Joy

It’s officially three minutes into our daughter’s due date and I’m flooded with emotions and thoughts that I want to capture before I fall asleep.  I actually just snuck out of bed to come write this post.  The last few weeks have been a blur of surreal excitement as we’ve made the final preparations for our girl.  There have been so many precious moments that I want to remember and jot down before I forget them all, but tonight I felt the need to share this while my sentiments are fresh.  I actually don’t know what to say or where to even begin.  I just know that my heart is full of overwhelming joy.

Just down the hall, my two oldest nieces are snuggled up sleeping in my guest room.  Ave, my ginger-haired and freckle faced teenager is wearing my t-shirt, and my AK with the cutest button nose and rosy cheeks asked to sleep in my warmest pair of socks.  I watched them a little closer today as they giggled and joked with each other.  It’s a lot harder these days, but I can still imagine them as young babies.  How did they get this big this fast?  I often wish that time would stand still or slow down just enough for me to remember every single detail of their smile.  Seriously, they capture my heart.

After I tucked them in tonight, I said a silent prayer hoping they know how much I will always love them.  I’m beginning to understand that the line drawn between being the fun Auntie that spoils them, and the responsible adult that wants what is best for them is delicate.  I’m thankful for so many years with them to “practice” being a parent.  I know everything will be different with my own, but they have taught me so much.  One thing that I hope I can teach them, and eventually our daughter one day, is that it’s okay if you aren’t always happy.  As much as we want to protect the sweet innocent ones in our life, they learn that all things aren’t fair.  We get hurt, there are difficult days, and things don’t always turn out the way that we want.  In fact, there will simply be times when we will be sad.  But that doesn’t mean that we can’t have joy.

There is a beautiful and glorious difference between happiness and joy.

Joy shines through the darkness.  Joy is fought for, gives hope, and fuels faith.

Tonight, I am filled with joy at the anticipation of Anderson Marie’s arrival.  I want her to know as soon as she can understand how thrilled we are for her to join our family.  I also want her to know that she has two amazing families that are forever joined through the miracle of adoption.  Charles, Ande’s birth grandfather has told me since the first time that we met that he gets his joy from seeing our joy.  He won’t let us forget that our excitement and gladness brings him comfort.  The Lord is taking an unfortunate situation and creating good.  He is turning our sadness into joy.

My heart may burst from all the joy that I can’t contain.  In these last few moments as we wait for the birth of our daughter, I’m going to soak up the time that I have left loving on my big girls.  They are helping the time pass quicker, and definitely keeping me busy!

Come quickly though, Ande, we are all ready to meet you!

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

Worth the Wait

We are thrilled to finally get to share our news with you! AndeAnnouncement

It was a rare snowy day towards the end of January.  I was getting together the sugar and vanilla while Brad stepped outside barefoot to get the bowls of snow he’d collected.  We had just begun to make our snow cream when my phone rang from an unknown number for the third time.  I finally decided to answer it and was surprised to hear our case worker on the other end of the line.

We had been matched with a birth mother again!

Sugar was thrown on the floor and snow quickly melted as my spoon dropped to the counter.  I raced to grab a pen to try to write down everything my mind could comprehend.  As our case worker spelled out the details of this situation over the speakerphone, an unknown fear crept into my body like a paralyzing injury being replayed in slow motion.  All I could think was I can’t do this again. My heart had barely healed.

I knew in my mind that only the Grace of God would bring this unique situation to us, and would do it so quickly after our heartbreak.  Before ending our conversation with our case worker, we cautiously agreed to pursue this situation.  There were about two and half weeks from when we were selected, until we actually got to meet the birth family of our daughter.

Sitting around an old country table at the local Cracker Barrel, sharing brunch and exchanging stories, all of my fears were completely eased.  As hard as the last seven years of trying to start a family have been, it was all leading up to this.  

Worth the Wait.

This is Katelynn, and her parents Charles and Ann.

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Charles and Ann adopted Katelynn as a young teenager.  She came from unfortunate circumstances, overcoming many obstacles.  This is a low risk placement, though there are still no guarantees in any situation.  I share her story, with the permission of her parents, because her story is becoming a part of our story.  Our goal all along has been to give God the glory of this amazing journey!  There are some sensitive details that we choose to keep private, and will share with our daughter in due time.  However, we know that the Lord is using Katelynn and her parents, and this pregnancy for GOOD.

We are immeasurably blessed by the grace of God, and by those of you who have traveled this journey with us. We know that good things come to those who wait patiently on the Lord.  In all of happiness and gain, Christ is better.  In all of our sorrow and pain, Christ is enough. Our hope is now, and has been throughout this journey, that Christ be magnified.  Yesterday, today, and tomorrow Christ be magnified.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  Romans 8:28

Fail.

These are just a few, among many of the definitions of the word FAIL that I found online.

FAIL (verb)

1. to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved
2. to be or become deficient or lacking; be insufficient or absent; fall short
3. to lose strength or vigor; become weak

Unfortunately that is the most common term used to describe an adoption that has fallen through.  Failed adoption.  Ironically, there was absolutely nothing that I, or my husband, could have done or not done to prevent those series of events from happening.  Until recently there was nothing that could shake my burden of feeling like a failure.

The weeks following the phone call confirming our failed adoption placement were dark.  In the sense that I wanted to be isolated and I needed to mourn.  I have walked along several friends as they have faced the sorrow of miscarriages.  Many times I’ve heard it said that it is an anguish that you can sympathize with, but cannot fully comprehend until you survive your own.  The only thing that I can liken those somber weeks to, is my own miscarriage.

Having known the risks and the possible outcomes, as well as the potential emotions that I might feel, I foolishly assumed that since I was prepared for anything, I could face anything.  What I did not prepare myself for was the grief.  Much like during a pregnancy, we made plans and dreamed of things to come while we waited.

I had to grieve for my husband who wants to be a daddy.
I had to grieve for the empty nursery that I had decorated tirelessly.
The tiny clothes that were washed and hung in the closet.
The diaper bag was packed and waiting by the door.  The car seat buckled in the car.
There were countless subtle reminders that I had to pack up and put away because my grief was too much to bear.
My parents, siblings, and friends, all of whom were anxiously awaiting our tiny addition.
I grieved for them, I grieved for me, and I grieved for the baby.

The glorious bend in this story is that grief is just a step in the healing process.  The beautiful light that broke through my darkness has been God’s unending Grace.  Never once, has He left me alone in my grief.  His mercies have been new every morning, despite my insufficiencies or loss of strength.

Lord knew from the moment that we started our paperwork that we would face hardships and heartaches.  This adoption journey has been the biggest act of faith that we have experienced yet.  However, we have a great God who is working all these things together for GOOD. (Romans 8:28)  And for that reason, we continue on this journey, giving God the Glory!

Gifts of Grace {Christmas 2013}

For the sake of documenting our story, I want to remember the little blessings that the Lord has used to give us comfort and hope.  The holidays, for obvious reasons, were the most difficult for us to face.  We had so many hopes and dreams planned for that season. There were “My First Thanksgiving” bibs, and matching Christmas cousin pajamas.  There were plans for pictures that we never got to take, and we were really looking forward to playing Santa.  Instead, it was a season of mourning what we were hoping for, and trying to let go of something that we felt like we lost.
The sweetest Christmas gift was having my twin brother fly in from S. Korea to surprise the entire family!  It was such a joy to finally get to spend a Christmas with him.  It’s been too many years in a row that he’s been deployed during the holiday season!  Having him and his precious wife around was like glorious comfort food for my weary soul! Whenever we are able to get everyone together we usually refer to the gathering as “Better than Christmas…”  Well this was the Christmas to beat all Christmases.
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My tiniest gift of grace this year we lovingly call our Tiny or Amelia Jane.  She is my sister’s fourth daughter.  She is our miracle baby, (you can read more about her story here), but she is my little reminder that joy can come from pain.  Amelia was born in September, right in between when we found out we’d be selected by a birth mother, and when the baby was due to be born.  Her timing (and testimony) are nothing short of Providence.
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I found out that my sister was going to be adopting a baby before we got ours, I was a little disheartened at first. That sadness quickly faded to excitement when I realized that our babies would be so close in age, and would forever be best friends.  We even got several matching outfits for them to wear together.  Despite the outcome of our adoption placement, the Lord knew exactly what our family needed, and He especially knew how to protect my heart.  I know my sinful nature well, and had Amelia joined our family any earlier or any later, there might have been a little bit of bitterness in my heart.  Not that I would love her any less regardless of when she came into our lives, but I’ve been down this road before with my sister’s third daughter.

We found out that Atalie was joining our family just a few months after we had our miscarriage in 2009.  In my solitary moments with God, I did not handle that news with grace.  I was angry at God, and selfishly bitter because I was ready to be a mother.  Atalie burst into our lives and has left us all speechless with the joy that she brings.

Amelia Jane has done nothing short of that as well.  The Lord knew exactly when to place that Tiny miracle in our lives so that we could fall madly in love with her.  He used her severely deformed body show us His Grace and Mercy.  All I have to do is look at those sweet chubby cheeks and I’m reminded that His plans are not my own, and how desperately I need a Savior.

Those two reminders sitting in my husband’s lap are evidence of how far He has brought me in this journey.  Despite my selfish tendencies, inconsiderate thoughts, and shameful anger the Lord has brought joy from my pain.  He has given me comfort and hope.  This past Christmas season was hard to face, but was surprisingly redeemed with beautiful gifts of Grace.

When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. Psalm 94:19

A Closed Door.

It is finally over.  Bringing home this baby boy simply wasn’t meant to be.  I am devastated, heart broken, and completely disappointed; however I feel held.  I am comforted by your prayers, my faith, and the Hope that I have in Christ.

There were 17 days between the two phone calls from our case worker.  The first one being the call on November 5th from our case worker preparing us for the possibility that the birth mother that we’d been matched with was having doubts about placing her child for adoption.  We were struck with the reality of our worst fears and consumed by sadness. Those two and a half weeks were the most agonizing wait and test of patience that I have ever faced.

I cried for days.  I cried until I made myself sick.  I lost my voice and was sick to my stomach.  I made a pallet on floor of the nursery and took turns reading my bible, praying and crying myself to sleep.  I couldn’t eat, and I didn’t think I would survive the pain that I thought was going to swallow me whole.

When I got the second phone call, I didn’t crumble like I expected.  I don’t really think I cried, at least not immediately.  With a combination of grace and sympathy in her voice, our case worker told us that the baby had been born.  He was twelve days old and he had been with his mother this entire time.  Even though she’d had him, brought him home from the hospital, and was taking care of him; she was still unsure of her decision.  She had been avoiding contact with the adoption agency and was given a deadline of December 1st to make a commitment.  It wasn’t the outcome that we had hoped and prayed for, but we at least have an answer.

He is hers.

So now, this door is closed.  Literally and Figuratively.  We’ve packed up all things baby and put them in the nursery and closed the door.  It hurts too much to walk by and smell the freshly washed clothes or peek into the waiting crib.  The hallway seems a little more narrow without the open door.  Right now we are just sad and grieving.

I hope to write more in the near future to share my feelings and what our next steps are in this process.  Your prayers are still greatly needed, especially as we walk into this Christmas season.  Thank you for your encouragement and reminders of hope.

 

This isn’t over.

My eyes are just about as heavy as my heart.  It’s been weeks since I’ve had a peaceful night’s sleep; after the sun goes down is when my mind is most prone to wander.   The last  48 hours have been the worst yet.

Honestly, I’m having a difficult time trying to find the words to say and I know its not from the lack of sleep or the haze of confusion that follows it.   A few weeks ago we joyfully shared with the world that we had been chosen by a birth mother and that our long road to  become parents was nearing an end.  We also threw in a tiny disclaimer that even though things could change at a moment’s notice, we were choosing to tell our story in hopes that God gets all the GLORY.  

It appears that our fears are coming true, and that the “changes” we had hoped would not occur are becoming a reality.  We have known from the moment that we were approved by our agency that this scenario is a very likely possibility.  The birth mother is having doubts about her decision to place for adoption and is considering parenting.

I got the phone call from my case worker on Tuesday.  I had spoken to “E”, the birth mother on Monday and we talked about our plans to meet at the hospital on Friday.  Tomorrow, November 8th is her induction date.    We’ve known since last Friday that this child would be making a scheduled appearance.  We’ve been preparing for years to meet him.

Forgive me as I try to choose my following words carefully.  I want to chronicle this journey accurately, yet I want to be as transparent with you as possible.  I am completely heartbroken and terrified.  There is a physical pain in my chest that feels as if it might swallow me whole.

However, this is not over.  Here is what I know to be true:

My God is the same today as He was yesterday, and will be tomorrow.

He will not leave us alone in this very difficult journey.

Tomorrow, a new life will be brought into this world.  It is something that should be celebrated.  

This baby was created in the image of GOD.  I can allow myself to grieve for what may not come to be, but I will still have HOPE.

Like I said before, this is still far from over.  The birth mother can still change her mind again as quickly as she did on Tuesday.  Because she has asked for space, we will not be going to Charlotte to be at the hospital with her like we originally planned.  We will continue to pray for this young mother who has three more daughters at home.  We will pray that if she choses to parent, whatever initially led her to the decision of adoption has been resolved so that she can bring this baby into a loving and stable home.  If not, we pray that she makes a selfless decision for what is best for this child.

It is nearly impossible for me to pray that this woman make a decision that I could not do myself.  I can’t begin to describe the internal conflict I feel as I pray selfishly for the child that I have desired for years.  So I beg for your prayers now.  Pray for strength for everyone involved. Pray for this baby, the innocent party, that is relying on adults to make decisions that are in his best interest.  Pray for the birth mother that she will come to know Christ as her Savior.  Pray that no matter what happens, God is glorified!

I believe in the power of prayer!

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”   Matthew 17:20

The Final Piece: Adoption Puzzle Fundraiser

We are nearing the end of our very long wait of growing our family through adoption.  We are in the final stretch of bringing our son home, but there is still so much that needs to be done.  Namely, raising the final funds needed to pay the adoption costs.  I don’t like talking about the money side of things, but a typical Domestic Infant Adoption ranges from approximately $20,000 to $40,000.  We have done numerous fundraisers, and have been showered graciously by generous family and friends.  However, we are still only about halfway to raising our final amount which will be close to $29,000.  We are calling this puzzle fundraiser The Final Piece because we are so close to the end of this long journey!  The details are listed below.  If you have any questions please feel free to email me, speak to us in person, or leave a comment.

Please help us spread the word by sharing this post with others!  We are ready to be completely blown away by how the Lord provides through this fundraiser!

Adoption Puzzle Fundraiser

How the Puzzle Fundraiser Works:

In order to raise the necessary funds for our adoption, we are starting a Puzzle Fundraiser. Those who choose to donate to our Baby Broccoli Adoption Fund will purchase a puzzle piece(s). When all of the puzzle pieces have been purchased, we will assemble the puzzle and then have the name of the person and/or family donating written on the back.
After the puzzle is completed and all of the names have been written, it will be a wonderful keepsake for our child to see all of the people who were part of bringing him home.  We will continue this fundraiser until all of the pieces have been purchased, even if we get to bring our baby home before it is complete!
Cost of 1 Puzzle Piece = $10

You may choose to purchase a single piece, or if you want to donate a larger amount, you may purchase as many pieces as you desire.
How to Donate:

  • Click on the Donate button on the right sidebar and pay securely through PayPal
  • Mail us a check  (email me at libby.brock(at)gmail(dot)com for our mailing address)  
The Final Piece Adoption Fundraiser

The Final Piece: The puzzle that we have chosen for our Adoption Puzzle Fundraiser.

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Thanks for your support and for being a part of our story through your donations & prayers!

July 31

I had 426 days to imagine what this phone call would be like.

Any call from an unknown number would instantly send me into a frenzy.

I tried to fabricate random scenarios in my mind to prepare for anything.

Nothing I could have envisioned was as perfect as July 31st.

My sister, sister-in-law, and three nieces were visiting for a few days.  We’d had a lazy morning and were starting to get ready for our day.  As I went upstairs to get my shower, I noticed that I had a missed call & voicemail from an unknown number.  I started to get undressed as I listened to the message, not realizing I would spend the next hour pant-less  from all of the excitement.

{Now, I’m sure you are starting to understand what my excitement was all about, but before I go any further I need to say something.  We are choosing to share this information because we want to give God the glory.  Simply put, we want Him to be praised no matter what has happened or will happen during this journey.  Some may think sharing this news is premature since there are no guarantees in this unpredictable thing called Life.  We’ve never hidden from sharing the bad with the good, and we want you to share in our excitement, despite the outcome.}

As soon as I called my case worker back, she asked me to grab a pen & paper so that I could write down as many details as my mind could comprehend.  I had an out of body experience as I wrote, trying to understand what she was saying and mainly focusing on not passing out.  She described in explicit detail the circumstances surrounding the woman who wanted to choose us to raise her child.

The next pant-less hour is a bit of a blur as I asked her questions, called Brad to share the news with him, and tried to talk slow enough to explain everything to my sisters & oldest nieces.  My favorite part of the day, aside from that one phone call, was (after putting my pants back on…) gathering in a circle and praying by name for the woman who is carrying my child.

In everything that I tried to imagine about what that day would look like, I could have never dreamed that I would be surrounded by family.  The Lord, in His ultimate wisdom knew exactly what I needed in that moment.  I’m so thankful that His plans are better than my dreams!

Our son is due to be born on November 15, 2013.

I’ll be sharing more details soon!

The Difference of a Year

Fifty-two Weeks.

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I posted this picture on Instagram a year ago.  My caption had something to do with a midnight snack in the nursery.  I couldn’t sleep and I was using that time to pray.  It’s amazing the difference that a year makes.

Fifty-two weeks later, and when I can’t sleep I go pray in another nursery.  We’ve since bought our own house.  Those Animal Fun Alphabet flash cards line the wall above the changing table.  That little monkey sits on a different bookshelf, and that card holder is overflowing with many more notes of encouragement. And that ice cream…I can’t eat it because it hurts my tummy.

When this picture was taken, we were not quite into our fourth month of waiting on Baby B to come home.  I was convinced I wouldn’t have to wait longer than six months at most.  I had no idea how many more sleepless nights I would stay awake praying, pleading with the Lord to hear my cries.

I reluctantly admit that I wish I had chronicled more of those sleepless nights and all of the emotions that this last year and some odd months have brought.  I know that one day I will want to look back at this long wait and remember the tiny details, but part of me knows that it can be summed up with this one picture.  Waiting and Praying.

There are some details that pictures can’t capture.

Like the peace I feel when I know the Lord hears my cries.

The growth and maturing I’ve experienced from having to depend completely on Faith.

And the Hope that I experience from knowing my God keeps His promises.

I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night that I may meditate on your promises. Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your laws. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. Psalm 119:147-150

It’s amazing the difference that a year makes.

The Cape

We didn’t think that we would be able to take a vacation this past summer because every penny is being saved for the adoption.  However, we took a risk and tallied all of our frequent flyer miles and credit card points and chose to escape to a place we’d never been before.  I’ve always wanted to see New England, and Brad just needed to get out of the office for week.  These are some of my favorite pictures from the trip.  There’s also a story at the end about my favorite souvenir that we brought home.

DSC_0996Gingerbread houses.
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DSC_0985Colorful Buoys.
DSC_0902Sunset at the oldest windmill at the Cape.
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Lighthouse + cross.

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Plymouth Rock

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Whale watching.

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My favorite souvenir from the trip was this book for our Baby Broccoli.

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The title of the book caught my eye, because we’d had several conversations on our trip about waiting for our baby.  The night that we were in this quaint little shop was the eve of May 30 – exactly one year since we had been officially waiting to be matched with a birthmother. DSC_0011

As I started to read the book, my sighs turned into tears.

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We have said for months that our “Someday” will come soon.  Someday when the Lord’s timing is right.

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I could barely finish reading the book because I started the ugly cry.  My sweet husband, who always knows how to make me feel better, gently put his arm around my shoulder and purchased the book as a souvenir for our nursery.  When we got back to our room that night, we each wrote these letters to our Baby Broccoli.  DSC_0006

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Our trip was such a blessing.  A much needed time to get away to celebrate, pray, and hope.  We came home refreshed and renewed in each other and in Spirit!  The Cape might not be a place that we ever go again, but it was a welcome surprise to our summer!

Ornaments for Adoption

We were incredibly blessed to be connected with Megan a few months back.  She contacted us because she was interested in doing a fundraiser to help us with our adoption!  How awesome is God, and how amazing is she to have such a burden for orphans?  Along with Megan’s giving spirit, she also has amazing creative talents.  During the holidays she made adorable ornaments to raise money.  Brad and I were finally able to meet her and her husband in person this week over dinner to say THANK YOU for all of their generosity.  If our guys didn’t have to get up so early, we could have stayed there all night and talked!  Ornaments for Adoption ended back in December, but I thought I would post my message to her blog readers over here too.  Thanks again Megan for everything!

I can’t begin this post without first thanking Megan for her thoughtfulness, kindness, and generosity.  Her burden to help others goes beyond a typical calling, and has been a blessing to our growing family.  Her servant spirit has touched the lives of people she may never meet on this side of heaven.  It does not seem sufficient to say that we are indebted to her for her precious charity. In actuality, Megan and I have never met.  We were strangers just a few months ago, but have been brought together through the common bond of adoption.  

Megan and I each have our own unique stories, but the beautiful thing about these stories is that they are wrapped and intertwined in the Gospel.  When we, any of us who have been transformed by Christ, tell our stories, we are telling the story of who God is.  The story that God has written in my life is not the one that I would have imagined, nor is it the one that I tried to plan for myself.  Though its a beautiful story, it is one that has been laced with heartache.

Despite the difficulties that we’ve faced through infertility, miscarriage, medical mysteries, and the weary waiting on our baby through adoption, there is at least one thing I’ve learned about heartache.  It is good.  Good in the way that failure is good, and change is good, and tribulation is good.  I’ve learned the hard way that heartache can come in the form of one of God’s greatest gifts.  It can be a useful tool.  Just like failure will teach us what not to do the next time, and change can be gut-wrenchingly scary but bring new joy, and tribulations make us stronger; heartache can push us to the edge of our faith.  It can devour us, pull us, berate us, and then remake us.  When we are finally standing on the other side of heartache, we can see how far we’ve come from the person that we use to be, to the person that we are now. 

Obviously, none of us can skip to the end and sneak a peek of our story, or even get a glimpse of the end of this chapter for that matter; however I can humbly say I’ve learned to embrace this thing called heartache.  I can come before you now and say that the heartache of losing our first baby has made me stronger.  The heartache of anxiously waiting for our next child has tested my faith and strengthened it as well.  When our heart aches, God aches with us, so it is not something we should run from.  We have been given a promise that we will never be left alone.  {Deuteronomy 31:6}

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of our story.  Through Ornaments for Adoption, you will always be a part of this glorious journey.  I can’t wait for the day that I get to put Christmas ornaments on the tree with a little chubby toddler in footed pajamas, and get to tell them of our story.  The story of how so many strangers and friends alike came together to help bring our baby home.  Merry Christmas and God bless you all for your kindness, support, donations, and prayers.  

A look back.

Here’s a look back at my guest post over at Re{de}fining.  Thanks again Jenn for considering all aspects of motherhood!

I’m usually terrible with dates.  I can’t ever remember my best friends’ birthdays.  I actually do well to remember the month.  Thank you Facebook for helping me not look like a jerk.  However, I do remember The Date.  It only took my husband an entire month to convince me we were ready.  Yes, he had to convince me.  May 27, 2007 was our first Anniversary, so do the math: one month of convincing + one last day on the pill and we arrive at June 28th.   We had 13 glorious months of marital bliss before this day.  And then it happened.

(Cue the dramatic music…)

We were ready to start a family.  We were also innocently ignorant to the ways of the world and how things don’t immediately turn out the way that you imagine them in your storybook fairy-tale.  Looking back, I can’t recall encountering anyone in my life who was experiencing infertility.  Even though I’d heard of women who had endured a miscarriage, the dourness of such circumstances didn’t register with me until it was something I had experienced on my own.

After more than a year of shattered dreams, countless doctors visits, and four miserable (& failed) rounds of fertility drugs we felt defeated. We needed a break to physically and emotionally recoup. Surprisingly, a few months later, we were stunned to find out that our time of rest was beneficial.  The day that I found out I was going to be a mother brought a precious joy that very few other events in my life have produced.  Twelve days later that joy turned to gut-wrenching heartache.  The circumstances surrounding our miscarriage are complex.  I actually experienced an ectopic pregnancy, and was miraculously much further along in my pregnancy than I had originally thought.  The following months brought excruciating complications that are sporadically detailed in my first blog, Keeping In Step.

Despite my brief pregnancy, I am a mother; even though my emotions and empty arms would beg to differ on most days.  After my body had healed physically and my emotions had become more stable, my response to well-meaning strangers when they asked if I had any children was usually the same.  “Not yet.”  It was the simple answer, but a response that always brought up raw sentiments.

It’s been three and a half years since we had to say good-bye to our first baby.  There are still so many unanswered questions regarding our infertility issues.  Thankfully, these days I have a new response to those curious inquiries from strangers.  It is still easier not to mention our baby in Heaven during casual conversations, but we will proudly tell anyone who will listen that we are expecting our next baby through adoption.  My journey to motherhood has been a difficult road. Throughout this adventure, I have experienced a variety of emotions and there have been the most difficult of days.  Mostly, I am thankful.  For the privilege of being chosen to be the mother of our precious baby in heaven, and especially for being blessed by the merciful grace of my Saviour.