Friday, March 26, 2010

::did i lose my credibility?::

As an infertility blogger who is now a mother through adoption, I wonder if I can still blog. 

My posts used to resonate with many women who were in that same empty place of longing.  We were tight.  We knew exactly what the other felt when pregnancies were announced, when a period showed up on the same day a baby shower invitation arrived in the mail, when baby dedications took place on Mother's Day at church (talk about a double burn!).  We were bummed when infertility blogs turned stagnant after a positive test was rejoiced, when a popular IF blogger simply disappeared after achieving pregnancy, when long-time IF bloggers moved to the world of mommy-bloggingdom.   It's totally understandable.  But I think I better understand why a lot of IF bloggers stop blogging when they become moms.  It's what I did. 

Because that is where I find myself these days--in this already-not-yet kind of tension.  Already a mom, still infertile.  BUT--a mom.  So, I wonder if I lost my blogging credibility when I signed my name on the final adoption papers that proclaimed Isaiah my son. 

Do you know what I mean?

This is in no way a post looking for comments or edification.  I'm not that desperate yet.  ;-)  But I find that I don't read IF blogs nearly as often as I used to, and I'm totally surprised when I click through my blogroll and see old pregnancy announcements and baby pictures. Do some of you wonder what to blog about when you find yourself at the end of this long rat race and have finally attained motherhood? 

So....I put it to the few of you who still follow along....what do you want to read?  What is most encouraging to you?  What is helpful as a woman experiencing IF?  Give it to me.
Even though I feel slightly out of touch, I'm still where you are to some extent: my womb is empty, but my hope is in Christ. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

::the trip::

So, okay, this blog is a long time in coming.

I wasn't sure whether or not to keep this specific to this blog or not, but decided to go with a double post.  My apologies is you read both blogs.


About four years ago, in the midst of infertility woes, I joined a blogging group for Christian women who were trying to get pregnant but who were having difficulty. This group of bloggers was found at another hosting site (not Blogger--gasp!), and most of the posts were private and personal--read only by ones subscribers or allowed readers.  Several friendships were born of that blogging stint.  One friendship in particular, though, has turned into a true, lasting friendship.  We both eventually moved our blogs to blogspot addresses. After four years of keeping up through email and blogging, I finally got to meet my long-time blog pal Allison

Allison and her husband, Chad, live near the heart of Washington, D.C. and attend Capitol Hill Baptist Church. They have a beautiful son, Isaac, who is 19 months old. Allison blogs at Life's Lost and Found, and although she is on a blogging hiatus right now, I sincerely hope she gets back to it when life slows down a little. She blogs about faith, chronic pain, parenting, and life in general. You will be blessed by what you read there. 


Throughout my years of blogging on infertility, Allison has been one of those people who has constantly pointed me to the cross of Christ.  Whatever my emotion, whatever my doubt, whatever my ache---she was quick to empathize and even quicker to comfort me with the sovereignty of God...which is exactly what I needed.  I did not need people to tell me how much I deserved children (I don't) or how sad my life was (it wasn't) or how unjust infertility is (it isn't) or that they were certain I would have kids at some point (no one can promise me that) or what a great mom I would someday be (yet to be determined--I foresee a huge failure).  What I DID MOST CERTAINLY need was people in my life who would lend me that glimpse of eternity, who would tell me that yes, my suffering was painful but it was for my GOOD.  I have a handful of people in my life who loved me with my sanctification in mind.  Allison is one of those people.  I am so thankful and indebted to her for her encouraging emails and blog posts.  I hate that I didn't say this to her face when I met her for the first time last week. Allison--I'm SORRY I let this slip!  THANK YOU for being Christ to me during some really hard days of my life!!  You have no idea what your friendship has meant to me!

Capitol Hill Baptist Church hosts a conference for pastors a few times per year, and my pastor-husband was graciously invited and sponsored by Allison and Chad to attend.  Imagine my surprise and excitement to receive a beautiful letter of encouragement from them last November with a generous gift for our next adoption in addition to an invitation to stay with them while my husband attended the Weekender conference at CBCH!!  Plans were made and before I knew it, our trip to D.C. was at hand.


What I didn't plan on was a raging sinus infection a week before our trip.  In a display of extreme stupidity, I put off going to the doctor because I thought I should just let my "cold" run its course.  Stupid.  The morning of our flight, I felt absolutely horrible.  I felt like someone had been digging in my sinus cavities with a fork.  Every upper tooth ached.  We boarded a plane with our 21 month old (who was GREAT on the flight!) and the pressure from flying only made my sinus infection worse.  HOWEVER--I was so excited to meet Allison that I was able to ignore it at first.  She met us in baggage claim at the airport--so much tinier than I expected! Seriously, Allison, you are like a little pixie I could just put in my pocket!  We hugged immediately, and surprisingly--meeting someone you've "known" for four years but have never seen face to face wasn't weird at all!!  She and her husband were awesome hosts and were SO very sympathetic to me because yes, I got a whole lot worse before I got better.  To make a very long story short, I ended up going to a walk-in clinic and got some antibiotics that made me really sick, but I really needed the antibiotics, so....what was I supposed to do?  I felt pretty horrible most of our five days there.  Allison was so great to let me sit in my jammies and relax without feeling any pressure to go and do anything.  She treated me to an afternoon at the spa complete with facials, manicures, and pedicures.  Obviously, I felt a lot better after that. ;-)

While my husband was in conference much of the time, Allison and I talked and talked--and basically just filled in the gaps between emails and blog posts.  It was fun to get to know the personality behind the typed print attached to her name.  She and Chad asked lots of questions about our ministry here in Missouri, and I was shocked to compare my slow pace of life in the Mid-West with their fast-paced, busy life in the city.  Our sons played SO well together!  And what a blessing it was to watch these two long-awaited blessings play together right before our eyes.  [I have to insert here that her son Isaac pretty much loves me.  That kid was so cute and so affectionate!  I could just eat him with a spoon, if you'll pardon the Southern expression.]


As for my husband, he gleaned SO much helpful information and insight during the Weekender.  It was providential that he was able to attend at this point in our church's life.  We are hopefully on the cusp of a transition, and I think the conference was invaluable in helping William teach and lead through the transition.  Add to that that he and I both just enjoyed Chad and Allison's company so much...it was a great trip. Alas, I did not take one picture.  I know, I know!!!  Neither did Allison and she is a photographer!!  We just never had our cameras out at the right moment and it went by so quickly.  Next time!

:::

Sometimes I wonder why I blog.  I wonder--what does it matter, what does it do for me, what does it do for others, if anything.  There are plenty of good reasons not to blog, that's for sure.  The length between my posts will show you that I think about not blogging a lot.  That said, though, God has so blessed me with a friendship born of blogging.  In a seemingly simple attempt to find camaraderie in the midst of infertility, I found a life-long friend.  There wasn't any reason our lives should have intercepted, really, but God in His infinite sovereignty and grace has woven our lives together in a unique way.


Last night I sat among my church members for corporate prayer and listened to their prayer requests and heartfelt prayers.  After being at CHBC, it's tempting to compare how one church does one thing and how another church does another thing.  It's tempting to compare my life to Allison's.  It's tempting to imagine living in a large city as opposed to a really small town in Missouri.  But when I think about how God has worked in our lives, how differently He has chosen to use us for His kingdom, I can really only be thankful for His plan.  I journaled this morning:
It was good to be back in fellowship last night for corporate prayer.  I am thankful for our ministry here.  Even though things at Capitol Hill Baptist are on a much larger and seemingly more professional scale, our ministry is not devalued in that light.  I am incredibly thankful to be here, investing in these people, at this point in time.  What a privilege to pour out our lives here!  I looked around at the faces of the people in prayer last night and was thankful for each one.  I know their hearts, their struggles, their sufferings, their desires to faithfully follow Christ. What an immense blessing to walk alongside them.  God is so good to us to place us here, even after the early rocky years.  He has people here who love Him, whom He is preparing for eternity.  Oh, may William and I be faithful to encourage them to hold fast. 


I love that God has woven together a tapestry of His people all across the world.  It is a beautiful thing indeed.


-glenna-

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

::reflections::

While I am working on a writing project, I thought I would recycle some old posts here instead of leaving the blog stagnant.  If you're a long-time follower, please excuse the re-run. 

This short post was written in July of 2007.  I had just spent a week at the beach with my husband and mother-in-law, and as it always seems to happen for me on vacations (why is that, by the way?), another cycle had ended with disappointment.  Escaping alone to the beach, I found a spot in the sand and sat with my chin propped on my knees, my arms wrapped around my legs. I watched the tide creep up the shoreline and wondered at God's sovereignty. This is such a poignant memory for me. I remember the tears pressing behind my eyes and finally trickling down my sunburned cheeks.  My heart was so heavy, but God was so good to me that afternoon.
The original post can be found here.


"the ocean & infertility"

I was sitting on the beach last week, watching the waves crash onto the shore line in front of me thinking that yet again, we are not pregnant. It was hard to hold back the tears, even though I feel that I should be used to this by now. I sat in the sand, praying in desperation for....something. Hope. Children. Faithfulness to God in spite of my grief, in the middle of my grief, because of my grief. I watched the rhythmic pull of the tide, with each crash of water, powerful waves crept towards my feet in the sand. I remembered the passage in Job (a fitting book when one wonders at her circumstances) where God says that the waves of the ocean can only go as far as He allows. In essence, God says, "little wave, you can only go this far, and no further up the shore than that." And the wave--powerful though it may be with the force of the Atlantic behind it--must obey, must submit to a Sovereign Creator. And so must I.

This may seem a disjointed train of thought, but what I reckoned with on the beach is that the God who holds the sea at bay is the same God who holds my fertility in His hands, as well as every other aspect of my life. He is the same God who is close and tender when He says, "No, not this time." Maybe His restraint in my life is not really like His keeping the mighty oceans in line, but maybe it is. I know that it is for my own good. And, as only a mighty and powerful Creator can hold the waters in his hands, He is letting me glimpse His glory in the midst of infertility.

"And I said, 'Thus far you shall come but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop.'"

-God, in Job 11:38, NAS

Thursday, March 4, 2010

::under construction::

bear with me for a bit...making some changes to my site.  :-)

Monday, March 1, 2010

::adoption reflections::

Last night I dreamed about my son's birthparents.

We were walking the hospital corridors together, preparing to take Isaiah after he was discharged.  His birthfather was telling my husband to buy some pint-sized jerseys for the baby for the college football team he liked.  I was trying to think of something to say to her, but couldn't remember what her daughter's name was.  I knew her name wasn't Danielle, but it was the only name that came to mind.  So I just asked, "How are your other kids?"  She kept walking and stared straight ahead without answering, which is nothing like her personality in real life.  I don't know where Isaiah was.  I didn't see his nearly-two-year-old self toddling around, nor his newborn version that I remember from June, 2008. 

I woke up wondering how they were.  Did they get our last few letters?  What did they think of the most recent pictures, the set of personalized photo valentines we sent?  What did they think of his haircut? Were they interested in getting together like I asked?  Do they miss our son every day of their life?  Our son--her son, his son, my husband's son, my son. 

The dream, of course, invoked all sorts of memories surrounding Isaiah's birth.  The moment we said "good-bye" and walked out with our son in the infant carrier.  The moment immediately following where we carried our baby out to our car, me sobbing uncontrollable because I felt like I was stealing her son. 

A tide of emotions mingle together and crash upon the shore of my memories.  I am deeply and profoundly grateful to be his mother.  I grieve when I think of her, his first-mom.  I feel guilty for being the one he calls "Mommy," the one who tucks him in at night and hears his "luz yuuu," the one who kisses his hurts and makes them all better, the one who teaches him about Jesus, the one who tickles him mercilessly and hears his belly-laughing.

I feel guilty and grateful.  I know she is at peace with her decision...she's told us numerous times.  I believe her, but I can't help but hurt for her, for what she's missing.

Why am I so blessed?  I will never cease to wonder at God's sovereignty.