Planning a wedding often comes with a whole lost of things to do, with flowers being an important part of the ceremony to many. Here’s why you should use dried flowers at your wedding instead of a fresh bunch or two. You can thank us later.
They Fit Many Themes
If you’re planning a rustic, vintage, or nature-themed day, then look no further. Dried flowers can be a great way to add a certain something special to your ceremony without having to break the bank as many florists already have plenty in stock. Did someone say vintage romance?
Dried flowers can leave many of us thinking of dull bouquets and lack-luster arrangements. However, that’s not always the case. Many color palettes and delicate petals come to life as soon as they are dried – especially if you want to add a dusty color theme to your big day.
They Can Be Any Season
Many couples want to make their wedding as eco-friendly as possible. Sadly, not all of our dream flowers are in season when we tie the knot. Using dried flowers means you could skip the importing part of making an arrangement as they will already be ready to go.
It can be tough to find a way to add an unexpected element to your ceremony. Thankfully, not many guests expect to arrive and see dried flowers as the centerpiece to the ceremony. This can make them a striking detail to the bigger picture by adding some variety to the bouquets.
If you want to add your own touch to your ceremony while helping to save the planet, then look no further than dried flowers at your wedding. It might not be long before you’re part of one of the biggest growing trends in the wedding industry.
Young Couple Was Expecting Big Family, But Doctors Were Puzzled By Test Results
From Very Different Worlds
In another world, Aaron and Rachel might not have ended up together. After all, they had come from very different parts of the world and had fairly different upbringings too. Rachel hailed from the Mississippi Delta and was part of a close-knit community, while Aaron was born and raised in the Central American nation of Honduras. It’s amazing that this was how it all started, seeing that just a few years later, they would be getting some big news in the delivery room.
A Well-Traveled Man
Seeing that she had come from a close-knit community, Rachel hadn’t had the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people from different backgrounds and walks of life. On the other hand, Aaron was very much used to being the only blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy in his hometown in Honduras. As time went on though, their interests in the church and beyond brought them closer and closer together until finally, they met on a blind date and started a remarkable journey that would result in a truly unique family.
Love at First Sight
It was 2004 and the couple completely hit it off during their blind date together. Through their shared passion in the church, they were excited to work together to change the world and make it a better place. They were very open with each other early on, sharing the same goals of wanting to settle down at some point and have a family. However, they were still very young and more than happy to take their time as they got to know each other.
They Took Things Slow
As they embarked on many trips and worked hard to improve the lives of those around them, Aaron and Rachel grew closer and became more sure about their relationship. They weren’t interested in seeing anyone else and only saw the other in each other’s life for the long haul. However, they were still young and wanted to move at a slow pace as they continued to get to know each other. As time went on though, there was one huge detail that pushed things forward.
They Wanted to Build a Family
One of Aaron and Rachel’s biggest goals that they had in common was wanting to build a family and specifically, to have many children. In an interview with The Washington Post, Aaron said the following: “When we were still dating, a common bond that drew us together was the fact that Rachel and I both wanted to adopt.” Yes, specifically, the couple liked the idea of adopting children, despite the fact that in their circles, it was the less traditional way to build a family.
While both Aaron and Rachel knew that they were fully capable of having their own biological children, they felt that there were many children out there who were already alive and desperately needed a home. “While we were fertile, we were both deeply convicted that one of the ways to be pro-life is to involve ourselves in adoption,” Aaron said. Amazingly, it was this shared goal that sealed the deal, as far as their relationship was concerned. The next step was pretty clear.
Will You Marry Me?
Now that they had all of these wonderful dreams and plans in place, Aaron thought it only made sense to take their relationship to the next step in life. On one romantic evening, when they were out and about and the sun was slowly setting, Aaron got down on one knee and asked for Rachel’s hand in marriage. Although she felt very clear about where this was going, she was still overwhelmed with emotion as she screamed out “yes” at her future husband.
An Unforgettable Day
While there are many people out there who struggle to find the right person through multiple attempts, this didn’t apply to Aaron and Rachel. They got lucky very early and took love by the horns. After two years of dating and building a wonderful relationship together, the couple were ready to tie the knot. In 2006, they had a beautiful wedding, in which all of their friends and family attended. However, it was only the start of a remarkable chapter in their new life together.
Juggling Their Dreams
While they knew that they wanted to build a family together, Aaron and Rachel also had other dreams that they wanted to make come true. It wasn’t exactly easy balancing them all at the same time. Seeing that they dedicated a lot of their time to their local community and the church, the newlyweds decided to focus on those particular passions. While all of this was happening, they knew that at some point in their marriage, the right time would present itself.
A New Opportunity
After just a few months of being married, Aaron and Rachel received an offer to return to the former’s place of birth, Honduras. They had an opportunity to help those in need there and without haste, they packed their bags and relocated to this unique part of the world. While Rachel was intrigued to see where her husband had grown up, she was also excited to improve the lives of those living in the small town next to Tegucigalpa.
A Rewarding Experience
During their time in Honduras, Aaron and Rachel realized that a lot of work needed to be done where they were. They were concerned about the communities they were working with and knew that they had a job to do in this part of the world in the long run. However, their stay there was only temporary and they would eventually have to return to the U.S. Nevertheless, it was a rewarding experience and more opportunities were just around the corner.
Years of Growth
For the next few years, Aaron and Rachel enjoyed serving their community in Jackson, Mississippi. As time went on though, it became increasingly clear how they wanted to spend their time. While Aaron started studying for a pastoral degree, the couple also dreamed of returning to Honduras, for good. They were also having serious discussions about having their first child but weren’t sure how to go about this. The next few months would be extremely important for the couple.
Helping the Community
Wherever they were in the world, community was a huge part of Aaron and Rachel’s ideals and they would do whatever they could to enrich the lives of others. During their time in Jackson, Mississippi, they always strived to do more, especially at the church. But they never lost sight of their goal to have a child. “We see the protection of children not as charity, nor as part of a political agenda, but as something near to the heart,” Aaron said.
Weighing Out Their Options
Even at this stage of their relationship, Aaron and Rachel still weren’t completely sure as to whether they should conceive or adopt. During another trip to Honduras, the couple weighed out their options, visiting an adoption agency in the process. It was a huge decision to make and would ultimately change their lives one way or another. To say that they were at a crossroads in their marriage was quite the understatement. But unsurprisingly, they took a leap of faith.
They Chose to Adopt
After a lot of soulsearching and going back and forth between all of the options, Aaron and Rachel decided that the right thing for them to do was to adopt a child. Upon their second return to Mississippi, the couple educated themselves further about the topic and felt very much at ease about the whole process. They were ready to bring a child into their lives, and that is not the only major decision they made.
Helping a Child in Need
After visiting the adoption agency, Aaron and Rachel knew exactly what to do. They were well-informed about how so many orphans struggled to find homes, especially those who were not white. With this in mind, the couple approached adoption with the following reasoning. “We did this with the deeply held conviction that if [we were meant] to have a fully Caucasian child my wife would conceive naturally,” Aaron said. It was a bold and brave choice from the idealistic couple.
They Found a Match
It didn’t take long before the adoption agency found a match for the couple. In no time at all, not one, but two children fit the criteria that Aaron and Rachel were looking for. They were shown a baby boy and a baby girl who instantly stole their hearts. The ball was now in their court and all they had to do was decide on whether or not they wanted to bring these two angels into their lives.
Two Became Four!
Just like that, Aaron and Rachel welcomed the two adorable babies into their lives. They were so excited to embrace Ford and Catherine for the first time and it was a truly emotional moment the first time they met each other. While this was a pure state of euphoria for them, knowing that they were now officially parents, they knew that there would be many challenges along the way. And it didn’t take long before they made the next big step in their lives.
We Want More!
Amazingly, after just a few months of raising Ford and Catherine, the married couple were already discussing having more children. There was no denying that Aaron and Rachel had their hands full. The two babies were plenty of work, just like any child would be for two new parents. But the couple took it all in their stride and eventually, a friend approached them and suggested to them a new idea of how to expand their new family.
A New Idea
A few months into their new roles as parents, Aaron and Rachel were already considering adopting more kids, when a friend informed them about embryo adoptions. Privy to the process, the couple educated themselves about it. “We live in a world with hundreds of thousands of embryos frozen in the United States alone. Most who aren’t selected by their biological parents are donated to science or destroyed or kept frozen,” Aaron said. After reading extensively about the topic, the couple was attracted to this prospect.
Never in Rachel’s wildest dreams did she think that she would be able to do such a thing. This meant that she would be able to experience the miracle of giving birth while also technically adopting more children – it was the best of both worlds for her. “If [one] really believe life begins at conception, it follows that we should respond by being willing to support embryo adoption and even take part in it ourselves,” Aaron said. It was at this point that the couple took the next step.
It Wouldn’t Be Easy
While Aaron and Rachel were excited to start the process at the National Embryo Donation Center, they knew that they were about to face a number of challenges. Naturally, Rachel was nervous about preparing herself physically for the necessary procedures. Thankfully though, all was going well and by the time September 2015 came around, she was ready. The procedure went fairly smoothly and all the couple could do now was wait.
Risk Worth Taking?
Just like standard in-vitro fertilization procedures, there were plenty of challenges for Rachel and Aaron. The former would have to undergo numerous hormone treatments and the success rate at the time was only 10%. Also, it can prove to be a very expensive attempt, with patients expecting to pay between $10,000 to $15,000 for a single attempt. Would this be worth all of the time, physical demands and money? Only time would tell if this would be the case or not.
Returning to Honduras
During this period of uncertainty, Aaron and Rachel made another huge, life-changing decision as they packed their bags and took their kids all the way back to Honduras. It seemed like nothing would stop the couple from resuming their work in this part of the world. The family managed to settle into life in Honduras and about six weeks post-implantation, they went to a doctor to check on Rachel’s progress. When the doctor inspected her, he was confused, to say the very least.
Doctor Was Confused
During what Aaron and Rachel thought would be a standard appointment, they were taken aback by the doctor’s reaction. He appeared to be confused and claimed that something wasn’t adding up. The doctor asked them if only two embryos had been implanted all those weeks ago. He confirmed that the procedure did, in fact, work. However, there was another important detail that the doctor shared with them that took them completely by surprise.
Needless to say, Aaron and Rachel were absolutely blown away when the doctor presented the ultrasound to them. It turns out that all this time, the young lady was pregnant with not one, not two, but three babies! In a stunning turn of events, the family grew from two members to four and now, from four to seven! If ever there was a sign from above granting them their wish of having a big family, this had to be it.
Sharing Their News Online
It’s hard to tell who was more excited – Aaron and Rachel for getting three more kids or Ford and Catherine for getting three more siblings. One thing was for sure, they wanted to share the news with the world. “I felt sheer delight during this pregnancy watching my son and daughter, with his dark brown skin and her with the ringlet hair and slightly tan skin, kiss my white wife’s growing belly,” Aaron wrote on Facebook. “Each evening they said goodnight to those three growing little girls in her belly.”
By the time 2016 came around, Rachel had given birth to her three beautiful babies – Anne, Whitley, and Ryley. Despite the rocky road, the couple was delighted to have made it this far. “Oh, how thankful we are for God blessing us with these sweet little ones He has placed in our care,” Aaron said. “As I look at my growing family, I prefer to take it a step further, daring to hope that our family picture is a little hint of Heaven.”
A Unique Family
The fact that two white parents were now raising five black children never concerned Aaron and Rachel. In fact, they see a lot of beauty and take great pride in their new family. Unfortunately, though, they were aware that they would receive plenty of weird stares and feedback from complete strangers, simply because of the way they looked as a family. “We knew, especially in the South, that a white couple with non-white children would draw a myriad of different reactions,” Aaron said.
Tons of Support
Despite the negative reactions from passersby and people online, there was also an outpour of tremendous support from people all over the world. “It’s been heartening to see virtually all of our friends and family express overwhelming support for our family and the unusual ways we’ve built it,” Aaron said. “In our minds, we are just living out our dream. A dream that may not look like the average family, but one that we are thankful could come true in light of our country’s history.”
Rolling With the Punches
Although reactions have been polarizing, Aaron, Rachel and the kids are taking things in their stride and don’t let things get in the way of their happy life as a family. The couple firmly believes that diversity is essential in the world that we live in and they are proud to represent that through their family. While the means by which they built a family is also debated by many people, this is also something that never seemed to phase the couple.
A Busy House
While things have settled down a little and the couple have had some time to raise their five children, there is no denying that it’s still very busy in the Halbert household. It can be chaotic and there is never a dull moment. “I would imagine that my life as mom looks a whole lot like the life of any mom,” Rachel said. “My days are filled with feeding five hungry kiddos, changing lots of diapers, tending to household duties, shepherding little hearts, loving on and playing with all five.”
Since Aaron and Rachel believed that they had what it took to have five kids, who is to say that they wouldn’t be interested in having more? They even tackled the question head-on but admitted that they’ll have to think about it. “We’ll see what the future holds. For now, we are enjoying this phase of life right now,” Rachel said. One thing is for sure: the parents definitely have their hands full and definitely want to open their children’s eyes to their passions.
One thing that the five children benefit a lot from is the ability to grow up in two unique parts of the world. Truth be told, the family spends a lot of their time in Tegucigalpa, Honduras in an attempt to help the lives of many in and around the town that Aaron grew up in. Every few months, the couple will take the kids back to Mississippi to spend time with friends and family. The future certainly looks bright for Aaron, Rachel and the kids.
Aaron and Rachel’s remarkable story proves that you can achieve anything if you approach it with an open mind and heart. They had hoped to have a big family in the long run but never in their wildest dreams did they imagine that it would happen this quickly. The most important thing is that the five children are healthy, happy, and eager to continue in their parents’ footsteps. It seems like blessings are going to keep coming this family’s way.