Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

This past Sunday I was blessed to speak at our church's Thanksgiving service. Eight testimonies were given answering the question, "What are you thankful to God for?".  Since I had to write mine out to stay within the time frame allotted to me anyway, I thought I would share it on the blog as well. :) You will notice links scattered throughout the post. This is for those of you who have not been along for the whole ride, and would like to go back and read posts and/or watch video associated with the respective parts in our journey. :) It was definitely good for me to remember all that has happened and what brought us to the point that we are at today. <3
I have only ever wanted to be a wife and mom. God blessed me with a husband who loves children, and wanted them just as quickly as I did. We started trying to add to our family a few short months after we were married in 2009. Month after month went by, and I could not help but feel discouraged that getting pregnant was not as easy as I thought it would be. After the recommended year of trying on our own, we met with a fertility specialist and decided to start on a minimal form of medication to help things along. When that didn’t work, we went to the next step of treatment, and the next. We did this for another year. My life included various daily medications, weekly doctor appointments, physical discomfort, and invasive procedures. But the worst part was the continued cycle of ups and downs. We hoped and prayed that each attempt would work, and were always let down. This past March we moved forward with another extensive procedure, and to our incredible surprise, it worked. I finally got to see those two little pink lines on a pregnancy test. Bloodwork confirmed that my levels were increasing as they should, and we even got to see our little one before our doctor thought we would be able to. But a few weeks later I started bleeding. A lot. We went to our doctor’s office, and he confirmed with heartfelt sadness that my uterus was indeed empty. We have never cried as hard as we did that day.

At some point during this trial of infertility, I forgot that God loves me. Heartache after heartache, I would pray and felt that He was just so distant and beyond my reach. Hard times often make people ask God why He is doing what He is doing. But God in His mercy did not let me think those thoughts for very long. I was reassured by the fact that my heavenly Father loves me with the same intensity today as He did when Christ died on the cross to redeem my soul. And though I had moments where I fell short of completely trusting the Lord, I was able to get through those difficult months with a sincere peace in my heart because I knew why He was leading me in this trial. Scripture makes it clear that all the things I may go through in this life are for my good and His glory. He does not sacrifice one purpose for the other. In His perfect plan, He always accomplishes both. He was not withholding something good from me; He was giving me something better! He was somehow using this trial to mold and shape my heart to look more like His. In His graciousness, He was simultaneously bringing Himself glory, and allowing me to be a part of that.  All because I’m His girl and He loves me. As a follower of Christ, what more could I ask Him for?

At each new phase in treatment, Ryan and I would talk about whether we should continue seeing our doctor or switch gears and pursue adoption. Adoption was something that we have both had a heart for. We had talked about it since we were dating as something that we would love to do. We did not expect to take this road to get here, but God had other plans for us. After the miscarriage, we decided to leave the world of treatment behind, and pursue domestic infant adoption full force. We haven’t looked back! We have since been matched with a wonderful young woman, who is due in March. We are expectant parents through the beautiful gift of adoption, and could not be happier.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. I’m thankful that God can turn our broken bodies and circumstances into something beautiful. I’m thankful that my heavenly Father is all for diversity in His family. He has made me His daughter through the gift of adoption, regardless of what color I am. And I’m so thankful that He is giving me a true life picture of His fatherly love, by allowing me to adopt a child of my own.

Valley of Vision is a collection of puritan poetry and prayers. There is one snippet that I continued going back to over the last few years, and I’d just like to close with that-

Thou hast led me on and I have found Thy promises true,
I have been sorrowful, but Thou hast been my help,
Fearful, but Thou hast delivered me
Despairing, but Thou hast lifted me up.
Thy vows are ever upon me, and I praise Thee, O God.

Monday, November 19, 2012

And her name is...

Obviously, Ryan and I have had a lot of time to talk about names for Baby Miller. We have a couple boy names and a couple girl names that we both really like. But once we got matched and met Q, the names we had in mind didn't seem to fit. We realized that we wanted the name to really mean something special, not just sound nice. So I spent some time looking up names and meanings, and showed my new list to Ryan to see if anything stood out to him. One did. Hands down, no questions asked. A name that is meaningful, feminine and unique. We fell in love with it. 

The first name means "my God has answered me". I mean, could it be any more fitting??? This little one is the answer to our prayers, and the prayers of so many others who have come alongside us. 

The middle name is characteristic of our whole journey of waiting. But also carries weight as the reassurance that I have in the Lord that He loves me and is using all things for my good and His glory.

Ready? Her name is Elliana Hope Miller. :) could be Elianna, Eliana, or Elliana. lol. We're currently debating our spelling options so that we pick the one that makes the most sense. It's pronounced eh-lee-au-nuh. Feel free to give feedback on which spelling you like best! :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I Lied

I have a confession to make. I lied. 
Oh yes. It's true. I lied to a lot of people. But the results turned out to be well worth it so I don't feel that bad about it. lol. Here's the truth - We didn't have to wait till next week to find out the gender. We actually did the ultrasound with Q yesterday. :) Both sides of our family had planned to get together today to celebrate the match and we decided that we could not pass up the opportunity to do a surprise gender reveal with them. :: mischievous grin:: We took a quiet moment to thank our families for being so supportive, and gave our parents "just a little something to show our appreciation" - the ultrasound picture!

 The moment was captured in the video below. :) Priceless.

WE'RE HAVING A GIRL!!! ahhhh! So exciting! :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cast Your Vote

We were originally going to do the ultrasound tomorrow to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl. That didn't end up working out cause the place we were going to is closed on Fridays, so we will have to wait till next week. Which is really not a big deal. I would have had to wait a few months to find out the gender if I was pregnant, so a couple weeks after match is not the end of the world. lol. But since we still have a little bit of time, I figured I'd do a poll. :) Birthmom, Q, is convinced that it's a girl, her social worker is sure that it's a boy, and Chinese Gender Prediction Chart says girl. So what do you think? Is this precious baby we've been waiting for going to be a boy or a girl?? Cast your vote below! :)

Is Baby Miller a boy or a girl? free polls 

P.S. In case you were wondering, yes, I tried to center the poll widget and it refuses to cooperate. Oh well.

A Note on Privacy

We've hit a bend in the road folks. Up to this point, I've been really transparent about everything that's going on in my heart and in my body. lol. I'm borderline, overly comfortable talking about my female biology. Comes with the territory of blogging about infertility I suppose. ;) But now there are another two characters who have joined our story - Baby and Baby's Mom. Because I want to respect their privacy, I am going to be intentionally vague on the information that I post about them. In person, I may be willing to share a little bit more than I would online, and I love being able to help people understand adoption in general, so you can always feel free to ask me questions if you have them. However, please know that there are some questions that I may choose not to answer. Fair enough? :) Going forward I will refer to the wonderful expectant mother we have been matched with as Q. :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

It's Official!

The meeting went wonderfully and we are officially matched!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The baby is due at the end of March and is 100% African American, which we are absolutely thrilled about. :) We are going to the ultrasound appointment with the birthmom next week to find out if it is a boy or a girl. Yeah, seriously, she wants us to be a part of that. Is this real life?? lol. More details to come in the next few days, but I just wanted to get a quick update posted. Thank you so much for all of the support and prayers. Our hearts are so blessed and full of joy! :)

Today's The Day!

I'm pretty sure everyone in the world as seen the movie Hitch with Will Smith. There's a part in the first scene when Hitch is in the car with one of his clients, giving him a pep talk for the first date he's about to have. It goes like this-
Tonight when you're trying to figure out what to say or wondering how you look, just remember that she is already out with you. That means she said yes when she could have said no. She made a plan when she could have just blown you off. So that means it is no longer your job to try to make her like you. It is your job NOT TO MESS IT UP!

Hahaha! I was thinking about that as I was getting ready this morning and it made me smile. :) We are not nervous yet. :) This meeting doesn't feel as much like a blind date, as it does the introduction of people who have mutual friends. Our social worker knows a LOT about us and we trust her. This potential birthmom's social worker knows a LOT about her, and they have built a relationship based on trust as well. Both social workers think this is a good match, so we expect this meeting to go well. It's so nice to work with people that we feel genuinely have our best interest at heart! :) Lunch is at noon today - keep us in your prayers if you think of us! I will try to post an update as soon as I can. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Breaking News!!

WE GOT THE CALL TONIGHT!!!!!!! The social worker called to let us know that an expectant mother really liked our profile book and wants to meet us to see if we are a good match for her and the baby. :) We are doing lunch with her on Friday! 

Auntie Love :)

I had the wonderful privilege of watching my nephew come into the world on Friday.  I will just say that childbirth is crazy, weird, and beautiful all at the same time. :) 
I'm so thankful for my brother and sister-in-law, who not only invited me to be a part of an incredible experience, but unknowingly helped me prepare for some aspects of the adoption as well. If (big If) we get to be in the room with Birthmom when she delivers, I think I will feel a little less intimidated now that I have seen someone that I'm very comfortable with go through labor. I got to see the process first hand, and watch a really great coach in action. :) Right after Austin was born, I also got to see him soothed by mommy and daddy's voices. I've known, in theory, that the baby has been hearing his parents' voices during the nine months of pregnancy. But to actually see him respond to them moments from being born was still somewhat surprising to me. Our baby is not going to know my voice, and I may not be able to soothe them the way Birthmom can. And that's ok; it's natural. But I know that this is something that I will need to prepare my heart for, as much as that is even possible...

I spent Friday night and Saturday watching my niece while mommy and daddy were at the hospital with baby brother. We "talked", we laughed, we danced, we played and cuddled. :) I treasure my time with her, and the relationship that we've been able to build. She is such a joy. :)

I don't know when Baby Miller is going to get here and make me a mommy, but in the meantime, it's pretty awesome to be Tia / Auntie. :)