Saturday, January 31, 2009

Prayer, the justice system and Man-brunch

Firstly and uber importantly, please pray for my lovely egg donor. She has been hit by a series of bugs and viruses and is sick (again). She has asked for prayer as she thinks this may be a spiritual attack and as she is very grounded and not prone to flights of fancy, this is the real deal.

Please pray for her health and protection for her and her family. Thank you so very much.

We had a visit from our social worker yesterday. Thank God she is just lovely and does not reflect the general experience we have had with CYFs (Child Youth and Family government agency) She needed to see Rupi with my hubbie and make sure they were bonded. She had been satisfied with Rupi and my attachment at the last visit but my hubbie was at work that time. Rupi had not seen Michael since we got back from the road trip and when Michael got him up out of bed there was smiling and laughing and cooing and general delight at seeing Daddy.... he may just be attached!

The social worker will now submit a report to the courts and we will be summoned for a court date where the judge will (hopefully) grant us an interim Adoption Order. The social worker says that he will. As consent was signed by both the birth father and birth mother and we will get a favourable report from the social worker( she said we will- yay!), there's no reason why we won't get the interim Adoption Order.

After the hearing it will be 12 months until we get the final Adoption Order and we'll need to go back to court and have another report done by CYFs. This is a lot longer than we thought but we cannot do anything to speed it up. The only thing that can stop this from happening is a negative report from CYFs. They will come back every 3 months to check on Rupi and see how we are doing. I do feel though (despite our horrendous experience with them) that they do really want this to work and I think if we were struggling to connect with Rupi or anything, they would help. So it's turning from a negative perception to a more positive one in my head anyway!

Lastly, this post from Boomama is the bomb. It says everything I feel about my friends (and is very funny!). I love my friends SO much. So very much.

And absolutely lastly, my hubbie is VERY glad to see Rupi and myself after an absence of 3 days. He made a celebration dinner last night and then a celebration "man-brunch" today. Here is a picture. You will note that none of the dishes really go with one another... salmon, bacon, spicy fruit muffins and.....nuts! However it was lovely and delicious, provided you did not mix any of the food items together.

I give you...Man-Brunch!

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Road Trip!

Been away for a few days (to the town Rupi was born in) with a good friend to visit her Nana. Her Nana and Poppa were so good to me the week I was away with Rupi before all the papers were signed. It was a week when hell threw everything it had against us and God totally came through. He used incredible people like Nana and Poppa to surround me with love and provide a place of sanctuary.

Anyway, Poppa died in December and so we went down to spend time with Nana, who just LOVES Reuben. While I was there I caught up with the birth families and while it was good, open adoption is hard. While I attach to this little man with everything I have, I am sharing and trying to keep my heart open. It's not bad at all, just hard.

So I was doing the usual complain to God. You know, "the why me, life is sooo hard, haven't I been through enough" spiel. God gently reminded me that I have been made through this journey. I am who I am because of the journey not in spite if it. And again very gently reminded me that he has built strength in me for this time. I am building strength upon strength and going from one level of strength to another in Him. Very encouraging.....again!

Today reading all my fav blogs I came across my friend Rebecca's post on almost the SAME thing! Amazing that God talks about the same thing to different (but connected) people at the same time.

She says
From the song 'What More Can I Say':
" I THANK-YOU, for what you've done in me"
It often brings a smile and tear at the same time. Touched and thankful. I know through all the ups and downs God is doing something in me.
Chris Hill preached on Sunday morning: "God will use the situation to make you who you're supposed to be. Mess makes a message, tests a testimony"
Track 12. 'Defined by your love':
"I find you here, in the stillness of your love
As you sing over me, I'm defined by your love"

For me, being defined by His Love means I am who I am because of my life journey, His love for me through rough and good times. Thanks Becs!

Here is a picture of our road trip. We are both infant potty training (elimination control to be correct) and have little portable pop-up pottys. Here is my friend's darling little girl on hers and Rupi on his between the seats. So cute!

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Cardigans and such like

Remember when your Mom, Auntie, Gran (any female grown up) had a habit that you thought was just mad? For instance, my Mom smacks her hands on the steering wheel when turning a tight corner. She lifts her hands and then thuds them down so it's kinda musical, when she's turning. Smack...smack, smack, smack...smack. As a teenager it drove me crazy, now it's just cute and funny.

Well, I fear I have developed a grown up nutter habit. I cannot leave the house without a cardi or hoodie or other warmish type cover up, IN CASE, the weather suddenly turns foul. In NZ we are on an island so the weather is unpredictable which makes this habit somewhat reasonable but not right now. Not in the middle of summer, with hot hot weather and scorching days.

But I can't leave the house without one. Lurking in the back of my mind is what if I get cold????!!??? The fact that I am popping out to nip into the supermarket for milk and going from one artificial environment to another does not count. I mean, a cold nasty wind might get me in the parking the 10 seconds it takes to walk from the car to the mall.....

Now that I don't have a hand bag any more, Rupi is forced to share his nappy bag with my cover up garment. Sometimes I have even made my son sacrifice a little blankie for my obsession. Justifying the callous decision with the thought that should cold weather strike, Rupi could have my cardi. But would I share it??????? I would like to think so, but cannot be sure.

So knowing I am slightly deranged in this area and then still doing it, worries me. And the most worrying thing of all is that I have turned into my mother, with a habit that is illogical but without the willpower to break it.


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Friday, January 23, 2009

Egg donor IVF counselling

Just got back from one of the mandatory counselling sessions at my fertility clinic. With egg donation IVF cycles counselling is mandatory in the 3 month stand down period. The stand down period is so that the donor can have time to reconsider their decision.

Again, how do people do this without God? The questions we talked about were huge and so much bigger than when it was just my hubbie and I doing an IVF cycle. Because even though we don't have to consider the donor after the eggs are collected, of course we will.

Questions like:
  • What if the baby had a terminal condition that threatened my life during pregnancy? We are so pro-life it's not funny, but now we have Rupi to consider. The decision we would normally make would possibly rob Rupi of a Mommy. So huge.
  • What if the pregnancy went so badly that doctors said I could not have another pregnancy without putting myself and the baby at risk? What about any frozen embryos that remained?

In normal IVF cycles the above questions are not even discussed! Funny. But here we are facing massive issues and questions. Plus the thought of another IVF cycle sends my nerves into the stratosphere. Let's say that I do not have fond memories of the 3 cycles that have gone before...

Plus I am more than aware of the opinions may Christians hold about egg donation. I shouldn't care as we have prayed and fasted and know God's will for us in this, but I guess I worry about judgement with the kiddies. I just need to calm down and find my Jesus. Another quiet time is in order I think!

Breathe breathe....

So anyway, we wait for one of us to get our period and then we align our cycles with the pill (rather ironic huh?!?) So sometime in Feb it all kicks off. Then it should be 8 weeks after that to a pregnancy test. Breathe breathe...!

***To all those in my actual physical life, Equippers buddies and friends***

Please please please don't talk specifics with people unless you know they read my blog or are very close to me. If in doubt please don't talk about it. I just need the space to get through the (please God) first trimester as this is the time I miscarried before. Then I will bring out the balloons, whistles and streamers and throw a party! I really want to share about this on my blog but also need the anonymity in my physical life. Hope I am expressing myself ok. Love you xxx

So yes. Here we are. Another IVF cycle looming. Fun fun fun.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Infertile world vs fertile world

Oh Lordy. This blog really and truly tells it how it is. You know, the news. The big announcement that makes you howl in pain, then in guilt as you just can't feel the way you should. The big pregnancy announcement. In fact I am so good at predicting them that I can tell when someone is going to tell me they are pregnant. People have been astounded at my second guessing them before the words are out their mouths. ESP if I believed in it. Super duper defence mechanism more like it! Because somehow it hurts less if I say before they do- yup, strange but true.

Here's an excerpt from the post:

Dear Infertile Abby,I just found out that I'm seven weeks pregnant! My husband and I are thrilled and shocked! It was a complete surprise. We weren't even trying. My issue is that I have a very good friend who has been trying to get pregnant for a very long time and is going through infertility treatments. What's the best way to share my news with her? I think it's best that they hear the news from us in private. We're thinking of inviting them over for dinner and telling them then. Thanks,Fertile Fran

Dear Fertile Fran,Are you high? It's called e-mail. If you don't have a computer, it's called a phone. Your friend's probably going to cry and doesn't feel like doing it in front of you and your husband. It'll just make her feel like a shmuck.Take care,Infertile Abby

Now here's the thing. I get what fertile people are thinking. I do. I really do. In their head, they have this vision of a sit-down where they gently and thoughtfully share the news of their pregnancy and then maybe place a hand on the infertile's knee, tell us how they know it will happen for us and that God has a plan for us or something to that effect. They think we'd be crushed to hear the news from someone else rather than directly from the source. And e-mail or phone? Instant message? No way! In most other situations, it's considered tacky or rude to share big news in these manners.

I understand where you're coming from and that you have good intentions. I really truly do.But here's the thing. You're wrong. I hate to break it to you, but for 99% of infertile people, you're wrong. Let's change the scenario a little bit because infertility is something that is so difficult to connect with unless it's touched your own life. Let's talk about homes. Most everybody can understand that your home is your safe haven, a place where you find comfort. It's filled with memories. Most of us put a lot of effort into creating a home. Now imagine my house just burned down. Or that I lost my home to foreclosure. You, on the other hand, have just sealed the deal on your custom-built McMansion. You're understandably thrilled. You want to shout your news from the rooftops. And that's cool. I'd want share it with the world, too.

However, would you invite me over to share the news with me personally? Do I have to hear your news right before I sit down to enjoy a meal with you? A meal that maybe I was looking forward to as a nice distraction and a chance to get away from the stress of dealing with losing my home? It doesn't seem so important, or even appropriate, that I hear the news directly from the horse's mouth, does it? In fact, maybe it would be better to hear it from someone I'm close with like my sister or my mom.

Because I'm probably going to get upset. I'm not getting upset because I don't think you deserve your dream home or don't want you to have it. It's not personal (most of the time). But my first, second, maybe even third emotion is probably not going to be happiness for you. It's sadness for myself. Your joy is a reminder that I'm in the process of losing a dream. Your news is a reminder that I am broken. Your granted wish is a reminder of my unanswered prayers.

Please stop telling us your news in person. It hurts us. Not because we don't love you. Because we do and we don't our pain to take away from any part of your joy. So give us a little time. Please. Send us the e-mail or give us a ring. And then give us some time. We really are happy for you. It's just that, for many of us, our dreams are now ashes scattered around our feet.

Here's the rub (it's me, I am back! In case the change in slanty versus straight writing didn't give you a hint) these people love us. And often have no idea how to relate, tell news or even talk to us. So other than telling those we love (which still doesn't protect us from those we know casually) I am not sure how we protect ourselves. Maybe we just don't and try to live with grace. Dunno. The post was good though!!!!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yum yum Gingernut Biscuits

These are super easy to make and are loved by one and all (the one being me- I looove ginger!). They are slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Lovely to dunk but don't dunk for too long or you lose the biscuit in the coffee. And then when you try to get the biscuit out with a teaspoon, fail, and use your fingers, that is the precise moment your husband walks past and makes the "oink oink" noise at you. Very upsetting, however I digress.

Super Yummy Gingernut Biscuits

125g butter

1 cup sugar

2 tbsp golden syrup

1 egg

2 cups self raising flour

3 tsp ground ginger

Melt butter. Add sugar, syrup and beaten egg. Mix well. Sift flour and ginger and add to to butter mixture. Mix well until combined. Allow to cool and roll into teaspoon size balls. Flatten slightly with a fork (they spread quite a bit). Bake at 160C for about 12 minutes

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Meredith's blog

Me again, two posts in one day, unbelievable!

Meredith is a God-lover chickie babe who has a wonderful blog called A road less Travelled- A Pilgrimage through Infertility. It's gutsy and real and I love it.

BUT some idiots at her hubbies work found the blog and started making comments about it to her husband. Words can't describe how cruel and inhumane they are. When I told my hubbie he wanted to punch them and he is not aggressive at all!

Anyway, Meredith has been forced to make her blog private but if you have been following or would like to follow her blog, contact me and I will put you in touch with her so you can be invited.

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My Saving Grace

I love how much I have discovered about the character of Jesus in the last 6 years, through this journey. He is my source of joy when I think about the pain and misery we have gone through. I love ( and am SOOO grateful) that He saved me but what honestly captures my heart again and again is the man in Jesus.

****theology alert, am trying to express something hard here, so grace and understanding required....!!!*****

He was 100% man and 100% God and the man side of Him was in complete submission to God the Father. That is pretty incredible to me. The (100%) God part of Him knew everything about everything (He's God right?) So the (100%) man part of him must have known what was before Him from the (100%) God side. Jesus knew about the cross and the pain and misery that was to come and still submitted.

That's quite different from me. I mean, you kinda know that what is before you might be hard but you are not sure. I mean, it could all turn out better than you hope and be a walk in the park. But Jesus knew how bad it was going to be. It was not going to be less painful or humiliating than He thought.... AND HE STILL SUBMITTED.

The (100%- Can I stop putting in 100%? I think I have made my point) man part of Jesus, the emotional side freaked out. John 12: 27 uses words in the Message and New Living translation like "storm tossed" and "deeply troubled". In other words freaked out. And He still submitted. Blows my mind. If I had known what this journey was like 6 years ago, I would have run for the hills and (being honest) probably tossed in the towel. Because it was a killer and I know it's not over yet.

I am not God, to everyone's relief- except of course my friends because they would be SO blessed, and I can't see what lies ahead. That enables me to live in the moment and not worry too much about the future. But Jesus, knew what was ahead. He knew that in the short term it was not going to be ok. Yes He knew He would rise up and He knew that He would be with His Father, but He also knew that before that there would be mocking, scorn, rejection and a whole lot of unimaginable pain. Except of course He could imagine it.

He knew.

So when Jesus says that He gets us I know that He does. He knows what it's like to live with pain (emotional or physical) and with seemingly unanswered prayers. He was the ultimate "even if" Hero. Despite the fact that God could save Him from the cross in a heart beat and yet did not, Jesus loved and worshipped and submitted. And He did this all for me and for you, we are the "joy set before Him".

During the bleakest times of our walk, this was the only thing that kept me going. We have a God, a precious Saviour who can relate to us in every way. Jesus knows. He knows what it's like to be me.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Anniversary baby, got you on my mind!

Today is our 14th wedding anniversary! Woohoo! The past 14 years have been the happiest of my life and marriage is like a good bottle of red wine for me, it just gets better with time.

I am blessed to be married to the most incredible man who:

  • Is constantly seeking after God and loves Him above all else

  • Leads our family with strength, grace and kindness which is no easy feat when his wife is like a bucking, prancing pony at times

  • Loves me, loves me, loves me!

  • Is the most incredible Daddy to Rupi (who lights up when he sees his Daddy)

  • Encourages me to fly as high as my dreams

  • Has extra understanding and grace when I turn into a wild thing just before my red friend arrives

  • Loves me some more!

  • Watches Americas Next Top Model with me on Friday nights (and has relevant comments!) even though I know he would rather be doing anything else

  • Has endless patience with my random, creative and often illogical ideas and methods of doing things

  • Mocks me when I try to make any kind of engine sound...!

  • Cherishes me (another way of saying he LOVES me)

  • Loves his Mum- that old saying about watch how a man treats his Mum is true

  • Has said time and again that he would choose me again even though I (seemingly) can't give him children

  • Misses me when he is at work

  • Simply loves me for who I am right now

Love you hun, you are the best

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters blog

My blog is now listed on an incredible blog called Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters. It's a huge resource of all things infertility! It's not from a Christian viewpoint but does link back to to a whole lot of blogs that are by Christian girls. Check it out

Here is the link to the list of blogs. Mel calls them her "Stirrup Queen's Completely Anal List of Blogs That Proves That She Really Missed Her Calling as a Personal Organizer"

The thing about this is knowing you are not alone and you will find a whole lotta God-lover girl blogs here!

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rupi's room

My hubbie worked for our fantastic church for about 5 years and wore many hats (as you do when you work for church!) One of his projects was to create a Parents Room upstairs behind the balcony in the theatre. This was so very hard to do and the room was soaked with his tears as he created a warm and beautiful environment for Mums, Dads and babies.

As he painted the walls he made a faith statement. At that time we were so far from our dream and life hurt all the time. So he decided to write the names of our children in the room believing that one day I would sit in that room with them. He wrote their names on the undercoat of the wall in huge letters. He also wrote their names on a little panel that hides a gap in the wall. The names on the wall were obviously painted over but the names behind the little panel are still there.

Today I sat in that room with Rupi. The sermon was so poignant and was on Faith. I had tears in my eyes as I sat with Rupi knowing that the room was prepared in love for him. That almost more than any other child at church, he belongs in that room. And I thought, who am I not to believe for the others? Who am I to believe that this IVF cycle will be like all the others? The faith I have has been birthed from the place of tears and sorrow and today I celebrated in my heart as I looked at the first fruits of that faith.

Who am I not to believe?

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Friday, January 9, 2009

The best Shortbread in the universe

So my blog is my blog right? And I am more than my infertility aren't I? So in theory I can post about other stuff too...

Well, I am a mad keen baker. I loooove baking. It's my green space and I love to mix and beat and sift and stir, and then pull a warm yummy smelling something out the oven. It does my soul good!

So I thought I could occasionally post my favourite recipes. Not all of then as a girl's gotta have some secrets after all! Now this shortbread recipe is seriously good. You can make a double batch and then freeze half and then after defrosting serve it up as I did to a friend today and she raved about it.

The best Shortbread in the history of mankind
250g butter
185g sugar
375g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
90g corn flour
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift flour, salt and cornflour together and add to creamed mixture. Mix in and kneed well (take your jewelry off and get those hands dirty!)
Roll or pat dough out to approx. 2cm thick. Cut into square/ fingers or cut shapes out. Place pieces on a cold buttered tray and prick with a fork. Sprinkle with sugar and bake at 160 - 170 C for approx 35min.
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fresh faced hope

My beautiful egg donor is sick, poor girl. So we'll be delaying the start of the cycle until Feb. It will give her some time to build herself up and I will be buying her vitamins galore and stuffing her with fresh fruit smoothies!

It also gives me time to chill out and relax about it all as the start of IVF cycles are always a nervous time for me. Ratty girl emerges and I know I am taking strain!

Plus this is also the season of fresh faced hope for us. We face 2009 with more hope than we have had in years. A possible pregnancy, the growth of a little home based business for me and the chance to love and watch a little person grow up.

Fresh faced hope is new and untarnished and untainted. It lives at the beginning of something. It's hope that sort of knows there may be challenges ahead but lives in the excitement and joy of a favourable outcome. There's also the hope that lives in the middle of the something big. That hope digs it's heels in and weathers the storm. It's a bit battered but still has an optimism about it. Then there's the hope when the something big has not worked out the way we thought it would. That hope is battered, bloody and bowed but not beaten. It's the "even if" hope.

To be honest we have not had a visit from fresh faced hope for a couple of years. It doesn't have a track record of hanging around us long as things have turned to custard for us historically. I long with everything I have that fresh faced hope is here to stay. That this is our season of undiluted favour in all areas.

But I need my heart to acknowledge that the Hope needs to be the hope that I count on. And even if this is not my season of fresh faced hope and favour in the way that I long for, I will be ok. God is God and He is good. My soul needs to re understand His Sovereignty. I have come too far to forget the lessons I have learned in this journey.

I think I need to spend some time with my Jesus and submit to His will. Be unconditional in my love and submission. But oh, wouldn't it be nice for it to be easy for once? And yet, God is good and that my heart knows very well.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year, new challenge

Well after much agonising, my blog is now open for comments. Probably not such a big deal for most but a massive deal for me. Why? It's just another level of "open" I guess. This is my on-line journal and really shows my heart and thinking and well.... someone could be mean to me! This blog is so close to the bone and shares stuff I don't easily share. But anyway, new year, new level of open!

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas break...

We just got back from our little holiday house (bach) We spent 8 days up there and it was crazy for the first 5 days. There were people galore. It was fun and exhilarating and we loved it but then they all left and the real holiday began. It was just us with nobody else around for miles. Hot sun, the sea, the cat and us. Utter utter bliss.

We missed Michael's Dad as the place is just saturated with memories of him. Good memories as he was such an amazing and special man, but made my hubby very sad at times. Our beloved cat is looking very frail (she is rather old) and we think this may be her last Christmas. She loves it up there as you can see from the photos....

Sorry if you are not a cat lover, have a look at the scenery instead!

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