Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Delight yourself in the Lord...

Have you heard that verse?  Psalm 37:4 reads,

         "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart,"

I have been reciting that verse in my mind for years now and wondering why it wasn't really happening for us.  You see, I had it in my mind that if only we would be happy and joyful in our Christian walk, then we would be successful in having another child.  After all, that was the desire of my heart.  This is one of God's promises, right?

Well, after eight years, yes eight years, I think I may have figured something out.  This is a promise of God, but I think I have misunderstood it.

God wasn't ignoring me.  He wasn't holding out on me.  I wasn't being punished for anything.  God was working.  I just didn't see it.

For years, I have struggled with infertility.  My husband and I were blessed with our son, Kristopher, in 2003.  However, when we made the decision to have more children, it just didn't happen.  I tried medication, trips to a specialist, different medication, procedures, and even a minor surgery.  Through all of that, I were able to conceive once more, but it ended in miscarriage.  Eight years and a lot of money; all gone with nothing to show for it. 

The whole time that I was going through this I would be reciting Psalm 37:4 in my mind.  I just knew that God was going to give us another child.  It was the one desire of my heart.  I am a good person.  Darrin and I did everything "right."

Married first.
No premarital sex.
Paid off all of our debt. 
Faithful giving to the church. 
Serving in the church. 
Loving our family.
Striving to be a good friend.   

I really struggled with this.  Why was God denying me this one thing?  Why couldn't I have another child.  The desire of my heart was to have more children, and I wasn't seeing that happen. 

There came a point that Darrin and I decided that we needed to take a break from all of the treatment.  It was getting expensive, and there was no insurance coverage for it.  We had talked about looking at adoption, but I just wasn't really feeling 'lead' that way, so we only did a little research.  I convinced myself and Darrin that adoption wasn't the right answer.  After all, it is quite expensive and not really guaranteed either.  I started back on treatments, but there was still no positive results. Then we started talking about foster care.

The classes were taken, the licensing was done, and VERY soon, we had out first placement.  It was not an adoption case, so I knew that these kids were not meant to be with us forever,  So, I continued treatment, hoping that my desire would be fulfilled.  Nothing.

The children in our care were later placed in another home.  We were back to our own normal; whatever that is.

That's when things started to change.

My aunt called me, asking if we would be interested in meeting a couple of little girls who may be needing to find adoptive parents.  I still wasn't completely sure about it all.  This wasn't what I had envisioned.  Still, I talked with Darrin, and we decided to meet the girls. 

They. Were. BEAUTIFUL.  And loving.  And sweet.  Wait...was I getting excited about this?

It all happened so quickly.  Before we knew it, the girls were living with us as a foster placement.  Kris had two new little sisters now!  Things were very different.  I was busier.  A lot busier.   My mind didn't have time to dwell on all of the medication or treatments, and suddenly, that wasn't my focus anymore. 

Well, now, here we are.  A house full of children, and all that comes with them.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  Haha!!!  I am delighting in the Lord!  But here is the amazing part...

I finally feel like He is giving me the desire of my heart. 

We are in the process of adopting these little girls.  I am getting more children!  It's just not happening in the way that I had envisioned it.  My sights were too narrow to see that God was preparing me.  God was working in me to get me ready to love these little girls.  No, they are not my biological daughters, but they are MY girls. 

Sometimes I think that the crazy roller coaster journey of infertility can cause us to have tunnel vision.  The goal is a baby.  Keep your eye on the prize, and nothing can get in the way.  I have learned, though, that my tunnel vision was keeping me from seeing the amazing plan that God had in store for me.

I didn't get a baby, but I am getting to mother more children. 
My desire hasn't changed.
I have.

          "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

Hold on to this promise.  Just remember to be open to the different ways in which God will fulfill this promise.

He is faithful!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

A Quick Look Back

Well, a lot of stuff has happened since I last sat down to blog.  Take a look back with me...

We have had our first foster care placement.  We were blessed to have two young boys come to stay with us for a couple of months. While we were not able to continue the placement longer, we were happy to have had them in out home.  They were sweet boys that had just been handed bad circumstances.  We hope and pray that they have been able to find the care and assistance that they need to make great strides and maybe even make it home. 

We got an offer on our house!  Finally, after a year of being on the market, we have accepted and offer on our house.  In turn, we had to start hitting the listings pretty hard in effort to find a new place to stay.  We have found that home, and are super excited about moving...eventually. 

There have been a few snags in the selling process, and we have been delayed three times now.  It is so very frustrating to be in this situation.  There is absolutely nothing that we can do to speed the process along.  We are completely at the mercy of others...who don't seem to be getting things done either.  At this point, I feel like I am losing that last little piece of sanity I have remaining. 

We have a new foster placement.  This time, we are caring for two little girls.  They are so sweet, and we are enjoying every moment of having them with us.  It has been quite an adjustment for all of us, but especially for Kristopher.  He has gone from being an only child for the past nine years to being the big brother of two very inquisitive little girls.  They love him, and are always "annoying" him.  Welcome to being a big brother, Kris.  Haha!
I wrecked my car...again.  Well, actually, I didn't do anything.  I was rear ended.  There I was, sitting at a red light, when all of a sudden - WHAM!!! I ended up with a horrible headache, some damage to my car (although it is still drivable), and dealing with insurance companies.  Not to mention, the guy took off!  He didn't want to wait for the police to get there, because he was 'late for work and on the last straw with his job.' I couldn't believe it.  He just handed over his insurance card and then drove off.  Meanwhile, I waited for the police, made the report, and then back to the grind.  After all, Kris still had to get to football practice.
After working for an insurance company for about five years now, I have an expectation of how things should move along after and accident.  This has not gone quite as smoothly as I had hoped.  However, things are starting to roll now, and we will hopefully be back to some sort of normal soon.
That about covers it...I think. 
Now that it is all written out, it doesn't seem like all that much.  I mean, it only took a few lines on my computer screen.  It feels like so much more, though. 
How does life get so chaotic so quickly?  Seriously.  It seems that we have been in one waiting room or another for so long, and now - BAM!  Everything is happening all at one time.  Talk about extremes.
So, here we are.  Trying to take things one day at a time.  In no way, shape or form has it been easy, but I am doing my very best.  I am so thankful for my amazing friends and family.  I don't know what I would do if I was on my own.  Even through all of the chaos, I know that I am truly blessed.  

Monday, July 09, 2012

Choices, choices...Continuing our journey of fertility treatments. (WARNING: May be TMI for some of you)

Wow!  Things are just not going as I had planned.  But isn't that usually the case?

Many of you know our story.  The whole journey of trying to conceive, miscarriage, more ttc, taking a break...nothing going according to our plans.  Well, times haven't changed much as we are heading into yet another season of life with more choices to be made.. 

I ended up having a medical condition that required me to take some medication.  This treatment was not safe for pregnancy, so I was put on birth control as a precaution, and taken off of my other meds.  I was hoping that this would be a good thing.  I mean, after all, birth control pills are supposed to help even things out, right?  Ummm...not always.  Of course, I am one of the few for whom the pills have done NOTHING to help regulate.  Four months now, and still no sign of "normal."

Well, the good news is, I am done with this other treatment, and we can officially start trying again.  The bad news is, we have no idea where to start. 

A week from today, I will be heading back to the RE to see which road we are going to take.  Here are the two options that we are looking at right now: 1) Have the RE change my birth control and focus on getting a regular cycle, or 2) Begin fertility treatments again. 

Both options have their positive attributes.  If we choose to focus on my cycle, maybe I will be able to better plan, figure out when I am ovulating, and possibly get pregnant.  After all, I was on bc pills before, and when I finally stopped them, I got pregnant with Kristopher.  Then again, it's messing with hormones, and there is never a guarantee. 

On the other hand, we could choose to start fertility treatments again.  The biggest plus on this option is that the cost has dropped a little.  Before, when I was on Femara, we were paying about $350 every month just for 5 days worth of pills.  Now, the drug has been released in a generic form, and it is significantly lower cost.  The down side?  Well, as always, there is no guarantee.  I could get pregnant.  I could miscarry.  I could just NOT get pregnant.  Plus, there is still the cost associated with all of the monitoring, trigger shots, etc. 

That is where we are right now.  The decision isn't an easy one, and I am not really sure which way we should go.  But I have to make a decision...and soon.  I go back to my RE a week from today.  I have to know what we want going in.  Otherwise, there are added costs.  Monetary costs...a higher co-pay just to TALK to the doctor.  Yippee!

Please pray for us as we are making these decisions.  We are asking God for wisdom, guidance, and peace.  We want to make the right decision, but right now, we have no idea what that is.

Monday, June 11, 2012

It has been a while.

Not only have I not written anything here, but I haven't read many blogs lately either.

It's not that I don't like to stay up on things, or that I am avoiding my friends.  It's not that I don't have things to write about.  It's not even a time crunch.  Sure, there have been plenty of things that have filled my days and kept me busy.  But I can't even use that as an excuse.  I don't really know how to explain it.  I just haven't written.

Let me bring you up to speed...

Darrin and I have been working towards becoming foster parents.  This started last year, we completed our initial classes and training, and found an agency to work with.  Well, as of April 6th, we were foster parents welcoming our first placement at 11:30pm.  They were a set of adorable young boys; siblings.  There were definitely some challenges, but we did our bet to work through them.  Sadly, after two months, we had to make the decision to disrupt.  I never thought that it would be quite as difficult as it was to say good-bye to these boys.  That was just this weekend. 

So, now we are a home of three again.  It's just Darrin, Kris and myself again.  For how long?  Who knows?  We haven't received any calls yet, but every day is a new day.  For now, we wait to be needed again.

We are still wanting to have another child of our own, but those endeavors have been put on hold for the time being.  I have had some things come up that require medication that is not safe for pregnancy, so I had no choice but to go back on birth control.  I wasn't exactly excited about it, but, it is what it is, right?  Sometimes life throws curves.  You just have to learn how to adjust your swing. :o)  And that is what I am working on these days.  Adjusting.

That's about it...in a nut shell.  It's not a beautiful, eloquently written summary, but I just wanted to let you know that I hadn't fallen off the face of the Earth.  I am still very much here, and very much alive. 

I hope to add more later.  And hopefully with pictures.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

A daily challenge...

I found this as a status update from Andy Andrews of Facebook:

Do more than is required of you. Aim higher than the others. Laugh a bit more than the joke deserved. Be kind and patient when you don't want to be. Try harder than you did yesterday. Become a noticer and be grateful for the things that you have overlooked for too long.

Wow! Talk about a challenge. We can all use the reminder...and I am so glad that I saw this today.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Random questions...

Oh dear...I have been tagged. Well, it seems innocent enough and could be a lot of fun, so here goes:

There are five rules:
1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions.
5. Tag 5 friends and go to their blog/twitter and tell them that you've tagged them.

Photo of myself:

This was at this year's Women of Faith in KC. We went to dinner across the street at Power&Light. One of our lovely ladies suggested this place, and we were seated right next to the stripper pole. Appropriate for the day, don't ya think? Hahaha!!

11 Random things about me:

1. I didn't watch Titanic until about 5 years AFTER the movie was released.

2. I love photography. Although I am just a mere hobby photographer, I absolutely love it!!!

3. I am extremely competitive. This makes it very hard to be a "sit on the sidelines" kind of mom, but I am trying to keep it under control.

4. One of my guilty pleasure TV shows is Will & Grace. I still love that show!!!

5. My husband and I are in the licensing process for foster care/adoption.

6. I sang in my school choir through my junior year.

7. My first car (that I bought on my own) was a 1985 Toyota Camry. It was boxy and brown and all around ugly. But I loved that car.

8. While I wouldn't consider myself a girlie-girl in most areas of life, I have an obsession with purses and shoes. If only I had the money to feed that obsession...

9. I really dislike my cell phone, but am too cheap to purchase another one. I always suffer through my contract until I can get a cheap one. (Which is probably why I usually dislike my phones so much. Haha!!!)

10. I hate cleaning my house, but like to vacuum.

11. I never spend more that $10 on sunglasses. I always loose them, drop them, or break them.

Eleven questions from Marcey Combs:

1. Why do you blog? I started blogging a while back just to release some of the wanderings of my mind, and it has been a good release for me. I take a time off quite often, but always find myself blogging again when I start over-thinking.

2. What is your go to meal when in a time crunch? Pasta. Usually either spaghetti or chicken and rotini.

3. What is your favorite color and why? Hmmm...I think I would have to say yellow. I don't have a lot of it in my wardrobe, but I have always liked yellow. It's just a happy color. It's makes me smile.

4. What is the last thing you watched on TV? Good Morning America. (I watch parts of it just about every week day.)

5. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? Wow...this one is tough. There are so many things that I would like to change. War...hunger...fear...hatred...ignorance... The perfect Sunday School answer would have been to have God change all hearts and everyone believe in Him. But that isn't going to happen, because God wouldn't do that. That choice has been given to us. So, I think if I could only make one change, I would make people LOVE more. We don't all have to agree on everything, but if there was more love, there would be less hatred...less hunger...less war...less fear...

6. Who sent the last text message you received? Jill.

7. What is under your bed? Umm...I think that is where we keep the table leaf...and Darrin has a set of dumbbells under there.

8. What is your favorite time of day? NOT mornings. Haha!!! I tend to be more of a late afternoon, early evening kind of gal.

9. If you are going to be home all day with no company, do you stay in your pjs or get dressed/ready for the day? PJs!!! It happens so rarely, I think I would totally take advantage of that. :o)

10. What did you dream about last night? Nothing that I remembered.

11: What is the strangest thing you saw recently? My son took a shower and went to bed WITHOUT complaining. :o)

Questions from me:

1. What is your favorite season and why?
2. What is your favorite movie of all time?
3. Do you still have your tonsils?
4. What was your first car?
5. How did we meet?
6. What is the #1 guilty pleasure song you have on your iPod, iPhone, MP3 etc?
7. Would your dream vacation be to the beach or the mountains?
8. If money wasn't a factor, what would your dream job/career be?
9. What is your favorite snack?
10. If you were going to paint your living room, what color would you choose and why?
11. What is the one item in your home (excluding people or pets) that you would save first if there was a fire?

Whew! Finished. Well, almost. Now...who to tag??? How about Andrea, Amanda, Sarah, Scott, and Matt.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A little closer...

Well...we have done it. The last of the paperwork has been sent in. I faxed in the last paperwork we needed for our foster care licensing application. Now, we wait.

It seems that we are getting pretty good at that part. Waiting. That is where we have been for a VERY long time. Trying to conceive, trying to sell our house...lots and lots of waiting. But now, I actually feel like there is an end to the waiting in sight. Oh, what a wonderful feeling!

Now that the paperwork is in, our application will be sent to KDHE, and, according to the worker we met, it could be just a matter of weeks before we have out temporary license. That means we can take placements!!! I can't wait!!!

I know that this is going to be an interesting journey to say the least. There will be good things and bad. We will have laughter and tears. But we will be growing our family. I know that not every child placed with us will stay with us, but it is our goal to connect with children. Even if only for a short time, we will strive to provide love, caring and acceptance, and a piece of our hearts will be given to these children.

I'm not going to lie. I am just as much scared as I am excited. There are moments of, "What are we thinking?" and "There is no way we can do this!" It's hard to think that we are fully prepared to care for the children who may be placed in our homes. But, then I see Kristopher. I see his smile, or I hear his laughter and am reminded that every child deserves this! Each one should have the chance to laugh and smile, and just be a kid. Our job isn't to fix anyone or anything. Our job as resource parents is to love.

I know that there is more to it all, and I am in no way downplaying the struggles that we may face. There will be difficulties, but through it all, we are here to love.

Please keep us in your prayers as we move forward in this process. We are so happy to be moving forward, but know that your support can make all the difference.