” and we believe all of those things to be true, but it is still scary. We have to believe that through our faith and budgeting and our amazing village of family, friends, co-workers and others in our community that God will help us move our financial mountains.
Our adult “Move Mountains” shirt comes in 4 colors– purple, kelly green, charcoal gray and Carolina blue. The kids’ shirt in green is a bit brighter than the adult one, but we also have the 4 colors for kids. Toddler shirts come in purple, Carolina blue and charcoal gray. The adult shirts are tri-blend cotton and are SOO soft! The toddler/kid shirts are regular cotton tees, but they also cost $5-10 less than the adult ones. We sell the adult shirts for $25 so that almost $20 of that amount goes towards our adoption fund! Shipping is $4 per order, but if you live near us, there is a “pick up option” for free shipping.
You can check out all the colors, size options and pricing on our Square website (below.) We have stock photos and “real life” photos of each shirt, so be sure to click the arrows to see the true colors.
Noah is actually wearing the adult shirt in this photo. The child’s shirt has a smaller logo.
My sister-in-law, Amy, took her shirt with her to Colorado this summer and sent me some AMAZING photos of her with the Rocky Mountains!
Many of our friends and family have supported our adoption through purchasing our adoption shirt, way more than I have pictures of to share with you. So far, we have raised over $1400 towards our adoption through our t-shirt sales alone. We are not currently taking online orders, but we will open our Square website again in a few weeks. If you would like to donate to our adoption fund in the mean time, please check out our Adopt a Love Story page. We are a featured family through AALS and they accept tax-deductible donations on our behalf. Click the link below to watch our video and/or donate. Thank you for your support!