Monday, July 25, 2011

The Day I Gave Away the Diapers

I coupon. I love to coupon. I am not obsessive about it like those weirdos on TLC Extreme Couponing, but I love to save my little family money. Three years ago last week we started out on a journey, one that we thought wouldn't take very long, but surprisingly here we still are....waiting. Maybe I should explain.....

Three years ago in February Donnie and I felt God was laying it on our hearts to adopt. We did our research, mounds and mounds of paperwork, fingerprints, and criminal background checks. We paid our money and we waited....and waited....and waited. So the next year rolled around we did all our updated paperwork (maybe just one mound this time), fingerprints, criminal background checks, and paid our money. Again, we waited....and waited...and waited. So here we are at year number three. Getting ready to start the paperwork process all over again, not really expecting anything, but always praying for the best. So you are probably asking, how do coupons play into this?....Read on.

When we were first approved for adoption we decided that I would stay home with the baby (a must, by the standards of our adoption agency, for at least 6 months.) I knew staying home would mean one less salary, but really we could do it. Besides, what was the point in me working if it was just going to be to cover the cost of daycare?? We wouldn't be able to travel or shop like we did then, but we knew it would all be okay because we would finally have the one thing we really wanted in this life....a baby. So, with a new resolve, I set out to learn about coupons. The one thing I learned early on is, if you do it just right, you can save a lot of money. I asked questions, I looked at adds, I scoured the Internet for any kind of deal I could find. Again, not trying to store things up, but instead saving money on our bi-monthly grocery trip. During this process, and having been told by the agency that we would definitely be chosen sooner rather than later, I started asking questions about diapers. All my friends told me if I had really good coupons on diapers, then I should by them now. "Coupons expire, diapers don't" was a phrase that was echoed over and over to me by my friends. So I decided since we were going to be picked quickly (according to our social worker) that I would start buying, and putting away diapers. I bought in all sizes, friends told me what sizes to get the most of, and I put them away, knowing that we would be chosen soon. After a year of waiting, and not hearing anything, I quit buying as many diapers. As year two, then three rolled past, I didn't buy any. My hope, faith, and trust that we would be getting a baby started to fall away, and those diapers were a constant reminder of the "failure" I felt that I was, but I just couldn't let them go.

Most of you know about the tornadoes in Alabama this spring. One of the students in the program where I work was from a very hard hit town right outside of Tuscaloosa. She sent out an email describing the devastation, the lack of food, clothes, and water, and then told a story of how there were a lot of young families that didn't have diapers, food, or clothing for their babies. The story hit hard with me, I knew what I should do. I had all these diapers, unused, sitting in the top of my closet. The bible verse from Matthew 6 kept replaying in my head. If you don't know it, here it is:
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I came home from work that day, with a heavy, heavy heart, and went to the back bedroom where I started pulling all the diapers, and wipes out of the closet. I cried. Cried like I haven't in a long time. Cried for the people in Alabama who were hurting. Cried because I felt like I was "giving up" on the dream of ever becoming a mother. Cried because I had no words to express how sad my heart actually was at that time.

The next day I took most of the diapers and wipes that I had stored, to work, and gave them to the student that was headed home to Alabama that afternoon. It was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done. I'm sure most of you are thinking that is insane, and that it was just diapers, but when you've wanted to be a Mommy for as long as you can remember, have done everything imaginable to your body, mind, and spirit to make it happen, when it never did... it indeed felt as if I was tearing away my hope for a future. Then God reminded me of this simple verse from Jeremiah 29:

11For 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.

While I still had some diapers left, it wasn't near the amount that I had originally put away for a sweet baby. The thought of being able to give them to multiple babies, babies that had lost everything, overflowed my heart with joy. Fast forward to this weekend when my friend Julianne sent out a need for a family she had met. When she said they had a 9 month old, I knew just how I could help meet part of their need. I took diapers, and wipes out of the closet, this time with no tears, but with a faith and confidence that I know that come from this verse out of Romans 8:

28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

When I bought those diapers, I never knew I would use them for a different purpose than what I had intended. While I don't understand it all, I do understand that God is still working on me. Showing me daily about His love, and letting me know little by little that the things He has in store for me.....I am just not suppose to understand.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Belated Happy Mother's Day

Last week was Mother's Day.

Profound thought, right? Well, if you have ever suffered with infertility, had a miscarriage, had to "allow" your children to live with the other parent until things get "worked out," basically had any reason that your child, or a child, was not with you on that day, it's a pretty hard day. I know, from experience.

Last week, was actually an exception for me. Typically I dread going to church on Mother's Day. Now, before you have any ideas it's because I'm jealous of all the other mom's, or don't want to celebrate my own mother, let me put your assumptions to rest by saying, no...jealousy is NOT the reason. The reason Mother's Day is hard, whether you are childless, or an older single that longs to be married and be a mom, or a newly married couple that isn't sure if your body is going to "work" with you when it you are ready to add to your family, or because others in your family have had problems you don't know if it will happen to you, honestly has nothing to do with jealousy. It's hard to explain it if you have never experienced it, but it's all about a feeling of inadequacy, not understanding why your body, your mind, your soul...your life, doesn't fit into the plan that you have for yourself. Yep, I realize what that last sentence said, and yes, I know it's absurd, but we all do it. We all have plans for ourselves that may or may not work out. Sure, we tell God we trust HIM to give us the desires of our heart, but we all, whether we admit it or not, try to take matters into our own hands. So, because of my human nature, I started to stress about going to church on Mother's Day about two weeks before it ever happened. The funny thing is, nothing could have ever prepared me more for the weekend I was about to have.

On Saturday, day before Mother's Day, Donnie and I went to Costco. Every single "sample giver" wished me a HMD, and told me to enjoy my day. The first few times it happened I laughed, but then as the day went on it became almost absurd how many people were wishing me a Happy Mothers Day. Never before, in our 5 1/2 years of trying to grow our family, has this ever happened! I could understand if I had a child with me, but Donnie and I were alone, nothing in our basket pointed to us having children, and seriously, for the life of us, could not figure out while all these people were giving me these well wishes!?! In years past I would've cried, or wanted to get out of the store ASAP, but this year, I just kept looking at Donnie laughing and bewildered at the same time. We left Costco, headed to Target and Kroger, where again, every.single. person. we ran into wished me a HMD. It was so bizarre!

Fast forward to Sunday morning. We went to church with my parents, to honor my mom and Mimi by sitting with them during church on Mothers Day. When we got there, that little voice, and anxious spirit started to come back, and I was trying to figure out how I could get out of the service when the "will all Mother's please stand" segment came around. To my surprise, Bro. Ashley, the pastor at RBC, asked for all WOMEN to stand, and said that no matter if you are a mom or not, you are a mother figure to someone and should be honored. I could've cried right there on the spot. I have never felt more appreciated in all my life. Bro. Ashley went on to talk about circumstances in life that caused women to not be mom's yet, and even preached on Hannah out of 1 Samuel. (Before you get offended thinking that the "real mom's" may have felt less appreciated since he had all women stand, I asked one, a younger "real mom" if it made her feel underappreciated, and she assured me that it did not, and that she loved standing with all the women in the church. ) It was a Mother's Day church service I will not soon forget.

After that weekend I got an email from my friend Kacey. Kacey is a friend I've had since my days at First Tennessee Bank. Time took us apart for a while, but 5 years ago, we were brought back together through Germantown Baptist Church. Kacey has three children, and is pregnant with her fourth, however Kacey knows the feeling of losing an unborn child. She herself experienced a miscarriage in between her second and third child. Kacey is a friend that, before she openly tells everyone she's pregnant, will send me an email in private so that I won't be taken off guard when she announces it to everyone else. Kacey is a friend that has such a tender spot in her heart for me, and what I'm going through, that anytime she hears or sees something that has to do with infertility or adoption, she will send it to me so that I can listen, read, or watch whatever has been impressed upon her heart to share with me. I don't think I can ever tell her thank you enough, and I don't know that she really knows how much she does, in fact, minister to me, but I do think she knows, and understands how much I love her, and her willingness to listen to the Holy Spirits sweet promptings. Kacey sent me an email about a Focus on the Family segment about infertility. I tuned in the next day, and started to weep as I listened. These two women, Sarah, and Marlo, spoke right to my heart. Sarah, especially said everything, I've never been able to say, out loud. Unless you've personally walked this road, you will never know that there are times that you just don't know how to put what you are going through into words. People, even family, assume you are jealous, callous, or even cold with your feelings. Some people even create unneccessary drama concerning how you will act, or react to their news of having a child, or seeing their newborn for the first time. Everyone always has the "perfect thing" to say to you, however they will never know how much that "perfect thing", or their assumptions on how you may handle something, hurts. Sometimes you just want to hide away and be done with it all because you can't possibly explain one.more.time what is going on inside your head, and your heart. Sometimes you would like to scream and say "I am not jealous of you" or, "I am not going to grab your child like a football and steal him or her," and even "yes, working the nursery is sometimes cathartic for me!" Well these women, in a two part series said everything I've ever wanted, or will ever want to say about Hope in the Midst of Infertility. If you know someone, even if it's just me, that is in this process, listen to these broadcasts. It will help you understand what's going on inside a womans head that is going through this struggle. As my friend Kacey said to me to me last week, "it helps me to understand what you are going through, and know how to better pray for you."

Here is the link for the broadcast:{0FFE6B5D-C70F-4156-AA9E-620A7B9E0E72}

As I said, it's a two part series, so make sure to catch both parts!

Again, to all my friends who are mom's...A Belated Happy Mother's Day....and to my friends who aren't at that place in their life thoughts, prayers, and heart are always with, and for you!

Monday, February 14, 2011

When God Answers Prayer (and you don't realize it until WAY after the fact!)

So let's just get this out there right now. I have been a BAD blogger. I know it, and I would promise to change, but seriously, that probably wouldn't happen, so I'm not going to even go there. Now, on to my real reason for posting today...

We've started a new study in our Sunday school class about Prayer (from the book Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybel) Yesterday in class we discussed why, how we know when God is answering a prayer. As I was sitting there, I realized that God answered a big prayer in a way I had never realized until just that moment. You see, about five years ago I started praying that God would lead me to another job. I started putting out resumes, filling out applications, and doing everything I needed to to get back to my first love, Corporate Training. At the time there weren't many jobs out there, and I ended up getting looked over many times for someone else already employed with the company. I kept working at MSHC, and decided I would take a sign language class while biding my time at this job. Sign language is something that came very natural to me, and I could use it somewhat fluently when needed. At the time, and again not until Sunday, did I realize that the answer to me finding another job was "wait." I honestly thought the answer was "no."

Fast forward a few years. At church I was working in the nursery when I met this fabulous girl name Mary Lynn. She stole my heart from the minute I first worked with her, and I couldn't wait to get a hug and huge smile anytime I saw her. Mary Lynn's mom and I went to the same high school, but because we graduated at different times I didn't know her as well as I knew her Mom (our high school librarian.) Eryn and I were in choir together and would talk and joke about stuff, but we really never talked about how much I loved her sweet daughter. Well, as time went on, and Mary Lynn started signing more, I was able to use my knowledge from that one semester of sign language to communicate with her. In class, if the other teacher didn't know what she wanted, she would crawl to me and sign it, and I could get up and get it immediately! Pretty soon, ML had figured out that I was her "go to woman!" I kept telling Eryn that Donnie and I would love to keep ML sometime, so pretty soon Eryn asked if we could keep her while the family went to Will and Ginny's (Mary Lynn's siblings) Christmas choir program at school. Both Donnie and I were elated that we got to keep Mary Lynn, and waited with anticipation for her to get to our house. One thing Donnie hadn't counted on is the fact that Mary Lynn and I could have a whole conversation, and he would have NO idea what we were saying. Soon enough though, Mary Lynn figured Donnie out, and knew she was wrapped around his little pinky. If I said no about something, she immediately went over to Donnie, smiled and signed please.....he was all but done! One day after keeping Mary Lynn, Eryn mentioned that Mary Lynn had never had a babysitter outside of family. To this day I don't think Eryn knows quite what that did to me. For her to trust her beautiful daughter to us, to take care of, never worrying about what was going on, absolutely spoke to my heart.

You see, had I not taken that class, at a job I wanted to leave, I would never have developed this relationship with my beautiful three year old friend. Because of that class, I also developed a deeper friendship with Mary Lynn's mom, who has been one of my biggest prayer warriors over the last few years. Because of that class, at that job, I saw the world through new eyes!

So yesterday, sitting in class, I realized when I thought God was saying no, he was really saying "wait." He wanted me to stay here, to learn sign language, and to be able to communicate with a little girl who has absolutely changed the way I look at children who are different than others. Mary Lynn made me realize that God's love is perfect, and that the way HE makes us is how we are suppose to be. We are made that way for a purpose, and I think in a small way Mary Lynn's purpose in life was to teach me that I have a gift to communicate with children, both verbal and not. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Emotional Eating

I am an emotional eater. This is something I've always known, but since beginning Weight Watchers, it's become more apparent exactly how often I turn to food for comfort. Here is what really captured my attention today and made me realize how big of a struggle it truly is in my life.

So, last night we got a call from our social worker, that the most recent birth mom that was viewing our profile, had chosen someone else, and decided to place her baby outside of Memphis. While we should be use to this by now, this time was different. Our social worker had pretty much told us that they were only showing a few profiles, and more than likely this birth mom would be choosing us. We got excited, which is understandable, because we thought for the first time ever we would get to buy Santa presents for a baby. We didn't care that he/she would only be a few weeks old at Christmas, we were just excited to get to do something so small that others have done for years! So when the call came that we weren't picked, we were sad. Correction, we were devastated. We had to tell people that we had shared with that the mom didn't pick us. We had to tell family that we weren't going to be adding to the fold. We had to come to grips with the whole thing ourselves, and that....sucked.

Here's a little "back story." Before work yesterday I put a roast, potatoes, carrots, onions in the crock pot for dinner. While I'm not a huge meat fan, Donnie is, and this meal has a little bit of "goodness" for both of us. I love the way the carrots, onions and potatoes taste after marinating with the roast all day, and Donnie loves the roast. So, when I got home yesterday, dinner was ready! The social worker called before dinner, so after we spent time crying, hugging, and processing the information, we sat down to eat. I couldn't tell you what that meal tasted like to SAVE.MY.LIFE. It was food, and it was filling a void that had been created just a few minutes before. When we got up from dinner, Donnie informed me that he was going to get some ice cream. I told him I didn't want any, but shocker...when he got home I ate some. Then, a few hours later I ate pretzels. I wasn't hungry at all, but somehow it still seemed like a good idea, and I still ate some before bed. I went to bed around 9:00, exhausted from emotions, and thought surely Friday would be a better day. Well, today, when I got up the feeling of sadness was still there, and surprise, surprise...I wanted to eat.

I have been at my desk since 7:50 this morning, and every 10 to 15 minutes, I start rummaging around for food. Now, when I started weight watchers I "de-junked" my desk, and don't have snacks lying around like I use too. Sadly, I ate my only snack at 8:30, **side note-I did eat breakfast, but apparently convinced myself I needed my snack at 8:30** so now, I've been sitting here, waiting to go to lunch, starving, because I was trying to bring about happiness through food. How lame is that? Food..right, like that's ever helped anyone get over a rough spot in their life.

My new challenge is that any time I'm feeling empty, or sad, I turn to the bible for food. Just this morning I read:

Ephesians 3:19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled
to the measure with the fullness of God.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may
have life, and have it to the full.

I don't need to get my support or encouragement from food, as that will always leave me empty and wanting for more. I need to turn to Jesus where I can always count on something that will fill me up to overflowing!

Is there anything that you automatically turn to during times of trials or sadness?

**Another side note before closing out**While Donnie and I know that God has a plan for us, and that this baby wasn't the one chosen to become our family, we still ask that you pray for the health of the baby, and for the birth mom. Our one goal during this season of our life is that God is glorified! We pray that we are a living witness to God's work in our life, and that though we feel knocked down and run over, we still believe in His plan!

Friday, July 16, 2010

How a child can make a difference!

Me and Abby out on the boat at Sardis (7/2010)

Have you ever thought to yourself, I want my child to make a difference? Or have you ever thought, when I have children, I want them to make a difference in someones life? Well, this is a "story" about one child that made a huge impact in, and on our life, and how, because of her love for her nursery workers, we found some of the best friends we've ever had.

About 4 years ago, my husband and I officially joined Germantown Baptist Church. It was a hard decision for me, and one I've blogged about before, so I'm not going to go into it again. We went to service weekly, but had no real ties to a Sunday School class, and didn't really know where to go to find one. As we were sitting in service one week, a plea was given for nursery workers for the next year. Most everyone knows my love of children runs deep, so I immediately went out and signed up to be a volunteer nursery worker. I was open to whatever age they gave me, and thought it would be a fun way to spend my time before service. About two weeks later I was called and told I would be in the 18 month old room. Around the same time, our church went through a major split, complete with the pastor leaving, and most anyone I already knew high tailing it to another church. My first week in the nursery, we had 4 children. Yes, you read that right. At a big church like GBC we had just 4 kids....and it was sad. Over the course of the next few weeks, more and more children started coming back to church. Myself, along with my co-teacher Karen, would welcome these children with open arms, and teach them what little we could (not because of lack of knowledge but because of lack of attention span....theirs, not ours) about Jesus. There was supposed to be two rooms of this age group, but because of the split and sudden exodus from the church, our room was it. We had lots of little children that would love and hug on us, but one little girl captured my heart from the beginning. Her name was Abby.

Abby was the youngest of three girls in her family. Already feeling the kindred connection because I grew up with two sisters, I would pry her from her parents arms each week,and then sit her in my lap until she was ready to play. When she got tired, or upset, she would always seek me out, and want to sit with me. Seldom did a week go by that I wouldn't get a big smile, and warm hug from my "sweet Abby." By this time Donnie had started working in the class too, and on the occasion I was busy, she would immediately go to him, which was odd since there was another female teacher in the room.

Abby was a faithful attender. Her parents brought her in week after week, seldom missing church, except when sick. She always had on cute little dresses, and big bows in her hair. Of course, her hair was so fine, the bows would slip out, so most of the time we spent trying to get her hair put back up before her parents came to get her. The room began to get too small as another large church in the area was having some issues, and some of their congregation were now coming to GBC. In about six months, they had to open another classroom for the 18 month olds, and they were going to split them up by birth date. Well, a few of the mom's got upset because their kids were used to us, so the way these children got split was, if they were regular attenders they stayed with Karen, Donnie and me, and if they were occasional attenders they were sent to the other class. On any given Sunday our room would average 18 children, while the other room averaged 5. Some days we were overwhelmed, and some days we made it just fine. Now, looking back, I can see God's hand in how we met our friends. If the parents of some children had not said anything, dear Abby would've been put in the other class because of her birth date, which is in April. The cut off was supposed to be March. Isn't God neat?

So as the year went on, we learned more and more about Abby. We often joked with her parents over the "gate" as they handed her off to us, and though we didn't know their names we would always say how much we liked "Abby's parents", and how we could easily "hang out with them." ***Side note....this is always how Donnie and I label new people we meet. They either go in the "we could hang out with them" or "no way would we hang out with them" category.*** Pretty soon Abby's parents started inviting us to bible studies and other things their class did, and pretty soon we met all kinds of friends that were a part of their Sunday school class. We soon learned their names, other than Abby's parents, and found we enjoyed spending time with them learning God's word.

Over the next few months Abby started talking. She would come in, point to me and say what sounded like "sassy." We would ask her if she wanted her "sissy," "paci," anything that rhymed with sassy, and she would say no and point to me. Donnie and I both thought this was funny, and eventually told her parents. I even accused them of saying "that Kim Blair is too sassy." But they denied it, and I realized that this sweet little girl had come up with a nickname for me. Once Abby was able to say Donnie's name, it came out Don-Don. Though she knows us by our real names, she will not call us Donnie and Kim, but yet refers to us simply as Sassy and Don-Don. When that season of our life was over, and we went back to adult Sunday School, we of course went to the Carney class. Why did we go there and not visit any other class? We went because their 18 month old daughter had reached out to us, relative strangers, and made us feel at home.

We had the opportunity to go with our friends, the Carney's, to Sardis lake the weekend of the 4th of July. We had an awesome time, and made many, MANY, laughable memories that weekend. Out of everything we did, and all the laughs we had, do you know what made my heart smile the most? It was every time I heard one of the girls call my name to play with them, rescue them from the current, fix them something to eat or drink, or just watch TV. While some people may think it would be annoying, I smiled each and every time I heard the name.....Sassy.

Because of this sweet girl, and the friendship we developed with her parents, we've been able to meet, and make some of the best friends we've ever had....ever. Their is a group of us that go out to lunch on Sundays, which by the way has been too long since we were all in town, that we affectionately call "the Sunday lunch crew." We've met friends that have stayed at our church for a season, then left to go elsewhere, I guess to be disciples (smile) because let's face it, who wouldn't want to be a part of our class? We have friends that when we've been out several Sunday's send harassing emails like "are you going somewhere else?" or "When are you coming back-the room has been too serious." Or friends that when I send out an email and say "I'm not crazy but...." I get replies back that say "Of course we know you are crazy...." Sometimes I wonder where we would be had we never worked that class 4 years ago? Would we still be lost in the congregation somewhere? Would we even still be at GBC? I don't know, but I wouldn't change how it is now for anything. And it's all because of the love of a child!

So, whenever you feel like your child may never make a difference, remember our "story" and how a little, 18 month old girl named Abby, led us to some of the best friends we've ever had!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I found the one that my soul loves

To quote a line from one of my favorite movies (and yes you can judge me for it later)

"They say to write well is to write what you know...and this is what I know."

(Never Been Kissed 1999 starring Drew Barrymore)

So, this is what I know. I know that my youngest sister will be getting married one week from Saturday. It's kind of a mixed emotion time for me right now. I know that the man she is marrying, Todd, is an awesome guy, and the man that God has been grooming for all these years to meet my sister. I know that Emily is happy, and to see her like that, makes the rest of us happy. I know that embarking on marriage is fun, exciting, and also really, well... scary.

It's the first time in your life that you have to learn to live with someone new. Now I know we all have lived with our family, and college roommates, but to live with the person you love unconditionally takes some getting used to. For example, when Donnie and I dated and I would go to his apartment and his socks would be on the floor, or a wet towel would be thrown on the bed, I thought it was cute, and sweet to pick that stuff up for him. Now that we are married if I find socks on the floor or a wet towel on the bed, I have to check myself before the horns come out, and my ears blow off because that is NOT where they go.

It's the first time that you really realize that the person you love most in this life, you may not like sometimes. This was a hard one for me. See, I thought that married couples got along at least 90% of the time, and before you judge, Donnie and I do get along really well, but I have learned that there are some days that you just aren't the best of friends. For example-When you were dating and fixing his dinner, it was cute that he sat and watched tv and waited for you to get done. When you are married and he is sitting watching tv, and both of you have worked 8 hour days, you have to be careful that your sarcasm doesn't shine through too much when you ask if you can get him anything.

It's the first time you have every shared a bed with someone you were not blood related too. Come on ladies, you remember the times before you were married that you thought how fun it will be to get to go to bed with your husband every night. What you didn't think about was the fact that he would snore, move around a lot, and heck-even fart in his sleep. The prince charming, who in your mind was going to cover your bed with rose petals, is now making you wish you had any type of flower just to get rid of whatever smell is coming out of his body.

But for all the "bad stuff" you encounter, the one thing I know, is that it was the first time in my life that I trusted someone enough to give them my whole heart, and know that he would guard it with everything in his being.
  • My husband is my best friend. He's the last person I want to talk to at night, and the first person (even though it's not his favorite thing that early in the morning) that I want to talk to when I get up. He makes me laugh until my sides hurt, and he holds me close when I cry.
  • We've never gone to bed mad at each other, ever. You see, that's a promise we made when we got married, and here we are 5 years later, and we've never broken that promise.
  • He understands that I'm sentimental and emotional, and I understand that he's not. He knows what buttons to push, and when not to push them.
  • He always makes sure that I'm first, even if it means he has to go without.
  • He knows that any disagreements we have are between us, and he knows that I, just like him, would never take those disagreements to anyone else.
  • He knows that I only have eyes for him. He knows that those same eyes can roll with purpose when he gets under my skin.
  • He knows that when the going gets rough, the place to be is not holding me up, but yet on his knees right beside me.
  • He knows Abba Father in an intimate way, and his goal is to guide our household toward loving Him.
The one thing in this life that I know really well, is how much I love Donald Martin Blair...or, as I call him-Donnie.

I pray that my sister Emily, and her fiancee Todd, get to experience life the way Donnie and I have the past few years. I hope that when they look at us, they see a true example of a couple that love each other with all their heart. I know that life isn't always going to be easy, and I know that while life is about to get really exciting, it's also a little scary. But what I know most of all is that it is definitely worth the wait!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Continual Ache

Shocking, I know. Two post in a week's time. I promise I'm trying to do better!

This post was spurred on by a friend that I've known for a long time. In fact, I've watched her grow up as I was friends with her oldest brother, her parents worked with the youth, and our families have gone to the same church together for a lot of years. It's a post that will be very open, honest, and expose some of my rawest emotions. The reason I'm doing it is, God has spoken very softly to my heart and has encouraged me to start a women's bible study for women experiencing infertility. The bible study that I have yearned and prayed so long for, will begin at the end of August at my house. I know that to begin to be honest with these women, I had to start somewhere, so why not here? To say I am nervous is all truth. To say that I can't understand why God is asking ME to do this, is a HUGE question. To say that the ONLY way any of this is possible, is because God is there upholding me, is quite the understatement. I don't understand it all, but I know I need to obey.

The reason I decided to post this was because I know most of the readers of this blog are my friends. People who support and uplift me daily, and for them, I will forever be grateful. We could not have been able to get through the past 5 years without you. We love you more than you know!

So, here's our story. When we got married, Donnie was 36 and I was 31. Not spring chickens by any stretch of the imagination, and we knew that kids would need to come sooner rather than later. So, our plan was to stay on birth control for six months, and then start trying to have a baby. We knew it would be hard, as I have PCOS, but we also knew many women with PCOS who still get pregnant. We officially ended up getting off of birth control 4 months after we got married. There was some confusion at the pharmacy about what our insurance would cover (go figure) and we just decided it was the perfect opportunity to just get off of it completely. As of this September, we have officially been trying to have a baby for 5 years. And it sucks.

I have been a pin cushion at the fertility clinic for 4 of those 5 years. The only time we stopped going was last year when I needed a break from the needles, the ultrasounds, and peeing in a cup. I've seen two different doctors, both of them in the same practice, but both very different in their method of "helping." Some days I've felt nothing more than a file on a desk, and some days I've thought "If I have to go up here one more time I'll scream." When you know your cycles better than you know what you want for dinner, and on any given day you can spout off information, very technically, about what you are "supposed" to do, then you know you've been going to the doctor too much. As of yet, we've had no success through the help of the fertility clinic. I've probably taken, over the span of our 5 year marriage, approximately 30 pregnancy tests. Each time I've cried when it came back negative. The weird thing is, I always knew it would, and told myself this was just part of the "process," mainly because I was told to take these test, but nonetheless, the girly side of me always won, and my brain went to "what if," instead of "just business." Just this past month we've decided to return to the fertility clinic, of course with guarded hearts, but realizing we were telling God how to bless us, not letting him just do it on his own.

Last year, as you know, we felt God calling us to adopt. Actually, we felt God hitting us upside the head and saying "will you quit being so stubborn and listen to me?" So, we started the LONG process of adoption. After a very extensive home study, 10 hours of training, reading books, and making a profile, we were approved. Actually, it will be exactly 1 year next month that we were approved. We've never been told an actual time frame that someone would pick us, but we were told it would be about a year. Of course, always the optimist, I thought for sure someone would pick us sooner rather than later. What I didn't know, is that adoption is just as emotional as infertility, and your emotions stay on edge just as much.

About two months ago we got a call from our social worker saying a girl in Pensacola asked to see our profile. To say we were ecstatic is erring on the side of caution. We were elated and immediately began to pray for this baby. We prayed for the mom, we told only a few people, but asked them to pray as well, and we sat back with "a good feeling." We were told to start looking for pediatricians, figuring out a "loose" travel plan, and got updates every time the girl went to the office. I started looking at fabric for a nursery, heck, we would even occasionally go out and look at travel systems-after all, we would have to get the child home. We were told that the birth mom did not want to pick a family in Florida, so we felt even better about our chances of being the ones chosen! We just KNEW this would be our baby. For a solid six weeks we prayed as this girl looked at our profile. Though we needed to say cautious, we opened our hearts to the hope of a child. Sadly, about two weeks ago, we learned that she had picked another family, in Florida, and their joy, was our sadness. She had decided she wanted more visits than our once a year trip to Florida would offer, and we were sad. As we told those that knew, which wasn't a whole lot of people, I did just fine. I was surprised at my own strength, and even wondered a few times when the other shoe would drop. It really didn't, until this weekend.

Let me preface the next paragraph by saying, over the time we've been trying to have a baby, I've had MANY friends have children. I have hosted, co-hosted, or attended baby showers multiple times. During the years of 2007-2008, I went to at least one, if not two baby showers a month. Sure, when I got in my car to go home, waves of sadness would reduce me to a pile of tears, but I've never been malicious, or hurtful to any of these people. I've never pushed my sadness on to them, and I've never made them feel bad about talking about their pregnancies, or having their tiny babies with them all the time. I've always been genuinely happy for them, and have taken great joy in being able to visit with them, and hold their little one's just days after birth. That's what made the events of this weekend so hard. We found out on Saturday that someone close to us was pregnant. While it was a shock, we were okay with I said, neither Donnie nor I have ever wished anything bad on anyone who is pregnant, or starting a family. This announcement was a little harder on us than most, maybe because of what we just went through with the adoption stuff, or maybe because we had just gone to the fertility doctor the day before, or maybe it was because I had just taken, yet another, pregnancy test during vacation two weeks ago (again at the request of my doctor, because when you are losing weight, "you never know.") Of course, it was negative, but I never realized how I squashed down those emotions, in the efforts of having "a good time," while we were away.

On Saturday, I called my grandmother to see how she was doing (she's been very sick for a few weeks.) During the course of the conversation we started talking about people getting pregnant, starting families through adoption, etc. , and she said to me " Well, Amy and Brent never gave me a great-grandchild, you and Donnie can't, so I'm going to have count on the other grandkids to give me something to live for." Um, ouch....still raw, and now you are pouring salt in my wounds? So as we continue on with the conversation and she tells me that while she's been sick she's been talking to God a lot. If you know her, you know this is not at all unusual, and she does this quite openly, quite often. Shebthen proceeds to dump the rest of the salt canister into my wounds with this one.... "Kim-you just need to be happy for people that have babies-not sad. (Okay, never said I was sad, just that to say "it was an accident to someone that's been trying a while is not exactly what they want to hear") and then... "I've been thinking that not everyone is made to carry children (I agree with that) and that maybe God is telling you that you and Donnie are not to be parents, so you need to stop pursuing all this stuff you are doing and just be happy being alone together." Silence...on my end of the line. You've got to be kidding me right? My OWN grandmother is saying this to me....out loud? So I say, "well Mimi, you never know what God has in store" and try to leave it at that-however she had other plans in mind. She then proceeds to tell me that "You were too old when you got married, and this has been wasted time." Seriously, am I throwing up yet because that salt in my wounds sure is hurting. Part of me, well all of me, wanted to scream " do you know what we go through on almost a daily basis where it comes to children?" Do you know that we pray for the birth mom and baby, even if it is me, every time we pray? Do you know that I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God gave me a mother's heart at a young age, and that, to quote Psalm 27:13 "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living."?!?! But I didn't. I was told to respect my elders, so I hung up with her a short while later and sobbed. I sobbed like I've never sobbed before, and felt hopeless. The kind of hopeless where you feel like you are letting everyone down. The kind of hopeless that leads to the "why am I here" type questions. Just plain hopeless. And I stayed there-until this morning.

This morning our church had Dr. Charles Fowler come in view of a call to be our pastor. I went in expecting great things, after all we had gone to an informational meeting on Saturday and I just felt he was right for GBC. I will stop here and ask, have you ever gone to church with the outside looking great, but the inside holding together by bare strings, and just your flesh and bone? Have you ever set in a pew, choir loft, wherever and thought God, are you here today? Well, that's where I was. Smiling on the outside, weeping on the in. So, off I go into the choir loft, and start to get emotional BEFORE we even started our patriotic music. By the time the played Tapps, you could've put a fork in me, because I was done. But still, I heard God whispering to me "just wait." So, Pastor Charles took the stage, and begin to give a message, inspired by God, to our church. He talked about obstacles in life, those "giants" that are there, that we don't think we can move. One of his quotes hit straight into my heart..."the enemy does not control our future." WOW. Talk about toe stepping. He was all over if he was right up in the choir loft preaching to just me. I can't even begin to explain how I needed that sermon. I can't even begin to explain why he chose to preach on that as his first sermon at GBC, but all I know as that God was there, and HE was all over it! When I finally saw Donnie, who incidentally also sings in choir, he met me with that all knowing smile. He said "do you think the sermon was aimed just at us?" I laughed because I felt the same way. I came home this afternoon with a new resolve, and new attitude. I know that God does hold my future, and that HE is the only one that can close the doors. Not my grandmother, God love her, nor my parents, friends, or even doctors. He holds the plans for us, and those plans are perfect! Though we may not be able to see it now, no matter how He decides to shape our future, we (I) will obey.

So with that, I will close this part of my continual testimony. I know that God is taking me through this to be able to share with other women. I know that, at this season in my life, it is my cross to bear. What I have to still learn is that this "cross" is also a great joy! I can say that, I do have a group of close friends that have prayed for us for the past few years. They've prayed tears of joy and sadness over us, they've been there when we didn't know what else to do, and they've always put their arms around us. You know who you are, and just know YOU are loved!