Monthly Archives: December 2012

New Year’s Eve

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First, my heart is so heavy for all the posts I have been reading on the blogs that I follow.  Why do the holidays have to be so hard?  They all come like a train…Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s…none of it easy for those struggling to conceive or those that are conceiving, but struggling to give birth.  My story ended with a happy ending, but not the ending that I originally planned…biological children was our goal, but God blessed us in a way far better than we could have imagined. 

We look at this child sleeping in our living room.  Healthy.  A great sleeper.  Easy going.  Beautiful.  And then I look at myself.  Healthy.  Not in pain. Financially stable.  A mom. The timing of his birth was perfect; in fact better than perfect.

The road was not easy and it won’t be easy going forward.  We are in the process of figuring out the childcare situation.  We still have six months of monthly visits and a long road of open adoption and all the great conversations that go with this decision.  When it is all said and done we firmly believe God created this child for us in another’s woman’s womb, but this is our child.  The child that God intended to be ours and the child that God has big plans to accomplish, but needed us to help Him fulfill.

Again, adoption is not for everyone.  We know that for many you should keep the road to fertility and it will pay off in huge ways.  We know that if God had kept those doors open then we would be there, too.  We were fortunate that we had multiple doctors honestly tell us that getting pregnant was dangerous, costly and could result in a number of consequences.  We also knew that all our best intentions were repeatedly resulting in frustration and yet the adoption doors opened smoothly.  Let me stress again and again…adoption was not our original plan, but it was God’s best plan.  Adoption is not giving up and it is not second best.  Our son is proof of way better than we could have ever imagined, but it does come with some challenges and God must feel we are more than prepared to handle them all.

I just see so many blogs that make adoption sound like an insult.  Maybe for some it is and that is okay.  Maybe for many it is a cost thing and it is expensive, but take one IVF treatment and you have half the amount of adoption.  Again, adoption has changed a lot in the last few years and we were probably in that boat five years ago.  Every journey is different, but consider how much you love your spouse and he/she is not biologically related.  Adoption is like that.  You learn to love this child, not for his blood, but for your experiences together.

Okay I say all that to say, I pray for every woman out there in the blogging world that your family will be created in any way that is possible.  IVF, IUI, miracle pregnancies, natural cycles, medicated cycles, surrogacy, embryo adoption, closed adoption, open adoption, international adoption, infant adoption, foster care, step children etc. the list goes on and on.   Families are created in so many ways and many choose to not parent, but instead, be a mentor or guide to children. Our birth parents can have biological children, but they know this child needed more than they could give and they chose to place him in our care. They are now part of our family…God is good!

Some may ask, why do you care how I feel about adoption? I guess I just look back on how much our hearts have changed through infertility and my heart hurts for those experiencing it right now. It is heart breaking! Seriously, tragic. It is a silent killer and is it is hard to talk about especially with the fertile world, but know you are never alone. Know that there are more people that relate than you might think and know you are being prayed for on a daily basis. It hurts. It is costly, it is emotional, it hurts marriages, it brings guilt and there are physical burdens as well. I just feel blessed to be a mom, even if it was unconventional and I pray for all you ladies wanting to be a mom, too. If you are a birthmother reading this, I cannot thank you enough for your courage and strength to bless another family. If you are an adopted child reading this, know how very planned you were by a family that was waiting for YOU and only YOU!!!

The good news is: I look back at last New Year’s Eve and Nathan and I kissed into the New Year saying “2012 will bring great things.” We knew this year was something special. We also knew that this year would be our last just the two of us. We had not started the adoption process, but we just knew. We were heading into November, questioning our expectations and yet here we are. I am typing at this laptop, my husband is rocking our son, our dogs are snoring on the couch, my grandmother is looking down from heaven and we are all angry at the Dallas Cowboys. No matter how this year ended, we would still put our trust in God knowing that our time on this earth is just a small piece of a larger life in eternity. I must keep my perspective; our time is limited and we must make the most of each day. We chose to take a leap of faith and landed right where we should be.

I pray for every situation in 2013 that you either get what you want or learn something about yourself in the process. Our journey was a three year process to get here. We know hurtful holidays and we know negative pregnancy tests…yet we survived and thrived in spite of it all. Keep your head up no matter what your situation and know each experience both good and bad brings a new perspective.

Merry Christmas for some, but not for all

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What a difference a year makes!  I keep saying that over and over as we see the end product of a long journey with infertility.  This time last year, we were receiving news of my diagnosis with Lupus, this time last year we were celebrating Christmas with my grandmother and this time last year we had been trying to conceive for over two years and were beginning to question if it would ever happen.  We were content with the two of us.  We bought lots of goodies for each other, we slept in late, we went out to eat and had a few drinks, we dreamed of taking another vacation to scuba dive.  We celebrated the birth of our Savior with church family and friends.  We enjoyed seeing Christmas with my brand new niece and our older nieces.  Christmas was good and we were blessed…but after eight years of the same, we were ready for something different. 

This time last year, adoption was not even a choice.  We kept trying in vain to get pregnant thinking we would increase the number of days, change the ovulation kit, try a different hour or change doctors or change medications.  We were still focused on conceiving and just kept praying and kept trying.  March had not come yet.

Three months later we received the news that my hormones and my physical body would make carrying a child difficult.  My doctor was willing to try IUI or IVF, but his words were “I can take your money, but I am not sure it will work.”  Three years ago, Nathan would not consider adoption.  I had been praying for his heart to change or for my body to work right or for childlessness to be okay.  I stopped praying to get pregnant and began praying “God, create a bigger family for us.” 

God moved swiftly when we opened our hearts to His plan and abandoned our own.  It took Him closing a lot of doors before our hearts finally changed.  I guess it needed to be this way for us to know that our efforts were fruitless.  I had the heart to get back out a website that was given to us a few months earlier and put it in a more prominent spot.  I then began to pray for God’s will. 

By April, we were meeting with AIM adoption agency and by May we were considered a client.  In June all of our paperwork was completed, in July our book was finished and August meant our home study was done and we were officially a waiting family. What felt like forever later, we received a phone call in November that our book had been chosen (it had been chosen in August but she backed out in October-thank you God).  The next three weeks was a whirlwind of meetings and preparing for a baby in 21 days.

 

I say all this to say if you are still yearning for a child…my heart goes out to you.  Holidays are never enjoyable when you are waiting.  This time of year is hard when Facebook is full of family pictures of children and you yearn for one.  I am fortunate that I never experienced a miscarriage, but I also never experienced a pregnancy.  Adoption is not for everyone, but it is where God led us.  At the time, it was so confusing and we tossed back and forth if we were “giving up”.  God spoke “You are trusting me.”

The good news is: He was right (He always is).  He put in our hearts the desire to adopt and we have never looked back.  The amount of people we have touched or been touched by in this journey is endless.  We have experienced memories that a small club has experienced and God chose us for a reason that we may never know.  In the midst of all this, we get a text from our birthparents thanking us for loving this boy on their behalf.  It brought tears to my eyes because I could never thank them enough for giving us this opportunity to be called “parents”.

Keep on Keeping On

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So the whirlwind craziness of two weeks is wrapping up.  Starting on December 10th with the arrival of our son!  We were on Cloud 9 getting to meet him and see how healthy and big he was.  We quickly called or texted our family and friends to share the big (literally) news.  Later, on December 12th, we learned that all the papers were signed and we could officially breathe again.  We could call him a Tyndall without fear of something going wrong.  Neither of us expected anything to fall through, but I was still cautiously optimistic.   The world was perfect for us that day and life was good.

Later that evening, we learned my grandmother had a stroke while on a cruise in Mexico and they were struggling to get her brought back to the states.  If she died in Mexico, it would have taken eight weeks for the govt. to return her body per their regulations.  We put her on life support and got a private jet to bring her home.  After arriving in America, they flew her to Houston to seek medical care.  After four days of testing, they concluded the massive stroke affected her speech, breathing and eating.  She was doubtful to recover without needing life support and this was against the wishes in her will.  We drove her in an ambulance back to Dallas to spend her last few days in her bed.  She did not make it past one a.m.  She died forty minutes after her birthday was over.  Grateful for her life, but shocked about her death described my emotions.

I had this precious son so full of life, but I was grieving the death of one of the closest people to me.  She was that grandmother that was extremely involved and present.  The one that I thought of when I thought of a grandparent.  It is hard to believe that she is not here since she always has been.  I can’t complain because I had her in my life for thirty three years.  I teach kids that lose their grandparent everyday…but this is my first grandparent (out of four) that has passed.

I took Callen to her viewing on Friday and enjoyed showing him off to family that I had not seen in years.  Thank God he was here in time to be on her obituary.  He was her second great grandchild.  Everyone enjoyed smiling during the pain as we welcomed a new life.  Those that did not know we adopted, complimented me on getting my figure back so quickly.  I smiled and thanked them then politely told them our story.  Most felt relieved that I was not a freak of nature that lost the weight to so fast.  On Saturday, we attended her funeral and buried her while Callen slept with a relative at home.  We later hosted our first Christmas party at our home and he was the hit of the party.

I am still shocked she is gone, but still thankful that my God is so good to us.  He gave us life at the perfect time.  He gave us a perfect child for our family.  I am enjoying every moment-even the late night ones.  Needless to say, with all this stress I entered into a minor flare.  My joints began to ache, I felt rundown and a little feverish.  I took extra Prednisone and it all went away.  Nothing can stop me from this joy.  I hope now that the emotional roller coaster is over then I can go back to normal.  God is so good to us and this is a joyful season to celebrate our Savior. We praised him in the pain and we praise him in the victory.

The good news is: “Every good and perfect gift is sent from above.” James 1:17  Merry Christmas blogging world.  “Sorrow may endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning.”

Newborn Pics!

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I will write more about the photo shoot later, but I had one of my dreams come true this week and that was to have a photographer take pics of my newborn son.  You know that saying “I think she only got married to have a wedding.”  I guess you could jokingly say, “I think she only adopted a baby to take pics of him.”  I have been dreaming of this session for many years.  I had planned out hats, blankets, baskets, poses.  I was just waiting on the baby and our son is better than I could imagine.

God did good with this one.  He was perfect throughout the session.  He did exactly what I had dreamed he would do and the pics came out far better than my wildest dreams.  It all fit like a glove.  Never did I pray or plan to have a baby at Christmas.  However, it is the greatest gift and such a fun time to celebrate a baby.  We get to do Christmas card/birth announcements and get to introduce him to all our family members at such a blessed time.  God has been too good to me.

The best thing is that as we mourn the loss of my grandmother, we also celebrate the life of my baby.  God gives and He takes away.  I am living the parental dream.  Enjoying each smell, each moment, each cry, each diaper, each hug and kiss.  It helps that I am not hurting from the delivery, but I also am grateful for every midnight feeding because it means I have a baby to feed.  I have yearned for this and I get to wake up every morning to see his face.  I am so thankful.

The good news is: I leaned on God during the years of waiting which makes these days of blessing so much more.  I was complete before the baby, but I now see the joy that comes when God chooses you to parent a child.  I still believe God created this baby with us in mind and we are thankful to his birthparents for their role in this miracle.  May they always know the blessings of our Father through this miracle of life.

Maw Maw: 12/17/1929-12/18/2012

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She almost left us on her birthday…Maw-Maw loved a good ending.  My grandmother went to be with Jesus this morning.  Crazy, but I found out on Facebook from my cousins and my aunt’s post about it.  Can I at least get a text?  🙂  They were transporting her from Houston to Dallas when she gave her last breath.  I am sad for me, but overjoyed for her.  She was ready to go home.  Her body was giving out on her and she wasn’t able to do what her mind wanted her to do.

My only regret is that she never met or held Callen.  She knew he was here and that I would be mom, but I wish she had seen me with him.  She would have liked to see that motherly side.  She will be watching, just from an aerial view.  As we were tossing and turning about the next steps, we found a box in her bedroom that had the contents of some things she ordered in a catalog.  My grandmother loves to shop in catalogs and random things get sent to her home from places that we never heard of.  She loved to shop: clothes, buttons, butter pats, porcelain shoes, light houses, dolls, Native American artifacts, puzzles, needlework…randomness galore.  I think she just loved to keep the economy going.  Many businesses are closing as I type because they lost their best customer. Hobbies were her thing and she supported them to the full.    I digress….in the box that was on her bed we found two Christmas ornaments that she purchased on December 6th.  The ornaments included a poem that was titled “Don’t Cry for me because I am spending Christmas with Jesus this year.”  The entire poem went on to tell about the joy of living a good life and to live to the fullest knowing Jesus is with her.  My Maw Maw even predicted her death…Maw Maw,  can you warn a sister???

It makes her passing easier.  It is also easier because she lived her life to the fullest.  She knew Jesus deeply and left her legacy of faith.  She was my biggest prayer warrior and spent the last year getting it right with God.  I can only be jealous that she is with Him enjoying the splendor of Heaven.  So thankful for a great God that planned a home for us in advance.  So thankful that He conquered death and victory is in Him.  Can’t fathom a life that is meaningless or ends by rotting in the ground.  Heaven is real and I am thankful that she is there with Him.

If I know Maw Maw she is telling Jesus her preferences right now.  She is greeting her parents and loved ones that passed, she is taking lots of pictures (she loved to take pics-in fact she went to Hawaii twenty five years in a row and she would bring back ten rolls of film each time)  Really Maw Maw?

Can’t say enough about the lady that molded my life.  I am the follower of Christ because I saw her example.  I witnessed her praying and studying His word.  I stood in awe at her generosity of funding churches, jobs and all kinds of missions.  She loved to shop, but she loved to give more.  She gave generously because money was just an object.  She had lots of it, but she enjoyed giving it away.  We all benefitted from her generous heart.

It feels good to type these memories as I am very blessed.  I had her for thirty three years of my life.  Many don’t.  She was healthy and loving and wise for most of those years.  I can’t complain or be sad because she was there for it all.  She adored her family and I promise to share her legacy with Callen.  I promise to continue telling of God’s great love for us.  She was an avid Church of Christ member and was in the doors (in her healthier days) whenever it was unlocked.  Maw Maw wasn’t perfect.  She had an attitude and told it like it is, she was a bit bossy at times and always quick to call you out; but she was loving and real and you knew she wasn’t about talking behind your back.

I look forward to her protecting my family and seeing all the ways she makes herself present in the next few years.  I look forward to feeling her presence as my angel.  She loved me to the moon and back and I am better for it.

Way to go, Maw-Maw.  “Well done good and faithful servant.”

The good news is: “Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There  are better things ahead than any we leave behind.”  ~ C.S.  Lewis

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:17-18

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
John 14:1-2

Bittersweet

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Bittersweet describes my life right now.  The exact date that Callen’s papers were signed and we could officially feel like he was part of our family, my grandmother had a massive stroke while on a Disney cruise ship in Mexico.  The nightmare my aunt and cousin had to go through to get her from the hospital in Mexico to Houston is unimaginable.  She is now in Houston and hooked up to ventilators and unconscious.

My grandmother watched her mother suffer for five years in a vegetable-like state after a stroke took her physical body.  After enduring this for so many years, she left a very specific will to not be placed on life support or feeding tubes if the situation could not improve.  We want to honor wishes as she was 82 years old and already in frail condition while wanting to give her time to recover if that is even possible.

My amazing husband took our five day old son for the entire day while I went back to Houston to say good bye and see my grandmother’s progress.  Callen was perfectly cared for and my husband survived with flying colors.  He did phenomenal actually.  I had such peace knowing Nathan was in charge.  When I came home, he was guiding me in all that Callen liked and did not like.  Nathan knows him so well now!

My grandmother was a very special lady to me.  She was so present in my life and was able to attend every important event in my life.  Graduations (high school, bachelor, masters), wedding, showers, prom, birthdays etc. she was there for it all.  Callen held a special place in her heart because I learned that she and my grandfather also struggled with fertility.  I learned that they were seeking to adopt to start their family, but then after seven years, they miraculously became pregnant.  She knows more than anyone how important this adoption was to us.  She wanted to help in any way that she could.

On the day that we found out that Callen was joining our family, she was on a cruise ship and desperately eager to know.  She had been praying so hard for our family and told everyone she knew about our journey.  She cried over and over when she knew that we were placed.  On the day she had a stroke, she learned it was final and he was coming home with us.  She said it was the happiest day of her life.  I believe it.

My sadness is so great as we celebrate a life and as we mourn the possible loss of another one.  Our God creates miracles, but I think she was ready to go home.  If she could fight, she would for our baby, but her body was so frail and damaged and she hated the loss of her freedom and health.  It is in God’s hands, but I find peace in knowing that she knew Callen was with us and would be ours forever.  I will meet her in Heaven someday and thank her for her generosity, guidance, love and prayers.

The good news is: God conquered death so that we could live for eternity with Him.  My Maw Maw is going home if the good Lord permits.  I was able to say my good bye and trust in his will.  The tragedy or irony is that the family will make their final decision on Monday, December 17th…her 83rd birthday.  God be with the doctors and all those involved.

See you later…

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I would first like to report that the family made it home safely to Dallas and we are now back in Cowboy country and no longer pretending to be Texan fans.  The “see you later” was filled with mixed emotions.  I was prepared to be an emotional wreck.  We got there around 11:30 am (after picking up goodies for the nursing staff for taking such good care of our birthparents and son).  We talked, took pics, changed him into his going home outfit and then waited.  We waited for over three hours, so by the time that we could leave after discharge…I think we were all ready to leave.  Birth mom carried him down with her in the wheel chair to the parking lot.  As I was putting him in the car seat, he had a meltdown and began screaming.  I was trying to work the carrier for the first time with a baby and then still hoping to give them both a proper good-bye.  We finally just got him strapped in while crying and ran over to hug them and give the most heartfelt “thank you” ever.  She was crying, he was crying and I was about to cry from the stress of it all.  We finally got him calmed down after a block.  My biggest concern was making sure that she knew we could handle it and not be driving away concerned.  We made it FB official that night with a post announcing that we adopted and his pic in front of our Christmas tree.  Many of our non-close friends had no idea we were even adopting.  I have become Facebook friends with them both, so I am very cautious about posting enough, but not too much during this fragile time.  They chose to friend me for a reason, so I think they want to see the joy he brings, however I don’t want to “rub it in their face” or make them miss him more than they already do.

Since we have been back, we have adjusted to his schedule of sleeping, eating, pooping then changing and falling back to sleep.  He is a great baby.  We had one bad night of crankiness, but we brought out the Rock and Play sleeper (Thank God for Marla!) and some gas medicine and he has been perfect.  We thank all of you for the prayers, support and encouragement.  Amazing how total strangers can be such a blessing with the right words at the right time.  It feels like I know you all through your words.

The good news is: It is a blessing to have him in our home and to see my husband and family love on him.  Glory to God for bringing us on this journey.  Jeremiah 29:11.

Callen Ryan is officially a Tyndall!

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Today was paper signing day and he is officially a Tyndall.  The courts and state monitor us for six months to guarantee that we are fit parents so his official adoption day will be six months from now, but we can consider him ours as of today.  The birth parents terminated their rights and loving placed him in our care.  It is a tedious process with mixed emotions, but all went as planned and we are proud parents tonight.

Tomorrow will be bittersweet as we get to take him home.  I will really miss his birthparents.  We have hung out for the past three days together in her hospital room.  We have all really gotten to know each other and we all got along very well.  Changing our son can be a three person job and everyone pitched in to do something.  It was like a small little family all helping each other.  We just kept promising them both that tomorrow is ” see you later” and never goodbye.  I am sure tears will be shed by all.

We are so happy to be called his parents, but so humbled by their love in choosing us to parent.  I could not be called mom without them.  I will forever have them in my heart and prayers…they are my son’s first parents.  She did such a great job of developing him into the baby that he is.  Such love.  We will take our responsibility of raising him into a faithful young man of God seriously.

The only word to describe this whole process is “surreal.”  You are in this moment that you never thought you would be in then later imagining for the longest time.  We look back over it all: home studies, meetings, paperwork, interviews, meet the birthparents lunch, then the delivery, the baby wait and now bringing him home.  Our God has prepared us for every step of the way.  He gave us a birthmother that chose us then later backed out two months later, but that was no mistake…God was buying time so we could get to our son, Callen.  He needed to make us wait until He could find the perfect fit.  Our God is good.  I keep thinking of the verse “We are His workmanship made by God to do good works that He prepared us in advance to do.”  Callen has been created to do great things and our greatest accomplishment was adopting him.  We are so thankful and blessed for our heroes: his birthparents.  Greatest gift ever!  James 1:7 “Every good and perfect gift is sent from the father above.”

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The good news is: What better news than that sweet face above?  God is faithful and I was never alone.  He had a plan for that miracle and led us to him.  Amazing to think that he was being conceived when we were learning of infertility.  He was growing while we were preparing paperwork and  his mother was choosing us while we were on our knees praying.  Glory goes to God!  Sorrow will endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning.

Baby boy is born!

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P1060613Our son was born today weighing in at 9 pounds and 15 ounces.  He is a healthy boy that loves to eat!  We are in love already :0   The 48 hour wait has begun, but she has given us plenty of reasons to believe that she is as committed to her decision as ever.  More details to come in the next few days.