I am thankful for my broken reproductive system.

Well, here I am again during what is suppose to be my blogging break! I wanted to post this on Thanksgiving Day so here it is!

 

Today is Thanksgiving and this past week I’ve been doing a lot of thinking back on my infertility years. The people in the Bible did a lot of reflecting on the work the Lord had done for them in the past and that is exactly where I find myself today.

Who knew having a reproductive system that doesn’t work properly could be so beautiful?

In 2007, I certainly wouldn’t have thought this was so but standing here at the end of 2013, I am thankful.

I am thankful for my broken reproductive system.

Why?

Well, for starters, I wouldn’t have the relationship I have today with my Heavenly Father if it wasn’t for going through infertility.

Infertility stripped me of my identity. I grew up thinking I would get married and have babies and that didn’t happen. I went to college to be a teacher, but always in the back of my mind and always on the forefront of my heart was my desire to be a mother. And then I couldn’t get pregnant.

And I learned that my ability to have children does not make me who I am.

I am a Child of the King. And He had different plans for me. I found my identity in Christ.

There is something to be said about reaching a point in your life where nothing is going according to how you thought it would go and you are powerless to change anything about it.

You could say I was at the mercy of fate. But I know better.

I was standing in the fire (infertility being my fire) and I had to chose my faith in Jesus Christ or chose faith in my plan that I had been counting on for years.

Being in that spot where you are stripped of everything familiar and then you are powerless to change anything, makes you either turn to your faith in Jesus Christ or turn away from Him.

By God’s grace and mercy, I turned to Him. Everything I had learned as a child and teenager about God was put to the test.

Is God really good?

Does He really have good plans for my life?

Can He really take something as horrible as infertility and make good come from it?

Walking that road, and learning to trust God in a way I had never before trusted in Him, I learned the answer to every single one of those questions.

And the answer was, and still is, a resounding YES YES YES.

God IS good, He did and He does have good plans for my life and only He can take something as horrible as infertility and make good come from it.

My faith in Him was stretched to the limit, but His faithfulness was ever-present every single step of my journey.

When God gave me a poem four months before we even knew anything about Little Bug and the poem said we’d have a baby girl in May, and we did………..God’s faithfulness was there.

When we knew our time with infertility treatments had come to a close and God was telling us to adopt and then almost exactly a month later we were matched with Tracy…….God’s faithfulness was there.

When we turned in our paperwork to the adoption agency and then stood in the delivery room holding our firstborn child just 48 days later……..God’s faithfulness was there.

When God gave me the joy of announcing on Christmas Day 2010 that Baby #2 was on the way even though that baby was miscarried by Tracy, but little did we know, another woman – Melody – was pregnant with the baby that would become our second daughter……..God’s faithfulness was there.

When God prompted a friend of mine to tell me about an adoption situation her lawyer had and we decided to pursue it even though it turned out not to work out (or so we thought!!)…….God’s faithfulness was there.

When we contacted our adoption agency on May 2nd, 2011, to say we were ready to start the process for #2, and then were matched ten days later with the very same woman from the situation we had thought had not worked out……God’s faithfulness was there.

When Melody was taken away to a city 1.5 hours to deliver Sweet Pea and we worried about the logistics of a NICU stay in another city and being away from Little Bug but then God worked out every single detail right down to free accommodations the entire week Sweet Pea was in the NICU…….God’s faithfulness was there.

I reflect back on all that and I am thankful for my infertility. Without it, I wouldn’t have experienced God in the ways I have over the past six years.

And that would be tragic. Being barren is not tragic when you look at it outside your own point of view and instead see the work God desires to do through your barrenness.

Before 2007, I knew God was faithful, but right here right now in 2013 I know God is faithful in a way I didn’t know before I walked the road of infertility.

I’ve seen His hand perform miracle after miracle. I’ve seen him part the Red Seas of my life and make a way for me to be a mother and for two women to know their daughters would be well taken care of when all three of these situations seemed hopeless and motherhood for me was becoming a pipe dream.

The faithfulness of God is a thread that we can see woven throughout the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. It starts when God made a promise to Abraham that He would make him into a great nation.(Genesis 12:2)

The interesting thing is this: Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was barren!!

How was Abraham suppose to be father of many great nations if his wife could not get pregnant???

Oh God had a plan. A plan that would show His hand at work as only He could do. A plan that would proclaim the mighty works of a God who is good, a God who has plans to prosper us and a God that can make something beautiful even out of something so painful and ugly as infertility.

The same God who made Abraham the father of many nations made me a mother in 2009 and 2011.

His faithfulness continues through all generations. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8)

This is something we can all be thankful for no matter where we find ourselves this Thanksgiving Day 2013. Because even if you find yourself right in the middle of your “fire” – whatever that may be – God’s faithfulness is there.

Look for it and I promise you, you will find it.

Black Friday

Black Friday was not spent shopping! I don’t like to shop on a normal day, much less when it is madness out there!

Thanksgiving night we watched Home Alone. It’s a family favorite. My brother and I have watched this movie every year during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday since we were kids. I already told him we need to watch again when he comes back for Christmas!

We let Little Bug watch a little bit of the movie. She had an early bath and then sat with Bisa for part of the movie before it was time to go to bed.

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Then on Black Friday we woke up (at a decent hour) ate a waffle breakfast cooked by my mom and then we decorated my parents’ Christmas Tree. Little Bug was SO excited to do this. She kept saying all morning, “I’m going to go to the attic to get the ornaments!”.

Wesley and I fought over who would put the angel on the top of the tree this year like usual and, turns out, Little bug won out! Winking smile

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It is interesting decorating a tree with a 3-year-old little helper! Little Bug did a good job putting the ornaments on the tree. She was so cute.

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It got even more interesting when the 15-month-old helper woke up from her nap and came downstairs! She was trying to crawl in all the boxes!

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I LOVE seeing my girls experience something for the first time. This is Sweet Pea’s second Christmas but last year she was just 3-4 months old and she doesn’t remember a thing. She came down from her nap, found this snowman on the tree and had the biggest smile on her face.

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We are teaching her to point at the ornaments instead of take them off the tree.

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Wonder what she will think when we put one of these up in her house?!

New Traditions

This was the year of new traditions. In Thanksgiving’s past, we’ve always gone to my Grandpa’s house for Thanksgiving. Since he is no longer living at his house, we didn’t have a family gathering there and we hope to get together with that side of the family in the summer at the beach.

So, this year we were “home”. We packed up and drove 20 minutes to spend Wednesday through Friday at my parents’ house.

Thanksgiving morning Uncle cooked his famous Pancake breakfast with his little side-kick.

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After breakfast, Little Bug spent the entire morning with Grams in the kitchen cooking our Thanksgiving feast. Little Bug loves to cook and she proved that she really could stay in the kitchen all day cooking given the opportunity!

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Actually, I am not so sure how much cooking she was doing. She might have been taste-testing more than cooking!

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Grams needed an orange for one of her recipes so Sweet Pea and Gramps walked down to Bisa’s house (my grandmother) and picked an orange off her tree to bring to Grams. When they got back we told Sweet Pea to take the orange to Grams and she walked right into the kitchen to give it to her!

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I took this picture just to take a picture of her hair. Smile

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I thought I was going to be really sad this Thanksgiving since I wouldn’t be with the family at Grandpa & Grandma’s house, but, (and I really can’t believe this) I didn’t even think about it until my Grandpa called me Thanksgiving night! I guess I just realize (in my old age, haha) that life brings change and things only last for a season. The season of Thanksgiving at Grandpa & Grandma’s house is past and a new season has begun – Thanksgiving at my daughters’ grandparents house! I am thankful for the memories of Thanksgiving at Grandpa’s house and I am thankful for memories of today and the years to come.

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We went outside around noon to take a family picture and…

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…pretty good compared to last year’s!! Winking smile

Uncle is eating up his time with his two little nieces.

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These little girls are two of my greatest blessings in this life.

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I am thankful that even though life changes, God’s faithfulness remains the same through the ages.

Happy Thanksgiving

This week officially starts the Holiday Season in my book.

Dave has taken this week off from work, Wesley is flying into town for the week today, and I am looking forward to a fun-filled Thanksgiving week with my family.

For that reason, I am taking a blogging break this week.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I leave you with this picture from last Thanksgiving.

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A year later and it is still cracking me up.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

She should have been a turkey.

Thursday was Little Bug’s Thanksgiving Feast at preschool!

And as you can tell from these pictures, Little Bug was not having it.

But, this is just Little Bug for now. She is three. Three and a half years old (almost) to be exact. And as I have noticed, at the year mark and half-year mark, Little Bug goes through a “funk” that lasts about two weeks and then my sweet girl returns.

This current funk includes arguments and negotiations about what Little Bug wants to do.

Our response as her parents is a re-teaching of first-time obedience and a requirement of her just saying “yes mam” and “yes sir” when told to do something.

Anyway…as soon as I walked in the room, the drama began with tears. She didn’t want to sing and didn’t want to wear her Indian costume.

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Then she started reaching for me with this pathetic little look. I told her to come to me and held her and gave her hugs and then I told her she had two minutes and it was time to go back and sing her songs with her friends.

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The program started and she slowly walked back, keeping a scowl on her face the whole performance and not singing one word of the songs!

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After the performance, Princess Frown came down from stage and wanted to get out of her costume immediately.

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We went to her classroom where everyone enjoyed a Thanksgiving Feast, and Little Bug finally perked up.

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She had quite the audience!

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In the middle of eating her pumpkin pie Little Bug loudly said, “Gramps!!! Gramps, you are in Mrs. S’s chair!”.

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After the feast, the class played some games and then read a Thanksgiving book. Sweet Pea had fun with sister at school!

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Oh, this child. She has me laughing one minute and wanting to pull my hair out the next.

She’s a little turkey…that is for sure!!