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Moments of Change & Challenge

There are so many little things that, as time goes by, I am continually amazed by the miracle of Kim and I.

I think back to 9 months ago…just 9 months…we had first met. In a castle. In The Netherlands. WHAT? It’s still crazy to me, when I write this, that I am not re-posting the synopsis of a fairytale book.

However, I pinch myself back to reality and realize I am writing the first page of my book. Although, as those who have been following our journey and poured through all these blog posts, I could also write a billion pre-quels as well! God has been writing this story LONG before Kim and I first met in September 2018.

There are moments lately, where I find myself crying all the time…but not out of pain or anguish, but because my soul is jumping and full of happy tears.

The other day, Kim whisked me away on a sunny Tuesday afternoon, and we went to the beach…or well really, the lake. It was a lake beach. It reminded me so much of my childhood in New York!


We were in the middle of this enchanting forest – and there was this gorgeous lake where we could lay out, swim in the pristine water, slip down this incredible slide, and just enjoy time in nature.


Among many beautiful moments this day, were a few that stood out in particular…

  1. The moment we were laying on the raft out in the lake 

This was special because it brought me back to my teenage years….Kim and I left the shore, and swam out to the raft together. Much to my dismay, there was no ladder to get up on said raft. This meant using all the might in my muscles to pull myself up on the raft. Oh and wait, I have a husband now. A strong, and kind man who was more than willing to help me. I also had to be reminded that I was no longer 260 pounds. Now, my 160 pound frame was all but effortless for Kim, and including myself, to be pulled up on that raft. I lay there, next to the most attractive man in the world (Yes, I may be a bit biased), realising I was finally her – I was the “girl” in the bikini with the “hot & strong guy” next to me – that I always dreamed about as an overweight teen continually in the friend zone.

Now, you may be tempted to jump on my teenage dreams and call them simple, and childish – but can’t you relate? Hasn’t every girl wanted to just feel beautiful & confident and free? THAT’S what this moment was all about to me. I began crying on that raft, and I got to share with my husband how THIS moment – was 15+ years in the making. God gave me this moment – even though I’d never confessed it out loud to be something I wanted. Did I even know I wanted it? Have you ever been there? Not knowing you wanted something until it happens…and you realize how beautiful and perfect it was? That’s our God. He knows our hearts even better than we do.


2. The moment Kim told me he’d be open to adoption 


This one took me hugely by surprise! I’ve always had such a passion for the lost, the broken, the poverty-stricken and the orphans. It didn’t take long for me to feel an innate desire to adopt after traveling to Guatemala and Haiti in college and spending time with orphans. My mama’s heart was even beating hard back then! God has given me the incredible capacity to love children as if they were my own, even when biologically, they are not. I believe this allowed me to be a very strong, fierce and loving nanny for over 10 years. After travelling to Guatemala in 2009, I came back to my college dorm room and started a “future adoption fund” jar for the future child(ren) I would hope to adopt with my future husband.

And we are….10 years later…the dream never dying, but one I had never discussed with my NOW husband. Out of nowhere, this day at the beach, as we were watching all the beautiful children in the water, every color and gender, my husband shares he’d love in the future to offer a home to children who needed it. He, too, would be open to adoption. WOW. Talk about GOD BUMPS. And now, more tears fell…so many happy tears. And they weren’t done.


3. The moment Kim held me in his arms, in the water, at sunset


Like straight out of a romantic movie, my husband, held me close in his arms in the water this evening. The time was 7pm, and only a few more souls were still left at the beach. The sun was tucking itself away for the evening and we were enjoying a beautiful sunset. Kim, a huge nature lover, had left the beach, to go enjoy a few more still moments in the cool water. After allowing him a few moments of wonder and peace alone, I walked out slowly to join him. Then, for a good 10 minutes, we held each other…mostly listening to each other’s breath and the beauty of nature all around us. The wind in the trees. The crickets in the forest. The gentle water splashes of a nearby family with their dog. I had continuous goose bumps…was I really here? Am I in a dream? I LOVE how content and free I feel in Kim’s arms….one of the high lights of our marriage, thus far, has been the feeling of complete unconditional love from Kim…and so I am now learning how to unconditionally love myself. It is the greatest gift -as I also feel the even greater unconditional love of God – that I am able to finally and FULLY be me.


I love getting to embrace these moments but also share them with you. I hope in the middle of our story, you can find yours too. I pray you too, get to embrace all that you are going through, and see the opportunities in the obstacles. In the middle of all of these moments, I am going through lots of change and challenges. I am experiencing a new life as a wife, as a bonus mom, in a new country, with a new language and new customs.

But instead of running from these obstacles, I am running TO them. I am learning through them. I am crying my way through and allowing myself to be fully, unapologetically human. Embrace your humanity today and learn to enjoy and learn in EVERY SINGLE MOMENT.


Chey Cleyman 


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