Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Shame I have Walked

I have been mulling over this post for many moons. Wavering between stuffing it into a box and wanting to share so others may not experience what I have. And the other coin is not feeling shame about the story that have been written for me. The shame that I have spent the better part of the past two years processing through. 2018 is a year for me, and so I must clean out the old for that to happen.

To go a little bit back, 2 years ago I had a hysterectomy. I was backed into a corner by my own body. The disease that many do not speak of, had caused years and years of immense pain. Took days from enjoying my life, took organs internally and dragged them to places they should not have been. My life was decided around it.

I had 5 surgeries prior in attempt to keep it at bay. Which scare tissue built up after each one. After the last clean out, we tried fertility drugs in an attempt of one last ditch effort. That made my body only angrier and it revolted. I was put into the corner and had to make a decision. I heard the final NO.

November 24, 2015, I was wheeled into the OR, in tears knowing that my life would never be the same. I had expectations of my recovery. Expectations set by my Dr. and my own research. The past two years have brought nothing but unexpected.

It started with the hearing the first 6 months of no Hormone Therapy. If you have been through this you know what I mean. It was rough. After 6 months, I began the journey of trying to find the right combo. Two years later, I am still working on trying to find the right combo. I have been through some very intensive physical therapy to strengthen all that was lost, and needling in my scare tissue to loosen it up and heal. Seriously, I still feel like my body is revolting.

But more so, was the deep sense of grief in the final NO. (Now, I hesitate to even write this next part, mainly because some of my words may not be well received by some. What I am sitting on is this is a story to be shared for someone. I believe that there is someone out there who is walking this path.)

Grief that comes from the final NO is not talked about with many. Frankly, in my opinion only those who have gotten the final NO, to a dream or a desire of their hearts know what I am talking about. My final NO was knowing that a child would not hear my heart beat from the inside. My final NO, was not having that experience of holding my baby close as they were formed inside my womb. My final NO was watching others getting excited about my growing belly, my final NO was not experiencing the birthing process and watching my husband’s face in the hospital as his child was born. My final NO was not knowing what a child created with my genes and my Husbands genes would look like.

My final NO left me questioning God and my prayers to Him. If I was committed enough, if I prayed enough, if I sought him enough. I wrestled with Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”. This was a desire of mine, why indeed was not it given.

To top all of that, Within the first 6 months of my surgery 15 people announced their pregnancies to me. Some deep friendships that I treasured. I struggled on putting up the smile. I struggled with the proper way to support them. I struggled with hearing their stories of their bodies. I frankly wanted to scream from the roof top, WHAT ABOUT ME, WHY HASN’T ANYONE ASKED ME HOW I AM DOING, WHY DOESN’T ANYONE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT MY PAIN. I felt cornered in my world of who to talk with.

And so, I wrestled, and I wrestled hard. Thankfully someone saw that I needed to process. And I met this incredible woman of Jesus. She was safe, and walked with me.

I sat for the first time in her office and cried about where I was at. I walked in there with full intention of processing my grief that I felt was because of my surgery. But instead, this woman brought me to the depths of my soul. She had me unpack boxes that I had buried so long ago in my heart that were screaming for healing. She held my hand, cleaned my mind and gave me tools to walk through things that I had previously stuffed, and when they triggered me I would stuff some more.

I felt like this tree that had gone through the harsh winter and was stripped of the leaves that made me a tree.

I cried more tears with her than I have with anyone in my life. But she was there. She helped me learn how to set proper boundaries in my life. Not just for myself personally but in other relationships. How to walk out some things with my girl. She was my shining light.

What I learned through all of that, is that my final NO came with shame. I was walking not just in grief but shame the world said that I was supposed to go through college, get married and produce 2.5 kids. I couldn’t even produce one. I felt like a failure. A complete and utter failure.

So, here I am 2 years later. Able to feel the healing that came in that office with the windows that overlooked pine trees. I know that indeed I am not a failure, but that there is a different plan for me. I am thankful beyond words for the way that God orchestrated my meeting this sweet woman. I am valued, treasured and well worth Jesus dying on the cross for.  

I have been able to put boundaries in place so that my heart can be whole. I think when people have been through things, they do not contemplate what that really looks like. So, I am now ok with saying, Yes, I will come see your new born. However, it will be after you come home from the hospital. I am ok with saying, I am not really the most appropriate person to share all the details of your pregnancy with. I am ok with changing things on my social media so I do not have to see every little post of every pregnant person’s update. I am ok with missing baby dedications my heart says it is needed. I am able to protect my heart in a healthy way. I don’t feel shame anymore in saying that I can’t have children. Infertile is not the label that I walk in.

Why write this all, many have been asking why we haven’t started another adoption yet. My heart needed to be healed before we could. And wisely so, I am better for it and my future kids are as well.

Why else write this, I believe with my heart, there are people out there who are walking in the same shame that I was. Who feel like they are a failure, because they could not do what they were told they should be able to do. Women need to know that it is ok to grieve. You are not small because of it. It is ok to wrestle. There are so many verses in the bible that I believe we have interpret in our mind and those verses then mean what we want them to mean. Not really what Jesus is telling us. I can’t say that I have come to terms with all of them. There is still some wrestling that I am doing, but it is ok.

And yes indeed, I am a mom. A mom to a spunky, beautiful, 6-year-old girl. But I missed the first 29 months of her life. I had to fight for 30 months, spend thousands of dollars and meet her in a hotel room to become her mom. That journey isn’t for everyone, but I am thankful it was for me.

I have no idea who else is out there for me to be a mom to. I am praying on what that looks like and waiting on Him to say so. Now that we are out here in Texas, Michael is feeling healthier (than this time last year), and we are slowly getting settled. 2018 will be my year. It will be my year to find the right combination of hormones. It will be my year to continue the healing on my heart. It will be my year to try and loose some of this ridiculous weight that I have gained (half that has been out of my control) and when I hit 40, embrace it with all that Jesus has given me.

Please feel free to share this with a woman who has heard a NO and is wrestling with all that comes with. Just as others share their miscarriage stories, fertility struggles, I believe that voice should also be given to those who wrestle with the final NO and be given the space to lose their leaves but heal and allow them to grow back bigger and brighter.


PS- The analogy of a tree was put on me 10 years ago as I was moving over to China. I guess the Lord was preparing me for what was to come.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

5 Months.... Few Words, and Pics

We have indeed been silent. It has been an incredibly busy summer and fall, full of many moments to write about, however I have not taken the time to do it.

Since June……
We have traveled to NY, Many Trips to GA, Two trips to FL.
We have moved from an 800 Square foot Apartment to a house that only God could put into our path.
We have been visiting church’s, thinking we have found the right fit.
H has started school, Kindergarten, and of course, Rocking it.
H has started Hip Hop Classes at a beautiful dance studio.
We have found a new Pediatrician, Occupational Therapist, Heart Dr, Chiropractor with a few more being added.
We are learning where to shop and where not to.
We have found a great dog park for Daisy to play.
We have found the walking trails throughout our neighborhood to be inviting and peaceful.
We have met neighbors whom we adore (even though they just told us they were moving).
Our girl has had her first fever.
She is learning Sign Language and Spanish
Our girl turned 6, Michael turned 44, and I just turned 39.
We had to put our sweet Elmo to sleep as he became very ill with cancer after the move.
Trick or Treating rocks in our neighborhood.
We have done the “Magnolia” Experience.

What we have learned about Texas:
Almost every road seems to be under construction.
Traffic is just as bad as Atlanta.
Drivers are very aggressive, VERY aggressive. It is cut throat here.
Mother Nature smokes crack out here. 90 one day, 45 the next. We keep out all seasons all year long.
It’s nice to be around family, and spend time with them.

What we know for sure:
We miss our people in Georgia.
We miss our community.
We see purpose in the move out here.
Our girl is still grieving the move.
The “honeymoon” phase of the move is over, reality has set in.
We are meeting some great people.
“Breaking in” is hard.
We love getting pen pal letters.

So, there you have it, 5 months of an update. I thought I would let the words be few and pictures speak for it all. I promise the next will not be so far off.

Pit stop on the way out to Texas

My beautiful girl in my dad's wedding. 

Our New House Key

Sweet girl hanging in FL

Cow Day

Hosanna's new room, Rainbows and all 

We miss you buddy. 

Daisy, loving Texas


In NY at the light house

K Open House

I lost my tooth

First Day of School 

Pretty Cool Paw Patrol Cake

Someone is 6!!!