Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Who Said It Would Be Easy?

Banquet 2010 w/ Mom & Crystal

As stated before I work at a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC). I started volunteering in January of 2008 and was hired as the receptionist that October. At the time I had no idea what the future held. We married in April of 2008 and I was still in school at the University of South Alabama (I transferred back to the University of Mobile the next year). I assumed, as I'm sure many newly weds do, that getting pregnant was the next thing to happen. I wasn't really concerned until a few months before our 3rd anniversary.
Walk for Life Kick Off Rally 2010

Since starting fertility treatments, stopping them, and announcing that we have decided to adopt I have received more questions than I think I expected. Not directed toward the adoption process or the fertility issues, but more about "how I'm doing" or "dealing" or "holding up".

I am grateful that I have friends and family that hold concern for me. And I will be the first to admit I have bad days and moments that I long for nothing more than to hold a child I don't even know yet. I have had moments when I've cried, had to turn the TV, hide posts on Facebook, and avoided certain places during this journey. Yet sometimes I think people are expecting me to be acting this way all time. As though I should have crumbled in the floor unconsolable when we found out we had fertility problems.

Meeting Abby Johnson w/ Amanda & Jessica
One of the questions I get the most is "how do you work at a CPC?". My answer is always the same: God called me there. He has me there for a reason. The fact that these young women might be pregnant have nothing to do with the fact that I'm not or the fact that we haven't adopted yet. They are often times in crisis, hurting, alone, and afraid. By God's grace I'm not living in the shoes many of our clients are in. They need love, acceptance, and guidance instead of pressure and judgement. They often times need to be reminded of the love of Christ or told for the very first time. If I am able to help and until God calls me somewhere else then that is where I'll be.
Painting for SavALife Fundraiser w/ Emily

Is it difficult?
Yes.

God never said it would be easy and He often times calls us to the uncomfortable. I no longer believe the notion that He won't give us more that we can bear. That is a misrepresentation of the scripture at its best. (Kasey VanNorman explains it best - click here). He does however promise to never leave us, tells us that we are chosen, and the He will work it all out for our good. That is what I am standing on.

Monday, October 28, 2013

First Time for Everything

So this week Jason had a conference for work. In Chicago. Considering I've only been north of Tennessee once (and that was youth camp in the middle of no where and corn fields of Ohio) we decided to use this as an opportunity to see another part of our country. Have a mentioned I've never been on a plane before? I have to say that take-off was strange, exciting, and frightening all at the same time. I had the window seat and loved looking at the landscape changes as we went across our country. But what shocked me most was my response to when we got to cruising altitude. As I looked out the window all I could see was the clouds meeting the blue sky. It was breathtaking (for people that fly all the time this probably doesn't hit them like this anymore). For me I kept wondering if part of heaven looks like this and if this is what those we've lost see all the time. The amount of emotion that hit me was surprising, and I hope it stays that way.

Waiting for our flight in Alabama
Waiting to take off...
Still waiting to take off (i.e. distracting my nerves by takings pics)






"Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse." (Romans 1:20 MSG)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

T-Shirt Fundraiser for Adoption!

We have launched our first official fundraiser. We are selling T-Shirts through BonfireFunds. We must sell at least 50 shirts to have a successful fundraiser. Our deadline is December 5, 2013. And don't worry if you don't live near us, the shirts are shipped directly to you! If you would like to support us please Click Here to purchase a shirt!

 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Frustration

Isaiah 43
Sometimes I get frustrated with the process of adoption or the fact that we are still in saving/planning stages. I am a very "ok lets get a move on" and "get started right now" kind of person. I don't like to wait.

The ladies' Bible study group I'm in is going through the book of Nehemiah (using a book by Kelly Minter as our guide). Last week the video included an interview with a woman that started a prison ministry through her church (Click here to learn more about "Next Door"). At first they didn't know what they were going to do with this empty building the church owned. So she an some other ladies prayed for a year. A YEAR! They did nothing but pray about it for a YEAR!

Patience is not a virtue I am well versed in and I'm sure my life would be much easier if I would just learn to wait. As I'm sure we are all working on something this is what I'm working on.

Ephesians 3:20 says, "To Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us."
What we have the hardest time asking for or imagining isn't always the scientifically-defying miracles or the supernatural wonders but the common, everyday, close-to-home struggles we've long stopped hoping could ever change or heal. The splintered relationships, cold marriages, wayfaring children, unruly addictions, in these places we need immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine. [If God can restore the Wall in Nehemiah] we have reason to hope He will work with the same restorative power in our lives.
Page 150-151 "Nehemiah, a heart that can break" by Kelly Minter

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wave the Light


So yesterday was busy. I recieved an email containing the T-Shirt design choices for our fundraiser, I think we are almost ready to launch the fundraiser! Also I ordered a PCOS awareness bracelet online (click here), which came in yesterday. I was very excited, but haven't worn it yet. It was also Pregancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day. Last night was 'Wave The Light' and thousands of homes lit candles in memory of children that wer gone way too soon. I had lots of thoughts running through my mind. I thought about mys sister's son Joshua and how when I found out I cried in the alone in the hospital bathroom because I wanted to "get it all out" before sitting with her older children. And how perfect he looked as I held him wrapped in the smallest blanket I had ever seen. And I thought about my sister's twin girls that although I did not hold them they looked just as perfect in pictures as he did in person. I also thought of the children that were taken to soon by what our country considers a "choice" and a "right", with women and girls usually not knowing what that "choice" really means and often many of them forced into this "choice".  So I thought about this and said a prayer and laid it at his feet, knowing He has it all in His hands.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Research on Fundraisers

So, I've been researching fundraisers and trying to figure out the best direction for us to go in. This is based on many things such as
1. Time involved in setting up the event
2. How much it cost to host the event
3. What we know our supporters would be interested in
and other factors...

I have found many options and so far right now we are setting up a t-shirt fundraiser. Other ideas we are planning are:
Lunch Plates
Pancake Breakfast or Spaghetti Lunch
Yard Sale
Bake Sale
Making crafts and selling them online or at craft shows
Just Love Coffee

For others than may be looking for fundraisers (for adoption or not) these links we helpful to me:

http://yestoadoption.blogspot.com/2010/12/adoption-fundraising-ideas.html
http://juliegumm.com
http://www.etsy.com/listing/93147215/adoption-fundraising-package-ready-to?ref=v1_other_2
www.bonfirefunds.com
http://ashabraners.blogspot.com/2013/04/for-our-fundraising-friends_15.html
www.justlovecoffee.com

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness

I do not know what it is like to lose a child or to have the joy of a positive test result just to find that the "pregnancy didn't take". I have seen it from a distance with family members and friends. And I have had the pain of losing what my role in that child's life may have been. And although I have this sense of grief in my heart for the lose of what hasn't happened and the children I may have had that may never be, its not the same grief of losing a child that existed.

So October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I find it interesting that it follows PCOS & Infertility Awareness Month (September).

These are the events/situations that cause people to question why bad things happen. I don't know how to respond other than we live in a fallen, broken world and even though its hard and doesn't always make sense to us, it does make sense to the One that matters. I am often reminded and cling to the fact that the Lord "works all thing for our good" (Romans 8:28). He is with us. Even in our darkest moments, He is there!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Walk for Life

I work at a crisis pregnancy center. I know, many of you are thinking "how can you do that everyday with the infertility issues?". That is a post for another day, but I wanted to share some pictures from the Walk for Life we just held to raise awareness in the community.