I (Keary) was a wedding photographer and Justin was working for the Sherriff’s department in Southern California – we had been married just a few short years when we had the vision for a company that played into both of our passions and skill sets, ultimately bringing Grace & Salt to life. We’ve been on a journey filled with ups and downs since then, twisting and turning with each step, chasing after our Creator and His desire for our lives.
We decided years ago to pursue adoption as the avenue to start our family. We met our son, Oliver, for the first on New Years Eve of 2014. Words cannot adequately express what my heart felt that day, or the way my love for my husband, Justin, grew by what felt like a million times. It gave me a better glimpse of our Heavenly Father’s love for us: the width and the depth. What we thought would be a three-month trip to finalize Oliver’s adoption turned into a much longer journey than that. Our little boy was so sick, needing a blood transfusion every 2-3 weeks. We were confused and hurting for our little boy and his precious life, yet we had no idea what we were preparing to face.
While we were doing everything we could to advocate for Oliver, my body started to become weak with what was diagnosed as parasites. I felt tired, fatigued, and was losing weight. It got to the point where I was so sick that couldn’t get off the couch to pour myself a glass of water. I could no longer pick Oliver up out of his crib or wear him in the baby carrier. After two and a half months in Uganda and no end to our trip in sight, I flew home to work for a few weeks. I thought some healthy food, medicine, rest, and sleep in a comfy bed would rid the parasites from my body and get me back on track to work and return to my boys in Uganda. My body only became weaker after I returned home to the States and I wondered how I’d even get on a plane to head back to Africa. After a month of only getting worse, I found myself in the ICU, waking up from a coma to the news that I had been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).
I wondered how God would ever redeem this, or how he could possibly use my diagnosis for a greater purpose. I believed that he would, I hoped that he would, I just couldn’t even begin to picture how that would come to fruition. A short two and a half months after my diagnosis, I got a message from a friend back in Uganda, who told me about a little girl that was just diagnosed with Type One and needed a foster family. As soon as I heard those words, I knew in my heart that she was my daughter before I could even get to the end of the message. I felt God whisper in my ear, “Keary, this is your why. This is what I have been preparing you for - for a time such as this.”
Now, after 15 months in Uganda, we are back home stateside with our beloved family and friends, learning to do life here with two T1Ds and two adventurous kiddos. Though our lives may look a little different these days, our passions still remain the same. We desire to gather people around the table – in homes and beyond – breaking bread and being fed by more than just food. Our aim is to create an environment that cultivates community, starting with our family and the table in front of us.