Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wendi is here!!!!

In adoption news, we had our fingerprint appointments for our I600a (immigration) application done last week. Hopefully, we will receive notice of approval soon. Next step – referral!!! We have been waiting 4 months as of Monday.

One of my co-workers has been dealing with secondary infertility and recently she and her husband made the decision to pursue adoption from South Korea. They did a ton of research on agencies, the really cool thing is this – they ended up deciding on the same agency as us! It really affirmed our choice for us, since we did far less research. It is also nice to be able to share experiences with someone else on the same journey. Recently, we were discussing the fact that we are in fact expectant moms (just with an 18 month gestational period). However, this fact is rarely acknowledged by anyone else and to be honest most of the time I don’t feel like one either. This conversation led to a discussion about adoption baby books. Has anyone heard of or used one of these? Any recommendations?

Here are a couple of the ones I am considering:

 The other BIG news – Wendi is here!!!!!!

She, her hubby, and their two little miracles, Isaac and Elijah, are here for a short visit en route to their next duty assignment. Wendi’s husband John and my John worked together at Eglin AFB in Florida, which is how we met. Initially, we bonded over our shared struggle with infertility, but as we got to know each other we quickly became friends. We haven’t seen them in over a year so I am so excited! If you have never read Wendi’s story, click over to her blog and read about what the Lord brought about. You will be blessed. I am always reminded of God’s perfect plan when I see what the Lord has done in her life. We have been having a wonderful time together. Though it will be very sad to say good-bye, I am looking forward to a visit with them in the spring.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Worshipful Wednesday #6 - The Lord is my Strength

"The LORD is my strength and my song; 
He has become my salvation. 
He is my God, and I will praise Him, 
my Father's God, and I will exalt Him."
Exodus 15:2

"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10

"It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect."
2 Samuel 22:33

"God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble."
Psalm 46:1

As I continue the process of "letting go" (I wrote about it in my last post), these verses have really been speaking to me as I have looked to the Lord for strength. I thank God that He arms me with strength and is my ever-present help in times of trouble. What is so amazing to me is that in Christ, I don't have to rely on my own strength and in fact when I am at my weakest, His power is made perfect.

"But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, 
for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Cor 12:9

One of my most consistent prayers for John and I is in Paul's letter to the Colossians:

"And we pray this in order that you may live worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light." Colossians 1:10-12

I want my life to be worthy of the Lord and pleasing to Him in every way. I want the Lord to be glorified in my life. He will give me the strength to live such a life and enable me to have "great endurance and patience" as I face the trials of this life. He will do the same for you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Letting Go

I mentioned I hadn't been blogging as much in a previous post because I had been a little down. This is a cycle that has been repeated over the past several months. You can see that in these posts from January, February, May, and June. Unfortunately, this past month was no different. What is making it worse is my cycles have lengthened to around 32 days these past couple of months (maybe because I have started running?). I have always had very regular cycles so I was not able to keep myself from thinking just maybe I could be pregnant. The other possible explanation for the lengthening that crossed my mind was perimenopause. I will be 36 in November so that is not out of the realm of possibilities, though it would put me in the earlier part of the age range. I have also had a few other changes that make me think perimenopause is a possibility. Technically you can still get pregnant during the perimenopausal period, but it was a heartbreaking thought nonetheless. I guess what it comes down to is I am grieving the loss of pregnancy and creating a child with my husband.

The decision I have reached is this, I need and want to give my whole heart to pursuing adoption. Adoption is the path the Lord has led us along and so I must follow that path. While I know it is possible a miracle pregnancy could occur, I can no longer hope for it. I am letting it go. I cannot continue the monthly cycle of hope and despair any longer.

And so I have been grieving the loss of this hope/dream/desire. I have never really grieved the loss of pregnancy itself. I have grieved over the past. I have grieved over the death of our baby. I have grieved infertility/childlessness, but not pregnancy. For my own mental health, I think it is best if I accept that pregnancy is most likely never going to happen. I can’t continue on this way. I will just have to be surprised if it happens. But for now, I will carry on as if it never will. I am letting go. But it is so very hard.

I know God has a plan for us and I choose to trust Him. I also know that adoption is wonderful and is in no way second best or plan B. But it doesn't erase the losses. One of the things I have heard mentioned in several adoption books and articles is how unresolved infertility grief negatively impacts your children. I owe it to our future children to grieve these losses now and find peace, comfort, and healing. I want to give my whole heart to my future children. Though this process is painful now, it is necessary and it will be worth it.

Thanks to all for putting up with my ups and downs lately. I can't say this is the last of it, but I am hoping this is a step in the right direction.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Poor Little Pooch

While I was away last week for work, Annie had a bit of a run-in with a Saint Bernard while on a walk with John. You can see who came out ahead. The other dog got loose from its owner and went after Annie. Thankfully she  is okay. The vet cleaned out the wound and gave her a shot of antibiotic. She is on antibiotics to prevent infection and seems to be healing fine. The dog's owner was nice enough to pay the vet bill. They had recently gotten her from a shelter so they are not sure what triggered her to go after Annie, but they think she had been used to hunt in the past so maybe that was it.

In other news, I am by myself this week while John is out at a field exercise called Bushmaster (he left this morning). That means five nights by myself. I am such a baby when he's gone. I usually repeat Psalm 4:8 about a million times (possibly a slight exaggeration) at night when I am trying to get to sleep.

"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety."

 Last night we ordered Chinese and watched the movie Green Zone. It was pretty good, definitely more of a guy movie. I was just glad to be able to spend some time with John before he left so I really didn't care what we watched.

Today I took part in a bake sale fundraiser for my half marathon training with Team in Training. There were 4 other participants so we will split the money 5 ways. There were definitely some generous people when I was there, so hopefully we did pretty well.

Afterward I went bathing suit shopping :(

Never fun, but I think I managed to find something that was cute and not too revealing. It was on sale at Macy's, but it was still more than I have ever paid for a bathing suit. Of course, it will be totally worth it for Hawaii! I can't wait.

As you can see, I changed my blog background. I was getting tired of the pink. I would really love a new blog design, especially a header with pictures. For the rest of the blog and the background I want to keep it simple. Unfortunately, I don't know how to design a header. I think you need Photoshop? I have been debating about paying someone, but we'll see.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hawaii Honeymoon Booked! (and a few other updates)

1) Thank you to everyone who prayed for our waiting families meeting at our adoption agency. I really appreciated all the encouraging comments. I apologize for not posting about it sooner - I really just haven't been up to writing these last couple of weeks. It is a combination of things - being busier because John has more time now for us to do things together, being more tired because of my half marathon training, and lastly, and I think the main reason is, I have just been a little down lately. So anyway the meeting went well. I was able to connect with one person after the meeting and exchange emails so hopefully we can stay in contact. The meeting was somewhat what I expected and somewhat not. I expected them to give us information about the recent delay in the Korea program which they did. We also got to hear from two sets of adoptive parents who recently brought home their children. Their children were the age that our children will be when we go pick them up. I think that was done intentionally by our agency to make sure we were mentally prepared for parenting an 18 month old child and not a one year old. I think they wanted to make sure our expectations were realistic. What I wasn't expecting for some reason was how angry some of the parents were regarding the delay. Overall I guess John and I are actually handling things pretty well. This delay is absolutely agonizing for parents who already had referrals who have now found out they won't be bringing their children home for a while longer. What was interesting to me though was that those of us who had a history of infertility seemed to be doing much better than those who had not. I guess we are use to things not working out the way we want them to (and I don't mean this in an entirely negative way). We realize we are not in control of any of it.

2) Our Hawaii Honeymoon is booked!!!!!!!  We are finally going on our long awaited honeymoon and I can't wait. Six and half years late, but truthfully it couldn't come at a better time for  us. We are staying at the Hale Koa Hotel on Waikiki Beach. It is an amazing hotel that is only for military members and their dependents.

3) Marathon training is going well, but this heat is no fun. I am up to 8 miles this weekend. I have definitely toned up, but unfortunately the scale hasn't budged :(

4 ) In adoption news, we filed our I600A and got fingerprint appointments. Unfortunately, John's is not at the best time, but they don't even give you a telephone number to call and reschedule. You have to send in your letter to your local office and request a new appointment. I assume they just assign you a new date and time regardless of whether it will work for you. John decided he would rather just put in extra hours on other clinical days (he will be doing obstetrics) and go to the appointment.

5) At work the other day, I got to take a private guided tour of the new National Intrepid Center of Excellence. It is truly the most amazing facility. On a beautiful marble wall when you first walk in, it states that the facility is a place to heal the invisible wounds of war and is given by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and the American people. I stood there with tears in my eyes reading it and I just felt so proud that our nation is honoring our service men and women in this way. I hope that this facility will in some way help those who go there to know how much their service and sacrifice is appreciated.

6) Tomorrow I am traveling to Ft Bragg, NC for work. I am bringing my computer so hopefully I can spend some more time blogging. I miss this community when I don't write. I realize more and more how much I need this.