Thursday, June 30, 2005

Not keeping to Wednesday schedule very well

OK, so it's Thursday evening again. Can we just pretend it's still Wednesday so I'm not late in posting again?

My "Focus on Adoption" radio broadcast (see June 8 blog entry) airs July 5. If you can't catch it locally, maybe you can listen online.

I haven't gotten very far on the articles I'm wanting to write for magazine submissions. I have lots of ideas, but don't seem to have the hours or brain-power to put them onto paper. Thanks for your prayers on this matter. I really feel that the articles need to get out there, but for encouragement/education of those who will read the articles themselves, but also to help with book promotion and sales.

The master bathroom is still an ongoing project, as is our back yard. We will probably be going to a BBQ at a neighbor's house on July 4th and hanging out around home the rest of the weekend. I'm pretty sick lately, so we'll keep the holiday weekend rather low key I suspect. I am praising the Lord that the job He has provided for my husband gives him the holiday weekend off - we have had our share of working holidays and weekends over the years, so we cherish the blessing. I also have several friends who are currently without employment at all, so again, reminders for thanksgiving for how the Lord has provided for us.

--children mentioned below--

Joshua has been in Vacation Bible School (he had baseball camp last week) and we are preparing to start back into homeschooling next Wednesday. Ruth is a bundle of energy and can't understand why she can't do everything big brother gets to do. Praising the Lord for good news so far with the baby (more info here). Life is busy and blessed!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Wednesday Again...Blogging Day :)

In the few weeks since I've started, I'm already finding myself looking forward to Wednesdays and sharing my life. While I was a day late last week, prayerfully trying to decide when how to make that post, I am trying to keep to a weekly schedule of blogging. I've been off on my days all week, so I honestly thought today (Tuesday) was already Wednesday when I started writing, but I guess being a day early this week makes up for being a day late last week?

On the home front, our house is still in a state of chaos with our master bathroom. While we were sealed out of it for two weeks, we are glad to currently be able to at least walk back into that room, albeit without flooring or a shower! Hopefull the additional shower demolition happens tomorrow and reconstruction starts before the end of the week. The blessing in all this is it looks like our builder is giving us a complimentary upgrade in tile flooring to help compensate for some of this trouble. I will be so glad when this process if finally over and we get our whole home back.

Last week we had a horrible wind storm. Now, this normally wouldn't be big news - Nevada has LOTS of wind! But I forgot I had opened our bedroom sliding door earlier in the day. And basically all the contents of our master closet are sitting in piles around our bedroom because of the shower situation and our lack of access to the closet. So, when I went into our room about half an hour into the windstorm, I found what seemed to be half of the dirt from our unfinished back yard sitting in our bedroom! The carpet was caked in dry mud. The bedding and piles of clothing looked like someone had dumped a couple of bags worth of playground sand all over them. Everything was covered in a think layer of dust and grit. And I was in tears!

My sweet husband came home from work early and helped me spend the evenings washing bedding, shaking out clothes, vacuuming, dusting, vacuuming some more, and making the room semi-habitable again. What a guy! Our friends invited Joshua to spend the night and the entire next day, then had our whole family over for dinner the next night. (This had already been planned, but I was ever-so-appreciative of a day to really clean and not have to worry about meals.) In the midst of a storm, God's grace still shines.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Surprising News - Praying for Hurting Hearts as You Read

I have been praying so hard about how/when to post this. While I know that many of you will rejoice with me, sometimes as a sacrifice to the Lord through your own tears, I also know the news will sting so many hearts. So, with much prayer, I share our stunned, joyful, hopeful, fearful, nervous news of a new pregnancy.

I am committed to not turning this blog into a pregnancy journal, thus, if you are interested in following the ongoing progress of our pregnancy, please visit our new family news blog (I suggest you "right click" and "open link in new window" to break out of frames for easier reading). For those able to share in our joy, thank you. For those reading with broken hearts, please know I am sharing in your tears and holding you in prayer.

While I am ever-so-thankful to find myself (hopefully) about to become the mother of three living miracles, I struggle with the Lord, asking Him over and over, "Why me and not _____________ (so many specific names fill my prayers in this spot, along with the countless women I've only just begun to meet though Hannah's Hope)?" It just doesn't seem fair. But God is proving to me once again that any control I may think I have over the growth of my family one way or the other, is an illusion. He, and He alone, is the author of life and planner of my future.
Beyond feeling so torn for those I know who my news will hurt, I am joyful and terrified by turn. With 2 of our 3 known miscarriages, I have already miscarried by now (and by early next week I will be past our last landmark), so in that sense, I am feeling hopeful. I know there are never guarantees, and yet, I also know that God has a loving plan for my good and His glory.

If this news has been enough for you to digest for one reading, please stop here. But if you are feeling strong, there is a series of letters about pregnancy news and infertility that I have been planning to post for a couple of weeks now. When I decided to share this tender exchange with you all, I still had no idea that I myself was already pregnant nor how applicable and timely it would turn out to be! This is correspondence between a member of Hannah's Prayer with primary infertility, named Wendi Kitsteiner, and her best friend, Kelly Stegemoller, a mother after infertility. These women, who have graciously allowed me such an intimate look into each of their hearts, have been close since childhood. Though they lost touch for about 5 years, their infertility journeys brought them back together.

To be honest with you, I could not have been a "Wendi" when we were dealing with primary infertility. I greatly admire those who can and do react as she has, but if you aren't there right now, don't beat yourself up over it either. Just today I was in awe at the reaction of one friend who, though she has now watched me through two successful pregnancies (and two miscarriages) while still awaiting her very first, was so excited to hear my news. I told her that in her shoes I would have hung up the phone and bawled my eyes out! I pray that the world will have more sensitive "Kellys" and that whatever side of the fence you currently find yourself on, that you will be challenged and encouraged by these letters. If you want to contact Wendi or Kelly directly, Wendi's email address is and she will be happy to forward messages on to Kelly.

Kelly's first letter to Wendi:
Wendi, My heart aches and my hands shake as I very unexpectedly write this email to you.......
I am pregnant
We found out last night...I have had a feeling for weeks now and just couldn't bring myself to even believe it. I know what your reaction will be and I have tears in my eyes thinking about how you must feel and how unfair this is. Of course, we had hoped and prayed for one more child...But to be honest with you, Wen, this has taken me by complete surprise. Being the pessimist I am about all this I just truly believed our family was probably complete the way it was (and I was COMPLETELY fine with that...We are truly blessed with two little girls and I could not ask for anything more). I am baffled. Here I was almost 2 years ago doing everything right and unable to get pregnant and now here I sit with a one-year-old, still nursing her, not really trying to get pregnant (though not preventing it)...Plus I had the flu when I got pregnant.
I can't even tell you how confused I am that I was able to get pregnant naturally this time around and had to go through all that infertility treatment with Shelby. I just can't put into words how I feel...I feel as though I am in someone else's body and this can't be happening. I feel as though this should be you going through this for the first time and not me going through it for the third. I have such mixed emotions as I write you. I tossed and turned all night thinking of how I was going to tell you and thinking of your heart just dropping as you read this. I am so sorry, Wendi. I never dreamed I would be writing you an email like this. The last thing I would want to do was bring you more pain and tears today.
I know this will change things between us, but please don't feel like you can't confide in me. I still do understand what you are going through and I am here to help in any way I can. But, I do understand if you don't want to email me as much and I promise not to send you all kinds of email updates on this pregnancy. I know how hard it is to read about what you want so badly.
I love you, girl. I wish I had some words of wisdom to make this all better, but I'm still trying to take it all in myself. I hope you know that I still think of you every day and pray for this same miracle to happen for you. In a way I feel as though I don't even deserve this baby...You should be the one in my shoes right now. I don't understand......But I will keep praying for your miracle.... Don't feel like you need to write me back...I understand and respect your feelings and I can feel in my heart how sad this will make you. But, know that I am praying for you always....
Love and Hugs,

Wendi's first reply to Kelly:
Kelly,Thank you for writing me. Actually, I am sitting here writing you with a big smile on my face. Shock, yes, but such excitement that you get to experience this again without any trouble! How awesome! Please don't feel badly. I am doing really well right now and truly feel the best I have felt in a long time so this is very good timing with everything. I am really okay, and didn't cry (I promise!)
How unbelievably awesome, Kelly! And, no, this doesn't change things. The Lord has blessed you and I with a special bond and you having another child does not change your empathy for my infertility! You have been blessed with a gift in this area and nothing will ever change that. I would not stop confiding in you. You, Kristi, and my Aunt Jan are my 3 confidants and that will not change ever.
I am truly, and I say this honestly (because I feel like I could be honest) THRILLED for you. I know I am going to be a mom someday and am truly learning how to put my unborn children in the Lord Jesus' arms. I know your love for me and understanding for my situation will not change with this new one.
Bless you Kelly -- for your kindness. Your email alone illustrates that you still understand!!!!! I am so happy for you. Later, we will have to talk about how in the world this happened
Blessings -- Wendi

Kelly's second letter to Wendi:
Wendi...You are awesome! You took a huge burden off my back and I breathed a big sigh of relief when I read all that you wrote. I don't know how you can have such a big heart, but God has truly blessed you with that. I want to write more and I will, but I have been on my feet all day in Indy and I need to lay down for a bit. I just wanted to thank you for for writing. I didn't expect to hear from you and you brightened my day. Thank you for being happy for us...I am still has not all set in and I truly feel (like I said before) that this is all a dream and I am in someone else's body. It is the strangest and wierdest feeling. I am glad that you are doing well...
I pray for that every day among my other prayers for you as I know what a roller coaster that all can be... I think you are just amazing, Wendi....With all you've been through and how strong you continue to be......I will write more soon....

It was at this point in the exchange that I learned of Kelly's sensitive and loving pregnancy announcement and asked Wendi if Kelly might let me share it here on the blog.

Another letter from Kelly to Wendi:
It is absolutely okay that you shared my letter...And it is perfectly fine with me that it be used in any way to help those going through infertility. That letter was hard for me to write because as I sat and wrote it I thought of how I would have felt if I had heard that from a friend. I don't know what my reaction would have been and I was unsure of yours as well. But, my heart told me it would be okay to pour my heart out to you and be honest in my feelings.
I don't want to be one of those people that kinda forgets what they went through just because the Lord has helped me overcome it and gave me a child then and is giving me more now. There was a reason I went through all that. I am beginning to see it all more clearly now and to somewhat appreciate that journey in my life as a time where I grew in spirit and strength and learned so many things about myself and trusting the Lord.
I feel honored in a way that you think my letter to you yesterday was worthy of sharing. I was so unsure of all the words I was though nothing could really say what I feeling in my heart and wanted to say to you.....that I was happy for myself, but on the other hand really wanted this to be you too...And really wanted this to be you experiencing this for the first time, before I experienced it for the third. So, please feel free to use my letter in any way to help those who are trying to understand those like myself who have moved on from infertility, but still remember it like it was yesterday.
And I really do still feel like my journey with IF was yesterday...With this pregnancy it just all came rushing back...All that emotion and then the added emotion of how this all happened so miraculously on it's own w/o technology. It has just REALLY overwhelmed me with God's presence and power. I really never dreamed I could get pregnant again w/o help...I trusted that God could do miracles, but I think I just figured his miracle for me conceiving would lie in the hands of a doctor. This is all just truly amazing to me. I still sit here and have a hard time believing it all.
And I am amazed at how God has given you this joy for me. That is incredible that you have not even shed one tear over my news. I am so encouraged by that and feel so humbled. I don't know if my reaction would have been the same if I was in your shoes. I can truly tell your happiness for me is genuine like you said and I just feel so blessed to have you as a friend. You truly must get your strength and peace from the Lord.
And I think I needed to hear that you think I deserve to have a regular pregnancy. I think I have this sense of guilt about this pregnancy...I can't put into words why I feel that way, but I do....Like I shouldn't have gotten this blessing so easily...I should have struggled more for it like I did before. Of course, I wanted it and we are so thankful to be having a third (and final) child, but at the same time I just want "this" to happen suddenly for you as it has for me this time. Though I know it won't seem sudden to you at this point in your journey.
But, you are right, Wen. I think God is trying to tell us all something. He sure is all-powerful and for some reason he chose for me to go through what I did with Shelby and now he chose for it to happen naturally....He does have his hand in everything. Shelby will always be my special girl for I will always remember what we went through to have her. And this one (as well as Hailey) are just wonderful surprises. All are miracles in their own ways as we all know how miraculous conception is. I just feel in the deepest part of my heart that your miracle will happen this year too. Maybe it will happen through the help of science, maybe it will happen in it's own way. I think we just need to keep trusting that God will reveal things in his own way and time (as hard as that is).
Wendi, thank you! You genuine happiness for me means more to me than anything. I will send you updates as I write them as I'm sure you know how appreciative I am of this miracle...It has and will not be taken for granted. And I hope and pray you will still share your heart with me too. I have not forgotten (nor will I ever forget) the infertility journey. And, yes, it is okay to cry. I learned that too awhile back....And I do hope that if any of my pregnancy gets to be too much for you that you will tell me. I appreciate your honesty and your heartfelt words...

I am in awe of how much my feeling and experiences mirror Kelly's right now. And to think, that even back when I asked Wendi's permission to share all of this, God knew how fitting it would be as part of my own story, while I was yet clueless! What a big God we serve.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

What a week!

I will be recording two, 10-minute interviews segments on Thursday morning (June 9, 8:30 Pacific) for WCRV of Memphis. We don't yet know when this program will air, but when it does it will be hear in 7 states (click here to see if we will reach your area). I'll post more when I know air dates. If you read this entry in time to pray during the interview, I am thankful for any prayer coverage you can share!

This has been a crazy week in the Saake household. As one of several issues to make it an interesting week, the builder of our new home (we've lived here six months) is finally coming back to fix the "minor" shower leak that has been a problem since we moved in. As of this mornign we are locked out of our master bathroom for an anticipated 2 weeks of demolition, cleaning and rebuilding. So far tile has been knocked out, the doorframe to the closet removed, carpet and padding pulled up, and I'm not even sure whatelse has happened behind the tripple plastic protective barrier that now marks the archway into our bathroom. Life is never dull!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Getting Some Press

It seems so very strange to talk of press releases and radio interviews, but this is my new reality. No, I'm certainly not a superstar, and though my friends like to tease me about it, I don't have to hide from the paparazzi! But there is so much more to writing a book than just writing a book. I had no idea what all was entailed in post-production marketing! While I'm thrilled by the way God is opening some big doors, things get more than a bit overwhelming at times. I covet your prayers for wisdom in what to say when God gives me a platform, balance in knowing what invitations to accept and decline, stamina and physical health, ability to keep my family my priority, and grace to let God shine through me in all of this.

Laura Christianson, a freelance writer specializing in adoption-related issues, and a long-time Hannah's Prayer/Ladies In Waiting member, was kind enough to highlight Hannah's Hope in her blog just before HH hit the market. You will miss a lot if you only read her review of my book, so be sure to keep reading through some of her great categories such as Adoption and Infertility Ministry, Infertility Issues (Why Infertility Isn't Discussed in Church, Ways to Encourage an Infertile Friend), Adoption and Infertility in the Bible and many other great adoption related entries.

Focus on the Family generously spotlighted two brief interviews with me on recent Weekend Magazine broadcasts. The target audience for this program is parents of children ages 0-12, so be prepared for a lot of parenting-related topics, but if you would like to listen to my segments, go to Weekend Magazine Archives and select the May 14 program (miscarriage interview begins at 48:45 on Windows Media player) and May 21 (infertility topic started at 5:20 on Windows Media or runs from 6:28 to 9:04 on Real Player). If you enjoy these spots, please be sure to let Focus on the Family know that you are thankful for their focus on infertility and miscarriage, list the air dates, mention me or the book Hannah's Hope by name if you want, and ask them to make infertility a priority on future broadcasting.

I am working on a few magazine articles at the moment and would appreciate your prayers for wisdom and clarity in writing interesting articles, favor with magazine editors, and ease in marketing. I'll keep you posted as these go to print.

Reviewers Needed

Hannah's Hope hit bookstore shelves exactly one week after Mother's Day, May 15, 2005, appropriately enough, Mother's-In-Waiting Day. So far I've found the book in my local Christian bookstore, in Borders, and know it can be special ordered from Barnes & Noble. It is also available through most bookstore websites such as CBD, Amazon, Parable bookstores (and ministry websites affiliated with Parable), and many more. I would greatly appreciate it if you would be able to take a few minutes and visit some online sites where you can leave positive feedback for the book. Most let you either add a ranking (5 stars, 5 cups of coffee, etc.) and/or write out an actual review. Both forms of feedback are helpful for book sales. Here are a few examples:

Nav Press (my publisher) Click on "see customer reviews" then select "add review". You can also "add a rating" on this site. (CBD) - scroll down to "Customer Reviews

Amazon - under "product details" look for "write a review" after the "average customer review" ranking line, or go on down to the actual "customer reviews" category and click on "write an online review.

Barnes & Noble - scroll down to "About the book" then "customer reviews" provides a "write your own online review" link.

Target, scroll down to "Guest Reviews" then "Write an online review.", scroll down to "customer reviews". They even pay you 5 cents for the review.

The first person to post a review at gets a $5 gift certificate there!

Thanks so much for all your help. If you know of other places to write an online review, please post them here!

Learning to Blog

Rick, my wonderful husband who created this beautiful site for me, says I need to get active with blogging. I must admit to being quite overwhelmed with this task. I only recently even learned that "blog" is short for "web log" so you can tell that this really isn't my forte! What do I have to say? What would you find worth reading? Are my ramblings really worth putting into print? How can I stand in the company of blogs like the one belonging to my friend Sandra Glahn (

But I have to trust the guy. After all, it was his foresight that took my simple idea for a small, local support group for a few families struggling with fertility challenges in northern California and created the website. It's hard to argue with that kind of success. So, if Rick says I need to blog, blog I will!

I would love your feedback. What are you looking for in my journal entries? What do you want to know about? What would you like to hear? Do you want details about my daily life? About my family? Devotional reflections on infertility and loss? Updates about my book? My thought is that this blog will contain some of all of the above, but if you have specific questions or input, please share!

Since it was Rick who "got me into this" I'm going to give a plug for him now. Didn't he do an incredible job with the design of this site? If you like his work, be sure to check out his web design business at