State of the Union.

Lots of waiting on God and watching to see what He’s up to in the last few days…

We know that Chris’ job is going buh-bye within the next year or so. He’s been looking and applying for jobs for several months now, and on Friday he had a phone interview for a position about 4 hours from where we are living now. No idea how we would work that out, so trying not to spend too much time sorting through it until we have an official need to. God would have to be all over that one to coordinate it, because I’m just not seeing it at this point. We should hear back this week whether or not they want him to come in for a second interview.

Later that afternoon, he stopped by a local business to apply for a recently posted position they have. He ended up talking with the owner for over 2 hours and was super excited about the visit. We are expecting to hear back from him sometime this week to set up an official interview time.

So two job opportunities on the horizon.

We are also hoping to hear this week regarding the blood work our doctor requested from the donor family we are considering matching with. We aren’t expecting any surprising news, just in a holding pattern until the results are officially in.

And in another twist, I am also waiting to connect with a family who has more questions about embryo adoption. {We were connected through my mother-in-law and a member of the church she goes to.} Since I haven’t talked to her I don’t know if they are just wanting more information or are considering wanting to match with us privately. Not sure what to do with particular bit of information, but again not putting too much thought into it until I’m able to talk with her and find out what they are thinking.

Needless to say, it could be very interesting around these parts this weekend.

In other news, I’ve been reflecting a bit on this journey of ours…September 23rd was the ‘anniversary’ of when we received the official diagnosis of infertility from the doctor. {That’s also when he told us in vitro was our best shot…} It hasn’t been weighing too heavily on me…I didn’t even think of it at all on that particular day, only realized it had passed a day or two later. I had intended on writing about it this weekend, but got caught up in a good book….so I’ll save those thoughts for another time. 🙂

Praying for the Lord’s clear directions this week!

Blessed am I.

How many people does it take…

Time just gets away from me sometimes…here’s where we stand with the current match opportunity. 🙂

Received the match information on September 11th, felt good about it from the start. Didn’t match our preferences 100%, but got pretty darn close…and much closer than any of the other matches that were presented. Most importantly, the number of embryos was right.

Sent the info on to the doctor on the 12th, and received word that he would be leaving for a week on the following Tuesday. Insert lots of prayers from us & our prayer circle of family & friends that he would get back with us on his recommendation before leaving.

Weekend comes and goes, then Monday was quite a bit of e-mailing back and forth. Once again not totally pleased with the lady I was corresponding with at the doctors office…could be much more forthcoming and helpful…but I didn’t let it make me super mad this time.

In the end, the hang-up with the doctors office was that the genetic family does not have current infectious disease screenings. {They had it done when the embryos were created, but since they were being created by/for them at that time and now they are technically “donors,” it needs to be re-done. A technicality really.} So our agency director got in touch with the family & asked them to do the additional blood work. They agreed & a kit was sent out to them. {Yay genetic family – y’all rock already!}

So, we’ve taken a step forward…and now we wait a bit more.

Sometimes I feel like we’re in the middle of some really ridiculous joke…”How many people does it take to get Heather & Chris a baby?” We’ve now added a couple of extra postal workers and lab workers to the list with this extra blood work. 😉

While we wait, we are continuing to pray & check in with one another…so far we both feel good that this is the match for us. I doubt we’ll hear back from the doctor this week, but once we do we’ll hopefully be prepared to make a final decision and move forward.

It’s an exciting time, and although I started off feeling that ol’ terror rise up, I’ve been able to rest in faith & in the present. It’s good stuff.

Blessed am I.

…One more thing that I just have to share…on Monday we also received a really sweet surprise from the genetic family {via the agency, of course}…updated pictures of their boys! The information we received initially didn’t contain pics of their newest babies, so she knew we would probably like to see pictures of everyone. It was a welcome and touching surprise, definitely endeared my heart toward her and helped me know that she is open and invested in this process. Special moment for sure!

Unbind your heart.

Y’all. Yesterday I attended a Beth Moore simulcast. She is precious and sassy and sits on the floor to pray. {I like that about her, in case you couldn’t tell.} She also says y’all a lot, so I’m going to test that out in this post. Don’t say y’all weren’t warned.

I didn’t really know what the topic of the simulcast was, but I went expecting a good word from God and a good cry. {I brought an 8-pack of personal sized tissues for the ladies who went from my church. When Beth prays it just has this tendency to make me weepy.}

Since I had no idea what we would spend our day studying, my reaction to the verse that popped up after the intro video was a genuine one. Genuine, but not very ladylike. Or Christian.

It was a curse word.

Don’t judge me y’all.

The verse is from Luke 1:45…if you’ve been reading my blog for long it may sound familiar. “Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.”

And my reaction?

“Ooooohhhhh sh*@. Here we go Lord.”

The thing is, I’ve been struggling with fear…which translates to a struggle believing that the Lord will complete the work He has started. Like it says in the song I posted yesterday, I’ve struggled to see past the prayers I’ve been praying.

For a while now, I’ve grown weary of waiting. When we weren’t matched before school started, I was annoyed…and I camped out in that feeling for a while. {As evidenced by yesterday’s post.}

Then, this past week, we got a match opportunity. It looked pretty darn good y’all, right along the lines of what we’ve been praying for…and still I stayed guarded. The only feeling I really gave into was….wait for it

Fear.

Yep. The bit of hope I felt quickly turned into fear. Random, stupid fear. {My stream of consciousness was really out there y’all, I’m not kidding.} I had a litany of reasons for not getting too excited or invested, moments of mourning because we have brown hair in our families and this families babies have blonde hair, building panic over what I can only call ‘cliché adoption worries’…y’all. At one point I would worry that this match wasn’t even going to work out, and the next moment I would be worried that it would work out and that my grown child wouldn’t one day be as close with us as I am with my parents because they were adopted as an embryo and will know I wanted brown hair instead of blonde.

Like I said – random, stupid fear.

So to see that verse pop up, to be reminded of where I started, of how far God has brought us, of how he’s walked beside us…carried us…dragged us along {leaving buttprints in the sand, mind you}…to see that all flash before my hearts eye in an instant and to realize that I was still having trouble believing Him in this…sh*! was just the word that seemed to most accurately sum it all up.

Beth ended up taking the verse in a different direction for the bulk of our time together, but two things that she said had to have been just for me. Out of all 190,000+ women watching this simulcast, a few little phrases were meant for me.

The first came from Psalm 147:3 – “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

God binds our wounds…He heals our broken-hearts. Without a doubt. He’s done it for me. When we first layed down the hope of having a biological child, I mourned deeply. But God bound my wounds. I made it through.

But what Beth said next was the kicker…

She told the story of her granddaughter, who loved princess band-aids so much that she would literally try to hurt herself so that she could wear one. And then, once she had one on, she would refuse to take it off. On multiple occasions, she had worn the Band-Aid so long that the wound underneath had healed, but the skin around the Band-Aid had broken out in a rash.

Part of the healing process, she said, is that eventually God will ask you to unbind the wound. It has healed. It’s time to trust Him, to open yourself back up. If you keep it bound, you will not experience the new growth…the new life He has for you.

And I realized, in that moment, that I’ve been afraid to take the Band-Aid off. In fact, I’ve added my own walls to protect the wound. I guard this once-broken heart of mine because I recognize that there is a chance it could be broken again.

But it’s time to unbind the wound y’all. To open my heart to love, to this possibility, to make myself vulnerable…

And to trust that, if it’s in the plan, and my heart gets broken again…God will bind it back up for me.

Love is scary.

But it’s worth it.

The second thing Beth did that really spoke to me was ask those who were struggling with the stronghold of fear…just feeling like they were strangled by it…to stand and receive prayer. She prayed out loud, and those around me laid hands on me and joined in with her. She prayed for the bondage of fear to be broken in Jesus’ name, she prayed scripture and strength, she prayed courage.

At one point in the prayer, she said something along the lines of “Your true calling will stretch you…it won’t be something you can do in your flesh.” That was when I really lost it. I’ve said it time and time again – none of this could have come about because of me alone. I’m too weak. I’m too impatient. I’m too scared. I can walk this path only because of Jesus.

And so I did draw strength from that reminder…that I’m not alone, that I’m following this wild calling for my life.

All in all, it was a good weekend for me. God got my eyes on Him, refocused me, and as I put off the fear I’d been feeling I was able to put on hope. I can’t say for certain where this match opportunity will take us, but I can say that I will open my heart to the possibility of love for 4 tiny embryos, only 6 days old…and I will pray down the lies of fear that threaten to steal my joy.

Because blessed, blessed am I.

Since I’ve been gone…

I knew it had been a while since I had last blogged…but wow, I didn’t realize it had been well over a month. I am a Kindergarten teacher, so the start of a new school year is always a crazy-busy time for me. Between that and the fact that nothing has changed in our adoption status {still waiting, although there has recently been a match opportunity I’ll write about soon} I haven’t felt the need or had the time to pop over and blog.

And that’s probably a good thing because, let’s be honest, writing about waiting quickly turns into whining. It’s not pretty.

In my last post, I wrote about wanting to be strong. I’ve succeeded at that…some days. On other days words like impatient, annoyed, apathetic, fearful, worried, etc etc etc have been more descriptive of how I’ve felt and acted.

When summer ended, it was hard for me. In my head, I never really stopped to consider that we wouldn’t be matched by the time school started. We entered matching in early May and the average wait time to be matched is 2 months…plus it just made the most sense…to me, anyway. {Summer off = perfect time to be working out all the legal & medical details / going on all those pre-transfer doctor appointments…or so it would seem.}

When I will learn the lesson that I am soooo not in control, I don’t know.

When work started, I had a bit of an identity crisis. Infertility is strange sometimes…there are just these moments or days when I realize that I’m not who I once was, that I’m in what feels like this in-between stage. Wanting to be a mother, but not one yet. I don’t really know how to describe it, but it can be unsettling. I had nothing new to report to all of my well-intentioned coworkers, and I had other things on my mind than starting a new school year. {It didn’t help that my last school year was really hard. Like, the hardest I’ve had. So returning to school was like going back to the scene of the crime.}

Thankfully, once the kids arrived {and I saw that they are going to be a much more calm, normal class} I settled into more of a routine and my brain was able to focus on the task at hand. My spirit doesn’t feel so discouraged, and I don’t feel so weird in my own skin.

I wish I could say that meant I was just glowing and pointing to God and waiting patiently and faithfully…but frustratingly it doesn’t. My attitude toward waiting over the last month has been apathetic at worst, annoyed most of the time, and full of clichés at best. Apathetic in that I’ve come to realize that I’ve built a bit of a wall around my heart…to keep from hurting. Full of clichés in that I’ve muttered my share of “Yes, yes…all in God’s timing!” Which, while true, was said with a shrug and a heavy sigh…and I know that is not how God would have me act towards His perfect & holy will / timing. And annoyed in that I’ve been feeling like God made my life really complicated when He revealed to us that IVF was not what He had for us.

I have been a mess. I have been ungrateful. I have been unfaithful and untrusting. I have let fear strangle me. And it may sound like I’m being hard on myself, but I just really wanted to walk through this with an incredible grace and peace…so I become frustrated with myself when I continue to struggle so.

But God.

God has been faithful. He has been full of grace and peace, and He has poured it out on me when I have called on to Him for it. He doesn’t condemn me in my struggle, and He loves me in spite of my continual inability to walk with Him in a place of trust. He has sent sisters in Christ to encourage me when I hadn’t even voiced that I needed it and faithful prayer worriers who {although I fear they will tire of hearing my litany of prayer requests} lift us up consistently in Jesus’ name. His truth has pierced through my clichés, as my heavenly Father He has tolerated my annoyed attitude, and He is knocking down the tower I’ve built to “protect” my heart. He has been working in ways not meant for me to understand at this time, and still in Him there is no fear. He soothes my fears and He holds my hand and when I can’t walk beside Him, He carries me.

There is so much more I could say, but my brain is going in a million different directions right now…so I’ll wrap it up and save those thoughts for another day. 🙂 I do want to include the lyrics to the Francesca Battistelli song that I’ve been playing on repeat these past couple of weeks.

“Strangely Dim”
I’ve got all these plans piled up sky high
A thousand dreams on hold
And I don’t know why,
I got a front row seat
To the longest wait
And I just can’t see
Past the things I pray
Today

But when I fix my eyes on all that You are
Then every doubt I feel
Deep in my heart
Grows strangely dim
All my worries fade
And fall to the ground
Cause when I seek Your face
And don’t look around
Any place I’m in
Grows strangely dim

Sometimes where I stand
On this narrow road
Is in a raging storm
Or a valley low
But oh oh oh oh oh oh

I don’t know, I don’t know
What tomorrow may hold
But I know, but I know
That You’re holding it all
So no matter what may come

I’m gonna fix my eyes on all that You are
‘Til every doubt I feel
Deep in my heart
Grows strangely dim
Let all my worries fade
And fall to the ground
I’m gonna seek Your face
And not look around
Til the place I’m in
Grows strangely, strangely, strangely dim.

Blessed am I.