Welcome to Tatum’s Tales. I feature children who have rare genetic diseases, syndromes, and other special kids. Parents submit a story about their child and in exchange for sharing their story on the blog I give the family a complimentary mini session. Please leave a comment on the blog to show your support for these children and families. Even better, Share this to your facebook page so more people can hear their amazing stories!

The Harbin Family and their sweet Tatum, in heaven, are the inspiration for Tatum’s Tales. Please be sure to read Part 1 first: https://sarahthompsonpricephotography.mypixieset.com/blog/tatums-tales-part-1/ I am beyond thankful to know this family and to have been a part of so many special times in their life. The fall after Tatum passed I did the sweetest session for Kayla and Gary. They were wrapped in Tatum's quilt and that photo will always be one of my favorites. Please take the time to read Kayla’s story on how they found Hope during such dark times.

Hope Becomes a Harbin: 07.26.2017

Tatum's Tales: Part 2

Losing a baby will change your outlook on a lot of different things in life. From how you spend your day, how you respond to certain scenarios, and even how you go to sleep at night. After losing Tatum, having another baby was such a distant thought. We were simply trying to make it from one day to the next without crashing on our faces, ruining our marriage, or losing ourselves. We still considered ourselves parents, despite the fact that our baby was an angel. We reminisced. We talked about our future. We talked about God’s plan, and what we thought his plan entailed. Little did we know, his plan would be more rewarding than we ever thought.

After about a year and a half, I had been back to work for about a year, Gary had started his own business, and we were still trying to figure out God’s plan. Somewhere along the way we decided that fertility was going to be a part of our lives. Several tests later, a few different medications, and one round of IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) ending in a miscarriage at 5 weeks of pregnancy, we took a step back. Considering what we had experienced the previous year, we quickly found out that this was not for us.

We prayed some more. A lot more, actually. We felt like that was all we were doing. To say that we never felt frustrated or discouraged would be a lie. But underneath some of the hurt that we felt, was a constant feeling of Hope. Somehow, we knew that there was a plan for us. We knew that we were meant to be parents. We just didn’t know when or how.

We later felt the pull to adopt. We went to the initial meeting with an agency, heard some pretty amazing stories, and talked about the costs that would come with a domestic adoption. We were absolutely floored at the amount of dollar signs we were looking at! We knew that we would have to raise funds. We set up our first fundraiser online shortly after that meeting so that we could start the process of a home study, as this was going to be one of our first steps, and it was not going to be cheap.

I went through a moment of fear. I worried about how we would pay for an adoption. Gary had just started his own business. He was making money, but would we be able to live, raise a potential child, and pay for the adoption fees that we would endure along the way? I asked God how every time I called his name. I asked him when and how? My questions were endless. But like I said before, the feeling of Hope was always there at the end of every prayer.

On July 14, 2016, I received a message on Facebook from a friend of a friend. She sent something that I never expected. To keep this blog somewhat short and sweet I will give you the edited version of her message.

“Kayla, this will probably be the most random message you ever receive, but I saw that you and Gary were looking into adoption and taking the first steps on that journey. My husband and I received custody of a little girl about a year ago and she is the sweetest. With the unknowns that we are facing ahead, I am not sure what is to come. She would be so happy with a family like yours. I’m not sure if this is something that you and Gary would be interested in or could start specifically praying about now. I know this is a lot but I want her to be with the best family!”

I cannot imagine the strength that it took for this friend to type that message. Her courage, strength and willingness to follow through with God’s plan is something that I will never be able to repay! They loved Hope. They cared so much for Hope. They will always have a special place in their hearts for Hope. They will be a part of Hope’s story for the rest of time. We are forever grateful for all of them!

Needless to say, after reading the message, I was speechless. I thanked God in the midst of many tears, and somehow formed words to call Gary and tell him. He was excited! I was so excited that I met her a week later for the first time!

She was a busy little girl with spiral curls and a sweet smile! When they told me her name, I couldn’t speak. Hope. Her name was Hope! God is so good. He had a plan. We thought we knew what it was, but we had no clue! He knew the entire time!

Hope stayed the night with us for the first time on July 23rd. She fit right in without skipping a beat. Shortly after that, custody was signed over to Gary and myself. We met with an attorney and started the process of adoption.

I could give you ever detail, but this is a blog not a novel. The short version of life over the course of the next year went something like this…We finished our home study, Hope had her 2nd birthday and met a ton of family that would be hers forever very soon. We went through all of the hoops to legalize everything. When I say all the hoops, I literally mean every single one of them! Finally, we got a court date! She was officially going to be ours.

The process was difficult to grasp at times. We had moments where time seemed to fly by, and others where we didn’t feel like we were getting anywhere. We had bumps. We had setbacks. I had fears the entire time during this waiting period. Our attorney answered more questions than I am sure she ever anticipated. She constantly reassured me that we had nothing to worry about. I still worried. I asked “what if’s”? I continued to pray. I continued to rely on the One who sent this sweet baby our way. I took things one day at a time.

When I felt fearful and felt like the process had stopped, God had a way of shedding that hope at the perfect time! Do you remember me telling you about my fear of finances? Things ended up being more than taken care of! Business for Gary was skyrocketing and we were able to take care of every expense that came along. We were blessed to say the least! We had a huge community of people behind us rooting for us, an immediate family that were beyond supportive, and a God who had a plan for us from the beginning.

Hope is a gift and we cannot imagine life without her. She is spunky, energetic, funny, loving, and most importantly, she is OURS! On July 26, 2017, in the State of Tennessee, Cynthia Lynn Hope Hall became Olivia Hope Harbin. She loves her name. She loves her home. We thank God daily for her and her story. Our family has been through so much and as a mommy of an angel and now a mommy to Hope, my heart is so full!

Our journey has taken roads that we never imagined. We speak often of Tatum. Hope talks constantly about her sister in Heaven. Not only is Hope a part of our story, but Tatum is a part of hers and I couldn’t think of a better story to tell! I can honestly say that without my family, my husband, and my faith, I would not be able to be the mommy that I continue to be. I have a lot to be thankful for and I do my very best to remember this every morning and thank God for it every night!

Thank you all for taking time to read about our journey. Thank you to our amazing photographer for capturing all of these sweet moments! Thank you to all who have prayed during our struggles and our victories. We are amazed at the outpouring of love and support along the way. We are appreciative, grateful and humbled.

Much love,

The Harbin’s

Gary, Kayla, Hope, and our angel in Heaven, Tatum