Friday, March 14, 2014

I'm moving! Sort of ;-)

But not geographically...more functionally....or whatever.  I'm switching blog sites, going from Blogspot to WordPress.  If you're interested, follow me here!  I'm still deciding on whether I'll re-post everything that I've written on here to over there.  I'll figure that out later.

I'll hopefully be posting some updates on life in the Moore household with a bit more regularity than I was here, but don't get your hopes up.  Sometimes other things get in the way.  Like lack of inspiration/motivation,.  Or just laziness.  Lol, it's a toss up really.  ;-)

Adios from blogspot!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Letter

To my future child,

Boy have we been waiting a long time for you.  Seems like it's been taking forever for you to come into our lives, but I know that whenever you come, it will feel like no time at all.

I've been praying for you for years.  I've prayed for you to finally become a part of our family.  I've prayed for who you will become.  I've prayed for your father and I, that we'll some how be able to be good parents, in spite of our short comings.  I've prayed that you will know what love really looks like.  I've prayed that you will be protected, while you're not with me.  I've prayed that you will come to know Jesus and love Him.  I've prayed a great deal for you my little one.

We are so ready to love you.  Whether you're biological or adopted, you will be our child.  You will be our son or daughter, and no one will love you as much as your father and I will. 

It's been so hard to wait for you my little one.  Even as I write this, I have no idea when you'll finally be mine, and it's so difficult to be patient.  But as Jesus says in His word, He will work to the good of those who love Him, and I'm doing everything I can to cling to that truth.  You will be a part of our family someday and you will be cherished and loved.

I hope you come soon.  I long to hold you in my arms, to kiss away an injury, to tell you every day that I love you, to be exasperated with you when you don't obey your mom, to hear you call me "mom" or your father "dad", to hear you laugh, to see your interests, to watch you learn, to see you come to know Jesus, and so much more.  I pray that God will bring you soon.

I love you. :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Aiming For Strength

For roughly the past 2 years, as we've been struggling with our infertility issues, one thing that really stood out to me as I looked back over this time period was how I handled myself in the midst of a struggle.  Unfortunately, I'm not proud of what I saw.  When I was at my lowest, it was so easy for me to be angry at God for the situation we were in and the pain, heartache and disappointment I was dealing with.  I would doubt, I would wallow, I would be utterly miserable around other people and constantly bemoan our struggle.  I panicked, I feared, and I refused to even consider being joyful because I was so distraught over not yet receiving a child that I so desperately wanted.

My attitude has changed a lot since then and a lot of that has to do with the fact that we found hope, in the form of adoption.  During this time of calm and even measured hope, I was really able to reflect back on how I handled myself when I was confronted with a challenge, and I am so embarrassed, and truly ashamed, especially before my Heavenly Father for how weak and selfish I was.  I'm not negating the fact that it was and still is at times hard and I'm not saying that it's wrong to feel disappointment, heartache, sadness, pain, etc at our unfulfilled hopes.  But what is wrong is to allow those feelings to entirely dictate my life, to allow them to impact my attitude, my husband, my family, to be wholly miserable to be around, and to be so totally inconsolable that I nearly pushed people away.  What was even more wrong was the fact that I doubted God, that I questioned Him and why we were put in this position, and that I outright refused to consider it joy when I faced this trial, and that right there is where I sinned.

Unfortunately, when adoption became an option for us, my entire outlook on life shifted.  I essentially found a way to relieve my suffering, rather than choosing to honor my God and choose to be joyful, regardless of my struggle.  I was like a spoiled brat who whined, cried, stomped their feet, and threw enough tantrums to finally get their way.  And it's true.  That's exactly why my outlook changed.  Not because I chose to obey His commands in scripture, but because I found a way to relieve my suffering.

That's not to say by any means that adoption was our option of last resort, because it wasn't.  I talk about our reasons for adoption here.  We always planned to adopt, it just so happened that it was occurring in a different order than we had originally anticipated, but I'm happy with that now.  However, the honeymoon phase of the adoption process has waned quite a bit, almost 11 months in.  And I can't help but feel like we're entering another time of waiting, and all I can think about doing is panicking and slipping right back into the mentality and person I was when all this began.

We've not been moving through the process as fast as I thought we would, and there's no telling how long it will continue to take, and unfortunately for Jon and I, deadlines are beginning to loom.  If everything goes according to plan, Jon and I will be leaving Oklahoma in the late summer of 2015 to wherever he gets a teaching job.  As part of the adoption process, children we are matched with (no telling how long even that can take) would have to live with us for at least 6 months before any legal action can take place, and that's assuming we go through all the pre-placement steps quickly.  Even after that, there's no telling how long the legal aspect can take.  So now, I'm beginning to fear that we might not get to adopt after all, and that terrifies me.  When we move, we would have to start all over again in whatever new state we ended up in, and who knows how long the process is there?

While it's temping to dive headfirst into the same mentality I had over a year ago, I'm really striving to fight it this time around.  Not because it's easy, or because I'm some super holy person, because I'm not.  It is SO hard to be joyful in the midst of heartache and disappointment.  I'm weak, prone to colossal failure, prone to emotional breakdowns (really just inconsolable sob's embarrassing and quite unsightly...I'm not a pretty crier either).

Pretty crier.
Being strong in situations like this is not my forte, but that doesn't make it right or that I shouldn't try to fix that.  We're given clear commands in scripture on how were to handle trials, several of the verses I've mentioned in other posts, but my favorite recently has been 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus".  Additionally, a verse I learned shortly after that has really proven to be helpful is James 1:22 "Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what is says!".  So when I'm faced with moments when I want to fall apart, these are going to be the verses I cling to, to help me be joyful when I want to be angry, to help me trust when I want to doubt, to help me keep a right attitude, when I want to quit.

I'm going to fail at times, I can already guarantee that, but I don't want to look back on this time and be ashamed.  I want to be like people in the Bible who kept their gaze heavenward when they faced persecution.  I want to be like people I've read news articles and blogs about who have faced unimaginable suffering, far greater than anything I've encountered, and who still, in spite of their struggle, continue to rejoice in the goodness and greatness of our Father, who continue to trust and hope in Him, whose faith is strengthened and not weakened even when the outlook is bleak.  I want to be a warrior in the face of trials.  And so this is my pledge to not allow my circumstances dictate my life and instead, to allow prayer, scripture, faith, hope and trust in Jesus to dictate it instead.  

I'm aiming to be strong, for once.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Updates for the day

1) I've decided that my life goal is to meet Peyton Manning.  And to thank him for being so classy and humble in spite of his incredible talent and notoriety.  And for routinely kicking people's butt in football.  And for just being so ridiculously awesome.

2) We continue to wait on word with regards to adoption.  Our profile was submitted for consideration for a few kids this month, but it could still be a while till we hear anything, if anything at all.  I do know that our profile will continue to be submitted each month until our home-study/profile is selected and we move forward in the process.  Should be interesting.  Patience is a virtue they say.  I'm working on being virtuous.... ;-)

3) Jon takes comps in October.  Please be praying for him.  I know he'll do great, because he's so intelligent, but there's always a measure of nerves when you're prepping for a really big exam.  So if you happen to think of him on occasion, I know he'd appreciate the prayers.

4) We're also prepping to run another 5K then a 10K in October.  We'll graduate to a half after that probably, depending on timing.  I hope to have our end goal be a marathon.  It's not an easy goal to reach, but I know it'll be worth it to say that we ran a marathon if we make it to that point.  We've got a ways to go, but it feels good to be running consistently again. 

That's pretty much it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sometimes it's just tough

There are many verses in the Bible that explain, and even strongly encourage us, on how we should handle struggles or trials.  They're there for a reason, and that's because we live in a sin-laden world and every person will encounter some form of challenge in their life.  Christians are not immune to this either, even though many people like to think otherwise.  But what we have that the world doesn't, is hope.  We have Jesus Christ Who has gone before us and Who will never leave or forsake us.  And we have the Bible that has numerous teachings on how to handle trials, and encouragement for when we're struggling.

I'm grateful that we have so many verses that explain how we should handle trials.  It's so easy to fall prey to our emotions and allow them to dictate how we behave when we encounter struggles, but in doing that, we're not helping ourselves.  No amount of sobbing, anger, resentment, bitterness, jealousy, etc. will fix the situation we're in.  That's why it's so great to have clear descriptions of what we should do in the midst of a struggle, like in James chapter 1 where we're told to consider trials a joy, or in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, where we're to give thanks in all circumstances (yes, ALL, even the bad).   Even look to Job, who has his entire life torn apart, but he held fast.  What an incredible standard he set for us Christians.  One that many people, self included, have often fallen short of.

That said, it doesn't mean they eliminate the pain and the hurt we feel in those times.  As I've mentioned before, Jon and I have been dealing with our own struggle lately, me more than him, but that's understandable.  For almost 2 years now, we've been trying to have kids, with no success.  We've been immensely fortunate that we've found alternative methods for bringing kids into our family through adoption here in OK, but we're in the thick of the waiting game now.  And I can't lie, it's been hard.

As each month passes with no updates regarding adoption, and certainly no pregnancy, it's tough to fight the emotions of disappointment, sadness, frustration and fear.  I know that adoption will eventually work out (though, I wish it would go a little faster...), and I can't wait till we're able to be mom and dad to a little one who needs a loving family to love and take care of them.  And as I've said before, to us, there is absolutely NO difference between an adoptive and biological child.  But that doesn't mean that I don't want to have a baby.   I really do.  And that's something I still struggle with, even though we're pursuing adoption.

With all the new pregnancy announcements I've been seeing lately, I can't help but think of when will it be my turn, if ever?  Seeing people talk about their experiences, their "firsts", it's hard to fight the questions of "will I ever?".  Will I ever get to announce "I'm pregnant!" to anyone?  Will I ever get to go have a sonogram and see my little one's body starting to take form?  Will I ever get to hear their little heart beat?  Will I ever get to feel them kick?  Will I ever get to go through all the joys and challenges of pregnancy?  Will I ever get to experience those first moments when my child takes their first few breaths in this world?  To hold them right after they're born, to cherish them, to hear their first cries, to hold their tiny little hands and feet?  Will I ever get to figure out who they look like more?  Will I ever get to pick their name?

These have been the questions that have been on my mind a lot lately, and it's been tough to fight the insecurity and fear that I feel when I try to envision my future and see no resolution to them.  But thank the Lord for Jesus Christ and His Word.  By God's grace and that alone, it's been a lot easier to be patient, to trust, and wait on His timing, than it was when we first started trying for kids.  It's still difficult to be patient and fight the urge to freak out on occasion, but He has been working in my life in big ways, especially when it comes to finding peace and trusting in Him.  The hurt and struggle is still there, and will be I think for a while, but I'm grateful that they don't control my life.  I'm glad too that even in times when I stumble and find myself floundering in the midst of fear, disappointment, frustration, He doesn't abandon me.  That's something I'm thankful every day for.  He is an incredible and loving Father. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Give thanks

 "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:18

Lord, since memorizing this verse, it has popped up into my head quite frequently, particularly at times when I've been struggling with something.  It would pop up and even though I hoped I'd receive some sort of comfort or solution to my problem, I never felt any better about my circumstances.  I realized that this was because I wasn't actually doing what your word was telling me to do.  I wasn't "giving thanks".  I was merely repeating a verse to myself.  I want to change that Lord, so here I am, intending to write down to you what I'm thankful to you for.

Lord, thank you for the trials that you've put me through.  I have had a very easy life, and even in spite of the struggles, Lord you have protected me from far greater trials.  I find myself right now in a situation I never anticipated, but it has been teaching me a great deal about myself, my character, and my faith.  Lord, it's been so challenging but thank you so much for this struggle.  Thank you that it has opened my eyes to see how utterly weak I have been, to see how completely dependent I need to be on You.  I have tried to handle this on my own, perhaps with a few scattered prayers skyward for relief, and it has left me feeling empty, heartbroken, and longing for a comfort I could not hope to give myself.  God, you have been using this to refine me.  To mold me to your Person in ways I could have never dreamed possible on my own.  It has been so hard Lord, and the sense of longing and loss I feel is still so present, but you are strengthening me.  You are helping me to rely on you and not myself.  You are helping me to be patient, to wait, and to trust that you work all things to the good of those who love you. 

Lord, I want to be dependent.  I want to have the faith of a mustard seed.  I want to be a woman who always strives to seek and be near you always.  I want people to see you and not me.  I want to be like you Jesus.  Thank you for using this struggle in my life to help me see and fix the things in my life that have prevented me from doing so.

Thank you also God for our ability to pursue adoption.  Thank you that there is another way for us to bring children into our family.  Thank you that we have the finances, the house, the family, and the love to bring in a child or children who so desperately want what Jon and I had, the incredible blessing of a loving family.  Thank you that you will be with and help us become Godly parents to the little ones who will someday be ours.

Thank you for your provision in our lives.  We take so many things for granted and yet you still continue to bless us.  Thank you that we have such easy access to food, water and shelter.  Thank you for the fact that we have a car, we have electricity, we have clothes on our back.  Thank you that we live where we live.  Thank you for my job that has enabled us to pay off debt, put Jon through school, and help us be able to pursue adoption.

Thank you for my family.  Thank you so much that they live close and that we get to see them on a regular basis.  Thank you for the deep love we have for each other.  Thank you for my extended family too.  Lord, even though distance separates us, thank you that technology exists for us to "see" each other on a frequent basis.  Thank you for their role in our lives.  Thank you for the constant love and care they show us.

Thank you for my husband.  Thank you for his tender love and care for me when my heart has been heaviest.  Thank you for his leadership.  Thank you for his intelligence that has enabled him to pursue a teaching career that will provide for us.  Thank you for his strength, especially when I've been weak.  Thank you that he strives to love, follow and obey you.  Thank you for giving me my best friend.

Thank you for my health.  Thank you that I'm alive for another day.  How easily and quickly things could end Lord, but here I am for another day.  Please help me never take this for granted.

Thank you Lord, most of all, for saving me.  You are wholly innocent and perfect, yet you condescended from your heavenly throne to die on a Cross and bear the punishment that I deserved.  You had every right to destroy me, to send me to hell where I rightfully belong.  You had every right to abandon me to my sin and punishment.  But unfathomably Lord, you didn't.  Instead, you loved me.  You loved me past comprehension.  You loved me enough to die on that Cross in my place.  You took what I deserved on yourself and that is something I can never even hope to repay.   If I dedicated every second of my life, for the rest of my life, to thanking you, it would still never be enough.  But my God, thank you.   Thank you, thank you, thank you.  You saved me because you loved me, and that is something I pray I never get over. 

Thank you Lord for You.  Thank you.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The long and winding road

There's been a bit of a lull here in the Moore household as of late, hence the lack of posting.

However, there is one little thing that we've been working on for roughly 6-8 months that I can now sort of report on, and that is that we have been going through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) adoption process.  While there hasn't been much to update on with this over the past several months, largely because it's all paperwork and waiting, we finally received word that we have been confirmed as adoptive parents, or as they call it, Bridge Resource Parents.  So, translation - we're planning to adopt!

Here's a little history:

Towards the end of 2011, Jon and I had decided that we were ready to start a family.  We were in a great financial situation, largely due to the help of very generous and gracious family, and work and life were going great.  We were ready!  We officially began trying in Jan 2012.  We were both so excited and honestly thought that we'd have no trouble in this area.  As the months continued on however, that belief quickly diminished.  Skip ahead a very long, challenging, and sad 18 months, and we're in the same situation we were to begin with: childless.

When we reached the year mark, we decided to seek out medical help, as well as pursue adoption. With regards to the medical aspect, we ran the gamut of initial tests to see if there were any obvious issues going on, all of which came back negative.  Talk about frustrating.  On one hand, you're glad that nothing is horribly wrong with you, but then on the other, you're no closer to getting answers.  We're still working through this process, but I'm not really focused on it, so I'm reserving thought/hope/optimism for the time being with regards to all of it.  It's all in God's very capable hands and that's where I'll leave it.

With regards to adoption, we decided, after a lot of prayer and discussion, to pursue this method of bringing children into our lives.

I know people will think that perhaps we're jumping the gun too quickly, that we just need to be patient and see where the medical route takes us.  However, what people don't know about us is that adoption was ALWAYS going to be in our future.  Even before we got engaged, Jon and I had both agreed that we were going to adopt at some point in our life.  Sure, in our ideal plans, we would have had a child or two, gained some parenting experience, then added to our family through adoption.  But things haven't worked out that way, and honestly, I'm now OK with that.

I posted a blog few months ago about Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose", and how for the longest time, I couldn't envision how our struggle with infertility could have been used to my good.  Being several months removed from one of the toughest times in my life, I see how immensely arrogant, prideful, foolish, and silly I was to think that God couldn't trump my plans.  Seriously, I can be so utterly self-absorbed sometimes.

If we adopt and bring these little lives into our family, we're going to have one of the greatest opportunities a believer can have, and that's to share the Gospel and introduce someone to the INCREDIBLE Person of Jesus Christ.  We're going to show these little ones how MUCH He loves and cherishes them.  They're going to have parents who will love them unconditionally, who will be there for and take care of them, support them, and do whatever they can to give them a better life than they've already known.  I know that it's not going to be easy, to walk this path that we're on.  I know that the lives these children have had have been immensely difficult and that that will have a deep impact on them, but love is powerful.  Yes, at times it will be really difficult, especially to Jon and I who don't have any parenting experience, but we have wonderful families and friends who will come alongside us and help/support us.  And you know, there's something to be said for being selfless, and sacrificing one's own comfort for the benefit of someone else.  Adoption will stretch us, challenge us, and it's scary and nerve-wracking to think that we'll be entrusted with these little lives, to love, protect, lead, care for, etc., but it is absolutely worth it.  In a small, human way, we have the chance to mirror what Jesus Christ did, in adopting us as His children. 

So that's basically where things are at with us.  Some exciting things could be happening in the next couple months.  Soon, our profile will be viewed by case-workers of children and if there is a match, then we'll be meeting the kids and going from there.  It's going to be an exciting and nerve-wracking journey, but it is absolutely worth it.  

Oh yeah, one more update, Jon will be taking his comprehensive exams in the Fall, and when he's done with those and passes the oral part of it, he'll have completed his Masters, essentially, and will be considered ABD (All but dissertation).  Hello 2014 job market!  Things are about to get busy folks. 

Till I write again, peace out.