Slow Times And Story Time

While we’re waiting to hear back from the adoption agency about our paperwork, my wife sat down and told her side of the story about how she came to the idea of adoption.  It’s posted over on our GoFundMe page, which should be linked on one side of this blog somewhere.  But I thought I’d share it here as well, for anyone not following that page!  (Hey!  It’s my first guest blog post!  I’m a star!)

I always wanted three kids, three girls as a matter of fact. If I couldn’t have three girls then two girls & a boy as the middle child would do. This was my going to be my story.

At the end of my 20’s, I had my first child, a beautiful girl. I just knew I was on track. But just a few short years later, my perfect story ended in divorce. My little girl and I started over, and still I prayed for my three girl family.

I met Joe & we fell madly in love. My girl also fell madly in love with her Mr. Joe. On a beautiful morning in May, we became a family.  There was hope for my perfect story.

That same year for Christmas, we gave our girl the gift she had been praying for: she was going to be a Big Sister. She was so happy she ran to her room, praising God for her gift.

A month later we suffered a miscarriage.

We were all heartbroken. We really didn’t understand. Another year of disappointment passed, so we went to the doctor for help. Many terrible and invasive tests revealed I had a blood clotting disorder.  To get pregnant, I needed to give myself shots twice a day in the stomach. We finally had an answer and a plan.  But a year later the only thing that changed was the colorful bruises on my stomach.

We went back for more tests and saw three more doctors. This time we learned our problems wasn’t just me, it was both of us. Chances were slim we could  conceive naturally. Even IVF was a long shot according to one of the doctors. More heartbreak and bewilderment. I really didn’t understand. I was supposed to have three kids, three girls. But that was not going to happen. My perfect dream was fading.

Then Joe approached me about adoption. I thought adoption was great. I know lots of couples with fertility issues that quickly became pregnant when they started down the adoption path.   This must be how we would get pregnant!

It wasn’t. I really didn’t want to adopt. I wanted to carry our baby. I wanted Joe’s baby. I was angry and God was hurting my feelings. I was done. Couldn’t do it anymore. No perfect three kid family for me.

However, Joe knew God was calling us to adoption. He began praying for my heart to change. He knew only God could break through my stubbornness.

On a cold morning nearing Thanksgiving break, that is exactly what God did.

A sweet girl from my church showed me a picture of her and her brother standing in the chapel of Texas Baptist Home for Children on their adoption day.  I had no idea this sweet girl and her brother were adopted! My heart was turning.

Within a couple of months, Joe and I attend a fostering seminar at Texas Baptist Home. My heart opened more. But as we sat there listening, we knew fostering was not where we were being lead. Later in the spring, we attended an adoption summit at a local church.  We met with a number of agencies, but we were drawn to one. We filled out the application with great anticipation. As quickly the application was submitted, the rejection came. We were told we were not a good fit for domestic adoption as we already had a child.  More heartbreak and confusion. Joe quickly got in touch with another agency., but he never received a call back.  Again I was done.

Then great joy and sadness all came on the same day.  My sweet AC gave birth to her precious son that afternoon.  That night, Joe’s mother suddenly died. It was a roller coaster of emotions. I found myself singing “Circle of Life” the rest of the night.

As we were finally settling down for the evening, I read through all the “important”news on Facebook and saw a dear friend had shared a post from Texas Baptist Homes announcing the opening of their Infant/Private Adoption program that had been closed for two years. I think my heart stopped. Could this be it??? Really?? One new life, one life passed and the possibility of fulfilled promise?  My brain was going in circles and I was still singing.

The following months have been a blur of excitement and fear. We attended adoption orientation and training.  We filled out the mountain of paperwork…oh the paperwork. This process was intense. I had to answer questions about past and present topics I never thought I would need to share, things that hit insecurities that I believed to be passed.

The insecurities kept building at every step.  Why would someone pick me? I never get picked. And if I get picked they will change their minds as soon as they know about me. This is exactly where Satan wants me to live. But Satan didn’t open my heart to adoption, God did. My God chose me. He adopted me. He loves me. He opened my heart to Him. He showed me, once again, that this is not about me or what I’m doing. It’s all about Him and what He is doing in me and in my family. The insecurities still creep in and pride can overwhelm me, but I am continually reminded of Christ and I’m brought back to Him.

The paperwork is turned in. And now we wait. We wait for home studies and background checks. We wait and we pray. We pray for the precious birthmother to give us her gift. We pray our fundraising efforts. We pray that God continues to move in mighty ways. We pray for our families, as they continue to support us. And we are grateful. Everyday.

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Winning The Listserve Lottery Gets You 50,000 Eyeballs

“No pressure, but almost 25,000 people will read this.”

This is one of the many wonderful thoughts floating to the surface of what passes for my brain when I won the Listserve lottery.  It was also probably the cleanest and nicest.

The Listserve is essentially a massive email list.  When you add your email to the list, it accomplishes two things: 1. you’re entered into the Listserve lottery and 2. you’ll receive one email a day from a lottery winner.  Lottery winners compose a 600 word email about any subject of choice, sent to all the email addresses currently on the Listserve.

I knew what I was going to write about, of course: our struggles with pregnancy and fertility.  What I worried about is what I always worry about when I write about this stuff.  Is this going to be offensive?  Go too far?  TMI?  I only knew I didn’t want to miss this chance.

So here’s the ramblings I sent out onto the Listserve:

How Not To Make A Baby

It turns out getting pregnant isn’t as easy as it looks.

My wife and I have been trying to conceive for over five years, suffering one miscarriage and month after month of letdowns and discouragements.  Turns out we both bring our own specific biological issues that, when combined, compound the problem.

While I’m well aware that we are not the first couple to grapple with infertility and conception issues, this is one of those things where knowing you’re not alone isn’t always the most comforting thought.  Add to that the staggering amount of tips, suggestions, medical information, etc., it can get downright frustrating.

When things don’t work as they should, be it electronics, automobiles, or my reproductive system, it drives me crazy!  There’s no real peace in the knowledge that there’s nothing I can really do to cause my body to produce the correct amount of sperm.

There are options, of course, with adoption or in vitro fertilization leading the pack.  We’re not opposed to either, although they’re not exactly in our budgetary cards just yet.  If anyone can point Oprah our way, there’s a high five with your name on it.  Honestly, the romantic idea of conceiving a child the “old fashioned way,” is just what our hearts are set on.

Through it all, hope has been both our strongest ally and greatest source of pain.  Each month, we carry the hope that this time, this month will be the one.  And each month, we feel like idealistic, optimistic fools, only to start the whole process over again.  Regardless, I worry about us losing that hope.

I’ve been working on and off on a blog about our experiences where, if nothing else, I’ve found supportive and comforting folks who read and share.  We can share links, of course, so I’m not sure if this makes it through, but you can find it by heading to howtomakebabiesdotwordpressdotcom.

My wife and I are praying people, constantly covering this and seeking an answer.  There’s a certain level of acceptance by now, but there’s always hope.

I think that’s what I’d like to leave off with…there’s always hope.  So many things can be denied or taken away in this world, but hope, though it may sting us at times, is what keeps us going.

Feel free to drop me a line or look me up.  I’m on Twitter: @jovid52,  where I share nonsense, music I’m enjoying, television reviews, and stuff, but I’d be happy to interact with ya!

Embarrassing?  Maybe.  Is it all those things I worried about and a bit grammatically challenged?  Probably. But I sent it out anyway with no idea when it would reach subscribers.

So, there ya go.  I knew it had about five days later when my inbox and Twitter exploded with some of the most incredible responses.  I’ll share some of them later this week.

Is Anybody Out There?

So I’ve been absent with a vengeance from this old blog thing for an extended bit of time.

Tell the truth, it got to be a bit of a tough go here, facing that blank screen with nothing but disappointments and failures to share. As much as I’ve enjoyed the writing and all the interactions I’ve had with you sweet, wonderful people, I’ve experienced the same amount of defeat. I don’t really want to go all out, “diminished” balls to the wall melodramatic here, so let’s just say it’s been hard. And I tend to either ignore or run from the hard stuff in my life, so things went quiet.

I hasn’t been all feeling sorry for myself though! Over the lost time, I did pick up a couple of writing gigs, unpaid though they are, that sucked up a lot of free time and creative energy. And I’m enjoying them immensely. I write short new music pieces for an exciting music/culture site in London called The 405. I LOVE music and jumped on the opportunity when they sent out a request for writers. A more major bit of time is spent writing television reviews for a locally based entertainment site, Red Carpet Crash. These take much more time because I have to watch the programs, obviously, and then write detailed reviews/recaps on a quick turnaround. It’s fun, I get to watch lots of stuff ahead or airdates (so I feel cool), and it’s helping me improve. Or at least I think it is. If you’re a TV fanatic or a have favorite show, pop over there sometime and see what’s up if ya like. I know I’d love the dialogue and input.

I hope my silence hasn’t lost me any of the amazing connections that popped up when I began. If you’re still here, let me know! I’m gonna be around more often here, writing up more of our struggle/adventure as well as other pregnancy stuff that comes across my eyes. I think I’m ready to start again.

I missed y’all.