Sunday, January 30, 2011

Now that I have seen...I am responsible....FAITH WITHOUT DEEDS IS DEAD....

I adore this song.  Today I am thinking of my sweet friends the Nelson's who have sold everything they have, gave to the poor, left EVERYTHING they know and their beautiful "American Dream Life" and moved with their 3 year old daughter to China.  I think most of us would say "Oh I could do that, if I felt called...but over seas missions is not my calling."  I think I would be considered guilty of this too.  I'm not throwing any stones ha-ha.  When I truly think about the sacrifices they made and that missions is NOT just for "the called" but for ALL Christians in some way shape or form I can't help but be inspired by them.  Not everyone can serve overseas but everyone can make a sandwich and take it downtown and spend some time with a homeless person who may need a meal.  What are you doing with that extra bedroom in your house?  There are MANY children who need a bed....even if its only for a few months.  We all have something to offer this world for God's kingdom remember that we are all called to be his "hands and feet."  

The Nelson's missionary heart started by them reading the book Radical by David Platt.  I and a few of my friends were all reading it at the same time - including the Nelson's.  This book is what inspired Brett and I to pursue foster care and this book is what also moved the Nelson's to literally sell everything and go and follow God.  If you have not read this book, please check it out.  It's truly is one of the most inspiring books I've ever gotten my hands on.  It challenges us to stop living the "American Dream Christianity" and pursue God's dreams for his kingdom and our lives.  It's not always easy, its not always pretty, its not always safe but its always worth it.  Any sacrifices for his kingdom is ALWAYS worth the risks involved.  I pray today that God will move in this generation, that people will step up and start to realize that we are not only called to sit at church on Sunday mornings but that we are called to move and be moved by God.  

Thank you Lord for your precious children the Nelson's and for all who have given up everything and went and followed you.  Thank you for those who are spreading the Word to the ends of the earth and thank you for those who gave not just their things but also their lives for your Glory.  

Monday, January 24, 2011

Haiti in 9 days, Doctors Appt in 3 days and some Foster news....Life is good!

Haiti...I'm coming for you! ;)  I can't wait to get down there.  Its been MONTHS in the planning and here it is only a little over a week away.  I know God will use us in some way down there but truly I hope that he uses this time to break me for HIS kingdom and HIS glory.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we get ready to go and of course on Feb. 2nd when we leave.

I talked to my doctor's nurse today.  She's such a sweet heart.  She got Brett and I in to talk to the doctor about our next step on Thursday at 12:30.  YAY.  I'm so glad I get to go there before we leave for Haiti...thats one less thing for my mind to be while I'm there.  Brett and I both talked it over and of course I've talked to a few friends who have been in my shoes - and I think we all have come to agreement that doing IVF is the best way to move forward.  Mainly because it truly will reduce our chances of multiplies.  When you are using high power fertility drugs (like I will have to start next) there is no way to control how many eggs will grow and therefore you up your chances of getting pregnant with not just twins but high order multiples.  This is NOT something we want to deal with.  Ideally ONE baby is best for our family ha-ha.  Its very important we only have one baby not just for my sanity but because we TRULY desire to be foster parents SOON.  If we have twins (or more) that will have to push our fostering back at least a year and thats really not something I want to even think about.  My heart is ready NOW for those children who need us.

Speaking of fostering.....I go Wednesday to the doctor to get my physical.  Can't wait ha-ha.   I'm not worried I know everything will be just fine.  Just something I have to do.  Our next home study isn't until the end of February so we have A LOT to get done this month.  After I get home from Haiti..its ON!  =)

Be blessed...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Susie Shellenberger = awesomeness (is that a word?)

Yes, I know this is my second post of the day but I felt like I needed to bring this back around to God and his awesome power of peace and grace.

After leaving the doctors office a total wreck.  I came home a total wreck.  I cried, fought with God, tried to figure out my next step RIGHT AWAY and I was ()this close to not going to church tonight because I was physically and emotionally spent.  Well, for some reason God gave me the extra push tonight and I went.  He KNEW I needed to hear the message.  And once again - he came like the rain, he ALWAYS does (see this trend yet? haha).   Listening to my husband lead worship is always a treat for me and Highland Park has been such an awesome place for Brett and I to grow. We truly have some amazing Pastors on staff.  But tonight was different, we had a guest speaker and her name is Susie Shellenberger. For some reason God put her in my life at the right time.  I could go on for hours telling you what she preached were the words that God knew I needed to hear, but I won't.   It's times like these where I think God just likes to show his awesome power.  At the end of her sermon she said one thing that really hit it home for me.  And I'll leave it at this....

Lord, help me to remember that YOU are God and I am NOT.


Infertility update....

I write this through the tears....

I woke up this morning at 6:00am for my 8:00am appt. in Orlando and I had high hopes.  I knew I had 3 to 4 good size follicles that were working there way up to become dominate.  Today we were just checking those follicles - doing the trigger shot tonight and have the IUI Monday.  Well, sometimes things don't work out the way we want them to.  Sometimes God has other plans.   When I had my scan my follicles were actually smaller than 4 days before.  When they ran my blood work my estrogen had dropped from over 100 to 60.  This indicates that the medicine started to work...then my body pooped out.  The follicles will NOT keep's over.  I'm heart broken and this is why....

I can no longer take the oral medicine that I KNOW works for ovulation for me (Clomid) because there is a 12 cycle max on that drug without upping your risk of ovarian cancer later in life.  I've done 11 cycles.  The doctor advised me to NEVER take Clomid again.  This is why I was taking this new medicine called Femara.  It has a WONDERFUL success rate and he actually likes to prescribe this drug more than Clomid.  So we gave it a shot.  It truly had NOT crossed my mind that this drug wouldn't work for me.  Drugs have always worked for me before so why wouldn't this one work?  The only other option now is to add injectables into the mix (shots ha-ha).  The problem with that is that these drugs are VERY expensive and are NOT covered at all by insurance.  And with the injectables/IUI comes a higher risk of multiples.  Also an IUI doesn't have the good success rates that IVF has.  Sooooo we have a LOT to think about.

I will call my doctor's nurse on Monday morning to make an appt. with my doctor for a consult to discuss all of this and to make a decision on what our next step will be.  Brett and I are leaning towards another IVF cycle in light of recent circumstances.  It just doesn't seem like a good choice to proceed with injectables and do an IUI with such a low success rate and such a HIGH cost.  IVF is more expensive but the success rate is MUCH grater and honestly I'm not sure how much more my heart can take.  I'm so grateful for the options that are out there to help me become a mother again.  If this was 50 years ago I would never had been a mother in the first place.  God you are so good to us.  We are beyond blessed to live in a world that embraces adoption, IVF and other fertility treatments without shame.

Hug your babies (and pregnant bellies) a little tighter tonight.   Remember how blessed we ALL are and say an extra prayer for not just us but for ALL those struggling with infertility.  I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone but through my pain I remember how much God has changed my heart for the better.  I've learned compassion that can only come through trials like this.  God you are near - even when I am distant - help me get through.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

First Home Study, Going to Haiti in 13 days, Infertility Update = Good Times...

So, we had our first home study this week.  It went awesome.  I adore our social worker (there are actually two of them right this moment but it will be just one shortly).  Basically it was my "interview" and next time it will be Brett's turn.  I was not worried a bit.  They asked me every question you can imagine,  from my most traumatic childhood experience to my relationship with the Lord and EVERYTHING in between.  It was so easy to be open and honestly about my fears/worry and also about my strengths.  Up next, we both have physicals scheduled for next week (yes a doctor has to make sure we are physically able to care for another child haha).  Then we have to do a little more paper work (not much more, yay).  Take pictures of every room in our house.  Give a floor plan of our house.  Baby proof out house.  Set up the room where the child will be staying.  Make a list of "pool rules."  Take a pool safety class.  Take a CPR class. Do finger prints and back ground checks.  Humm I think I covered MOST of it and WOW it seems a WHOLE lot worse typed out.  But it's all for God's glory - his will be done.

Up next Haiti.  We leave in 13 days.  WOW.  I can't WAIT.

Finally, once again our battle with infertility.  We are still on the same cycle that I talked about a few posts back.  On Tuesday (cycle day 11) I had a follicle check.  I have about 3 or 4 bigger follicles, one has not proven to be the dominate quit yet and a bunch of small ones.  They are having me go back on Saturday (cycle day 14) at 8:15am for another scan.  Hopefully that night I will give myself the trigger shot and go in first thing Monday morning for our IUI.  I can't wait for the IUI to be over.  It's just so time consuming between medicine, doctors apts and all the worry.  I will find out if it worked while I'm in Haiti.  If it didn't then off to IUI#2 we will go!  I'm not worried about it, God is in control and I know that.  Once again to HIM to be glory.  In his timing.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Going to 17 days...

So, I'm going to Haiti in 17 days.  Hard to believe we are actually going.  We originally were slated to go December 26th-31st but that was delayed because of the bad riots going on down there.  I was very sad when I found out we were not going but I was grateful that our leaders knew it wasn't safe and didn't put us at a greater risk then we already are in going down there.

It seems like every time I tell someone I'm going to Haiti they are in disbelief ha-ha.  I don't know why I'm not in shock over this but I feel a strange sense of calm about the whole trip.  I am going with a group that has been going on this exact same trip for years.  They take about 5 trips a year and have this down to a science.  The little village we are going to is called Chauffard and its a few miles outside of capital Port-a-Prince.  It may only be a few miles out of where we fly into but its a 3 hour drive up some mountains with no paved roads.  They tell me that in most places we can get out and walk because the truck is going so slow ha-ha.  I'm looking forward to getting out and taking some awesome pictures of this country.

In Chauffard there is no running water and no electricity.  The people of this mountain village live in huts/tents and go without even the basic of life's necessities.  It's funny because I think how can I pack for a WHOLE week in just ONE bag and then I realize that they can pack their entire life's belongings in just ONE bag.  Funny how things like that change your view on how we live.  I expect to go and be changed.  See, I've been on mission trips before and I can tell you that you don't go to change those people (yes of course we pass things out and help with repairs/work on their homes etc) but you go and find something in you that you didn't even know was there.  You realize that you CAN go without and that giving really isn't giving until you have given until it hurts.  God changes the hearts of those that serve him and I expect to go and be changed by God.

I'm excited to post more about this special trip I am so blessed to go on.  I am asking that you all pray for our protection as we travel and for the sweet people of Chauffard.  Please pray that God will pour out on them blessing after blessing and that we will be used to be his hands and feet.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Today I am broken....

Today I am broken before the Lord once again.

I had my cycle day 3 ultrasound today to check for any cysts before moving forward with our new drug + trigger shot + IUI.  I sat in the cold sterile room remembering I had been there before.  I saw the empty ultrasound machine which was on and facing me and I knew when she went to use it she wouldn't be looking for a baby but for my broken parts making sure things look "decent" so we could start this whole process.  I feel numb.  I feel sad.  I feel defeated.  But in it all I feel hope in a big big God.  Everything was fine with the ultrasound and I start my new medicine tomorrow night but as I left I had a deep pit in my stomach - I knew I would be back.  I know this long road because I been on it before.  I want to get off this path and get on the "easy" path but I know this is God's "path" for me.  He knows that in the midst of my pain and heart ache that is where I find the great God of mercy and grace.

Today I thought about my sweet friends who are able to get pregnant so easy and I day dream about what it must feel like.  To not have to pay more than some people make in a year to just have one child.  To not have to drive 45 minute ONE way just to spend 10 minutes at a very unpleasant doctors appointment.  I've given myself more shots in a month than most people have in a life time and given more blood then I thought my body could make haha.  But then I remember why God chose this for my life.  I think of the sweet sweet moment when my first daughter, Kate, was placed in my arms by her loving birth mom and the tears start to come.  I remember holding her so tight when we brought her home with her sweet little face pressed up against mine I promised her I would give her everything her birth mother wanted for her.  I also promised her I would never let her forget where she came from.  She came from the deepest part of my heart.  The places you can't even begin to tap into until you have been there.  She came from God.

I left the doctors office today an emotional wreck.  I called my dad...he always makes things better.  See my dad has been there too - he's felt defeated - he's felt broken - he's felt pain.  He beat cancer when he was told he had a 4% chance to live.  He may not understand infertility but he understands his little girl is hurting and he understands hurt.  He tells me the things I need to hear not the things I want to hear.  He always tells me God is in control and he always tells me that my children are different, set apart, special.  I am blessed to have a father who loves the Lord, who believes in miracles and who has special way with showing his love.

After I talked to my dad - I knew I needed a heart to heart with my Heavenly Father.  I was broken before him and he came - he came like the rain.  He always does.  Today he did not one but TWO very miraculous things just to remind me...he is God.  And tonight my heart is full of my Heavenly Fathers hope and peace.  I'm once again reminded of the joy that is coming our way with our precious foster children.  What a blessing ALL children are, especially the ones that God allows us to have after a long hard battle.

God to YOU be the glory, honor and power.  You have my life once again and I trust that you have bigger plans for us than we could ever imagine.  Your peace reigns once again.  Bless God - I believe.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Okay its decided.....

January 1st, 2011 is day 1 of my ONE YEAR commitment to not buying any new clothing.

The only exception to the rule will be if I get any gift cards for say, my birthday.  But I personally will not spend any money on clothing.   It feels so good to have made a decision and it's a pretty fun challenge that I'm actually looking forward to.  I know this will be a time for me to sit back and think about others for once and not about what makes me feel good on the short term.  I'm excited to trust God to provide for my needs, even if that means me begging my sweet friends to borrow their clothing ;).

Now onto a new Foster Parent update!!!  I talked to our social worker and it looks like our first home study will be January 17th.  I'm so excited.  I know it's just the start to a very very long process but it feels good to get the ball rolling again.  I'm a lot less anxious then I was a few weeks ago about these next steps.  I think the Holiday break really helped me adjust to the idea of the reality that in a few short months will have 3 children in our home.  WOW.  Sometimes I wonder why God choose us?  But mostly I'm thankful that he did indeed choose us.  It's truly a privilege that God has ordained in us a special opportunity to experience being his hands and feet.  There is NOTHING more pure than loving those who are "the least of these."  The challenges that lay ahead are nothing short of daunting but I know my God is a big God and his grace and protection will be with us the whole way.

So as we start more aggressive fertility treatments and grow our family by not ONE (foster child) but TWO (foster and bio child) we ask for prayers and support.  We know that we can't do this without the love and support our sweet friends that God has put in our lives.  We are truly blessed.

To God be ALL the Glory,