emotionally fragile today

no real reason I guess. Just in a weird frame of mind.

too much stuff in my head and heart. Nothing tragic, so don’t freak.

bad hair cut, not really “feelin’ the love” at work right now, just finished reading a very emotionally difficult story about a woman who carried her baby for quite a while knowing that the baby probably wouldn’t live (that’s not why I’m depressed. Angie is really being used by God. Her utter reliance on God through her pain is incredibly uplifting. If you want to know more go to the Audrey Caroline link in my blogroll), but mostly my emotional confusion stems from something that happened last year.

Last year we had two IVF attempts that “failed” the first involved three embryos that were all put back in me on Day 3 and then didn’t “take” The second attempt involved two absolutely perfect little embryos who also didn’t “stick” It took till day 21 though for us to know one way or the other. I went through days and days of doctors saying that I was “chemically pregnant” Which means that you aren’t really pregnant but you aren’t completely “not pregnant” either. Eventually we got all the way to “not pregnant” …….. Lovely.

Just because my tiny little 8 cell kids never attached to my womb doesn’t mean they didn’t exist. The photos I have of them are amazing. Real, living clusters of cells that were random combinations of ME and MARTIN. It was so beautiful to just gaze at them. I tracked the numbers for a while (while we waited for them to “stick”) trying to figure it out. “okay, little ones, today is Day Four, so you are each 16 cells by now” “Alright, rise and shine, today is DAY FIVE, so you are 32 whole cells! wow you are both growing so fast” eventually my math skills were over whelmed by the numbers and I just basked in the wonder of it.

And now, today, for some reason I’m wondering if I should acknowledge that I DO mourn the the embryos that didn’t stick. I often think that I will be condemned by others for thinking of the “failures to stick” as if they were miscarriages. Is that fact that they even existed and multiplied and grew for three days in a petri dish enough to qualify as life? Or am I some kind of poseur for thinking that. There is a myth inside my head that since they never showed up on a sonogram that I somehow don’t have the right to feel the emotional pain. The physical pain was real though. oh buddy was it real. and during a work party/social function too. that was NOT fun.

When people ask if I have children should I say “Yes! Five in heaven and one on the way!”

Should we have named them? I mentioned that to Martin once after the first three didn’t make it and he just shook his head at me and kept staring at the road ahead. He couldn’t even talk about it.

actually I know that the reason I’m stuck on this today is because of Angie and her story about losing her baby, and also the Chapman’s recent loss and Nicole Sponberg’s baby that died of SIDS. I guess my heart is trying to connect? to feel a reason for my sadness. To justify the horrifyingly deep hole that I still have in my heart EVEN THOUGH WE ARE PREPARING TO ADOPT A BABY.

By all logic I should be happy and bouncy and thrilled. I am, but maybe I’m mourning the growing reality that I will never hold a baby from my own body. As much as I laugh and say that I am happy about the fact that my ribs will never be kicked and that my bladder gets to stay where it belongs thank-you-very-much, I am still hurt. I am still jealous of the women with babies growing inside them.

And, now this is ugly ya’ll , I am very jealous of how my co-workers are treating the pregnant ladies here like their happiness and prospects are more real than mine. Just because their babies are growing here in Atlanta where they can be seen and have their bellies rubbed and talked to and mine is growing in another state and in another woman’s body.

I can’t talk to my baby, I can’t feel kicks. I have to wait. and I hate waiting.

LORD HELP! please God. please. this hurts. not as much as losing a baby would, but it does hurt. and I don’t know what to do about it.

***ps. God did help. Our birth mother called this afternoon just to chat. It was so good to hear the sound of her voice. So happy, so pregnant and still so committed to this adoption with us. We laughed together. God is so good to me. Even when I complain and whine. Thank you Lord.

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Gratitude (week 6)

The sounds of silence

This morning as I lay in bed I was struck by the sounds in my quiet home

51. the whisper of my husband’s hand running up my arm as he tries gently to get me to wake up

52. the relief when either one of us hits the snooze button

53. the early morning breeze moving through the trees outside, sort of a low grade rustling whooosh

54. the light purrrrrrrrr of my cat Kenya as she sits on my back and tries desperately to convince me to stay home with her today.

55. the quiet jingle from the dogs collars downstairs as they begin roaming the house. Stretching, scratching an ear, yawning. I love it when dogs yawn.

56. the faint click of claws on the kitchen floor as our elderly dog makes her way to the water bowl

57. the creak of the bed as my hubby temporarily gives up on waking me and goes to start his morning ablutions

58. the cool stirring of the air in the room from the ceiling fan.

59. the beat of my pulse against the pillow when I snuggle down further under the covers

60. and under it all, the single thought, crashing like surf in my brain over and over and over again: “we are having a baby! we are having a baby! we are having a baby!”

this was my litany of gratitude this morning. the things I noticed and took joy in, no matter how small or how great.

Enjoy your day. Spend it immersed in a grateful spirit and offer your your thoughts to God as a sweet smelling savour to Him.

praying for the Chapmans, and “my” baby

okay, this is so un-original this week, but I’m praying for the Chapmans.  Especially the son.  Oh that boy has got to be in agony right now.

The weird part for me is that although I was sad for them, none of this really hit me in the gut till I read on the Chapman’s blog yesterday that someone was actually on the phone with Steven when the accident happened.  I read about the scream of anguish that ripped out of Steven as he dropped the phone, the sounds of confusion and weeping………. and THAT’S when this all became real for me.

Is that weird?  I don’t really follow Steven Curtis Chapman that much.  I like his music, but I never read his blog till after Maria died, so I didn’t feel, as so many many others did, that they knew the family and Maria in a personal way.  So it really took something more for me to feel it, ya know?

I’m not a total jerk, honest, I just didn’t know the family, so it all left me feeling kind of horrified and sad,  but mostly numb.

Now if something happened to one of Janna’s kids, or Missy’s or Emilie’s or Duren’s I would be on a plane or in a car the next minute to go to them.

I don’t have kids of my own yet.  But I’m reminded that that very sentence is a fallacy: No child will ever be MINE.  Even if I care for them from birth.  Even if I nurse them and kiss every skinned knee and watch them grow up and teach them and love them their whole lives, they will never be MINE.  All children (and all of US) belong to GOD.

Letting go is never easy, but I have to remember that even the child being carried right now somewhere in the midwest who will (if all goes well) be coming home with us in November IS NOT MINE,  he or she belongs to God.  Now and forever.

Lord Jesus, help me to remember always that I am yours and that any child you entrust to my care is just that: a temporary trust and ALL for YOUR GLORY.

out of sync

This whole weekend my hubby and I both felt out of sync. With each other and the world in general.

I was grumpy and he was just….not all there. It was weird. We weren’t communicating well. Nothing disastrous, just little things that didn’t go as planned and we couldn’t quite adjust.

I was especially irritable with my dad. He has an unfortunate tendency to hover. If I’m having a conversation with someone (anyone) he will shuffle over and hover just beyond the physical range of being “in” the conversation, and listen. I find it very annoying, but normally I deal with it with some semblance of grace. This weekend though? I went up in flames every. single. time. And I scorched those near me. My mom even called me on the carpet for being rude.

So what was wrong? were aren’t having marital difficulties, it wasn’t really a surfeit of family time, it wasn’t lack of sleep. My lunch date with a friend who is having a troubled time recently only made me value my wonderful hubby all the more, so that wasn’t it. and it sure wasn’t stress from baby related stuff (grin)

I honestly think it can be traced to the fact that we’ve slipped in just the last week away from doing our morning Bible study. Sure we were still reading the Bible a chapter at a time in the evenings, but that’s not the same as what we were doing during our morning drives. Our evening readings aren’t in-depth. Frankly sometimes I even fall asleep before hubby gets done reading to me at night. but I don’t fall asleep on the drives. And the in-depth study (the Patriarchs by Beth Moore) and the workbook format keep me engaged and make me think.

The good news is we figured it out and we started back on the study this morning. I don’t instantly feel better, but at least we have our feet back in the right water. The nourishment will soak up into my soul as the day goes on.

Thank you Lord for the reminder of just how much I need you. Teach me not to forget it Lord.

Gratitude (week 5)

41. the cold sweetness of ice cream (or in my case, frozen yogurt)

42. friends. Bloggy ones, in-person ones, work ones, long distance ones. All kinds. The kind wishes and heartfelt joy that my friends of all kinds have expressed over our good news this week has amazed and humbled me.

43. forgiving bosses. Endless, non-work related conference calls with no warning during a business day can annoy even the most patient of bosses, but my boss beamed with joy for me the whole time.

44. co-workers with a sense of humor. Right now my boss is telling a story about his four-year-old son missing the toilet……nuff said.

45. the gift of a husband with a generous heart.

46. hot, fresh buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy.

47. pink grapefruit. in sections. My dad does this for me sometimes as a gift. He takes a whole grapefruit, peels it and then peels the “case” off of each section as well. sometimes when he asks me what I want for Christmas this is what I ask for. seriously.

48.  office machines that actually work when you need them to.  Despite all the horror stories floating around out there, my computer and scanner worked today, even under deadline pressure with the chair of the department standing over me and a 4million dollar grant proposal on the line.

49.  my mother. who said “yes of course” when I called and asked her if she would make biscuits and sausage gravy for dinner tonight.

50.  sudden summer rain storms.  I hated them as a kid because it meant we had to get out of the pool and crowd into the pool-house with way too many other suddenly bored kids and watch our swimming opportunities dwindle away.  But now?  I love ’em.  the power and majesty of a summer thunderstorm has so much beauty.

So that’s my list for this week.  To see what this is all about just click on the Gratitude tag in the “tag cloud” at the right side of the screen.

screaming fans

I had a “screaming fans” moment last night and for once in my life it wasn’t me screaming about some star.

It was the choir screaming for joy when Martin announced during the praise and prayer time that

“We are having a baby!”

And the whole place went absolutely WILD.  Normally staid adults screamed, jumped up and down in their chairs and made all kinds of undignified movements of complete and utter joy.

Then he modified it by saying “we have a match”  and the clapping and hallelujahs continued.      Meanwhile our director stood at the front of the room and beamed at us.

Honestly I was stunned at the reaction.  I knew people would be happy for us.  I knew we’d get tons of advice and hugs and smiles, but screaming?

wow.

There have been times that I know I’ve rubbed people in our choir the wrong way.  I’m in charge of the retreat every year and I get really pushy around time for the deposits to get turned in.  And I can really turn some people off with my push for memorization of songs.  We’ve submitted endless prayer requests when we were going through IVF and also on behalf of my brother.  At times I felt like people might resent us being so much “out there” ya know?   There’s also that “teacher’s pet” problem.  Martin and I are really good friends with the director and some people resent that.  Also we’ve only been at this church a little over 4 years.

So all in all I was stunned and really touched last night when the whole room erupted like that.

Just had to share.

God’s ways are higher than our ways

My boss seriously frustrated me yesterday. He had promised to go with me to take lunch to our newest faculty member at her new home as she moves in. But then he turned out to have too many meetings and had to beg off. Major problem with that: I didn’t have a car with me. So I couldn’t go without him. We re-arranged things for the next day, and He went off to his meeting.

grrrrrrrrrrrr

But I smiled and kept my sense of humor through it all.

Little did I know that GOD was clearing my calendar for the day. HE knew that I could not afford to be out of the office delivering lunch from 11:00 to 1:00. Because HE had other plans for me on Tuesday.

Just before 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2008 God had arranged for the calls to begin. Our adoption agent called Martin, Martin called me, the agent called me, I called the agent, then the birth mother’s agent called our agent, then our agent called me back and had me call the birth mother’s agent, (anybody out of breath yet?) then eventually we all calmed down long enough to get Martin to my office and set up a conference call and we talked to the birth parents.

Ya’ll at this point they had no photos of us and we had no photos of them or their previous kids. All we knew was that they have a baby that is due in either late October or early November. After a long and very interesting conversation which was both exhilarating and emotionally draining at the same time we all four decided to “move forward”

What does that mean? well…….instead of me delivering lunch today, God delivered a dream.

We are matched. Some folks call it “pregnant on paper”

There’s still a million and one things that could go wrong, but we are going to trust God and pray for the health of our whole family and the baby as well as praying for support and good doctors and Christian friends for the birth family (since we can’t be there for them on a regular in-town basis, we are really praying God to supply them with a Godly friend)  There is so much that we can not share with you, details we can not talk about, but you can just pray God to be over all and in all.

Please pray for us as we adjust to this incredible news.

Isn’t God great?