Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Club I DIDN'T Want to Join

Clubs...  groups of individuals joined together... belonging based on commonalities. 

I've been a card carrying member of many in my day.  Some because I truly desired to be and others because I was determined to give my pre-college, paper pedigree a boost.  Beta Club, National Honor Society, Drama, Chorus, FCA, etc.  The list truly does go on, but I've found that it is in adulthood that the clubs become more universal.

Due to the fact that adoption has always been the God-given desire of my heart, I honestly assumed that I may be infertile.  Honestly, I did not necessarily have the desire to carry a child, so what else could be the reason?  I was 100% content and thrilled to have God grow our family through adoption.  However, God had other plans, and we were blessed beyond imagination.  Three years into our marriage as we began to think of expanding our family, we conceived with great ease.

It was when I was prego with Caleb that I was on the verge of being inducted into quite the club... MOMMYDOM!  In some semblance of a "rush" or "initiation", my swelling belly invited others to break personal space rules, touch me, and offer unsolicited advice.  Oh and don't forget the labor stories!!!  Ladies LOVE to tell them, and they seem to reside in one of two camps - "Woe is me... I labored for hours or even days on end.  The pain... the agony!" OR "What pain?  I pushed once, or did I hiccup?"

Well, after four hours in the hospital, four less than impressive pushes, and a lot of extra assistance from the doctor, Caleb was born and I achieved MOMMY CLUB membership.  Wow... it is and continues to be incredible!  I get stuck with some less than desirable duties, but the amazing bond and love shared is worth all the ickiness that escapes all the little orifices!  Becoming a "Mommy Club" member, I gained some credibility in all the other Mommy eyes...  possibly even my own mother's eyes.  Furthermore, I became more than aptly equipped to small talk with any woman who ever has had a child.  Whether recalling labor, discussing milestones achieved by my offspring, or sharing his latest antics, I'm "in" and this club membership is lifelong.

Then, there is the ADOPTION CLUB.  I expressed my desire to join this group at an early age.  Quite honestly, when we began the paperwork process, I think others were stunned at first simply because it was no longer just talk but there was real action.  Outsiders looking in on the adoption club assume it is either for the elite - "It takes special people to adopt.  I could never do that!" or the insane - "Why would you want someone else's kid? Another race?  Another country?  You are nuts!"

Thankfully, adoption club members stick together and can usually remain unscathed from those who don't get it.  Community is invaluable, and we surround ourselves with others.  We have to - no one else understands our language (dossier, USCIS, I-600A, I-797C, Referral, Meetcha Day, Gotcha Day, Embassy, etc.).  In process families especially crave connection.  I know we blog stalked, chatted in YahooGroups, lived vicariously through others "Gotcha Day" videos, and attended support groups until it was our turn.  Finally, February 15, 2010, I felt like my Adoption Club membership status became gold sealed and irrevocable.  I held me precious Ethiopian cuties in my arms for the very first time.  Because God has so richly blessed my family and grown our faith, I'm probably one of the biggest membership recruiters for this club that I know!  Got questions - I'd LOVE to chat with you!!!

Yes, I'm quite the fan of these clubs I've found in my 20's & 30's, but there is one club that I never inquired, asked, or wanted to join.  Thursday, January 19th, I learned that I would become a part of the MISCARRIAGE CLUB.  After three positive pregnancy tests in December, a month of nausea and exhaustion, some cramping and spotting, instead of seeing 10 weeks worth of new life in my womb, an ultrasound confirmed that I had a blighted ovum, an anembryonic pregnancy.  Basically, while an egg was fertilized and implanted, an embryo never developed.  Instead, I had a growing, empty gestational sac.  Then, on Monday, January 23rd, I had a D&C and have been recovering this week.

Because of the fear that we were losing the pregnancy a couple weekends prior to my initial appointment, Jon and I were both less than confident and a bit anxious yet we remained hopeful.  I remember thinking to myself as I rounded the corner to enter the building, "God, whatever the outcome, I will praise you, the Giver of Life!"  Jeremiah 29:11 is my life verse and as I often do I speak and pray it's truth over my life!  I know God is in control and He has plans for my future!" 

Without a doubt, the news of my MISCARRIAGE CLUB status brought on the waterworks.  To say that Jon and I were sad and disappointed would be an understatement, but I assure you that we were neither devastated nor defeated.  I had some good cries that Thursday and was even a little weepy on Friday morning, but I was absolutely ok.  This seemed to set others a little off kilter.  Several expected me to be a basket case, others offered trite platitudes and cliches, and some spouted bad theology.  While I did not want others pity, I did understand that everyone was truly saying what they genuinely believed to be helpful, meaningful, and encouraging.  Likewise, I appreciated those who revealed secret losses of their own, and most of all, the prayers of so many.

How did I put this heartbreaking news in perspective? I think multiple reasons.   
  1.  I'm not one to ask "Why me, God?" because really the question would be "Why not me?" We live in a fallen world, and things like this just remind me that this world is not my home.
  2. I am richly blessed.  I have three absolutely beautiful children.  If that is all this life holds I've been given gifts in abundance - more that I could ask for or imagine!
  3. I'm at a different stage in my life.  Pregnant at 26 with Caleb, I never even thought about the risks involved with pregnancy and assumed all would be fine.  At 32, I've witnessed too many friends suffer loss - including my best friend burying two sweet baby girls.  Loss and life are intertwined.  I only have to look at my precious Jeremiah and Rachel to be reminded of this.  In their short lives, they have lost more that anyone should ever have to, yet God is still Redeemer and sitting on his throne.  
  4. Adoption is in our future plans.  At this time, our thoughts are to bring an older child into our home... possibly from a disruption/dissolution situation.  While we don't know the specifics or the when, we do believe that God has used several situations to open and prepare our hearts for this next adoption journey.  However, we do know that in order to pursue an older child... the timing will be later for this adoption since we currently have a 5, 6, and 7 year old in our house.
  5. Finally, if God so leads us to seek to become pregnant again, from a medical standpoint, we have never struggled to get pregnant.  Both times happened quickly.  I have carried full term before, and statistically, most women only ever experience a blighted ovum once.  While this information is no guarantee, it offers great hope.
What does the future hold?  I will wait on the Lord, act in obedience, and trust His ways - even when they are not my own.  Through God's miracles of birth and adoption, I'm a proud MOMMA CLUB member.  I'm thankful.  Now, I'm a MISCARRIAGE CLUB member...  I didn't want to join, but as the lyrics of one of my favorite worship song's say, even so, "God Forever Reigns!"

You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here, You are here
In Your presence I'm made whole
You are God, You are God
Of all else I'm letting go

Oh, I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough

Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign


Amanda Pelser said...

Praying for peace and comfort.

Mozi Esmé said...

I'm so sorry! I love your reminder that God is always enough.

Stefanie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's a privilege to see how God is carrying you through this. He is always faithful!

Jennifer said...

Not a club anyone wants to join. I am sorry for your loss.

Our Homeschool Reviews said...

I'm so sorry :(

Kympossible said...

I'm so sorry! Nobody wants to join that club, but your trust in God even through this painful experience is encouraging.