Friday, February 29, 2008

Hearts Full of Praise

I had coffee with my dear friend C today. She's one of those people who you're a better person for knowing and it always spurs me on so much to get to steal some time with her! So my heart is full from that.

We were marveling together at some of the recent changes in both of our lives and she said "Sometimes I feel like I'm living someone else's life." I think that's the perfect way to describe how I've felt as we've marveled at God's handiwork in this process.

I've shared a few times that I can just see evidence of God preparing us for this our whole lives but I thought I'd expand on that a little bit.

I have no relationship with my biological father and the only one I ever had at any point was strained, infrequent and awkward. He and my mom divorced when I was very young so the only memories I even have of them married are very unpleasant. He was abusive to my mom and thoroughly uninterested in being a parent so though we lived close enough for him to be active in our lives, it was never convenient for him and he invested very little. I had sporadic contact with him whenever I initiated it. Shortly after DH and I married, he sent me a horrible letter full of awful things and I have since terminated all contact with him. I did telephone him in the fall when my brother was in the fire because he and my brother do have some semblance of relationship but that has been the extent of our communication for years.

On the contrary, my mom married a wonderful man when I was 9 who is my dad. He has always been a parent to me, though he was never biologically or legally obligated to be one. He gave me away at my wedding and in my heart, he is my dad, and I have as full of a heart for him as I can imagine I would have if we shared the same bloodline.

What I learned from an early age though was that biology had very little to do with one's capacity for or willingness to love. I had one father who didn't love me though I was his flesh and blood, and another who loves me selflessly though we have as much genetically in common with each other as two strangers.

Because of the example my dad set for me, adoption has always been very natural and normal to me. (Though I'm not legally adopted, I functionally am).

DH's extended family has many adoptions in it so though we've never talked at length about it, he has been exposed to adoption as "normal" from a young age, too.

When DH and I decided to get married and we were talking through our family dreams and goals, we always included adoption in our plans, before we had any inkling of infertility. We thought we'd have biological children too but adoption is no surprise for us. Our University is located in close proximity to the Snowflake Program's home and we were in college about the time the first babies were being born so we heard a lot about the program through the media that covered the geographic region that encompassed both the University and the Snowflake Program. So Snowflake became a part of our dialog and mental catalog, too.

A few years ago, my sister in law and her husband adopted the sweetest, cutest little firecracker from China that you ever would know. I know that did so much to grow our family (specifically, DH's parents, siblings, spouses, kids and us) in terms of what the family unit looks like and who is included in that. Seeing the warm reception to our niece has quieted a lot of my fears about how family would accept our little Snowflakes and I am forever grateful for the trail that T&E have already blazed. It also gives me immense comfort to know that our little ones will have such great cousins, including one who knows what it's like to be an adopted child. I pray all the time that they will come to be great friends and sources of encouragement for each other!

At the time they were happening, I didn't really realize how much work was being done in our hearts to prepare us for this. But now that it has been revealed to us that this has been the plan all along, we can look back and say "ah ha" with satisfied and grateful appreciation. They just confirm so much to us.

That evidence of God's handiwork continues even now that we know far more than we did before. I guess I sort of think God could have stopped there and that would have been far more than we deserved. But He continues to lavish upon us tangible blessings to affirm that we are pursuing the course He has for us. Some of our praises today include

•That our taxes are done and filed after much time and labor!

•That for the first time, we're receiving both a state and Federal refund (both very unexpected and in fact we had saved up money in anticipation of owing).

•Last night a dear friend from church gave us a very significant financial gift. She said, "[She] and God talked and [they] decided to give us this to help with the Embryo Adoption." I was so humbled. She was so matter-of-fact and unpretentious about it. DH and I have both been working hard to make some sacrifices in our lifestyle, work more, spend less and reprioritize things and we're doing what we can to do what we think God is asking of us in this but we really haven't been stressed about when and where the money will come from and we haven't asked or planned to ask for help from anyone. We are just completely confident in God's provision. We just have 100% peace that we will earn, save, and/or otherwise receive the money in the right timing so it hasn't been a source of worry for us at all. So her gift to us was completely spontaneous, unsolicited, genuine and God-led. And more than the amount itself, it means so much to DH and I that the money came from her specifically because she holds such a special place in our hearts and we are eager for our children to know her.

•DH and I come from pretty different backgrounds when it comes to money. In the past we've had a hard time coming up with budget, investment and expenditure plans that we're both comfortable with. God has blessed us with 100% unity in our hearts as we decide how to progress with how and what to spend on various expenses, gifts, investments and savings. That has been such a treat and affirmation for us. We worked on our taxes, budget and cash flow projections last night and for the first time, it was fun! We delighted in the unity and peace God had given us as we discussed things that have historically been points of contention for us.

• After reviewing everything last night, including all of our expenses, income, and projected extras of both, we have enough resources to pay off entirely the little bit of outstanding debt we have and which we've been working hard to eliminate, give some gifts we've both been anxious to give, make some investment and savings contributions we'd been wanting to make, and pay for our homestudy, adoption education and home improvements in their entirety!

I am eager to talk to our case worker about scheduling the first meeting and learn about the next steps. I did call the agency to confirm that they had received our application and they had, and they have already sent out our Pastor's Reference form. The Agency said we should be assigned to a Case Worker next week and we should get to talk then! I am excited!

So kind of like C shared, I feel like we're living someone else's life. This is all coming together so perfectly that I feel like I have to pinch myself and wake myself up. I don't doubt God's goodness or ability to lavish so generously, but we are certainly undeserving of Him choosing us to give so generously to, so we are continually humbled and awestruck.

Thank you for rejoicing with us!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Can't Hardly Contain Myself

I have been working on our taxes for the last 24 hours and I want to gouge my eyes out! Seriously, I can't understand why some people (coughcough*DH*) voluntarily do this stuff and on occasion even think it's fun! I told DH he was gipped. Someone cheated and told him the wrong definition of "fun." Anyway! The end result is that we're getting a tax refund this year. We usually owe since we're both self employed. But a variety of circumstances this year resulted in a nice refund. That, plus a few other things that we have on the very near horizon mean that we could proceed with the Homestudy and the Nightlight Portion of the Process (the most expensive part) very soon!

I'm still protecting my heart by estimating on the high end of costs, timelines, and wait times, but it's just sinking in that this is really happening! I talked to the Nightlight Coordinator yesterday and gave her my estimated time line and she seemed to think it longer than necessary or customary, so that was cool! It's just been so awesome, amazing, humbling, exciting, baffling, quieting, affirming and WONDERFUL to see the way God has been working through this. Sometimes I think He obscures His ways from us for a variety of reasons to draw us to seek Him further but this time it's as if He's flung the curtain wide open and allowing us to see so much!

I've got to get back to the accounting nonsense but as I was wading through all our documents and came upon some of these discoveries, I found myself so excited that I could just scream. But that would scare the dog. And hurt my throat. So I'm posting instead! And the thought of all I have to do to get our house ready overwhelms me a bit but it's an exciting kind of panic-not a stressful kind. Eeeeek!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Weird Dreams

They say when you're pregnant, you have really weird dreams. I don't know if I'm having pregnancy-anticipation dreams or sympathy dreams for my best friend or what but I had the strangest dream last night. It was one of those dreams where I knew I was dreaming so I woke myself up but every time I drifted back off to sleep, the same dream continued.

Somehow, DH and I ended up the parents of twins. The dream started with us being at home with the twins the first day. I have no idea how they came to be with us, but it must have been in such a way that we didn't know they were coming (like a sudden adoption or something) because we had NOTHING for them. DH had gone to work the next day (It apparently wasn't relevant where we all slept) and I realize that I have no formula and since I hadn't given birth to them I couldn't nurse them and I had no carseats to be able to take them with me to the store. I call DH to come home and stay with them while I go out and buy a few essentials but somehow my mom from California makes it to our house before he does (his work is 5 miles away). So mom volunteers to babysit, and I go off to Target.

I guess midway through Target, I decide I'd have more luck at Babies R Us. I show up there and my best friend, who really IS pregnant and who spends much time there is waiting there for me as my own personal tour guide. In the dream, I have no idea how she comes to know to be there but she is. I say that I'm hoping for a baby shower so I just want to buy a few necessities-the carseats, some clothes, some diapers and some formula and bottles. Amazingly she has become an expert on newborn bottles and proceeds in to a lengthy explanation of bottle size, shape and volume. It was really very interesting. And weird that it was so prevalent in my dream.

Anyway, as we're going to check out, I spy something else that I must have: blue 3T sized sleepers with footies and rabbit ears (think Easter bunny), and Halloween Costume Finger Puppets. (I told you, my dreams are really strange!) I discuss with my bff why the children HAVE to have these things now and I check out. I think I leave her in charge of registering for me for a baby shower at church and I leave.

I get back home and am caring for the children. My mom leaves to return to California but doesn't get far before she gets stuck in a massive traffic line. Somehow I could see the line though I wasn't with her. It was a line like the line of cars at the Mexico border of people trying to reenter the country. People are out of their cars talking, milling around and interacting with street vendors. My mom somehow connects with someone selling baby blanket making materials. Mom decides she has to have them and turns around to come back and make the blanket. But it's not a typical blanket. What she has is a giant sheet of some kind of tracing paper that's also fabric, and a metal template with a 3D design and she's proceeding to lay the paper over the template and then rub it with a pencil to make the design from the template come through on the blanket. The template isn't big enough for the paper/fabric, so we're arguing about how to place it so the design is centered (it never occurs to either of us that tracing paper and pencil does not make an ACTUAL baby blanket), and then I woke up for the last time.

I hope you've had a hardy giggle at my expense. I have no idea what provoked such thoughts. The couple we had lunch with on Sunday has twins. Another snowflake family had a sudden traditional adoption placement last week (like they found out the day before that they were getting their daughter). Last night before bed I was working on my best friend' baby shower invitations and browsing her Babies R Us registry (though it contains neither 3 year old Easter Bunny pajamas or finger puppets) and last week a lady in our Tuesday night Bible study shared that her daughter was driving up from the orphanage where she works in Mexico and the visit was going to be short so they were hoping she wouldn't have to wait long in the border crossing line. Somehow all of that stuff converged in to this weird crazy dream. What is hilarious is that I don't even think about stuff like that when I'm awake so I had no idea it was hanging out in my subconscious!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Official Start!

We finished our application to the Arizona Adoption Agency last night and mailed it in today with our first (albeit small) financial commitment. So, we have officially begun!

The next step is that they will assign a social worker to us and we will have an initial meeting with her. We also have to get fingerprinted and pass various background checks. We're clearly not stressed about passing the background checks but it just takes time.

So woot! We're excited!

Friday, February 22, 2008

This is going to be a long wait!

I'm just amazed at how much has happened in just a few short weeks. We've told our family and friends and have received such warm congratulations. Nightlight put us in touch with 4 other Snowflake families in Arizona, one of which who has been exceptionally generous with their time and kindness and has really helped as we think about these new and foreign concepts and dynamics. Their input has been so helpful in quelling some of my fears and "unknowns."

I just can't even explain the transformation in my heart and mind that has occurred in such a short time. When we realized IF was going to be a part of our lives several years ago, I suspended really dealing with it on a deep level because I always expected that the end result would be God "fixing" it and giving us a quiver full of biological children. I never really considered that the answer was "no." In my head it was always "not right now." I guess I felt entitled to God fixing it my way, though I didn't really realize it or consciously do it. I made false assumptions that set my heart up for disappointment and pain.

When we got our diagnosis in November, I fell apart. I cried buckets. I raised my fist to God. I asked questions of myself and God that I'd never been brave enough to ask before. Though DH and I have ALWAYS wanted to adopt (and even filed EA away in our "maybe someday" file), I still mourned the loss of biological children spontaneously and naturally conceived.

Since then, my walk with God has changed so much. It took on a new tone of honesty and vulnerability that I'd never before had. And slowly, but surely, he began to answer some of our questions, and reveal to me how much he has already prepared us for this journey. He has been so generous in providing us with so many answers because in reality, we're not really entitled to any.

He's even softened my heart toward the idea of a more open than not relationship with the genetic parents and he's quelled my fears about our children ever wanting their "other parents" more than us.

The end result is that I can't WAIT to meet our children. They have filled my heart so much that it seems hard to imagine that they ever weren't there. And I mean specifically snowflake children not just children in general. These children have taken on an identity and aren't just some metaphysical concept of what's to come.

As God has shown us that this was never His "Plan B" for us, it's almost as if He's retroactively worked in my heart to where I can't even remember what it was like to NOT long for them. It's so hard to explain. It's like this love for them is so natural to me that it doesn't seem imaginable that at one time my heart was full for completely different children (the biological children). I wish I could explain it. I know I'm doing a lousy job.

But I think about them all the time. I wonder where they are. I hope they're being taken well care of by whatever clinic they're in. I wonder how many of them there are. I pray for them all the time. I dream about introducing them to their grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins for the first time and about them immediately welcoming them in to the family. I wonder about the children's Genetic Parents and how their hearts are doing with the prospect of parting with them and I breath such prayers and sighs of gratitude for their selflessness in being willing to give them life.

They children (for some reason I always think about them in the plural, which is odd), anyway, they're just such a part of my internal dialogue all the time now. And I don't have one ounce of worry about whether or not we'll be able to afford it, or whether or not anyone would ever choose us, or whether or not the embryos would successfully implant. I just have a peace I've never had before about anything. My natural tendency is to be a worry-wort so I know it is the work of Christ to still that in me.

The only negative to all of that is that it makes me anxious for them! I lie awake at night thinking about them. Sometimes I can't sleep because I can't stop my thoughts about them. My heart swells so much. They're not thoughts of worry or "to do" lists. They're hopes and dreams and prayers and love.

A part of me feels like I'm stealing something. We've not even *technically* begun this process. We haven't given any agency an application or any money. Hopefully that will all come very soon! But I guess I think others might think I'm jumping the gun. But even about the timing and the money I have peace that though those are barriers for us in the immediate, they're God's stop gaps on the process to make sure things happen in the right time and that we're ready for the right children at the right time. So I guess for one of the first times in my life, I don't even care what other people think about our right to celebrate this. From a people pleaser by nature, that's big!

DH said something so sweet. He said "Can you imagine how loved these children will be? Their genetic parents loved them enough to do the right thing and give them the chance for life, and we will love them as our own." Some kids don't even get one parent who loves them selflessly. God willing, ours will have 4. That's warmed my heart so much!

I'm babbling. I guess I just wanted to share the fullness of our hearts. I hate that they're still so far away from us, but I am excited that we could meet him/her/them as soon as a couple years from now!

Book Review: Infertility, Finding God's Peace in the Journey

I have a new favorite IF book!

Back in November, I went in to our local Berean bookstore, looking for one of the few pretty standard Christian Infertility Books (Hannah's Hope, The IF Companion, and a couple others are pretty "big"). I was annoyed to discover that Berean had only one book in the entire store on infertility (and for a moment, the store associate thought it was in the Parenting section. I was glad to find it in the "Women's Health" section instead). Anyway, I bought the book, stuffed it in my purse, and went on to meet a friend. When I got home, I logged on to Amazon and ordered those more "common" books and shoved this one to the back of my ever-growing pile. After all, I'd never heard of the book or the author, and had never seen it mentioned in any of my IF circles. I knew that it was recommended by Greg Smalley, and H. Norm Wright so I figured it couldn't be bad, but I still wasn't enthused about reading it.

All those other books were great and I appreciate what I learned from them. I read through all of them and was left with just a couple more obscure titles, including this one. When I darted over to California earlier in the month, I tossed this book in my bag figuring it would give me something to do on the plane.

I started reading it and it wasn't long before I was hooked!

Infertility: Finding God's Peace in the Journey by Lois Flowers is a practical, Biblical guide book of the journey of Infertility, written for the IF Patients. As the author tells her story, she challenges the reader at every step with Biblical truths and logical challenges to the traps we often willingly fall victim to in our IF journeys that would seek to steal our joy and attention from God. She maintains a delicate balance of bold truth, and compassionate earnestness.

I've tried for a while to figure out why I like this book so much more than other books because really, what she says is not so profound that it's vastly different from other Christian books on the subject. I think I prefer this book because I appreciate the author's tone and approach. While other IF books are very warm and almost personal, they appeal to the heart. They give me a sense of sitting and chatting over coffee, hugging and crying along the way. Those are wonderful elements of those books but for that reason, I never completely identified with them. I've done my share of crying no doubt, but at the end of the day I need help logically processing through everything. I think that's why I blog. It helps me to outline my thoughts and not just stew in them.

This book appeals to the head and mind of the IF patient, which is much easier for me to identify with. I dogeared tons of pages that contain content I've read before framed differently, but in this context the concepts reached out and grabbed me like they hadn't before in other mediums. My mind was challenged at every step, which in turn trained my heart. The author never allows the reader to just sit and stew in her own melancholy thoughts. She confronts prejudices, false entitlements and pity parties with the truth of God expressed with all the compassion of someone who knows the pain of this journey.

My favorite part of the book is when she quotes the Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis. Those of you who know me know of my soft spot for Lewis but the Horse and His Boy is a book I hadn't cracked since adolescence so I've forgotten much. In an exchange between Aslan and a main character, the boy is asking the "Whys" of Aslan's workings in both his own life and that of a friend. Aslan answers:
Child...I am telling you your own story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own.
Wow! Over and over I turned that in my head. In November I remember lamenting to my best friend that while I was overjoyed for her pregnancy (and I am!) I couldn't help but think that there must be some cosmic checklist that they accomplished and we didn't for God to decide that natural childbearing was a part of their story and not ours. In my head, there had to be some discriminating factor. I still saw infertility as incompleteness. As a blessing withheld. Childbearing was something they somehow deserved and we didn't, for reasons unbeknownst to any of us. That passage by Lewis and Ms. Flowers' excellent correspondence of it to the infertility journey continues to challenge me even now.

My other favorite part of the book is when the author is addressing the grief IF women often feel in modern Christendom, when motherhood is so magnified, and sometimes too much so. The IF woman is left feeling like the world thinks her life is "less blessed" or "less purposeful" and sometimes, she thinks those things about herself. The author writes:
I agree that children are wonderful blessings. If they were not, infertility wouldn't be nearly as hard as it is. I also understand why people with children might count them among the greatest blessings in their lives. But to suggest that people without children (married or not) are somehow missing out on the ultimate blessing is both narrow-minded and unbliblcal. The Scriptures (especially Psalms and Proverbs) list dozens of other sources of God's blessing. And nearly all of these have to do with a person's heart and relationship with God and others, rather than her ability to reproduce her own genetic material.

For example, you are blessed when you refrain from walking in the "counsel of the wicked" or standing "in the way of sinners" or sitting "in the seat of mockers" (Psalm 1:1). You're blessed when you delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on it around the clock (Psalm 1:2). You are blessed if your "transgressions are forgiven" and your "sins are covered" (Psalm 32:1). You're blessed when you take refuge in the Lord (Psalm 34:8), when you make the Lord your trust (Psalm 40:4), when you have regard for all the weak (Psalm 41:1), when you learn to acclaim the Lord and walk in His presence (Psalm 89:15), when you seek Him with all your heart (Psalm 119:2), when you maintain justice, and when you "constantly do what is right" (Psalm 106:3).

You're blessed when you are kind to the needy (Proverbs 14:21), when you are generous to the poor (Proverbs 22:9), when you are faithful (Proverbs 28:20), when you honor the Sabbath (Isaiah 56:3), when you are disciplined by God (Psalm 94:12), when you find wisdom (Proverbs 3:13), when you serve others (John 13:11-17), when you fear the Lord continually (Proverbs 28:14), when you read the book of Revelation and take its message to heart (Revelation 1:3-4) and when you actively watch for the return of Jesus Christ (Revelation 16:14-15).

The author goes on to share the beatitudes as well and finally concludes:

Notice that this passage says nothing about having children. Like most of the blessings delineated in the Old Testament, all the blessings here are a direct result of Christlike behavior, not of familial relationships.

God may not have blessed you with biological children yet. And He may never choose to do so. But regardless of whether you ever have a successful pregnancy, you have many other wonderful opportunities to receive His blessing, most of which can have eternal impact. In the meantime, you can either bemoan the fact that you're missing out on the blessing of children (either temporarily or permanently), or you can actively seek out ways to grow in purity and godliness, serve others and develop wisdom.
What a wonderful, exhaustive list of God's goodness and mercies! As a long term Christian, I knew all of these things, and I also know that I do not exist so that God may bless me, but that doesn't mean that I have always stopped my heart from wallowing in what I was bound to "miss out" on! This passage was such a challenge to me and I hope that it would be a challenge to our church culture too.

I really love this book. I want to find the author and hug her guts out. The book does have an appendix for family and friends of infertile people, as well as a resource for pastors, and those are well and good too, but this book was just so instrumental in shedding light on lies in my heart, in encouraging me in places where I felt a bit on shakey ground, and in challenging me to really appreciate this journey of IF.

I recommend it with my whole heart! Praise God for the "inconvenience" of Berean having only one book on the shelf. I am confident that it was so I would read this book that I otherwise would not have touched and I am so grateful for the gift it has been. I hope it will encourage you all likewise!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive as we've started this process! I've been so pleasantly surprised at the amount of enthusiastic support and congratulatory wishes we've received. Someone asked me tonight if we had any new news and we don't but it was so nice to just be asked. I don't know how to explain it but I just feel like I'm actually able to participate again in circles that for so long I just felt like an observer or imposter in. It's just so...surreal, I guess. Like I shared before, I don't really know what I was expecting in the way of a response but it definitely wasn't this wonderful. So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

Just a clarification, our other new website is just a webpage, not a blog. I'm not doing any blogging there-all of my blogging will stay here. The other site is just a consolidation of data--sans all the thoughts and journaling I do here. Trust me, if anything exciting happens in our EA journey, I'll be sure to post it here! :)

Monday, February 18, 2008


Hi Everyone,
I hope you had a nice weekend!

This weekend we spent most of Friday working around the house. I also got a chance to build the new website and I filled out the LONNNNG (30 pages!) packet of information for the new clinic. They should give some sort of discount for every hour we spend on that stuff ;)

Sunday we went to church, had lunch with our BFFs and had supper with our Grandparents. (Technically they're DH's-just so no one gets confused. I didn't marry my cousin ;) But they've always treated me like family so they're mine too :) Anyway, we hadn't seen them since Thanksgiving so a visit was long overdue and we had to drag ourselves away last night so we could get home in time for DH to get to bed at a reasonable hour. It was great though.

Yesterday was the first time we'd seen most of our church family since informing many of them over email about our upcoming adoption. Most people have been so sincere and congratulatory. Poor DH--he didn't connect the dots between the email and what people were saying so he had all sorts of people walking up and saying "Congratulations!" and he didn't have a clue what they were talking about initially. He figured it out but he was caught off guard. Whoops...guess I should prep him ahead of time next time!

I've been so grateful for our friends and family. Hearty "congratulations" and sincere well wishes are so validating of the fact that we're taking the "road less traveled." We've had a few people who've responded in such a way that indicates that they don't consider this a "real" adoption, which is frustrating, but overall most people have been enthusiastically supportive. I guess I didn't know what to expect but it wasn't the degree of warmth we've received because it has pleasantly surprised me. I didn't really expect the hesitation of some I guess I'm surprised all around.

Our Pastor is so sweet and has been so encouraging. He goes on sabbatical this summer and one requirement of the Homestudy Agency is a Pastor's Reference. Since he's the only Pastor at our tiny church and whomever they hire to be the interim pastor wouldn't know us at all, we're submitting our application here soon so they can contact him, even though after that the application will have to set with the agency a little while before we move on to the actual Homestudy Process. We will start classes in April so that will be something to do too.

I guess my head is swimming at all the things to do, but pretty soon here we will be back in to a holding pattern, so I guess I'm just grateful that there are so many concrete steps and things to do. So much of our IF journey was "wait and see" and so much of our adoption will eventually be "wait and see" that I'm just grateful for the things I can tick off the "to-do" list, even if that exercise is short lived.

Today I had lunch with a blog buddy and member of the Christian IF community I joined. Friends I WISH I could share all the details about how similarly God has knit the fabric of our lives. So many things from our marriages, to the actual process of our IF journeys, to our husband's silly quirks (and our own!), to our favorite types of foods, to people from our past in common to our church upbringing, to things we're considering now in our IF journeys is SO SO SO similar. It was so affirming and encouraging to sit with a sister whose heart is so much the same and yet so different as to teach me much. A book I'm reading says to watch out for "God Sightings"--divine "coincidences" and circumstances that can only be explained by the presence of the Holy Spirit at work in subtle ways. This new friendship with her is definitely a "God Sighting."

DH has a LONG week in front of him. It's his audit at work so I'm praying it goes swiftly and smoothly for him and we're both looking forward to the relief of his stress! If you think about it, we'd appreciate your prayers for him. He's having a little bit of a tough go of things in adjusting to his new medication and we didn't think far enough in advance to put off starting it til after the audit so on top of being stressed, he's just not feeling like himself, which stresses him more. We're praying that everything stabilizes soon and he'll start feeling like himself again soon!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

New Website

We've started a website dedicated exclusively to our Embryo Adoption with all the details that would bog down this blog. If you want the address, just email me. There's a link on the right to do that --->

We'll happily share the address with any blog readers and we hope you'll join us! I just don't want to post it publicly for the random passerby and robot. :) If you're a blog reader (and/or someone we don't know personally), please let me know your blog name just so I can connect an email address with a "face." Thank you!

If you do have it, please do us a favor and refrain from posting it anywhere. =)

I'll still be blogging here, but this is dedicated exclusively to the EA and contains details and stuff :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Moving Forward

Woohoo! I've been on the phone this week with the various agencies.

We've got our Adoption Classes Scheduled! We start in April! Woohoo! I'm actually really excited about them. We'll talk about a lot of various issues-preparing our own hearts, learning age appropriate ways to introduce adoption to the children, and things to consider when deciding our desired level of openness with the genetic family.

We also have our first two appointments with the new fertility clinic scheduled. We won't learn anything new at these but we have to become patients and have them get familiar with us and vice versa because when the time comes, the Embryos will be shipped to them and they will do the physical transfer to me. In the mean time we have to do all those tests I mentioned, as well as a "mock transfer" and pilot cycle to make sure they know the best time and place to do the transfer. We're seeing the same doctor that the couple we spoke with on the phone saw and the lady told me they were really pleased with him, so we're excited.

It's crazy how quickly this started moving when we said "Yes, Lord."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

More great news

God continues to knock our socks off. It amazes me how quickly all of this is coming together (though I know we're just at the beginning of a long wait).

Yesterday the lady from Nightlight for whom I'd left a message the day before about whether or not there were any Arizona families who had volunteered to be contacts for prospective adoptive parents returned my call. She took down our phone number and email address and said she had several families she'd pass that information on to. I asked her if the woman I'd already emailed with ("D") was one of the names and she said that she ("D") was at the top of her list, too! I told her we'd already been in contact with "D". She said that she'd pass our information on to 4 other families too.

That was at 4:45 pm yesterday. By bedtime, 3 of the families had already reached out to us, offering to help in any way they could and offering their enthusiastic support for the Snowflake Program. Being that they've already gone through everything, the fact that they speak so highly of it was encouraging! One of the families who reached out to us called last night and we spoke for more than an hour (possibly for almost 2 hours). She was so sweet and generous with her time, information, patience and perspective. She walked us through everything and answered all of our questions, from the personal to the practical to the absurd. What a gift that was for us! And she's located really close to us. She and her husband have invited us to have supper with them and their TWIN snowflake girls, now 30 months old. We have graciously accepted and she said we'll set a date when the girls get over being ill. It was such a big help to us to have the perspective of real people and not just raw data.

We also found out that three couples all used the same fertility clinic for the transfer and they were all very pleased so we think we will proceed with them. I've contacted them today and tomorrow we'll call back to schedule an initial intake exam to map out the road from the medical side of things for us.

I know that pretty soon this process will have a whole lot of "hurry up and wait" but for right now, it's so great to see so many doors opened so quickly and God has been so faithful in providing guidance and answers as we navigate through new territory. Thank you for continuing to celebrate with us!

PS: In case you only read the top post, I wanted to point out that I posted a really extensive explanation of EA in the post below this one

Embryo Adoption

I thought I'd explain Embryo Adoption because we've gotten a lot of "Congratulations! What is it!?" from our non IF friends and family.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the process of harvesting eggs and sperm from the parents and uniting them in a petri dish. The resulting fertilized embryos (not eggs, which are just gametes and is often mistakenly said) are then transferred to the mother's uterus where the hope is that they will successfully implant and grow to a full term pregnancy and delivery. Because the conditions under which the embryos are created are so much harsher than the natural womb environment, a lot of them do not survive the process. They can die at any number of stages. For this reason fertility clinics and IVF patients often start with numbers of embryos that exceed the number of actual children they can or want to carry. If successful pregnancy is achieved, many patients freeze the remaining embryos for transfer at a later time. Often however, the genetic couple decides to not have or attempt to have any more children and there are still embryos remaining.

Typically there are a few options for what to do with the remaining embryos. Some people donate them to science for research and things such as embryonic stem cell research. Some people choose to leave them frozen indefinitely. Some people ask for them to be intentionally destroyed. Some do what is falsely called a "compassionate transfer" in which they are transferred to the mother's uterus at her non-fertile time in her cycle, giving them very little chance to actually implant, at which time they would be expelled by her body. The remaining option is to donate them to another couple through either Embryo Donation or Embryo Adoption.

In that case, the embryos are transferred to the prospective parents' clinic, where they are transferred to the new mother's uterus, with the hope that they will implant and result in a term pregnancy and live birth.

It's important to note the difference between "transfer" and "implantation." In IVF or Embryo Donation/Adoption, embryos are transferred to the mother, meaning a catheter is inserted in to the uterine cavity through the vaginal and cervical passages, and the embryos are then "injected." Just as in natural conception, when the embryos are released from the fallopian tubes in to the uterine cavity, they must find a place in the uterine wall to burrow and "implant." In an Embryo Transfer, after they're injected, the Embryos must go through the same process of finding a spot in the uterine wall to nest and grow. It is not inserted directly in to the uterine wall. In Embryo Transfer, doctors do their best to "aim" for the most favorable position, but it is still up to God and nature if the embryo is going to successfully implant and grow.


Embryo Donation is similar to a sperm bank. The genetic parents donate their extra embryos to the clinic or bank and the prospective parents go to the bank and select their sample(s). The 4 parents know little (if anything) about each other.

In Embryo Adoption the process is executed largely like a traditional adoption. The Genetic Parents contact the adoption agency with the intent to donate, as well as their criteria for adoptive parents. Criteria can range from age, to race to desired level of openness about the adoption. However, the embryos remain at the Genetic Parents' own clinic and are never transferred to the adoption agency.

The Adoptive Parents (us!) contact the adoption agency, and submit an application and biographies about ourselves. We also undergo the same Adoption Education, Homestudy and Court Certification process that traditional adoption applicants undergo. We also undergo a host of medical tests (some are FDA required) to ensure that we don't have any disease we could pass on, and to make sure I can actually carry a child. (On a side note, the infectious disease requirement of the FDA annoys me because you don't have to undergo those tests for "natural" conception and anyone with any STD can reproduce but the federal government holds "yay" or "nay" power for us. We were chaste until we were married and have been each other's only partner so it seems like a silly waste of money, but the FDA insists anyway. I guess I am grateful that we don't have to wonder whether or not that test will be a barrier for us).

Anyway, once all of that is completed, approved and accepted by the Adoption Agency, we begin the match process. We're put in to their pool of prospective parents and we wait for a genetic family to choose us. Once they do and both they and we agree to the match, they transfer "ownership" of their embryos directly to us, and we undergo a Frozen Embryo Transfer. If successful pregnancy is achieved and there are still remaining embryos, we store those at our own clinic until a future time when we would attempt a second or third pregnancy with the remaining embryos. The neat thing about this is that if multiple successful pregnancies are achieved, our children would have genetic siblings!

Once a successful pregnancy and birth is achieved, we notify the adoption agency and they notify the genetic parents. We also notify the agency periodically and genetic parents can receive those updates if they wish. Whether or not there is contact directly between the genetic parents and us, or between them and the child(ren) is up to all of us and the arrangement we make.

Legally, Embryo Adoption doesn't exist, and none of this extra procedure of homestudy, matching, application, etc, is necessary. Because the law does not grant personhood to pre-born children, they are considered "Property" and any transfer is considered a property transfer. Opponents of the term "embryo adoption" accuse this of being some sneaky way of legitimizing the embryo as a person, and I suppose it may be so, but for us there is comfort in knowing that should we ever need it, we have access to the genetic parents for any medical information, etc. For the genetic parents I think there is comfort in knowing the fate of their embryos, wherein with Embryo Donation, they would not ever know what happened to them. I guess I don't understand people who needlessly politicize it. If it's agreeable for both parties and we all willingly enter a more difficult process, what is it to anyone else?

I know, it's ironic that I'm getting riled up about pro-life politics ;)

Our next steps are to apply to both adoption agencies (because we live out of state from the agency that coordinates the actual embryo adoption, we have to use an Arizona agency in cooperation with them to complete the Homestudy and Court Certification), then begin the homestudy, make some repairs around the house (for example state law (and our own conscience) say we need a pool fence if we're going to have children), and make an appointment with the fertility clinic to undergo the required tests. We hope to be able to begin all of that by the summer time. A homestudy and court certification takes 3-6 months, and then once approved we can enter the pool to be matched. That can take any number of months, depending on how desirable we are. Then from match to transfer can take another couple months to negotiate the logistics between moving the embryos, getting my body on the right cycle at the right time, etc. So assuming we can progress through the financial end of things and get the ball rolling soon, we hope to be completed with the process (including pregnancy) by Christmas 2009 or Spring 2010.

The Placement Agency that we're using, Nightlight Christian Adoption Agency in Fullerton, CA., is the pioneer of the "Embryo Adoption" concept. They have called their program the "Snowflake" adoption program, comparing the uniqueness of each embryo to the uniqueness of every snowflake. So we may use "Snowflake Adoption," "Snowflake Embryos," "Snowflake Babies/Children" and "Snowflake Families" interchageably with "Embryo Adoption [subject]." I think the "Snowflake" concept is really beautiful. Todd got me a beautiful ring bearing snowflakes to commemorate the beginning of our process. Like our own special kind of Mother's Ring! These children, whoever and wherever they are, are already so dear to our hearts!

The whole process is overwhelming. The cost of everything is about $13000-$15000. The details involve an entirely new alphabet soup and list of legal and medical mumbo-jumbo that make my head spin. Things have to be done at the right time, in the correct order. And at the end of it, if none of the embryos successfully implant in me, we still may not have a child at the end of it.

However, though I feel a bit like I'm on mental overload--I'm afraid I'm going to forget or overlook a detail and that the pile of information in my head is going to be so big that things fall out!--I have a remarkable amount of peace about the situation. I'm not at all worried about the homestudy or the matching process and I'm not afraid of embryos not implanting. I'm not really worried about the money either--though I am a bit impatient that something so trivial as money is the only barrier right now, I can also see that it's a very tangible need that God can use to orchestrate His timing of our process so that comforts me too.

We're really excited.

We would ask our friends and family to refrain from referring to this process as "buying" children or embryos and please don't call the resulting children "bought" children. Please don't say it in seriousness or in jest. The doctor's office today used some of that terminology and it made me wince. Though legally these embryos may be regarded as the same as a car or a house, they are children in the sight of God. If we truly believe that life begins at fertilization (we do), then these children need a home as much as the children in foster homes and orphanages do and we are their best chance at survival. We're willingly and wholeheartedly making the decision to enter the more complicated and expensive adoption process rather than the donation process, so that we can be fully equipped with as many resources of knowledge and training as we can before we begin shepherding these precious little ones. In our heart, this is an adoption, whether the law says so or not. Please support and affirm us by considering it the same way.

It's also helpful to note some terminology. The embryo's "original" parents are the Genetic Parents. We are the Adoptive Parents but the child(ren) will be ours. We refrain from using words like "real parents" and "real children" and "children of our own" when distinguishing between the genetic and adopted relationships. The only distinction between any adopted children and any biological children is just that--biology. We will love these children with our whole hearts, as our own.

We chose embryo adoption over traditional adoption for a lot of reasons, but that is also only for a first child. Obviously if we have remaining embryos after the fact we will transfer those too, but traditional adoption is still a very real possibility for us in the future. In our minds, all those children, in "the system" and in test tubes, need homes. That prospect is a little overwhelming but as my sister in law pointed it out, we're each only to do what we're called and equipped to do. Right now we're wholeheartedly convinced that we are called in this season to pursue Embryo Adoption.

Please feel free to ask any questions!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Really cool story

Ok, so I have to tell you all this really cool story.

The agency that "pioneered" Embryo Adoption is located really close to Biola (where DH and I attended college). So because of their geographical proximity and my interest in bioethics and such, we've known about EA and about Nightlight (the Agency) for a long time. Long before we ever knew of our infertility, we had filed EA away as something really cool and something we might like to do someday.

That was just one of the many foundational blocks God was laying in our hearts already. When DH and I started to seriously consider our options over the last few months, EA immediately came to mind. We had actually made up our minds a few weeks ago that that was the option we were most excited about but we couldn't really "confirm" it until we had the door closed on natural conception. In the mean time, I contacted the agency and we received the application and we've been setting aside money. Last night that confirmation came and we began to share our decision with friends and family.

Today I called a local Christian adoption agency in town that I had worked with when I worked in the Pro-Life field. Because we live out of state from the Embryo Adoption Agency, we have to find an adoption agency here that will do the homestudy and then send it to Nightlight. I asked the gal at the Arizona Agency if they'd ever done EA and she didn't know. She had me leave a message for someone who would know.

In the mean time I called Nightlight and asked if they'd done any successful placements with Arizona people and if so, which agencies were willing to do the Arizona end? To my surprise, she gave me a list of 6 agencies! So there are at least 6 Arizona Snowflake families (out of only a couple hundred total, worldwide!) I asked her if any of those families had volunteered to help any prospective Arizonans also interested in the process. She didn't know and asked me to leave a message with someone else.

Shortly after that call, the Arizona Agency called back. She said they had worked with a couple to do EA and that she still knew the couple quite well. She also said that in fact, they were in the office just today! Before I could even ask, she offered that she was sure the couple would love to meet with us! She took down our contact information and said she'd pass it on to them. She gave me their first names so that I would recognize the names if they called. The woman's name is a little bit uncommon--uncommon enough that it's unusual you'd run in to two people in the same day with that name. I looked at their adoption profile on the agency website and loved reading their story. They've adopted through both EA and domestic infant adoption so they've seen both sides of the adoption coin! How cool, especially since we hope to do both eventually, too!

I ventured on over to my IF message board where I check in almost daily. I went to an area of the board for EA people. It was a new area for me with different people than I usually bump in to. Imagine my surprise when there was a thread by a user with the same name as this woman! I thought "Surely this must be the same woman!" I read her story and it was! Sadly though, she had left the board and though I could read her posts, I couldn't contact her through the board. I posted the cool coincidence. One of her friends is still active on the board and gave me the lady's blog and website address. I emailed her through her website and just shared the events of today with her and told her that her story and her family's mere presence in the state and successful completion of the same process encouraged us!

She's already written back and she's MORE than willing to chat with us! As it turns out, her family was the first family in the state of Arizona to do snowflake adoption and I can only imagine that the process has gotten easier since then as they've ironed out kinks, so if anyone's the expert, it's her! I'm so thrilled!

We also got the news that assuming we're accepted and our background check checks out and they verify we're who we say we are and we're not criminals ;) this agency WILL do a homestudy again. They're very willing to work with Nightlight again. And, their homestudy fee is 1/3 of what we thought it would be (Nightlight gives a range estimate and we planned for the highest number of that range thinking anything less would be a great surprise). And the time the process takes is 1/2 the time we thought. The homestudy should only take about 3 months once we start it! We had read 3-6 months so we planned for 6! She's sending us an application and we'll turn it in as soon as we can!

We're so excited. It's just so neat to see all these things falling in to place already, one day after this became "official."

An Update on a Prayer Request

***Pregnancy/Childbirth Mentioned***

In this post, I asked you to pray for our friends and their then-in-utero twin girls, Jane and Kate. The girls were monoamniotic which is very dangerous because of the large potential of cord accidents.

Praise God that both girls were born last week on Thursday. Monoamniotic twins are delivered early (though as late as possible) to protect them from late-pregnancy issues, so the girls still have some issues due to being premature and are in the NICU. I know their family would appreciate your prayers that they would continue to grow and thrive. One girl may need to have surgery if medications cannot correct the a problem, so please also pray that the medications would work and that she wouldn't need to go through surgery at such a young age. Their mommy is home after a long hospital stay and I know their anxious for the girls to join them there. Thank you for praying for them and offering your celebrations to the Lord for the safe delivery of these precious little ones!

Doctor's Office Visit and an Announcement

Hi everyone! I made it back safely from California after a really busy weekend. DH picked me up at the airport and we went straight to the doctor's office. The timing both getting there and coming home was really tight and things had to happen precisely in order for everything to work out right and they did so we're thankful that God saw fit to bless such trivial details as clocks, traffic and plane flights!

The blood tests did confirm the doctor's suspicion. In reality I think we were both expecting to hear that so we had mentally prepared ourselves as best we could. The net point is that with this diagnosis, DH does have some elevated risks for other health problems, so this will be treated to minimize those, but the treatments do not increase fertility. Our only option for biological children would be IVF, which we have decided is not something we will pursue, for a variety of reasons.

We have officially decided to pursue Embryo Adoption. We chose this over infant adoption, at least for a first child, for a variety of reasons. As we look back on a lot of things throughout our lives, we see a lot of confirmation and "groundwork" that was being laid by the Holy Spirit for adoption in our hearts and we didn't even realize it at the time. We actually made this decision before the doctor's appointment. Embryo Adoption is not our "plan B" or a second best for us. We're confident that this was God's plan all along even if we're just now realizing it. But we had to have solid confirmation that we were discontinuing active TTC to even apply to the program because you cannot do both simultaneously.

We're still a little ways away. Embryo Adoption is very expensive so we're in the penny pinching stage. But we have already contacted the adoption agency and last week received the application. We hope that within the next several months, we'll be able to begin our homestudy and submit our application. When that is completed, we'll enter the matching process. We have our homework cut out for us and we're in for a long journey, but we are excited to begin this new chapter.

Thank you for covering our doctor's visit in your prayers. Please continue to pray for DH. His grief is still really new so he has a lot more to process but he also has a lot of hope. Also, his grief as a man is different than mine as a woman so in some ways, I just have to sit and watch as he goes through this in his own way that's different from me. But we are confident that he has the best of companions in the Holy Spirit and his heart will be filled with peace in time.

We are very glad to have some answers and we are especially grateful because had we not pursued natural conception so aggressively, this condition in DH would have gone undiagnosed and we would not have been able to make the adjustments to lower his risk factors for those other problems. We can look back on this journey (not that it is over!) and see God's loving hand at work in so many areas and we are amazed.

Thank you for praying with us, mourning with us and celebrating with us! Please join us in covering this new process in prayer and celebration!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Temporary Absence

Just wanted to check in and post that I likely won't be posting again til next Monday or Tuesday. I made a last minute business tirp to Los Angeles. It took a TON of last minute work that I never would have finished if not for my darling husband and sweet brother (so THANK YOU!) but it's going to be a long, busy weekend.

DH picks me up from the airport on the way to our next appointment with the specialist. At that appointment we'll find out the results of all the blood tests and hopefully have some good solid answers on our options. I'll post an update on Monday or Tuesday if I can. Right now I'm expecting "the worst" (emotionally--I know that whatever it is is actually God's "best") and I really feel at peace. If I feel that way about "the worst" I think that I'll do ok with anything better than that too. I just feel at peace about all the possible outcomes so I think no matter what he tells us on Monday, we'll be ok. DH is not sure where he's at right now (which I only mention so as not to exclude where he's at altogether). I don't think he's worried about where he is-he's just processing things differently.

So if you think of it, we'd love prayers on our behalf. I'll update as soon as I can and in the mean time I'll be enjoying sunny Southern California! Hope you all are well and blog buddies, I'll be a few more days behind in my catching up than I thought and had hoped for! Thanks for sticking with me!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Chicken Broccoli Casserole Recipe-As Requested (Off Topic)

As requested, here is the Chicken Broccoli Casserole I came up with. I was trying to recreate one my roommate made in college. I thought I had the recipe but when I went to fetch it, I did not.

Anyway, this is the simplest incarnation. I tend to vary it based on what I have on hand but this is the way I made it last night, which was the easiest way so far.

2-3 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 cups chicken breast, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 TBS garlic
8 oz whole wheat or whole grain rotini pasta
1 cup chicken broth or 1-2 TBS of chicken bullion and 1 cup water
2 cans of 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup
Salt and Pepper to taste
3-4 oz 2% cheese (your choice-we use 4 cheese blend), shredded


Put pasta in water and cook until al dente.

Simultaneously, place chicken in a sauce pan with chicken broth, garlic and onion and sautee over medium high heat. When chicken is white, add broccoli florets , salt and pepper and toss. Sautee until broccoli is tender and chicken is fully cooked.

Strain pasta and chicken/broccoli mix. Mix them all together. Pour cream of chicken soup over the top and stir until chicken/broccoli/pasta mixture is evenly coated. If you prefer, you may substitute a can of milk for one can of soup. If you prefer your casseroles a little more wet, retain a small portion of the broth from the chicken sautee.

Place mixture in a greased casserole dish and top with cheese. Place in 350 degree oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and reaches desired level of browning.

Serves 4-6 depending on your serving size.

Super Tuesday

Bah. I cast a vote today that I never thought I'd cast. It's an odd position for me to be in to have no candidates that I like because I'm usually SO active in campaigns and the last two Presidential cycles, I've really been happy with our Party's candidate. I had to make the decision on whether to vote personally or strategically. One candidate matches more of my views than the other (and the third not either!) but I think he's far less electable than the other. So I made the decision to vote strategically. It was a hard ballot to cast and one that I never thought I would, but after a TON of thinking, praying and discussing with DH and consulting the opinions of people we respect, we both made the best decision we felt we could make under these circumstances. I'll be interested to see the results!

If it's Super Tuesday in your state, make sure you get out and vote! I was pleasantly surprised to have to wait in line to vote--I've never had that happen. So I'm glad that more Americans are showing up to vote!

To find your polling place in Arizona, click here. You must be registered as either Democrat, Republican or Independent to vote in the Arizona Primaries (undecideds and no-affiliations can't vote in our Primaries).

I love that voting day is the only day all year where it's perfectly acceptable for grown adults to wear stickers! And be proud of it!

Monday, February 4, 2008


I'm so excited. I got 9 hours of sleep last night (and 7 uninterrupted hours!) and I woke up this morning feeling wonderful! I finally feel 100% better and I've had the energy to get a lot done around the house today. I'm a little sleepy now (I always am after I eat) but I haven't been groggy or worn down at all today! I think I might finally be over this sick-hump. I always get sick at this time of year and at least this year it had the decency to wait til after Christmas, but though it's expected, I'm still glad it's over!

We had a nice, uneventful weekend. On Friday night we had supper with DH's folks, which was nice and I think we've finally decided how we're going to vote in this disappointing election tomorrow. On Saturday we finally got our Christmas tree taken down (I'm embarrassed to admit it was up that long!) and various other chores around the house. Yesterday we went to church and then came home and napped. All of our Superbowl plans fell through at the last minute so we ended up staying home and then venturing out to the grocery store when the game no longer held our interest. Let me tell you, the supermarket is EMPTY during the Superbowl--perfect time to go! Plus, we saved 54% using coupons, sales, rain checks and the club card (thanks Moms for sharing your extra coupons with us!). We sort of have a competition with ourselves to see how high we can get that percentage every trip.

In our quest to pinch our pennies we've eliminated almost all of our dining out so I've had to get a little more creative with my cooking so that we don't get bored! It's been fun though. I've always been a "little of this, little of that" cook so it's fun to experiment. Last weekend I conjured up a banana bread that was a nice treat and way to get rid of our last few bananas. Then later in the week I discovered too late that our tortillas had spoiled, nixing my plans for chicken enchiladas, so I sauteed the chicken in some salsa, onion, green enchilada sauce, and some seasonings. I put it over tortilla chips and topped with cheese and then popped it in the oven for 15 minutes to melt the cheese. I also added refried beans to DH's portion. It was pretty tasty and easy and since we used 2% cheese and baked tortilla chips, the WW point value was pretty low. Today for lunch I doctored up some canned Tomato soup and served it with Grilled Cheese and Veggies. Tonight I'll make a chicken and broccoli casserole that I invented a couple weeks ago that was a big hit with DH.

It's raining cats and dogs here which is great because Phoenix is in desperate need of hydration. I love these kind of days. I want to snuggle under the covers with DH and just stay there all day, listening to the rain hitting the roof.

Our appointment with the doctor to discuss the lab results is a week from today and I'm still feeling pretty good about it. As much as we can understand and foresee, I *think* that we're in a place to be "ok" with whatever the results are. I know that it is the peace of Christ indwelling our hearts and we thank you for all your prayers for us. We pray that that peace continues to sustain us. I really marvel at the work that's been done in our hearts in such a short amount of time.

If you think of it though, pray for DH. He has really just started his grief stage. I'm trying to support him as best he can, but I also know there are things that as a woman, I just can't understand just as there are certain parts of my journey that he can't really identify with. His dad has really been of comfort and help to him and recently, blog buddy Jon has been encouraging for DH too--it helps him to know he's not alone in this journey. I've been grateful for both of them. He's doing well, but it hurts my heart to see him so burdened.

I think we'll just be ready on Monday to finally have an answer and to have a direction to go. We've been stuck waiting at this fork in the road for a while, and sometimes suspending the emotions is worse than feeling and dealing with them. It will be nice to have some closure and some answers.

I'd best get back to work! Hope you all are staying well and dry!

ETA: My "Real life" friends may have noticed that I put my personal blog set to private. That's primarily because I don't really use it anymore but I still wanted to retain the content in case I ever want to refer back to it so I set it to "private" instead of deleting it. So, don't worry if you see it's invite-only and you didn't get an invite. I only sent two and then I gave up because I'm not blogging there anyway!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Round Robin

I've been tagged by Jon and Elaine and I always enjoy reading these on other people's blogs, so I thought I'd play along. It's similar to the round we played before, but let's play again, shall we?

The Rules:
1) Link to the person that tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4) Tag at least three people at the end of your post and link to their blogs
5) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6) Let the fun begin!

1. I'm stealing this one from Jon but I too am an Excel junkie. Sometimes I organize things that don't need to be organized just so I can keep a spreadsheet about it. Everything from our grocery list to our Christmas gift lists to our address book is in an Excel file. Having the data meticulously organized and sortable by any number of criteria thrills me.

2. I hate to eat (which you wouldn't know by my weight ;) ). I've always hated eating. I resent the amount of time it wastes. As such, I often eat on the run, and when I am seated I am always the first one done. I try to discipline myself to eat slower but it's a habit I developed in high school and college to get more time in the day by spending less time eating and it's a hard habit to break, all these years later!

3. My brother and my biological father have the same name. My cousin and I have the same name. Once when we were young, we were celebrating Christmas with said cousin's family so there were a disproportionate number of gifts marked "Jennifer" and "Jeff" under the Christmas tree. I could read and my little brother could not. So on Christmas Eve I woke him up and we snuck downstairs. I convinced him that all the presents under the tree were for us. He knew enough to know that his name didn't start with a D (other cousin's first initial) or R (mom's initial) so he questioned me on those packages. I told him that mom just got our names wrong. Clearly all the presents were supposed to be for us because there were so many that had the right names. He bought it and we dismantled every package under the tree. To this day, I still catch flack for that! It was though, the most mischievous thing I've ever done.

4. Occasionally I narrate my dog's thoughts and expect whomever I'm narrating to (usually DH) to converse back.

5. I always wanted to have artistic talent. I can scrapbook but I'm a miserable seamstress, painter, sculptor, musician, and gardener. If I had my pick, I'd love to be able to sing.

6. I'm a sucker for a good chick-flick. I have about 10 or 20 that are my favorites and when I'm home alone I'll often put one on as background noise. I know them well enough that I don't have to stop what I'm doing and watch, but it makes the house a little less lonely. I'd rather watch my tired old favorites over and over again than watch a new movie.

That's it! 6 more random things about me! I'm tagging Sara, Trish and Heather.