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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Closing the womb...

These words have lingered in my head for some time now. I have continued to ask myself what the significance might be, and why they wouldn't leave me alone. Is God trying to teach me something? The answer is most definitely, yes.

If you know me at all or follow our story, you know that both my husband and I have received infertility diagnosis's. While there has been no treatment or medical solution for what they say is wrong with my husband, I on the other hand, have completed 6 rounds of mild fertility treatments with the use of the drug, Clomid. With each round (which two different doctors were certain would fix my "problem") the dosage increased until it could not safely be increased anymore. It was very hard to endure physically and emotionally, and I never experienced a single positive (ovulation or pregnancy) with any round. It just plainly did not work. It baffled me, and it baffled my doctors. There were obviously more invasive procedures and testing that we could have gone through with, but we came to a point after so much disappointment where we just needed to take a break. We needed to step back, refocus, pray, and really seek what God was wanting for and from us. We figured we would just take a quick breather and eventually get the OK from the Lord to go forth with IUI or IVF.

During that time, God really began to convict our hearts about our priorities and our lacking faith in Him. All this stuff we claimed to believe about our Heavenly Father, but we doubted Him daily, and we deemed Him untrustworthy to allow us to get pregnant. We said we believed He could do anything, and we heard His voice in our lives saying "NO" to our other treatment possibilities, but deep down we were terrified that if we left it in God's hands we would NEVER have a baby. I was scared to give up on my earthly dreams and follow His will for my life.

The rest is really difficult to put into words, but both my husband and I felt a tremendous peace to just let go of it all and regain focus of the importance of our relationships with Christ, and our relationship together. I so desperately wanted to be happy again. I was tired of feeling like the God who fearfully and wonderfully created me had abandoned my dreams of becoming a mother. This was a life-long dream of mine, and all of a sudden when I felt The Lord made me ready to be just that, He immediately slammed the doors of opportunity in our faces. I was tired of growing bitter and resentful towards new moms, or the sight of pregnant bellies. I wanted that so badly. What did I do that was so horrible that God would strip that dream away??

I'll spare you the depressing details of how angry and bitter I was becoming towards God, and how selfish my heart and mind became, and I'll just let you know how He changed me. God never left me. He never gave up on me or my husband, or our dreams of having children. He was calling us to greater faith and trust in Him. He was wanting us to believe His Word and His promises for our life, without expecting anything in return. He let us know in many different ways that He had bigger and better plans for us and our children. He wanted us to stop claiming infertility over our bodies, and just let Him work in the miraculous ways He always has.

So with a lot of time, prayer, and healing, we began to trust God that we were not meant to conceive right now. Strangely, we became okay with that. We just shifted our focus, and really began to long for the Lord. Through it all, He brought us so far mentally, physically and spiritually. He grew a new passion within me, and began to show me that being a mother did not have to begin with my own biological child. Just like He adopted me as His daughter, He was calling me to adopt a child. I tried to ignore it, once again, afraid that pursuing this road would mean I will never get to experience pregnancy or giving birth. But then my husband began to feel the same feelings, being drawn to the idea of giving a child a home. After random conversation revealed our similar feelings, we knew that this whole time, God intended for us to adopt. This was His plan that we had been running from. But not anymore.

I was reading about Hannah in 1 Samuel and I read the following verse differently than I ever had before:

1 Samuel 1:6 "Because the lord had closed Hannah's womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her."...

Because the Lord had closed Hannah's womb. He closed it. Then later, He opened it and she bore a son, Samuel. That hit me. I'm beginning to see our story differently. Rather it being just that my body doesn't work, or that something is wrong as it relates to my reproductive system, how about the fact that just like the Lord closed and opened wombs the days of Hannah, He does it in these times too. I believe it! Others may not, but I do! Unlike myself, God has always had His bigger picture in sight. I'm not saying that medically related infertility issues do not exist, because they clearly do. But for us, I believe God had to close my womb in order to reveal His greater plan for us. Call me crazy, but I dont care. It has caused us to pray fervently, to appreciate God’s grace, to see His miraculous power, and to work out the timing for His plan for us to adopt. I can appreciate that. Because you see, there is a child out there who was meant for us. This child was meant to be our first.

And just like He had the power and choice to close this womb, He has the same power and choice to open it. I don't know if He will or not, but I trust that whatever He decides is right for us. We are called for such a time as this, and I move forward hand in hand with my husband, rejoicing on the journey the Lord has already prepared for us.

Monday, January 24, 2011

New blog design...

I am in LOVE with the new look here! The uber talented Amick Cutler did a beautiful job of creating something I believe represents my personality and what this blog is all about. I. Love. It. Please check out his website if you are looking for a new design for yours, or any kind of design for that matter!! Just go check out his website. You can click on the link above, or find his button below on the right hand side.

When I began blogging, I had no idea of the passion that was about to ignite within. I took the advice of a wonderful friend/fellow blogger who recommended I document the journey my husband and I were about to venture on when we decided two years ago that we were ready to begin trying for a baby. Her advice could not have been more spot on. Not only did I not know how the journey would unfold, but i was totally oblivious to how much encouragement and support one can experience through reading and following other journeys through blog land. I love it. I love the stories and the people, and the majority of them I've never even met.

This new design comes at the perfect timing for our story. Our journey to a life with children has taken on a whole new meaning, and it's bittersweet in every sense of the word. It's very difficult at times to picture myself possibly never getting to experience pregnancy, or childbirth, or seeing what God creates from my husband and I. However, I don't believe He has shut that door completely for us. We still believe in His supernatural abilities to erase any infertility diagnosis and bless us with as many children as He sees fit, and we claim that over our bodies and our lives. The sweetness comes in the form of a better plan for us right now; a God ordained adoption- one that we embrace with open hearts and open arms. It's something that I know is going to change our lives forever, and I could not be more thankful that this has been His plan for us all along.

So here's to a new design, testimony, and lots of blogging!!

Darn potpourri...

**Before you read this, understand that this post is about one of the sweetest creations in my life. I know it can be cheesy and a little cliche to use pets as a means to teach and/or learn a lesson, but I'm about to go there...so don't judge ;-) This little life is a huge part of mine, and while I, in no way, compare her to a child, she has challenged me, stretched my heart, and loved me completely over the years, in similar ways children do for their parents. I'm not crazy. I know she is a dog, and I take care of her as such. She eats dog food, she goes potty outside, and she sleeps in a crate. I just love her like something crazy!**

Let me paint you a little picture: Yesterday afternoon, Jerms and I are just sitting around the house, having our typical lazy Sunday afternoon. I guess for Maggie (our 3 year old mischievous toy poodle), that wasn't good enough. She needed more stimulation, and activity per say, so being the gazelle that she is, she chose to hop up onto our dining room table where my one and only basket of potpourri sits.
Mind you, she is agile as ever, and she knows this, so she sneaks around and usually we never catch her in the act. I noticed her absence suddenly and asked my husband where she was at. His response? "She's eating". I don't trust Maggie, though. I turn around to find her standing on the table, chewing on potpourri chips. Then I went into panic mode...how long had she been there, how much did she eat?...Is it toxic?...why didn't I move it somewhere else?... Should we take her to the vet? ...Spankings...Get in your bed....Am I overreacting?... Do I need to call poison control?... No, wait, shes a dog...should I induce vomiting?... How the heck to you even do that?.... Oh geez, oh geez...

It was crazy, but fortunately, as the hours passed, she seemed to be fine. She was her normal self. Until....3:45 this morning. How about this picture: We are all sleeping peacefully until I hear Maggie whining in the dark. Whining like she does when the sun comes up and she is ready to start her day. Annoyed, I tell her to be quiet and go night-night. She listens on the whining part, but then could not hold the explosive diarrhea that subsequently erupted. We both jump out of bed to check on her, covering our noses with out t-shirts to mask the horrid smell. Then the vomitting began...my favorite part. I get everything cleaned up, get her settled back in her bed, and back to sleep we, I mean Jeremy, goes. I could not sleep. I was so worried about her, jumping at every little noise she made. My poor baby did not feel good, and I just wanted to provide her some kind of relief.

This morning has consisted of disinfecting, washing puppy butt, frequent trips outside, and Kaopectate. I have never handled these kinds of situations very well. I always get scared, I expect the worse, and get so overwhelmed that I often question my capabilities of being a mom. I mean, if I cannot handle a sick dog, how am I going to do when my child is puking and pooping all over the place at the same time? But, this time it was different. The instincts just kicked in. The fears were calmed. All I wanted to do was pet her and make her better. We just did what we had to do for her. It was crazy, stinky, and wayyyyyyyyyyyyy too early, but it worked. I know you cannot compare taking care of dogs and taking care of children, because they are different. But the similarities lie within us - the parents. I am just as much Maggie's mommy, as I will be my child's. I am all she has ever known. And the love I have for her is so immense, I don't care how much poop I have to wash away as much as I care that she feels healthy and happy.

Even though we don't have human children right now, at some point in my heart and in my mind, I became a mom. And I don't care what anybody says, no amount of lack of sleep, no amount of sickness, or Clorox can scare me away now.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


When my heart feels heavy and I need some fresh hope, sometimes a passage of scripture is all it takes to remind me of God's presence and faithfulness...

Lamentations 3:19-33 the message

I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
The taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.
I remember it all - oh, how well I remember - the feelings of hitting the bottom.
But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great is Your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He's all I've got left.

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks.
It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God.
It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times.

When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself.
Enter the silence. Bow in prayer.
Don't ask questions: wait for hope to appear.
Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The "worst" is never the worst.

Why? Because the Master won't ever walk out and fail to return.
If He works severely, He also works tenderly.
His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard, in throwing roadblocks in the way

Friday, January 21, 2011

Psalm 91

You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: "God, you're my refuge. I trust in you and I am safe!"
That's right - He rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you - under them you are perfectly safe; His arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing - not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you.
You'll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God is your refuge, the High God your very own home,
Evil can't get close to you, harm can't get through the door.

He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they'll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling.

You'll walk unharmed among lions and snakes, and kick young lions and serpents from the path.

"If you'll hold onto me for dear life," says God, "I'll get you out of any trouble. I'll give you the best of care if you'll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times; I'll rescue you, then throw you a party. I'll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!"

Psalm 91 (the Message)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

God has the answers...

This was the title of my devotional this morning..."God has the answers". The title alone was pretty timely for me, but the following paragraph reminded me to change my attitude:

"...A confident woman does not worry because she sees the future differently than women who are worriers. She confidently believes that with God's help she can do whatever she needs to do no matter what it is. Her positive attitude enables her to expect good things in the future, not bad ones. Confidence is the fruit of trusting God. When we trust Him, we may not have all the answers, but we are confident that He does"... - Joyce Meyer

Be confident in the Lord!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


"And somewhere while you’re sleeping
Someone else is dreaming too
Counting down the days until
They hold you close and say I love you
And like the rain that falls into the sea
In a moment what has been is lost in what will be" - Steven Curtis Chapman

I cannot tell you the number of times a day I catch myself dreaming of bringing our baby home. I cannot describe the emotions that come flooding me as I realize that the weight of all the days, weeks, and months turned into years of waiting will lift on that day. I cannot fathom the impact that will be had in our lives when we we look into the eyes of our child. The child that we've so desperately prayed for and longed for. No amount of paperwork or legalities can compare to loving the child who God has chosen for us to raise. In a moment, all that has been will be lost in what will be a future with our child.

Will our son or daughter look like us? Probably not. Will this little life have endured more hardship or uncertainty than he or she should before we bring them home? Most likely. Are their fears? Some. Questions to ponder? Absolutely. But it is all worth it to one day be able to look into that little face of Jesus and say, "You belong here."

"The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A new "to do" list...

Yesterday I went through our adoption folder and made a list of what we need to get done (paperwork, household stuff, other preparations) before we can bring a little one home. When I took a step back and looked at the extensive content of that list I became a tad overwhelmed. One of our first steps includes making a profile book about our marriage, beliefs, lifestyle, etc, complete with photos that will give birth mothers an idea of what life for their child will be like if we are chosen to be their adoptive parents. This, to me personally, is weighing heavily. I don't know about other couples or what they may go through in deciding what to put in theirs, but I get emotional at the thought. I can't imagine the kind of courage and strength it takes to carry a child, love that child, and then choose a plan of adoption for that little life. But what a selfless and beautiful thing it is! So trying to decide on what to include in our book that will give her a great first impression, and hopefully lead her to choose us, does not seem to do justice to the happiness that her selfless decision could bring to our lives. We have to include a letter to the birthparent(s) in our book. There are so many things I want to say, and narrowing these thoughts down to fit in a one and a half page letter is hard, to say the least.

It is difficult to even put into one thought what my heart feels about what we are about to go through. Every day I have to have a heart to heart with God. I need His guidance so that every response to every question we have to answer is reflective of Him living in us. I need to draw in on His strength to make it through strong and confident in my abilities as a mother, but to humble myself so that He can improve on my weaknesses. I need to be obedient so that He can continue to direct my paths with every decision. I need Him to teach me patience and to keep a good perspective through the hard times. I need His love to consume me, so that my life as well as other lives might be changed through this. Pray for us!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A new beginning...

Step one of our adoption process has been completed as of this evening!! Our meeting exceeded our expectations, and we left feeling even more confirmation over this decision than what we went in with. Now that we are loaded with tons of information, we are ready to start our application and get ready for our home study.

I'm not ready to reveal details of the route we are taking here on my blog, but as we get further into the process I will. There is still a lot to pray over, and God still has the reigns here, so jumping the gun and revealing those details is probably not the wisest decision. We have a long road ahead, so we appreciate the prayers and support more than we can say!

We just want God's will for this adoption. We will love whatever child He blesses us with. Please continue to pray, specifically for finances, our emotions, and especially for the birth parent(s) of our future child, even though we have no idea who it will be. Pray for protection over their heart(s) as they make one of the most difficult, yet most beautiful and selfless decisions of their life.

Our adoption specialist gave us this verse tonight as encouragement and challenge:

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.". James 1:27 (NIV)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A restless night ahead...

I feel like a kid at Christmas right now...can't stop thinking about our meeting at the adoption agency tomorrow evening. We're both so excited, but trying to remain calm at the same time. Funny thing is, nothing huge is happening at this meeting other than informational overload. However, the possibilities of what lies ahead is what is making my heart pound.

I've had to learn and grow to be okay with the fact that my dreams for my life and God's dreams for my life aren't necessarily the same. I think it's safe to say that my life, as I planned it out to be when I was a kid, is nothing like what I imagined. I had dreams that I was sure would come true, that in fact haven't in the slightest. And I admit that I wasted a lot of time being angry and resentful toward God for not giving me what I have always wanted. I finally got to a point when I just gave up in a sense, deciding to hand it all over to the Lord, but maintaining this attitude of, "Okay, God. Fine, I'll give you my life," like I was doing Him some sort of favor. Over time, though, with lots of grace, love, and truth, He is revealing His will for my life...and I have to say it is way better than any plan I could ever have come up with. I've learned the hard way that by being obedient to go where God is taking me, spiritually and even physically, makes life all the more worth living. I cannot describe how wonderful it feels for the first time in my entire life to be at peace. To be able to let go of so much crap, and see Gods plans for me unfold, while falling more and more in love with Him, is overwhelming. It's like things are beginning to make sense. And that is a lot to say for someone who has struggled all her life trying to figure this thing called "life" out, but feeling like she's just been wandering and getting nowhere for 23 years. That's not to say it's easy, but it is absolutely freeing. I. Feel. Free.

I still have dreams of someday having a biological child. I still feel an ache inside at the thought of it not happening. But at the same time, I am in love with a Savior who I trust will provide. I carry hope that He will take that lonely ache and turn it into a love so deep, and so full, that it beautifully aches for the special miracle He entrusts me to care for every day. His son or daughter who will call me "Mommy". Biologically related to me or not.

Seek God's will for your life. It will be a process. It will take time, and it probably will not be easy. But I promise He has a greater plan. Just be obedient to the call, and one day we will all look back and see that it all makes sense...and best of all, that it was worth it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A little sentiment...

Tonight i had one of the most incredible conversations with my husband that I think i have ever had before. Such meaning and beauty pouring out of my Love's spirit nearly crippled me as I listened to him speak of his emotions about adoption. The tears poured from his eyes as he shared with me how important this is to him, and how excited he is to walk this road the Lord has set before us. I love him EVEN more because of this conversation. Beauty.

I've referred to our story of trying to conceive as a "journey" because it truly has been one. Two years ago we made the decision to actively "try", although we could not imagine what lay before us. Its been a time of waiting, trusting, hoping, praying, believing, rebuking, declaring, singing, mourning, wishing, seeking, growing, etc., that ultimately has opened our eyes and hearts to the truth that God has a plan. It's not over yet, but my heart is bursting at the seams with gratitude for what the Lord has done in us these past two years.

I was catching up on one of my favorite blogs yesterday, and although our stories are completely different, the writer could not have summed my feelings up any better. In the following text, Matt Hammitt, lead singer of Sanctus Real, beautifully articulates a very important point about "waiting" that I feel like God has been trying to teach me for two years. This is what he writes as it applies to his story:

"As I lovingly stared into Bowen’s eyes just before midnight, my face only inches from his chest, I thought, ‘This love is an awesome mess.’ I know I’m not the first person to think or to say something like that. Many great works of art have titles that are reminiscent of those words. I believe it’s because tension is the place where the worst of life and the best of true hope meet to unveil our eyes to God’s artistic work of redemption. What a mighty and creatively loving God we serve. He allows us to know great pain, so that we can know the greater pleasure of trading it in for purpose.”- Matt Hammitt

For real!!...Tension is the place where the worst of life and the best of hope meet to unveil our eyes to Gods artistic work of redemption..God has allowed us to know great pain for two years now SO THAT we can know the greater pleasure of trading it in for purpose - purpose being that miracle that we will receive eventually, whether biological or adopted; our purpose in life as parents. At the start of our journey, I never thought I would someday be able to look back and feel gratitude for all the heartache and gut-wrenching moments I've experienced waiting for a miracle baby. But now I can say I am witnessing Gods wonderfully artistic work of redemption unfold as He lovingly paints the rest of our story. It has not been easy the least bit, but I can say the waiting seems worth it now just to have the peace I feel in my heart because God is in control here.

On Monday we will take our first official step in this adoption process by attending our first meeting. We are excited, we are anxious, but we are following where God is taking us. Two years ago, the thought of adoption never entered my mind, but I praise and thank Him for changing my heart and giving me a new passion - one that I know is ordained by Him and what He wants for my life, rather than just what I want for my life. And I cannot give enough thanks for how He has brought my life companion to that same place.

Psalm 130:5-7
I pray to God—my life a prayer—
and wait for what he’ll say and do.
My life’s on the line before God, my Lord,
waiting and watching till morning,
O Israel, wait and watch for God -
With Gods arrival comes love,
With Gods arrival comes generous redemption.