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it’s up to Him

Tomorrow might be the first day of life for our first sweet baby.

I am so far beyond excited.  And thankful.  And I would be lying if I said I’m not scared to death as well.

We are slated to arrive at the hospital at 6:30 tomorrow morning for retrieval.  The last few weeks have been such a challenging whirlwind.  We’ve given me shots while standing anywhere from the Whole Foods parking lot to a stairwell we snuck into during a Halloween party to the middle of the Colbie Caillat concert.  Life has carried on despite the ultrasounds, blood work, pills and needles…but it’s been different.  The anticipation of this IVF event has changed the tone of everything the last several weeks.  And it’s all come down to the next couple of weeks (no pressure).

I have never prayed harder in my entire life than I have in the last few weeks.  I’ve prayed constantly that God would enable my body to do what it’s supposed to do.  So far, He has.  Everything leading up to now couldn’t have gone better, and I couldn’t feel more confident going into this next phase.  Unfortunately that doesn’t make our percentage any higher, but I am so thankful that He has chosen to bring us this far.

I’ve also prayed that God will give me the courage to trust him first and foremost.  That whether our little babies survive and have the chance to develop or not, I will trust Him with our future. I will trust that He has a plan, and that plan will be carried out no matter what. This is my biggest request to my Heavenly Father.  I believe He is faithful.

So, please pray with us.  I’ve got needle marks all over, cramps in my stomach and emotions ranging across the board.  But I’ve got so much hope inside.  I’ve tried to figure out how to walk the tightrope of being positive, but protecting myself for so many months; this month I stopped trying.  I put my heart out there, and I’ve done every thing I could…

Now it’s all up to Him.

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thoughts on adoption

For the longest time, Jon and I have felt God urging our hearts toward adopting a baby.  For whatever reason the Lord has, this urging has always been in the direction of international adoption, specifically.  We are both passionate about travel and other cultures and adopting from another culture seems to fit that.  We of course realize that there are babies right here in our own country who are in need, but that doesn’t make the homeless babies in Thailand (for example) any less homeless.  Even though we didn’t feel quite ready for a baby at that time, our visit to a Thai orphanage in 2008 watered the seed that God had planted in our hearts, nourishing our desire to bring a baby just like this little girl home one day.

Throughout the course of our journey through infertility, our excitement and longing for adoption has intensified ten-fold.  I’ve said so many times that before we would do IVF, we would adopt.  It honestly has never made a big difference to me whether our baby would come to us biologically or through adoption.  I ache to experience both joys – feeling a baby grow inside me and welcoming a baby from another place into our lives.  But the decision is not always that easy.  God has blessed us with amazing insurance, which covers such a large portion of infertility treatments.  For that reason alone we feel compelled to try for a biological baby first.  In addition, the issues I had that were taken care of in my surgery back in May are recurring.  So, as time goes on, they are slowly coming back, renewing their curse on my body and lessening my chances of ever conceiving a baby.  With this in mind, we decided that if we were ever going to do everything we could to get pregnant, now is the time.

I still long every single day to start the adoption process.  When I see a family with an adopted child, my heart aches in the same way it does when I see a pregnant woman or a precious little newborn.  I was looking through some old journal entries, written in the past year and a half, and I found this entry, penned in April of this year right before my surgery.

April 4, 2011
Dear little McCoy,

I know I don’t know you yet, little one…but I already love you so much.  Your daddy and I have been talking about you for the longest time, and we cannot wait until we get the chance to have you as a part of us.


Here in just a little bit I’m taking the first step to find out how you might come to be.  Your mommy doesn’t know if you will come into our family as a tiny newborn that has grown inside me or as a precious baby from another country, but I want you to always know that I pined for you for so long, and I already love you more than there are stars in the sky, regardless of how you come into our life.

I know that God has a plan for you and for your life, and I’m praying for that plan all the time.  I  think about you every day, and deep inside my heart I long to be able to rock you, play with you, teach you about Jesus and show you the world .


Just the other night, we went to a mexican restaurant in town for dinner.  Because it’s the best mexican food in town, there is always a long wait to be seated, so we claimed a bench spot in the already crowded waiting area.  As we sat down, I noticed that the family to our right was busy corralling two little girls, who I’m certain were from somewhere in east asia.  The mom and dad looked to be about our ages, and they were wearing shirts that indicated they were from our college town.   Looking to be about 3 or 4 years old, these little girls were so precious.  Probably appearing a little creepy, I couldn’t take my eyes off them the entire time.  I was mesmerized by how much my heart ached to have little girls just like them as my own.  My eyes began to fill up as I sat there feeling so intensely as if that should be us.  Should is a funny word, I know.

Sometimes I want so badly to just quit everything we’re doing now and start our adoption story.  I’ve spent a lot of time researching steps of the process, agencies, countries, expected hardships, the financial aspect etc., and I’m so ready to begin something that is going to be a sure thing in the end.  This cycle of uncertainty, waiting and heartbreak is just so trying.

That being said, I know that we are very blessed to be given this opportunity and that not everyone is put in a place where they can go to these extreme measures to build their family.  Despite my impatience to begin adoption, I still pray every day and thank God for providing us a way to try and get pregnant.  I don’t take it lightly, and regardless of what happens, I’ll always be so grateful that we had the chance to pull out all the stops and really go for it.

I wanted to take a moment and write down these thoughts, so down the road I’ll remember exactly where our hearts were during this time.  I pray to God that this works and I get the privelege of giving birth to a baby that is half me and half Jon.  And regardless of whether that happens or not, I have faith that our dream of bringing a baby home through adoption will come true as well.  It just depends on when and how.  I can’t wait to see how the Lord decides to build our family.

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bullet points

I’m not even going to begin welcoming myself back and making excuses for the months that I’ve been MIA.  It sounds like much more fun to just cut to the chase….bullet point style.  There have been many things going on over the last couple of months – some more welcome in my life than others.

  • We took a mini trip to Dallas and bought new living room furniture!  Buying a new couch was way overdue, and we finally just went for it.  We got a really great sectional that fits our living room perfectly and seats so many more people plus a dining set.  We are loving it them!

  • I started a new job.  Teaching.  If you’ve been reading CSM for more than a year, you know that the path I’ve walked with teaching has been rather…bumpy.  There have been many highs and lows and unexpected twists…so it should have come as no surprise when yet another crazy change landed in my lap.  Backing up a bit…last May I started teaching international students at a language school in our new city.  I absolutely loved it.  You guys know that international students are where my heart is, and I was seriously thriving.  And then I got a text from my best friend and former teaching co-worker.  And it changed everything.  One day I was just fine, and 24 hours later I was making the decision to quit my job and go back to my old school as a sophomore English II and PreAP English teacher.  It was a combination of being flattered, being offered a brand new classroom with great technology and a window, being lured back by my teacher friends and not wanting to say no to the money.  I was never completely sure those were great reasons to go back, but for some reason it just seemed right.  Now, almost halfway through the fall semester, I can honestly say it was the right decision.  I LOVE my kids.  I never knew I could enjoy students so incredibly much.  To be blunt, I think I just really had a bad batch for my first year of teaching.  But this time I’ve been blessed with some really awesome students.  It has still been stressful.  And I wanted to kill myself over 170 essays last month, but I truly feel like it’s worth it.

  • We’ve started the IVF process.  Obviously, we are still wandering through the injustices of infertility, seeing as how you have yet to see a CSM baby announcement.  Last month, after trying multiple other strategies, my doctor recommended that we start this process.  We’re a little over 2 weeks in, and honestly, it’s making me crazy.  I’m currently on birth control to regulate my body, and later this week I’ll start my first round of injections.  I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m just doing my best to stay positive.  I’ve been dealing with so many issues and feelings over the last couple of weeks – fear, hope, anxiety, excitement, impatience, thankfulness, anger, hormonal mood swings, constant headaches, numbness – just to name a few.  It’s not getting any easier, and I’m not sure it will until this is over and we know the outcome.  There’s so much more that could be – needs to be – said on this…but another time.
  • We took at trip to the state fair!  Enough said.

  • We went to Washington D.C.  Last year I tagged along with Jon on his work conference trip to D.C.  And I completely fell in love!  After accepting my new job, I wasn’t sure I was going to get to go again this year, but we made it happen.  It was just as great as I remembered.  Because we did so much sightseeing last year, we enjoyed a few less sights and a little more relaxing this year.  We added on a couple of extra days to the front of the trip as a sort of vacation…and then I flew solo the other days.  It was much needed time away.

it rained almost the entire time, and it was freezing!
I’ve missed blogging.  I truly have.  In the midst of the emotional highs and lows of the last couple of months, I oftentimes find myself retreating a little bit.  I find myself saying that I really just want to crawl into a whole and hide until all this is over, and at times I feel like I have no energy left for relationships or the things I love in life.  I know these feelings are only temporary – a result of medication and just a stressful phase of life, but it’s not a good place to be.  So, tonight I’m stepping out.  For the first time in a while, I’m not allowing myself to be defeated..  Tonight is all I can commit myself to right now.  But right now it’s all I need.  Tomorrow will be another day.

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twenty-eight years

Last weekend I celebrated 28 years of life.

The husband worked so hard all week to put together the best birthday party ever.  It was themed. And there were drinks.  And an incredible spread of food.

And of course….the best cupcakes in town.

There was homemade lemonade and non-alcoholic sangria.

And best of all?  All the people I love most in the world.


And when everyone was full of tacos and salsa, we played games.

Of course there were gifts (which were perfect), despite the “don’t bring gifts, just a good time” printed at the bottom of the invitation.

One of my favorite students, Blue, and favorite co-workers, Shelly, stopped by to visit.

Earlier in the day, Blue cooked an amazing spread of Arabic food for my family to enjoy.  He made everything from some potato pastries (that’s what I call them anyway:) to kabobs, to fruit salad, pudding and cake.  It really was incredible.  International students are awesome.

Falling three days after my actual birthday, it was such a perfect way to celebrate a whole new year of life.

Last year at this time, I made a list of 27 things that I wanted to accomplish in my 27th year.  Some of them I did succeed at, and some of them I didn’t.  This year of life showed me that sometimes our best thought out plans are not quite as great as we imagine them to be.

So, it turns out that I didn’t quite get 20 books read, didn’t get our car paid off, have yet to open up a CSM t-shirt shop and definitely wrote a lot less.

But, here are the unexpected things I did do: started trying to have a baby and instead began my battle with infertility, had surgery for said infertility, became a certified yoga instructor, tutored the sweetest students in the world, said goodbye to our sweet little house and our college town, lived with my mom and step-dad for four months, moved to Oklahoma City, supported the husband in accepting a new job, built a house, started a new job, became an aunt for the first time, quit the new job and then started another new job (more on this to come!).

Needless to say, aside from our year spent living in Thailand, this has definitely been our craziest year yet.  And even though we’ve faced some of the most trying challenges of our lives, we have grown so much.  Number one on my list was “fall more in love with my Savior.”  I have to be honest and say that for while the opposite was happening.  At times my anger and confusion over infertility gave way to questioning and stepping away from God like a small, defiant child.

And while I still have many questions, and I still don’t understand everything I want to understand about God, I’ve come to one conclusion.  And that is despite whatever happens in life – whether good or bad – He is there.

For the entire first 26 years of my life, I took what I’d been told about God and I counted it as absolute truth.  I never questioned it.  I never really thought much about it on my own.  And for the first time this year, I’ve questioned God.  I’ve doubted Him.  And while I wish I could say that my faith has been perfect, I have deepened my relationship with Him far beyond what I imagined before.  I’ve come to the realization that I would much rather question Him, than never be challenged enough or think deeply about Him at all.

I can not even begin to imagine what this next year will hold for me.  My prayer is that our family of two will become a family of three.  We will be able to continue pursuing our dream of launching our own business. I’ll be able to love my job.  And we’ll continue building and deepening relationships.  But I’m holding onto those things very loosely, with an open fist, keeping in mind that He is in control.  And remembering to not count too much on the plans that I lay out for myself.

Here’s to another year.

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here i am

This weekend, for the fourteenth time, my heart felt as if it was broken into a million tiny pieces.

For the fourteenth time, I found out that once again, I will not become a mom this month.

Over the past several months, things have been pretty quiet around here.  I found out the hard way that when something difficult is going on in your life that you’re not quite ready to tell the world about, putting your everyday life out there becomes pretty tough.

Infertility.

A word that used to seem distantly scary…something that only happened to other people…has somehow become a constant in my life.   I wake up to it at 5:30am every morning, thermometer in hand, and every night when I go to sleep it’s by my side.  It tortures me in the most random moments of my day, reminding me that there’s something not quite right with me and leaving me in it’s dust wondering – am I worthy?

Every month is another identical path:  I attempt to walk the fine line between protecting myself from disappointment and staying positive and hopeful until the truth arrives.  Then, like the opening of a dam, all the positivity I had built up gives way as sadness, hurt and disappointment wash over me.  Back to square one.  Let’s do it all over again.

For many months I was so angry.  Angry at myself.  At God.  At the world.  But God is changing me.  In this fallen world, there is so much sadness, hurt and disappointment, but He walks with us through it all.  He calls us to praise him.  Whether in the happiest times of our lives or the darkest days, He is there.  And He deserves our praise.  And I am finally beginning to see His work in my life through this situation.  It has taken a long time, and my faith has at times been hanging on by a thread.  But He never leaves me.

I’ve come to a place where I can feel the tears soaking the sheets and grieve over what could have been – what I prayed would have been – but in the same breath thank Him that He loves me.  And thank Him that He has saved me.  Among so many other things.

For a long time I didn’t want to tell anyone about this.  I’m not sure why I wanted to keep it private….truly, I don’t have a reason.  Maybe I was afraid of what people would think.  Maybe it just seemed too personal.  But over the last several weeks, I’ve found so many reasons why I want to talk about it here.

First, I need to.  I need an outlet for the anxiety, doubt, guilt, fear…all the emotions that I filter through each month.  And as always, like a knight on a white horse, writing comes to my rescue.  Somehow writing and then stashing it on my hard drive just doesn’t feel the same as putting it out there to be read by real people.  Which brings me to reason number two.

Community.  I’ve said a million times that this community has been such a blessing to me.  When I read a blog post from someone who is dealing with the same things I am, there is a connection that somehow helps ease the pain.  It reminds me that I’m not alone.  It helps me feel a little less crazy.  If I can connect with other people though this and offer to someone else even a small escape from the loneliness, then it’s worth it.

Third…I want people to know my heart.  I want to have a child so badly.  I feel it as a deep ache all the way into the depths of my heart.  Every. Single. Day.  But on the outside no one would ever know.   I want to be a transparent person.  Someone who is open, who people feel as if they really know.

So, here I am.

I’m scared in so many ways.  I’m scared of who all is going to read this and what they will think.  But I’ve come to the point where this infertility is too much a part of my life, and I find too much joy in sharing my life through this blog to let it keep me away.

ChiaSeedMe is not going to become an infertility blog.  While my journey to having a baby is a part of who I am, so are all the things I’ve always loved – healthy living, food, fitness, photography and all the little things in life.  I will always write about those things.  But I need to write about this too.  I understand if some of you are completely uninterested – please feel free to just skip the posts about this topic if you’d like.  But I’m ready to include all aspects of my life in this little blog now.  And I hope you’ll all stick around.

So here’s to being real.  And here’s to fighting every battle in life with an open heart and trust in Him.  Seeking out the good in everything that life brings and letting the hurts soak through us, feeling them, and keeping on going.

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