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We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Saturday, April 30, 2011

How We Proceed/A Prayer for More Frozen Ones

Clearly, accomplishment in life cannot be measured in terms of years alone. It often happens that those that die young have accomplished more than others who live to old age. Even infants, who sometimes have been with their parents only a few days, or even hours, may leave profound influences that change the entire course of the life of the family. And undoubtedly, from the Divine viewpoint, the specific purpose for which they were sent into the world was accomplished. It is our right neither to take life prematurely, nor to insist on its extension beyond the mark that God has set for it.
Loraine Boettner

Back in October, Micah and I talked through this season of our lives adopting embryos. We talked about the possible outcomes and variables. We even listed our primary goal and expectations. We took our knowledge, research, and understanding and added much prayer and anticipation. From these, we formed a plan concluding that three embryo transfers seemed feasible and gave concrete reasons for that decision. The past two months we have added struggle, suffering, and much emotion to our conglomeration of information and in turn, questioned that decision. God has already grown our family and we, by His grace, have accomplished what we desired to do; show honor, dignity, and respect to the lives of frozen, bearers of the image of God. There are no more embryos with our "names on them" at our clinic. We have cared for all the little ones God has placed in our family arms thus far. The process has been a joyfully excruciating one. Our initial conversation aside, the end of this season seemed near.

But then I wondered, if the Lord allows me more years on this earth, would I one day have any regrets? There are certainly very good reasons to regroup and move on walking down a new path of adoption (which was in our original plan as well). I have been forced to ask myself, what then are our reasons for changing paths now? The one and only reason I have is simply because it has been so hard. Loving little ones and letting them go, as I have stated before, wasn't the path I would have chosen for myself. Working for/against me is the fact that all those God calls, He also equips. In His equipping of me for this task, He made me with more than a fair amount of stubbornness that doesn't permit my one reason much validity. Instead, Micah and I have both concluded that finishing well and not having any regrets later is the best choice. I have been so glad we both came to the same decision seperately, yet in unison. It seems that God has created us to do this work, and we desire to see it through to the end. Our family has uniquely learned to love embryos and sympathize with the plight of those dealing with infertility. Even though he wasn't describing embryos, Mr. Boettner's quote describes our little ones and their impact on our lives. This impact pushes us forward and makes us completely and totally up for one last embryo adoption. Long term, we aren't sure what our role will be in continuing to be a voice for the voiceless, but I am sure this flame will not burn out in us during our lifetime.

We recently sat down with the Nurse Practitioner to talk about a third transfer. The news she gave us was interesting, wonderful, and enlightening all at the same time. In the clinic where we have adopted all our little ones, there are as of now, no more "available" embryos for adoption. That entire manila folder-full has been cared for. What glorious news! It was also good to hear her re-affirm her desire that all embryos created within their office be given a chance at life. However, there are a number of families that have abandoned their embryos and not provided for their adoption. If you have been following my blog long, you may remember an article I posted describing the problem IVF patients face when they have "left-over" embryos. It can be an agonizing decision, especially if they go into IVF without considering all possible outcomes ahead of time. Some families make sure they give a chance at life to all their little ones. Others, like the parents of our children, do give up their rights and allow their remaining embryos to be adopted. There are some, who will donate them for research thus destroying them or simply choose for them to be discarded in some way. The NP has been urging these families to give up their rights and allow the staff to place them with other families. Our family has joined her in this urging, just in a different way. We are specifically praying for the families of our particular clinic to be burdened with their choice and either take responsibility for their own embryos and give them a chance at life, or allow another family to do so. We ask you to join us in our prayers. Micah and I will be calling the clinic in mid-June to see if there are embryos that have been released. We plan to give it just a few months. If God has more little ones for us, we are ready and joyfully willing to care for them to the best of our ability and to the glory of God our Father. If not, we feel at peace in this end as well.

Our clinic is no different than many others (if not all) across the US. Let me say aloud that we understand and sympathize with couples facing infertility and secondary infertility. We are just praying that we may honor our Creator God with our choices when it comes to human life.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter and Other Things

One sign that our Andrew is growing up is that he seems to be losing teeth at an astounding rate! He now has two tooth-size holes in his sweet smile. I love to hear him read any words with the "s" and "sh" sounds aloud in school. So far, I have been the tooth-puller. My strategy- to make sure the tooth is good and ready to come out and tell Andrew, "I am going to have this thing out in 10 seconds. Okay- start counting!" Usually, it is out by 3. With four teeth down and several more to go, he is forming quite a relationship with the tooth fairy. About 10 minutes after he lays down for bed the night of her visit he yells to Micah and me, "I'm about asleep! You can go ahead and come in with the tooth money!" There is no fooling Andrew when it comes to things as serious as money for his piggy bank. There have been a number of thunderstorms lately... and days and days of rain. We live in a second-story apartment and we recently had a Tornado Warning that seemed pretty serious. Since we do not have a good place to wait out a storm, Micah suggested at 11:30 p.m. to head over the the apartment clubhouse and wait it out in the basement. There are a series of rooms there and we thought for sure we would find safety- or at least a more safe place than our bedroom closet. Micah and I quickly put together a "wait out the storm" bag and loaded the kids in the van since the clubhouse is several buildings over. Andrew woke up immediately and wanted to make sure he knew the plan. Elijah, however, more resembled Jesus in the boat with the disciples in his approach to facing the weather conditions. We got over to the clubhouse, unloaded everything and everyone still sleeping (Elijah) and hurried through the rain into the basement. The only thing I can say is- windows and glass everywhere. Not only are there floor to ceiling windows in every room (office, exercise room, Pilate's studio, etc.) but there are also floor to ceiling windows that separate each room from the interior hallway. One entry way side of the building was two-stories of glass and another side is a rec-room that used to be a glass-enclosed indoor pool. We might have well gone to a kitchen store and stood in the knife section. By this time, the storm was too close to load back up and head back to our better equipped, second-story tornado shelter. Thankfully, Andrew and I did scope out a furnace room without panes and panes and more panes of glass! After following the WHAS11 live news feed on the Internet for an hour including multiple viewings of the same commercial for "Craig and Landreth Cars" and having the electricity flicker a few times, all was well and we headed home. We were so thankful to be protected despite our circumstances. We will have a better plan next time!

Today, we celebrated Resurrection Day with our church family. The boys sported some new big-boy clothes. I have some handsome boys, if I do say so myself! Elijah was so kind to take this picture of Mommy and Daddy~ and just in case you're wondering, we didn't coordinate our Easter clothing; it just happened to work out that way:) Our church decorated the sanctuary with hydrangeas this year. We placed one in honor of our little ones and celebrated the hope we have through Christ who now stands victorious over sin and death~ Micah and I have some new news on the embryo adoption front to share as well as more specific ways for you all to be informed about how to pray for these particular orphans ~ so stay tuned!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Let the Business Begin!

Wednesday, April 13th marked our last day of being apart from Micah. The boys and I drove back down to Atlanta for a weekend celebration with Micah and the group of Chick-fil-a Operators and Corporate Employees training with him. The trip down was long, but the boys looked content at our stop at a Cracker Barrel along the way. I think they were just so glad to be going to "pick-up Daddy"!

Thursday evening, the group visited Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves as well as the Tomahawk-Chopping Chick-fil-a Cow standing high above the crowd.

Friday, April 15, 2011. Micah graduated from the FRL (Fundamentals of Restaurant Leadership) class. The boys and I are so proud of him~ With the contracts signed, he is officially a business owner! Those who have followed us over the last couple of years know what a long road it has been. It was humbling to see Micah recognized for all his sacrifice. Knowing him as I do, I am aware that recognition is not his goal, but to simply follow the path God has given him with humility and servant-leadership. I have been so fortunate to have a front-row seat, watching God give him direction and then provide the perseverance. There have definitely been struggles, but the result has been so well worth it. The extent of the hardship was completely and satisfyingly proportionate to the sweetness of the accomplishment. We thank God for the daily portions of grace that moved us all through the last couple of years. Being a part of the Chick-fil-a family is a gift. We were thankful Micah's parents could join us for the "Con-grad-u-lation" (as Elijah called it;) combining Congratulations and Graduation).

Friday, April 08, 2011


During my friend Cara's visit two weeks ago, Danae (my snowflake sister) had her first ultrasound. It was sad to learn that one baby had not lived however the other was growing normally. We learned yesterday, though, that now God has also taken that child to be with Him. I know Danae, her husband Josh, and their two girls appreciate prayers right now. Micah and I feel so fortunate to be walking this embryo adoption road with brave souls like them. Our hearts break with theirs as they carry their babies to Jesus.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Moving Forward

A few days after we found out about our little ones, Micah flew to Atlanta for Operator Training for Chick-fil-a. God's timing can be a little curious... However, with four weeks down and one left to go, I am so thankful the time has gone by quickly- Partially thanks to friends that continued to love on us and keep us busy. I had to post these pics of all the precious faces that have come through our home:Where are the adults, you may ask? Well, probably cooking, cleaning up from said cooking, admonishing, encouraging, scrubbing something, thinking about what to cook next, or investigating something (usually an alarming noise;)). What a blessing to have a full house. I have to mention that my friend Cara drove 12 hours with her four kiddos (AMAZING!!!). Everyone needs friends that let you come as you are, and my friends Cara and Jaime (the mommies of the adorable children above) allow me that priceless luxury.

This past weekend, the boys and I traveled for a long-weekend visit with Micah. We stayed in Peachtree City, GA and took advantage of the miles and miles of golf-cart paths within the community. Back at the hotel, Elijah found time to put on a show on the outdoor concert area (dancing like "Justin Beaver- that boy that has talent... even when he was a little boy!!!"). This picture is blurry, but that is because of Elijah's lightening moves: And Andrew, hung out in the audience cheering him on: We did get another visit to the Chick-fil-a Home Office. This is along the path that leads to the main building. It is such a beautiful area:Andrew wants a car like this one in Mr. Truett Cathy's collection when he grows up:Micah graduates next week and takes ownership of Chick-fil-a at Jefferson Mall on May 1. We are so thankful for the end of this part of our journey... it has truly been a long one!