I’m really excited to have my sweet friend Leah share a really special memory and recipe on the blog today. I first met Leah when I was getting ready to launch Bringer of Joy. I found her on social media in the adoption community, and I remember sending her the longest message ending it on the note that I was having chest pains and about ready to take one of our dog’s tranquilizers. I was met with so much grace, excitement and support not only for our business but in my role as an adoptive parent. I’m honored to now call her a very dear friend. 

Leah shares her heart and journey as a birth mom over on @thegracebond but also educates and supports all sides of the triad with the non profit @woventogether. I truly encourage you to follow both accounts if you are a member of the triad or a family member to someone who is. I know you will love Leah as much as I do!

Truth be told, I am not much of a baker. For whatever reason, it never turns out quite as I had hoped! I am also not a fan of the floury and sugary messes to clean up, but this past summer when my birth daughter came for a visit and my biggest girl wanted to bake a chocolate cake with me, how could I say no?

For hours into the evening we measured, stirred, splashed batter on the walls and were sprayed with cocoa powder from the mixer. And, oh, how it was worth every drop of mess in those memories. 

Being a birth mother in open adoption means that we create our firsts in our own time. She’s now 16 years old, and this was our first time baking something together. Our first tasty creation where I got to share what I know (from watching baking shows, of course) and I was able to watch her use her artistic skills to decorate. The laughter, the creativity and the time spent was a highlight of that visit, and just may be a new tradition for us.

I didn’t save that particular chocolate cake or the icing recipe– I wish I had. It was delicious! But, honestly, the chocolate covered strawberries were the best part. They were devoured quickly and we all jokingly argued over who got the last one. And, even for this non-baker, they were extremely easy. The extra few dollars to splurge on nice quality chocolate is well worth it!