Friends of the Infertile (NIAW repost)

All friends, check out my Blog Party that is going on in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week.  I have already made many new friends!  

For all those who are not infertile themselves, but know someone who is, this repost of mine is for you.  The infertile are not the only ones hurting during this journey.  We appreciate all your support.

 

Friends of the Infertile

My best friend recently asked me how our adoption is going.  Unfortunately, I had no news to share with her.  This is a conversation I have with many people, so I am used to disappointing people.  However, my friend’s response was different than I expected…

My friend knows the struggles “The Pilot” and I have been through with infertility and adoption.  She is always kind to ask how things are going, even though she knows that I would run screaming to her doorstep if I had any real news.  Normally, she commiserates with me, lets me complain, and then helps me to get my mind off it.   That is what I need. However, I never stopped to think what SHE needs.

Friend:  “Any news with adoption?”

Me: “Nope, same old, same old.  Wait and pray.”

Friend: Big sigh…”I just don’t understand.  You are a wonderful couple who will be amazing parents.  There are so many others who have kids, but are unable to take care of them.  Why doesn’t God give you a baby?”

Me:  “He will.  It just takes a WHOLE LOT of faith.”

Friend:  “Yea, honestly, I am having a hard time with that.”

 

She is having a hard time.  Our struggle is testing her faith.  And she is not the only one.

So often I focus on my own sorrow and struggles in this journey.  My pain is so raw that I have a hard time seeing past it.  I forget that I am not the only one bearing this cross.

I have had many friends and family members express their pain and frustration about our situation.  My poor mom went through 6 years of infertility herself and now is watching her daughter go through the same thing.  Every other day I learn of a new person praying for us.

So you see, this cross is not just mine or yours…so many people are having their faith tested through our cross.  We are not alone.  Maybe that is part of the reason for this difficult journey.

When our dreams come true (as I know they will), maybe more good will come from it than we originally imagined.

Maybe our cross can strengthen someone’s faith in God.

That, my friends, would be… pretty. dang. amazing. 🙂

Don’t forget to repay all those friends and family members who are praying for you.  Their faith is also being tested and they need prayers just as much as we do.

 

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Caught in a Downpour! (NIAW repost)

The National Infertility Awareness Week Blog Party is still going- join in!  It’s open to everyone!  Here is my second infertility-themed repost about a comical moment  that taught me a valuable lesson.

 

Caught in a Downpour!

Yesterday I was walking Bailey and out of nowhere it started POURING!  It was not just pouring cats and dogs…all of Noah’s Ark was pouring down on us!  We were stuck  clear on the other side of the neighborhood, so there was nothing to do but make a run for it.  And run we did…

I could not see a thing!  I have taken showers that were less wet.  About half way through, when I could see the rain was not letting up and Bailey, my Fit Bit, and I were soaked to the bone…I stopped running.  I stopped running and started to laugh…

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I laughed out loud, and I thought:

  1. Why have I never done this before?  Playing in the rain rocks!
  2. I hope my Fit Bit doesn’t die, but if it does, does that mean I can stop working out? haha
  3. This is the story of my life.

What I mean by #3 is this…Lately, I have been feeling pretty upbeat.  I recently switched jobs (which I will go into at a later time), I am really enjoying the blog world, and I am just overall happier.  But as I described in my last post, the pains of infertility can sneak up out of nowhere and… BAM!  You are stuck in a downpour of emotion.

Sometimes I feel guilty when I have good days because I know that all around the world there are women (and men) who are caught in their own downpour.  How can I have a happy day when so many others are struggling to walk through the rain, much less splash in the puddles?  But then I have to remember, that my happiness does not come at someone else’s expense.  I also remind myself that this is a roller coaster I am on.

Yesterday I was caught in a downpour and I was able to laugh.  I saw the beauty in the moment and thanked God for it.  However, tomorrow there might be another downpour…and this time tears may come, instead of laughter.

If you are caught in your own downpour, and you find yourself laughing, good for you.  Enjoy every second of it.  But if you are stuck in a stormy shower, unable to see your way out…hold on…the storm will end…the sun will shine…

and your rainbow WILL come.

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Infertility Awareness Week: Blog Party! ❤️🌈

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This week is (Inter)national Infertility Awareness Week.  We use this week to bring awareness to the problems facing so many men and women who are trying to conceive.  Did you know 1 in 8 couples experiences infertility?  Look around at your family and friends.  Chances are someone close to you will experience this very difficult cross.

How can we help each other?

Talk about it.  Be supportive.  Lend a listing ear.  Be a friend.

In honor of NIAW, I would like to throw my first ever blog party.  I am nervous, as I have never thrown a party like this, but I really think that this week is a time to stand together and support one another.  Instead of wallowing in our troubles, let’s make friends and inspire each other.  What better way to do that than a party?

NIAW Blog Party Rules:

  1. This party is open to everyone.  I especially want to encourage those friends who are experiencing infertility or have in the past to participate.  However, if you have not experienced infertility, but perhaps have an uplifting post that you think would be helpful to share with those in time of need, go for it!  Anything to make us smile! 🙂
  2. Share a little about yourself and leave a link to your blog.
  3. Comment on other posts, visit new blogs, and make friends!

I will keep the comments open all week, ending  on the 30th.

Feel free to share this party with others!

Enjoy!  I can’t wait to meet some new friends!

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Can we talk about something else?

For 5+ years, my life has not been my own.  My life has been consumed by a new identity.

I am no longer a teacher.

I am no longer a friend.

I am no longer a daughter.

I am no longer a wife.

 

No. Instead, I am the infertile girl.  And that is all anyone sees.

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Why should we censor our souls?

Friends would describe me as an upbeat positive person.  I don’t hold grudges and I don’t often let things get me down.  I try very hard to keep a positive attitude, not only for myself, but for the sake of others.  I want to lift others up with my presence, not bring them down by “burdening” them with my troubles.

As a result, I have a hard time expressing sadness, frustration, or anger with even those I am closest to.  For some reason, I have always felt weak for expressing these emotions, like by showing sadness or frustration, I was not being a good example of faith and strength.

But that is not the case.  Not. At. All.

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Pregnancy or adoption: Which is our first choice?

Whenever I tell people that we are on the journey to adopt, we are usually first met with smiles and a congratulatory, “That’s wonderful!”  But often times, the second sentence that comes out is, “You know what’s going to happen right after you adopt?”  Wink.   Wink.

I know that people say these words to be encouraging.  They have no ill-intent behind them, and so I do not get angry.  However, it does hurt my heart to know that people think adoption is our “second choice”.  It seems people often think that our real goal is to get pregnant, and we are just using adoption as a way to “fill our time” or “get to the true finish line.”  This could NOT be further from the truth.

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My hubby and I started trying to have children over 5 years ago.  We tried naturally at first, as that just seemed to be the typical first route.  After a year, we went to many doctors who gave us various different options for the next steps in getting pregnant, from surgery to medications to IVF.  At that same time, we researched adoption.  We wanted to be knowledgeable about all the paths to parenthood, not just pregnancy.

We then had a serious discussion.  What should we do next?  We still had options for attempting to get pregnant.  Should we exhaust those first?  Or should we listen to the voice in our hearts that was pulling us towards adoption? We both prayed very hard for months.  And what did we decide?

We are called to be parents.

A parent is someone who loves a child unconditionally and wants what is best for them.  A parent makes sacrifices for their child.  A parent puts their child’s needs before their own.

Giving birth may be one of the beautiful ways a parent gets to show their love for their child, or it may not.  However, if it is not, it does make them any less of a parent.  I know, without a doubt, that my husband and I are called to be parents.  However, it is not up to us to decide how that will happen.  No one path is greater than the other.  

Starting the adoption journey 3 years ago gave us more excitement than we had ever felt during our first year of trying to get pregnant, as we now knew we were fully open to God’s will for us.  We may still get pregnant or we may not.  It truly does not matter to us, as long as we one day get to be parents to the children God has chosen for us.

Adoption and pregnancy are both our #1 choices.  Any paths that result in our children is #1 in our books.  Both paths are equally beautiful.  Both require love and sacrifice.  Both are gifts from God.

Both make us parents.

  

Wanting pregnancy vs. wanting motherhood

When I was 5 years old, I made an “All About Me” poster in kindergarten.  One of the questions was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”    

My answer:  Mom and Doctor

I soon realized that being a doctor involved a lot of needles and blood, so that dream went right out the window (soon to be forever replaced by “teacher”).

However, the dream to be a mom has never changed or faltered.  What I did not know as a kindergartner though, is how many different paths there are to that dream.

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My husband and I started trying to have children as soon as we got married.  I had a family history of infertility and we did not want to waste time.

I read all the books.

I charted all my cycle symptoms.

We timed it perfectly EVERY  SINGLE month.

It was exhausting.

It did not take me long (about 6 months) to realize something was wrong.  I don’t just mean that we were having a hard time getting pregnant, but there was something wrong with our approach.

I did a lot of soul searching.  Prayer became my best friend.  During this time, we continued to try to get pregnant.  We got all the zillions of tests the doctors ordered, only to be told that our infertility was unexplained.  I was so confused.  I began to question our goal.  What is it that we want?  What is it that God wants for us?

Is our goal to get pregnant?  Is our goal to give birth?  

It took a doctor telling me that exploratory surgery was the only option, to finally make me snap into focus.  We could keep trying and trying and trying.  We could try every procedure under the sun, but we would still have the wrong motivation.  It was in that moment, as the doctor told me she would need to cut me open, making no promises that it would fix anything, that I finally remembered my kindergarten dream.

I want to be a mom.  I am called to be a mom.

There is more than one path to every dream.  If I am feeling boxed in, it’s because I haven’t opened all the doors.  I had been putting so much effort into the goal of getting pregnant, while losing sight of the real goal of being a mom.

So I cancelled the surgery, and we began the adoption process.  I felt more joy in that decision than I had ever felt during our first year of trying to get pregnant.  I felt joy because we were finally opening ourselves to all the paths to parenthood that God had chosen for us.  I also felt at peace.  That peace came from the realization that:

 my desire to be a mother is far greater than my desire to be pregnant.

The journey is still very rough at times.  I may give birth to our child naturally or we may adopt.  Heck, we may do both one day! I have no idea.  But I take great solace in knowing that we are now focused in the right direction.  

I don’t need to get pregnant…

I need to be a mom.

 

Back at square one

I want the goal of this blog to be positivity amidst the pain of infertility.  However, I also want to be real, in order to relate to others in my situation.  I thrive on positivity, but the fact of the matter is there is a lot of struggle that happens on this journey.  

Last week we received an email out of the blue from our adoption social worker.  Every time I get an email or call from her, my heart skips a beat.  But this time the news was not at all what I wanted to hear.  In a nutshell, she said the agency has not done any adoptions in many many months, and she recommends we go to another agency.  Keep in mind, we have been with this agency for 3 years.  3. LONG. HOPEFUL. YEARS.

Now we are back to square one.

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Christmas Tears

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Christmas is a very special time for me.  It has nothing to do with presents and everything to do with the the blessings God has given me.  I always reflect on the past year during Christmas Mass.  Surrounded by family and friends, while singing Christmas carols, I reflect on the past year and all the Lord has given me.  However, this reflection has caused me some pain during the past five years.  Every year I am beyond thankful for all I have, but there is a deep ache in my heart for the one wish I have not received yet.

For so many years, all I wished for was my husband.  I have been praying for my husband since 5th grade.  I prayed and prayed that God would give me a kind and faith-filled man to walk through life with.  I went through my share of heart aches and there were years I thought my man would never come.  Was God listening to me?

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Furball Friday: Merry Christmas!

 

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What did you ask Santa for Christmas this year?

A new car?

A sweet baby?

A healthy 2017?

A box of dog biscuits? (Oh wait, that’s Bailey’s wish 🙂 )

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