Thursday, September 29, 2016

It's Not Either Or

I have been completely overwhelmed with the response from all of you.  Thank you for reading, sharing and investing in this process.  Mr. A and I are so so grateful.

With your prayers, shares and comments, I've gotten some questions asking about our path so far and how and why we have been led to adoption.  I thought I would share a little more about our own journey with the disclaimer that every path that includes infertility is different.  These blog posts are based on our experience and our journey.  If you have specific questions that aren't answered, please feel free to reach out to me.

I think that there may be a stigma about adoption if you are unfamiliar with the process.  I've had several people comment (very lovingly of course) throughout our infertility journey that we shouldn't worry because if we can't have children of our own we could "always adopt."

I want to be really transparent here- we are not moving forward with adoption because having a biological child is not an option for us.  We are moving forward with adoption because we believe this has always been our plan and chosen path to parenthood- we just had to cross a few bridges and rivers (and hills and mountains) to get there.  I don't believe adoption (at least for us) is an "either or" situation.  Either I get pregnant or we adopt.  Adoption isn't the alternative option for us.  It's the first choice and God's choice for our lives and our future.

I added some "fun facts" on our fundraising page about famous adoptions in history, but I left out the some pretty important ones.   The Bible has all sorts of references to adoption, caring for orphans, etc.  If you remember, Moses was adopted by his Egyptian family in the Old Testament.  But if you look in the New Testament you will read about perhaps the most famous adoption of all:  Jesus was adopted by His earthly father Joseph (who was chosen specifically by God) and I can't think of a better example of God's promise with adoption than this one.  While on earth, God provided an adoptive father for His son and what an amazing story came from that beginning!

Adoption can be such a ministry and a beautiful, positive experience for the couple, the baby, and the birth parents.  To know there is so much love and courage surrounding the welfare, care and love of one baby is God's best for those who go down this road.  Has it been tough?  Absolutely.  Have we hit snags along the way?  You bet.  But now, with our path and our choice so clear, there's no doubt that this is God's first choice for us.  There's no either or.

Want to pray, share or invest in our journey?  You can do so here:
https://www.youcaring.com/carradoptionfund

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Big News

In order to get to our big news, I feel like I need to set the stage a bit- just so you have all of the background handy in order to have the whole story.  I have to admit, putting this out on paper and clicking "publish" for the world to see is scary but here goes.  This is the first time I've publicly shared some of these details so forgive me if parts seem rambling.  Deep breath and please bear with me. 

Mr. A and I have been married for 6 years.  As it always happens whenever anyone's been married for longer than 24 hours, we often get the question, "When are you going to have kids?" or "Do you have kids?" or "When's the baby coming?".   Our answers usually ran along the lines of "We're enjoying our newlywed life" or "Not yet but we're working on it (wink wink)!"   What I wanted to answer was more along the lines of "I wish it were that easy" or "Not for lack of trying" or "As soon as possible."  Then, as years went by, my inner answer became more like "I've tried everything but it's still not happening" or "There's nothing we'd rather have than a child but nothing is working" or "Nothing's coming."

No baby.  No pregnancy.  Nothing.  If you've never experienced infertility, I don't know if I can truly explain with words the feelings of failure, grief and hopelessness that come with that "no."  You see, I've always wanted to be a mother.  Granted, I'm great at hiding it in public- in fact I'm sure there are some of our Houston friends who just assume we didn't want kids.  But it's there.  Hidden deep in my heart has always been that desire.  And every month that has gone by, every doctor we've seen, every surgery I've had has done nothing to take away the grief and fear that motherhood just simply was not meant to be.

We've seen 3 fertility specialists, I've had 2 surgeries, been tested for multiple issues and this past year, we realized that having a child biologically just was not going to happen for us.  I think a part of my heart bled a little the day we realized the door was closed.  Just knowing that for whatever reason my body wasn't performing the basic functions that a woman should be able to do was heart-breaking.  I questioned God, myself, my doctors, my husband, every blog I read, WebMD... the list goes on.

I think the biggest disappointment wasn't necessarily for me but rather for those who would have been affected if I had become pregnant.  My husband, who is so good with kids and would make the best father.  My parents, who are already amazing grandparents.  Not only have I felt like a personal failure, but it was like I was failing those around me. 

Here's where the story gets a little brighter.

The crazy thing is, despite the pain and believe me, I've had some dark days over this, that desire to be a mother has not gone away.  I've prayed for it to go away, I've really tried to be content with just being an aunt and a great friend/baby sitter to all of my friends who are parents.  But deep inside me there's always been the voice telling me to be patient and wait.  So I've waited and prayed.

I've prayed and waited through class reunions where I really couldn't bear to go because I knew what kid questions might be asked that I didn't want to answer.
I've prayed and waited through counseling with Mr. A because our struggles to become parents really started to take a toll on our marriage as we took our frustration out on each other.
I've prayed and waited through each office pregnancy announcement, baby shower, Facebook post of someone's 1-month (and so on) pictures, and new nephew that arrived.

Here's some interesting things I've learned through waiting and prayer:
1. God has a plan that is bigger than me and my wants.
2.  There's power in being still and waiting.
3. The waiting brought so many positive changes in our lives.  My marriage is stronger than ever through the struggles we've had.  Mr. A and I have a renewed faith in our Creator and his plan for us.  I've been able to really invest in friends and family that needed me.  And truly, I came to love every pregnancy announcement, baby shower Facebook, post and the cutest nephews ever without any regret or worry over my own situation.

There's a verse in the Bible I've used that says "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5: 1-4).   I don't know if I've really been able to "glory in my sufferings" but I will say that patience and waiting on God's timing has produced Hope in my soul and it's that Hope that I wasn't abandoned, left to be disappointed, or a female failure that brings us to our big announcement.  Are you ready?!!??!

Mr. A and I have signed on with an agency to begin adoption proceedings.  Even writing that sentence gives me the biggest grin.  It's like all the puzzle pieces that I had been trying to jam into place for so many years suddenly fit with perfect clarity.  We knew we were meant to parent and when we started looking into adoption, the journey gathering information, getting to know different agencies and the prayers already answered with doors that were OPENING for us has been amazing!!  We've slowly started to share this news with select friends and family and the response has been overwhelming.  Everyone has been so supportive, happy for us and it's just convinced us that THIS is our path and our journey.

Here are some fun facts about adoption:
*The average cost of a private adoption is $25-40,000+ (every state has different laws, fees, etc.)
*Dave Thomas, Steve Jobs, Kristin Chenoweth, Bill Clinton, Faith Hill, Simone Biles and Mother Theresa were all adopted
*Larry Bird, Al Roker, Andy Griffith,  Walt Disney, and Hugh Jackman are all adoptive parents

Fun facts about our adoption:
*We're working with a national agency which means our profile is available to birth moms across the US
*My mom worked for an adoption agency back in Georgia so she's already fielded about 142,305 calls from us with random questions- and she hasn't blocked our calls yet!
*Since we started opening up about our journey, the number of people who have called with their own adoption story keeps growing.


I will keep sharing more but am so excited to give our big announcement. So many of you have asked how you can be a part of our journey and believe me, we NEED your help.

First, please pray for us.  This will not be an easy road and I'll continue to blog on updates, etc. but at a quick glance, adoption is expensive, there are a bunch of unknowns and it's easy to second guess since there are so many decisions to be made.  Pray for our sanity, pray for our agency and most of all, please keep our birth mother in your prayers.  I can't think of anything more courageous that the decisions our birth mother will be making to care for her unborn child and share the parenting of that child with us.

If you also would like to, please share our story.  Just by opening up, the connections we've made to other couples who have adopted or experienced infertility has been really great to see.  If we are able to make a connection or lift the spirits of anyone out there who has also had a similar journey, I'd like to be able to offer some of the same HOPE.

Finally, I'd like to ask you to think and pray about giving.  More on this later, but adoption is not an inexpensive option.  There are reasons for the costs being what they are and I will be sharing more in future posts, but the fact is we are not equipped with all of the funds to go on this journey alone.  The
average adoption in the US costs between $25-40,000 so we will be doing some fundraising, raffles, etc.  If you are able to give towards this journey we would be so grateful.  If not, please share our story as there may be someone in your network of friends who believes in adoption and would like to help.  If you have ideas on how we can spread our story please reach out.

The below is our link that has more info on our story and now I'm going to take a deep breath because I know this was a heavy post.  I do want to thank everyone who made it to the end.  You have been a part of my network for many years and I don't know if we can go on this journey without you.  Thank you for allowing me to be vulnerable and open up, thank you for listening, and thank you in advance for your prayers and for your support.

https://www.youcaring.com/carradoptionfund
 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Rose Colored Glasses

Traditionally, you rarely see any negativity or less than happy musings in my blogging, posting, tweeting (when I remember to tweet) and status updates.  I've never been one of those who just puts it all out there.  I don't really have a reason- I think it's just been easier to allow the web to see only the rose-colored pieces of my life.

That being said, I've always admired people who could just put themselves out there for prayer, support and comments.  It has to be difficult to share a piece of yourself that may be less than perfect or less than the norm.  In reading some of the posts of people who have experienced loss, had a need or a prayer request, I've found my own spiritual walk grew stronger being able to be a part of people's journey- in good times and bad.

As I get ready for our big reveal (coming soon, I promise!), I've really been praying about how and what to share.  You see, our big reveal is big and exciting in the best possible way.  But it's also hard, emotional, and really could use the help of family, friends and the social media network of people I've gathered over my 10+ years online.  It concerns a subject that has given me many sleepless nights, lots of tears, questioning God on His path, more tears, etc.  But in order to share the amazing, we also need to share the not so fun.

I hope, as you continue to listen in, that you will forgive any awkwardness with the coming posts.  It's super scary deciding to be vulnerable via the web.  But I believe in you and can't wait to share our news.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Big Reveal Coming...

So...I have some news.  And I will admit, the resurgence of the blog does have an ulterior motive.  It's my hope that this can not only serve as a catch up, but also a way to communicate and share the journey Mr. A and I are about to embark on.
Image result for something's coming
 But, before you hear the big news (coming in approximately 2 more posts I promise), allow me a couple of posts for proper set up and anticipation-building.

I was in Las Vegas on a business trip this week and happened to see one of my favorite Broadway stars hanging out in the bar of the hotel.  Of course I fan-girled out, and immediately went to tell my co-workers about it.  Their first response was, "Who and why do you care?"  See, in my current life, not a lot of people know about my love for theatre because they see a corporate person, super business-like and kind of a workaholic.  It got me thinking about the many lives of Katy- who was I and who am I now?  Here I am, at the tail end of my 30's and I'm still working so hard to find some balance between ALL of who I am.  Let me break it down for you:

5 Year Old Katy:
Best Known for:  Being an annoying big sister and the center of attention
Memories include: Being chosen for the "Promises" chorus at 1st Baptist Church, Playing the Dutch girl in the "Small World" Kindergarten production, beginner ballerina


10 Year Old Katy:
Best Known for:  Strange obsession with the Monkees
Memories include: Moving to a new city, 3rd place winner of the Talent Show for lip-syncing Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody", and trying so hard to have curly hair with perm after perm


15 Year Old Katy
Best Known for:  Working at Jayne's Hallmark
Memories include: Starting to go to the local community theatre, being on the tennis team, youth group shenanigans at church (disclaimer, the pic is 16 year old Katy- just add the braces back in and that's the 15-year old me)
-

20 Year Old Katy
Best Known For: Student at Auburn, Intern at Walt Disney World
Memories include: Struggling in school trying to figure out a major, trying to balance theatre with work, school and family, best summer ever at Disney (that's me on the right)


25 Year Old Katy
Best Known for: Lots of involvement at the community theatre
Memories include:  Show after Show after Show after Show
 

30 Year Old Katy
Best Know For:  being the Best Girlfriend Ever!
Memories include:  Dating Mr. A, Shows, More Shows


35 Year Old Katy
Best Known For:  Enjoying being a Mrs.
Memories include: travel, work, adventures with Mr. A


Just going back a couple of 5 year periods, there are some major changes that have happened.  No more theatre (crying on the inside), more adult-type activities like marriage, the joys of yardwork, home improvement and savings plans and as much fun as it was to freak out a little by a star sighting last week, I couldn't be happier with the place I'm in today-- although I am excited to share with you in just a few posts where we're headed :)

Get excited!  Something's Coming Soon!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Let Me Catch You Up

Here we are after all this time and I've got to tell you, it's really nice writing again.  I hope you are enjoying the reading as much as I'm enjoying writing of it.

If you are my Insta or Facebook friend (or my Snapchat buddy although I will admit I am pretty sure I'm too old for Snapchat but the little bumblebee that also changes my voice is precious) you may already know the following things about me and Mr. A:

1. I love posting pictures of me on airplanes...cause I am on a lot of airplanes

2. While we haven't succumbed to posting cute puppy photos, you will occasionally see Facetime stills of us with our super cute nephews- better than any puppy pic in my opinion

 
3. Sometimes you will see long stretches of no posts and general radio silence as I take the occasional social media break (no pic for that one)
 
 
Aside from our social media posts, you may also be aware of the state-hopping we've been doing the past 5 years.  Let me catch you up:
 

2010:  Married to Mr. A and moved to NYC


2010-2012:  Living the Newlywed life in NYC


2012:  Moved to Baltimore


2012:  Moved to Texas (yes, two moves in one year)
 
2012-NOW:  Living life in Texas and enjoying our first house as of January 2016
 
What have YOU been up to?
 
 



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I'm Baaaccckkk!

I know what you're thinking.  I do.  You're thinking:

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!?!


Yes, where have I been?

It's been roughly 5 years since you've seen a Katy's Neverending Story blog and I'll be honest- when I stopped writing I really didn't see a need to ever come back.

You see, I always saw blogging as a way to share what's going on in my life, explore the journey of engagement and newlywed-ness as well as keep up with buddies as Mr. A and I enjoyed our time in NYC.  It was going great, until I really started to suffer from some crazy writer's block.  I was worried I was just going on and on, not blogging about exciting stuff and generally running out of things to say.  So, I put the pen (laptop) aside and just concentrated on living life.

Fast forward 5 years.... why bring the blog back?  What changed?

Well folks, there is a method to my madness which shall all be revealed in time (cue the wink emoji") but it's my hope this blog can bring me a little joy writing again, you a little reading entertainment, and connect back to the peeps who have been a part of our story along the way.

Now if only I could figure out how to link the old blog with the new....and remember where all the cute blog templates are...and re-link all of the favorite blogs I like to read...

Help!??!