Monday, March 13, 2017

Memory Lane: Matched With Noah

Our journey to Noah is an incredibly powerful testimony of God's good & perfect plans. 
One year ago last week, we heard about Noah for the first time. We were still in the beginning stages of preparing for another adoption. Our hearts were ready & open to another baby, but we thought it would be a while before we could afford to adopt again. Even though we didn't have the funds yet, God kept putting it on my heart that our baby was coming "soon." 

One morning as I was having my quiet time & struggling with understanding His plan, the Lord told me to rest. He covered my in His perfect peace. Later that day, He put it on my heart to call a local crisis pregnancy home one.more.time (I had called a few times before hoping to pass along our info in case any women came in looking for an adoptive family, but I hadn't had luck getting anyone on the phone). I called, the director answered & told me about a woman who had just contacted them who was due "soon" with a baby boy & looking for a family. We sent over our profile book that night & waited to hear back. 

A week later, one year ago today, we learned we had been chosen by Noah's birth mom & that she was scheduled to deliver in 1 month! The Lord provided every step of the way & the details fell into place quickly. One month later, our son was born, placed in our arms & the rest is history! Noah means peace & rest. 

So grateful for the precious gift of our baby boy! Seriously can't believe he will be one next month. Thankful for his birth mom's courage & selflessness. Thankful for the Lord's peace & guidance over our journey. Grateful for the supportive community who has walked with us through it all! 

With love,

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fertility Post Follow Up

Cary & I want to thank everyone for the prayers, well wishes & sweet messages we received this week after sharing our post Faith, Fertility & Family Update. Y'all are amazing & it's so encouraging to know you are praying for us!

We wanted to follow up & tell y'all a little bit about the appointment & what the plan is moving forward. First off, the appointment was great! This was the first fertility related appointment I've ever gotten through without crying or having anxiety, so needless to say, that was an amazing major change! :) Not only did I not cry or deal with any negative emotions, but instead I was filled with peace & hope the entire day. So thank you for the prayers for peace & hope because we were undoubtably covered!

We really liked the doctor & spent two hours talking through everything & making a plan. This type of fertility approach (Napro Technology) is thorough & focused on discovering & treating all underlying health & reproductive issues so our bodies will be able to function as they are meant to. Dr. McGlynn can see many issues just from our Creighton charting, intake forms & from our conversation. She will be able to start addressing many of the problems right away.
The lab took 13 vials of blood & are running over 30 tests to give us more info about what's going on in my body. If you know me, you might know that I used to be deathly afraid of needles. I sat in that chair & didn't even flinch as the tech took, in her own words, "more blood than she's ever taken from someone at the lab." I didn't even get light-headed afterwards (in the past I would have likely passed out)...just another testament of the Lord's presence & peace over me!

We will see the doctor again in 6 weeks for a follow up. In the meantime, we have a lot of work to do! I'll go in for an ultrasound next week to check for polyps or fibroids. I'll also have to get blood drawn about 6+ times on certain days of my upcoming monthly cycle. The blood work will give the doctor specific information about what's going on with my hormones during my fertile days. I have a list of vitamins & supplements to start taking. 

We also have to change our diet pretty drastically! Gasp! This will be a hard change for me! We will be starting an anti-inflammatory diet, so Paleo/gluten & diary free. Ah!!! Anyone who knows me knows I'm basically a walking pizza ;)

 Thanks Bitmoji lol! 

On one hand, I'm dreading the diet but at the same time, I'm ready for some relief & know this change will have a positive impact on my health. Anyone who does Paleo or gluten & diary free, please feel free to send us your favorite recipes & tips!
I had to sneak in one more milkshake before we start our new diet! I think I deserved it after the blood draw ;)

We are waiting for a call back so we can get a exploratory laparoscopic surgery scheduled in the next couple of months. The purpose of the lap will be to check for endometriosis & get a better idea of how things look inside. Cary's fertility will be also evaluated in the next few weeks to give us a full picture of our fertility as we make a plan to move forward.
This guy :) 

The appointment was more costly than I was expecting & the costs will continue to add up as we move forward. This is still a stressor and a struggle for me to accept, but I am looking at this not only as an investment into hopefully restoring our fertility, but also into my health, which is I know is invaluable.

It feels great to be moving in a healthier & proactive direction! We left the appointment feeling hopeful & excited. This is such a different experience than our previous experiences & I am so grateful! The peace we have is a confirmation from the Lord that we are in the right place, at the right time & He is with us.

We were so happy to come home after our appointment to our sweet babies & snuggle up as a family after a long day.
So thankful for my two precious babies!

I know these types of posts can be TMI, but I wanted to give some real info for others interested in learning more about this process. Hopefully I did an okay job of sharing enough without going into too many details ;) Y'all hang in there with me!
We have received a lot of questions about Creighton & Napro in the past few days. For those of you asking, we are seeing doctor McGlynn at the Gianna Center of the GulfSouth in Covington, La. We are still in the beginning stages of learning about the Napro process, but I'll try my best to answer questions as they come in & also refer y'all to a few sites with more info:

One thing I know is this process is not a quick fix. We would appreciate continued prayers for peace, hope, wisdom & answers as well well as endurance, perseverance, strength & patience!

Thanks again for all of the love & support!

Love & thanks,

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Faith, Fertility & Family Update

With the spring season comes refreshment, beauty & the promise of new life. I have been soaking up this beautiful weather every chance I get! I'm currently sitting outside on this gorgeous spring day, listening to the birds chirp & enjoying the warm sunshine on my face. Isabel is running around the yard exploring & blowing bubbles while her brother naps inside. Lately I've been prompted by the Lord to share where we are in the journey of growing our family, so here we go… 

As the season recently changed & winter slowly gave way to spring, I also felt a season of change within my heart & in my spiritual walk with the Lord. As the dark days turned to light & the brown leaves turned green, I couldn’t help but acknowledge the symbolism deep within. There's been a slow & steady thawing happening in me for a while now. As I’ve come to the end of a season of winter in my faith, God has been removing many of the “dead parts” of me in preparation for this “new season.” Last week, as I was reflecting & praying, He gave me the word, “prune.” The definition is spot on to what He’s done & is still doing in me.

  trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth.

As the dead parts have fallen away, hope has begun budding in my heart. I am excited about what God is doing in my walk with Him & in our journey as a family. 

I've shared plenty about our infertility struggles over the past couple of years, but I usually share after the fact. Even after years of walking through infertility, it's still hard for me to share in real time what we are struggling through when it comes to this intimate, sensitive & complex topic. In our current season, I feel prompted by Him to share about what's new & ongoing for us when it comes to our fertility journey. Even so, it's hard for me to find the right words for this post. I'm trusting He has a purpose in leading me to share, and hope others will be encouraged by our continued openness.

It’s been three years since God led us to shift gears from fertility related efforts to adoption. Over the past couple of years, adoption has been our main focus, but we’ve never stopped TTC. We put fertility related efforts on the backburner & let the Lord lead the growth of our family as He saw fit. We have been incredibly blessed by our two beautiful children, Isabel & Noah (both adopted at birth). I am fulfilled in my motherhood & certainly have my hands full these days! We are grateful for the way adoption has changed our lives, hearts & family forever.

For a long time, I wasn’t ready to open the door to fertility treatment or doctors again. Within the last year, I started to feel the Lord slowly preparing my heart to revisit our fertility. As we prayed and talked about our options, we felt led to learn more about natural fertility treatment. Over the past 7 months, we have been using the Creighton Method charting to prepare us for our first appointment with a doctor trained in Napro Technology. You can learn more about Creighton & Napro here.

Through using Creighton Model charting, we’ve been able to learn more about my cycles, fertility & health, as well as identify some of the issues surrounding our infertility. We are hopeful the Napro doctor will be able to address & treat these issues, as well as dig deeper into the causes of our infertility. Over the last few years, in addition to not being able to conceive, my emotional & physical health has been affected by the underlying issues that are contributing to our infertility. I am hopeful this natural approach will help give me relief & restore balance to my body. We have our first appointment at the Gianna Center tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. I feel a lot of peace in my spirit about this type of fertility approach, so although I am a little nervous about the appointment, I’m mostly excited & ready to take this step.

This new season is about re-visiting our fertility, but it’s mostly about walking in relationship with Him. I’ve realized that sometimes I focus so much on what’s He’s doing & where He’s leading, and in the process I end up missing HIM! I knew I wouldn’t be able to move forward with re-evaluating our fertility if my relationship with the Lord wasn’t in a healthy place. It's taken a while to get here, to this place of fully trusting Him with my desires & walking hand in hand with Him as I face the unknowns of our fertility again. I’ve been slowly working through a lot of fear, disappointment, doubt & unbelief. I’ve had to remove the protective walls I’ve built around my heart & surrender the coping mechanisms I’ve developed in order to fully open my heart to Him. As a result, I’ve been able to begin to process my honest feelings, thoughts & beliefs & allow His truth to reshape the way I feel & think, as well as redefine what I believe. 

Re-evaluating our fertility is also going hand in hand with Cary & I rejuvenating our relationship. So much LIFE has happened in the past few years… While there’s been incredible joy & SO many life-giving blessings, we’ve also walked through a lot of hard situations & complex issues that have been life-draining & life-changing (infertility, two adoptions, career changes, job loss, multiple moves, financial set backs, loss of family members, etc.) In this new season, we are being intentional to focus more on time with each other, strengthening our communication & continuing to fight to reclaim the intimacy infertility has stolen from us. I’m excited about the refreshment & new life the Lord is breathing into our marriage during this season! 

We would appreciate your prayers tomorrow morning as we meet with the fertility doctor & make a plan on how to move forward. I’m not sure how many answers we will be given tomorrow, or even how much they can do for us, but we feel confident that it’s time to move forward in faith to find out. Pray for our hearts to be filled with His peace, wisdom & hope as we take this step! We will keep y'all updated. 

As always, thanks for loving our family so well as we share our adventures with you. We are thankful for the many people who continue to follow along & lift us up in prayer. Y’all are amazing!

With love,

"We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." ~Romans 5:3-5

P.s. If you are also in a season of wait & looking for encouragement, I highly recommend the devotionals In Due Time & In TheWait. I am currently reading In The Wait. It is filled with truth & is an incredible resource for spiritual growth.