Amy Brooks is an amazing blogger, mom and entrepreneur whom I’ve had the privilege of meeting through a Facebook group for Catholic bloggers. I’ve followed Amy’s blog for several years and admire her online work. Recently, Amy and I began chatting via email and I asked her if I could interview her.
Here’s more from Amy about how she grew her family via adoption, started blogging, began an online business—and how she manages to keep juggling all of that!
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
TKM: First, tell us a bit about yourself and your family.
Amy: I grew up in Philadelphia and for as long as I can remember, my faith has been my parachute, bridge, comfort and lens.
I believe in miracles and I love sharing our family’s miracle stories through speaking and writing.
I married my husband Matt in 2006. We love our Catholic faith and became parents through the miracle and blessing of adoption.
Matt and I love talking about history and the beauty of our faith. We love going to wineries and dream of travelling more with our children. We love taking our two sons and our daughter to playgrounds, amusement parks and the beach. We also love staying home and playing UNO attack. We are so grateful for our family.
TKM: Can you share a little bit about your journey to adopting your three children?
Amy: From the moment my husband and I were married, we dreamed of having children! Infertility was unexpected, and I really learned a lot about NFP and NaPro on our journey to become parents.
At this point in time, I definitely feel as though our infertility was a blessing—adoption was always in my heart and we are blessed with 3 incredible, amazing souls through the gift of adoption. We experienced many miracles along the way, including one involving Our Lady of Guadalupe.
More adoption stories on the Koala Mom:
TKM: What advice would you share with couples considering adoption?
Amy: I love this question because adoption can be so overwhelming in the beginning. I’ve written several posts answering that—but I will say my 2 biggest tips are:
- Definitely pray about it. Ask God to open all the right doors and close all the wrong ones. Ask him specific questions and follow the promptings of your heart.
- Go to at least two free information sessions many Adoption Agencies offer. I have a list of questions to bring to these meetings for all of my subscribers.
If any of your readers are really contemplating adoption, I recommend these 2 posts:
TKM: What inspired you to start a blog?
Amy: I was motivated to start a blog for two reasons:
First, I wanted to share our adoption journey. We embarked a journey to adopt without the help of an agency after we became our first child’s parents. I left working full time so I could be at home with him, and that made us financially unable to sign up with an agency again.
We were determined to grow our family and had faith it could be done. I wanted to share all the ways we worked to make that happen because I knew in my heart many other couples hope to adopt but are intimidated by the cost.
My other inspiration or motivation to start blogging was to find a way to work from home. I never lost the desire to help our family financially, but I wanted to find a way to work from home. I had done other work from home jobs, but I missed the passion I had when I was a teacher.
Blogging, writing and working for Catholic Ministries has filled that void. I am loving the work I do again!
TKM: How did you come up with the name for your blog?
Amy: Years ago, a group of friends and I started praying the rosary together at each other’s homes. We would get together to eat, share our intentions and have a glass of wine. Someone always brought chocolate and in the early years, wine was often sipped as we discussed our prayer intentions.
After about a decade of doing this, we were talking about how we could write a book with all our answered prayers! Then we started discussing, “What would we call it?” Someone said, “Prayer, Wine, Chocolate” and that title stuck with me for years.
When I went to start my blog, I intended on calling it “Raining Roses” because Saint Therese has answered so many of my prayers. I was bummed when I found out that domain was already in use.
TKM: Okay – favourite prayer, favourite wine, favourite chocolate. 🙂
Amy: Hmmm that is a great question. It’s so difficult to pick a favorite prayer—I really like the Peace Prayer (Prayer of Saint Francis) and the Spiritual Adoption Prayer. I really could name some more, plus I just love talking to Jesus whenever something is on my heart and mind.
As for favorite wine, I would say since the twins were born my favorite wine has been . .. coffee haha! I love Cabernet too 🙂
Favorite chocolate—I love a Twix or a KitKat, or a Chocolate Mousse dessert with oreo cookie crumbles. I also love a dark chocolate truffle with sea salt. As you can see, the twins have not come in between chocolate and I.
TKM: What inspired you to write a journal for Catholic girls?
The first page was titled “Name” and had numbers that went all the way down the page. If I wrote my name next to number 1, then I would continue writing responses next to number 1 in all the following pages. The next page would be titled “birthdate,” then the next might say “favorite song,” the next “favorite t.v. star,” and so on. I remembered how fun that was . . . and I also remembered feeling left out and wondering why I didn’t always fit in.
The journal was my desire to bring that fun activity together with a guide for girls to discover who God wants them to be, and get excited about becoming her! You can read reviews and purchase a journal on Amazon and on my blog.
TKM: How did this journal go from idea to reality?
Amy: I wrote the idea and a rough outline for the journal in my prayer journal many years ago. When I became a blogger, I met Jerry Windley-Daoust and he was running a publishing house at the time. I asked him if I could pitch him a book idea. He said yes, so I went back to work on it. I sent him a manuscript, and he helped me clean it up A LOT. I couldn’t have done it without him.
TKM: Who is your favourite saint and why?
Amy: Saint Therese came to mind firs—but I better give a huge shout out to Saint Anthony too. I also am really drawn to Saint Therese’s mother, Zelie, as well as Saint Gianna and Saint Katharine Drexel.
TKM: You’re also the co-founder of CatholicsOnline.net. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Amy: I’d love too! Early on in my blogging career, I loved highlighting the work of other Catholic bloggers, artisans, businesses and ministries. I also belonged to some secular groups that did a great job of supporting one another and helping one another reach personal goals. I wanted to encourage that among Catholic groups and ended up creating a Facebook group that combined what I had seen done in two secular groups.
It has been an incredible blessing and has allowed many Catholic influencers from all over the globe form true friendships. It has created a spot where people can really go to grow and support others. I’m blessed to be a part of it.
It grew into a website and online directory because I had the help of Sara Estabrooks (founder of ToJesusSincerely.com). Sara has been an amazing leader and incredible inspiration to many of the members. I wish I could name more of the community too—it really is an amazing group!
I’d love your readers to check out our website and think of it when they want to purchase a Catholic gift or plan an event in their parish.
Also, we are always accepting new members and adding listings! If you or anyone is interested in becoming a member, please apply here!
TKM: How do you juggle all these hats—wife, mother, blogger, author, entrepreneur?
Amy: Short answer: not well.
More detailed answer—Through the grace of God! I prayed to become a wife and mother and God gave me what I longed for . . . I try to think about that and thank the Lord for that often.
I truly enjoy writing and building a business that will help others reach souls and ultimately nourish many to love God more. I think the Lord sent me a sign when my neighbor knocked on my door just about a month after the twins came home. She said, “I’d love to help you with the babies!”
This beautiful woman was my neighbor for 10 years, but I didn’t meet her until that day. Her name is Carrie, and she comes to help me two or three times a week. I am certain God sent her so that the little work I manage to get done, gets done!
TKM: What would a perfect summer day look like for you?
Amy: Honestly, watching my husband and children enjoying each other’s company—and me relaxing without feeling guilty!
TKM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Amy: Yes! I’d love everyone to know about some FREE resources!
Over at CatholicsOnline.net we have a Phone Wallpaper/Lockscreen package with a beautiful prayer before going on social media.
And you can view the first video of our course for free as well (this course is great for parents about to give their child social media privileges, or parents that have children on their phones to much!).
And lastly, I have a ton of resources for adults who would like to start a prayer journal.