Thursday, October 27, 2011

Magic Writer

So the year prior to Nathan being born saw me enrolled in classes at the local community college, 
still plugging away slowly at a degree. 
I was enrolled as an English major and was taking a few writing classes. 
I remember writing a paper on infertility, using 4 close friends in it and telling the story of their 
struggles to get pregnant. 

Not a single one of them was pregnant when I wrote that paper. 
They all, like I, were dealing with the worry that it might never happen. 

Shortly after that paper, two announced they were pregnant!

I was overjoyed for them!
I also had jokingly wondered at the time whether I should've put myself in the paper...
And of course started to attribute their pregnancies to my magical writing skills.
Because recent studies show that college English papers and pregnancy share a
cause and effect relationship.
You didn't know that did you?
Well now you know.

Shortly after our pregnancies were announced, as in a few months later,
we announced our being chosen by Nathan's courageous birth mother E. 

Later that winter, the third woman in my paper announced her pregnancy!
I was pretty positive I had magic skills at that moment.

Well imagine my surprise when earlier this year, the final woman in that paper announced her pregnancy!
I was overjoyed for her!
And convinced at that point that my paper did indeed hold magic powers.

I reflected on all this today.
Still laughing to myself about not being written into that paper.
When I suddenly realized-
Sure I hadn't magically become pregnant, like the other women had.
But a mere months after that paper I too had gotten to rejoice in becoming a Mother.
It just struck me today that God knows exactly what He's doing.
I arrived at the same destination, along with the rest of them, but with a different route.
I felt so blessed.
And ready.
Prior to this I have been so apprehensive about Baby #2.
Lovingly referred to Holga at present.
But after thinking about all this today,
I finally feel at peace about whatever God may hold for the future.
This isn't an announcement.
We still have not decided any course of action to add lil Holga (an endearing name, no?) to our family.
But I finally (finally) stopped worrying about it today.

And there was a lotta worry folks.
I remembered all too well the anguish that preceded Nathan's beautiful adoption story.
And I wasn't all too keen about diving back into those waters again.
No siree.
But now I feel ok.
Whew.

Infertility tests?
Pfft.
Adoption paperwork?
Give me a pen.

Remembering that God's in charge today has made me feel at peace.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hitler Who?

I was sent this amazing video today.
It's called the 180 Video.
Why?
Because in it, people's hearts do a 180.

I was appalled that some people honestly didn't know who Hitler was.
And I was stunned to see footage of the Holocaust that I had never seen before.

So what's a video about the Holocaust doing on our adoption website?

Because really, it's about abortion.

Please take a minute, or 33, to watch this eye opening video.

Did you know that over 53 million babies have been aborted since Roe vs. Wade?
Astonishing.
And heart-breaking.
Grab a kleenax,
prepare to be appalled at people's ignorance,
and cheer for those whose hearts are changed.

Will yours be?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why I'm Not Bitter

I've been feeling the need to blog about this for some time now. But when my sweet friend Jessa posted this, it gave me that final nudge I needed to sit down and type this out.

Once we adopted our lil Nathan, I took a huge step back from the online adoption community. 
One, to simply savor finally being a mother. But also because I felt whole now. 
More on this later. 
Lately I've noticed a lot of non-positive emotions from some of the adoption blogs I follow and that's what originally led me to start mentally writing this blog post. Then my sweet friend Jessa was verbally attacked for complaining about things related to her pregnancy. 
At first I was appalled.
How could someone actually have the audacity to tell someone "be quiet and be thankful"?? 
I felt sad for that person. 
Sad that they are so consumed with their bitterness and longing for a child, that they can't bear to hear anyone complain about their pregnancy. 

Obviously, I can understand their pain. I've been there. 
But I'm sorry, morning sickness and vomiting - 
even coupled with the gratitude of being pregnant - would still suck.

As I've reflected on my reaction to her experience and the attitudes of others I've realized,
I'm not bitter.

Let me rewind to a few years back.
We were still trying to get pregnant.
We were hopeful but seeing that period show up every month was starting to really hurt.
To my surprise, every one of my sister-in-law's got pregnant that year.
I was upset we hadn't,
but my emotions didn't turn to bitterness against them.
One sweet sister felt she needed to tell me privately before telling the whole family.
Until she did that it never occurred to me that anyone would need to do such a thing.
And she still didn't need to do that, though I appreciate her sweet thought in doing so.
It hadn't occurred to me until that moment that others might be anxious of being pregnant around me.
I was surprised. But also now aware.
I didn't want to be one of those people who bitterly attended baby showers.
Or that people avoided inviting altogether.
So even though we were struggling to get pregnant, surrounded by those who were blessed to be so, 
I chose not to take out our struggles on them. 
Fast forward to one Monday evening in April 2009.
Gavin lovingly told me he felt we should adopt.
My very first reaction was that I was crushed.
And I cried.
I honestly had felt like I had failed as a woman right then.
Like I had been given a pink slip for womanhood.
"I'm sorry, you're no good. You can't have babies.You're fired."
Obviously, I knew that was the complete opposite of our situation.
I felt the Spirit calm my heart. 
I felt then that there was a special little someone who needed to come to our family this way.
So I let go of my pride.
But not yet my sadness.
After our decision I had some really short menstrual cycles.
It was crazy enough to get me to a new OB/GYN.
He was awesome and gave us new hope of getting pregnant.
We did more tests. Found some more answers. And got more questions.
At that point, one of the answers we received indicated that we may never be able to get pregnant. 
Ever.
We were both devastated of course.
Thankfully we came across some literature that told us it was okay to grieve.
To grieve for the special journey of procreation that we may never be able to take part in.
To grieve for the mini-Gavin and mini-Shauna we may never have.
I'm so grateful we took that advice and let ourselves grieve.
It made all the difference.
I personally was able to say to myself,
"Okay self, we may never have an adorable mini-Gavin with red hair running around. Or a mini-you with a head of curls. But we're ok, right?"
And amazingly I was.

Wanna know why?
Because I realized we hadn't been trying to get pregnant for the sake of experiencing pregnancy.
We had been trying to get pregnant to become parents.
And I felt someday, through the blessing of adoption, we would be parents.

Less than a year later we were in the hospital holding our son.
Despite what we all had thought he would look like, he came out looking like Gavin, with red orange hair.
Who knew God cared so much about us to bless us with that miracle? 



One thing he said was "forget not to be happy now". He talked about the children's story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and how all the people were searching for that golden ticket in the chocolate bars.
They became so obsessed with finding the golden ticket that they stopped taking joy in the actual chocolate bar itself.
This sums up perfectly what I feel right now. 
Pregnancy wasn't my golden ticket.
Being a mother was.
And I am one.
Would I like to be able to bear our children?
Sure!
But instead I take shallow comfort that my hips are the same as they were when I was 18 (except with maybe a little more padding),
that I have a beautiful son I get to play with every day, 
a loving and wonderful husband who happens to be my best friend,
and a home of our own.
And, with the exception of the hips, aren't those the things most important in life? 
They're the things most important to me.
And they're why I feel happy every day.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

N stands for

Hello everyone! The dust is settling from our move and things are starting to feel more homey. I was looking over this blog and decided it was high time I finished my play on A-D-O-P-T-I-O-N.

N stands for Never Giving Up
A lot of us, but not all, embark on the road to adoption due to infertility, I felt that the letter N best could be summed up as never giving up. Never giving up on your dream to become a parent. And never losing faith. Gavin and I actually aren't 100% positive whether we can (with a team of specialists) or cannot get pregnant. But we knew we were supposed to be parents. And in April 2009 we felt strongly we were supposed to become parents through adoption. It was 4 months later we found out some more answers regarding our infertility. Answers that had led to more questions and us wondering again whether we could or could not get pregnant. We searched our hearts at the time and what we knew and decided we'd go forward with faith towards adoption. We had felt so strongly then that there was a lil someone that was out there for us through adoption. We couldn't ignore it and went that route. Through all the paperwork and agonizing wondering we never lost faith and never gave up. After we adopted our lil Nathan (my own lil personal letter N!) I felt a huge relief. We were parents now. And as a result I took a long break from the adoption community. I disconnected and just enjoyed having arrived at the destination I had longed for for so long. Now, as we look forward to a #2, the myriad of questions and emotions have reappeared. Part of me would love to not go through it all again. I felt so completely drained after the first time. But we know our family isn't done. When or how #2 will come to our family I don't know and I'm not really thinking about right now. It's a ways away. I just know that I need to rely on never giving up or losing my faith to keep moving forward.

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