Monday, April 30, 2012

Wonderfully informative interview!

I know Infertility Awareness Week has ended, and I don't usually write too much about infertility. BUT, here is an interview from ABC that is just fantastic if you want to know about infertility, the diagnosis, and the treatment. It's only 6:26 long and it has a lot of information about when to go to the Doctor, what the options are, etc. It's an interview with Dr. Alice Domar, who actually wrote "Conquering Infertility," a fantastic book that I actually reviewed over here! The only problem with the video is how easy they make treatment look. :/ IVF may give a 40% chance of pregnancy each cycle, but it's about $15,000 a cycle, SOOOO unless you're extremely rich, it's not something you can try more than once or twice.(or at all!) :/
Anyway, if you have never been on the infertility roller coaster, you will learn a lot from this video. :) Let me know what you think!


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Saturday, April 28, 2012

"One Lovely Blog" Award!

Thanks again Courtney at "Our Pathway to Parenthood" for sending me the "One Lovely Blog Award!"
 
Here are the rules:
1.  Share who gave you this award with link back to their blog.
2.  Write down 7 random facts about yourself.
3.  Give this award to 15 (or more) other bloggers.


My Random Facts:
  1. Right now there is a bird stuck in the wall in our house! This Saturday is not going to look like we had planned! :/
  2. I made LOADS of "movies" when I was in middle school. They all seemed to focus on romantic relationships, which is what was definitely missing from my life at the time. haha :)
  3. I currently take ballet classes twice a week and LOVE it! I haven't taken ballet consistently since I was little. Although I have "dabbled" a bit from time to time since then.
  4. I have my Master's Degree in Educational Administration. I'm not currently "using" it as I'm an Elementary School Spanish Teacher, but hopefully will eventually.
  5. My favorite movie of all time is "While You Were Sleeping" with Sandra Bullock.
  6. For breakfast every morning I have 2 scrambled eggs. On a good day I also have some yogurt or fruit. 
  7. I HATE being cold. Really hate it. I wouldn't mind moving further south. I really don't mind sweating since it means I'm not cold. :)
My Nominations (in no particular order):
  1.  A Little Blog about the Big Infertility (and Adoption Too!) 
  2. Believing in June
  3. Year Twenty-Seven
  4. Chef Shane Kelly: Real Food, Real Healing
  5. Chosen Ones
  6. From Gutters to Stars
  7. Beth Mathews: Print & Web Design... and Other Thoughts
  8. Infertility Awakening
  9. In View of God's Mercy
  10. That's a Jenn Story
  11. Lessons from an Infertile Social Worker
  12. Not a Fertile Myrtle
  13. Progressively Unnecessary
  14. The Shinnicks
  15. Waiting for Baby

Friday, April 27, 2012

Don't Ignore...

...those going through infertility.

If that's you, be sure to find a community that will support you 100%! And if you're not infertile, please don't ignore those that are.


Our church's newsletter recently did a "spotlight on infertility," sharing the story of 4 different couples that have either gone through infertility or are still going through it (one of the couples being us). The reason they did that is that Dave and I have started a ministry called Isaac's Prayer at our church for those going through infertility or pregnancy loss. We really felt there was a need, but unfortunately the ministry has kind of flopped. :/ It's interesting because we knew we needed community and wanted to reach out to others WHILE also wanting to be more connected ourselves, but no one has been coming to the support meetings. :/ We don't know what the future is of the ministry, but we felt called to it, the name means a lot to us, and so we're going to keep praying about how God wants us to proceed. We know there are people dealing with infertility in Nashville. They just must not know about our group! If you or anyone you know is looking for various kinds of support (we're thinking of transitioning the ministry to be an online prayer ministry), please email isaacsprayer@gmail.com.

ANYWAY, all that to say, infertility is pretty isolating. It's hard to feel connected to the world when you seem so left out of it. Here is a simplified list of ways to support those going through infertility that that our church leaders put together based on what the 4 couples contributed.

1. Be mindful of being overly optimistic. Sometimes that can be perceived as minimizing the pain. Avoid offering advice, random verses of scripture or words that minimize like, "Just relax, it will happen." Validate their experience and feelings. It's ok to not know what to say. Instead, show that you love and care.

2. Infertility is a loss. Sending cards, making meals, being present, giving a call, shooting an email, going for coffee or checking in are all great ways of support.

3. Infertility can be isolating. Being present and attentive is perhaps the greatest thing you can do. Ask, "How are you doing this week?" Be mindful that certain occasions, especially Mother's Day can be painful. Pray for those whose grief is heightened on those occasions.

4. Invite those who are childless to parties and activities, including baby showers, baptisms and family picnics. They might come. They might not. But always be inclusive.

5. Ask them what they need. And what might support look like for them? It's different for different people. Don't give up reaching out.

You can find the rest of the article here starting on page 7.We're on page 8!(There are other topics about our church covered as well. :)

And in other exciting news I've been nominated by Courtney at Our Pathway to Parenthood for the Lovely Blog Award! Yay! :-)
It involves writing random things about myself and passing along the award to other bloggers. I'll do that part tomorrow, but for today will still put up this awesome picture. Thanks Courtney!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Don't Ignore...

...your identity crisis.

This post is for those of you going through infertility right now. This is my story, but I have a feeling that it will be similar to many of yours  as well.


For me, infertility has brought with it great and unexpected grief. There are some areas of loss that I anticipated, such as the loss of things going according to plan, the loss of control, the loss of time I imagined having children in our home, or the loss of a whole lot of money! But, one loss I never anticipated after our diagnosis was the loss of my identity.
 
I never before realized how my entire life was planned with giant arrows pointing toward the day when I would become a mother. Everything from my career choice to the amount of money we had saved in our savings account was all intricately planned to facilitate becoming a parent. When I was a young child I would watch a video of my mom’s called “Bringing Home Baby” that was about everything you needed to,  well, bring home a baby. I made lists and “went shopping” among all my baby toy paraphernalia to be “ready” and then took care of my toy baby. A few years later, I would pretend I was the mother of seven children. I would name them all and pick their personalities and interests. I came up with detailed “activities” and put them in a calendar so I could organize my “children’s” lives. I pretty much always pretended and fantasized about being a mom.

Then, in college, despite the fact that I enjoyed my Mass Communications major, I learned that the hours weren’t very conducive to being a mom, so I changed my major to education. Even though I LOVE being a Spanish teacher and am 100% confident this is what I’m supposed to be doing right now, there’s no denying that the overarching dream of becoming a mom influenced this decision.

But, the worst part of making motherhood my identity came after marriage. Dave and I had a proposed date that we wanted to start trying and I counted down to that date. Even though parenthood always seemed (and still seems!) overwhelming, it was as if my heart was always drawn to it as the time my life would REALLY begin. So, I looked forward to that date with a lot of too much anticipation and excitement.  I drew up a “baby budget,” attempting to plan how much baby expenses would be and how that would work in our budget, if I could feasibly go to part-time work, etc.  I would even stroll down the baby aisle at Target imagining the things we would need for our baby, and even bought a few clearance items (oops). 

But, as time passed, after we got our diagnosis, and after our initial treatment plans (both naturalistic and then medical) didn’t work, I realized I had no idea who I was anymore. I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A MOM!  That’s all I could think about:  the fact that I flat out wasn’t who I was supposed to be! What was I supposed to do with my life if I wasn’t planning for motherhood? If I wasn’t actually able to do any mothering?!  Who the heck am I and what am I supposed to be doing with my life?! All this preparation. All this anticipation. All to just STOP. With no.forward.motion.

Since completely losing my chosen identity, I have been on a journey. A journey to discover who I really am with motherhood out of the picture. And it’s a very difficult and challenging journey. But, you know what? It’s also a beautiful journey! A journey of discovery. Of trying new things (and sometimes failing) and of discovering other things that I’m good at and that I enjoy doing that I never would have without infertility.  A journey that has connected me with people that I never would have gotten to know otherwise. A journey of slowing down and appreciating each moment of life as it comes, breathing deep and being mindful (ok, I’ll admit… I’m really just in the learning phase of those skills). But, at its core it’s a journey of appreciation of myself whether or not I ever become a mother. And of being content with God and His presence and power in my life without the other things I’ve told Him I so desperately "need". 

So, even though there are ways in which infertility has seemingly ruined by life, it can also give great gifts. I’ve been given the opportunity to discover who I am. I’m first of all a child of God, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a dancer, a writer, a learner, an encourager, an advocate, a servant, a pray-er, talker, thinker, listener, explorer, do-er, helper, crier, a planner and a laugh-er. And there’s still much further to go on this path. I still have so much more to discover about myself!

So, don’t ignore this time in your life and use this time to discover more about who you truly are! As I read recently on another blog, “Don’t Waste Your Infertility!” I’m not saying that infertility isn’t a horrible, awful thing. Because it is. But, I’m trying to look for the little gifts along the way and I hope you will too. Take this time to discover who you are without the pressure of needing to be a mother (or father). Because you WILL get there when you do you'll need a whole lot more than parenthood defining you. Take this time to feel truly loved, by your spouse, your family and friends, and mostly by God. And hopefully, one day (soon) we can all add “parent” to the list of who we are. And then, it will not be our only identity. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Don't Ignore...

YOUR.. part!

That's right! YOURS! Whoever you are! Whether or not you do or did ever struggle with infertility. Please don't ignore YOUR part in spreading awareness of infertility as a DISEASE and not just a temporary life inconvenience. Today is Advocacy Day, so please support those going through infertility and advocate for them and their desire to build a family. One crucial way of doing this is by advocating for change in the health care system and government. Unfortunately, infertility carries with it an extraordinarily high price tag. Most of the costs are emotional, relational, and spiritual. But, the big overwhelming cost that some of us just can't afford are the financial costs. It's easy to spend thousands of dollars just trying to find a diagnosis, let alone finding a resolution (whether through treatment or adoption). And even though infertility is defined as a disease, it is rarely covered by health insurance in any way. Our current health care provider doesn't even cover the costs incurred when multiples are born that were conceived by fertility treatment. How discriminating is that? :(

Here are some ways you can help advocate for us to support our family building process.

1. Help advocate for insurance companies to fund infertility treatments!
You can write your congressmen/women about the Family Act that would require Health Insurance companies to cover fertility treatments. Concerned that Fertility Treatment coverage would raise your monthly premium? Check out a few different articles that express that it actually SAVES insurance companies money because it's actually less expensive for them to cover fertility treatment than the cost of premature multiple births when couples try to transfer more embryos in a single cycle to prevent having to go through multiple treatments.


I know this is a controversial topic, but having personally experienced infertility and being told that treatment is an "elective" procedure (similar to plastic surgery) is quite a personal and emotional blow. So, please help support those who are unable to conceive without treatment by contacting your legislators!


2. Help couples fund their adoptions!

This can be done in various ways, like helping your friends plan a fundraising event or project. Or by donating to a specific fund already in place. I promise this is not just a request that you purchase coffee from our online store or attend our yet-to-be-planned fundraiser this summer. :) I would LOVE for us all to look around our communities and see how we can help build and support families together and this is something that would help adoption costs look less overwhelming to couples in the midst of it.

One way you can help is by signing this petition to help extend the Adoption Tax Credit. In the past there was a tax credit of up to $13,000 available for families that adopt. What an amazing and helpful way to offset such an expensive process! However, this credit is about to expire and unless we bring home a baby in the next 2 months we will not get any financial assistance this way. So, please sign to support an extension of this helpful financial assistance.

As a political conservative, it kind of bothers me to ask the government to help pay for things that I want to do (like adopt). However, I also feel that adoption shouldn't be so expensive and it breaks my heart that there are those out there in much worse financial shape than we are who are unable to have children naturally and ONLY because of a lack of money aren't able to start their families through adoption (or fertility treatment for that matter). With the average cost of adoption ranging from $20,000-$35,000, it certainly isn't a cheap undertaking! And I want to do what I can to help these people realize their dreams of starting a family! And at this point I refuse to judge whether people decide to build their families through the use of fertility treatment or adoption (or naturalistic methods... we tried those too!). Infertility is such an ugly and unfair struggle and  certainly don't feel comfortable telling anyone what the "right" way is for them to build their family based on their specific circumstances. I just want to support their efforts to build a family and I hope you will too!

Thanks for stopping by. I know today's post is more of a rant, but hey, I'm an advocate now and my blog is a place to share how I feel, right? :)
Here's more information from Resolve-

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Don't Ignore...

...our blog!

Ok... just kidding... you can ignore it if you want to. :) This is more of a explanation of what is happening on this blog right now. Tomorrow I will return to advocating for infertility for NIAW!

We REALLY need to learn to do this move!
If you've been following our blog for awhile, you will notice many changes today! We decided that David & Elizabeth Adopt was quite possibly the most boring name for a blog ever written. So, we've been pondering what kind of creative name to use. Then, there's also the fact that we thought there would be more exciting adoption updates to post regularly, but it turns out that once you get the paperwork done, you're pretty much just waiting. So this blog is now about a whole lot more than just the adoption process, but about what's going on in our lives. We also discussed how much we like the quote "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." Although we find it QUITE cheesy, it does simplify what we've been trying to do recently. Our struggle with infertility felt like a constant storm in our life and there's part of us that has felt like we'll just be in some horribly ugly place until we become parents. But, we've also realized how flawed this thinking is! So we are in the process of learning how to be content, joyful, peaceful and patient in spite of life not going how we want it to and being 100% unsure of what the future holds. :)
This photo is also adorable and a propos.

So, there you have it... we're trying to learn to dance in the rain instead of just waiting for the storm of infertility to pass! And of course, Dave's creative mind came up with Waltzing in Galoshes. I loved it and so here it is. :) And don't you just love the photo above? It fits our blog title so well. :) (Photo credit at the bottom of the blog)

And in other (errr.. similar) news, I'm LOVING National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). It's kind of time for me/us to feel very connected to others going through the same thing and feel like I have this one week to advocate about something I'm very passionate about. I truly believe in the power of people's connections and awareness. If you don't tell people what your struggle is, how will they know how to help you? I'm very, very into vulnerability and openness in friendships and the church and this week gives me an excuse to be as open as I'd like! To borrow a quote from a dear friend, "Just keep it real, honey!"

AND... here's something semi-exciting. I reviewed a couple of books about infertility in the past week that will be featured on the "Ladies in Waiting Book Club." You can pop over and read my first review here. I highly recommend this book club in general as it's mostly about reading and discussing non-fertility related books together and discussing them. I've discovered several good books by being a part of this club this year.

And of course, it's still "International Comment Leaving Week!" Remember, comments are the new hug! :-)

Anyway, that's all for now! Stay tuned for more infertility related posts tomorrow and hopefully adoption news in the not-too-distant future. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Don't Ignore...

... our confusion.
Let's face it. Infertility is confusing. WHY are we going through this struggle? It seems so frustrating and upsetting to have found yourself as 1 out of 8. Sure, that means we're not alone, but you know what? We're in the minority and we don't understand WHY.

Yesterday I posted information from "Resolve" on the risk factors for infertility.
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  • Tubal Disease
  • Endometriosis
  • DES Exposure
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol 
And you know what's EXTRA frustrating and confusing?! We have NONE of these risk factors! I mean, sure, Dave and I have drank alcohol in the past, but not at an unhealthy rate and since our diagnosis last year we have pretty much completely cut out alcohol. In the past year we could count the number of drinks we have had on our fingers, which I'm pretty sure is QUITE far under the average. :/

I know we are not the only people going through infertility that feel this way... how could we do absolutely everything "right" and still not be able to get pregnant? We certainly didn't wait too long. We don't have STDs and neither one of us have ever been smokers, etc. How does it make sense that the people we know that DO have these risk factors get pregnant so easily (and multiple times) while we cannot? It doesn't seem fair/right does it?

So, please don't ignore our confusion. We know that you can't make this situation make sense to us, but please be empathetic as we try to figure things out. This is very truly the most confusing and frustrating thing that has ever happened to us! How can you make such healthy life choices, do EVERYTHING in your power to be very healthy and to have your body not respond? It's very difficult to not think of your body as your enemy. Why won't our bodies do what we want them to, what they're SUPPOSED to do? Despite our very best efforts!?

For this I have no answer. And neither does anyone else. Even experts in the infertility world can't explain what causes infertility, and I can't tell you how many times we've heard, "this just might be the way you are." And that is horribly upsetting and demoralizing news to hear.

And we are not alone. Millions of other healthy people are diagnosed with infertility each year, wondering why in the world this would happen to them. And those that are diagnosed with "unexplained infertility" must be even more confused than we are!

To this confusion there is no solution. We MUST learn to accept our diagnosis and our life as it is. No amount of thinking this is unfair or wishing it away will make any kind of difference. We are excited to become parents through the beautiful gift of adoption! But, that doesn't take away our confusion. I think that confusion, that frustration, that loss will always be there. We cannot make sense of it and I think that will always make my brain hurt. :/ But, "it is what it is" and we must be thankful to God for how He will minister to us in spite of our confusion and our hurt.

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

We have to cling to these verses because truly, our own (and our Doctor's own) understanding will never understand this. We must trust in the Lord that even though infertility is a horrible disease, that God will bring something beautiful from it. And for now, that's what we're waiting for. :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Don't Ignore...

....Infertility!
Today marks the first day of National Infertility Awareness Week! So, this blog is temporarily dedicated to talk of infertility. Like I wrote last week, even though we are excited about God's plan for us to adopt, it doesn't take away the pain of infertility and the grieving we have had to and continue to go through. So, each day I will mention another part of infertility that we ALL shouldn't ignore!

My biggest thing when recommending that people not ignore infertility is please do not assume that everyone around you is fertile and wants to talk about baby and pregnancy related topics all the time. This is painful for those experiencing infertility. Now, before our diagnosis I would have assumed that everyone was indeed fertile, but infertility is a lot more common than you would think! 1 in 8 couples of childbearing age experience infertility. So, it's actually not appropriate for you to ask a couple without kids when they're going to start trying to build their family unless you are VERY close to them. It's likely that 1 in 8 times that you ask, you're asking someone that wishes they could say, "we already have kids!" but is unable to get there because of a medical problem That question should only be reserved for your closest friends and family to avoid awkwardness.

Also, please know that infertility does not mean sterility! If someone is diagnosed as infertile that usually doesn't mean they are unable to have children, but it does mean that they will need fertility treatments and fertility drugs (or a miracle!) to achieve a healthy pregnancy. However, treatment doesn't guarantee a healthy baby or even that conception will occur. Of course, everyone going through infertility treatment hopes and prays that their doctor's recommended treatment will bring them a baby (or babies), but there is no "silver bullet" treatment to parenthood. Even IVF, the most invasive and successful treatment, has, at best, a 50% success rate. So, what this means is that infertility has no easy solution and is oftentimes a very long and frustrations road, filled with failed treatment and dashed hopes. So, if you know people going through infertility, please be there to support them through this sometimes long and discouraging phase of their lives.

Below is more about infertility in general straight from the "Resolve" website (National Infertility Association) to kick off NIAW!

What IS Infertility?Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive system often diagnosed after a couple has had one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse, or if the woman has suffered from multiple miscarriages and the woman is under 35 years of age. If the woman is over 35 years old, it is diagnosed after 6 months of unprotected, well-timed intercourse.

Who gets it?Infertility is a medical problem. Approximately 30% of infertility is due to a female factor and 30% is due to a male factor. In the balance of the cases, infertility results from problems in both partners or the cause of the infertility cannot be explained.
What are the risk factors?
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  • Tubal Disease
  • Endometriosis
  • DES Exposure
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
What are the signs and symptoms?Often there are no signs or symptoms associated with an infertility problem. Listening to your body and getting regular checkups will help to detect a problem. Early detection and treatment of a problem are often critical in achieving successful pregnancy outcomes later.
How is infertility treated?Medical technology now offers more answers and treatment options to men and women trying to conceive a child. From hormonal treatments, ovulation induction and Intrauterine insemination to more advanced technologies like in vitro fertilization, ICSI to surrogacy, egg/sperm donation and even embryo donation. For more information on treatment of infertility visit the Family Building Options section of our site.
What medications are used?There are a variety of medications used to treat infertility. It is important to understand the medications and what their purpose is and to speak with your physician about the medications that will be used in your specific treatment plan. Read more about Fertility Medications.
What is artificial insemination?Artificial insemination is now more commonly referred to as IUI (intrauterine insemination). It is a procedure used for couples with unexplained infertility, minimal male factor infertility, and women with cervical mucus problems. The procedure uses the husband's or donor's sperm, washing and treating the sperm, and then injecting it into the woman during the time of ovulation. Read more about IUI.
What is In Vitro or IVF?In vitro fertilization (IVF) gets its name from the fact that fertilization occurs outside of the woman's body, in a lab dish instead of a woman's fallopian tubes. Typically, a woman will use ovulation stimulating drugs to produce an excess number of eggs. These eggs are surgically removed from the woman and fertilized in dish with sperm. If fertilization takes place, the physician transfers the embryo(s) into the women's uterus. Read more about IVF.
How can I find an infertility specialist?
Visit RESOLVE’s Professional Service Directory to find an infertility specialist in your area or visit www.sart.org.
Can my OB/GYN treat me? In many cases the difficulty experienced in becoming pregnant can be resolved by a gynecologist without a referral to a specialist. Often the problem comes down to timing intercourse with ovulation, which may be assessed using one of the over-the-counter urine LH test kits (ovulation predictor tests). Your OB/GYN can also conduct a basic infertility evaluation. If a problem is found during your evaluation and for more complex fertility issues, it is advised to see a specialist. 
What questions should I ask my doctor? It is important to go into the visit with your doctor prepared. Visit the "Downloads section" of this site which covers important questions to ask your physician on a variety of topics.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

International Comment Leaving Week (ICLW)

Today is the first day of International Comment Leaving Week. This is my first time to participate, so I'll give a brief overview. Thanks for visiting and commenting! :-)

Dave and I were diagnosed one year ago with infertility .We were told we had little to no chance of conceiving naturally. :/ We had always wanted to adopt after having at least 2 biological children, so we took this as a sign we should start investigating adoption. Even though we had one IUI after our diagnosis, we decided we couldn't financially or emotionally handle any more fertility treatments, so we are on the waiting list for domestic adoption. We're 4.5 months into our wait and trying to enjoy our time together as a free couple (while succesfully remaining impatient... haha!).

We're at the horse races this weekend and having so much fun! It's FREEZING (about 45 degrees right now... brrrr...) but we get SOO into choosing the "right horses" to bet on by reading their records, statistics, etc. and today made about $30 overall! (We make the $2 minimum bets on the horses we like, so that makes it pretty successful.) We LOVE taking trips together and this trip is definitely now an annual tradition! 


This is the horse that we placed a $6 bet on and won $30! (Now I just need to remember his name!)

Beautiful Horses
Tomorrow starts Infertility Awareness Week! I think I'm equally excited about spreading awareness and terrified about being very vulnerable online. Check back in this week to see a post every day!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Few Things

1. If you haven't yet, please sign this petition!! There has been a tax credit in the tax code for the past few years to help offset the cost of adoption. However, if we don't have a placement within exactly 2 months, there's no way for us to get any kind of help from the government. (And it's EXPENSIVE!) This petition is to help extend the tax credit for families like us that want to adopt, but for whom it would be a huge financial burden! Please help!

2. Our agency in Memphis has a birthmother that they're working with and will likely show her our profile within the next week or two. My first response was to just think, "ok, whatever," because we know our profile has been shown before. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that knowing ahead of time really gives us the opportunity to pray over this specific birthmother and her choice and pray that God's Will is done. Because we would be THRILLED if she chooses us, we will pray that that happens. :) But we also pray that God will minister to her, draw her to Himself and lead her to the right family, whoever that may be.


3. And lastly, National Infertility Awareness Week starts this Sunday!!! It's April 22-28.

Although I try to avoid talking about infertility on this blog, I will be talking about it every day next week with a new post. Several posts will focus on educating people about infertility, but I will get personal too. So, if you don't like reading about sad things, you may want to avoid my blog for a week, because infertility is such a grief. And you know what? As excited as we are about adopting, infertility will ALWAYS be a part of who we are. And it doesn't just disappear. Sooo.... it's about to get "raw." Both the good and the bad of infertility WILL be discussed. Not only will I write from my own perspective, but, if time allows, Dave will be guest posting. I'll also be sharing my thoughts on some books about infertility (that I have reviewed for another site) and will probably even have a giveaway or two! Resolve's (The National Infertility Association) theme this year is "Don't Ignore Infertility" and I'm sticking to that theme! I would LOVE it if you would join me in supporting those going through infertility and be willing to talk about such an uncomfortable, but hugely important issue!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Dinner

This year my parents weren't in town for Easter. (They got a couple of tickets to see the Master's Tournament, which isn't too far from my grandparents' house.) Unfortunately, we couldn't go since we both work at church and Easter is a pretty big holiday there. :) But, we love being a part of our church family for Easter, so we decided to host an Easter dinner as well!

We invited over some friends that also didn't have family in town and I'd say it went pretty great! Dave insisted we cook a lamb since it WAS Easter dinner and I will definitely recommend cooking it in the crock pot! It was fun to put the leaf in the table and we SQUEEZED 9 people around our table. It was even more fun to get out the wedding china, use our nice tablecloth and set it up FANCY! I'm kicking myself for not taking more pictures! I really wanted to take a picture of the table entirely set and the food in the pretty serving platters. Oh well... I guess we'll just have to host next year too. :) Here are just a few photos so you get a preview.

Here's the table mostly set the night before. 
After the table was mostly cleared, just a few glasses and the chargers are left.

Dessert! (I did not make these. But, both the gluten-free chocolate cake and lemon tarts were yummy!
This is just our backyard, but our NEWLY PAINTED PATIO FURNITURE! I tackled quite a few projects around the house this weekend, and spray painting our old, chipped patio set was one task. It looks SO much nicer now! :)
I think I may offer a prize if someone can identify the area in the yard where I actually did the spray painting. :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Christ is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!

No matter what is going on in our lives right now and how confused we might be, it is the significance of what we celebrate today, Easter Sunday, that reminds us how truly blessed we are! And it reminds me of how small I am in the scope of humanity and God's plan for the world. It is only when I feel humbled and grateful for Christ's sacrifice of His life for my own that I begin to have the right attitude and mindset. We pray that God would show us daily where He wants us to minister to others and how we can take place in HIS work and ministry and not our own.


All thanks, honor, praise and glory be to our Savior, Jesus Christ! I will leave with the lyrics to one of my favorite hymns, "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross."
 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
on which the Prince of Glory died; 
 my richest gain I count but loss, 
 and pour contempt on all my pride. 

 Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, 
 save in the death of Christ, my God; 
 all the vain things that charm me most, 
 I sacrifice them to his blood. 

 See, from his head, his hands, his feet, 
 sorrow and love flow mingled down. 
 Did e'er such love and sorrow meet, 
 or thorns compose so rich a crown. 
 
Were the whole realm of nature mine, 
 that were an offering far too small; 
 love so amazing, so divine, 
 demands my soul, my life, my all. 
 
My life, my all for the King that died for me and rose again?!
 I think I definitely get the better end of the deal!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Last Day to Contribute to "Impact Zambia!"

***Impact Zambia Update: 59 commitments with 1 day to go! Will you consider impacting a life like Lyness?
Lyness is just ONE of the twenty-two 7th grade students at Lifesong Zambia. Like Lyness, each student has their own story, their own past, and their own hurts. Because of the opportunity to attend the Lifesong School, each student now has the chance to find HOPE as they hear the gospel of Jesus Christ while receiving a quality education from the Lifesong Staff.   They are receiving HOPE in a way that many of them have never experienced before. A hope that never dies.
Grade 7 students
 
It is our desire to build High School classrooms for these 22 students by the fall school year. Not only to see them through graduation, but to invest in the rest of their lives as they grown into young men and women for Christ, breaking the cycle of poverty & unemployment.    Thankfully, in lieu of this expansion, a donor has generously offered to MATCH dollar-for-dollar the funds raised! The time to give is now!   We have 1 day left of the Impact Zambia 100 campaign. We are still praying for 41 commitments to supporting students like Lyness.     Will you consider joining Lifesong Zambia in changing lives for Christ?  To join Impact Zambia 100, email info@lifesongfororphans.org
"And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'" Matthew 24:40

Thursday, April 5, 2012

4 Months Waiting...

When talking with other potential adoptive parents (or following their blogs), they tend to write about how closely they watch their phones. Since the day they were approved to become adoptive parents they have always kept their phones with them because they might get "the call" at any time. I haven't had that attitude so far, mostly because our primary agency in Nashville has a pretty long wait time (18-24 months). I didn't anticipate we would get matched in the first few months, so I tried not to think about it and have tried focusing on other areas of life. But, now I'm getting antsy! I know that 4 out of 18-24 months is hardly that long, but I still wish we would be matched soon!

Four couples from our Nashville agency have been matched (that means that a birthmother has chosen them) since our home study was completed on December 6th. One couple was matched within the first month of completing their home study! (We had met them previously and were SO THRILLED when we heard!) I'm ready for it to be us now though. Of course, I LOVE to plan, but there's nothing to plan for here. I would LOVE if we could get matched soon for many reasons, including the fact that it would be ideal in my schedule as a teacher if we could bring a baby home during the summer, or before the Federal Adoption Tax Credit goes away (timing is REALLY running out on that one! EEK!), etc. etc. But, alas we truly have NO control over this! We are ready to be parents, but it's feeling quite far away right now. :/

So, please continue to pray for us and that God would bring us the right child in the right time and that we could wait patiently until then. And please, PLEASE pass along our profile and information to everyone that you can! You never know where there will be a life-changing connection made.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Impact Zambia Update!

***Impact Zambia Update: 30 commitments...4 days to go. Needing 70 more Impacters!
Impact children like Bwalya Bwayla & have your gift MATCHED!!
As you saw in the video, Bwalya Bwalya became a double orphan because of HIV/Aids when he was only five years and now he, too, is HIV+.  Thankfully, Bwalya Bwalya lives with his grandparents and is able to attend the Lifesong Zambia School. Despite his uncertain past, he has a hopeful future because of the presence of Christ in his life and the opportunity to receive an education.
We have launched an Impact Zambia 100 campaign that will help build a high school for Bwalya Bwayla and other children in similar life situations.  We are nearly 1/3 of the way there and have only 4 days left.  
We are looking for 100 people to make a monthly commitment of $20 for one year to help complete this building project. MATCHING GIFT OPPORTUNITY!  (that's right--gifts will be matched dollar-for-dollar thanks to a generous donor!) Sixty-seven cents a day from 100 people for a year can make this vision a reality for children like Bwalya Bwalya. 4 days left 70 people to go...Will you join us? To join Impact Zambia 100, email info@lifesongfororphans.org To learn more about Impact Zambia 100, click here.