… join the movement and let your voice be heard

niaw logo

This has been an amazing week of support and banning together for many women in our communities who struggle with infertility across the country.

And, I am glad to be apart!

I believe and will forever stand on the fact that infertility has made me who I am. I am not ashamed of my diagnosis. I’m grateful for the opportunity to publicly share my experiences and what I’ve learned through this chapter in my life with other women who walking the same path as I am. It’s given me a confidence in who I am and how I was created, as well as the realization that there is power in my voice. In my words. And, how I choose to use my words and voice to encourage and support others.

My husband and I were told that there could be issues with our fertility as newlyweds as we were talking to our doctor and planning to expand our family the next year. We didn’t think much of it for another 8 months or so. When we felt it was time to move forward with baby planning, we followed the advice of a friend and began working with an endocrinologist in the spring of the next year. My doctor’s concerns were confirmed and I was crushed.

At that point, I began blogging. I wanted to document our journey through infertility for myself. I took a deep breath, launched my blog, and posted my “coming out” on Facebook. For the next months, I poured my heart out on the pages of this blog … telling each step of our fertility treatments, how I felt in each stage, and where my heart was. There were some pretty dark and detailed moments written on those pages and at times I thought that I was stuck in one place. I thought that we would always dance in the same circle. Same motions. Same song.

The more I wrote, the more support poured in. Women I knew and didn’t know, alike, would email and comment telling me of their difficulties and struggles. Women I went to high school and college with who struggled with infertility and the possibility of never being able to conceive children due to other medical situations they endured. The stories I’ve heard are heart wrenching. I realized that there are so many women who are struggling with such pain privately and alone. I realized how taboo it was. How socially unacceptable it is. I understood why no one talks about infertility. Why no one discusses how it affects you over lunch. I understand the pain of wincing and coiling at comments, the awkwardness of dodging questions, and heaviness of bearing your roughest days alone.

Now that my husband and I have chosen to adopt, we’ve taken on another socially “strange” journey! There aren’t many people we know who have chosen to adopt children in order to expand their families, so we have an amazing opportunity to expand the thoughts and preconceptions many have about adoption, those who adopt, and the adopted. It’s exciting and I’m enjoying the process, the amazing families I’m meeting, and hearing all these stories.

{{ I adore the communities we’re apart of and bask in the strength of these families and women. }}

I’ve learned that discussing adoption (and, infertility) can be quite difficult but I take on the task of informing with a protective, yet patient and understanding tone because I understand the real ignorance (by definition) that leads to bias and offensive questions. I know that many people aren’t exposed to adoption and aren’t open to it, therefore they have questions, comments, and notions that are misguided and very random at times. lol. I don’t believe anyone means harm …. the majority  of people just don’t know. They don’t know what’s appropriate or inappropriate, they don’t understand the mental and emotional anguish that you endure through this process. They don’t know how hurtful their questions and comments can be.

…. All because they are unaware.

Remaining silent is not an option for me. I know that the more I speak out, kindly educate those who unintentionally offend, and just live my life without allowing my diagnosis to define me, the easier it will be for other women to confidently stand alongside me. Battling with me. Struggling, laughing, crying, celebrating, and rejoicing with me as we travel this road together.

I realize that not everyone is driven to write and bear their life and soul in such a public way. I also know that there isn’t just one way to go about educating our families, coworkers, and communties about infertility, treatments, and adoption. For that, I am grateful. I am glad to be apart of such a large community of women who believe that it’s worthwhile to discuss our issues, support each other, and educate the public on issues that will at some point affect someone they know.

I am even more grateful for the friends, family, and the friends that became family who show their unwavering love and support throughout such difficult times. It makes the successes and celebratory moments that much sweeter.

Ah! So I encourage you to join the movement. Educate yourself so that you can be a benefit to others. Use your voice to advocate, support, and encourage those around you.

We need you.

… here’s to dancing in thedownpour and loving every minute of it! There is good in everything… if we are open enough to receive it.

//click these links to learn more about infertility and National Infertility Awareness Week!!! //
***** http://www.resolve.org/infertility101  *****
***** http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html *****

Signature

… guarded, under lock and key

shirt

First, this whole infertility whirlwind has done a number on my heart, my soul, my family, and my LIFE.

And, God, do I appreciate it.

I truly, truly appreciate this two year ride that seems like two seconds in one minute and a lifetime in another.

I’ve learned to keep a tight lid on what’s “happening” because you never know how quickly things can be undone or make a sharp left turn.

I’m so incredibly open and it’s difficult to not shout from the rooftops even the most intriguing and incredible possibilities that come about. But, I know that keeping your cards close to your chest is wise and also saves you from backpeddling and pulling your foot from your mouth.

With that said, (lol) I, generally, keep my lid shut tight with the exception of a close knit group of a few who I trust with my everything, will trust my babies with, and know they have my back like no other. I know they pray for me and hope for me with a faith and love that is rooted so deeply in God. My God they are a great group and I appreciate them to the ends of the Earth.

As tight as my lid is being kept, I want you to know and understand how beautiful this story of mine/ours is. How much glory God is receiving from it and these chapters are yet to be complete. How much we deeply we need your prayers and support. We appreciate the chats but do understand if I/we sidestep a question that we can’t quite answer as honestly as we’d like. Know that this process is costly, timely, tiring, mentally and emotionally consuming. We are working hard and doing our best to do our best.

This man… my God… is doing more than I could ever ask, think, or imagine. It is happening. He is showing who He is and what He can do. Even if things don’t work out exactly how it COULD, I now that it will work out exactly how it should. He will receive the most glory for however this will end and I am excited. God is so good and He is on our side.

I have NO idea what will happen next but there is a peace I’ve never felt before… a giddiness that won’t lead to disappointment… the surest hope that keeps us going…. and, a trust that allows for both peace and giddiness to reside in the same place along with hope without room for sadness or a slither of a feeling of defeat.

We have a lot of HARD work ahead of us…. a very long road…. No matter how “quickly” our process goes – the road is long, incredibly detailed, and hard. But, we’re gearing up and prepping as much as we can, learning as much as we can.

His timing. His plan. His glory. Our story.

…. here’s to an amazing story written by a God who cannot fail.

ugh… so giddy. so excited. so quiet. so focused.

WANNA SUPPORT??????
…. the shirt hubs is wearing in the picture is FOR SALE!!! $20 each … if you would like one, send your name, shirt size, physical/email address to thomasandalaina@yahoo.com!!
…. you can also help by depositing a little (or big! lol) donation at http://themayesadopt.mydagsite.com/ !!!!!

Thank you so much!! We love (and, need!!) you!!!

Signature

… how he loves us

Over the past couple of years, I’ve done a lot of out-of-the-blue crying and some no-reason-at-all crying but more than that, some did-you-see-that? that kinda crying because our family wasn’t expanding. Because everyone else’s was. Because procedures weren’t working. Because my injections and meds made me insane. Because life was hard. Because of the pregnant women in the doctor’s office. Because what is supposed to happen naturally wasn’t happening at all. And, because I was tired, I was hurting, and I was empty.

But, now….

I do a lot of that same crying for no reason and out of the blue because I see how good God has been and is being towards us. I see how He was moving in my life, in our life, and how much He truly was guiding and preparing us. I see His love in prevention and in His “no’s”. Because He is bringing people to us and opening doors for us that I never knew about, that I never expected, and to be quite honest didn’t think we’d get into even if they did exist. You see our luck has been horrible. Because I am grateful for the time without, the hardships, and the pain. Yes.

The did-you-see-that tears that just fall are subjec to the deposit notification emails letting me know that someone good, someone gracious, and someone generously has taken a bite and wants to help us. They fall when I showed Thomas the finished t-shirts that I created myself (what?! I’ve never done that before!) and they are us… wh0 we are and what we believe. And, people like them. They are ordering them. Our friends are sharing our shirts on their Facebook pages and their friends want them. Because we are getting emails from a nationwide adoption support agencies that help families ACROSS THE WORLD adopt and expand their families… giving homes to orphans and would be orphans or worse. They fall because I have never felt the kindness and love of people the way I am feeling it now.

Because people care. Because they are generous. Because they love us. Because they believe in good deeds and giving as a lifestyle. They sow. They trust and believe in a God who has saved them and brought them into a family of people, of believers, who take care of one another and who help one another. They believe in adoption and what it means for families and for children.

I am overwhelmed and overjoyed. I can hardly believe it. Sometimes I literally just sit in awe. I used to cry and think “Why us? Why is this so hard? Why isn’t this working?” And, THIS was why. I would have never known or understood praising God and glorifying Him in this way if I hadn’t have experienced so a painful process. I know I wouldn’t. I would complain to Thomas about why life had to be so hard – the answer is simple. So, that God can be glorified when everything comes together and works for our good…. but, first and foremost His glory.

I am glad. Hear me when I say, GLAD for those horrid two years. They were hard. They were unimaginably hard. Not all the time. Certainly not. But, the lows were pretty low and the tough times left some pretty big bruises but how thankful I am for those times.

The hard times are not over.. They never will be. We will struggle through this process. We will have to endure the difficult and trying continuously in every facet of our life. That I know. There will be ups and downs. But, one thing I know for sure – He will not leave me nor forsake me. Ever. I’m not walking this journey alone. I am not walking with no destination. I may not know where it is or how close I am to the finish but I do know that I will finish and that the journey is good for me.

I used to think that those who had everything so easy were so lucky…. the ones who never really had to struggle because things seemed to come so easily for them. First, I know that all things that looks easy, aren’t. And, that perspective and attitude determine a lot more that position. And, second, I’m so thankful that my path has been rocky. That difficult times were written in my story. That I have scares and battle wounds – I wouldn’t have it any other way.

….. oh, how He loves us.

Signature