Knitted Together

“For you formed my inward parts;

you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you,

when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me,

when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

If I would count them, they are more than the sand.

I awake, and I am still with you.”

~Psalms 139: 13-18

I remember studying this Psalm on a women’s retreat back in 2013. It is a beautiful reminder that God has a plan for each of us, and that He knows every part of us. He formed each and every one of us with a very specific plan and purpose. This thought astounds me even more today, as I think about the way that He has built our family.

God knew our children before Steven and I had any idea when they would arrive, how many children would be a part of our family, or what lives they might lead. He knew about Hannah long before we knew (although He gave us a little glimpse of this promise), and He knew when that group of 7 embryos came to be (when Steven and I were still teenagers, growing up ourselves). God has a purpose and a plan for each of His precious children, and He knows our days.

I think about all of this often as a mother. I think about how God searches me and helps me to grow into the person He desires. I think about my influence on my children, and how I can positively influence them on a daily basis. I pray that I am upholding my end of the deal and growing our children into the people that God desires for them to become. Being a mother is a high calling, and after years of waiting, I am blessed that God has given me this purpose.

As we await the arrival of our third baby, I pray for him daily. I pray that he can arrive safely, and that God can wrap His arms around him. God had this little embryo in his plans and even on this earth long before I ever knew, and He has been watching over him. That will not change when he joins our family here soon.

I am thankful for God’s purposes and plan…please continue to search my heart, Lord.

Who is Writing our Story?

“If I’ve learned anything in this process, it’s don’t write your ending before it happens”.

~Brett Russo, “The Underwear in my Shoe”

I just finished reading this book- and let me just say, it was a good read! It is a lady’s journey through IVF, and her story through infertility. This line in her book really struck me, likely because it’s so true.

When Steven and I first started trying to conceive, after years of school, establishing our careers, and being married for 4 years, we thought we were choosing how our family would form. Little did we know at the start of the journey just how far from the truth that was! We had spent years of learning how easy it was to get pregnant and how important prevention was (thank you, public school), and thought for sure the only thing that had stopped us from having a baby before that point in time when we wanted to have a baby was that little NuvaRing. God certainly has a sense of humor!

The first month that we tried, we were on a trip to Acadia National Park. It was magical, and I thought what a memorable way to start our family. When my period came, I cried. I also lost a bet with Steven that I would buy him Annabelle’s ice cream if we didn’t get pregnant! The next month was renewed hope…but once again disappointment. I distinctly remember when we were 11 months in to trying, going for a walk with Steven and being so caught up in my emotions that I yelled at him (through tears, of course), “What if we never have a baby?! I can’t do this forever! What if we spend years trying?!”

After about a year of trying to get pregnant was when it happened…God made us the promise of a daughter named Hannah one day. He didn’t give us a timeline, though, or how she would come to be. For the next 4 years we waited and wondered.

We went through 3 cycles of Clomid, 2 cycles of IUI’s, and 1 cycle of IVF before we decided that we couldn’t continue on this route. We were told I had the eggs of a 40 year old (instead of the 28 year old that I was at the time), and that our chances of conceiving were <1% without help. We were told to use an egg donor…but we were also told just how much money that would cost. Then, by fate (or perhaps, just maybe, it was God? 😉 ), we ended up at an Orphan Care meeting at Mountain View Community Church. This is where we learned about Snowflakes Embryo Adoption. I remember going home that night with renewed excitement that there might be another way for us to form our family. Steven wasn’t quite ready yet to take this step.

Fast forward another year of failure, and we took the leap to adopt. I remember my sister telling me that sometimes God needs us to take the first step, and then see whether He opens the doors. This is how adoption worked for us. God didn’t necessarily tell us to adopt, but as soon as we started pursuing it, He cleared the way in ways that were so beautiful.

After an eight month process of paperwork, a home study, more money, and building a family profile, we were ready. We didn’t know how long it would take to get matched with a donor embryo family, but we were hopeful. We were on a trip to Alaska and about to go hiking in Denali National Park when we got the call. We had been matched! We used our iPad to look at the family’s profile, and we were told we could then decide whether we thought they were a good match for us. We read about the family and how they had 7 embryos…how they had used an egg donor and didn’t know much about the mother….and how they had frozen these embryos back in 1997. There were reasons to hesitate, from the age of the embryos to the limited family history due to using an anonymous egg donor.

We went hiking, and as we walked along, Steven and I were silent, caught up in our own thoughts. I was praying for direction. Then we stopped. I looked at Steven and gave him a big hug. With tears in my eyes, I asked him what he thought. He turned the question back to me…and I told him that I could not find a reason to say no. So we took the leap! In our rush to make this next step happen as quick as possible, we found a way to fill out the necessary paperwork while staying at a lodge in remote Alaska, with only an iPad and no printer. We had it all submitted within a day. And then we waited for the donor family to fill out their paperwork.

By the time the donor family had completed their part, it was October 2016 (about a month after being matched). We had one more month to try and coordinate a frozen embryo transfer before the fertility clinic where the embryos were located was closed for the remainder of the year (they do annual lab maintenance and cleaning in December, so no transfers can happen). I was still waiting to hear back from the embryology lab as to whether they could thaw and grow out the embryos (per the doctor’s recommendations) so we knew whether they would be viable as day 5 blastocysts. My period started at the beginning of November, and I knew it was our last chance for the year. When you have been waiting for 5 years to try and start your family, the last thing you want to do is wait two more months! So we called the doctor and asked whether we could begin the labs for a frozen embryo transfer to happen that month. He couldn’t guarantee that we would have an embryo ready, but he gave the go-ahead anyway.

We took a huge leap of faith and started the injections for a frozen embryo cycle, without knowing whether we even had an embryo to transfer! Looking back, it all seems a bit crazy! I booked a flight to CA that would fly in that morning and out that evening for my appointment that had to happen the week before transfer (I joke that I flew my uterus to CA- that’s the only part they needed, the rest of me could have stayed at home!). We also booked a week at a HomeAway condo for the transfer week. I suppose we would have treated it like a vacation if things fell through….a very expensive vacation!

A week into my cycle, I got a call from the nurse at the embryology lab. I didn’t even know that they had thawed the embryos yet, but she informed me that they had been growing them for the past few days. Two of the seven embryos didn’t survive the thaw, and of the other five only 2 kept growing to day 5 blastocysts. So in the course of just a few days, we went from 7 to 2. The good news was that the two that did make it looked really good- a grade 5AA and grade 3AA. These were re-frozen to today’s standards and available for transfer.

I had a mix of emotions when I found this all out. Even though these little embryos had only been in our possession for a few weeks, I had connected with them. They had already become our children, and we took on all the responsibilities that went with this. The science and logic side of me knew that all seven wouldn’t make it, but I still mourned their loss. On the flip side, I was thrilled that we had two beautiful little embabies to give us a chance at parenthood!

We decided to transfer just one embryo- we wanted to give each one the best chance at success, even if it ended up costing us a bit more money to go this route. So a few weeks later, we transferred that first grade 5AA embryo. The doctor told us this was the oldest embryo he had ever transferred, but also that it looked great and he expected it to work. (Funny enough, the same doctor told us this again when we transferred the second embryo 3 years later…only this time the embryo was three years older).

When we found out we were pregnant, we thought that this was our long-awaited Hannah. When we found out it was a boy, we were both surprised! This meant that either there was another baby coming, or maybe the promise would be fulfilled in a different way, such as a future daughter in law?

Tyler, our first baby, filled our hearts and our arms. We felt so blessed to be his parents! Genetics didn’t matter- he was our perfect and long-awaited son.

About a year later was when I started to wonder what was next. I had hit the jackpot, but did God have more in store? By this time I had learned that He was writing my story, not me….but I had not yet fully surrendered the attempts at control. The night that I finally handed it over to Him was such a turning point for me. It was a moment I will never forget- it meant surrender not just of my infertility journey, but also my life as a whole. I learned that God is truly in control and loves me. This is something I was taught from a young age, but sometimes it takes going through a really difficult trial and allowing God to carry you before you can truly come to terms with this. My journey of infertility was not just about finding my way to motherhood, it was a journey of finding my way to my Father.

Literally the next day after I surrendered was the day I got that positive pregnancy test. Let me say, after years of peeing on a stick and negative results, and then a very much planned frozen embryo transfer being my only positive result, I certainly was not expecting a positive without intervention to ever happen in my life….but I was not the one writing the story!! God opened my womb and my heart for Hannah to enter our lives. There was no question, when we found out it was a girl, that this was our long-awaited promise. And God’s timing was just right (as usual!), to allow us this beautiful baby without stressing about the planning and “trying”.

So here I was with two beautiful children….and one embryo. We had talked about it before we adopted the embryos, what if we ended up with seven children? What if we happened to get pregnant on our own? Steven and I had agreed that each and every one of those embryos would get a chance at life in our family, no matter how that looked. So obviously we had to give this final embryo a chance!

Then 2020 happened. We were concerned about traveling to CA, and all the restrictions associated with the pandemic. The predictions were that COVID would get much worse when winter rolled around, and our original plan was to transfer the embryo in November. I had taken 2 weeks off of work in September, and we had originally planned on a vacation just for fun. We soon realized that this was our chance at the embryo transfer. Once again, as soon as we took the first step, God opened up all the doors to make this happen. We had to drive to CA, as the fertility clinic required a 2 week quarantine if we took a flight. Steven and I left our kids in great hands with my parents, and drove the 16 hours to CA. We stayed for the 9 days, and really soaked up the kid-free time, ironically while “picking up” our embryo baby! It was a beautiful trip, with time spent re-connecting and enjoying the beautiful weather and beaches of southern California.

When we found out it had worked, we were both thrilled and overwhelmed! Here we were, thinking we may never have one baby, and now we would have three under 4 years of age?! On top of that, 2021 will hold a move for our family and a new job for Steven. We both continue to work full time. Our lives (and hearts!) are quite full.

So, the moral of the story…don’t write your ending before it happens! This is still just the beginning for us as a family, but it marks an important endpoint in the “having babies” chapter of our lives. God has blessed us in ways unexpected and unimaginable, and His story is so much more beautiful than any story I could have dreamed up. He knows exactly what our family is to be, and I surrender it all to Him. Thank you, God for these lessons learned.

Spring is coming…

“He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!”

~Psalm 113:9

I remember reading this Psalm when I was deep in the throes of our infertility journey, and thinking about how God promises to provide, and yet it was so hard in the wait. However, there is a difference between hoping and wishing…and we were hoping. Hoping is knowing that a promise has been made and will be kept, and we anxiously await the fulfillment. Wishing is not knowing whether something will come to be, but desiring it anyway. Those who trust in the Lord have hope of an eternity in Heaven. Those who have promises from above have hope that they will be fulfilled. Much like our promise of a daughter named Hannah, years before her actual arrival…but we had hope in that promise from God!

Well fast forward to 2020….it has been a tough year for all of us, but the silver lining for our family was completing our final embryo transfer from the embryos that we adopted. This final little embryo has been frozen since 1997 (not quite the record that was just broken again this year of 27 years, but we are close at 23 years). We have been looking forward to giving this little embryo a chance for a long time, and finally that opportunity is upon us. We are blessed to be 13 weeks pregnant now, and recently found out this little one is a boy!

We feel so incredibly blessed….we already hit the jackpot with a successful transfer and live birth of Tyler, and then we really hit the jackpot with a surprise pregnancy and the birth of Hannah! It is hard to believe that God could possibly allow a third jackpot with this final embryo transfer….and yet He has cleared the way! “And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.” ~1 John 5: 14-15

God knows the plans He has for us, and the desires of our heart. He is painting such a beautiful picture with our little family, and I still find it surreal that we went from no children to approaching on 3 children over the last 4 years! We have maintained our hope and trust in God, and He has blessed us abundantly.

The reason I titled this post “Spring is coming” is because all of our snowflakes (embryos) are now either in Heaven or in our arms (or belly). This also marks the end of our family building journey. We talked about it, and we both know that the stress of ever trying for another baby is more than we can handle. I think that God knew that, too- that’s why He snuck Hannah in between our two embryo transfers, when we weren’t actually trying to get pregnant! He has his ways. Anyone who has gone through infertility knows the roller coaster of trying month after month. So we have decided to let spring arrive and call our family complete. The snow is melting, winter (infertility) is becoming a more distant season in our lives, and we are ready to tackle this next chapter.

For all of those ladies still holding onto hope that God has a plan….I know that He does! Remember that hoping is different than wishing, and when we hope in promises made by God, He always follows through.

Mother’s Day 2020: He will make a way!

“Behold, I am doing a new thing;

now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness

and rivers in the desert.”

Isaiah 43:19

Infertility is forever a part of me, but I am truly blessed.  After 5 years of wondering and waiting for our first baby, God has now granted our family two beautiful children.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected my family to come together the way it has, but that is the way God works our lives sometimes- out of the darkness, He brings forth light.  Out of the night, He paints a beautiful sunrise and a new day begins.

God has a way to change a nightmare into a dream.  I have never been so challenged in my faith as I was during the time that I experienced infertility.  It is a hard road to walk, full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and hard decisions.  It is difficult to keep the faith when you can’t see what is ahead of you.  It is difficult to understand why a loving Father would put anyone through the pain that is that road.  And, every month, there is a reminder that God is once again saying, “not yet”.

But then—-it happens.  He springs forth life out of the cold of winter!  He blesses a family with a long-awaited child.  I am grateful that, on this Mother’s Day, I can reflect back on this journey and show God honor and praise for how He has blessed our family!

This day also reminds me of the pain continues to be the reality for so many of my dear sisters.  It reminds me to be careful in what I say and do, and how I show love and compassion to those around me.  I want them to know that I understand, and just because I am on the other side of the trenches of infertility now, I will never forget.  The most painful day of the year as an infertile is Mother’s Day.  It is a reminder of what you want more than anything in your being, and yet cannot have.  It is a time that everyone celebrates moms, and yet often forget about those who long to be one.

Let me just say, I see and hear you.  God sees and hears you.  It may seem like He is not listening, but perhaps it is just not quite yet.  Perhaps He has a particular way that your story needs to be weaved together to bring to fruition His plan.

Your story is unique and precious.  God is your Father, and He loves you!  He will make a way in the desert, and bring water to your parched ground.  Patience is the hardest part, but it is certainly worth the wait.  Keep the faith, and keep trusting in Him and His incredible love for you.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the hard-working moms out there, and all the amazing ladies who are moms in the making.

Frozen Dreams

“The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich,

and He adds no sorrow with it.” ~Proverbs 10:22

It was no coincidence that this was the Proverbs verse for my Bible in One Year journey yesterday.  I was standing in church, singing worship and praise to our Savior and King, and praying about our little frozen embryo.  That little one has been on my mind a lot lately, and I found myself thinking about how sad I would be if that pregnancy test came back negative after our next embryo transfer.  Or, even worse, if we experienced a miscarriage.  I thought about how unworthy I am of further blessing, with the two amazing children that already fill my arms.  I thought about how God may not think that we deserve more….

And then I remembered something.  I remembered that He is worthy of all my praise, regardless of the outcome.  I remembered that I am worthy, and He has called me as his child!  I realized that my fears, my anxieties, my negative thoughts were all lies brought about by the devil.  In the moments of my life where I was most engaged with my Lord, the devil was trying to find a crack, an opening to push in and change my perspective.

This little life, this little embryo, was in God’s hands long before it ever came into my hands.  This life was created when I was just 12 years old, and I had no idea if I would even have kids some day.  This embryo was in the protection of the Heavenly Father for all those years, waiting for the time when it would get a chance at continued life and growth in our family.  God knows the plan.  God has a purpose.  And no matter the outcome, to Him be the glory!!

I reminded myself of this truth as I sang in church yesterday morning.  My mind came back to true, genuine, uninhibited praise of my King.  No matter the outcome of this story, whether this life stays here with our family on Earth or joins God in Heaven, He will receive all the glory!

We went home after church, and I took Hannah up to her room to nurse her before naptime.  As I sat holding my precious girl and rocking her to sleep, I was reading my Bible in One Year, and the Proverbs verse above came to life- “The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow to it”.  I am rich in the blessing of the Lord.  But that doesn’t mean this story will end with sorrow!  There will be joy in this final embryo, no matter the outcome.  There will be Glory to God in all of this journey to build our family.  He is a loving and kind Father, and He will  not add any sorrow.  We are richly blessed.  May this story continue to be written…

Great Faith

“Great faith is the product of great fights.  Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests.  Great triumphs can only come out of great trials” ~Smith Wigglesworth

“I do not pray for success.  I ask for faithfulness.” ~Mother Teresa

“Commit yourself to praise and not complaint.  Resolve to take the long-term view and be patient.  Resolve to rejoice in whatever the circumstances.  Commit yourself to faith, even when there is no fruit.  God is concerned not so much about the harvest as about your heart.” ~Nicky Gumbel

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” ~Habakkuk 3:17-18

God calls us to great faith, even when the circumstances of our lives do not match.  He calls us to rejoice in all circumstances, and to trust in Him for what is to come.  It is only through the fights of life that we gain more faith and trust in Him.

I feel incredibly blessed to have a promise fulfilled with Hannah.  I feel blessed beyond measure to have Tyler in our family.  Yet I will not forget the great fight that brought me to this point of triumph.  It was a trial, a fight, a battle to get to where we are today.  And this is just one of many life battles.  I know that this is not the end.  I know that infertility will continue to haunt me.  And yet…I have this great testimony to share!  I want to shout it from the housetops- God is Faithful!!  God is Good!  God has a plan!  It is difficult to remember this when we cannot see what is ahead, yet we are His children and we can trust in Him.

God is concerned about my heart- He is concerned about your heart.  He doesn’t waste a moment.  He doesn’t waste time or withhold from His children for no reason.  He loves us and He takes care of us.  Sometimes there is no fruit.  There are seasons of winter where we must be patient and wait for God’s voice.  Sometimes we must take steps in faith and trust that He is moving in ways we don’t understand.

I waited a long time for God to answer my prayer for children.  It was the hardest battle of my life to date- every month the pain was palpable.  It almost pulled my marriage apart.  I didn’t understand why God would withhold a good thing- why would He not allow me to conceive?  So instead, He called us to pursue embryo adoption.  To get to this point where my heart was open to this option took over 3 years.  He called us to take a step of faith in how He was growing our family….and it was not a sure thing!  He was calling us to trust in Him, even before we could see the fruit.

The day I found out I was pregnant with Tyler was the answer to so many prayers!  I thought for sure God was answering His promise of our daughter named Hannah.  So, when we found out we were having a boy, it was an even bigger surprise.  I think about it often, that if we had gotten pregnant on our own and Hannah had arrived before Tyler, we may not have ever pursued embryo adoption.  We certainly would not have been matched with Tyler’s embryo.  God knew before time began that Tyler was going to a be a part of our family.  But He called us to great faith in the journey to make this happen.

As Tyler approached his first birthday, I started thinking about how I may never have another baby.  I thought about the other embryo that is still frozen in California, that I pray for every day.  I thought about God and His faithfulness- maybe the promise of Hannah would be a spouse for Tyler?  I never doubted that God keeps His promises, but sometimes they look different than how we expect.  I started praying for peace and contentment- that however God was shaping our family, it was His plan and for His purposes.  I started praying that I could be a vessel for the Lord, that I could give Him the glory no matter what.

And then….I had the biggest surprise of my life!  I was pregnant, without any doctors or lab tests or transfers, without any flights or timing involved.  It was all God!  This was almost a year ago, and our lives were about to change.  When we found out we were having a girl, of course we knew it was Hannah.  God is faithful.  And great faith comes from great fights.  God knows what He is doing and what the plan is.

So here I sit, with a great testimony of two beautiful children, all by God’s doing.  He ensured that I could not take any credit for any part of it.  He shaped me and brought the beautiful picture of our family into view.  The journey is not over- I do not know if there will be more children in our family.  I do know that I daily pray for our other frozen embryo, and that I entrust that to God.  I do know that we will give that embryo a fighting chance and transfer it next year.  I do know that I will pray to give God the glory, no matter the outcome.

Some days I feel like we have already won the lottery twice with Tyler and Hannah.  Some days I wonder if God could really give us a third blessing, when He has already given us so much.  But then I remember Faith.  I remember Trust.  I remember Praise.  God is not calling me to know what is next, He is calling me to trust Him and praise Him.  He is calling me to great faith as He shapes this journey.

God is good, no matter what.

Pumpkin 2019

Hannah: A Promise Fulfilled.

“He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children.  Praise the Lord!” ~Psalm 113:9

Hannah 7_9

Hannah Victoria arrived on 7/7/19 at 10:01am via scheduled c-section.  Everything about her arrival was significant.  She was the long-awaited promise from God to Steven and I of a daughter named Hannah.  Her name is a palendrome (spelled the same forwards and backwards), and so is the time she arrived.  She arrived on 7/7 and weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces.  She is perfect.  Victoria comes from victory- in our case, victory from infertility.  We are blessed with a double portion!  God certainly keeps His promises.

I am late in making this birth announcement- life has been a bit busy since Hannah’s arrival.  I am grateful that Hannah’s arrival was much smoother than Tyler’s, and the c-section went well.  God protected us through the process, and we were only in the hospital one night.  Tyler is an amazing big brother, settling right into his new role and showing his sister so much love and care.  His excitement is contagious, and Hannah gives her brother a special look that only he can bring about.

Hannah is sweet as pie- she is easy-going, always looking to make eye contact and then immediately smiling, and flexible with her schedule.  We could not ask for anything more!

Some days I am still in shock that God answered this prayer and promise of a daughter named Hannah- but why should I be surprised?  God always is faithful and keeps His promises!

TylerHannah 7_9


Pruning to bring new life

“Pruning can seem cruel; branches are left jagged and exposed to face the harsh winter.  But the purpose of pruning is to give way to newness of life.  When spring and summer come, there is an abundance of fruit.  The sharp pruning life will, in the end, bring fruitfulness.” ~Nicky Gumbel, “Bible in One Year” May 25th

Pruning is a vital part of a plant surviving and thriving- if it is not pruned the dead branches and buds are not cleared away, and new life cannot grow.  It allows for fruitfulness.  But it does seem harsh, doesn’t it??  It is rough to have pieces cut away so sharply, and then there are bare spots until new growth occurs.

Infertility is very much a way that God prunes us, his children, to bring forth fruitfulness later on.  It is a harsh and sharp reality that leaves bare and exposed pieces of us.  It feels like a never-ending winter, with no spring or new life in site.

But then we are reminded that God has fruitfulness in mind.  He keeps His promises, and no winter lasts forever.  He loves His children and brings good out of every situation.  “Nothing happens without God’s permission.  God is in control and in everything he is working for good” (Nicky Gumbel, Romans 8:28).  Ultimately he brings about life and more fruit that we could ever imagine!

I am two days away from welcoming our long-awaited and promised Hannah.  It is so surreal that she will be here soon, and that God has worked such a miracle!  I feel truly blessed beyond measure.  But I have not forgotten the pruning.

Infertility is a tricky business.  Even though Steven and I have ultimately “escaped” it via embryo adoption and a surprise pregnancy, the emotions remain.  I will never forget those years of trying and waiting and wondering….the tears, the money, and the heartache.  BUT God….He brings victory!  He brings life!  He brings joy!  I will remember all of this on the many sleepless nights ahead, and thank God every moment for this sweet new life who will soon be in my arms.

Mother’s Day: In Good Company

“When we pray, God hears more than we say, answers more than we ask, gives more than we imagine – in His own time and in His own way.  They waited a long time for their prayer to be answered.  If God makes you wait, you are in good company”

~Nicky Gamble, “Bible in One Year” devotional

We all have seasons of joy and gratitude, as well as seasons of waiting and wondering.  On this Mother’s Day, I am grateful for how God has answered my prayers.  I am now 31 weeks pregnant with a sweet little girl, a long-awaited gift from above.  But my heart is also aware of the long infertility battle that Steven and I faced, and the battle that many continue to face.

Whether the battle is infertility, the loss of a dear mother, or the loss of child, Mother’s Day is a day that can be painful.  Although God has given us this victory of a natural pregnancy, I will never forget the journey it took to get here.  As Nicky Gamble pointed out in my devotional, “If God makes you wait, you are in good company”.  For all you ladies out there that are still waiting for your miracle and answer to prayers, you are in good company.   I have not forgotten, and I will continue to pray for you all daily.

I think about how God went about answering my prayers for a child….he kept my womb closed yet my heart aching for a child for four years while we walked a difficult road of infertility, IVF, and adoption.  He carefully orchestrated the path we took so that Tyler would be a part of our family.  I feel so incredibly blessed that He chose us to be Tyler’s parents, and that we have this amazing opportunity with our precious son.  After all, we are all adopted sons and daughters of our Lord most high, so Tyler’s adoption into our family is simply an earthly reflection of the gift God offers to all of us.

If God had answered my prayers for a child conceived naturally prior to Tyler, we may not have had the opportunity to pursue embryo adoption, and we certainly may not have been matched with the same embryos.  Now as I look back, I am so incredibly grateful for the way that God laid out His plan!  In the moments of waiting and challenge, I could not understand why God was withholding a child from us, but now hindsight makes it all clear.  Furthermore, it was not until I truly surrendered my plans over to God and realized it wasn’t my plan but His plan, that I finally was given the victory!

We are just a few weeks away (we have a c-section set for 7/7!) from meeting our long-awaited Hannah.  God is good and certainly keeps all His promises.  He works in His own time and in His own way, and it makes for a beautiful journey and story.  The wait is hard, but the reward is beyond our wildest dreams or expectations.

Praise be to God on Mother’s day and always!


Above and Beyond

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.” ~Psalm 37:3-5

First of all, I am sorry for my long absence from blogging.  Life has gotten away from me, and it has been busy with a now 1 year old running around the house!   Alas, life is sweet.  But this post comes as a big surprise….

Remember about a year ago (November 28) when I wrote about Hannah and “double portions”?  Well….God has acted!!  God once again has gone above and beyond, and proven that when we trust in Him and dwell in His land, He brings us the desires of our heart.

I am pregnant!!  I never thought I would say that without going through months of planning, saving up, ordering medications, injections, flights to California, and doctors visits.  I never thought I would see a second line without all the effort that I have come to associate with even having a chance at conceiving.  Yet here I am, 12 weeks pregnant…and God truly went Above and Beyond my wildest dreams!

So, here’s the story…I went to my annual well woman exam on October 8th.  My doctor gave me a lecture about how, even though we had been trying for 5+ years to have a baby and only achieved a pregnancy via embryo adoption, it was still possible that I could conceive.  She recommended birth control.  I told her, “Not to be non-compliant, but I will take my chances…I know they are low, but I would rather not go on birth control”.  Well, fast forward 28 days, and my period was a day late.  As Tyler and I took an evening stroll around the neighborhood after dinner, I remember praying to God that, no matter the outcome, I would give Him all the glory.  And, perhaps for the first time ever, I truly meant it in this context.  I would give Him the glory, whether I had many more years of unsuccessful cycles, or if He chose to grant us another child.

It is very rare that my period is late, so the next morning I took a cheapo pregnancy test (expired, by the way…leftover from before Tyler).  I placed the test on the shelf in the bathroom, and sat in the early morning quiet, reading my morning devotional.  When I turned around to look at that test, I truly never expected to see a second line….and yet there it was, plain as day!  Not a “squinter”, no denying it!  I was speechless.  I walked out of the bathroom and silently handed the test to Steven….who said….”Your eggo is preggo?!”, and then gave me a big hug!  He commented on how my heart was pounding….well of course! 🙂


We were cautiously optimistic, but praised the Lord for each day we got with this new life.  As the days went by, and my hCG numbers more than doubled with each every-other-day check, we held out our hope and prayed constantly!  At our first ultrasound (6 weeks 1 day), we saw a beautiful little blob of a baby, with a strong heartbeat of 112!  I went to the doctor, and she congratulated us big time.  God is so good!!

Well, I just recently had my 10 week ultrasound, and the baby is beautiful and perfect.  Now at 12 weeks, we are still right on track and doing great.  I am still in shock, and still not sure why God chose us to be worthy of this amazing blessing.  However, God is good all the time, all the time, God is good!  2019 is looking to be a beautiful new year.


Just over one year ago, I blogged about double portions…how Elkinah loved Hannah, his wife, so dearly that he always gave her a double portion.  How much more does God love me?  How much more does he shepherd me and care about me?  He is sending us our double portion, and I feel so incredibly blessed.


For those who are wondering, we do still have another embryo frozen (Tyler’s genetic brother or sister).  We were planning on an embryo transfer in February, but clearly God had a different plan!  We will keep this embryo frozen, in “suspended animation”, and plan to transfer it after we have this baby.  We may just break the record of the longest ever frozen embryo (24 years)….time will tell. 🙂

To God be ALL the Glory!!