BLESSED BY INFERTILITY

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We celebrated our 6-year wedding anniversary this last weekend. Six years of joyfully bumpy wedded bliss. By far, our biggest marital “struggle” has been infertility. When we got married, we had no idea that we would be blessed with at least one confirmed miscarriage and years of infertility.

That’s right, I said blessed.

I say blessed because without infertility, we would not have experienced the joy of adoption. If you have never experienced domestic adoption, and been on that wild ride, you cannot relate to the whirlwind journey. It is a ride. It is thrilling, exhilarating, desperate, painful, anxious, nervous, climactic, a bring-you-to-your-knees encounter to the very core of who you are. Everything you’ve ever thought about life and the loss of life (abortion, miscarriage, child neglect) is challenged.

I say blessed because without infertility, we would not have come face to face with our need for God. During our struggle, we’ve never been more angry at, scared of, in awe of, delighted by, and humbled by our Maker.

I say blessed because without infertility, we would never have been given the lens through which you see miracles take place.

I say blessed because without infertility, we would never have had so many tears shed, fights, bitter silence, sob-filled hugs, or cling-to-each-other moments.

I say blessed because without infertility, we would have never taken our journey to NEDC and Tennessee. We would never have met Jennifer and Dave. We never would have got to experience the miracle of life, frozen, in a Petri dish, thawed, transferred, and given the chance to grow into a beautiful baby girl.

Sure, we could have been blessed by getting pregnant easily, and carrying to term without any complications, and giving birth to beautiful children.

But, then we would not have Brae and Sienna. The only way for Brae and Sienna to come to be ours was through infertility and adoption.

And, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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MIRACLES

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— This last weekend, I witnessed a miracle. In Brae’s room, there is a large, heavy glass globe covering his ceiling light. Kind of like this:

Brae and Sienna were rolling around on the floor, beneath the ceiling light. I was sitting near them, leaning against the closet. After watching them giggle and play, I decided it was time to get Brae dressed for the football game he was going to. I pulled Brae away from the center of the room and toward the closet. And then I swept Sienna up right alongside me so she could watch as I got Brae dressed.

Then… within seconds after swooping the kiddos to my side, this ceiling light crashed to the floor and broke into a thousand pieces. It broke in the EXACT place that both Sienna and Brae had been seconds before. It was such a loud sound, we were all shaken. The glass scattered all throughout the room, except none in our direction.

Seconds earlier, my son and my daughter were lying on their backs, giggling, staring up at that very light. I cannot stop replaying the “what-ifs” in my head.

I immediately fell flat on my face in prayer and thanksgiving.

Wow.

— I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Brae is a basketball phenomenon. This last weekend, we went to a birthday party that was held at an indoor arcade place, of sorts. They had a pop-a-shot basketball game, which we ended up spending all of our tokens on. Brae played for probably 20 minutes, and by the end, he had gathered a small crowd of onlookers around him, marveling at this little boy, with his stance, jump shot, and swooshing in basket after basket. I was so proud.

— And speaking of so proud, my husband just got a huge job promotion at work! I know how much a man’s career means to them and their self-esteem, and I could not be prouder that my husband has put his heart and soul into his job, and it is being recognized and rewarded.

I am thankful and blessed.

BRAE-ISMS

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— I am in two small Bible study groups. We meet on a regular basis. At each meeting, we state our prayer requests, and then we pray for one another. My prayer request for the last several weeks has been healing for Sienna’s neck. A week passed after our last meeting. No real progress. In fact, I thought we were slipping backwards. And then, the next week came. Seemingly out of nowhere, her neck started to improve. She started holding her head up straight. She started showing incredible range of motion. In fact, Tygh and I would look at each other in disbelief. It’s like she just “got better” on her own. What we believe, in reality, is that God answered our prayers and healed our baby girl.

— Part of the concern with her neck was delayed physical development. And yet, this last weekend, our baby girl, at barely 5 months of age, has started “sitting” on her own for about 20 seconds at a time (“average” age is 6 months). She’s also started rolling… and rolling… and rolling… all over the room. It is her way of getting from one place to another. We feel so blessed.

Braeisms:

— He’s doing great going #1 in the toilet. #2 is a different story. But, he tries. Oh, the boy tries. This last weekend, he wanted me to leave him to his business to try #2. So I went to the kitchen. About a minute later, I hear him screaming. I run to the bathroom. The boy has f.a.l.l.e.n into the toilet. I just see his feet sticking up in the air. Ha ha ha! I tried so hard to muffle my laugh. Then, I thought to myself, do I have time to go run and get my camera? No, I thought. That would probably not be the “good Mommy” thing to do. So, I helped him up, and encouraged him to use his toilet seat next time.

— Brae: “Mommy, where did the moon go?”
Me: “It’s hiding behind the clouds.”
Brae: (Long pause)…. “Mommy, is the moon going to count to 10 and then come and find me?”

— I am a University of Oregon Duck fan. Tygh is an Oregon State University Beaver fan. This last weekend, as we (I) was rooting the Ducks to victory over Stanford (while, ahem, the Beavers choked…. again….), I shouted to Brae, “Brae! Say GOOOO Ducks!” He looked at me cross-eyed. “NO! Mommy! GOOOO Beavers!” …. Clearly Tygh is having more of an influence than I am.

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BRAE’S THREE-YEAR STATS

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We had Brae’s three-year appointment today.

Stats:

— 75th percentile for weight
— 70th percentile for height

Dr. observations:

— He was very impressed with how well Brae talks.  Brae was the typical clown and had the dr. in stitches the whole time.
— He was very impressed that Brae is bilingual.
— He said Brae is very intelligent,very outgoing and sociable.

(Okay, seriously, don’t ALL doctors say ALL these nice things to their patients? I can’t really imagine a dr. saying, “Gee, your child is pretty dumb…”)

— He gave us some good tips for battling the bedtime temper tantrums.
— Brae showed off his Spiderman underwear.

Cute Brae story: This morning, as we were rushing around the house to get to the doctor, I put Brae in his bathroom in front of the mirror.  I gave him his toothbrush with toothpaste on it.  Brae really wanted to call Daddy on the cell phone and tell him that he wanted to go golfing with him.

Me: “Brae, here, you brush your teeth and I’ll go get the cell phone.”
Brae: “No, Mommy.  You brush the teeth and I’ll go get the cell phone.”

Hmmm…. he must have seen great grandma take her teeth out one too many times.

COMIC RELIEF

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Brae story:

Whenever Brae has had a boo-boo, I’ve always kissed it and magically it just gets better. He really believes in the healing power of my kiss.

So, it was no wonder when the other day, he slipped on the hardwood floor and went straight down on his bum. He picked himself up, pulled down his pants, and his underwear (yes! underwear! not diaper!), and called out my name. “Mommy!” I came rushing down to find him backing his bum up to my face. “Mommy! Kiss my butt!”

*****

At last week’s physical therapy appointment, the therapist said that if Sienna’s neck has not dramatically improved by 6 months (1 month from now), she would recommend a physiotherapist and possible Botox injections in her neck.

Seriously? Injecting Botulism in my daughter?

I think we’ll be getting a new physical therapist.