Thursday, November 19, 2015

Time as Gift

Again this week I was reminded that the first plan for Dare Bear is to return home.

I agree philosophically that this should always be the first plan and that it should be difficult to take a child away from his mother!

Emotionally, this reality is quite painful. The image that comes to mind to explain this is as if there was a funnel dripping a truth serum from my head into my heart and it burns! I haven't broken down but I'm living with a constant dull ache as reality becomes real.

When I think about his time with us in the context of our journey towards parenthood, it can be even more challenging to think that he will leave us. Is this God's plan for our life, to become parents and then to have parenthood taken away? Is this the answer to our prayers, temporary earthly happiness followed always by pain and loneliness? If God is our gift-giving Father where is our gift?

Now, I'll be the first to admit that these thoughts are theologically flawed. Of course the first gift is the gift of our life and if Christ is the model for our life, how can we not expect pain in life?

But when I was praying out those doubting thoughts, God didn't answer with theologically reason. He answered that TIME is our gift. We have the wonderful gift of time with Dare Bear. We get to know and love this awesome little man right now. This is an amazing gift! We have been given this time with him. Does the lack of certain permanency change the preciousness of today? NO! So again, God calls me back to the present; to live a life of love now.

I have been praying for a miracle in Dare Bear's life. Whether that is a total healing for his family or that he gets to stay with us, I have been crying out for a miracle in his life. The Bible verse that keeps coming to mind is, "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil; to give you a future and a hope." Jer. 29:11

God wants Dare Bear to have a beautiful future even even then I do. He loves him more than I do. Our God is a God of Life and Love and I will trust in Him.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fast for Trudeau, Fast for Canada

Yesterday evening I was starring at my computer screen praying for the results to STOP! Everyone could see where they were heading and I was scared. I still am.

As a pro-life Christian, I am scared for my country, for my family, for my friends, for the children and their families I connect with through foster care. As a pro-life Christian, my priority is the most vulnerable in our world. How can I trust that this is the governments priority when pro-lifer can't be involved with this government?

I feel helpless. I work in pro-life work. As a FertilityCare Practitioner I like to think of myself working with pre-crisis pregnancies. With the Theology of the Body ministry I am involved in, I try to help others see their dignity, their beauty and the BEAUTY of the TRUTH. But I feel helpless.

So, I've decided to start fasting on Wednesdays for Trudeau and for Canada. I will be giving up food delights for the sake of Canada and for Trudeau's conversion every Wednesday.

Will you join me?

Friday, August 28, 2015

If You Call Me To It...

This week has been difficult; not for any big reason but for many small ones. I have been reminded many times this week that the little boy I love so much is not 'mine' and may not be with me this time next year. This may be the only summer I have with him. This reality is a hard one to be reminded of. That Dare Bear may leave is a knife through my heart.

When people talk about loving adopted or foster children as their own, I always assumed that they were right but now I am living it and I'll tell you, I can't imagine loving this guy more than I do. Yet, each day I fall more in love.

This love is a conflicted love. Love wants to be around the person loved yet my love for Dare Bear may require losing him. Letting him go would be the loving thing to do. This is what foster care is, to love and lose. We knew this going in but now, as I look on his lovable face, it is personal. And I cry!

So I turn to the cross.

In Dare Bear's room there is a crucifix. I stare at it as I bounce and sway Dare Bear to sleep. Love requires losing. I am convinced that God wants us to be foster parents. I am convinced that God meant for us to be Dare Bear's foster parents. So I surrender.

If You call me TO it, you'll give me the strength to DO it! 

I rely on you, Lord. And I cry!

Jesus, I trust in You!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Foster Care/Adoption Journey: The Seven Most Useful Preparations

Our Foster Care and Adoption Approval Journey
6. The Seven Most Useful Preparations
7. First Placement (The Adventures of Dare Bear: Details coming soon!)

* We got our first placement!*

On June 9th, 2015, we welcomed our first foster care placement into our hearts and our home. Dare Bear was 7 month old and a hefty 20 lbs when he arrived. We are so happy to be able to get to know this "little" boy but our hearts break that he is in this situation. Many prayers needed for family healing!

At the time that we got the call I was working on a blog post entitled, "Getting Ready for Placement." It was going to be a long post as I tend to over prepare. In fact, everyone who knows me told me that I was over prepared. Between the time that we found out about Dare Bear and when he actually came to live with us, though, I was convinced that I was not prepared at all. I was freaking out. So I spent MORE time preparing. I will, some day, do a post about all the preparations I did but I wanted to highlight the seven preparations that I did that turned out to be the most useful.

7. Decided on Diapers and Formula Brands
I may be alone in this but I get overwhelmed by the amount of choices in baby products. Knowing ahead of time what would be my top choice to use if possible was so helpful. In the mad rush between placement call and placement I didn't have to make this decision. I just went out and picked up the right size of diapers. Now, being flexible saved me here when it came to formula. I knew my second choice of formula too. Unfortunately, my first choice of formula didn't make sense since he was a bit older and wouldn't be on as much formula since he's started solids. My first choice involved a lot of work to get it here (expensive America organic formula) so I settled on my second choice with relative ease. All my obsessive research paid off.

6. Had Some Baby Supplies (Toys, Clothes, Food, Blankets)
Again, this saved some hustle and bustle in the beginning. I knew I had a few outfits, some baby food and some toys available. I didn't have to rush out immediately. That being said, I did rush out and pick up more clothes and food but it gave me time to see what he fit into and what food and toys he liked. Plus, saved me money as I was able to buy things used and on sale. (Yes, I ended up with some clothes that were the wrong size and gender but they are still usable for the next placement.)

5. Decided on Work-Leave and Informed Clients of Possibility
Literally 3 days before we got the call, I sent an email out to all my FertilityCare clients sharing the news that we were approved as foster parents and what the plan would be for work-leave. I decided to take a month off completely. Of course, I didn't know WHEN the call would come so I told my clients that, unless they were within the first 4-5 follow-ups, we would be cancelling and rescheduling any appointments that were in that month, whenever it would be. Little did I know that I would be contacting all my clients with June appointments! Preparing a leave plan and forewarning my clients made the transition go very smoothly. Also, having an online scheduling service where my clients could reschedule their appointments themselves meant that there was little scheduling work I had to do.

4. Had a Crib/ Nursery Set Up 
This was something that was a bit controversial during foster care training. Many workers warned us that it could be emotionally difficult to see a set-up nursery with no child in it. I understood their point. For me, there was no debate though. I knew that I wanted to spend the time creating a happy place and the nursery was a source of hope more than impatience. G-Man and I have been waiting for years to welcome a child into our home, many times thinking it would never happen. Having the reminder that a child was coming soon encouraged us daily. Yes, there were times I would look around the completed nursery and ache for the missing child. But this would have happened if the nursery wasn't there too. I would have stood in the empty room. At least, having completed the nursery, I was standing somewhere cheerful.

Also, having the nursery completed meant that I didn't have to worry about the big things when we got the call. I had a crib. I had a change table. I had storage space. I did this work when I had the time too.

3. Saved Money
G-Man and I don't have a lot of extra money and we knew that when we got a placement there would be upfront costs that wouldn't be in the budget for that week. SO, when we got our tax return back, we saved it. When we got the call, we had the money already there to buy a car seat and other supplies. I didn't think that we would need all the money but, since I didn't have FertilityCare money coming in for the first month, it was all used! Not having huge financial concerns along with new-baby worries was so helpful!

2. Bought a Baby Carrier!
LIFESAVER! We expected a younger baby, perhaps even a newborn so we expected to have a bucket seat car seat. I purchased (used) a universal "stroller" frame for the seat to click into. This was suppose to be temporary until we knew what stroller we wanted. However, Dare Bear was basically almost to big for a bucket seat so we got a convertible car seat. This meant that our "stroller" was useless. And that I would have had no way to transport his 20 lb awesomeness around except my arms. BUT, I was prepared! I bought a used, older style Lillebaby carrier. It was similar to the Ergo and I got it for $20. Honestly, I would not have made it through the first week (heck the first 2 days) without this carrier.

Right from the very beginning I was using the Lillebaby. He loved it and I was able to save my arms! I have since upgraded to a new Lillebaby in a pretty purple. I use this multiple times a day. I can not live without my carrier! Best purchase!

1. Prayed a Novena
I will end on a spiritual note. We got the call about the possible placement 9 days before the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary so we decided to start a novena in preparation for Dare Bear's arrival. We did a twin novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart. Dare Bear arrived half way through it. We prayed for his and his mother's health, happiness and holiness. This is our continued prayer.

I will say that we said a couple novena's through out the whole process, before we got the call. This has been a wonderful way of focusing directly on foster care and reforming our hearts to welcome in a stranger.

I will be continuing to pray novena's for Dare Bear and his whole family. I ask that you join me!

Overall, I am very happy that I "over"prepared. This adjustment has been hard enough. Other things I did that were very helpful were reading some baby and childcare books, especially those with a foster care or adoption slant, organizing and reducing the amount of stuff we have throughout our apartment, and preparing a foster care binder to hold all of Dare Bear's paperwork.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Unexpected Prayers!

So I got very surprising news today. I have been chosen as the blogger to receive all your wonderful prayers this month through Adopt-a-Blogger. 

A Bit About Me
My husband and I have been married for almost 6 years. He is a Latin-Mass going large-family grown Catholic and I came into the Catholic faith through the charismatic movement. We are the proof that opposites attract! I am a Creighton Model FertilityCare Practitioner. I LOVE the Theology of the Body and I have been taking courses with the Theology of the Body Institute for many years. One of the hardest things for me to deal with growing up was not knowing how to deal with my curly hair.

Infertility History
We knew before we got married that conceiving would be difficult. My hubs, G-Man, has had cancer many times. We found out in November, 2011 that he has no sperm. We spent years mourning this and discerning what this meant for our family. Recently we have discovered some health issues on my part that would have made conceiving difficult even if he did have the little go-getters. Infertility is a never quite healing wound; a bruise that could be poked at any time. Living with it has made me question everything I thought I knew about life. In my darkest moments, it has only been the fact that time moves on that got me out of bed. BUT in my brightest moments, I can say that infertility, as all suffering can do, has made me a better person and I am grateful for it (I say this only after I have eaten a lot of chocolate). 

Foster Care and Adoption
In June, 2014, we decided to learn more about foster care and adopting. We quickly fell in love with the program and we were officially approved as foster parents in January of this year. 

In June of this year, exactly one year after we started the process, we welcomed an eight month old munchkin into our hearts and our home. There is no telling how long he will be with us and parenting as an infertile couple deserves its own blog post (coming soon... once I get some sleep!). Needless to say, we are over-the-moon to get the chance to know our foster son, Dare Bear.

Prayer Requests
Thank you for your prayers! Please pray for our transition into parenthood and our relationship throughout this transition. Please pray for Dare Bear; pray that all involved in his care may only have his best interests at heart and for God's will to be done in his life. AND, please pray that we soon will have a child we can love and raise permanently, whoever that may be.

Monday, April 13, 2015

What My Body CAN Do

I like to think of myself as a positive person. I try, as much as possible, to see the good in situations and people. Along with this, I like to appreciate the good things in my life. Except my body. I don't often think about the good things about my body.

Today was a fantastic day. Beautiful weather (finally) and a great meeting filled me with peace and joy.

I walked to work today. The walk is about a 20 minute one through downtown. I don't walk to work often enough and as I was walking home this afternoon I was thinking about how I should walk more. I started thinking about how I should exercise more and, since I was drinking a wonderful fancy coffee beverage that I shouldn't have been drinking, I was also thinking about how I should eat better then I do. Overall, I was getting down on myself. Then, in a moment of grace, I thought about how I'm not positive about my body. This thought was like God speaking to my heart. It was so quiet and quick that I almost missed it. But, by the grace of God, I didn't. Instead I started pondering it in my heart.

The idea that I am so negative about my body and it's abilities is shocking to me. I spend so much time thinking and praying about the Theology of the Body. And while this has certainly inspired me to take better care of my body and has affected how I think about my body as a concept, I am shocked to discover that it hasn't yet affected how I feel about my body or what I think about my body in particular. Primarily and extensively, my thoughts and feelings about my body are negative ones. "I can't do this." "I can't eat that." But this stopped today.

As I continued walking I decided to think about what my body CAN do and the amount of things I can up with was amazing. I have so much to be grateful for. What a gift my body is!

I can walk. How amazing it is to move independently. Yes, I have to move slower then some others and yes, my body aches more than I would like. But I can walk. I can move. I can connect physically with the larger world around me. How quickly this thought becomes one of accusation and judgement. "I should walk more." "Why don't I exercise more?" "Why am I so lazy." But today I quiet those voices (actually, to say it impolitely but accurately,  I am telling those voices to SHUT UP) because, today, I am being positive about my body's abilities. I am grateful I can walk!

I can quilt and sew. What a great talent I have inherited from my mother's family. I spent most of the weekend sewing items and having a blast. I can create beautiful and useful items. I can take fabric and thread and put it together to form something new. How amazing is that! How awesome to partner with God in this way!

I can sing. Recently, the voice in my head has been saying, "Oh, you used to sing so well. You are out of practice. Shame!" Again, today, I reject this voice. I love to sing. And I am grateful that I can make music with my body. I love that I can praise the Lord with my voice.

On that note, I am grateful I can speak. I can speak about God's goodness. I can communicate with those around me. I can commune with those around me. I can form unions with those around me because of my body. This is what I am most grateful for; the ability to connect with those I love. I can touch my husband. I can shake hands and exchange greetings to a new friend. I can smile at the cashier when I buy coffee.

My body allows me to connect with this beautiful world and specifically the beautiful people around me. So, today, I am being positive about my beautiful body!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Foster Care/Adoption Journey Part 5. Approval and Waiting

Our Foster Care and Adoption Approval Journey
5. Approval and Waiting
6. Getting Ready for Placement
7. First Placement (This has NOT happened yet!)

5. Approval and Waiting

By the end of November we were finished both our training and our home study. Entering this process, I had always thought, 'Hopefully, we'll be approved by Christmas." Our wonderful home study worker told us we would be approved possibly as early as end of November. She thought for sure by Christmas. I was so excited. Things were moving faster then I thought they would for once.

Oh, how naive I was.

Our advent was spent waiting to be approved. It was actually the most peaceful advent I think I've experienced since getting married.

Just before Christmas, our home study worker called us and told us that our file was done and ready for us to read. We scheduled our approval meeting for Jan 8th at 3pm. I was very pleased to have the date set and the file to review over Christmas break.

January 8th came. We had spent the days previous cleaning up our apartment. This would be the meeting where we met the Matching Worker. This lady (M) is the person who will match us with children. This is a very important meeting. Leading up to the meeting we prayed a novena that M would get a good and true sense of us in the short time we had.

At 2:45pm, we were ready. Tea was on. Everything was set. And it was snowing like crazy!!

At 3:05pm, I thought, "Well, maybe the snow is delaying them."

At 3:10pm, I checked twitter and saw that there was a bomb threat at Canadian Tire on the other end of town (for my American readers, Canadian Tire is a hardware store of sorts). Yes, a bomb threat. Almost comical, except I was convinced that they were driving from that end of town and this is why they were late. (Sidenote: There was no bomb.)

By 3:20pm, I was concerned, so I called my home study worker.

When I asked where she was she said, "At my desk, waiting for you."

... ...

My heart stopped. I said,"What?! I thought the meeting was here?" (All of our previous meetings were at our home.)

I told her that we would leave right now and get there as soon as we could. She said that she hoped so because they both had other meetings at 4:15pm. AHH!

Luckily, we are only 5 minutes away from the agency's building. Of course, we had to find our car under the snow and try to drive safely through the snow covered streets. But we did and it only took us 10mins to get there. By 3:35pm, we were sitting down together.

Grant was such a rock for those 15 minutes. I was freaking out... just a little bit. This is not how I wanted this to go! I was worried that there wouldn't be enough time with the matching worker when we had an hour. Now what!? Grant, though, reminded me, that we had been praying for this meeting and God was giving us exactly how much time we needed. He was right (as usual).

Our meeting went so well. I was a bit nervous so I was talking a mile a minute, which Grant told me after. But we felt like M completely 'got' us! AND she told us that we may not be waiting very long for our first placement! The meeting was a success!

For the next few days I was in an excited haze. A couple days later a lady from Family and Children's Services called Grant at work because she couldn't get a hold of me at home. For a moment, Grant was sure that this was THE call and he though to himself, "Boy, that WAS fast." Alas, she was just entering our information into the system and she wanted to confirm our phone number. But this phone call set the stage for how we approach phone calls now. 

The excited butterflies have quieted down a bit now as we settle into the waiting. "Luckily" infertility and my slow-moving husband have increased my patience 10 fold over the last 5 years. Now I'm not sure that folding very little patience over 10 times amounts to a lot of patience, but it is more than I had 5 years ago. So we wait...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Foster Care/Adoption Journey Part 4: Telling Family and Friends

Our Foster Care and Adoption Approval Journey
4. Telling Family and Friends
6. Getting Ready for Placement
7. First Placement (This has NOT happened yet!)

Fourth Session: Telling Family and Friends
Since we considered our training and home study our discernment time, we waited to tell all of our family and friends  until we were more sure that we would be following through with becoming foster parents. But, if you've read the previous section about our discernment, you'll know we were  mostly confirmed that this was our path pretty quickly.

My parents knew early on as they were references for me. One of G-Man's brothers was a reference for him and we had two sets of friends who were also references for us. They all knew, obviously. But we asked them to keep it quiet.

Three weeks into our training, and about 4 home study visits done, we were visiting my family for Thanksgiving (Canadian, Mid-October).  We decided to tell my sisters then. We ended up telling my Grandparents that weekend too. We told Grant's parents around that time as well. The response was wonderful and honest and inquisitive. My dad had a lot of great questions about the process and everyone expressed concern for us and our hearts. Overall we felt loved and it was nice to share our excitement with others.

We decided to make an official announcement during advent. Honestly, we thought that we would be approved by then and so we wanted to share our waiting in the season of waiting. We thought of many different ways to share the news. We settled on sending out announcement cards. So then we had to decide on the picture of the card. 

Here are a few picture ideas that I liked:

Now, if you know us, you know that we aren't picture-people, especially G-Man. So he wasn't really on board with these pictures. 

During this time, we were slowing putting together our nursery. (That could be another post, and maybe it will... putting together the nursery was a blast, it was emotional and it was healing.) And my family wanted to see pictures when it was done. So eventually we realized that having pictures of our nursery on the announcement would be perfect! We wouldn't have to be in the picture, it would still be personal and my family would get too see the nursery. So we 'finished' the nursery and took some pictures. 
Here is the finished product!

We love it! Of course, our cat, Martha, had to make it in the pictures. And Ralph, the Christmas moose (a family tradition/weird joke). 

We got a wonderful response to these announcement cards! 

Soon after sharing with people, we did start getting wonderfully thoughtful emails about individual children people thought we could adopt. Some from places of work, others from families they knew. But we weren't ready for that yet. We weren't approved and there are many hoops to jump through when dealing with Family and Children Services and Children's Aid Societies.  We did always discuss these children and their situations and pray for them, that they find their forever homes. We had a peace about it, for the most part, (and Grant more so). We were not in a rush. We actually were enjoying the process and, for once, I wasn't in a rush!

A HUGE highlight of telling others was the support. We have a great family and very giving friends! Two  friend couples in particular decided to throw me a baby shower. Words can not express how grateful I am to them for this. It was an emotionally rich event. One I will talk about in another post because I do want to share in more detail the experience of an infertile  woman having a baby shower.

Overall, telling others about our plans to grow our family through foster care and adoption, has been an enriching experience. I think we both were nervous because this journey feels so intimate and precious, like a secret desire locked away in our hearts, like a little life growing in our hearts and we want to protect it from the harsh world. But the support was so wonderful. We felt like our desire, our little life, was safe.  Hope in a life of being a parent felt a bit unreal for us and sharing it made it come alive.

The question then became, "Are we ready? Are we ready to wait? Will we be approved and when?"

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Foster Care/Adoption Journey Part 3. Active Discernment

Our Foster Care and Adoption Approval Journey
3. Our Active Discernment/ Training and Home Study
6. Getting Ready for Placement
7. First Placement (This has NOT happened yet!)

Third Session: Active Discernment/ Training and Home Study
We started the process back in June. We reached out to Family and Children's Services for more information about becoming foster parents and adoption. Of course, everyone was on vacation, so we didn't get to sit down with a worker and receive the application until the beginning of August.

So in June we decided that it was time to start actively discerning if foster care and adoption is how we are being asked to love others, to live out our marital vows of being open to life. We did not enter the process KNOWING that we were going to become foster parents. We decided we would take it week by week. We were blessed with a wonderful training and home study process. The training ran 10 weeks of Wednesday evenings and the home study was happening at the same time. After each week's session, G-Man and I would discuss together what we thought of the nights training, how we saw the themes playing out in our life and, indirectly, if we would be returning the following week.

About half way through the training, I turned to G-Man during one of the sessions and said (well, wrote, we were passing notes like high school students), "If you are thinking you don't want to do this, tell me soon because I am becoming more and more committed." Very quickly after starting the training sessions, I started noticing my heart burning in class. And I truly mean I felt like my heart was burning and swelling! It was filling up with love for the future children who would come under my roof. After that class, G-Man shared that he, too, was sensing this was our path.

One key sign for us that this was our path was how the my idea of growing our family, my struggles with infertility and the monthly wait between ovulation and the next cycle changed. It is funny how you develop pictures in your head and heart of what your family is going to look like. For a long time there was a painful disconnect with the picture in my heart of our family and the reality before us. Pregnancy wasn't a realistic probability and yet the picture in my heart was one of conception, pregnancy and birth. There were times when the reality seemed to be permanent childlessness and the picture was full of children! 

This picture of our family in my heart changed as we went through the training. Now I wanted our family to look different then what we thought for years it would look like. Now I WANTED our family to look different then our friends families. I wanted the challenge of foster care and adoption. When we discussed loss, the hard places the children have been and how difficult this would be, how this requires for a different type of parenting, I was feeling called out! The picture in my heart was changing and it was matching the reality before us!

This hit home the most when I had a long cycle during the training. As a FertilityCare practitioner you would think that I don't have confusing charting times. I do, like everyone. Sometimes my cycle throws a curve ball at me. This was one of those times. And I took a pregnancy test, the first pregnancy test I took in years. And it was negative, of course. But during that time, when I thought about pregnancy, yes, part of me was happy with the 'possibility' but I noticed a disconnect in my heart between this slim possibility and what I wanted. I didn't want to be pregnant, not like I wanted to do foster care and adoption. My heart wasn't yearning for pregnancy like it was yearning for foster care and adoption!  I'd like to think that this was God unifying my hearts desires to His will. This was a huge confirmation for us that this is the path we are to take!

When we started the training we were both very nervous about foster care, birth families and really the sense of unknown and lack of control. But as we went through the training, we became more and more confirmed that God is in control. We still, obviously, don't know what our placement situation is going to look like but we are excited. Our life is quiet, peaceful, calm and orderly right now. We felt like we were standing on the brink of a mess. We don't have to jump into the mess. We could just stay in our calm life. But Christ was there, in the mess, calling us out. Or, to get more biblical, we felt safe in the boat but Christ was out on the water, calling us to risk it and come out onto the water with Him. We decided to risk it, to make a mess of our calm life, to stir the pot and agitate our peaceful life. We can't wait!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Foster Care/Adoption Journey Part 2. Long-Term Discernment

Our Foster Care and Adoption Approval Journey
2. Our Long-Term Discernment
7. First Placement (This has NOT happened yet!)

2. Long-Term Discernment
Since the very beginning of our marriage adoption and foster care was something that we discussed. We knew when we got married that having biological children would be difficult. We didn't think impossible.  In November of 2011, when we learned that we would not be having biological children, we started thinking more seriously about foster care and adoption. But we wanted to give ourselves time to heal and mourn; time enough so that when/if we started the process towards adoption, we knew we weren't looking for a replacement child but rather because we felt called to grow our love through this particular journey. 

There were a few times between November 2011 and June 2014 that we almost reached out to start the process but it just didn't click. Honestly, sometimes it felt like it was G-Man who was holding us back from it. He didn't feel 'ready' (whatever that means). But through that waiting, I grew in my understanding of my own feminine and mothering heart. God was using Grant to slow me down, as He often does. 

We thought we were waiting for G-Man to have a better job; to be a little bit more financially set. So we focused on finding a better job for G-Man. 3 years, multiple novena (including a 54 day rosary novena) and (no lie) more than 400 job applications, and only one interview. Yes, you read that right. This has been so hard on G-Man and myself. He is doing everything, including reaching out to people he knows and reviewing his resume with professionals. Nothing. We finally had to reach the conclusion that he is not meant to leave his job right now. He is still applying to other jobs and still working hard at his current job (and loving it!) but we realized that, right now, this is where he is suppose to be.

Once we came to that realization, we changed our focus. Our focus became readying ourselves for parenthood. In my case, readying my heart for heart break and motherhood. This particular journey to opening my heart again to the possibility of motherhood started in October, 2013 at the course Theology of the Body and the Interior Life run by the TOB Institute. (Read about that here

I left that course with the goal to be pregnant with grace, with divine life, with Christ's love and life within me. So since that course, I have had this frequent mental image come throughout prayer times. The image is of my womb. (Stay with me, this is going somewhere). My womb is the inside of a church and Mary and Jesus are dancing together in it. Sometimes it is the Child Jesus in Mary's arms as she dances around. Other times it is Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus all holding each other. And occasionally, it was the image of Christ as an embryo implanting in my uterus. All of this to say, I was feeling more connected to myself as mother, regardless of my childlessness. God was slowly revealing and reawakening my mothering heart. (Someday soon I want to share with you my reflections on femininity and motherhood, especially as an infertile woman. But that is another post. I touch on it here) I started associating mothering more with femininity and less with children (biological or otherwise). And the wounds caused by infertility were starting to heal. 

So we entered 2014 with the sense that God was preparing us for our own 'nativity.' 

From January to June I was discovering peace and a mothering integration in my life. My heart started to feel steady rather than bruised. This was a slow process, I almost didn't even notice it. There were (and are) still days of deep sorrow because of our infertility but the balance of good days to bad was shifting. 

Looking back on that time, I don't know what sparked that moment when we decided to reach out for more information about foster care. It was just a moment, a second, when we decided to have another conversation about adoption. But this time, we took action. This time, we were ready. So in June, 2014 we reached out.

Discernment was about to become much more active!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

All of Me: Blog Announcement

I am very excited to share with you our news!!
We are approved as Resources Parents for Family and Children Services.
We are now foster parents with the intent to adopt.
We are waiting for our first placement. 

This, obviously, has been in the works for months now. 
And I want to share it all with you. 
So over 7 blog posts, I will share every step of this journey with you. 
Please pray for us as the journey continues!

Our Foster Care and Adoption Approval Journey

1. General Thoughts about Upcoming Journey/ All of Me
2. Our Long-Term Discernment

1. General Thoughts about Upcoming Journey/ All of Me
G-man and I firming believe that our marriage and our life is and can be complete without children. Let me rephrase, I don't believe that every marriage is called to have children. Most are, the common mode of being open to life is to welcome children in your marriage. YES! That is very true and very holy. But, the question is, is every couple who is struggling with infertility, called to do everything they can to have children in their life? NO! If we never had children, would we be less called to holiness, less happy? Would our marriage somehow be less? NO! We firmly believe we are a family NOW. Our family, our particular mission to love and vocation to holiness, started with our wedding vows. So instead G-Man and I discerned the mode of our love. How are we being called to live our vocation to LOVE? Are we to add children to our family through foster care and adoption?

We believe, Yes. This is how, as least right now, we are being asked to love.

We are open to fostering a child 0-2 years of age and if they become available for adoption, we are committed to adopting them. However, we are also committed to helping and supporting their birth families and kin in whatever way we can. We know there will be heartbreak on this journey. Our intention is to fall head over heels in love with whoever is placed with us and then wholeheartedly let them go if needed. Because any child placed with us is worth, as a minimum, all of ourselves. Christ gave all of himself for us and for that child, personally. So G-Man and I believe that if we are to do this, if this is how we are called to live out our married love, we will do it like Christ, completely.

So in conclusion of post one I leave you with 5 quotes that have inspired our journey and a song that sums up the state of our hearts as we begin our waiting.

"The world offers you comfort. 
But you were not made for comfort, 
you were made for greatness!" 
Pope Benedict XVI

"For with Christ, I am prepared to suffer still more." 
St. Maximilian Kolbe

"We can't love without suffering and 
we can't suffer without love." 
St. Gianna Beretta Molla

"To be happy what you need is not an easy life 
but a heart which is in love" 
St. Josemaria Escriva

"Are you capable of risking your life for someone? 
Do it for Christ" 
St. John Paul the Great!

Please pray for us as we being actively waiting for a child to be placed in our arms and in our hearts!