Tuesday, June 30, 2009

the waiting game...

Over the last couple of weeks, Felipe and I have been doing lots of talking, lots of listening to each other and to God, and a bit of research on the 2 options before us: adoption and IVF. And we feel as though we've made a decision. We make our plans, but it will be the Lord who directs our path. I won't go into everything we've considered in order to make this decision, but I will say our deliberation has been laborious and we now feel at peace. We would like to go forward with the In Vitro Fertilization process.

Last week, we met with my doctor and brought him a list of about 20 questions. He patiently answered each one in a manner that left us feeling more confident about the process and what all is involved for our potential children and for me. After our conversation, he did another ultrasound. The one last cyst remains and has not shrunk. The dr. said he would like to see the cyst shrink a little more. I'll remain on the medicine I'm taking now for another 2 weeks. Then if it's not decreased in size, we'll try one other medication. If the cyst is not gone in 2 weeks, we are looking at another couple of months of waiting, waiting. ;) Felipe and I have an ongoing joke that at the end of almost every doctor's appointment for the last couple of years, the doctor walks out of the room and one us looks at the other and says: "Wait." So, last week was no different. We wait.

We will see the doctor again on Friday and will have a better idea of when we can get started. I'll keep you posted. In the mean time, please pray for this cyst to dissolve completely!! And for our hearts to wait patiently for what is to come next.

Monday, June 22, 2009

feleighpe's excellent ISRAEL adventures

I'll give some highlights of our trip here on the blog. If you'd like to see all the pictures of our adventures, please click the web album link below. Enjoy!!

Felipe and I spent 2 weeks in Israel with his Mom. I had never been before, but Felipe has been several times. Rita, Felipe's mom, has an apartment in Jerusalem and she spends a couple of months out of the year there. She has been going to Israel for the last 15 years and has fallen in love with the people and the land. We had our own personal tour guide!!

Our first stop: Jerusalem! I was excited about our trip, but didn't anticipate the emotional response I would have to being there. When we got off the plane in Tel Aviv, there was a big sign saying welcome to Israel and I teared up a bit. I didn't feel especially moved or anything, but something in me physically responded to just being there. As we drove into Jerusalem that first day, I just knew there is something special about this place. It's beautiful, ancient, modern.

Jerusalem: we ate amazing foods: cheeses, wines, shwarma, hummus! We toured the old city and the markets. We saw all the diversity of the city with Orthodox Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Americans (which we saw many), and modern living Israelis all sharing the same ancient streets. We arrived on Shabbat (Sabbath), so most of Jerusalem was shut down until sunset. Then we saw the streets fill with people. This was our first night in Jerusalem:

We visited the Western Wall where Jews go to leave their prayers. The wall is the closest place that Jews will go to the Temple Mount. They write their prayers and leave them at the wall. We left ours there as well. I cried there too just thinking of the Jewish people being separated from knowing their Messiah

We visited lots of the Holy Sites of Christianity: the place where Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem, the Holy Sepulcher Church, Gethsemane. I find it amusing that everywhere something important is thought to have happened, there is now a church. Which is better than a McDonald's or something :) But most of the churches don't seem to function as actual places of worship. They may, but it didn't feel that way. Most of them function as museums and places that make a little money over the history of the site. Though each one holds significance and beauty.

One of my favorite places we visited in Jerusalem was Succat Hillel, one of the 2 houses of prayer in the city. We walked in the door and I could tell that we shared some similar DNA with these Christians. It felt like home and I didn't even talk to anyone for the first 30 minutes we were there. I just knew... they feel what we feel over this city and the nations of the world. God is good and He is moving all over the Earth!! This is the only sign at the entrance:

We also visited with a Christian family who lives in the only Christian Kibbutz in Jerusalem. They are a beautiful young couple who have kiddo #6 on the way. They have chosen to live within radical community (a Kibbutz) b/c they know together they can accomplish so much more in Israel than if they lived separately. Living Kibbutz-style gives them many privileges and opportunities than they would not otherwise have. While we were with them, the children and mom sang a song for us.
Felipe and I left Jerusalem for a few days to go into Egypt and join a group to go on a scuba diving safari in the Red Sea!! We did a 3-day live-aboard with 15 Israelis, 8 Egyptian Muslims, 4 Bulgarians and us!! It was amazing... most important to note that we were all living peacefully enjoying God's spectacular underwater creation! It was fabulous!! Felipe is so cute in all his gear!

We spent one night in Elat, the beach town on the southern border of Israel, after our Safari. We stayed in a quaint little hostel that was perfect. We happened to be there on the Global Day of Prayer so we didn't know of any large gatherings occuring there. Felipe printed out the prayers being prayed around the world that day and we sat on the coast of Elat overlooking the borders of Jordan and Egypt and prayed for the world. It was a significant time to pray right there.

After we got back from Elat, Felipe, Rita and I went on a 4-day tour of the Galilee, the northern part of Israel surrounding the Sea of Galilee, which is really just a lake :) It was beautiful! We stayed in a quaint and lovely Kibbutz overlooking the Sea, we visited 2 artist villages, we went to the towns of Haifa, Tiberias and several others. It is definitely the most scenic parts of the land... lots of farming. We also went to Capernaum, the Church of the Beatitudes where the Sermon on the Mount was preached, we saw an ancient boat from 2000 years ago. Lots to see!!

So, there is a lot more, way too much for this setting. Please take a look at our photo album if you'd like. http://picasaweb.google.com/leigheadams It tells lots more! Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

we are at a crossroads...

We got back from Israel this last Monday. It was a wonderful trip, which I'll write more about later and send out a link to our pictures. Honestly, it was nice to have a little break from the decisions that awaited us at home... though for me the heart ache and joy that come with those decisions tend to linger. I sometimes am annoyed by men's (or my husband's) ability to compartmentalize. But sometimes, I think it's a gift... one that keeps them steady.

We saw my doctor on Thursday and the final cyst on my ovary has shrunk to half its size! That's great news! The medicine is working and he expects the cyst to go away. He told us that it is small enough now that my body is ready to go forward with In Vitro fertilization. He has told us that this is probably our only chance of conceiving. In Vitro is a process where they surgically remove the eggs and fertilize them in a lab and then put them back into the uterus. I have several friends who have done it and now have babies! It can be a wonderful thing for parents who can't concieve on their own.

I told Dr. Silverberg that we are just not sure if we are going to try it. Right now, Felipe and I are deciding between in vitro or adoption. We feel the spiritual and physical importance of this decision. And the glorious weight of the calling to be parents, whether by in vitro or by adopting a child to be our own. I think for a while, we were waiting on some angel from heaven or glorious vision to show us the way. Now that someone is asking us for an answer, we are reminded that we walk by faith (sometimes including glorious visions and sometimes including steps of faith into the unknown). So, we have been sobered this week... sobered into the reality of actually making a decision, weighing the options, asking God for peace and courage to step into our fears, and faith... which honestly feels more like courage right now.

We have read packets of information on in vitro from varying perspectives and brainstormed as to how we might fund either choice. We may attend an info seminar on the topic in July. We have been reading about adoption and praying for God's clear direction. I'm looking for good books. The internet is so useful! We are attending an information meeting on adoption this Tuesday evening at an agency here in Austin and I'm researching other agencies.

Mostly, we want to be open to God's leading. We want to lay down what could have been or what might be. We've never been here before. And you know what? It's not as scary as I would have thought. He goes with us to the heights and also to the depths. He does not leave us.

Felipe came home the other day with a verse on his heart for us:
"Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance." Phil 1:18-19

We trust God is doing a deep work in us. And today we stand at a crossroads, reminding us of Felipe's favorite poem. Please pray for us to find our path of faith.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

-- Frost