Monthly Archives: November 2012

Made Whole in Christ

Standard

(Prewarning: My November 21st post was about how confident I would be and go forward in faith, but I let fear creep back in.  When will I learn??)

So this past week has been a whirlwind of excitement and lots of buying for the baby!  A little fun and a little depressing all at the same time.  The fun comes from shopping for all the things you know your baby will need…the depressing part comes from how expensive babies can be!  We are thankful for the multitude of friends that have gifted us with clothes, swings, play yards, carriers etc. and we need it all since this one is our first, but much of what we are buying many people get at showers and we are choosing not to have one until after the baby is here.  So, we are now buying everything we will need for his first month of life while trying to remember all the things we don’t need and can register for later. ( A friend put it well when she said “You are doing in three weeks what most spend months doing.”  God has provided for it all so we are thankful and hope to pay it forward when the time comes.)

We chose to hold off on a shower for two reasons,  first, the holidays are here and money is tight for everybody right now.  We know and understand to throw a quick shower together would be a stretch for all of us even though our friends would graciously do it.  Second, we won’t feel free until the baby is in our home sleeping in his crib or bassinet (whichever we decide to do).  I spoke earlier about the new show The Baby Wait on Logo.  We are living this show right now.  Even though the call was one of the greatest feelings ever and the wait to get the call was finally over…now, a new wait starts; the wait to get the baby.  We were told that adoption is not for weenies and we are learning that right now.  Not only can the birthmom change her mind about choosing us right now…she can change her mind up to forty eight hours after the baby is born in the state of Texas.  ( Our social worker likes to say “You sure do make everything hard.”  I am learning she may be right.)

Which brings me to my title.  I’ve been here before…waiting.  My husband and I went through TWO years of separation before reconciling and building a strong Christ centered marriage.  Talk about waiting.  Most days I felt like I was just waiting for a divorce since I saw no healing in sight.  Other days I felt bothered nothing was happening…I was just waiting to get it all over with.  Other days, I was relieved we were at least still married since that meant there was hope. So I know this path and I have reverted back to that season to gain strength for this one. (Amazing how God uses those trials to prepare you for new ones.)

My first plan of action was to get back out my book Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers.  It is a book about holding your thoughts captive in Christ.  Our minds can be our worst enemy and we have a say in what we CHOOSE to think about.  Our minds control our emotions and we have a choice in how we feel as well.  I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with negative, doubtful or anxious thoughts.  I have read it over and over and continue to still read it for strength and scripture. (Maybe you can tell by now I am a little neurotic!)

Second, prayer.  God must love my company because I often feel He puts me in situations where only He can work things out.  He reminded me of something today that He taught me when I was separated: He makes me whole…not my marriage.  Today, He said: I make you whole…not a baby.  Punch me in the gut!  Talk about lesson learned.  God reminded me I will still have everything as long as I have Him.  A baby is a gift, but not THE gift.  THE gift is Him dying on the cross for me.  ( I know many right now have lost their faith in God after years of infertility, miscarriages and pain; I don’t know the answers to all that-but I do know God’s love never fails.)

I have spent most of the weekend running all the “what ifs” in my head.  I have been anxious and worried and afraid.  I fear disappointing others and the despair I will feel if this adoption fails.  I have spent most of my time dwelling on it which leads to Satan planting some of the worst lies in my brain.  I know the worst case scenarios of our situation and they have consumed me lately.  Until today.  God has brought us to this place and although He has not promised it will all work out; he has promised it will all be for our good.  If this is not our baby, then there is another one out there that is.  God is creating our family as I type and that is all I need to know.  Saying all this, I am not giving up hope that we met Callen Ryan at lunch last Monday, but I refuse to dwell on the possibility that all this can blow up in my face.  All I am saying is that if it does, it is not the end of the world and I lost sight of that this weekend.

The good news is: The bottom line is being afraid, worried and anxious is not Christ-like.  In and through all of this my biggest prayer has been for others to see Him in me.  If I spend my time dwelling on failure, then I miss the opportunities He is preparing for me to be victorious.  I want to stand out as being different therefore I must change my way of thinking.  While writing this post, SNL is playing in the background and this song came on which sums up a lot of what I am trying to say.   http://youtu.be/rGKfrgqWcv0

WE.GOT.THE.CALL!!!

Standard

With a heavy heart we are so thankful to announce that we got the call last Wednesday.  Our social worker called me at work because she kept forgetting to get in touch with me…she finally just decided to track me down.  Disturbing a teacher during work hours is a task in itself, but if anyone can do it is her!

Within a few minutes I had the most shocking and happy news that I have ever heard.  I was smiling large which meant my students had more time to act crazy knowing that the call was not about them making me mad.  In fact they got a free “be bad as you want pass” since nothing could stop my joy…that pass expired the next day, though.  My social worker informed me of the news and then I hung up knowing I still had another hour to teach and a big secret to keep.

Knowing I was the only one that knew, I decided to announce it to my husband as I always dreamt of telling him we were pregnant.  I went out and bought baby balloons and a baby bag and baby card.  I put in the bag a onesie that said “My dad has your back” with a police car on the front.  I also put in the bag a book The Hungry Caterpillar that was special to him growing up and I know how much he would love reading it to our child.  I hid this all in the nursery along with a card announcing the sex of the baby and the delivery date.  When he got home from work (which was the literally the one week he worked days and I could keep this surprise) I acted as if nothing had happened.  I later said I wanted to show him something in the nursery then opened the door with “I got a call today.”

His face was pure shock and confusion.  He asked me what I knew and I told him “everything”.  I took out the card that read Blue or Pink-What do you think?  ( I want to think Bill and Guilliana for that one.)  He then opened the card to read:

Our SON will be born on December 17th, 2012

Cue the tears, the hugs and the perfect moment that I have been waiting three years to have.  I always thought it would be a pregnancy test or you will be a dad in nine months…but telling him he will be a dad in three weeks was just as fun.  (Side note it is crazy to announce to friends in one call that we are having a baby (many did not know about the adoption), it is a boy, AND it will be here in less than a month).  Talk about shock!

We were scheduled to meet the birth mom in six days so we kept it a secret until then.  No one knew but my work so that I could start preparing a sub and leave plan.  This past Monday we met the birthmom and heard about the remaining details of our journey.  The baby will now be here no later than December 10th and we will have full access to the hospital and the baby….praise you God and generous birth mother for that gift.  We don’t expect to be in the room, but to be there in the beginning is a blessing.

We then got to make the rounds of telling our families and friends.  Everyone was shocked and so happy for us.  Those that know our journey know that it has been tough, but SO WORTH IT!    I am cautious at heart so nothing is definite until the 48 hour wait is over and I am cautious due to it being the holidays, however, after meeting her she feels this is what is best for the baby and she is happy for us even though it will naturally be hard for her.  What love and sacrifice!

My heart is going all in on this one.  I don’t want to miss a thing being afraid or hesitant.  This is the pregnancy I may never have and possibly my one and only child to celebrate.  I keep repeating Psalm 112:7 but I change the pronouns “I will have no fear of bad news; my heart is steadfast and trusting in the Lord.”  I know all the what ifs and could be’s, but I also know I am all in.  My heart is on the line and I choose to enjoy it.  I hope to post soon pics of the baby and of the great news that he is home.  I do ask for prayers for the birth parents that they will find peace in knowing that our son will never go long without hearing of their great love and our devotion to their generosity.  I can’t take away their pain, but they can feel their pain is not in vain.  If they both feel that this is what is best for him then we will spend the rest of our lives proving them right. What I love best is that they chose us.   She has every right to choose to parent or change her mind, but God’s will be done. Let the journey begin!

The good news is: due to adoption our family can grow.  Infertility is a challenge and a struggle, but it is not the end.  God’s miracles happen daily where two unexpected lives collide.  Adoption is not for everybody, but it is a great blessing for those that feel led.  I look forward to welcoming this family into our hearts.  I will forever be changed knowing they exist.  What is amazing is to look back on the journey and know when we were learning of infertility…she was learning of pregnancy.  When we were seeking the agency…so was she.  When we thought we would never be chosen, she was looking at our book.  (Side note: we learned we had been chosen two months ago, but that it fell through and our counselor knew that it would. She never told us to save us from that pain.  Thank you, God, because that would have hurt. So for two months our book was off the market hence the long wait where our friends were getting chosen, but not us.)  However, due to timing we get to plan holiday cards and birth announcements with a Christmas theme and we get the best gift under the tree.

God, you are my shepherd and I will follow where you lead. I feel unworthy of this blessing, but you are in control.  I pray you will be with our birthparents and your will be done.  If this is not your plan, then let it all end immediately.  “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.”Psalm 127:1

P.S the name is Callen Ryan

Happy Eight Years!

Standard

The flowers he sent to my work for our anniversary

My husband and I celebrated eight years together on Tuesday, November 6th. Romney and Obama tried to overshadow our big day by holding a national election, but we kept our eyes on what really matters 🙂 We are extremely blessed and grateful to make it to another milestone of accomplishment. Our marriage is a foundation of good things to come.

We look forward to welcoming a baby into this home and providing her or him with two loving parents that adore each other. We look forward to our son or daughter praying for a man or woman that will provide the kind of support that we provide each other. Marriage is not easy, but it is worth it and we are proof that a solid marriage can be found when you seek God first. You can read the rest of my blog to know more about the journey we have been on together, but I could not have prayed for a better partner to endure infertility and the adoption process of waiting. He will be the most amazing father when our time comes. Until then I will cherish having him all to myself!!

Liebster Award

Standard

Thank you, Juno from http://wantababybelly.wordpress.com/ for nominating me for a Leibster Blog Award! This award is granted to up-and-coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers who deserve some recognition and support to keep on blogging. Like my nominator, this is my first blog nomination. I hope everyone gets to know me a little better from this.

The instructions are:

1) to answer the 11 questions written by your nominator. 2) to nominate 11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers. 3) to write 11 of your own questions for each nominee to answer.

1. If you could meet any person (real or fiction) who would it be and what question would you ask them?

I would love to meet, Mary, Jesus’s mother and just pick her brain on what she was feeling when she knew she was carrying the son of God. How did Joseph react when you told him? What was it like to raise a savior? Her story always amazes me and to think she was just a young girl chosen to change the world.

2. How did you meet your spouse/partner? Was it love at first sight?

I met my spouse at Vanston Middle School in eighth grade, but we did not get serious until college. It was not love at first sight, but I did love his blue eyes as a teenage girl and immediately refell in love with those blue eyes fifteen years later. Our story of how we met was featured in the Dallas Morning News since we are two kids from Mesquite that did not reconnect until we were in Austin. We now live and work in the community that started it all surrounded by family and friends.

3. What is the meaning behind your blog name?

In the process of infertility, I learned I have Lupus which is an autoimmune disease where healthy cells attack themselves. Lupus can affect all parts of the body, but mine has created antibodies that attack my hormones and his sperm. At 32, my hormone levels were that of a menopausal woman. I am now in tune with that disease and my blog is about all the ins and outs that have occured because of it.

4. Do people in real life know about your blog? Why or why not?

Yes and no. I have allowed about fifty prayer warriors to know about it, but not just anybody. The matter of the blog is highly personal and I don’t want it to be used as gossip or random chatter. I want my close friends and family to read it and pray for our situation while understanding that we are very private and still working though the emotions. Plus, my husband is way more private than I am and sees a lot of our process as no one else’s business. However, it feels theuraputic to let it out to strangers and maybe help someone along the way. We feel our testimony could bring someone closer the Lord or give them hope that God’s plans are still pretty great. Even though I don’t know who is reading it, I feel by writing that I am kinda sharing what is happening without having to call everybody daily.

5. What is your geatest fear in life?

I’ve faced it. Not being able to get pregnant.

6. Who has been the most positive role model in your life to date and why?

I have been blessed with many. My mom is amazingly generous, my dad is hopeful and friendly, my grandmother is honest and real and my grandfather is a strong man and mentor. I live daily to make my family proud and be leave a legacy of God’s love and his influence on our family.

7. What about your infertility journey is most difficult for you?

It is difficult that my husband is stuck with this disease and it causes him to not experience a biological child. Nathan has gorgeous eyes and a witty humor; any kid would be lucky to look like him. I hate that he could go procreate with any other girl and see a little of himself in a young person, but life gave him me and he won’t have that option. I wish this didn’t affect him in such a major way.

8. What is your most favorite comfort food?

I love cheese. Pizza, nachos, queso…all of it. I am a southern girl with a southern appetite and we love to eat fried foods and cheese! When I feel blue, I just pick out one of the many delicious foods that are high in fat but also high in taste and indulge.

9. What possession do you love and would be heartbroken to part with?

My wedding ring. I always am touching my finger to make sure it is there and it did not fall off. So many emotions and feelings go with the symbol of the ring. My husband and I almost divorced and I took it off for awhile, but it is now a symbol of that commitment and that determination. I know the love is in the heart and not the ring, but it holds a lot of memories and has been present for some very special moments in my life. I play soccer so I have to take it off often, but I take very good care of it to put it right back on after the game.

10. What do you do to he your spouse through the struggle of infertility?

He helps me. I often break down and cry, but he is the rock and the warrior. He has never blamed me or allowed me to blame myself publicly. He believes that our future is better than we could imagine and this is a part of it. He has held my hand through so much of this journey and picks up the slack when I am ready to give up.

11. If you were a billionare how would you choose to spend your time?

Traveling and serving others. I would scuba dive in all the best oceans and dive sites and use my knowledge to serve kids, couples and athletes in other countries. I love teaching so I would incorporate my passions with my talents. I don’t want to be a billionaire if it means I get arrogant and prideful and start only worrying about money. It’s not worth it if it consumes me. However, it would be nice to travel more without having to sacrifice.

Now the next step is to choose eleven blogs that have impacted me and ask them eleven questions. Please know that it won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t participate. I usually don’t, but I have been changed by the support of my blog and know sometimes all we need is others to know about it. I hope you will consider passing along the blogger love.

http://www.journeyforbabyray.blogspot.com/

http://mybumovaries.blogspot.com/

http://ourkangaroopouch.wordpress.com

http://aboutsproutblog.blogspot.com/

http://www.fromiftowhen.com/

http://teamholdbrook.blogspot.com/

http://www.alittlepregnant.com/alittlepregnant/

http://thisluminousroaditravel.wordpress.com

http://theelusivesecondline.wordpress.com

http://lovehopesandbaby.wordpress.com

http://therosettasadoption.wordpress.com/

Here are your eleven questions if you choose to participate:

1. What song has impacted you the most?

2. Describe your best friend.

3. How did you meet your spouse?

4. Where would you go if you could go anywhere?

5. How many times have you cried this past year and why?

6. What are you most thankful for this time year of year?

7. Why did you choose to blog and do you share your blog on Facebook?

8. How has blogging helped you?

9. If you could change it all, would you?

10. Do you watch reality television and what are your favorite shows?

11. If you could share one thing about infertlity, what would it be?

Again, I never pass these along, but today I went ahead and did it. I love learning about people and our journey is much more the same than it is different. As women, we must support each other and lean on one another we can all learn a lot from our experiences.  Writing is so powerful!

More adoption “stuff”

Standard

http://www.aimadoptions.org/wf_nathan_julia.htm

Okay, so here is the process when your husband works nights: one minute you are sitting on the couch reading an Us Weekly magazine and the next minute you are searching the Internet for a new show that you read about in the magazine.  I admit it, I love reality television.  Some good reality television (Bill and Guilliana) and some trashy reality television (Real Housewives of Orange County)  I draw the line at Honey Boo Boo and I have just started to erase Jersey Shore and Big, Rich, Texas from my DVR, but yes, I at one time kept up with those shows as well.  I love Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant even though both shows baffle me at times that some people get pregnant so easily while others struggle.  I have come to the place where I cringe watching 16 and Pregnant since so many of the “fathers” in that show are so irresponsible.  It makes me appreciate Nathan, but I know 33 year old Nathan is not the same 16 year old Nathan…I digress.

Anyway, while reading Us Weekly, I read about a new show on Logo (never heard of it either, but it is channel 183  on Uverse) called Waiting for Baby.  It is from the producers of 16 and Pregnant, but focuses on open adoption.  It tells the story of couples that are in the waiting period of the birthmother changing her mind before placing her baby for adoption.  I will prewarn you the first episode features a homesexual couple waiting to adopt; although we both cannot have children-one couple it is because of biology and for us it is because of infertility caused by an autoimmune disease.  The challenges are great in both, but suffering from infertility as a couple is very devastating since the world says you are suppose to be able to have kids.  As a couple we exhausted many years of trying to have children before learning our fate-I guess if you are gay you know much earlier that you cannot conceive kids together.  Yet, both are couples looking to be a family and both cannot do it on their own.  I am looking forward to Episode 2 that focuses on an infertile couple since I relate more to them and their trials.  Okay, I digressed again.

It caused me to do lots of thinking and writing at this late hour.  First thing, is it inspired me to look up Texas adoption laws.  These couples are dealing with a ten day or thirty day wait before finalizing their adoption.  Talk about waiting!  I rechecked TX law and since we are going through an agency the consent is given at least 48 hours after birth and after that it is irrevocable.  I think private adoption is different, but we are going through an agency so that was my focus.  The birthmother can take longer than 48 hours, but cannot sign before then.  Because of this law, we are choosing not to have a baby shower before the baby is born.  I know we could and many do, but we are not comfortable with it.  We prefer a Sip and See and to buy the necessities out of pocket.  Next, I was directed to lots of information about open adoption and it reaffirmed to me how thankful that we are experiencing this kind of plan.  It takes lots of selflessness from all involved, but I truly feel it is what is best for the baby.  I still pray daily that our birthmom will chose to have contact.  God has prepared my heart to be confident and secure and to not feel threatened or jealous.  I look forward to that relationship and hope it is as great as my mind makes it out to be.

Finally, it brought me back to our adoption profile on the aimadoptions.org site.  It reminded me of why we are on this journey and the road we took to get here.  We were told very early on that our chances to conceive with my eggs were very slim.  It sealed the decision in our heart very early.  Combine that with I hate appointments and hormones makes my Lupus angry…IUI and IVF was not an option.  We are not rich enough for a surrogate and not non-traditional enough for a donor egg.  We were wanting answers early and we got them…time and time again we are affirmed that this is God’s best even though I don’t understand it.

We are learning the process a day at a time.  I don’t know how it will all go down.  I am curious about the call, the meeting, the birth, the 48 hours after, the bringing the baby home, the first doctor’s appt. and all that goes with it.  I am most curious about how it will all work out when we are in Dallas and our agency is in Houston.  How many hotel stays will we need?  Will a birth mother ever choose us being three hours away? I don’t know about any of it, but I have to trust God that this is where He led us.  The local agencies either did not contact us back or I had a gut feeling that they were wrong for us.  Looking back, every decision along the way has been so surreal yet here we are and still thriving.  Part of me can’t wait for the call and the other part of me knows that call changes everything and brings new worries.  Things get real when we get that call.  We ask for your prayers to be prepared.

My final thought that I type as I avoid hanging up the laundry is how much I love Guilliana and Bill and their reality show.  I truly feel connected to her.  I was watching her show while going through our infertility.  I felt her pain along the way.  I saw how cute of a couple they are and thought how much Nathan and I love to joke like them.  I love her sense of humor and how she does not take herself seriously.  I love the way Bill looks at her like she is crazy…I get that look a lot from Nathan.  She has Scoliosis like me and she learned of her breast cancer while I learned of my Lupus.  Like me, she can’t get pregnant in her belly…but unlike me she is holding her biological child.  That part hurt.  Happy for her, but sad for me that her baby looks like them and has their genes.  We have accepted that is not for us, but it does make us wonder what would our child look like?  Our only prayer is God is creating an “us” in someone else or at least a gift that is for us.  We just wait until our lives are merged.  We don’t wish a crisis pregnancy on anyone, but we know they happen everyday and we pray that our profile, book or story strikes a chord in a woman’s heart and she will know that all of those events that led to her situation is helping a childless couple like ourselves create a family of three (five if you include our dogs).  God is constantly working in His time and we can’t wait to see what He has been up to all these years.

The good news is: God is faithful.  I encourage you to watch the video on my post Waiting for our Superhero.  Still makes me cry everytime and I know it is from the perspective of an adoptive family.  I am sure not all birthmothers feel like superheroes and society sure does not help the situation, but our future birthmother is our superhero.  Her decision to choose life, her maturity to accept the reality of her world and her thought into choosing a suitable family means everything.  Nathan and I are not rich in money and will not be travelling to Hawaii or Europe anytime soon.  We don’t own season tickets to any team and we are happily middle class.  However, we are faithful, stable, dependable, peaceful, non addicted people.  We have a wide support of family and can provide for every need and many reasonable wants.  We don’t have a lot of drama in our lives (except my reality television-Mob Wives is high drama!) and God has given us experiences that have kept us pretty well rounded.  We are pretty old fashioned normal and we like it that way.

Video update

Standard

I forgot that I never posted about our famous video shoot in the Tyndall household! Well, it started earlier than I expected as I thought they were coming at nine and they showed up at eight. Satan was hard at work to create conflict and to get us regretting that we agreed to tell our story. But, our camera crew was extremely sweet and our interviewer made us comfortable immediately. We quickly forgot about the rough morning.

We were actors for eight hours as we shot take after take of all things related to that evening where a Marriage Today show started the healing in our marriage. I tell you readers…we were as done as any marriage could be. We were finished, but that one show started a series of choices that changed my heart and brought my husband a new wife. Many months later, my actions, led Nathan to make some changes and over a long period of time…a new marriage. It was not easy…the hardest thing I have ever done. I have been infertile, diagnosed with Lupus and been very sick with no answers and it was all cake compared to working on our marriage and rebuilding love where love was gone. God is a healer and He healed this broken marriage. We are hopeful that if your marriage needs a make over or you know a couple on the verge of quitting you will refer them to http://www.marriagetoday.com. The resources for building a Christian marriage are endless and sometimes all we need is to study how to love your spouse better or how to give love in a selfless way.

Well, those eight hours of film were broken down into three and half minutes of a video that shows the viewers the power of God’s healing and the need of help for many struggling couples,. We know how tough it is to make a marriage work in today’s society and we both experienced how easy it was choose divorce, but there is always hope when two people are willing to work at it and learn from the creator of love how to make the relationship work. I am the most proud that we are a testimony of reconciliation and complete renewal. Our dogs even became stars as they were featured heavily throughout the video. I wish I could post it here, but the husband is still getting used to crying on camera and sharing his feelings. He will adjust soon and I hope it will be posted soon.  To be honest, I hate how I am on camera…I do weird facial expressions and my hair needs some help, but I am not ashamed of our testimony and the bad hair day will just have to stay.

November is national adoption month

Standard

I was chatting with a friend from college that had some questions about adoption specifically about the openness of adoption.  She was shocked to hear that they can be open and that it is often encouraged.  It was a great feeling to describe to her the wonderful opportunity of planning a future for a dearly loved child and to put aside your own fears to put this new life first.  At the end of the conversation, I just redescribed the love of a mother to accept the opportunity to create a family for a couple that cannot have children or maybe can, but has it in their heart to go a different route.  These birth families are not “giving” anything away…they are making a plan and the love that is involved to make this decision is unbelievable.  Obviously, not everyone is in the situation where parenting is a tough option, but those that are it is a beautiful thing to have choices.  A year ago, I would have known none of this and today I am the “expert”…but my knowledge is still very limited.

I stressed to her my job as the adoptive parent is to never stop speaking of the great love that was bestowed upon this child and my gratefulness for receiving such a beautiful gift. I did not choose to be infertile…those were the cards that were dealt to me.  It is not “fair” and does not make sense…yet!  Someday it will and we will embark on a journey that will justify every decision that we have ever made to get us where we are today.

I have found myself to be an advocate for adoption and criticizing the media for making it out to be a joke.  (Example a Chelsea Handler commercial where she flippantly says “Your mom is covering up that you are adopted…how does that feel?”)  Like being adopted is a curse or punishment.  Sad to be so uninformed.  Crazy how a year ago, I probably would have laughed or not been bothered…thinking that could be my child embarrassed about his history makes me shudder.  The truth is I have been praying for my son or daughter ceaselessly for months and I have been praying for the situation that will start the process that causes us all to meet.

The good news is: We have such supportive friends and family that have never stopped encouraging us and praying for us.  We know that with their love our child will never feel like plan B to a biological child, but the best plan A ever…even better than we could have imagined. I praise my God that is leading this journey and continually pray for the baby and the family that will make me a mom.  I don’t pray this decision on anyone…an unwanted pregnancy is never God’s plan…but I pray that as these situations occur, because we live in a fallen world, that she will consider adoption as a possibility to an uncertain future.  I look forward to seeing how God will bring good from all of this and connect our lives in unbelievable ways.  Lord, here I am, send me!