more on the drama

I hate not being able to tell specifics. I really do.

The adoption plan is still in place at this time, however, there are some things that have happened that have complicated things for everyone involved.

And our lawyer told us to pray that God would bind “X” from happening, which could complicate things even further.

All of this, of course, leaves me feeling on edge.

I see the ticker up there and I see it says only 25 days and I just pray God allows this baby to come as soon as possible, although I know she will come on the appointed day God has chosen for her birth.

However, Melody is ready, we are ready and with these complications, it would just be a merciful act of God to allow Sweet Pea to go ahead and be born.

But the fact of the matter is God is still in control. And I am not.

And tonight, that is what is on the forefront of my mind.

It is almost as if God is reminding me of all that He has already done to place this baby with us and He is now asking me if I am going to continue to trust in Him to complete His work or if I am going to stupidly try to regain control and sit and worry for the next 25ish days.

I am going to trust God.

And let me tell you, even after all that God has already done in my life, it is a struggle to relinquish control and just rest in the knowledge that GOD IS IN CONTROL, not me.

But I know it is a choice that I have to make.

Am I going to worry or am I going to trust?

And I really feel like God has brought me to this place so that I can bypass the frazzled worry stage I usually put myself through before I finally surrender and just let God do His work in my life.

Tonight I am going to trust first.

Because I know God’s got this.

I know God is faithful.

I know He has a plan that will prosper me and bring me hope and a future.

And you know what?

I’m glad these complications are in the Hands of the One who created the universe, hung the stars in the sky and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

He can handle this.

Because nothing is too great for Him.

I feel your prayers and I know the prayers of many are a huge part of the peace I feel tonight.

Thank you.

God is Sovereign

Sometimes during my time with the Lord, I like to go back and read my journals.

Today I found something I wrote on April 28th, 2011 – a week after we learned that the woman working with Susan had decided not to place through her and about a week before I called Emily and figured out this woman had left Susan and called Emily!

Here is what I wrote:

God is sovereign.

That statement alone is the foundation of my complete trust in Him.

He created everything, He controls everything. And His Plans for my life are beautiful.

There was a day that I did not know of the work God was doing to bring me a little miracle.

Any day before April 9th, 2009, I did not know what God was going to do.

By my faith in God I was able to say things like…”God must have Something More” (in reference to all our failed infertility treatments), “I wait in great expectation of what God is going to do.” and “God is faithful still.”

And on April 9th, 2009, God started letting me in on His miracle and it WAS better than anything I had imagined.

As we now have really started our journey to #2, I am at that same place again …

Trusting God and expecting something better than my wildest dreams.

Because that is just how the God I serve works!

His ways are higher, His love is deeper.

And He is Sovereign.

the birds of the air

I have never written this down anywhere but the memory of it all is still very vivid in my mind.

It was back in January when we were dealing with “Tracy drama”. We were in the middle of trying to figure out if Tracy was pregnant or not.

I was over at my parents’ house because emotionally I just could not deal with lawyer phone calls and Tracy drama on top of taking care of Little Bug.

My parents have a huge window in their living room. In a quiet moment, as I was waiting on a phone call, I walked over to that window and looked out.

Framed between the trees and a neighbor’s house, as I looked out the window I saw a flock of birds flying freely.

Immediately this verse popped into my head:

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

I stood there and watched those birds. I thought about the fact that God knew exactly what was going to happen and He promised to take care of my every need.

I stepped away from the window for a brief moment and then came back to find the birds had flown away.

In that quiet moment God spoke to my heart by allowing me to see those birds and be reminded that God takes care of the birds of the air – He will certainly take care of me.

He did.

And He does – every day.

A Response to a Reader

I received an email from a reader asking me how I can believe in God since it can not be proven that He really does exist.

I am no Bible scholar and honestly, when I read this email, my first thought was that this email would be better suited for a pastor, not me!

But then I just poured the contents of my heart out to this reader because God IS very alive in my life. He is the reason I walked through the fire of infertility unscathed. He is my Rock, my fortress, my strength, my joy in troubled times.

And HE is the one who orchestrated the Miracle of Little Bug and He is going to do it again as we are now on our journey to #2.

No, I’ve never seen Jesus, but I have witnessed Him at work in my life numerous times and that gives me a voice to answer this reader.

This was my response:

Thank you for your email. I love to hear from readers, especially ones like you that are questioning everything about God. First, I want to say that questioning God is totally normal. Wondering if He exists? Totally normal.

No, we cannot see, touch and literally SEE God. But I know He is real because of what He has done in and through my life. I KNOW sometimes it is terribly hard to trust that He is real and alive and present in our lives everyday, even when we are in a dark tunnel and cannot see the light. HE IS THERE. You just have to learn to look for Him.
 
And really, this is what faith is all about…believing in the unseen. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
 
I can only speak from my personal experience of walking daily with the Lord. God is a very personal God and He speaks to us in very personal ways. I guess on the outside looking in you could say that my faith is so strong because I come from a family where generation after generation has walked with God and had personal relationships with Him. But I know that is simply not the case. Yes, I come from generations of Christian family members BUT their faith does not give me any more or less faith. It is totally the individual’s choice to believe in God to to not believe.
 
I put my faith in the Lord when I was 8 years old. As a teenager God started working on my life. And by working on my life I mean that He starting building my faith in Him and teaching me truths about Who He is and what He desires from me. It was during my walk through infertility that God really started to do major work in my life to build my character and my faith in Him.
 
I found myself in a situation that I had NO CONTROL OF WHATSOEVER! As much as I desired to be pregnant, I couldn’t MAKE it happen. Then on March 8th, 2009, when we learned our chances of conceiving, even with IVF, were extremely slim, I found myself in the darkest, lowest, most hopeless place I had ever been in in my entire life. Here I was, a girl who had always dreamed of pregnancy and giving birth to four children, and now I was being told that was never going to happen? You better believe I questioned what God was doing in my life. I mean, hello God!, YOU put this desire in my heart, right??? And now you are NOT going to allow me to conceive…ever?!?!? It made NO SENSE whatsoever to me.
 
But I also knew something else. I HAD TO CONTINUE TO TRUST GOD. I HAD TOO. WITHOUT FAITH, I had nothing, no hope. So I choose again to put my faith in the Lord and surrender.
 
As I look back on my journey, I think we don’t realize just how important surrender is in our walk with the Lord. God requires faith, but in order for us to experience the good plans God has for us (Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”) I believe that we must first come to the place of total surrender to GOD’S WILL for our lives. What this means is that we relinquish our need to control, to "fix" things to the way we think God wants.
 
Since March 8th, 2009, God has really been working on my life and teaching me so much about surrender. I believe it is paramount to discovering God’s Will for our life. I had to totally LET GO of my desire for pregnancy. Instead of feeling deserted and forgotten by God, I surrendered to HIS WILL, not having any clue what His will was, and it was THEN that God did a miracle in my life.
 
God had opened our hearts to adoption in Dec. 2008. After the cancelled IVF cycle, I knew God was saying no to more treatments and yes to adoption! In obedience to God, I started filling out adoption paperwork and working on a family profile to be shown to prospective birth mothers. If you’ve read my blog, you know the miracle God performed. A little over 2 months after learning I would never conceive, I was holding my baby girl in my arms through the miracle of adoption. The circumstances that brought Little Bug into my life are nothing short of a miracle. Something ONLY God could have orchestrated and done.
 
And you know what? That was His plan all along! And it was BIGGER and BETTER than my wildest dreams!!! So why did God put that desire in my heart for pregnancy and then not fulfill it? Because He knew He had SOMETHING MORE than even pregnancy to bless me with!
 
My heart is so full and so content. It is overflowing! God is sooooooo good. You have to choose to trust Him, choose to surrender and then….the rest is totally GOD. Obey where you feel God is leading you to go and then stand back in amazement at what God is going to do through your life because your faith is in Him!
 
As we are starting our journey to #2, God is already teaching me more about faith and surrender to Him. When the time is right, I will be sharing more on the blog.
 
I hope what I have shared here has encouraged you in some way. PLEASE write me back with any more questions you may have. I seriously would love to help you figure all this out. Our walks with God are a continuous journey of growth and learning more about God and the truths found in His Word. I would love to help you find your way through this dark tunnel you are in right now. There is HOPE and there is LIGHT, but it is only found in Jesus Christ.
 
Take care and I hope to hear from you again,
Elaine

National Infertility Awareness Week: Thoughts from an Infertility Survivor

I consider myself an “Infertility Survivor”. I know some people claim they will “always be an infertile”. I just don’t think that way.

Sure, physically, I will always be infertile. My rotten eggs are not going to suddenly become viable and produce a pregnancy.

Emotionally, I am no longer “infertile”. Infertility does not affect my every day life anymore, even though, technically, we are “trying to conceive #2”. However, there was absolutely no consideration from me to even attempt to go back to infertility treatments this time around.

My heart is completely, wholly, 100% set on adoption.

Infertility is a thing of the past, a season of my life that has come, and now has gone. And while infertility is no longer a part of my everyday life, infertility has certainly left a permanent imprint on my heart and molded me into the woman I am today.

And I am forever grateful.

This morning as I was writing in my journal, I decided that this is something I needed to publish. So here it is: (I pray it brings encouragement to those of you reading this who are affected everyday by infertility – or whatever other trial God may have placed in your life).

My heart is just filled with excitement. Excitement for the miracle God is going to perform…again!

I love being infertile because it has stretched my faith to the point where I can honestly look into a future filled with tons of unknowns and be completely at peace because I know God is working, even at this very moment, and is ready to allow something as horrible and ugly as my infertility to proclaim to the world, once again, that God is faithful through it all.

As I look back on this journey, which began almost four years ago, I can see that every failed cycle, every disappointment and every dream that was shattered was used in a way only God could orchestrate so that HE would receive glory and I would become the woman I am today.

As painful as this journey has been for me, I wouldn’t choose any other path. On the day I was born God knew my body would never procreate. He also knew He had something more planned for me instead.

09797 - 100_4622

As we have officially begun our journey to #2 I just stand in great expectation of what God is going to do next.

I know it will be nothing short of another miracle.

And that is just exciting to think about.

God is Sovereign

God is Sovereign.

That statement alone is the foundation of my complete trust in Him.

He created everything, He controls everything and His Plans for my life are beautiful.

There was a day that I did not know of the work God was doing to bring me a miracle.

Any day before April 9th, 2009, I did not know what God was going to do.

By my faith in God, I was still able to say things like… God must have Something More (in reference to all our failed infertility treatments), I wait in great expectation of what God is going to do and God is faithful still.

On April 9th, 2009, God started letting me in on His miracle and it WAS better than anything I had imagined!

As we now have really started our journey to #2, I am at the same place again…

Trusting God and expecting something better than my wildest dreams.

Because that is just how the God I serve works!

His ways are higher, His love is deeper.

And He is Sovereign.

A Delicate Dance

As I think about going through another adoption in the near future, I think back to the day that Little Bug was born.

There she was. The baby I had prayed for.

I had asked God to please put a baby in my womb, but He instead gave me Little Bug.

And she couldn’t have been more perfect or more beautiful than those first few moments of her life when I laid eyes on my daughter for the very first time.

Only thing was…she wasn’t my daughter…yet.

The picture you see below was taken when Little Bug was only 9 minutes old. That is my finger Little Bug has her tiny hand wrapped around. I was there during her first few minutes of life as the nurse worked on her a little bit.

09786 - 100_4611

The nurse did what she needed to do with Little Bug and then she swaddled her up and asked me, “Do you want to hold her?”

Of course I wanted to hold that precious baby that was promised to be my baby girl!

But I couldn’t. Not then.

Tracy and I had talked about this before delivery. Tracy would hold her first and then she would “pass her off to her mama”. (Tracy’s words.)

I am in no way saying that it shouldn’t have been this way. Tracy didn’t have to let me be there for Little Bug’s birth and she certainly didn’t have to even let me see her until TPR was signed days later.

But there I was. Witnessing it all.

I will forever be grateful to Tracy for giving me that gift.

At the same time, all of that was a loud and clear reminder to my heart that I was falling in love with a baby that wasn’t yet mine.

If Tracy decided to go through with her adoption plan, then Little Bug would be mine.

If Tracy chose to parent, I would have to pick up the pieces of my broken heart and move on.

09796 - 100_4621

I remember holding Little Bug for the very first time like it was yesterday. It was actually 21 months and one day ago, to be exact.

After many failed infertility treatments, realizing my dream of pregnancy was dying and then being told by a lawyer that I could have a baby girl in two months, I held that tiny five pound baby, and for a moment in time, I just stared at her and was in awe that my baby girl was actually in my arms.

I realized in that moment the pain of everything I had been through to get to that place was totally worth it.

Then the nurses had to take Little Bug away for monitoring and I remembered…

She isn’t mine until TPR is signed.

09844 - 100_4677

We had no reason to believe that Tracy wouldn’t sign the TPR, but, you just never know. Nothing is ever a guarantee with adoption. (Nothing is ever a guarantee with life..except, of course, God’s faithfulness through it all!)

Things can change from day to day.

And this is what stops my heart when I think about going through another adoption in the future.

Adoption requires me to step out of my comfort zone and take a huge risk, trusting that God will take care of me and His faithfulness will abound, no matter what happens in the end.

09828 - 100_4659

The picture you see above is a picture I took of Little Bug on the evening of her birth day. Before delivery, Tracy had told me she wanted me to stay with her in the hospital. I thought that would be a little too much, but I wasn’t going to miss out on being with Little Bug throughout the night given the opportunity!

So when visiting hours were over, Dave left to go home and I stayed with Tracy and Little Bug in the hospital room. Tracy left at one point and it was just Little Bug and me.

For a split second, I could pretend that it was actually me that had given birth! Except my stomach was flat as a pancake and my husband was gone and country music was playing on the TV. (That wouldn’t have been my choice!)

But there I was, alone with Little Bug, country music piercing the quietness of a sterile hospital room. I wanted to push time forward and just know…Is this precious baby girl actually going to be my daughter when everything is said and done?

Later that night, my cell phone rang. Tracy was again gone from the hospital room and it was my lawyer on the other end of the phone.

Tracy had called her and asked the lawyer to call me and tell me that Tracy wanted me to go home for the night, instead of stay there.

At first I laughed that Tracy had called the lawyer to tell the lawyer to tell me this! (If you knew Tracy’s personality, you would laugh too. She doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind. I do appreciate the fact that Tracy cared about my feelings to the point where she was scared to ask me herself and instead had the lawyer do her “dirty work”. Smile)

09827 - 100_4657

Wasn’t long, though, and I was in tears. All the fears that Tracy wouldn’t sign the TPR came flooding in that moment.

I couldn’t help but question in my mind:

Is she having second thoughts? Does she just want time with the baby? Is she just exhausted and needs some time to herself? Is she going to stay up all night and bond with the baby and then not be able to let go in the morning?

As Little Bug lay in that hospital bassinet, I had to tell her goodbye. I didn’t know if I would ever see her again, because you just never know what is really going on in an adoption process.

09837 - 100_4670

In faith, I leaned down into her little bassinet, gave her a kiss on the cheek and told her Mommy loved her and that I would see her tomorrow.

The floodgate opened wide as I spoke those words to her because I knew she wasn’t my baby girl, even though Tracy had made an adoption plan that included her signing her rights at 48 hours after birth and giving her to us to parent.

I walked out of the hospital room not knowing if I would ever lay eyes on that precious baby again. All I wanted to do was snuggle and hold her all night long and tend to her every need before she could even cry.

I love adoption but I hate the fact that for Little Bug’s first three days of life, I had to live in limbo not knowing if I would be her mother or not.

09817 - 100_4643

When I think about being in this place again in the future, I am scared.

I don’t want to go through all those emotions again!

I want to hold my baby in the first moments of his or her life and know that baby is completely mine. I don’t want to have to live in limbo for days and dance along the delicate line of allowing myself to fall in love with a baby and at the same time guard myself, just in case.

I want to love fully, completely, wholly from the moment I first lay eyes on “my” child.

Adoption does not allow that. Maybe some can do it, but my heart is always somewhat guarded until that baby is fully mine.

Just the way it is (for me, anyway).

09845 - 100_4678

When Dave and I find ourselves in this place again, I am going to have to rely on one thing.

When we are holding and loving another baby that is promised to be ours, but is not yet officially ours, I must remember that if that child is indeed the child God has planned from the beginning of time to be our second child, nothing, and I mean nothing, can disrupt God’s plan.

If that child is the one God intends to be ours, no obstacle along the way is too big for Him to overcome to make it so.

I can rest in that peace, knowing God’s got it all under control and His Plan will prevail…no matter what.

And in a way that only God can do, I can rest in peace knowing that God will take everything involved in another adoption process — the good, the bad, the ugly — and use it for good and for His Glory.

And really, that is what this is all about anyway.

It’s not about me, it’s not about another baby.

It’s not even about doing the delicate dance.

It’s about God and Him receiving glory through it all.

Just Be Still

I remember like yesterday the month of August 2008. We did our first IUI cycle in July and at the beginning of August we learned that the IUI had not worked and I still wasn’t pregnant.

Instead of jumping into another cycle right away, I felt like God just wanted to me take the month off and just be still before Him.

God used that month to teach me and prepare me for what was to come.

I feel like I am once again in that spot.

In the spot where God wants me to just be still before Him and know that He is God and He’s got what is to come – whatever that may be – under control.

He wants me to turn the worry off and just know that as he brought us through the journey that blessed us with Little Bug, He is going to do it again on our journey to #2.

I hate being human.

Because I am human I worry and I am afraid.

It is a constant daily battle to push the worry and fear aside and instead put my focus and faith in a God that I know has another beautiful plan for us as we seek to grow our family.

The Bible tells us we can’t add a single day to our lives by worrying, yet, even after all God has done through the miracle of Little Bug, I sit here today worried!

Makes no sense whatsoever.

And yet, it makes all the sense in the world because … I am human!

Fortunately, my faith is in the Lord and I know just what to do when the worry creeps in.

Turn away from my worries and fears, put my faith and trust once again in the Lord, accept the strength God has given me because I am a child of His and take the leap of faith God is asking me to take knowing He is walking with me and He already knows what is going to happen.

God doesn’t promise ‘easy’ but He does promise a future that will prosper me and bring me hope.

My relationship with the Lord isn’t something I “do”. It is who I am. And ultimately I know this journey to #2 is not about me, or even another baby.

It’s about God.

It’s about God receiving glory in and through me as I walk this path.

And it’s about being still before the Lord and allowing Him to teach me and mold me through this time into more of the person I was made to be.

 

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

‘easy’, please.

After much more thought over the weekend and a good long talk with my wonderful husband, I have realized that I am just wanting things to be “easier” when it come to family planning.

While I do not have a longing to be pregnant like I did just two years ago, I am envious of couples who are able to choose when and how to grow their families.

As Dave and I were discussing our options this weekend I looked up at Dave and said, “All this sadness I’ve been feeling comes from the fact that we can’t decide to have another baby, jump in the bed and two weeks later stare down at a positive pregnancy test and then joyfully tell our family and friends that we are going to have another baby.”

Instead, we are going to have to put our names in with the agency, wait for a phone call that could come in a month or a year or longer, prepare for the birth of a baby without a guarantee that we will bring this baby home, welcome a baby into the world, hold and love that baby for several days before TPR is signed and baby officially becomes ours.

Adoption is a beautiful thing but it is filled with emotional ups and downs that just do not come into play when you are pregnant with your biological child.

So, there is all that and then there is the big picture.

Infertility is the cross that God has asked me to bear as I live my life on earth.

Every single Christian has a cross in their life. Something that God has allowed to be there so that He can use it for His good and for His glory.

Those fertile couples I spoke about earlier? They all have some other cross God has asked them to carry for His Glory.

The question here is not, Why can’t Dave and I be fertile and have kids the ‘easy’ way?

The question here is Am I going to surrender my desires and allow God to do the work He desires to do through this cross (infertility) He has given me to carry as I live my life here on Earth?

When I think in those terms, I get totally excited about pursuing another adoption in the near future.

Why?

Because I know God has a plan, just as miraculous as the one that brought us Little Bug.

I know God is going to walk with me every step of the way. He has not asked me to carry this cross alone. He is here. He is walking with me. He is carrying the load when it gets too heavy for me to bear on my own.

I have to force those thoughts about wishing things were “easier” away because ultimately my desire is for my life to bring Glory to God’s name.

My infertility is the avenue God is using in my life to bring Glory to His name.

Every single one of us, fertile or infertile, has something in their lives that God is asking them to bear for the glory of His name.

The question we all need to be asking ourselves is Am I going to allow God to use this in my life for His Glory or am I going to run away from it or seek my own desires concerning it?

Ultimately, I want God to receive glory again through my infertility and I know I can do another adoption through Christ who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:13) It’s just a matter of uniting my head and heart and then God can begin His work.

Whatever happens as we pursue another adoption, God already knows and it’s a part of His plan.

He is in control. I really do just have to sit back and watch my life unfold. I don’t have to do anything.

Except be obedient to His calling.

I know God wants us to pursue another domestic infant adoption this summer.

For a week now, my spirits have been so downcast because I want an “easy” path this time.

Looking at the big picture now, I want God to do something more with my life once again that clearly demonstrates to the world that God is God and His plan is perfect and better and bigger than anything we dream up ourselves.

It’s time to once again surrender my desires for “easy” and get on board with God because, whatever His next plan is for #2, it’s going to be marvelous.

Marvelous in a way only God can do marvelous.