Hilary is a woman of brilliant artistic ability and inspiring inner beauty and strength. She is much like many of us - a stay-at-home mom and part-time artist. She uses her talent to create lovely one-of-a-kind handbags, purses, and even diaper bags. Her bags are true works of art that she puts her heart into, not only with artistic flair, but good solid craftsmanship. This is where Hilary amazes us as an artist.
But it is in the story behind her work that the artist amazes us as a person. Hilary and her husband Jacob are on a challenging quest - to adopt a child from Ethiopia. When they made the decision to adopt, Hilary got out her sewing machine (actually, it was probably already out), and got to work. "Hilary's Hope" began as an effort to raise money for the adoption process - a young artistic mother's way of contributing to her future child's well-being. We artisans and crafters who sell our work do so for a great variety of reasons, but it touched me to see a woman put so much personal effort and creative abilities, not toward something for herself per say, but for someone she had never yet met.
I wish that I could say that their pathway has been strewn with roses and lilies, but it is not so.
They have had days of painful waiting, good days of hearing word that they have been referred to a child, days of hearing someone else has been granted what they most deeply desire, and they have had days of immeasurable grief watching from afar as their soon-to-be-brought-home daughter succumbed to pneumonia after a short, but grueling, battle.
Their trials and grief have been tremendous, but their faith in God, their sweetness, and their strength have shone like a radiant light. In the midst of even the greatest of personal tragedies, Hilary's Hope continues. They are looking to bring their little son home, and have received word that they have been referred to a new child as well. Hilary is still making her bags, and holding garage sales, and anything else she can do to raise money for the adoption costs. And, amazingly, without bitterness and without defeat, they continue with hope for the future.
Hilary is truly an inspiring artisan and woman.
If you would like to learn more about Hilary's Hope or read their adoption blog, see: