Secrets Revealed, Prayers Answered, Winners Notified

I've got good news, and I've got good news.

First, the good news.

Remember a few months back, when I hosted an amazing giveaway for a Monastic Immersion Weekend? I had an anonymous sponsor, and asked that you would all pray for her intention, which was very dear to me, too?

Well, good job guys. Pats on backs all around.

The anonymous sponsors were my brother- and sister-in-law. I mentioned their desire to have children in my Dear Newlywed post. The secret intention of the giveaway was that they would be blessed with a baby. The retreat was last weekend. Just a couple of days before the winner headed off to silent immersion, Pat and Brie brought this little guy home with them to Virginia.

Meet my nephew, Luke Anthony . . .

My sister-in-law, Brie, wanted to thank you all herself!

Thank you everyone for all of your prayers and well wishes during our adoption journey. Pat and I can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate them! We are still blown away by how effective they were and are thrilled to be able to introduce our son, Luke Anthony! Luke is a dream come true for us and came into our lives so quickly that we truly feel like he is a testament to the power of prayer. We struggled for over four years to start our family and within 3 weeks of activating with our adoption agency and asking for your prayers, we received a call that a woman had chosen us to adopt her unborn child. Our agency estimates that couples will be chosen by a birthmother within 6 to 9 months of becoming active. Adoption can be such a long and painful experience for couples, filled with false starts and endless waiting. We know how lucky we are to have Luke and give all credit to prayer and the intersession of St. Anthony and countless other saints who had a hand in giving us the greatest blessing of our lives! Given the quick turnaround, I'm also thankful that my sister-in-law started this blog so I have a handy dandy resource for raising this little man. I can't wait to parent with authority! :)

We are so very grateful and will keep all of you in our prayers! Luke has already gotten started on this too...

We couldn't be more excited about our new cousin around here. We like cousins. As Bobby pointed out, "Baby Luke already has more cousins than I do."

Anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers. You are the best readers a gal could have.

Update: people have asked if Baby Luke has a registry, indeed he does. (But no pressure.)

And for the rest of the good news, there's also the giveaway of Catholic Churches, Big and Small by Stefan Salinas.

The lucky winner is . . .

Elise of the blog BlissfulE!

She gets a copy of the book, plus a beautiful giclee print by Stefan.

If you didn't win, you'll just have to order the book for yourself . I highly recommend it!