Friday, June 17, 2011

A new chapter

I thought I was done blogging.
I mean, isn't almost everyone done blogging? Unless they've got some sort of special talent to share with the world.
I've been journaling. Someday I will catch up the blogosphere on the last 14 months of my life since I last posted.
Today, I'm looking for a little blog-therapy.
October 6, 2010 I was blessed with a miracle of my very own. Samuel has spent the last eight months providing me with entertainment, joy, sleepless nights, an absurd amount of bodily fluids expelled onto various clothes and furniture, humility, but most of all, a look into the merciful nature of an aboundingly graceful Heavenly Father.
Samuel is more than I could have ever asked for or imagined.
But I wanted more. I've always wanted more. I asked for more.
Not at this specific second, of course, cause that would be crazy to want to raise two babies in a span of one year...
But last month, I thought that was what I had received. A blessing out of nowhere, an unexpected pregnancy that again proves that statistics can be triumphed if you have a belief in the Creator of the Universe.
We acted on the belief that in January we would be bringing a sibling home for Samuel to torment. We spread the news. We started planning for the future. But there was a higher plan in place.
This week I lost that baby. I experienced a second miscarriage in 3 years. I lost a child that I had carried for 10 weeks. That I had, in my head, been giving names to. That I now have to plan an alternate future without.
I don't know how I feel. Precious friends and family have reached out to me. I mostly, if I answer the phone at all, sit silent because I physically can't form words.
I feel like I have been on an emotional roller coaster ride for the last almost 5 years that I can't seem to get off of.
Once again, the control of my life that I am constantly grasping at, is shown to have never been in my grasp to begin with.
All I can do is raise my hands to my Father. I don't understand sweet Jesus. Why do I have two babies resting with you instead of in my arms? Why is it that as soon as I begin to understand the nature of YOU, my boat is rocked and all I can do is search the waters for your presence and peace that surpasses all understanding.
Please hold my babies. Please rock them, sing to them. Tell them how much I love them.
Father, please give me peace. Dry my tears. Help me to once again lift up my face to your glory and rest in the comfort that you are up to something heavenly through my life.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What words can't express...

How many times I've sat at the computer, staring at this screen, searching for words to describe the last few months. And everytime I come up short. Speechless. Awestruck. Humbled. Amazed.

Last I wrote we were beginning the adoption process of a sibling group in the CPS system. January was full of training classes and preparing our home for our children.

February arrived and we found ourselves wrapping up training classes and rapidly filling out paperwork that we knew were the last steps to our babies. We spent weekends then cleaning out rooms, getting our house to code, knowing we were so close.

On February 9th I was one week late and feeling horrible. I've had problems before and decided to take a pregnancy test so I could prove it was negative in order to go to the doctor and get treatment. I went home at lunch and took it, Brian was out of town at a training. Before I could hardly set it down, two pink lines appeared. I fell to the floor and called my husband. He ran out of the training and we immediately began crying and freaking out at this possibility. I called my doctor and she got me in that day for a blood test to confirm. My last pregnancy ended too soon with low hormone levels for the baby and for me, so I wanted to get results as soon as possible. I walked around as a zombie for two days until the tests came back with sky high hormone levels for the baby and for me. Brian got home and we celebrated cautiously-happy, yet waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under us.

February 26th Brian and I could hardly get out of bed. It was the day of our first sonogram and we had heard countless stories of empty sacs, no heartbeats, and we were paralyzed with fear. We started the day in prayer, begging God to follow through with this miracle blessing. As I was dressing to go, my sister, Amanda, called and said that she had just taken a pregnancy test and it was positive. Now ecstatic and panicked more than ever, I drove to the doctor.

I've had countless sonograms through these last 3 years of infertility and I remember every single time praying they would find a little beating heart instead of ovaries trying to produce something that may or may not be there. Brian stood by my head and we saw 2 little blobs on the screen with one of them flashing in the middle. Trembling, I asked the technician if everything was alright and if that was the heart. She said everything looked perfect and then flipped the switch. Hearing the most glorious sound I've ever heard, Brian and I fell apart, bursting into a thousand tears. My baby's precious little heart was trucking and I finally felt the relief of 3 years lifted off of my shoulders.

I am trying feebly with tears in my eyes to describe the last few months in way that does the miracle we have been privileged to be apart of justice. As of now I am 14 weeks, 3 days and am out of the woods of that frightening first trimester, seeing my belly grow, looking into preschools for my little darling and anticipating 3 weeks from now when we find out whether to shop for pink or blue. I have struggled these last few months being on one hand awestruck and ecstatic and on the other panicked and just waiting for that rug to be pulled out from under me.

What I can't wrap my mind around is why God chose us to play out this miracle. I think back to September, when I found out I had barely any eggs and presented an only 2-3% of EVER getting pregnant. I cry when I think of driving home that day with my stomach at my feet not being able to see the road ahead of me due to the tears. This child is here because GOD wanted this child here. I will forever be in awe of this little one and of THE ONE who picked me to be her mommy. Words can't express the sheer and boundless joy, humility, love, absolute euphoria we feel at the next few months and the years to come. I still have hardly any words to say because often my mouth just hangs open and I marvel at who is growing inside of me right now. But, getting this out is a start, a good beginning to accepting my new reality, my new life, my deep breath my sweet Father gave to me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What we heard...

After a lot of praying, talking, researching and praying some more, we've decided to begin the adoption process!
These last three years has definitely been a journey. And after hearing from the specialist that you may not ever be able to conceive your own child, even with the INVITRO process, we had some serious soul searching to do. And I have avoided doing it on here because there was a lot of really personal stuff to work through. But now we've reached a decision and feel really good about it, and comfortable in the direction that God seems to be leading us in. Here's a synopsis of how God led us to this decision:

When I was sixteen I began going to Opportunity Camp, I actually wrote a post about OPP Camp in one of my first blogs, 6/2008. I have no idea how to link things on here, so you're gonna have to look for it if you want to know more. Short story, it's a camp for underprivileged children, most in the CPS system in California. Working with these kids, most foster kids, taught me a lot about our Lord, what it means to be a servant and what the James verse is talking about true religion is ministering to the orphans. Taking Brian there after we got married was also a special experience, but originally, this camp is what inspired me to choose my career working with these children. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life working with these kids, in some capacity or another.

When Brian and I were seriously dating and talking about the goals we had for our lives, two things we talked about were mission work and adoption. We also knew that both of us wanted a big family. Our immediate families consisted of two children, but we agreed that we wanted at least 3 kids, the ultimate goal being 4 or 5. Most importantly though, we agreed that we both wanted to adopt and do mission work at some point in our lives and entered into a marriage where both of those were on the "bucket list".

November, 2006 we began trying for a baby. We had always planned that we would begin trying after 5 years of marriage, but we decided we couldn't wait any longer. We, but especially I, had this image in my head of what our family would look like. We would have a couple of our own, my eyes, his lips, his mom's hair, my mom's smile. Then, we would adopt a couple of children into our family. But after a year of trying, 21 months of working through what I thought was my diagonsis, and 4 months of looking into what our chances were with the real infertility issue, we had to reconsider things. These last 6 months, I have felt that original vision slipping further and further from my fingers. I've always had the feeling that I should prepare myself for never being able to have my own children. Most people told me that I was just jinxing it, or thinking too negatively. Now I see it as God slowly preparing my heart for the plan he had for me.

In January 2009, we received an opportunity to explore a private adoption. It fell through, but with that experience came the realization that we were prepared to take on kids that didn't look like us, or have the same DNA as us, and that we were prepared to do it in a moment's notice, if that were the child God had selected for us. Throughout 2009, we were shown different signs that we now attribute as from God, of people who had gone through the adoption process. Even a foster-to-adopt situation of a stranger living on the street behind us Brian just happened to meet when he took a lost dog back to her neighbor's house. We then realized that we were connected to a couple of families that had experienced fostering-to-adopt. The Varneys knew these people from college, the Gilberts from Granbury are related to one of the couples, and upon going to visit with them, I realized one of the adopted moms was a girl I grew up with going to camp together.

They told us about the organization that they went through, Covenant Kids. This organization is a faith-based foster/adoption agency that gets children from the CPS system in Texas and connects them with Christian parents that are looking to either make a difference or expand their families. From the moment I heard about this, I instantly felt a sense of peace. I can't really describe it, but from that first second with Cami and Sarah in the 3 year old class at church, when Cami was describing her brother and sister-in-law's experience, I just knew this is what we were supposed to do.

Of course, my engineer husband couldn't make a decision based upon feelings alone, so we had to do some serious research, prayer and discussion before both of us came to the conclusion that this not only fits our desire for children, our desire for adoption, but also our desire for a mission. We've since started completing our paperwork and have already started the training, which, Lord willing, we will be finished with at the end of next week. If all goes well, we will be ready for children in a couple of months.

And you might be wondering why I said children. Statistics show that sibling groups are hard to place because most people only want one or two, and babies or toddlers. We are trying to be open to whatever God gives us. We've always wanted a large family and are currently considering being open to a sibling group of 3, though we are trying not to limit God.

The last few months have been spent in grieving very privately for the potential loss of ever carrying my own. That has been something I've desired, and I am not saying that God can't make that happen for me someday. But we are going into this with the idea that having our biological children is something we are giving up, and will just count it as pure joy and blessing if it does happen. I know that God is going to bless us for this sacrifice. Whether it is in this life, or not, I am confident that what we are doing is his will.

"What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." James 4

We are just here for a little while and while we are here, Brian and I want to follow our calling. We are so excited about the coming months and are already praying for our children that by faith, we know are out there right now. We are asking you to pray with us, for their safety, for a hedge of protection around them physically, emotionally and spiritually, for a swift and obstacle-free process, and their quick delivery into our home, their home.

I'm not sure how many people are still reading this blog, I've not been very faithful to it, and it seems like the blog-trend might be failing. But if there is someone out there that would like for me to continue sharing the ups and downs of this journey on here, please let me know. We want to share this process with everyone, because there are so many children out there that need homes. And if we could potentially help educate others who are on the fence about doing this very same thing, that would be awesome!

I've thought a lot about the words to the song I titled my blog after. It really has been kind of my anthem throughout this whole process and it still applies to what we're doing today.

Excerpt from Something Heavenly (Sanctus Real):
Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Revaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will
or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything I surrender...

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly
Something heavenly

Monday, November 30, 2009


It's been another busy couple of months and time has gotten away from me once again. Since my last post, Brian and I have completed two unsuccessful IUI cycles. Our fertility specialist is not recommending we try another cycle and is recommending that we either go for InVitro Fertilization, or pursue adoption. We've spent the last month in prayer and thought about what God wants us to do next. I've never wanted to do IVF, but now that I know it is my only option, I've had to consider it. We have also been approached with a a foster-to-adopt program that mutual friends have done and successfully added to their families through. We are currently looking into that program and are seriously considering adding to our family through adoption.

It is a difficult scenario to consider never carrying my own child. My loved ones are concerned that I will regret not trying everything I can to have my own before considering adoption, because there will always be babies and children who need homes. I would love to have a child that is a combination of Brian and me and the thought of never experiencing that is sad. But lately I've felt more at peace with the idea that God is going to bless us with children, one way or the other. I still do not feel called to do IVF. Brian thinks that is interesting because he always thought we would end up doing IVF if IUI didn't work, just because he knew how much having my own child was important to me. But even facing the possibility that I won't ever get pregnant without IVF, I still do not feel like it is what I need to do.
I'm doing okay right now, though I am dealing with disappointment and confusion about what to do next. I do not want to let my family and friends down, and I do not want to be seen as weak for not doing everything I can to have my own child. I just want us to make the best decision possible for our family.
I guess we need prayers right now more than anything. We need to know what God is wanting us to do. And we need support from our family and friends as we make this decision and in the next few months. I know God's hand is in this, I just need to see which way he is pointing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How I'm Feeling...Really (Thanks Cami)

I know it's been a while...again. For those that care to still check and make sure I'm still here, I am. My surgery went well and I am almost 100%. The only thing that holds me down now is some problems with food, but that is to be expected. The recovery has gone well and I am so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful family and friends that took care of me, prayed with and for me and showered me with love.

The reason why I haven't written much really doesn't have much to do with the gallbladder situation at all. I just haven't felt like writing. In a much needed getaway to my parents' house, I shared with them that since I got sick 3 days before having IUI, I have tried pushing everything out of my head, not wanting to deal with anything until I actually had a reason to deal with it. Of course, my sweet father reminded me that as a therapist that probably wasn't the most healthy thing to do, but if taking a break from reality is what I needed then that's what I should do.

I'm actually nervous writing this blog. It's funny because I'm shaking as I'm typing as I'm watching everything I've kept close to my heart these last few months displayed on the screen. I joked with my sweet friend Cami the other night at Bunco that her post on her blog "How I'm feeling, really." inspired me to do this on my blog. She has such amazing strength that I daily thank God for her in my life. She has gone through more horrifying circumstances that my shallow, narrow perspective can wrap my mind around. But I feel kindred with her some ways because we both struggle with crosses that we've been asked to bear and we also sit and watch the world continue on while we wait to see how God's going to carry us.

The last few months have not been easy for me. I was literally in shock when I was rushed to the emergency room on vacation and was told I was to stay for a week before getting my gallbladder taken out. For months leading up to that moment, I knew I was feeling bad, I just attributed it to the laundry list of meds I was on preparing for IUI coming in three days. There are many things that I am grateful for in that experience and I do not want anyone to think that I do not feel innumerously blessed by the fact that I did NOT get sick in Europe and it was NOT something more serious than a gallbladder. BUT that does not take away the pain and disappointment that I am still struggling with in the holding pattern I've sat in the last several months, waiting as always for my moment to come.

Last Friday was also harder than I expected. It was the one-year anniversary of my miscarriage. I could feel it coming all week and was unsure of how I was going to respond. I cried most of the morning and spent the entire time in prayer and grief for the loss and the fear that I will never hold a child of my own in my arms, that that sweet baby is the closest I will ever be to being a mommy. But after a few hours, I picked myself up and got out of the house. Partly to distract me, partly to not wallow anymore. I had grieved and as I am still completely out of control of this situation, despair would not help me. So I then spent lunch with my hubby, shipped him off to a wet weekend dove hunting and went straight to my friend Sarah's house, where I literally spent the rest of the weekend, surrounded by my precious Granbury girls and their sweet kids that have become such a comfort to me. You girls will never know how much it meant to spend the weekend with you. I was not looking for distraction and I was not looking for pity, sadness or grief. I merely just wanted to be surrounded by you and enjoy you. And you gave me exactly what I needed: laughter, entertainment, and you let me love on and be loved on by your kids.

Also, Rachel and Joe just finished their first trimester with their sweet baby that God blessed them with in their last round of invitro. For those that are wondering, I AM HAPPY FOR THEM! I have prayed diligently for these sweet people for the last two years for a child and am so glad that God has chosen this couple to shower His sweet grace upon. No, it is not easy for me. This is a blog for honesty, so if you don't like it, you don't have to read it. It isn't easy. I am joyful for them and try to be the best support for them as I can and save my sorrow for myself for later. Luckily I have a husband who does not judge me when I cry, only holds me and prays fervent prayers that one day that will be us sharing our blessed news with our loved ones.

We are now at the place where we will, Lord willing, begin treatment again starting this week and hopefully will have IUI done in a couple of weeks. I'm not excited about it, though I am grateful that modern technology has made this a possibility for us. I guess I'm not excited about it because the most I've learned from the last 3 years and the last 3 months specifically, is that I am NOT in control of this situation AT ALL. I am resigned to the fact that God could choose to give us a child, and he could also choose to not. I do feel that having IUI done is in accordance with His will. This I've sought after since July, wondering if that was His reason for holding me back. I do not have hope that I will get pregnant with IUI. I DO have hope that whatever happens, God will continue to carry me, just as he has. If we don't get pregnant, I will be sad. I will be disappointed. But I take comfort that someday it will all make sense, when I can stand back and look at the completed puzzle and not just my one piece that is struggling to find it's fit. I feel that after a couple of unsuccessful rounds of IUI, Brian and I will have some decisions to make regarding what our next step is. Hopefully, we won't have to have those discussions, but whatever happens, I feel at peace that God is working in this, though it does cause me pain sometimes that I really don't have any idea what is next for me.

So for those who are wondering, I am doing OK. There have been many things that I've been blessed with throughout this whole ordeal and I am not closed to receiving or identifying those blessings. Yes, I am still very sad sometimes. I would be lying if I said I wasn't. But I am also not always sad. There is so much to be joyful about and everyday I am seeking that joy out like darkness seeks out a candle. I will never be as I was before this journey began. I feel older, weary. Weaker, yet stronger. I have resigned myself to God's will, though I still take comfort and strength from Him. I continue to recite my favorite verse in the Bible: Nehemiah 8:10 "Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

I've added a new song to my playlist that I've played over and over again in the last few months. It's from one of my favorite groups, Shane & Shane, from their Psalms album, it's their rendition of Psalm 13, describing exactly how I'm feeling now...really.

Monday, July 27, 2009


After an awesome weekend with my BFFs, and a trip to the coast with my family, I got an unpleasant surprise. Around 2:30 AM Wednesday morning I woke up with stomach pains that felt like I was having a heart attack. My aunt and uncles started the drive to the hospital in Corpus Christi, but ended up calling an ambulance to take me the rest of the way because I was feeling so bad. After a sleepless night of blown veins, IVs, blood draws, CT scans, ultrasounds, etc, they determined I had pancreatitis and needed my gallbladder taken out. They wanted to keep me in the hospital up to a week to get the infection out of my pancreas and then take out the gallbladder. I couldn't imagine staying in a town where I knew no one, so I persuaded them to let me go if I wasn't on my deathbed, my aunt Jo got me a flight out that afternoon and I checked into Harris Southwest Medical Center in Ft. Worth Wednesday night. The pancreatitis was actually a very mild case as my blood levels were all back to normal within a few days, but my gallbladder still needs to come out. So now I'm at home, waiting for the surgeon to get back in town so I can meet with him and schedule this little outpatient procedure.

I'm actually doing much better. I feel okay, just tired and a little sore. Brian and I are still amazed at the outpouring of love that we felt while in the hospital. For the less than 48 hours I was there, we had a full room almost the entire time, all the way up until I was discharged. And my phone was always blowing up with texts, calls, emails, voicemails. I felt so blessed to feel the love of our friends and family that came to check on me.

I'm ready to get this little procedure out and over with. From what I understand of the surgery, I will be feeling like a million bucks once I get it out. What I think I'm struggling with most right now is why this is happening to me now. Not many of you know, but I was supposed to have IUI this past weekend. For some reason, God did not want me to have this done this month, and what Brian and I can only guess is He is asking us for more patience since we will not be able to even start trying again for a couple of months. Please pray for me and for us as we are trying to stay positive and hopeful, are trying to keep from getting discouraged, and will be hopefully having my gallbladder out in the coming weeks.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Time with Friends

We've been very busy for the last couple of weeks! I've been working on getting put on Medicaid to start getting more clients in my private practice. I've also gotten the chance to spend time with several of my sweet friends. We also got to go to Austin for the Kennedy girls' dance recital and Dylan's basketball game. We had such a great time, we love spending time with them and can't wait to go back!

Dylan's game, he was the only one playing defense!

Mackenzie and me at the game
Mindy and me, this is my favorite picture of us!
Brian at Compass Trading with the girls, he was Mr. Fashion! He picked out new earrings for me, a necklace for Mindy, headbands for the girls & basically entertained them the whole time!
The girls (& Mindy!) performing the routine before we left, so stinking cute!
Aren't they beautiful?
Us with Madison and Mackenzie
Before the dance recital
Just beautiful!
Brian and Dylan trying to entertain themselves before the recital
Performing their dance number to Shoo Fly Fly & Apple Pan Dandy
Madison licking her armpit, talent...

On Tuesday I got to hang out with both of my best friends and their children I love so much! I met Rebecca and Mindy at Rebecca's mom's house and we took the kids to the water park in Hurst. You have to go there if you live in the Metroplex, it was totally worth the $4 ticket if you're not a Hurst resident! The three of us even put on our big girl shorts and went down the big water slide, something neither of us had done in about 10 years! I didn't take my camera, so I don't have any pics, but as soon as I get some I will post them, Mindy's mom got some really great ones.
Me and some of my favorite people

After the water park we cleaned up and the moms were nice enough to let us girls go out on a girls' night. We spent half of the time eating, Mexican and Chessecake Factory, and the other half of the time talking and catching up. I didn't get home until 2 am, but it was totally worth it. I love these girls so much, I don't know what I'd do without them in my life and I can't wait to have girls' weekend in just a couple of weeks! :)