This blog has sat (mostly) dormant for the past couple of years. As a mom with two little ones, it’s just been easier to share my random thoughts on Instagram. Some things, however, don’t share well on Instagram…like recipes. Which is what I’m going to do here over the next five weeks.
But not just any recipes. And not just for the fun of it.
Over the past three years, Chris and I have been blessed by so many friends and strangers, who have come alongside us and supported us so that we could adopt our beautiful boys (and hopefully, soon, our beautiful girl). Yes, we have worked and saved for these adoptions. We took out a second mortgage on our house, sold our second car, and I spent months writing a cookbook to boot. But even with all that, we couldn’t have brought three children home in three years without the help of strangers. This is a blessing. I will be forever grateful for it. But a part of me also grieves over it.
Right now, there are so many women out there who face difficult pregnancies. They want to keep their babies. But they don’t know how. Unlike me, they don’t have 17,000 followers on social media who they can call upon for help. So, many of those women don’t choose life for their babies. Or, they choose life, but entrust the child to another woman to raise.
Our sons’ birthparents placed their boys with us for reasons that were not financial. No amount of money could enable one set of parents to parent. No amount of money could have persuaded the others to parent. I feel less guilty fundraising for our adoptions knowing that. But still, I grieve. I grieve for every woman facing an unplanned pregnancy alone and scared. I grieve for every mother who thinks she doesn’t have a choice. I grieve for every woman who doesn’t have the amazing community I have.
So, I want to do something about it.
Chris and I are currently $5,500 away from having the money we need to fully fund this adoption. Almost all of that money has come from donations to our cookbook fundraiser. I know, if I kept pushing the cookbook, we would reach that goal in short order. I also know, if I pushed a little more, I could surpass the goal, and have enough money to take some kind of maternity leave. But, I’m not going to do that.
Instead, I’m going to offer you something here: Three Meatless Meal Recipes a week, every week, until the end of Lent. That’s 15 recipes in total. One will be super fast and easy (20-30 minutes start to finish, tops), with kid friendly adaptations. One will be allergy friendly (no gluten, dairy, or nuts). And the third will be just a little bit fancy. One of those three options each week will feature some kind of seafood or fish. The others will be veggie-based. So, lots of options for all families and no repeats.
I’ll post the recipes on Wednesdays, with ingredients, instructions, and photos, BUT I won’t post a 750 word essay before the recipe. No annoying stories. No fluff. I promise. Any tips I have, I’ll put at the end. I have no advertisers on this blog, so I can do that.
Originally, I had thought about putting together this recipe collection as a download and charging a few dollars for it. But I’d rather just give it to you for free, with an option for you to leave a “tip” in my Venmo jar (@Emily-Chapman-33). If you’ve already contributed generously to our adoption fund, you can just enjoy the recipes as an extra thank you. If the recipes are helpful to you, and you want to help us meet our goal, you can leave any sized tip you like, even just $1.
If my tip jar accumulates more than $5,500, though, I won’t put it towards a maternity leave. I’m working hard now on projects my clients need in April and May, so that I can take time off when we’re in California and then have a lighter schedule for 5-6 weeks after that. I don’t need anything more. Most women in the United States, especially moms facing crisis pregnancies, get no paid maternity leave. I can manage in solidarity with them.
Instead, any money raised over $5500 will go to the Sisters of Life, an amazing community of religious sisters who help women in crisis pregnancies choose life for the babies and then raise those babies themselves. They also provide loving support to post-abortive women. These women are doing the work in cities across America so that no woman has to choose abortion or adoption simply for financial reasons. They are some of the most lovely, joyful, generous women you will ever meet, and helping them in their mission, is a way to directly help vulnerable women who want to be mothers to their babies but can’t without help.
So, that’s my plan. I hope you want to be a part of it. At the very least, I hope these Lenten Friday recipes bless you and your family. Because you certainly have blessed me and mine.
See you tomorrow!