Friday, December 23, 2011

A birthday post

I'm so sorry I haven't written anything sooner. To be honest, it's been a chaotic month... although it seems like every month has its own set of chaotic circumstances for the last two years. There have been health issues, work issues, just issues issues issues. And, that is just the month of December.

For those of you who don't know, my birthday is on Christmas. All of my family (on both my side & Robert's) do a spectacular job of trying to keep it separate from Christmas. When I was growing up I had a half birthday on June 25th. As an adult I've decided to celebrate it on Christmas. My husband, whom I love dearly, decided three years ago to celebrate my birthday in a really unique way. It's called the "5 days of Darbi". On the first day of Darbi which is December 21st, Robert gives me one small gift (this year a funny t-shirt). Second day of Darbi two small gifts (this year it was two cups of coffee... one for me, one for him= one date)... Today is the third day. 
 Day One

Day Two

I just wanted to take this opportunity to tell him how sweet and special his thoughtfulness is. It is one of my favorite parts of my birthday. Robert, you are an amazing man & although our lives are always full with chaos, I'm glad they are chaotic with you. You are my rock & my best friend. You daily live out God's love in your actions (and because it's my birthday I am mushy writing). You are such a blessing.

I did also want to share with you the present V gave us for Christmas. Two stockings. One said Mom & the other said Dad. I had forgotten that she has always referred to us as the Mommy & Daddy. This is so precious. I mean, this is our birthmother calling us mommy & daddy of the child she is carrying. What does that tell you about adoption? She gets it! This is our child. But V doesn't understand how adoption is just a reflection of God's love for us & our adoption into a much bigger family.

Families are created in more ways than one. Please continue to pray for witnessing opportunities. Especially for an opportunity to share God's love for her & how God views adoption. We pray that somehow we will be able to show her this. This is our biggest challenge right now.

I can't help but think of God's love for us in such a different way since we've been on the adoption journey. It has changed us. The Christmas songs are so much sweeter because we are singing about our precious Savior who died so we could be adopted. Words cannot even express what this season is really about for us. It's still the story of us being adopted by our most gracious Heavenly Father. It's always the story of our adoption.

So, on that note...

Merry Christmas!!!

We find out at the middle/end of next month what the sex is of our baby. :) I think they are waiting until 20 weeks.


I am posting my thankfulness list on Facebook. I need to update it here but we are upwards of 100. Let me know if you want to join the group.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A new challenge

The last few weeks have been interesting in our household. Over Thanksgiving both Robert & I were really sick (the fabulous stomach virus). So, we spent Thanksgiving and a few more days sick in bed. Although we did catch up on the latest episodes of Restaurant Impossible & Chopped.

This holiday season has also been a challenging emotionally for me. There is something about the holiday's that makes me miss our kids even more (even the one we were not able to adopt). The grief is a little more profound this time of year.

What's so complicated is that somehow all the sadness is clouding out the excitement of our expectancy. We are in the process of adopting a precious baby. There is a part of me that is so afraid of another failed adoption, yet every time we are with the birthgiver & family God continues to give numerous confirmations that they are determined to place this child with us. The family has experienced adoption before & they understand very clearly what is going on here. This is very real to them.

There is a part of me that thinks most people are expecting this adoption to fail. I feel like I'm constantly having to assure others that this is the right choice. A part of me is so hesitant to have a baby shower because I think people are thinking "Oh, that's dumb... She should wait until she knows for sure she has the baby". But this is no different then if I were pregnant. There are no guarantees, but rather we go forward in faith whether in pregnancy or in adoption. I care too much about what others might be thinking & am allowing that to be my truth instead of what God thinks.

So, this is the battle... To think on what is True, to live in the Known. What we know is that God has without a doubt called us to pursue adoption. We know that adoption is precious to God's heart. Did you know that Jesus was adopted? Joseph was Jesus' earthly father. There were no biological ties between them. Yet, Joseph was given this awesome responsibility of raising this child. Fast forward 33 years, Jesus died so that we could be adopted into His family. Those who confess that Jesus alone is Lord, that He alone is where our salvation lies become co-heirs with him. We become part of His family. The truth is, God has called us to adoption because He has adopted us. If we spent the rest of our lives trying to live out His picture of how He has adopted us then that is worth all of this heartache and pain.   

In order to combat all these crazy thoughts, I need your help. Hebrews 13:15 states "Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name". God desires our heartfelt worship by offering a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Perhaps the sacrifice is in the fact that we by nature are complainers. I am by nature a complainer.

Ann Voskamp wrote a book called "One Thousand Gifts". My friend Melanie & I read it together last year. With the exception of certain chapters (skip 6 and 11) and some of her crazy weird writing, the principles of the book are really good. She basically says that we need to write down little ways that we are thankful to God. If we are daily looking for these things (for example, a cup of coffee) we are actively looking for ways God is at work. We are preparing our hearts for thankfulness in the big things. Believe you me, God is at work in a cup of coffee (it's such an enjoyable beverage!). The Israelites built monuments to remind them of God's work. This is a modern way of doing the same thing.

1) My goal: to write 1,000 ways I'm thankful.
2) Your challenge: keep me accountable to write 7 a day until I reach 1,000. If I don't post call me out publicly on it (nicely please). :)
3) Do this with me. My prayer is that at least one of you will take me up on this challenge.

Hopefully by today we will have a separate tab for the list.

As always, thank you for listening and for your prayers.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Let's get this fundraiser started!

Our first fundraiser is Sugar Scrubs - $6.00

Sugar Scrubs help exfoliate the skin making it look healthy.

There are many options to choose from:

Base: White Sugar or a combination of Brown and White Sugar
Oil: Olive Oil (if you prefer a different oil please email me)
Pick your scent (up to two): Coconut, Black Raspberry, Lavender, Lemon, Mango, Melon, Orchid Blossom, Pink Grapefruit, Sweet Sugar, Sandalwood, Sweet Magnolia, Tuberose, Vanilla.

You get 4 oz for a delightful spa like experience. These make wonderful Christmas gifts, Hanukkah gifts, birthday gifts (my birthday is Christmas day so don't forget December birthday's).

Our second fundraiser is some beautiful Personalized Picture Necklaces. My very creative & artsy sister-in-law Cindy has recently started making these awesome necklaces. I have one and have received several compliments on it (plus I get to wear a picture of my beloved husband).

Here are your choices:

Silver w/ 24” Ball chain $20.00
Square- Antique Silver
Circle- Shiny
Circle- Antique Silver/scalloped edge
Rectangle- Antique Silver/scalloped edge

Bronze w/ 24” Bronze Ball chain - $20.00
Circle- Antiques bronze/scalloped edge
Rectangle- Antique Bronze/scalloped edge
*Bronze finish looks best with Sephia photo

Any of the above can be made into a keychain - $12.00

Child's Mini Bottle cap necklace w/ initial - $6.00

Note: Photo’s should be emailed to either butterflydarbi@gmail or Photos should be of good quality.

Subjects in the photo should be fairly close together, otherwise once resized may be too small.

Pictures will not be photoshopped only resized to fit the charms.

Please specify choice of photo- Color, Black & White or Sephia

If you have any questions please let me know!



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Our first appointment & a picture of Baby Mills

Yesterday we had our first appointment with the birthmother whom we will call "V". It was amazing, odd, but amazing nonetheless. The last ultrasound Robert & I were at was our own. We saw Eve but her heart had already stopped two days before the ultrasound.

This was a big deal. We were nervous (obviously) and both praying that the baby's heart would be beating. It sounded like static (says the women with hearing aids), but it was definitely there. It was incredible to hear and see the baby, our baby. It was odd in the fact that there were 6 of us in the room. V, Sue (our agent), Robert, myself, the technician, and the Dr. What was so precious is that V was watching our reactions to the ultrasound & to the heartbeat. She told us the other day that "Your baby loves pickles". V also loves the fact that we call the baby "peanut". It's also odd because this baby is not in my body, yet that doesn't matter. It used to, but not anymore. This child is no less my child then one I carry biologically. It's still a little weird to be showing people a picture of another woman's uterus.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself that "We should be careful... don't call it your baby until the paperwork is signed... emotionally protect yourself". Think about it from V's perspective. Would you want the adoptive family to be excited or hesitant, emotionally distant until you sign the paperwork (after the baby is born in June)? Would you want the adoptive parents to come to every appointment with that mentality? If I were the birthmother, I would seriously have second thoughts about the adoption.

Think about it from our perspective as well. We have had three miscarriages & a failed adoption. We are keenly aware of emotionally what is at stake here. There are two choices, either we trust the Lord or we don't. He has called us to pursue this match and we must trust Him regardless of the outcome. We have an incredible opportunity to show V and her family God's love and purpose of adoption. But how can we if we are hesitant to love V, her family, or this baby?

It was an incredible experience yesterday. Here is the picture of our little pickle liking peanut. The arrow in the picture is not in the actual uterus ;).

Side note: We will be taking orders for sugar scrubs starting next week in time for the holidays. We will also be announcing our surprise fundraising project (also in time for the holiday's) in a couple of days.

As always, we are so grateful for you all. Words do not express our deep gratitude towards you all.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Answering a couple of questions

Lately, we have been asked the same questions by multiple people. I think many people have the same questions so this post is to answer those questions.

1) Why do you need to fundraise more money?
The first adoption was a shorter placement, which meant less money. Because we are taking a longer placement the adoption is more expensive.

Right now we are working on some ideas for Christmas gifts. My favorite part of this project is experimenting with recipes for sugar scrub. Today's experiment was a lemon coconut scrub (which was surprisingly awesome).

We are also hoping to have another garage sale in January or February. We do still have t-shirts for sale. We are open to other fundraising ideas.

2) If this is a girl, are you going to "reuse" the name Talitha?
Yes, we are. The other little baby girl was not our daughter. She was not our Talitha. We have no doubt that someday God will bless us with our daughter.

3) What if this baby is a boy?
We would be thrilled to have a son.

4) Do you already have a boy name picked out? And what is it?
Yes. That has been a closely guarded secret for a while.

My question is now to you all. Which two seem to be the best ideas for Christmas gift fundraiser:
1) Various sugar scrubs
2) Christmas lanterns
3) Baked goods- Millennium Falcon shaped cookies amongst other more traditional cookies or delicious pumpkin bread
4) Custom made earrings or bookmarks

We'd like your input either here or on Facebook. Or if you have a different idea please feel free to share that as well.

As always, we thank you all for your love, your support, and your prayers. We are so very blessed with all of you.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A match

The day before we celebrated our 4th anniversary, we got a call from our agent Sue Deckrow. A family had called her stating that they were going to be placing a child for adoption. Sue has known this family for a few years and has worked with them before. They were interested in another couple, yet Sue for whatever reason took our book as well. The family just fell in love with our book (and us as well, I guess).

Sue then called us. We were pretty excited thinking "Oh, this sounds awesome"... I then asked "When is she due?"... "In June". Ever since we've started this adoption process we have been praying for immediate placement. We told Sue all we wanted was a short term placement (a placement is when you actually take custody of the baby). Sue tried four times to either match or place us with a short term or immediate placement. Sue expected us to say no because we had been very clear about what we wanted. She did tell us that she knows this family well.

When my dear sweet husband and I sat down to talk about this, which also involved me dropping a hot potato on my hand, we tried to think of many many reasons why we shouldn't take this match. We prayed a lot. The only reason we could come up with is that we didn't want to wait til June to be placed. We knew that if we were face to face with God, that reason would not fly. God quickly made it obvious that this is what He wants us to pursue. He gave us His peace.

On our 4th anniversary we accepted this match. A few days later we met with the birthgiver and her family. They gave us a couple of pictures of the first ultrasound. They asked us to come to every appointment. They asked me if I wanted to be the birthing coach. And, they were very clear about wanting us both in the delivery room. The last adoption attempt the birthgiver wanted nothing to do with us. She didn't want to meet us, didn't want us at appointments. We had no pictures or communication with her. This has been the opposite in every way possible. Normally, Sue doesn't match people this early on in their pregnancies unless she is confident they will place.

A lot of people have shared their hesitation about us taking such a long match. But, when we took a short match (6 weeks til the due date), it failed. So, the length of time doesn't seem to matter. We either trust God in ALL things or we spend the next 7 - 8 months fearing what will happen. Are we scared? Yes, of course but we are learning to trust Him more.

We are reminded now more than ever why we are adopting. We aren't adopting simply because we want kids. Medically we have been cleared since the end of July to try biologically. We are adopting because we are living out the Redemption Story. He has adopted us first.

We do still have all the money we raised but need to raise some additional funds. We will be starting some fundraising in the next few weeks. We will have some gifts that will be available to buy for Christmas presents. Any money we don't use towards our adoption will go to help someone else adoption.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

In honor of our anniversary

In honor of our 4 year anniversary I thought I would retell the story of how we started dating.

July of 2005 I started attending Lakeside. Robert & I met through our Sunday school class. In November, he asked me out. We went for coffee at Starbucks. To his credit, he did offer to take me to dinner, but I declined and went for coffee instead. Honestly, the only reason I went out with him is because a friend told me to "Keep my options open". In my defense, I hadn't dated anyone in 5 years and was not expecting that to change. I was so inattentive to getting ready for the date that I wore two different tennis shoes. The date was ok. Conversation was easy but I just wasn't interested. After the date he asked for another one and I gave some lame-o excuse as to why I couldn't.

After that we started to become pretty good friends. From time to time I would sense that Robert may still be interested in me. Being the kind & gentle person I was, I said "Hey, we are just friends right?" Apparently, that is like outright rejection. Robert still remained my friend and our friendship continued to grow. At one point I had prayed "Lord, I want to marry my best friend and be surprised by the fact that I've fallen in love with him, but the only guy I'm close friends with is Robert. I don't want to marry him."

Somewhere in the midst of all that I started to fall in love with him although not consciously. I would get a little jealous if I'd see him talking to another girl, little stuff like that. He was always a gentleman, kind, and patient. Only recently we found out that there was a little bit of a conspiracy amongst our friends to get us together. Rachel Crissman to you we owe the final missing piece of the puzzle. You got Robert to spike his hair. Once his hair was off his face, it finally dawned on me that he was really attractive (talk about the scales falling from your eyes). The issue was never our compatibility.

For a solid month I kept dropping hints to Robert that I liked him. None of which he pick up on. Somehow, we ended up going on a non-date together and it was that faithful night we had this conversation.

"Robert, I didn't really give you a fair chance when we went out on that first date."
"Oh, that's ok! I forgive you."
(Darbi thinks to herself 'He is not getting this at all, I need to be more direct').
"Robert... I like you."
Silence fills the car
"I don't object".

We said good night and went home. The next day Robert asked me out (our second attempt at a first date). One year later we were married. When I asked him what "I don't object" meant, he said that he didn't object to dating but wanted to pray about it first. Although the only thing he was able to articulate was "I don't object".

I praise God for an interesting but amazing journey we've had together. We have cried (a lot), laughed, and grown up together. God used us as co-creators of three beautiful souls whose short existence here was a gateway to heaven. We are the opposite of each other, bringing out the best in each other.

We eagerly wait to see where the Lord is taking us next.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I don't have a good title for this post...

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you think to yourself "Wow. What a week!" This has been one of those weeks.

Last Saturday I stumbled upon a great truth in the Bible that I've never seen before. When faced with the challenges of not being able to have children, I feel like I've become best friends with the women in the Bible who have walked this road. Sarah, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth (there are a few others). I was reading Luke 1 which says "In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years."

Two things jump out:
1) Both Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous before God.
2) Elizabeth was barren.

Wait, what? They were both righteous before God and they were barren. Since the first miscarriage with Peter there has been an indescribable amount of guilt that I had done something wrong. Perhaps I did something to lose the baby, maybe God was angry at me for doing such and so in the past, was I disobedient in some way? When Faith and Eve also passed away, this struggle continued. "Does God hate me? Why does he hate me? I feel so unloved. Is such and so a better, more spiritual person than I am that they are blessed with children and I'm barren?" Drug addicts are having children left and right, I'm not. I have watched many people go through their entire pregnancies and in some cases have had a multiple pregnancies, and then there's me... Still in the same trial. When the adoption placement failed these thoughts were even more prominent.

They were righteous, they were barren. Eurkea! Barreness is a struggle and a trial, but it isn't because God hates me. It is quite the opposite. He is purifying and showing both of us that He is sufficient and faithful when things do not make a lick of sense. And, nothing makes sense right now. From the outside, we must look like we are completely dysfunctional and have a giant bad luck magnet over us. But, truthfully we are learning joy and how to trust God in an incredible way.

Recently we had the opportunity to pursue a potential match. Waiting for the answer is like waiting for a pregnancy test to turn positive, except with a degree of insanity. We found out this morning, after waiting 9 days, they had chosen another couple because they were Methodist and had another child. It makes you wonder if there's something wrong with you, but that isn't thinking on what is true. Evidentally, God picked this Methodist family for this child. We want what God wants for us. Our agent did say that we are her #1 priority in being placed. She's an amazing woman who's heart is of gold.

Without a doubt, this story is so much bigger than just Robert & Darbi. This child that is coming into our lives has such a crazy story being written. A story of God's love for us, His love for adoption, and His love for His people. This isn't just about our child or our adoption. It is about Him.

I won't lie. Things are still a struggle. I hate baby showers more than ever. Being around pregnant women is still difficult (although I'm trying very hard to be). It's so difficult to wait. It's sucks to have an empty nursery. But, as much as I struggle, I have to constantly remind myself that God is still good even my circumstances are crazy.

In 6 days we are celebrating our 4th anniversary. It's been a wild 4 years (half of which has been in this trial) and honestly I wouldn't change it for anything. Robert, you never cease to amaze me.

As always, we covet your prayers and thank God for all of you.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A temporary sabbatical

It's been several weeks since my last post. Honestly, between the shock of the failed adoption (for lack of a better term), dealing with the first anniversary of Eve's birth into heaven, and finally having time to process my joblessness after 5 years at the school, well it made for a difficult time to write on the blog. It was too painful to write.

A couple of weeks ago, I was expressing concern with a friend about going to church the next day. I was afraid that people were either going to ask about the adoption or about my job... We prayed about it. The next day a precious woman came up to me and asked how the adoption was going. Here's how the conversation went.

Woman (with great excitement in her voice)- "How's everything with the adoption?"
Me- "Uh, well. We just had a failed placement."
Woman - "Oh. I'm so sorry... Well, how's your job going? How's school?"
Me - "Um, yeah. I lost my job over the summer."

I began laughing because it is absurd, absolutely absurd. Even now, it makes me laugh. God in his graciousness allowed my praying friend to be a part of this exchange. One question is what on earth do I talk about with people? I don't have living children and am not pregnant (which is a topic that most women my age discuss)... I don't have a job outside the home... Does anyone want to hear about how shiny my toilet is because it will be once I stop writing this post. Or perhaps we can discuss the drama this past week involving my phosphate-free dishwashing detergent... Please don't misunderstand. I'm not looking down on being a homemaker. I'm transitioning to it and it is what I've wanted to be. It is a gift from my Savior.

So all that to say... Many of you are wondering what happened with the adoption and what is next. The birthgiver/mother changed her mind. It is a blessing that she changed her mind before she went into labor or into delivery. Please pray for this young woman. As for us, we are waiting to be re-matched with another birthgiver/mother. We have been waiting since the first adoption fell through. We would like to pray for either an immediate placement (which is preferred) or for a woman who is close to delivering. Our agent continues to work for us. She continues to encourage us to trust in God and his timing.

As for us, many have asked (or wondered) how we are doing. The adoption falling through was yet another heartache. My heart still loves that baby girl we weren't placed with. But, that wasn't our daughter and that's what we have to remember. But, through it all God remains our cornerstone, our rock, and our salvation. We have lost three pregnancies and one adoption, but we haven't lost our God. We haven't lost our Savior who is one thousand times more precious to us now than these earthly blessing would have been. Is that hard to say? Yes, but it's true. It is through these trials He shines forth as more precious and brings a healing that we didn't know that was needed. It is a spiritual healing. We don't deserve His grace. Even in this heartache, I don't deserve His salvation, His love, His kindness, and grace in which He gave at the cross by killing His son in my place.

As I write this, the song "I surrender all" is playing. "All to thee my blessed savior, I surrender. All to thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all".

We ask for your continued prayers. For the adoption, for our hearts to love God even more, for patience in waiting on the Lord.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A painful post to write

Have you ever had a time in your life when you feel like you are completely in the dark? This is a difficult post to write and it grieves our hearts greatly. Up until last Wednesday everything was fine with our placement. The nursery was ready to go & we were just waiting on this baby girl to be delivered, her due date this Friday. But slowly the cracks became more evident. Our agent says "I don't know what happened". But we know we were supposed to pursue this placement. We raised $8,200 in three weeks to pay for our adoption (if you include the amount from the garage sale we have raised over $10,000). Circumstantially everything pointed to adopting this baby girl.

There is a lot of background information that we don't feel at liberty to discuss. But, our agent has confirmed what we feared. There is a very slim to no chance that we will be able to adopt this baby. We hope and pray for a miracle, a change of heart by the birthgiver (because it changed so rapidly from last week...).

There is a full nursery and a shower scheduled... To which one will have the door closed again for the time being and the other will be cancelled. Right now it looks like this is not our Talitha.

But we know that somehow this glorifies God. We keep thinking about our own spiritual adoption that was so much more costly and painful. God killed his own Son so that we might be called Children of God. Our Heavenly Father knows how we feel.

Romans 8:16-17 states "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him."

Romans 8:31-32 "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"

As for this earthly adoption, we are reminded now that this has been and will continue to be His adoption of our child. We may be the adoptive parents, but God is the One orchestrating it all. Our hope is in Him. We don't know the reason this is happening. We have no idea why. We don't even really know what to say. Except for this...He is our hope.

To everyone who is in this with us, we covet your prayers and love you all more as you walk this path with us.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

My apologies for a delayed post

I went into a little bit of a mental hibernation! I forgot that we hadn't written anything about the circumstances surrounding the adoption of this little girl. (Thank you Michelle for your prompting)! So, here is an overview of what happened.

The evening of June 11th - My fear was confirmed as we found out that after 5 years, I no longer had my job. The reason? We were told was due to low school enrollment.

The morning of June 12th - I was praying "Lord, how on earth are we going to fund this adoption? We know this is your will for us."

The afternoon of June 12th - One of my grandmother's passed away.

The evening of June 12th - We got a text from Sue (our adoption coordinator) who said that she had a potential birthmother match. The birthmother was due August 16th. It was a little girl (which had been our desire to have a daughter). The birthmother didn't smoke, drink, or do drugs. We were told to be prepared for adopting a newborn with a meth addiction. There are a fair number of newborn's put up for adoption have meth addictions (they wean the babies off after birth and the babies can function normally just like everyone else). Before we pursued adoption we were aware that this was a possibility. To be honest, it scared me, but regardless we knew God would give us the grace to do what He wanted us to do.

Back to the story. The evening of the 12th, I knew when I got that text that this was what God wanted us to pursue. There was a peace & excitement that I cannot fully describe. When Robert got home, we prayed a lot. That's an understatement. We were still trying to mentally grasp that I had lost my job & process the fact that my grandmother had died. We prayed. We watched an episode of something, and then prayed some more. There was no good reason why we shouldn't pursue this, except for the issue of finances.

We needed to have the rest of our adoption cost at the placement of the baby. After much prayer, we decided to accept this placement. We also sought counsel as to how we should proceed to get the rest of the money. We found out after we accepted placement that the birthmother could go as early as 30 days before the due date. We decided to do a Facebook-A-Thon fundraiser for a portion of our overall cost $7,000 (because we had no idea when the baby would come).

Miraculously, in a little over two weeks time God provided over $7,000. If you were following the blog you also saw that an anonymous donor matched part of our remaining $1800ish funds. In two days we raised nearly $2500 (as we received some donations before the matching). We are still amazed at that and to be honest I don't think we have really "realized" what all has happened the past few weeks.

The Lord has graciously provided all the furniture we needed for a nursery, clothing for Talitha, and so much more. It's been so crazy trying to prep a nursery in the midst of everything but we are blessed with family & friends who made sure we had what we needed.

To make a long story even longer, I have been asked many times where does the name Talitha come from? We actually have had the name picked out for some time (Praise God because we had a difficult time picking paint color, the name would've been 10x more difficult under the circumstances). Last summer after the second miscarriage (literally like 4 or 5 days after), we traveled to the Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, Colorado. I met a woman while washing dishes... One thing lead to another and somehow we got to talking about having miscarriages. She had one. After that she went on to have 3 healthy, full term pregnancies. Her firstborn daughter was named Talitha. I fell in love with the name & Robert thought "it was cool". It is the Aramaic name for Little Lamb or Little Girl. This word is used in Mark 5:35-42. Jesus' healing of Jarius' daughter. So fast forward a little... After the third miscarriage, while I was in the hospital one of my nurses was named Talitha. The only two times I had heard that were after the miscarriages. Recently I found out that the nurse Talitha is actually married to one of my brother's really good friend. We knew then that our firstborn daughter would be named Talitha.

Sorry for such a long blog post. There was a lot to say. We are now awaiting our Talitha to join our family. Please pray for a quick and healthy delivery. We are also praying that this is indeed the child that the Lord will add to our family.

Did I mention I also finally was medically cleared? After a year of waiting and monthly blood test, I am healthy. Praise the Lord that no molar tissue developed (which is actually a treatable cancer type of tissue). We are very grateful!!!!

We are in awe of what God is doing!!!!!


Friday, July 29, 2011

Just to help you remember...

One of the interesting things about humans is after we learn a lesson, we often have to learn it again. For example, let's say you were adopting and needed to raise funds to afford it, and God keeps showing His power to provide (it's all His money anyway, right?). Despite this, it's not hard for doubts to enter our sinful minds. Besides, the baby could be born any day, and there is still a need for $2400. It's not that we don't believe God will provide. It's just very easy to start doubting when the obstacles are bigger than we are.

Thankfully, God is patient. He continues to gently remind us to trust Him. This morning, we received a pledge for $500, bringing our total to $5110. That leaves only $1890 remaining. Praise the Lord for His goodness!

But then God basically said, "Just to help you remember I am taking care of this for you, I'm going to provide even further." A little later this morning, we found out that someone has anonymously pledged to match all further donations, dollar for dollar, until we reach our $7000 goal. With $1890 remaining, we need only $945 to be donated to reach our goal! Again, the Lord is good.

We don't know who the anonymous donor is, but we thank God for their generosity. Also, thank you to everyone who has donated, bought tshirts, given up your time, and, most importantly, prayed. The most important thing that could happen during this process is God being glorified. You all are a testament to God's goodness through you, which is most definately glorifying to Him.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

God is bigger...

My husband thinks I am a tad neurotic. :) In the morning as soon as my eyes open, I am pretty much awake. It's like hitting the ground running, at least mentally that is. It's 6:00 and this couldn't wait.

The past week has been challenging to say the least. Good challenges and difficult ones. We will keep you in suspense a little longer on how God has been revealing Himself through these circumstances. :)

It's like we are on the edge of something huge... God is using us in ways that we could have never imagined. I've been able to openly talk about my struggles carrying a pregnancy to term, been able to counsel and encourage (which is such a blessing), and seen God moving people in a way that leaves me speechless. This adoption is so much bigger than either one of us and we marvel at the fact that we get to watch it.

I don't even know where to start... A few weeks ago I had written a blog that described the desert. And for the better part of two years, that has been the journey. Now, looking back the I can see that God has (as He always is) been true to His word in Psalm 23.

"The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

What I perceived to be the desert, was where God was making me lie down in green pastures; where he was leading me besides quiet waters, it was because I desperately need to hear His voice. He was making me more dependent on Him. Oh, there were the dark valleys of dealing with the deaths of three miscarriages too. But, He was there... And, what is so crazy is that the miscarriages have everything to do with this adoption. He is teaching us that this adoption is truly His. But even more so, it is teaching us how adoption reflects our adoption as children of God ( This is what this is all about. This is why we adopt, because there is no better way to show the Father's love that He has for us.

We aren't adopting because simply because we want kids... In 8 days, I will be medically cleared to "try" to conceive naturally and the Dr.'s say medically I should be able to carry to term. We are approaching the end of our one year wait. Why are we adopting? Because He has adopted us into His family. Adoption is a beautiful reflection of our Father's love for us!!!

Romans 8:15
"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"

We are still raising money to bring Talitha home (and have great t-shirts for sale)... We know that He will provide. He has moved mountains and we have a financial mountain that He will move. We are amazed and daily you all humble us with your generosity! And, we are amazed at the God we serve.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Facebook a Thon

In addition to being placed, we are in the midst of redoing our house so that we actually have a nursery (I don't think a bike store's well with all the baby stuff)... We are in the midst of raising some of the funds we need to bring Talitha home. I promise to write more details later about how God orchestrated this, but that will have to wait for another day! :)


Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's ok to cry...

I admit it... I've been putting off posting something... I wasn't entirely sure what to write about.

Today was a child dedication day at church. I came in, saw it listed on the church bulletin, and then immediately left. Had any of our children lived this would've been their dedication. It has been 11 months since the last miscarriage. For the most part I have resumed normal activities, but there are times when the pain hits. It feels as though your heart is being held together by stitches and then a giant solder rips right through to the wound that has yet to heal. It isn't hitting as frequently though.

These are the times that my prayers are the most earnest. This is the time when in my weakest moments that God is holding me so close, and there is no doubt in my mind that He is who He says He is. And, it is ok that it hurts. Time after time people have told me to look forward to when we have kids instead of dwelling on the pain now, but it isn't that simple. A mother cannot forget a child she has carried, nor should she. Everyone deals with grief differently. It is ok to cry. There is no time table on grieving. It is through this pain that God is revealing Himself to me in a way that would have been impossible otherwise.

I am not writing this for myself... I am writing this to the woman out there reading this who feels alone... I don't know who you are or when you will read this, but my heart is with you. You aren't alone. God is with you so sovereignly over this situation, He loves you infinitely more than you can imagine. Somehow this glorifies Him. The broken pieces of our lives are made whole by Him. Our children are in the presence of the most High, the God who is worth everything.

So, with that I would like to announce that I am launching a Facebook group for women who have had miscarriages (infertility will eventually be addressed on a separate group page as there are different issues involved. If you are interested in leading that group please let me know). There are times when a conventional Bible Study has a difficult time dealing with these issues. Let me know if you are interested in joining this study.

As hard as this year has been I can't imagine where or who we would be if it hadn't happened. Your support has been such a blessing.

Quick adoption update: We had our homestudy interview. We are just waiting on some paperwork to clear (probably government)... We are waiting on placement. We have started preparing the nursery (which is more emotionally challenging than I thought). We have been blessed with more funds for the adoption. Besides the $1,000 donated to cover the homestudy, we have had a $500 donation, and someone else sent us money recently. We have also been blessed with the finances to buy the crib. Thank you all for being such faithful brother's and sister's in our Lord. You humble us with your generosity. We are preparing to bring our baby home (if you want to help paint the nursery, just let me know)! :)


Monday, June 20, 2011

Trusting in His Faithfulness

Years ago there was a song called "Wilderness" by the Supertones. The chorus says:

"Have you ever held in doubt what this life is all about
Have you questioned all these things that seem important to us
Do you really wanna know or are you a little scared
You’re afraid that God is not really exactly what you’d have Him be
What should I hold to and what should I do
How do I know if anything’s true
I’m somewhere in-between Canaan and Egypt a place called the wilderness"

Since this song came out (yes, already 11 years ago), the story of the nation of Israel wandering through the desert has been one of my favorites. We will get back to this in a moment... One thing that has surprised me the most is how connected my feelings about the miscarriages tie so closely with this adoption. Naively, I thought if we only were to adopt those feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, fear and grief would go away. What I didn't expect was an even harder lesson in trusting the Lord. To be honest, I am terrified of a failed adoption... I am terrified of getting pregnant again and miscarrying and losing that child too. We are expecting medical clearance as of our next Dr.'s appt on July 28th (although the next pregnancy will be closely monitored).

Right now things are so uncertain. We are waiting on a placement with a birthmother (no time table as to when)... We are waiting to be medically cleared. We are waiting to see if I still have a job come this coming school year. We are waiting on the finances to come through for our adoption. We are somewhere in-between Canaan and Egypt a place called the wilderness. My flesh fails... And like the Israelites, despite the blessings the Lord has already given us, I wonder and worry. "Will we have enough money for this adoption?" "What will happen if I lose my job?" "What happens if we have a failed adoption? "How can we get a nursery ready when I don't know when we will have a child?" "How would I be able to go through yet another miscarriage?" What is the theme here? Too much self-reliance. Psalm 78 speaks of the when the Israelities were wandering in the desert grumbling against God in the wilderness. After being lead out of Egypt where they were oppressed and in slavery they were in the wilderness.

Verse 12-16
"In the sight of their fathers he performed wonders in the Land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan. He divided the sea and let them pass through it, and made the waters stand like a heap. In the daytime he lead them with a cloud, and all the night with a firely light.He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep. He made streams come out of the rock and caused waters to flow down like rivers."

God was providing for their needs... Yet, what happened? Verses 17-20 " Yet they sinned still more again him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert... They spoke against God, saying, "Can God spread a table in the wilderness? He struck the rock so that water gushed out and streams overflowed. Can he also give bread to or provide meat for his people?" Umm, the obvious answer is yes, of course He can. He just made water out of a rock in the desert. He led them out of slavery, split the Red Sea in half so they passed safely, that is just the tip of God's faithfulness.

All that to say, no matter how much God has blessed us with this adoption, like the Israelis... I only see a part of the picture. I see the desert. I see the waiting, the uncertainty, the fear. What we are called to do is trust God even when things don't make sense. Our circumstances don't make sense. But, God does. His faithfulness does. He allows this trial so that He may be glorified. I don't know why we have to wait. Our journey of wanting children started two years ago. But, "In this I rest in this I find my refuge that my thoughts and ways are not His." And, Praise God for that!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Garage Sale Results!!!!!

Yesterday was our first official fundraiser for our adoption. Three weeks ago Robert & I looked at each other, our calender, and then this was the only weekend opened we could have it.

~In three weeks, donations poured in from our all of our family (biological and church).
~In three weeks, we filled a two car garage (and some overflow went into our sweet friend Shannon's living room).
~ My sister brought hot dogs & water to sell, stayed to sell, and helped so much... My parents stayed two days to help sell. Our dear friend Tiffany helped clean out the garage. Our dear friend Amy came to work the garage sale. Our friends came to support. Our friends Celeste and Grace made delicious baked goods to sell (those cake pops changed my life). Robert's brother and his girlfriend helped set up, clean up & helped to sell stuff too. (If I forgot someone I'm so sorry. We appreciate all of you)!!!

Cake pops changed my life...

The result: We sold $1,709.60.

We are amazed. God has blown us away. The crazy part? We still have a few big ticket items to sell on CraigsList (a top hutch, a complete hutch, a 4 person dinning room table + chairs, and an elliptical).

There are so many lessons here that we are learning. First, God is proving that this is His adoption. His money, His timing. Secondly, we are amazed by the support. Our family is so excited and so supportive. But, our church family is equally excited and supportive. All of our family has never been more precious to us. We see the face of God through your generosity & care for us. Words are so inadequate to describe how much we love all of you. Thank you for helping us bring out baby home.

Here is where we are now. The next step is to rest a few days... :) We are going to be selling t-shirts. We will begin to work on planning some other fundraisers (hopefully not all in three weeks time). And in the fall we will have another garage sale (so keep that in the back of your mind).

As for the adoption process, we are now finishing up some of the homestudy paperwork. We still have to be interviewed, but as soon as that goes through we are ready. One of two things will happen. 1) We will be matched with a birthmother who is still pregnant. 2) We will be immediately placed with a baby who has already been born. We will let you know more as we know more. :)

We love you all so very much!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The beginning of blessings

It has been quite sometime since we posted anything. Since our last blog we have jumped with both feet first into adoption. We are almost done with our homestudy and this Friday and Saturday we will be having our first fundraiser for the adoption. May was quite the busy month.

June 6th marks the 1 year anniversary of my second miscarriage. I think of it as Faith's birthday because it was the day she was born into our Savior's arms. Is it mere symbolism that this around the same time as our garage sale for the adoption? Looking towards the adoption does help ease the pain, but it doesn't erase it. It still hurts. We also realized that the miscarriages and the adoption cannot be separated.

One other thing that we have learned (especially recently). God is at work in this. God has blessed us beyond measure with the amount of support from both biological family and church family. We are humbled daily at the out pour of love and support. Daily we are blessed with reminders of the God we serve.

Here are some examples:
~ an anonymous donor gave us $1,000 to pay for all of our Homestudy
~ we were afraid we would have very few items to sell at the garage sale...
We filled a two car garage with things for the garage sale within two weeks.
~ I prayed that we would be able to have something more at the garage sale like baked goods and two dear sisters offered to make some.
~ we prayed for big items to sell... He is still providing.
~ we prayed for littler items to sell... He provided.
~ we prayed for more clothes... The Lord provided that too.

We are learning that this is His adoption. His child, His will, His family. We are amazed by God.

So, our first step is to raise $5,000. Ways you can help:
1) Pray, pray some more.
2) Pre-order a t-shirt.
3) Come to the garage sale this Friday and Saturday.
4) Pray. :)

We love each and everyone of you,

P.S. We had a friend redesign the blog. :) She did a great job!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Life moves forward...

We are 8 months into our year of waiting. And it seems we are always waiting for something... What value is there to waiting or for trials? Tonight I started reading the book "When Life is Hard" by James MacDonald.

      "It may be hard to see them right now, but God does have some plans for you - plans for how to use this
      pain you're enduring. Jeremiah 29:11 says "He knows the plans He has for you, plans to give you a
      future and a hope."  Yes! That's what I want to hear, you may be thinking. Let's get on with those plans
      right now - future, hope, blessing. I'm ready!

      But here's the thing: God knows something else. He knows that we're not always ready for the plans that
      He has for us. So He has some plans to get us ready for His plans. That's really what this book is about -
      taking the difficult things that God allows into your life, and getting to the place where the blessing can be

Wow. How convicting. Looking back that is exactly what God has been doing through this... Is it hard? Yes. Does it hurt? Yes. Is God faithful through it? Yes. 

For those of you who haven't heard, we just started the process of adoption. Why and how did this happen? After the second miscarriage we begun to think of adopting a child. However, since we got pregnant a month and after that, we thought the Lord was saying no. Then we lost Eve. For months we have prayed over this decision. So after much prayer and more prayer and even more prayer... The Lord lead us to read this:

         "We don't adopt just because we desire to have a child... We adopt because our hearts break for the
          millions of children worldwide who have no family to love them. We adopt because God first adopted
          us.If you're reading this, and you say you love Jesus, spread the word, Christians must be doing at least
          one of the following two: adopting a child, or supporting those who are. Not once. Not twice. But as
          long as you live."  Josh Waulk

For us, this means we have been called to adopt. I wish I could explain how the miscarriages played such a huge part in this, but not yet. But, we know it's the work of God. Some of you may be wondering, what does this mean for trying to get pregnant? Well, Lord willing come September we will also try again to get pregnant. It is up to God whom He brings us to parent and when.

This will not and cannot replace the children we lost, but even in that we are learning to glorify Him. We are learning hard lessons, but we are learning how to see Him ever more clearly.

As always we covet your prayers.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An overdue post...

This post is long overdue. God has really been shaping and working in my life a lot since that last post. Sometimes writing the post takes an hour or so and is very emotionally draining so that is the delay. At the Holy Spirit's prompting I started reading the book "I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy" by Angie Smith. This woman is married to one of the band members in Selah. To my understanding this loosely translates "To Pause & Think".

During the time Angie was pregnant, the Dr.'s told her that her daughter Audrey was "incompatible with life". They recommended Angie get an abortion/terminating Audrey's life. They decided to continue on with the pregnancy and shortly after she gave birth to Audrey, she died within a matter of hours. She wrote a book and has a blog The book is simply amazing.

Many do not know that our precious Eve was also "incompatible with life". God in his great mercy allowed her heart to stop when it did. The Dr. said that had the pregnancy continued we that they would've recommended a termination of her life. It wasn't until just now that I even remembered that actually did happen.... Sometimes this feels like it was just a nightmare that the memories will vanish as the sun rises... but, this really happened. She was the only one of the three that we saw on ultrasound and her heart had already stopped (two days before). So, this book hits very close to home.

My favorite parts of this book is that she doesn't beat around the emotions of what it is like to lose a baby. "I was amazed at how many women I met had been through miscarriage or infant loss, & what a powerful connecting experience it is to be able to share with another woman who has been there.... We saw each other for what we were - women who were often just going through the motions of normalcy... I began to realize that this was going to be a part of my new life because the world has a way of going on all around you even when you are in the depths of sorrow that belie its pace & fervor." It's so true. After something like this, you don't get over it, but you do learn to move forward, sometimes at a snails pace. It is a different life, a different normal, and nothing will ever be exactly how it was before... But, that's ok.

This is the absolute greatest quote ever:
"It is easy to be a believer when He gives you a miracle. People want to know what's so great about a God who would let such awful things happen. How can you put your full dependence on someone who couldn't save your daughter? ... All kinds of smart people can probably give you textbook answers, but for those of you who are reading this, I want to offer you a perspective that might make more sense to you. I have no idea. I have to be honest about this because as a woman with a swollen belly & empty cradle, I didn't want to really hear the big philosophical explanations. I didn't want to hear people try to tell me that is was for the best because, quite frankly I didn't feel that way. I know that people want to help, but there is a safe place with the Lord where we don't have to have all of the answers... I honestly grew weary of hearing people try to explain it all away because they couldn't stand to say those three words. I don't know.... Your God is perfectly capable of revealing himself. You don't have to feel like you need to fill the gaps. He has put the gaps there so that you will press into Him despite them. That will be your answer to those who murmur around you."

I don't know why this happened, but that doesn't matter... It is amazing how those three little words: "I don't know" brings rest upon my weary spirit. Why is Japan in all that chaos? I don't know. But, I don't need to know why, don't need to explain why... I serve a God that does know. Nothing changes His sovereignty or faithfulness.

"He gives and He takes away. Have I had moments of genuine questioning where I blamed myself and anyone else I could? Yes. But when those thoughts come, and they will, we must make a choice about who we will be from this day forward. Either we will go through life as bitter servants, or we will make Him famous with our love. I want Him to be famous.... Is it possible that we are chosen to undergo something when all the while the Lord knows that it will be given to Him in sweet surrender?" Yes. Yes. and Yes.

So, there is hard work in store... Bitterness to eradicate from my heart, joy to learn, and a glorious Lord to make famous. Those days of sadness will come... My mother's heart will always yearn for my children in heaven, nothing (not even other children) will replace them... But, since God has asked for my children in a sweet surrender to Him, He shall now have it without any reservations.

More in love with my savior,

Friday, March 4, 2011

It's finally March

March is the only month that we don't have some kind of an anniversary to overcome of some sort. I feel like I can breathe a little easier. Recently I was in an embarrassing situation in which someone was congratulated for their pregnancy and I couldn't suppress the waves of emotions that came with it. It is an awful feeling because I want to be joyful and share this special joy with this person, but how when the wounds of grief have not healed? What is it like to be excited to be pregnant? What is it like to share this joy with others? The concept is completely foreign, one I have yet to learn. This person was incredibly gracious, very understanding, showing compassion and grace when I deserved none. 

Why is it still so hard? We see God's will and absolute goodness in this. We are even thankful for this waiting period. But, every new pregnancy reminds me of the brokenness that comes with the grief of losing a child (nonetheless three). It seems that people are often surprised that this is still a struggle. But, if my child had been older or had I given birth, would that make a difference in how long I can grief?

Recently I have been learning the true meaning of joy, faith, and trust. I believe this is a large part of the reason God has given us this trial. But, these things must be learned. We must learn what joy is before being able to fully experience it. We must learn what true faith is before being able to live it fully. We must learn who God is before we are able to trust Him. God brings us these trials so that we can learn who He is. Every struggle we've had in this has brought us closer to our Heavenly Father. Every breakdown, every trial, every struggle is one step closer to trusting God more, living faith fully, and experiencing true joy.

There are still a lot of struggles and battles to come. Depression and anxiety will always be the familiar friends of my sinful nature. But, God is with us. He has not left us for even a moment in this. Looking back I see God ever more clearly.

The other day God reveled that for the first time in what seems like forever, I don't feel like I'm suffocating as much.The suppressive grip of grief is starting to lift a little. Getting out of bed isn't as hard. Each day is a small step forward somehow, someway. Habakkuk 3:19 "The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights."

Day 43 of Gratitude Journal and I am on #402 of things to be thankful for.

P.S. A quick update on my sister-in-law Cindy. Her surgery has been postponed until June. Please continue to pray for her, Derek, and their children.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


This will be a short post....

The last few weeks have been harder emotionally and being thankful has seemed like a near impossible task. There is a correlation there. Being thankful for what God has given me (and believe me there are a lot of blessings) will in turn change my perspective. Not perfect yet, but struggling to be thankful is better than giving up. When I don't understand the reasons why, perhaps I'm looking at the situation with the wrong perspective. Things from my perspective are that life makes no sense and is chaotic... Things from God's perspective "I got this my child... Just wait... Just watch... I am sovereign God. Trust me".

Monday, February 21, 2011

Applying joy?

Part of the reason I haven't written in a few weeks is because after that last post these have been some pretty hard and difficult weeks. The last few weeks have been the bloodiest fight for joy. Why? Because my spirit knows who God is, my heart is learning to trust him fully, but I'm still very much human and short sighted as to how losing three children is what is best for us. How is this pain what is best for us? As Christians we sometimes think... "Well, you know what the word of God says... Why aren't you applying it?" I guilt myself into thinking I'm a horrible Christian because I'm not always joyful. I struggle with depression. I sob when I found out that others are pregnant and still struggle to be around both pregnant women & babies. I hate being in social situations. Lately I have had more bad days then good. I keep expecting to be the person I was before this all happened. I don't want to be this person that I am... I don't want to struggle when I hear someone is pregnant or being around babies. I hate that people don't want to share their joy with me because it causes me so much pain... But the reality is that its hard.  Those mommy tendencies/desires that you get when you are pregnant, don't go away just because you miscarry... When you see so many others being able to do that it hurts (as much as I don't want it to).

Yesterday I realized as much as I want things to be "normal" or to be "ok" again, I need to be willing to let God do his work in me. I need to be patient on Him to do His work. He knows my hearts desire is to be truly joyful resting in Him but it is a battle. I forget that it is a battle. I expect it to be easy to be joyful because I'm a child of God. I forget that I'm human and not all spirit.  

It has been nearly 6 months since Eve's passing. Our second due date with Faith, has just passed. It feels like everyone else is moving forward with their lives, while we are stuck in a perpetual state of pause and waiting. It isn't that we don't want to move forward, we just don't know where forward is or what is the next step. Isaiah 40:31 says "They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." I love the act of waiting will equate to a renewal of strength. But, it is a process. It is a process of letting go of what we want and embracing what God has promised us which is His goodness. The scales are slowly being removed from our eyes to see who He is.

Please pray for our family as we found out last week that my sister-in-law Cindy is going to have surgery on her brain/spine on March 8th. She will be in the hospital for 5-7 days (in Miami) and off work for 3 months. It is another opportunity to see Him in a world that doesn't make sense, to have the scales of all our eyes peeled back just a little bit more. Pray Isaiah 40:31 for her and Derek (as well as their two kids).   

Friday, January 28, 2011

Living Radically Thankful Part 2

I realized the other day that an update was needed on the journey of Radical Gratitude. I wish I could type the entire book in blog post, but the publisher probably wouldn't like that. So, try to pick up where I left off.... As I will be quoting a lot I will put AV by the book author's quotes and DM by my thoughts.

Why should we practice this act of thanksgiving (or eucharisto)? Quite simply, it is the discipline of looking for God's blessings. If we don't see His blessings in the little things, how will we ever see it in the hard things of life? How can I expect to see God's blessings in the miscarriages, if I am not practicing a grateful heart in what he has given me in the little things? "Gratitude for the seemingly insignificant - a seed - this plants the giant miracle."(AV)  One of my favorite quotes is "Thanks makes now a sanctuary." (AV) Thankfulness makes everyday more bearable because I'm actively looking for God.

For nearly a year I have asked the question, where is God's goodness in all this? Why did this happen? What good comes of losing three babies? There were times where people have tried to offer comfort when it only worsened the pain (honestly a hug, 'I am praying for you', and a listening ear gives more comfort than a stiffly offered Bible verse, or 'helpful advice' which only furthered my misery). I shut down from living. Talking to people became a chore and I thought "What is this person going to say?" "Will this person continue to talk on and on about their children and the joys of parenthood while my arms and heart lay grieving for the children we never knew?" (DM). Sunday's became the worst day of the week because it constantly reminded me of what we've lost... There are so many women who are either pregnant or have just had children at my church, and my womb lies barren, and they avoided me like the plague. In their defense they didn't know what to say, and may have thought stepping back was a better option knowing their pregnancies hurt me... Although, the act of protecting me made me instead feel like a leper (not that I made it easy. I completely recoiled inside myself). Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying. I don't want people to walk on eggshells but these were the realities of my struggles. These are the thoughts I daily battled and wondered is God truly good? We sing these songs that proclaim his goodness even though circumstances suck. But, where is this joy learned? Where did I miss this lesson in Sunday school? How do I learn contentment in all things when all these things hurt so badly?   

Here is the answer to that mystery: "A good God plans everything. Everything. So a good God can only... make plans for good? He only gives good gifts? A thing of evil cannot be created by a good God? ... All God makes is good. Can it be that, that which seems to oppose the will of God actually is used of Him to accomplish the will of God? That which seems evil only seems so because of perspective.... No scripture glasses to read what God is trying to write through a prodigal child. Scrawl my own quick editing on to the half-finished story: failure... cheated... worthless (AV). I read this last night and thought "Wait a minute... My story isn't finished... I've felt like such a worthless failure as a women because I can't easily have children like every other women. But, the story isn't finished. I have penned my own ending instead of waiting and watching what my good God is doing with this. Out of the darkness he creates new life. He broke me down because he wanted me to know Him, to know joy. To know without a doubt that I am his child and to learn that this life is only a training ground for eternity"(DM). I'm learning where his goodness is in the little things today because that is what I have. That is what I'm responsible for. I am learning who God is. He isn't some lofty God who sits up there uninvolved in our daily lives. He is the "I am", the only God, the most holy God.

Monday marks one year since my first miscarriage with Peter. On Monday I will reach the 100th item on my gratitude list. The 100th item of thankfulness will be my miscarriage with Peter. Why? Because without these trials, I would not be learning what joy is. I would not have been to the point of such brokenness without this, so that I could learn to be truly whole. Our heart still hurt and we'd appreciate your prayers especially on Monday... but as Ann said "I awaken to the strange truth that all new life comes out of the dark places, and hasn't it always been. Out of darkness, God spoke forth the teeming life... Out of the darkness of the cross the  world transfigures into new life. And there is no other way."

P.S. I've already given out three copies of this book. It is a phenomenal book and I am only scratching the surface of what she said. Please read it and buy one for someone else.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A holy experience - Living Radically Thankful

First, thank you to all who read this. Your prayers and support through this past year have been amazing. When I think of all of you Paul's words in Phil 1: 3 comes to mind. "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now".

An update, yesterday we were supposed to have our new OB's appt. to see if this Dr. is the right one for us. There was a miscommunication and they scheduled me for the wrong Dr. My choice was to either wait til Mid-March to see the Dr. I was planning on seeing, or to see another Dr. (who was just as highly recommended to me) on January 31st. Because I need the monthly blood testing, I decided to go with the other Dr. I feel that God is truly leading us to the right Dr. Exactly a year ago on January 31st was the date of my first miscarriage with Peter. At the beginning of January, I was paralyzed with anxiety about this anniversary date.... paralyzed. It felt as though we had just lost Peter all over again. In talking with people about multiple miscarriages, there is always one loss of pregnancy that is harder than the rest. My first miscarriage was emotionally the worst by far. Faith, was more of shock that it happened again and Eve's death brought (and continues to bring) a healing both spiritually & physically that can only be attributed to God's grace.

So, how can we begin through all of this tragedy to have something more? At the recommendation of my dear friend Melanie, I bought the book "One Thousand Gifts - A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are" by Ann Voskamp. To be honest at first, I don't know why I kept reading this book other than the hope it'd get better. The first chapter is heart breaking. She talks about the horrific death of her sister when she was a very young child. It is easier to listen to someone who has experienced grief than it is to listen to someone who has not (especially the loss of a child, which brings a pain that is undescribeable). Ann Voskamp is someone who has lived through grief and had the same questions I've been silently asking myself for the last year.

"When you bury a child - or when you just simply get up every day & live life raw - you  murmur the questions soundlessly... Can there be a good God? A God who graces with good gifts when a crib lies empty through long nights, and bugs burrow through coffins? Where is God, really? How can He be good when babies dies, and marriages implode, and dreams blow away, dust in the wind?... Where hides this joy of the Lord, this God who fills the earth with good things, & how do I fully live when life is full of hurt? How do I wake up to joy & grace & beauty & all that is the fullest life when I must stay numb to losses & crushed dreams & all that empties me out?"

Oh! These are the very words of my heart. Her solution? Live a radically thankful life. "As long as thanks is possible, joy is always possible." Her challenge to come up with one thousand things to be thankful for. Instead of dwelling on the things that are bad, we replace it by being thankful for what is good. I'm not doing this book justice by any means. In a few days I will be posting more on the philosophy of one thousand thanks. I would like you all to join me on my journey as I begin to "Live a Radically Thankful Life".

I am writing down 5 things I am thankful for everyday. In 6 months I will have one thousand gifts. They can be anything (mowed grass, an organized closet, or bigger things, whatever). I would like you to also join me in writing down your own set of 5 things a day to be thankful for.


REVISION: Ann's website is Her book is number #13 on hot selling books on Amazon. :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dealing with grief

Today I was poking around on the internet and came across a great article on dealing with grief (or rather how to help others deal with grief). I will post the link at the bottom but am cutting and pasting a few items that are noteworthy. One of my hopes is that this better explains why miscarrying a child is so difficult and how to help others go through the aftermath. One in four pregnancies end in an early pregnancy miscarriage. I also post this partly because it helps to know that there are others who experience this.

"For many families, the instant you knew you were pregnant, your life changed forever.  Whether you were feeling joy or apprehension, this new baby was an important part of your future.  The feelings you have after the death of a baby can be overwhelming and intense, as the death of a baby at any stage is a very real loss.  You will not only begin a journey of recovering physically, but also emotionally and spiritually....

When a baby dies, so many expectations and hopes were shattered, and now you are finding ways to put the pieces of life back together when some of them don’t fit anymore... 

One misconception is that the shorter the baby’s life, the easier the grief process.  The opposite is true.  Chances are that the person is grieving not only the loss of his or her baby, but their pregnancy or hopes and dreams for the future....  

Avoid giving advice.  There are no rules that define how one should feel or how soon one will return to the norms of daily life.

(Listed under "Friend’s Grief")
I’ve never experienced the loss of a baby.  What am I supposed to do to make my friends feel better?

No matter what you say or do, there is nothing that will make your friends “feel better.”  Fortunately there are some ideas that will help you be a part of their experience and will help them through their grief.

If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything.  Sometimes just being with them or offering a hug is enough.  It’s all right not to know what to say.  Say, “I’m sorry this happened,” or “This is so awful, I don’t know what to say.” Respond to your friends’ grief just as if any other member of their family had died.  Send flowers, sympathy cards, share special remembrances, and make a phone call, make or bring dinner.  Even though this baby’s life was short, your friends lost their hopes and future too.

It’s been a couple of months.  Why aren’t my friends over the loss of their baby?

The death of a baby is very sad and life altering.  The intense grieving can take up to 24 months, not all of them spent in deep sadness.  The best thing for you to do is help them through their grief.  Ask sincerely, “How are you?” and be ready to listen.  Sometimes parents can verbalize what they need from you, so you will know what you can do or say to comfort them.

Grieving parents may be saddened at certain times of the year or by special events, like birthdays, due date, delivery date, Mother’s or Father’s Day, because they are reminded that their baby is not here.  Your friends need your support and acknowledgment during these days."

Although our path continues to be one of great pain, it is also one of great spiritual growth. We can see now how much God has been our rock and fortress during the past year. Our future continues to look chaotic, but He knows why. He knows that somehow through this, we will bring him the most glory. Psalm 90 is a beautiful psalm that reminds me of the magnitude of who God is. "Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." He is the God from everlasting to everlasting and the chief purpose (and only purpose) of our lives will be to glorify Him. This is the path He has chosen for us and He will not forsake us. In the darkest parts of our lives, we see His radiant beauty shining.