Saturday, June 19, 2010

Half Marathon Training

My training is well underway for the Virginia Beach Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon on September 5th. I first wrote about this here. Training for a half marathon is something I have always wanted to do, and since I am determined not to have this waiting time be wasted time, now was the perfect time.

We ran 6 miles today! I can't believe how quickly I have improved - when I first started 2 miles was a struggle. We will continue to step up the miles every Saturday until we reach 13 miles.

The other part of all this is the people affected by blood cancers. Every four minutes, someone is diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma. The mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is to cure blood cancers and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

One of the aspects of this disease that has really touched my heart  is the fear that cancer survivors live with after the chemotherapy and radiation are over with, when they wake up the next day and wonder when/if their cancer will come back. An estimated 912,938 people in the United States are currently living with, or are in remission from, leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, NHL or myeloma. My sister Debbie is one of these people. I will be running in her honor.

If you would be interested in supporting me in my goal to raise $3000 to help cure blood cancers, please visit my fundraising page below. I am required to raise $2200, but I would like to exceed this minimum.

Becky's Fundraising Page

Your support would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Notarized Copy of Home Study Received!

I finally added a "waiting to adopt" ticker to track our waiting time. Hard to believe we have already been waiting almost 3 months for a referral! I actually haven't thought a lot about the waiting time. I think that will happen once we actually have a referral and are waiting for the specific child that will become our child. I think that wait will be agonizing.

We finally received a notarized copy of our home study in the mail today! Now we can file our I600A with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form is called an "Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition." This basically allows the federal government to give us approval for adoption prior to receiving a referral. Thankfully, it is a short form. We submit it along with our home study, birth certificates, and marriage license. Then we get an appointment for MORE fingerprints. Between getting a government job and going through the adoption process, it will be my third time (and 5th set - one for the FBI and one for the state) of finger prints in a year! After we get a referral, we file an I600, which is called a "Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative." It feels so good to take even this small step forward.

Tomorrow evening, our adoption agency is having a waiting families support group meeting for the Korea program. I am excited (and a little nervous) about it. I am hoping it will give us the opportunity to connect with another couple who has shared our experience with infertility, whether primary or secondary. I remember being very disappointed when we went to the pre-adoption training class. I was expecting there to be other couples like us, but there wasn't. I am sure this wait is hard for everybody, but honestly I really don't think it is the same for someone who has 3 boys who decided to adopt because they really want a girl. I am really not ready or interested in connecting with these families right now. I know this attitude represents some ugliness in my heart, but I want to be honest about what I am feeling on this journey, and not just share the parts that are pretty. I am sure there will come a time when I see one of these families across the room, and there will be an instant recognition and connection based on our shared journey. But I am just not there yet. Right now I feel I could best give and receive support from another couple who has a history of infertility who has/is experiencing many of the same emotions we are.

Please say a prayer for our meeting tomorrow.

P.S. IVF post is coming up - I haven't had a chance to sit down and write it. I know it will take me a little more time to write and I don't want to rush through it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Worshipful Wednesday #5 - "Immeasurably More"

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Eph 3: 20-21
This has been one of my favorite verses throughout my struggle with infertility/childlessness. I love this reminder that the Lord is able to do immeasurably more than all I could ask or imagine. I believe this and I have witnessed it specific to infertility in the lives of the many of the ladies on my blog list. Check them out if you are looking for some encouragement and a reminder of what the Lord is able to do.

But today I want to praise God for an area of my life where He has already done "immeasurably more" than I could have imagined. On Sunday, as I was sitting beside my husband, feeling his shoulder against mine, singing "Majesty" I was overcome with the thought of how blessed I am to have him beside me. This verse came to mind as I realized how God gave me a husband who is "immeasurably more" than I asked or imagined was possible. Shortly after committing my life to the Lord in March of 2002, I began to ask God for a husband. Quite honestly, it was a prayer I thought I would be praying for a while. But only 2 months later, John and I had our first date and I knew I had met the man I would marry. But even then I had no idea how greatly God had blessed me. As I have seen John grow in his faith becoming a godly man who loves the Lord, I have been overwhelmed by God's grace and mercy to me.

Thank you Jesus for your goodness and mercy.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lend Me Your Hope

I came across this poem recently. It described well how I was feeling while I was "in the valley."

Lend Me Your Hope (Author Unknown)

Lend me your hope for a while,
I seem to have mislaid mine.
Lost and hopeless feelings accompany me daily,
pain and confusion are my companions.
I know not where to turn.

Looking ahead to future times
does not bring forth images of renewed hope.

I see troubled times,
pain-filled days,
and more tragedy.
Lend me your hope for a while,
I seem to have mislaid mine.

Hold my hand and hug me;
listen to all my ramblings,
recovery seems so far distant.
The road to healing
seems like a long and lonely one.
Lend me your hope for a while,
I seem to have mislaid mine.

Stand by me,
offer me your presence,
your heart and your love.
Acknowledge my pain,
it is so real and ever present.
I am overwhelmed
with sad and conflicting thoughts.

Lend me your hope for a while.
A time will come when I will heal,
and I will share my renewal,
hope and love with others.

I am not sure about the Author Unknown part. I read on another website that this is based on a poem called "Borrowed Hope" by Eloise Cole so I want to give her credit.

I can't say I completely relate to all aspects of this poem. I know where to turn. I know the Lord has not and will not leave me nor forsake me. The Lord has promised this and He is faithful to all He has promised. And I know He has a plan for us and I continue to hope in the Lord.

But there are times on this journey when I feel overwhelmed with sadness and uncertainty. At those times I feel like I need to borrow some hope.

To be truthful, I always thought my family and friends would say, "maybe it's not God's will for you to be parents." But they never have. I remember saying "if I become a mom" to one of my sisters one time, and her correcting me saying, "when you become a mom." In that moment she lent me her hope.

And after my last post, many of you lent me your hope. And in the process, mine was renewed. Thank you friends.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Searching for the Quickest Path

Another cycle has passed. This one wasn’t as hard as the last one. I had a bit of a revelation as to why I have been having such a hard time recently. I thought I was “at peace” with not ever experiencing pregnancy. It was what we told our social worker. It felt true at the time. So what was going on? I realize now that when we got the news about the delay in the adoption, my mind began to race around searching for the quickest possibly path to a child. I was trying to find a way to make it happen. A miracle pregnancy that would bring forth a child in 9 months seemed like my best (and by best I mean quickest) option. Ever since we got the news, I have been hoping God would do a miracle and rescue me from this situation. And when I am not thinking about a miracle pregnancy, I am wondering why we can’t get a phone call, as several others I know have, making us parents in a matter of hours. I have been begging God to intervene in some way. The other thing I realized is that it has only been a year since we were officially "done" with infertility treatment. For me the grief comes in waves. I don't know if it is possible to grieve such a big loss as this all at once.

The truth is I have been a bit of a mess lately - sometimes angry, sometimes bitter, sometimes jealous, and often grieving. I always felt so strong in this battle, but now I fear it may overwhelm me.

The news about our adoption rocked my world, and not in a good way. I don't think I realized how much it had affected me until this past week. The other night I was discussing all this with John. He responded that he felt we were just “waiting for the other shoe to drop” and he began to list off the series of losses that have occurred for us throughout this journey. This news rocketed me out of the comfortable secure place I was in mentally and emotionally. I really don’t understand why it has affected me this way. But suddenly, international adoption became much less of a sure thing for me. It became vulnerable. Truthfully, it always was. I knew that any number of things could cause disruptions in international adoption (like say a war between North Korea and South Korea) and even a birth mother changing her mind after you receive a referral. I knew all of this before, but for once I wasn’t concerned about it. This was going to be our time. It was finally going to happen for us. I could hope and dream. And in an email it came crashing down. For reasons, I can’t entirely explain it no longer seems real to me. Adoption now feels abstract, distant, an occurrence that may or may not happen someday.

But I want to hope again.

I want to be excited again.

I want to dream again.

P.S. I am sorry I have been such a bad blog friend lately in terms of offering support and comments. My heart has just been very heavy lately and I haven't had the strength. Morningsun, I will answer your question regarding whether we would ever do IVF again in an upcoming post.