Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Recap of My Trip and Looking Forward to New Projects

Life's been a whirlwind since my trip in April. What a great joy to be able to share with the ladies at First Baptist Church of Everett and also to work with the wonderful folks at the Marriage Uncensored television program up in Canada.

There are several specific ladies and infertile couples who have remained on my heart and in my prayers since coming home. In Everett, several women with the hidden heartache of chronic health challenges trusted me with their pain. During this eight day trip, I was humbled to share time with 7 moms of precious stillborn babies, 4 of them survivors of at least 2 stillbirths each! (While I "know" dozens of stillbirth moms over the internet, this was the most concentrated face-to-face contact with so many moms of stillborn babies I have ever experienced in such a short amount of time.) Only 3 months after Jeremiah's very scary birth, it was a very emotional experience. I cannot pretend to understand the mind and ways of God. Why was I shown such grace? Why have these ladies known such sorrow?

The trip up to Canada was such a joy. My sister-in-law, Diana, and I realized that in the many years we have been part of one another's lives, we have never just gone away for any extended "girl's time" together, so this 2-day road trip was a special treasure. There was some tension about crossing the boarder because I had left a necessary piece of paperwork back in Nevada, but Rick was able to have a notarized letter faxed to us in Washington and the Family Life Today crew up in Canada prayed us across the boarder without a glitch - praise the Lord! The Peace Arch at the US/Canada boarder was surrounded by a breath-takingly beautiful garden. We didn't have time to stop on this trip, but just driving past was enough to make me want to visit again some day and explore.

I don't even know where to begin in describing the experience with the Marriage Uncensored group. They were so wonderful to work with! My friend Christie arranged such a nice little get-together at the hotel coffee shop before the filming and it was a joy to get to know one of my "imaginary friends" (that's what her husband calls her internet buddies) in person. It was a joy to also meet another HP lady, Lisa, and get introduced to the Canadian delicacy of "fried green beans"! (Long story, but in a nutshell, this is an inside joke from the ladies who attended the pre-taping get together.) And I would be remiss if I failed to mention my introduction to Nanamio Bars - yummy!

I had been quite nervous about recording the program itself, but the hosts had done their homework on the topic of infertility well, had already recorded short interviews with 3 other infertile couples and an RE, and they themselves were so funny off camera and "real" that it was easy to just relax and let God lead the conversation. Beth, thank you again for your beautiful work on my makeup and for sharing your own heart with me as we prepared for the show. FLT of Canada, praising God for all of you!

My Saturday in Everret was equally lovely. It was Tulip Festival in that part of Washington the week I was up there, and the luncheon followed this beautiful spring theme, with tulips on each table and georgous tulip photograph greeting cards gracing each plate. The women's ministry team had worked hard to make it a refreshing day, carefully preparing delicious food, choosing wonderful worship music, and taking care to make me and all the guests feel welcome. A special thanks to my friend, Jane, who first extended the invitation for me to come to this delightful day. I would also like to thank the ladies of FBC for their generosity in their love offering to more than cover my expenses of the trip.

Changing gears now, I would like to ask your prayers for my friend Shelly. We met through the support group I led in Roseville, CA in the mid 90s, going through primary infertility, surgeries, treatments and miscarriages together. Now living in Florida, Shelly is in a battle for her life against breast cancer. She has lost both breast and her hair, but continues to keep her fighting spirit and faith in the Lord. She will be undergoing her second round of chemo tomorrow. Please pray for her and her family this week as the first round made her extrodinarily ill.

--- Motherhood After Infertility Addressed Below ---

And as for my future plans, I'm getting the writing bug again! Infertility changes us for life, and deeply impacts our views of children and parenthood. I so isolated myself from children during our infertility as a form of self-protection, that when we finally did become parents, I found myself floundering in what to do now. This seems to be a common issue for those who go on to either adoption or biological parenthood after infertility. I believe there is a great need for a resource for those who enter motherhood after infertility and/or loss.

I want to have a good portion of the book already written before ever taking it to a publisher, rather than starting with a simple proposal then being up against the stress of a deadline to do the bulk of my writing this time around, so, unless God has different plans, my guess is that we are still probably at least 5 years from seeing this book on store shelves. But I am taking my first huge step by getting brave and saying here, "I am going to try to do this!" If anyone has specific stories or ideas you would like to share with me, please feel free to email me. As I get to the more serious stages, I plan to put together some sort of questionnaire and would welcome the input of anyone who wants to fill that out for me. I ask your prayers for wisdom for me to be obedient to the Lord's calling, in the Lord's timing for this project.

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