three year wait

lola It literally blows my mind that I have been blogging about through our “Mayes expansion project” for three years now. THREE ENTIRE YEARS.

I remember so much about “the news” and what came soon after, but had forgotten so much as well.

This week, we’re having Field Day at school… Three years ago this time, I was recovering from my endoscopy and laparoscopy.

I’d just learned that I had so much scar tissue from my Stage 2 endometriosis covering one of my ovaries that it looked like a cast and enough covering my fallopian tubes to prevent them from doing their job.  There was nothing happening down there at all! I had scar tissue below my “hostile environment” of a uterus right above my pelvis. Yes, a hostile environment… that’s how the doctor (lovingly & kindly) described my situation. lol. And, gave us a 2-4% chance of getting pregnant on our own during any given month…. while most couples have a 20-25% chance. (Isn’t it crazy that there are so many people on this earth, so many of our friends pregnant with seemingly low odds??!) Most of those details I’d forgotten aside from where my scar tissue was. I also didn’t forget that the scar tissue would grow back and if we were to try again after some time, I’d have to have surgery again. Y a y.

I’d completely forgotten that Thomas was interested in adoption long before I was. I was selfishly focused on children that would be “mine”…. who would look like me…. who would sound like me. How funny is it that God opens your eyes and heart to the very things you balked at? Humbling, right?

I had no idea what I was in for when I titled this space Unashamed Growth…. I had no idea the insanely phenomenal women I would meet, the amazing opportunities that would come from such an idea that I wasn’t even sure about in the first place.
I had no idea how we would be shaped and reshaped over the course of the next few years.

But, I’m grateful.
I would have missed so much. I would have missed God in so many places, wouldn’t have seen Him ALIVE in so many people. I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for my inability to have my own children.

lola2I’m reading Nehemiah along a billion other women over at She Reads Truth…. and, last week we saw how we each have a work to do, a specific and very important job that is meant to benefit the body of Christ. No matter how seemingly small and insignificant; trusting & obeying God with your efforts, your motives, your passions, your everything will impact the community and will be for your good & God’s glory. We also saw how great a motivator and team player Nehemiah was. He was a leader that heard his people and responded. How many of us truly take time to hear our girlfriends and address their needs or ease their burdens when they need us to?

Small tokens of gratitude, words of encouragement, smiles, watching a friend’s kids while they have a nap or run to the grocery store without four or six other hands pulling at them or items off a shelf HELPS the body. It strengthens us. Those moments of love in action matter. We never know how the enormity of a word or action that feels or seems small to us, can change the trajectory of another person’s day – both good and bad.

This journey is painful, but humbling at the same time.
We’re hoping that this portion of our story will be over soon and that we’ll be growing and experiencing God in our roles as forever parents one day.

But, until then…. we’re content with where we are, learning more and more everyday that the grace of God is more than enough. That HE, alone, is what our hearts yearn for the most.

Thank you for standing in the yuck and pain with us. Your presence and words have mattered a great deal!

*** photo cred: Trent Williams of Memorable Reflections ***
He asked me to model Lola (my hair, yes. she has a name & an insta! – @lo.lah) for a natural hair project, Hair Like Mine, he’s working on for his magazine. I was pretty freaking excited to do this for him & can’t wait to see the finished product!!!

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… cancer really sucks

Today, I had the most amazing day but to be honest, my heart is kinda heavy and is breaking in so many ways.

mekrystal

I have a really wonderful friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 27. TWENTY FREAKIN SEVEN years old. Thankfully, THANKFULLY, thankfully, as of this past year, at 30, she is cancer free.

For that, I will forever thank God for. She is the most incredible woman who has the most positive outlook on life and is so supportive of her friends and family. This gal is  a gem.
krystal

Today, I learned that a woman whom I’m connected to in a couple of exciting ways, is battling breast cancer. My heart completely broke for her. For her young daughter. Her family.

I think about everything that we go through in this life, I consider all of my friends and their struggles and I think about how BIG we make the small stuff. How silly we behave when things don’t go our way. How easily we break away from relationships before we truly attempt to find solutions, and tough out the tough stuff. How we value things and neglect people. How we are such a self absorbed people.
meishagirl

My survivor acquaintance/friend’s shirt says “A selfie (self exam) saved my life!”

Today in Houston, The Sisters Network, Inc. hosted its 5th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness 5k Walk/Run. I truly had a wonderful time and ran into women I hadn’t seen in a while, ran into a survivor acquaintance, and was in awe of the love and support shown for women who have battled this cancer.

As I thought about this post, I literally thought that it would be this sweet, fluffy post about how truly great today was. (and, it was really great.) But, I honestly can’t. My heart is aching and broken for women and families who have to endure such a difficult task before them. Such a life altering task. It changes everything. It changes how families will be expanded, it effects and challenges how women view their bodies and their femininity. It grows you up, strengthens you, and puts life into perspective.
meishasurvivorselfie

I’m thinking about how unfair all of these difficulties seem.
 I have friends whose children are stuck in the DRC. I have friends whose babies are waiting for them in orphanages. Women are battling infertility. I have a friend who went on a trip to Uganda with a team who removed jiggers (little mama bugs that furrow in shoeless feet and have baby bugs that just hang out causing immense pain) from the feet of little ones. There are people who are living on the street. Who don’t have clean water. Who are being abused. Who are struggling with life. People are literally fighting day in and day out for their lives.

There seems to be no justice. No consideration of how much a person has experienced and endured. No thought behind a person’s character. No peace. No rest. No relief. No break. (Ever feel that way?)

There is nothing easy about this life. It is full of disappointments, heartache, and pain.
And, yes, some people seem to have it easier than others. But, the truth of the matter is, we’re all struggling in some way. We will all struggle. We have all struggled. No one is exempt.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on Him, for he cares for you.

The beautiful thing about the pain of this life is that not only is it temporary (thank God!), but we don’t endure it alone. We aren’t in it by ourselves. Yes, we are given amazing people to walk these roads with, but better than having our people with us, we have a God who is the creator of all walking with us. Leading us. Guiding us. Comforting us. And, bearing our burdens for us. I know I keep saying that, but it’s truly what keeps me sane. I can’t get past who God is.

Nothing is lost on Him.
He is righteous and always right. He is thoughtful, purposeful, and just.

girls

Today was beautiful. The weather was amazing and totally made liars of the meteorologists and apps that forecasted a rainy, cold day. I celebrated life. The lives of two cancer survivors and the life of a sweet, little girl who turned 4 today. A little girl we prayed pretty hard for. The life of the one we’re waiting to come home. Celebrated the lives of God’s people who are in this thing fighting with everything they have in them. Who are believing Him to be exactly who He said he is.

Today, through the difficulties of life, I was reminded of how faithful God is and how beautiful and inspiring life can be is.
How if we stay focused on God, our hope remains in tact and our perspectives positive.

… here’s to feeling your boobies & getting mammograms. Do it! Do it! Do it!

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… written on the heart

Whatever it is you feed your mind, will dictate your thoughts………

4mth

February was slated to be quite the exciting month…. if not for one reason, definitely another. We waited to hear if we were going to be the parents of a sweet one due at the beginning of March (she happened to make her debut on the 26th!) and if we weren’t to adopt her, we would join our agency and attend orientation on the 27th & 28th.

But, as it happened, none of those events happened.
We experienced our first failed adoption and due to discrepencies between ourselves and our agency on discipline, we were not able to attend this month’s meetings. We have to complete online trainings on alternate forms of discipline (aside from spanking) in order to attend orientation next month.

Calamity. Castrophe. Cataclysm.

Always.

And, it’s okay. Now,at least.

It wasn’t okay for a few hours. There were tears and frustration concealed and managed.

Very abrasive, destructive, and negative thoughts were combatted with quietly whispered truth.
“My grace is sufficient”
“I am with you”
“I am God”

Over and over and over again.

Then reading Psalms 36 that night was amazing…. and, immediately brought to mind Third Day’s song, Your Love, Oh Lord, whose lyrics are taken directly from the scripture, comforted and encouraged me.
****** I’m huge on Contemporary Christian music and I’m always sideeyed but I love it because the lyrics are scripture. Can’t beat that! It’s true, honest, and even the most upbeat & pump your fist songs are filled with a peacefulness! I mean, how could it not be?! ******
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(photo by Christin McQueen)

My youngest neice (above and below, 3yrs old) called and said “let’s say a pray” and literally made me repeat everything she said. She thanked God for mouths to eat, teeth to chomp like alligators, and noses to smell flowers, for the dentists who clean our teeth…. she thanked God for animals and who knows what else. It was beyond adorable and sweet. It reminded me that even though nothing is perfect… there is so much to be grateful for. (Even mouses… no, mices.. wait, mice!)

ari dinner

Her older sister (8 yrs old) left me messages saying that we could have her and asking if we could go get her (she lives in Georgia) and bring her down to live with us. lol. Totally cute. And, I can’t wait until they come down for the summer! One full month of auntie/neice loving is never enough but certainly makes for an entertaining summer!

aliya graduationaliya cheer

Our time will soon come…..

In the meantime, we will continue to use our time wisely and prepare so that when our time makes its debut, we will be ready.

While I do that, this curly mane of mine will continue to grow in beauty and length! lol. I am really, REALLY loving my hair, watching it grow, and learning how to manipulate and maintain it!  I don’t regret chopping my hair off four months ago (read about it here!) and I’ve enjoyed the journey we’ve been on!

Nevertheless…..
He is the solid rock on which I stand….. His grace is sufficient, and He is with me. All things will pass away. Our plans will be ruined, we will experience disappointment, sadness, and grief. But at the end of the day, His mercies, grace, and presence will sustain us.

…. here’s to writing His word on our hearts, tying them to our hands, and binding them on our foreheads. This way, we cannot get away from and will constantly be reminded of His goodness and faithfulness.

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