Attitude of Gratitude from Pink Postcard




Today is the sixth post in the Attitude of Gratitude series. Click here for the complete list of posts.





















Join us Monday through Friday through Thanksgiving, and feel welcome to share your own stories as well in the comments sections of each post.












Thank you so much, Kristin, for this wonderful series!

I am so excited to share our story with all of you, and to be included in the line up of great bloggers.

This makes me smile to see happiness through gratefulness!

****

I’ve only just typed the title, and my throat is constricting and tears are starting to come.  

It’s been 12 years since Hannah was born, and I haven’t cried in awhile.  
But, sometimes the story becomes fresh again.
Have you ever been in on a secret gift for someone?  
Where the gift giver picked the perfect time, place, and surprise gift to give?
Seeing the joy on the receiver’s end, receiving that perfect gift?
The deep satisfaction from the gift giver, knowing it was pulled off with perfection?
I think (in my extremely limited perception) 
that’s how God felt when Hannah arrived on November 26, 2000.
****
Jon and I were married in 1992.

We waited the “typical” 3 years and then started trying for a baby.
6 months went by, and I finally saw my doctor to see what the trouble was.
I had always had problems with endometriosis, and there was a hint that maybe that was a culprit.
We started the low doses of chlomid.
nothing.
Friends around us began making pregnancy announcements.

More doctor appointments for me.

No test seemed to reveal anything specific, so it was chalked up to the possibility of the endometriosis.

A year and a half later, 

I found myself waking up every morning with a thermometer in my mouth, and charting my cycles.
nothing.
Baby showers, announcements, the world around me was popping out babies!
And I would wonder, how do they do that?  
I mean, I know, but seriously, just decide, and bam, you’re preggo?
I often felt like the girl standing at a barren train depot, watching a train full of mommies and babies pulling away from the station and leaving me.  
Alone.
I did not understand why God wasn’t hearing our prayers.  
Or at least answering them.
We made our struggles known to family, friends, and our church.  
Partly so we would stop getting asked “when are you going to finally have kids?!” and partly because it was too painful to hide.
We came into church one day and were stopped by the pastor’s wife, wanting to speak with us privately.
There was a 16 year old girl in a nearby small town who was pregnant.  She went to the denomination that we were affiliated with, and the youth pastor there had reached out to see if anyone in the surrounding area might be interested in adoption.
YES!
We were so excited, I could barely stand it.  
Our info was given to the pastor and the young girl, and we waited to hear back.
Two weeks later we were told she had aborted the baby.
Heartbroken does not even begin to describe how I felt.

Sheer grief.

I still hope that someday I will meet that beautiful baby in heaven.
Shortly after that, I decided to undergo laparoscopic surgery to remove some of the endometriosis that had twisted it’s way around my abdomen.
The doctor was surprised at how bad it was, and that I was able to ovulate at all.

We began to talk to our closest circle of friends, the ones that I have mentioned here.

The amazing thing is that all of us knew God brought us together for this reason.
To support each other, cry together, celebrate together, and lean on each other through our individual struggles through infertility.
Our husbands all knew each other growing up, but the girls became friends after we were all married.
So thankful God put these wonderful friends in our lives.
We were inspired by two of these friends to look into adoption.  
It seemed like the direction God was leading us, so we began to pursue it.
On the tough days, I would often think often of the hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness.  
It became my song during this time.
We began to take weekly classes through the state for the foster / adoption process.
3/4 of the way through the adoption classes, we went on a couples retreat with our sunday school class.
We told everyone our new journey into adoption, and that we were very excited about it.
One of the leaders in our group asked if everyone would come and pray for us.
It was an amazing moment, and the last person to pray for us, was one of our teachers who prayed that we would get pregnant.
Surprising? 
yes.
But if someone feels led to pray for us, who am I to object?
My dear friend Lois, adoptive parent, and biggest supporter of our decision to adopt, was incensed that he would be praying for this when we had already said we were not going to pursue biological children, and adopt!

And she let him know!

I love my dear friend who stuck up for me, and I love the dear man who prayed what he felt God was leading him to pray.
A few weeks later, I found out I was pregnant.

I know some of you are skeptical- it was the surgery- the wonders of modern medicine.

Some of you might also be thinking that going to the adoption classes was something like teasing fate or “getting our mind off of having a baby”.

Nope.

We were excited that this miracle happened, and also disappointed that our journey into adoption seemed to be telling us to yield at that time.

I truly believe that God knows what is best for each and every one of us, even though it doesn’t always make sense to us.

I grappled for so long at all the why’s and why not’s.

I learned that I just have to trust.

San Diego 2001

At the time, it didn’t even occur to me that I might be pregnant- I did think it was really weird that around 3pm everyday, I was ravenous for hamburgers.

Specifically, Carl’s Jr. sourdough melts….

…and then eat a regular dinner two and a half hours later.

 Laughing about this with a coworker, she wondered aloud if I might be pregnant.

It was like someone smacked some sense into me.

I went home and took a test.

I remember standing in our bathroom, and I literally slapped myself on the cheek.

Absolutely crazy.

We decided to put the adoption classes on hold.

We didn’t feel prepared to have potentially two babies at once!

My due date was December 14.  
I was so excited to have a Christmas baby!
We decided we would name her Hannah Noel.
Thanksgiving that year was uncomfortable to say the least. 
I decided I needed to get all my Christmas shopping done ASAP in the short time I took maternity leave and her due date.
But I didn’t get much done, because all of that turkey and stuffing made Hannah come 3 weeks early.
:)
finally home- Hannah, 10 days old

My precious, prayed for, miracle baby.

It was surreal.

I always think that God smiled, giving me this little girl whose birthday would always would be commemorated around Thanksgiving.
Father’s Day, 2005

Each night as I tuck her in; every morning when I kiss those same sweet cheeks; each day I marvel at what a perfect gift she is, I am thankful.
Mother’s Day 2012

It took us 5 years to be able to have Hannah.  
I know some of you have waited longer, your journeys have been equally, or more painful.
Your story is not over.  

Two years later, we tried again for a second baby, and I under went another laparoscopic surgery.

I had an early term miscarriage, shortly after.

We made monthly visits to OHSU for visits to the infertility clinic.

After a serious bout of depression, I decided, enough.

Hawaii, 2011

 Life is too short for me to not be enjoying- and thankful- for just one child.

The blessing we already have.

I am so thankful for the journey- despite the questions, the tears, the uncertainty.

The friendships and conversations it has allowed us.

We don’t always understand why God allows us to go through painful situations in life, but I think it is so we can give His comfort to those around us who walk the same path.

The Bible study I am in right now is written by Beth Moore.

(Stepping Up, A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent)

I read this quote the other night, and thought it was so applicable:

He knows when something glorious in the future necessitates something difficult in the present. Because He knows the glory will be worth it, God will risk being misunderstood.  Yes, God wants us to have joyful, satisfying lives, but He also wants us to have crowns to cast.  Rewards to receive.  Character to develop.  Compassion to give.  Testimonies to tell.  In the midst of those painful processes,  God makes bold promises.

I have prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me my petition.
1 Samuel 1:27
~Hannah’s verse~

***
Thanks for letting me share our story.

It’s pretty personal, and not my usual kind of post on my blog, but I love sharing it.

 I would love for you to visit me at Pink Postcard!  
www.pink-postcard.com

I share home decor, vintage, DIY, and lifestyle posts.

You can also find me on Facebook,  Pinterest, and Instagram.

I also have a small business in the Willamette Valley, selling refinished furniture and vintage goods.

My items are currently located at Aunt Bee’s House and various shows around the Pacific NW.

I am grateful!

Thanks for sharing your story with us Denise!
Do you have a story of gratitude to share? Please feel free to share your story in the comments below.

Kristin

Kristin

Owner at Yellow Bliss Road
Hi! I'm Kristin and I'm the creative mind behind Yellow Bliss Road, where you'll find tons of recipes, free printables, and a little decor and DIY thrown in for good measure. Life can be complicated, so I am all about simplifying wherever I can - from food to decor to DIY - because I believe that it doesn't have to be elaborate or extravagant to be amazing. I am a single adoptive mom with a daughter in Preschool and a son in Kindergarten. My kids are a handful, I'm exhausted and most days my house is a mess - and I'm okay with that!
Kristin
Kristin
Kristin

Comments

  1. says

    Thank you for sharing your journey Denise! I know it’s not easy to be so vulnerable but it will be a blessing and encouragement to all who read it. Your story is meaningful to me on many levels and Hannah was and continues to be a beautiful miracle! :-)
    Vanessa

  2. says

    This is an awesome sorry and a tear jerker. The power of prayer is great and the alternate road sometimes is even better then erring a yes to your prayers. My heart broke when I heard about the 16 year olds abortion. That beautiful baby could of had you for a mother and lived an amazing life with your daughter as a younger sister. I pray that abortion goes away.

  3. says

    WOW! What a wonderful story, what a blessing Hannah is. The power of prayer is amazing and never ceases to amaze. Thank you for sharing your story with us I know it isn’t easy.
    XO
    Kristin
    Oh and I have to say I was in the McDonalds drive through for a big mac (I don’t eat red meat) before I found out I was pregnant. I knew right then and there it was a sign. Every pregnancy after, same thing.

  4. says

    Denise. Your story and willingness to share brought tears to my eyes. We ended up easily pregnant with our first daughter but struggled immensely afterwards. Such pain and so many questions as you sweetly described. But I love how God and family and community carry us through. Bless you and your amazing heart! It shines through.

  5. says

    I absolutely loved reading your story. What a precious gift Hannah is!! I praise the Lord for the man who felt led to pray for you no matter what “was supposed” to be being prayed for. I praise God for miracles!

    Thanks for sharing your sweet story.

    Amy

  6. says

    I so remember how painful it was when everyone around me was popping out babies except me. Especially since you have to try your hardest to plaster a smile on your face when you really just want to cry. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. Your lovely Hannah is such a blessing!

  7. Anonymous says

    Infertility is a great struggle as I know personally. My husband and I tried for 10 long years. We are now parents of three beautiful boys. God’s timing is certainly not ours; His ways are not our ways but He does know best and his will is perfect. Reflect on who God is and know you are exactly where He wants you to be right now. He loves you greatly! God Bless!!

  8. says

    Dear Denise
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful miracle of Hannah with us. I was deeply touched by the leading of prayer in another’s heart! What a beautiful reminder to each of us of God unfailing love. Bless you and your precious family!

    Hugs
    Kate

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