Beauty tips, Adoption in Oklahoma, and a story of Infertility

So first of all- hi! I'm still here and still alive!

I know it's been a little bit since I've engaged in the blog world but dang corona virus had me down in the dumps for a bit. After some processing and reflecting, I am back to rock and roll!

Secondly, you might be aware that Anna Rhodes (from First Embrace Birth Services) came up with an amazing idea to start a video conversation series with you guys. We figured, especially in times of quarantine and isolation- smack dab in the midst of a pandemic -that the best way we can still connect with you all and still make it feel as authentic and personable as possible would be to do it in the form of a pre-recorded video series. It is our hope to be able to take these live on Facebook one day- and hopefully one day SOON- but for now, we accept our current circumstances and go with the flow.

We are calling it Bits & Pieces with Dani & Anna and we post the weekly episodes on our Facebook pages every Saturday afternoon/evening. And if you have already been following along with us, then you may have seen our most recent episode 3 that included a very special guest with us: Lea Schoeffler. {If you did not see it, you may watch it here}

Lea is my primary Hair and Makeup Artist at Dani Marie Photography. She has served many of my clients and has helped their portraits to have a final, polished look due to her artistry- I value her immensely! What you may not know about Lea is that she and her husband, Jake, have gone down the road of adoption twice and only then found out that they actually both had fertility issues to deal with as well.

contemporary portrait artist Dani Marie Photography in Oklahoma City specializes in women's and family portraits, creating breathtaking and modern imagery for solo portraits, maternity, newborn, birth, and beyond.

We appreciate Lea so much for hopping on and chatting with us about something that is so personal! She has graciously offered to share more details and thoughts in the following blog post below. In it, you'll find a few quick beauty tips (because hey, we are going into the summer months now and lockdowns are starting to lift, so who doesn't need some quick pointers.....amiright?)

Written and shared by Lea Schoeffler

Beauty Therapy beauty tips:

1. You can disguise your roots with a colored dry shampoo! Your stylist likely sells them or you can find them in the hair section of most retailers. If you’re blonde dry shampoo helps make those harsh growth lines fade some. If you’ve got dark hair you can also conceal new growth with mascara or eye shadow! Everything washes out and won’t hurt your color or hair.

2. If you’re home this is a great time to give your hair a break from heat styling! Let your hair air dry, don’t use hot tools and invest in a great hair mask! You will come out of this with healthier hair.

3. Since you may be home and wearing your hair in a pony tail often, it is important to remember to change the location every other day. Wearing a pony tail in the same place daily will cause breakage in your hair. Try different styles such as a low pony, braids or a half up bun.

At Dani Marie Photography you have the option to add on professional hair and makeup services. You will also be pampered and treated with healthy snacks and beverage.

Our adoption story

I want to start by saying that I’ve rarely felt called to do anything in my life. I’m a believer but always thought there was someone more equipped to do whatever God might ask of me. We are just an average working couple who had no idea of any fertility issues living in our comfort zone.

Our journey began about a year after we got married. We talked about wanting children like many other couples and maybe mentioned adopting down the road.

Around spring of 2012 I began to feel a tug and deep desire for a baby. We hadn’t been preventing pregnancy for at least 6 months and we hadn’t gotten pregnant. I was growing discouraged at every new period but, also had the mindset that when God wanted us to have a child, He would give us one.

One of the things I love about my job as a stylist is that I get to meet and get to know lots of people with different experiences. I had conversations with several clients who had fostered or adopted. I thought that’s nice but that isn’t for me, we have our own plan and maybe down the road after we have biological children we can foster or adopt. These encounters with clients, even people I didn’t know kept happening as God worked on my heart. So, for 9 months I read everything I could find about fostering and what it really looked like in the day to day life. This was during a time that fostering and adopting wasn’t as “popular” as it is now. There was very little information out there. I spent most of those months crying about my plans and what I wanted. Questioning why God was asking us to do something that we were not qualified to do. We were having a lot of discussions about what we wanted and at times I was more ready to take the leap than my husband. One day I couldn’t handle it anymore and during a break between clients I submitted our application online to foster. For some reason my heart was bursting and broken that day. I can’t explain the pull of emotions as I filled out the form. I will never forget the date. December 20th. The day my son was born.

After much discussion we went to an information night with a local agency. I came out of it overwhelmed and my husband who had been reluctant had completely switched was ready to move forward so we started our foster parent training classes!

The training and paperwork is very involved and lengthily! It took us awhile to get everything completed and to officially be a licensed foster home. We choose to go through Angels out of Edmond. We created a gender neutral nursery and prepped the best we could. When we told our families and friends our plans they were surprised and hesitant, scared for us and our hearts. We felt so passionately that we were being called to do this that we didn’t let others opinions change our minds.

We received our first placement during a tornado! Really, we got