Andrew and I have so much to fill everyone in on since the end of February. First off, thank you to everyone who helped us complete our Bonfire T-Shirt fundraiser (we highly recommend this option for t-shirts). We had a blast watching the Lord provide each day as the numbers seemingly crept up each day. It was a little nerve-racking towards the end, but we know how our Lord shows His mighty hand in not only providing in huge ways, but in the tiny ones as well. March 21st-22nd we had our home study completed. The battle that God and I had over anxiety was huge! Psalm 94:18-19 “When I thought, ‘my foot slips,’ your steadfast love, oh Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Little did I know that those verses that He had given me many months ago would have such power in not only my life, but in others as well as we have journeyed through a variety of storms together. Praise Him that not only did we pass our home study, but that there was peace and comfort in our home as soon as our Social Worker, a fellow believer, entered our home.
Just days later the Lord literally put the perfect job in my lap and said here you go Carmen, go run with this. I began working part-time as the Executive Director at a Christian non-profit organization in our community called Creative Choices Pregnancy Resource Center. I have the opportunity to minister to women who are pregnant that need a safe and confidential place to turn for help before, during and after their pregnancy. At first I found it quite humorous that I was the one stepping into this role since my babies are not with me at the moment. But I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to use my counseling skills as I share the Gospel with these hurting women who have perhaps the world’s toughest decision to make.
The other night Andrew and I were chatting about our home study, adoption and how busy lives have continued to be. And as he fell asleep he told me something that rocked my world, “ministry is your hobby baby.” To which I replied, “You crazy, that’s our job…well yours anyway! It’s not my hobby.” But much to my surprise, as soon as he verbalized that thought I knew that he was right. From the months of restless nights due to chemotherapy my body stayed awake despite how exhausted I felt. This insomnia often disguised itself as times of ministry from midnight text messages to friends who were hurting, to 4 am hospital visits welcoming a joy baby on “God time,” answering the phone at 2 AM to encourage a new believer, and yes, even a few girls nights with my prayer warrior friends. Scrapbooking has certainly taken a back seat lately!
Celebrating infertility with others…mhmm. In April our baby would have been one year old. It hurt. No, it hurts. I think Samuel’s Mama, Hannah and I would have been friends. My heart often hurts so much that all I can do is cry out like she did in 1 Samuel 1:12-16. Now there’s no Eli and Samuel in my story, but there’s a Heavenly Father, an incredible husband and some precious friends who understand like no one else and help me up off the floor when I cannot move. There is a promised miracle out there that has already stolen my heart, whose name comes to my mind nearly every day, whose perfectly blended color of skin I try to imagine and whose salvation Daddy and I pray for constantly. It’s those treasured thoughts that the Lord brings to my mind so that I might have a genuine heart of joy as Andrew and I celebrate those sweet announcements of “we’re pregnant” this year, from our friends that have struggled with infertility as well. In the midst of it all He is GOOD!
“So what is next?” “How is the adoption?” “Any baby news?” Those are the questions that Andrew and I find ourselves answering of late. That is how we knew it was time to blog again, and actually God insisted that I write, even though I’ve never blogged and I hardly ever read blogs. I’m telling you He has a sense of humor!
Currently we need to raise close to $20,000 before our miracle will be sleeping in the nursery. As of today we have been graciously given a crib, a mattress, a diaper genie, a changing table and a dresser. Let me tell you how hard it is to practice self-control to not buy or receive many gifts, especially when a Carter’s baby store opens up on your island! Thank God for my sweet niece that I can spoil from time to time! We are prioritizing our evenings applying for grants as well as planning fundraisers in an effort to cover the cost. Of course we are still accepting donations on our YouCaring site as well. Please continue to share our blog, youtube video and YouCaring website. Thank you to everyone who has supported us through prayers and financial donations.