Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Interlude

It has been difficult to write this post. Part of the reason is that there is so much to write yet nothing at all to write. Since baby J left our home more than three months ago we have been on a break from the foster/adoption journey and TTC. Well our spiritual director called it an interlude which sounds nicer. He said we needed to step back and pray and observe. So, we have been praying and observing. I know I need to get into a more consistent prayer life since the last month or so I have lagged a bit in prayer and exercise. I am someone who needs structure because once a habit is altered it takes me a very long time to get back into it. So I am climbing crawling back to my prayer and workout routine. For me these two things go hand in hand for directly affecting my overall sanity.

During this interlude I did a 3 month detox program with my NaPro doctor since she thinks toxicity is an issue for me. I know she is right because I can feel it and I am rarely wrong about what is going on in my body. She is starting to take a more functional medicine approach with her patients along with NaPro protocols which has been a dream come true for me! I have also started to do something called intermittent fasting to help heal my gut. As someone with hypoglycemia the thought of fasting is downright scary but it has been very manageable, praise God! My hypoglycemia has been dormant since our healing Mass about 4 months ago. Coincidence, I think not!I have gone 14-16hrs without food and then I eat within a 8-9 hour window usually.  Grant it that I am sleeping for about 8 of those fasting hours but it is still pretty remarkable. I have been drinking more bone broth in the gut healing process as well.

During this interlude we discerned to discontinue the foster/adoption process. This was a huge shock to me and I was reluctant to agree to it.  JJ clearly knew this is what we were to do, as did our spiritual director. It is difficult to explain to those who do not understand why we are no longer pursuing foster care. I could not understand what God was doing with us, were we to constantly bend to the wind? Were we to always have this unfulfilled desire, never to have a definite answer? What about private adoption? As our 10 year wedding anniversary creeps up in December the questions were growing while the answers were not to be found. Perhaps I was asking the wrong questions...

So, at the beginning of August I went to Alabama again to the place that always gives me rest and strength. JJ did not go with, I went without him. It was so weird to be apart for 10 days but it was what we needed. On the second to last day I was there I actually got to meet 3 of the cloistered nuns and have them pray for me, especially pray over my womb. It was such an overwhelming experience. I am not a crier or one to show emotion, just ask my brother, but I ugly cried y'all. There was so much I brought with me on this trip and so much more I took away! I left with more peace, trust, acceptance and joy.

 So as far as foster care the simple answer is just that, we are not called to be foster parents. That has been a clear answer.  We have no idea how baby J is doing but we pray for him daily. The grief over baby J is less and the hope that God has a beautiful plan for his life grows.

Continuing with NaPro has been a clear answer we are getting as well. I thought I was done but JJ and I have discerned that since we are seeing improvements in my overall health and cycles that we should continue on the NaPro journey. So, that has been what is going on around here changes that ere big and small. Oh yeah and I turned 33 in July. Would that be considered mid-thirties already?!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

All Cards on the Table

We have a special guest poster today. JJ will be posting his thoughts and rebuttal to a Wall Street Journal article he recently read.  Before we go into that please please please pray for all those affected by hurricane Harvey. I have friends and family in Houston. My younger cousin's home was flooded but he was able to get to his family to his father's home in time and they are all safe. Praise God! It is so scary to think of everything being wiped away in an instant. Prayers ascending for all the flood victims!

 So, take it away JJ...

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      I recently read an article in a major newspaper[i] that really cut to the heart. It was about something the author referred to as a “brosectomy party”. Guys getting together to go to a doctor’s office where they eat, drink and get snipped. Though the article states that this type of thing is very common, I think that it was more of an advertisement. These “parties” apparently cost thousands of dollars for a procedure that is highly unnecessary. Unnecessary?! Here’s why: There is an alternative to the cut and paste treatment. Also, there is no reason to run away from your fertility! Being fertile is a state of health, not to be viewed as a disease that must be eliminated. And I say, “run away” because that’s what men are doing if they feel like they should mask the reality of the situation with booze and fancy ambiance. Trying to hide the guilt isn’t going to make it right. The guilt is there for a reason; a natural reaction to choose something that a person knows is not right. It’s the same for a woman contemplating similar contraceptive procedures.
It might be easy to wave the cloud of confusion out of one’s mind because there seems to be no other way around it. But we don’t have to go to such drastic measures; there is another way. One that not many want to talk about because a person must make an about face from what they have learned all their life; a way of thinking that has become the cultural norm. When a couple is faced with the decision to postpone or achieve a pregnancy, they ought not to look much further than their own bodies. The methods are written inside of our own DNA; on our hearts.
 Men are fairly simplistic, in that we are at all times fertile. Women, on the other hand, have a cycle of fertile and infertile days. This pattern, no matter how regular or irregular, only needs to be observed and learned to tap into the knowledge of achieving or postponing conception. There are various modern methods of learning about and keeping track of the cycle. These fertility awareness methods, sometimes referred to as natural family planning, are highly effective in their function. Statistics of one of these methods called the Creighton Model System[ii], has 99.5% effectiveness rate for postponing a pregnancy as well as a 75% rating for couples attempting to achieve a pregnancy after using the method for just one cycle.
  There are many marital benefits to being aware of your spouse’s fertility. One in particular is that men will be able to know, ahead of time, when their wife will most likely be more irritable! Time for flowers and chocolates! There becomes a hormonal harmony when husbands and wives are attuned to what is going on in their cycle. Communication improves, cooperation is more possible and marriage, over all, thrives. The practice of fertility awareness methods is becoming more and more popular with married couples as of recent because they are seeing these benefits and more.         
Men, we are not dogs! We have the ability control our passions. We don’t need to “get fixed” like some raging K-9 who can’t put on his pants one leg at a time. There is more to life than giving in to our base desires; living only for our selfish egos. If you have had a vasectomy, you are not to be condemned. Most likely, you have not heard of the alternative and probably thought it was the right thing to do. I do encourage you to get it reversed. No pain, no re-gain. Let’s man up and face the facts of reality; of nature. You got to have em’ if you’re going to want to put em’ on the table... How’s that for advertising?
-          J.J. Crow, Los Angeles, CA





[i]The Wall Street Journal: Monday, July 24, 2017 “A Vasectomy Doesn’t Have to Be a Sterile Affair”.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

7th Call... Baby J

We got our 7th call on June 15th at around 4pm. The social worker (SW) informed us of a 4 1/2 month old boy who needed a home. From the information given we thought this was not a possible adoptive situation but a very temporary foster situation so, we were leaning towards no at that point. So, our SW said she would get more info for us and get back to us the next day. I was on pins and needles all night and that morning. When JJ called me and told me what the SW said my response was "It seems that from the information given this situation does fit in our boundaries so all we have to decide is Yes or No." JJ responded with, "I guess it's a Yes. I will call the SW back." After that the SW said the transfer would happen on Monday the 19th!

I was so thrilled that we would finally be welcoming a child into our home! I also prayed so much that weekend for Baby J (Bug)* and his family. We actually had a private healing Mass for generational healing on Saturday the 17th for our families which had been planned for weeks and the priest said we should include Bug and his family too. The whole prayer time and Mass was 3 hours long! It was some intense prayer going on for those 3 hours and it was so beautiful! Later that day we had my goddaughter's 6th birthday party and our friends were all so excited for us. I could not wait to get to Monday!

So on Monday the 19th we ventured out to go pick him up.This first meeting was not as glamorous and idealized as I had in my mind. It happened in a parking lot and a SW just handed him to me and said "Here you go. Sign here." Wow, right? It really hurt my heart for Bug that he was being treated so coldly. So, I just held him with all the love my mama heart had, I whispered in his ear "you're safe" and then I fixed him a bottle for him to have on the ride home. He slept for the whole ride home. Good thing we brought some bottles with water already in it since there was nothing prepared for him! The little that he came with was truly heartbreaking. It was a diaper bag with a few items of clothing, most which did not fit anymore, a few bottles that were obviously for a girl, some diapers and half a can of formula.

Since then JJ and I got to work as parents. Feedings, diaper changes, teething, an ear infection and colic all came with Bug. But, so did cuddles, laughs, baby talk, kisses and the cutest eyebrow raise ever! I quickly remembered what it was like without Bug here and I thanked God that he was with us and safe. I quickly learned that first week that Bug would not be staying in our home and would be transferred out within two weeks. That was a blow to my gut, I did not think it would be so soon. I could not think of the grieving yet because I still had a 5 month old to take care of.

 For every middle of the night feedings or screaming cry Bug made I thanked God for this opportunity to be his mama. Every time I rocked him to sleep I prayed over him. When he was screaming his head off in pain from his ear infection and teething I just held him and prayed. Bug is such an active boy and a good eater! He gained 2.5 lbs and grew 1.5 inches while with us! He loves kicking his legs, rolling over and he gets so frustrated as he tries to crawl. He would love to dance with us to some latin jazz and salsa music and he would calm down with gregorian chant for naps and bedtime. Bug was such a blessing to our home. My hope has been that the time with us has been healing for him.

So from June 19th to July 5th we were Bug's parents/caregivers. After his check up on July 5th in the morning we said goodbye to Bug at the very cold DCFS offices. He was asleep in my arms as I handed him to the SW. He woke up a little when the SW took him and I just gave him his binky so he could go back to sleep. Then I gave him a blessing and said goodbye. After that I walked away crushed and numb. I was not even sure if I was breathing or if this was all just a bad dream. It has been a few days now since we said goodbye. I have had peace even with feeling the loss of him in our lives. The tears come in waves and I am just trying to stay away from major triggers at this point so I can heal. There is so much more to this situation that I just can not share and some that I am not ready to share. Please continue to pray for Baby J, he needs all the prayers he can get.

*I nicknamed Baby J Bug because we got him in June and I thought about calling him June bug but I thought that would be too girly so I went with just Bug. It totally fit too because his favorite place to be is outside.