My Journey to Joy

February 24, 2011

Assurance

Filed under: Adoption 101,Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 9:14 PM
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On Monday we met with our social worker.  Everything was fine, but it was a pretty unpleasant experience.  In the information portion, the social worker told us lots of scary possibilities of birth fathers, husbands of birth mothers, and potential legal battles.  She mentioned thousands of dollars that “might” be added to our fees if things went a certain way.

Then the questions… 

Here is a perfect stranger asking the most intimate things!  Something inside me wanted to draw back and say, “How dare you?!  What right do you have to ask me that?!”  I realize, of course, that we’ve given them that right.  Adoption means signing over a large amount of privacy.  But still, it stung.

And it brought up those old feelings.  Why do I have to go through all of this?  Why do some people “accidentally get pregnant at a party,” but I have to pay huge sums of money, have my private life dissected, and go through reams of paperwork?

When I came home, I felt like I had been pummeled emotionally.  I started to think, “We can’t do this!  We’re not rich.  What were we thinking?  How did we think this was possible?”

Tuesday morning, my devotions were over Deuteronomy 1:19-31

“The Lord had commanded us to leave Mount Sinai and go to the hill country that belonged to the Amorites, so we started out into the huge desert.  You remember how frightening it was, but soon we were at Kadesh-Barnea, and I told you, ‘We have reached the hill country.  It belongs to the Amorites now, but the Lord our God is giving it to us.  He is the same God our ancestors worshiped, and he has told us to go in and take this land, so don’t hesitate and be afraid….Don’t worry!  The Lord our God will lead the way.  He will fight on our side…you know that the Lord has taken care of us the whole time we’ve been in the desert, just as you might carry one of your children.'”

The prayer at the end of the devotional was this:

Thank you, Lord for all the wonderful things You have done for me in the past, that You are doing for me today, and that You will do for me in the future.  Keep me from fear and discouragement as I look at the challenges ahead.  Thank You that You go before me with a plan for battle.  I look to you for guidance so I may possess all You have for me. 

Tuesday night, I was reading another devotional book about the names of God.  The name I was studying was El Elyon, God Most High.  The prayer at the end was this:

El Elyon, thank You that there is no problem in my life too large for You to handle.

Overwhelmed by grace.  That God would arrange those assurances for me.  I’m behind in my devotions, as usual, but those were the ones I read on Tuesday.  I know you have been praying for me, and I thank you.  God has helped us through another step, another challenge, past another fear.  It will happen again, but I hope that each time I learn to turn to Him more and more quickly, and worry less.

He is in charge of this adoption.  And I’m pretty sure He can handle it!

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December 11, 2010

Dream

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 9:07 AM
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So many things have changed.  My dream for my life what shattered by our infertility.  I was lost.  I did not know what to do.  I had followed “the plan,” the “rules,” now what?  So many things to consider, aspects that I never dreamed would be part of the equation.  I felt so ill-equipped.

In the midst of such hurt and confusion, I did the only thing I knew to do:

I cried out to God.

Again, and again, and again.  Why is this happening?  What should I do?  When will this end?  How can you be glorified in this?  What are you doing with our lives?

He knew the answers.  And He has shown me some of them, as I’ve been ready.

The Dream Never Dies

Be sure to read the lyrics of this song.  It’s sung from the perspective of Elizabeth, another barren, heartbroken woman.  God gave her a son.  And I believe He’ll give me children, too.

Last year, Christmas was terrifically hard.  In December we got final confirmation that our chances for a natural pregnancy were virtually none.  Through some sort of paperwork error, the specialist’s office called about five times, with the same bad news.  This was about the time that we learned about Madelyn Rose.  We were so happy for Krista & Leonard, but it amplified our emptiness somehow.  The night the church went Christmas caroling was the lowest I can ever remember.  I had tried as hard as I knew how to “pull it together,” but I simply couldn’t.  When I should have been loading into a car to spread “Christmas cheer,” I was curled into a ball on my kitchen floor, keening.  That was the night I started writing.  Pages and pages of feelings, frustrations, questions, anger, and pain.  It’s not light reading.  I don’t go back and read it.  But it gave me a sense of relief.  Since then I’ve even learned to share some of those thoughts, with you, dear friends.

This year feels so different.  We are still infertile.  I will most likely never bear children.  But this year, I have hope.  We’ve decided to adopt.  We plan to start the paperwork after Christmas.  And probably not next year, but maybe the next, I’ll be sharing Christmas with my own little ones.

Praise the Lord!

November 18, 2010

Bitter

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 9:13 AM
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I read a story today about a couple who aren’t sure if they want to be parents.  The wife thinks she may be too selfish and set in her ways.  They’re not sure if they want to upset the “status quo.”

They happen to be pregnant.

Their decision?  Set up a poll on their blog or website.  All votes must be in before December 7th.  Should the baby live or die.  Check yes or no.

Unthinkable.  Disgusting.  Pathetic.  Bitter?

When we first found out that we were infertile, I was bitter.  “Why them, God?!”  I cried, I fumed, I vented.

There were plenty of opportunities.

Teen “mothers.”  Parents yelling at their children in Wal-Mart.  Even parents with multiple children.  (They get 3 children, 4 children…and I get none?!)

Bitterness is not a flattering accessory.  It doesn’t look good on anyone; and I’m no exception.

Bitter.  The word makes my mouth twist, my brows lower.  What an unpleasant, unattractive word.  Naomi chose it as her name, as what defined who she was.

What a horrible way to be.

Be, not feel.  Bitterness is a choice.  A disease that eats from the inside out.  A sickness that takes away joy in others’ happiness.  A cancer that robs intimacy and obscures truth.

An isolator.

Bitterness is pretty much a solo endeavor.  People don’t gather in large, supportive groups to be bitter!

It shows a smallness of spirit.

That’s something I didn’t want to acknowledge about myself.  I didn’t want to see how selfish I really was, how spoiled and entitled I acted.  How little I truly cared for others.

God’s been teaching me.

Each time that I choose to “rejoice with those who rejoice,” I take a step forward.  Whenever I see past myself to acknowledge the hurt someone else is feeling I am stronger.  Every time I refuse to wallow in my own misery, I see that I do have a choice.

Am I happy?  No, but I will be again someday.  I don’t chase happiness anymore.

I rest in peace that passes all understanding, confidence that I have a future and a hope, and the joy of the Lord, which is my strength.

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