- Leah Outten
2019 in Review | What a Ride It Was!
Wow. This year has honestly flown by.
2019 was full of ups and downs, but with so much growth and excitement! In 2019 the promise I felt from the Lord was Health…and He did just that. Beginning 2019 my physical health was in a horrible state with overgrown Candida, rashes everywhere, and went on a strict diet to clear it up. It worked! Aside from that, I feel mentally and emotionally I overcame and learned a lot to be a healthier human being. I learned that I’m a 9 on the Enneagram scale and that has been immensely helpful to bring more health and growth to my relationships!
Y’all, I am proud of this year.
I worked hard. I did so many scary things with God’s guidance and His strength IN me. He provided so many AMAZING opportunities to learn and explore and be brave. These are just a few highlights:
I worked at the Proverbs 31 Ministries for 3 months. I got to wear real grown up work clothes and high heels! I sat next to some of the best writers and speakers in the Christian world, like the Lysa Terkeurst and Christine Cain. Soaked up knowledge. Learned marketing skills. I wrote many of the emails and banners you saw from P31 for a while. What an incredible feeling! Then, dealt with feelings of rejection and “not good enough” when my contract ended. Satan had a field day with that (and still does some days). Nonetheless, I know that God had that as a short season for a reason and I know that it ended when it did to give time for what He was ultimately calling me too– help the adoption community! More on that below 🙂
I went to NYC and London with Talk About Adoption. It was my first international trip! It was short, but amazing. I am praying to go back one day to eat more Meat Pie and see more of historic London!
I started with Arrow + Root in February. I joined as the birth momma on the team to help educate through calls with clients and to edit their adoption profile books to present to expectant parents. This has stretched my introverted, shy self to have hour long phone calls sometimes daily and build confidence. It has been incredible to get to know many incredible families and be a small part in their adoption story, for some to open their hearts to birth parents and open adoption, and for others to help know how to love on the birth parents and raise adoptees well. God always guides the conversations. I have now served 100 now in 2019! (And, I tell her this almost daily, but I thank God for Mallory. How we became friends and started this journey together was all God. We just click perfectly, balancing each other’s talents and weaker parts. She was exactly the cheerleader I needed when Proverbs 31 fell through, God has used her in so many ways!)
Mallory and I planned, fundraised, made tons of professional connections, wrote a workbook that is now in print, and filmed our Woven Together adoption courses! I used those marketing skills that I learned at P31. This took us 11 months to dream, write, and prep. It was intense. It was long hours. It was draining at times and fulfilling at others. In just 2 months we have heard such great feedback from professionals and adoptive families who have taken it. I’m thrilled to see how it continues to fill in the gaps of education in 2020!
Our hopeful adoptive family course is available now. You can preview two of the courses here:
“Creating Your Adoption Profile Book” and “Adoption Is About The Child” Then use code GETEDUCATED for $10 off 🙂
I spoke on a panel at Quiver Full Adoption’s Promise Summit in May. That weekend was so much fun and fulfilling to meet many online people that I’ve followed for a while! My “sleepover” with Big Tough Girl’s Ashley Mitchell was a highlight. There’s nothing like being in a room with another birth mother who truly gets how you feel by having gone through it as well.
Mark and I celebrated 12 years of marriage. It was honestly the worst anniversary trip in history, but thanks to Enneagram we worked through a lot and how to better understand one another’s view and meet in the middle. That growth has set us up to be the happiest we ever have been!
We were able to take Anna to the beach with us for the first time ever! Adoption is not always easy, the grief still lingers even 15 years later, and sometimes even more so now that she feels it heavier now as well. But, our visits are so fun and we squeezed more in this year because that’s what she asked for (and I love it!). Going to the beach and creating some “first” memories for us…what a gift. I adore her parents for their trust and encouragement.
So what’s coming in 2020?
Our Woven Together Pro-Life Course is launching January 23, 2020! This course is geared towards the pregnancy centers, maternity homes, and other pro-life organizations to help train their staff and volunteers on modern adoption and heart issues/mindset around it. We aim to change the conversations and change the culture around adoption to fully love on expectant mothers and birth mothers after placement through the process better. We are getting amazing feedback from organizations who have previewed it so far!
Because of this revolutionary and much needed course, Mallory and I were invited to talk at two large pro-life conferences! I’m so excited to fly to new places again this year 🙂 Seattle being one of them, I haven’t been to the West coast yet!
An article I wrote for Focus on the Family will be published! This is such a huge milestone for me and truly an honor to have this platform to share some of my story and education.
Anna turns 16 years old…the same age I was when I was pregnant with her and chose adoption. I have a feeling the adoption complexities might be even more so this year for her and I. But, I look forward to our blooming relationship and the closeness that happens each year.
Only God knows what else! I love that He sees ahead and prepare us. I’m sure ups and downs will happen, as life tends to have. But, I know that His goodness and faithfulness will prevail regardless of what we will face. I am looking forward to 2020 with anticipation of what God will do next and praising Him for the opportunities He has provided.
For 2020 I am claiming Courageous as my word of the year.
Next year is going to hold many things that I’m afraid of, to be honest, like all that speaking on stage for one! I know it will stretch both Mallory and I, who don’t like to be the center of attention and love being at home in the quiet. But, God equips us to where He calls us and I know He will continue to do so as He did in 2019.