All praise and glory!

How am I just now getting a chance to write about the fact that we are officially matched with a genetic family?

Because yes, WE ARE OFFICIALLY MATCHED WITH A GENETIC FAMILY!

🙂

They have 4 embryos that we will be officially adopting as soon as the contracts are drawn up, signed, and notarized!

We first received their profile information on September 11th, but we’ve been waiting over a month for the doctor to review the information, blood work to be done / sent in, and for the doctor to review the blood work. We heard back officially on October 20th, and I felt like it was much more of a ‘for sure thing’ {although that was literally only in my mind because it was just as ‘for sure’ the day before} after I talked to the agency on the 21st.

The plan from here is…

1) Contracts!

2) Arrange shipping…yes, we will be sending out a big ol’ prayer request for the FedEx truck & driver getting our embies from there to here. 🙂

3) Medical portion begins…mock trials, shots, meds. It’s all greek to me at this point {since we’ve done zippo fertility treatments leading up to this}.

If everything clicks along, it is possible we could do a transfer sometime in December.

Wow.

More on all the feelings that accompany this news on another day because, yes, there have been feelings. 😉 In the meantime, all praise & glory to our God and King, author of this adventure and perfector of my faith!

Blessed are we.

 

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Stop praying & start praising.

About a week ago, I got a text. At 6 a.m.

Luckily it was a week morning {I wake up by 5:30 on school mornings – bluh} because ain’t nobody getting away with texting me at that time on a Saturday. 😉

Anyway, it was from a friend & sister-in-Christ of mine from church, and she asked that I call her on my way to work. She said that she’d read something that morning in the bible study she’s doing that she felt like she needed to tell me.

Got my interest, to say the least.

When we got a chance to talk about an hour later, I was amazed at what she had to say. It was one of those must-be-God situations where I knew some of the words she was going to say…before she even said them. There were a couple of things I had been mulling over for a few weeks, and He spoke directly those through her words. Nothing that she said was super new to me, per say, but it was a shift in perspective that put everything into focus and tied all of my wandering thoughts together.

The Sunday School class she leads is working their way through “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. She read a portion of the book to me, which went through the story of Jericho.

Joshua 6

Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

The author pointed out something he had never seen before, until one day when he found himself praying again for something he felt like God had promised him and his congregation. As he read about Joshua and the words God had spoken, he found himself struck by the verb tense used.

Look again.

vs. 2 – “Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands…’

Have delivered. As in already done. As in finished.

Not will deliver. Not “I’m going to.” Not “ask a little more, try a little harder, plead a little longer.”

I have delivered.

Batterson had these words to say – “God speaks in the past tense, not the future tense. … The significance is this: The battle was won before the battle even began. God had already given them the city. All they had to do was circle it.”

My friend went on to tell me that when God promises us something…when He calls us to something…when He starts a work in us…it is done. He will finish it. He will make good on His promises. Rather than waiting to see if He is going to do it, we are simply waiting for it to play out & living in obedience to Him.

Keep it straight – He doesn’t do it “for” us. He does it for His name – for His glory. Our God is a keeper of promises. It is His very nature; who He is. He cannot not keep His word.

“So, did He? Haven’t you said that God called y’all to [embryo adoption]?” she asked.

In that flash, my mind flashed through the past year. Through the soul-searching and God-seeking. Through considering if our infertility was the result of sin in our lives that needed to be confessed, to if God was calling us to a child-less marriage. Through the way God answered a prayer of mine even in the way He brought us to embryo adoption, and through the ways He continued to pour peace over us as He confirmed His plan.

He knows my hearts desire is to be a mother, and He knows that I laid down the way in which I become a momma to His sovereign will. I know without a doubt that He asked me to lay down pursuing fertility treatments to try & have a biological child, but I also know He never asked me to lay down becoming a mom. He has fed that desire; He has asked me to hand him my fake pearls so that He could give me a set of pearls even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

“Yes,” I said, “God called us to this, we have no doubt. He has promised me I will be a mother.”

She went on to read {from Batterson’s words} “I felt as though the Spirit of God said to my spirit ‘Stop praying for it and start praising me for it.’ True faith doesn’t just celebrate ex post facto, after the miracle has already happened; true faith celebrates before the miracle happens, as if the miracle has already happened, because you know that God is going to deliver on His promise. … Sometimes you need to quit praying. After you pray through, you need to praise through. You need to quit asking God to do something and start praising Him for what He has already done. Prayer and praise are both expressions of faith, but praise is a higher dimension of faith. Prayer is asking God to do something, future tense; praise is believing God has already done it, past tense.”

Here I had been, ripping off that Band-Aid, unbinding my heart, and making myself vulnerable to God and to true, excited hope again. Here I had been, praising God for the incredible work in answering big, bold, specific prayers for a car in the lives of some of our best friends. And yet, I found myself saying things like “God, it’s going to be so awesome when you answer our prayers.” Wondering with friends, who are sitting through long waits and questions of their own “God, when are you going to do something? Why are we still waiting? Don’t you hear us?”

So to hear those words, to realize that God has already done something, that He has already answered our prayers…it was such a powerful reminder that I can trust in Him and rest in Him. That He does hear me, that He is the one holding my heart and whispering hope to my desires. It made me want to get on my knees in praise as this view of mine, limited as it might be, snapped into focus. {Which is exactly what I did when I got to school…it was all I could do in response to God speaking so clearly to me.}

A bit more from Batterson to wrap up the lesson God taught me that day…”There are moments in life when you need to stop praying and start praising. If God has put a promise in your heart, praise Him for it. You need to celebrate as if it has already happened. You need to stop asking, because God has already answered. And for the record, even if God doesn’t answer the way you want, you still need to praise through. That is when it’s most difficult to praise God, but that is also when our praise is most pure and pleasing to God.”

In the days since hearing this word from the Lord, I have felt much more settled. I have found peace and confidence in the praising. I don’t even mind the waiting as much, and I feel excited to see how God play all of this out. Instead of thinking only of the end product {aka – a baby}, I want to rejoice in the steps He takes to get us there…to see every little piece of glory in the work He is doing.

He continues to write this incredible story of overwhelming love & patience, mercy & grace over me…over Chris…and over the baby{ies} He has for us. He is so good.

Blessed am I.

Pray…and carry a shovel.

If you listen to Beth Moore very often, you know that she has this fantastic way of seeing God in everything. In the simplest of things, in the craziest of things {Have you heard of her wooden leg & snake story? *Hilarious*}…she can pull some sort of spiritual application out.

Well I’m here to tell y’all…I had a Beth Moore moment a couple of weeks ago. Chris just rolled his eyes at me…especially when I did a little dance to celebrate the moment…and said he was sure I would tell everyone about it. {Which I can’t say is untrue…here I am, after all.}

Anyway…

We were walking the dog one evening. The weather was lovely, and a lot of people were out and about. One of our neighbors was sitting out on her front porch, and we could see her husband in the lot next to their house walking around with his metal detector and a shovel. As we walked by, she shouted out something about “See what you have to look forward to in 30 year? That crazy man is out there thinking he’s going to find something.” With an eye roll on her part and a giggle on ours, we walked by and gave her husband a wave.

After we were done laughing, I realized the significance of the moment. He wasn’t just walking around with a metal detector. No, he was expecting to find something, and when he did, he would be ready. In the other hand he had a shovel.

It reminded me that when we pray, we should expect God to answer. We should believe him to fulfill His promises. To intercede for us. To make His glory known. It doesn’t mean we always know how He will answer…and the answer might be ‘no’ or ‘wait.’ But He will answer.

Prayer without belief just doesn’t make sense, and yet…I often struggle with putting my full confidence in Him when I pray. That’s wrong of me. I need to pray expecting that He will answer, then I need to walk around with a shovel {be watchful for His working} until He answers. It’s one of the things God has been talking to me about, and I’m thankful for that practical picture in my mind to help me remember it.

A few days later, I read a verse that backed this line of thought up…it’s one I need to memorize for sure. 🙂

Psalm 5:3 – “In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”

Can ya dig it? 😉

Blessed am I.

Life & Glory.

Several weeks ago, my mother-in-law was chatting with someone at her church, catching up with one another on how one another’s families are doing and what their children are all up to these days. Through the course of the conversation, my MIL ended up telling her friend about our embryo adoption adventure. The woman was floored to hear about this option for families, especially because she has a family member who had gone through in vitro and has been considering what to do with their remaining embryos. She {along with another family member, who also goes to church with my MIL} excitedly agreed to tell the woman & her husband about it to see if they would be interested in more information, or in potentially matching with us.

{Definitely one of those six-degrees of separation thing…or the telephone game.}

A few weeks passed by with no word, and in the meantime we were presented with a great match from the agency to consider.

Then, a week ago today, my mother-in-law received word that the woman was interested in talking with Chris and I in person, and passed along her phone number so I could give her a call. I nervously gave her a call {calling a stranger, not knowing quite what they are thinking or what their story will be feels kind of weird, I gotta say.} but ended up having to leave a message.

She called me back a few days later…and we talked for over an hour. All those nerves turned out to be for nothing, because she was a super sweet, Christian woman who shared a common belief with me about the value of life and of her little embryos. We each shared our story to arriving at this point, about what God has taught us through infertility, about the struggles each of us have had / have to find clarity as to how God would have each of us to move forward. We talked about the possibility of us adopting their embryos, but since we are feeling confident about the match presented to us by the agency {and because they are still in the early stages of deciding if they are ready to place their embryos for adoption} we decided it is best at this time for us to simply pray for one another and {hopefully!} remain in touch with one another.

Although we obviously come at this from opposite sides, it was so encouraging and incredible to be able to talk with someone who gets it. Infertility is like a club I wish no one belonged to…but since that’s not the case, it sure is nice to have someone who understands the burdens & joys. It lightens the load, reminds you that you aren’t so alone or so weird…

After a lot of talking with one another and a bit of dreaming with one another, we prayed with one another. My heart was filled with such gratitude…that God brought us to together, that I was able to speak life and encouragement to her {along with practical information about embryo adoption & Nightlight Christian Adoption Agency}, that we were able to testify to one another about God’s goodness and His grace and His glory.

I pray there will be more conversations like this in the future…more new friends to be made. There are people out there who pursue this route {or embryo donation} who keep it to themselves…but I know that is not what God has called Chris & I to. He’s made it clear from the beginning that we are to speak life & glory, and I was thankful for the chance to do that with this sweet sister in Christ.

Blessed am I.