"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year, New Me.

As 2010 is quickly coming to an end in a couple of hours, I am snuggled up to my sweet fur babies in this big King size bed (which is, yes, still in the living room due to construction,) and I am oh, so thankful for the blessings, lessons, and changes this year has brought my way.

A Failed IVF Cycle

Yes...I'm thankful for it, even though the end result wasn't my much-desired bundle of love and joy. Going through IVF with K brought our relationship to a new place. We were scared together, excited together, tired together....and ultimately, we were sad and disappointed together. But, we were together. I found myself relying more on God than ever before. I began spending quality time reading His word, memorized some scriptures that I could utter when those helpless times came like a thief, and found myself actually enjoying and looking forward to my daily study time with Him. I drew strength and peace from Him daily. He is what got me through it.....the shots, the hormones, the ups and downs. My eyes were opened more than ever before to the fact that I, alone, have no control over my own life. It's His plan....not mine. Me being the planner and thinker that I am makes this especially hard at times, but I'm getting better at it day by day. Anyone who has gone through IVF will understand the feeling of complete helplessness. There is no such thing as controlling the outcome. Every single step of the process is excruciating to the mind , body, and spirit, and hope can sometimes seem as of it is merely hanging by a thread. My reliance on God was a necessity. I had to surrender. If there is one thing I have realized this year, it is this:

I can't....but He can.

I still have to conciously surrender at times....especially when I'm wanting to take the reins. But I'm learning.

Our home

A work in progress. But soon, and thanks be to God, I won't be able to call it a work in progress anymore. We're finishing our house. Pictures will come soon. I'm keeping up with the before and durings periodically. We are happy with our contractor, and we give thanks to God for the huge blessing of sending him our way to finish our home! Nanny and Papaw would be so very proud, I believe, of what we've managed to do here. It's been a long three years, but 2011 will be a year K and I will actually get to spend to doing the fun projects....landscaping, building a deck, yard work. We're even looking forward to raking leaves!

Our health

K's procedure in October was the end of a pretty scary ride he's been on for over 10 years. Thankfully, we have a terrific family doctor who was able to diagnose and correct the problem with a simple outpatient procedure on his esphagus. K is slowly working through his fear of choking every time he eats, but he has come so far in only a few short months.

My 13 year old, J

Yes, he's mine. I gladly claim him. This past week without him has been unbearably quiet and uneventful for both his Dad and myself, and I couldn't wait tonight to get a hug from him as soon as he stepped out of his Mother's car. I'm so glad he's home. And I'm so glad he's here now....permanently. At first I was overwhelmed with all of the changes having J here brought to my world. At times this past summer, I was a sobbing (and selfish, as I see looking back) uncontrollable basket case behind closed doors. For about a week after we found out for sure that this was all really happening, I cried practically non-stop. The thoughts of how my life would change, how life as I knew it would never be the same again, how I would be raising another woman's child....the thoughts overtook me. Would I be enough of a mother to him? Would I be happy? Would my relationship with my husband change? And the horrible thought of "I can't do this." And then the guilt of even having the thoughts. J needed us. I honestly didn't know how I was going to do it. We had all prayed for this to happen. So many people were depending on me. I couldn't see any hope. I felt at times like I had no choice....helpless and confused. I didn't want to let anyone down. That place was dark. Reluctantly and feeling as if I had no other choice, I broke down and told K I couldn't do it....that I wanted to go back to the way it was....."please, I've changed my mind.....I can't do this," I said. K was kind. He listened. He somehow understood and never once doubted me. I know now that God himself must've changed my heart. That is the only way to explain how my heart turned around. I've been on automatic....I don't even have to think about how to be a Mom to J. It just happens. And I love it. It comes so naturally. Even though he's a teenager now and the hormones are flowing like crazy, and at times K and I think aliens have taken over his brain, he is such a great person. And this year, he is the reason I can say "I am a Mom."

New friends....

I began blogging late last year, and little did I realize that I would come across two of the sweetest and kindest girls ever to walk to Earth. Andrea and Deni.....two of the strongest and faith-FULL women I know. Even though I've never met either of them in person, I know their support is there, and like me, they truly understand what that sting feels like of wanting so badly what so many other women take for granted. And thankfully, they are soon to be Mommy's...and my heart smiles each time I think of it. How blessed and loved their sweet babies will be.

And as for 2011......

We're trying IVF again. Even though we are again faced with less than mediocre odds of success, we choose to believe with faithful hearts that if the Lord wants it to work, IT WILL WORK, despite all odds. I refuse to give fear a chance here. It's easy to fall into that dreadful place when I'm faced with an "egg quantity and quality" problem that is untreatable. There is no pill, no hormone, no injections that make it better or go away completely, no medical solution. K's medical insurance is wonderful, and fortunately we have a large amount left in our lifetime maximum for about two or three more cycles of IVF. I'm not sure how many more times we are willing to put ourselves through the process, but we're going to take things one day at a time, praying the Lord will guide our steps as He sees fit. Because honestly, we don't know. We're going to step out in faith, relying solely on Him to direct our path.....open doors when they should open and close the ones that need closed. I plan on keeping the blog going, however I probably won't be as public with this IVF cycle than I was with the last. It was great knowing how many friends and family members were lifting us up in prayer and supporting our efforts, but it was also an added stress to feel as if I let everyone down in the end. Not that I had any control over the negative outcome, but just knowing there were so many others who shared in my disappointment. It was just too much. I will document every step of my journey when the time comes and share it at the appropriate times. Thankfully, we are not limited to IVF. We are also researching domestic adoption and embryo adoption, both of which we are completely open to. We're willing to go through whatever door opens to us.

It's been a good year.

Goodnight.....and welcome to my life, 2011. It's gonna be fun.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


December is definitely here and in full force! I'm trying to make sense of my calendar because almost every single little block is booked with something. With all of our going and doing, it's hard to not get wrapped up in the hooplah and forget the most important reason we celebrate this month. I love December. I love everything about it.....the excitement, the chaos, the songs, the cheer, the food, the parties, the shopping, and of course, Santa.

With the second nine weeks of school rapidly coming to an end soon, we are hoping and praying for grades that won't nauseate us. We're not seeing the good grades we saw the first nine weeks of school from J. He's so easily distracted. Keeping him interested and focused is just impossible at times. Thanks to some advice from a friend and the wonderful internet, K and I decided to take J for some cognitive testing that will test for all sorts of learning weaknesses and hopefully will give us some insight on how to help J. J's forgetfulness and lack of focus makes it seem he's being lazy or doesn't really care. And at first, we weren't sure. But over time, it's become very clear to his father and I that something is wrong. We're hopeful whatever it is can be corrected easily without him having to take medication. His test is this coming Saturday at 10:00 AM. He is to arrive rested and fresh, so that's why we decided to take him on a Saturday morning. The test will take approximately two hours and test on about twenty or so different learning areas.

It is apparent after last week that J has officially got to me. He asked me earlier in the week if we could give his "girl friend" a ride to church youth group Wednesday night. I didn't have a problem with it and simply asked him to have her mother message me saying it was okay. K and I routinely check J's phone and monitor his incoming and outgoing text messages. How I wish I hadn't seen the message he sent that read "my annoying step-mom wants your mom to send a stupid message to her saying it's okay if we come pick you up! Aaaahhhhhh....that's so stupid! She's so annoying!" I was devastated. My heart was crushed. I immediately tried to shake it off. He's a teenager. So, why did it hurt so bad? The tears began to flow. There I was.....standing at the kitchen pantry frantically trying to focus on the cereal, the pasta, the rice....oh yum, how about some cocoa....anything to stop the tears. When I cry, my face and eyes get red and swollen, and there is no hiding it. K felt so sorry for me. I begged him to forget about it and move on, but he didn't. He told J we read the message and that it devastated me. It was the first time J has ever seen me cry. He apologized, of course, and admitted he was frustrated with me at the time. Of course, I forgave him. It still hurts to think about it. I guess it's never occurred to me that I could be annoying to him. And in most text messages he sends to his friends, he calls me "his mom." One of my friends made me feel better after I told her my story. She said her son's ringtone for when she calls him is a barking dog. Yikes. I guess being called annoying isn't so bad. I must be doing something right.