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infertility

Mission

Our Lives Are Not Our Own

October 24, 2016

A few weeks back I found myself unable to fall asleep.

I figured I would take a trip down memory lane and look at Jonathan and I’d friendship history on Facebook.

Sappy, I know.

Here we are on one of our very first dates – when Jonathan still had beautiful flowing locks of hair. ūüôā

dating

While the posts were a lot of fun to look over, an overwhelmingly evident truth hit me:

Our lives are not our own.

For whatever reason, God has placed Jonathan and I in positions where we have to depend and rely on others in very concrete ways. We’ve been fundraising our income for almost 9 years so we were used to not only giving to others but receiving the gifts of others’ time, talent, and treasure. Because of that, I don’t think I truly noticed at how God have repeatedly asked us to bring our relationship into the public eye and ask for the assistance and generosity of others.

A completely humbling and a vulnerable trend that this introverted and private heart of mine is slightly afraid of.

But it’s undeniable. Let’s look at the ways others stepped up and helped us:

The Wedding Contest

Anyone remember the Fairytale Wedding Contest from Hell?!?! LOL

We sure do.

It started out simply – Obtain the most likes on a certain photo and qualify to make a video which others can then vote on and the most votes will win.

wedding-contest

This was¬†2011. Facebook¬†sharing was definitely a thing but it wasn’t as big a deal as it is today. The fact we had over 750 likes was HUGE¬†back then…and it was all because of you guys. So we got to go in studio and make a series of videos about our relationship. There were a handful of other couples we were up against, competing for votes over the course of about a week.

Less than 24 hours to go in the contest (that we were definitely winning) this random couple came up like a Dark Horse and stole the lead. We were quite dumbfounded actually because of all the couples in the contest….these two hardly even seemed like a couple. No wedding date set. Barely spoke or smiled in their video. It was bizarre.

That’s when YOU all stepped up again. Some of our friends (and let’s be honest even their friends’ friends) spied on the votes for this other couple, revealing that almost ALL their votes came from Facebook profiles created that very same day and had no friends and no profile picture.

CHEATERS!!!!!!!!!

You all turned up the heat. No way were cheaters going to take this contest from us all. In the final few hours of the contest, your help paid off and we soared ahead of the cheaters, declaring VICTORY in the Fairytale Wedding Contest.

BUT THEN.

The cheaters were overcome and the honest were victorious….how is there even more to this story?

Instead of calling to congratulate our win, WOWT called to tell us they were CANCELLING the contest altogether because one of the couples (not us) had cheated. Not offense WOWT but last time I checked, just because a losing athlete in an Olympic race was later exposed for using steroids, the Gold Medal isn’t stripped from the winner. That’s not how things are done.

AND YOU ALL CALLED IT OUT. HARRRRRRRRD. (There are close to 100 comments on that thread and several are just pure gold, LOL!)

The righteous wrath that rained down on WOWT was incredible. Jonathan and I sat back and let y’all do your thang.

Within a day, the station called to say the contest was BACK ON and that it would be a shady, through-the-night text off to victory. (Side note: The cheaters weren’t even expelled from the competition…they were allowed to still compete even after proof of cheating. Mind boggling.)

So we did the text off. Jonathan was out all night at the bars. Friends were out all night at their bars in their prospective cities. People from all over the world were texting in for us. It was unreal.

The next morning we were declared victors and 6 months later we had ourselves one heck of a wedding because of YOUR help.¬†This last weekend we celebrated 5 years from that day! ūüôā

Our lives are not our own.

Finding JoJo

A few years later we found ourselves again at the mercy of needing your assistance.

We felt it was time to begin the adoption process and were hoping to find a private match (as those are less expensive typically as there are less legal and agency fees).

On a June evening in 2014 we took some photos with a stellar friend who donated her photography talent for our adoption. We told her it was important that we get the pictures back the same night, as we wanted to put some pics up the next day online to announce we were hoping to adopt. I have no idea how or why she agreed to turn these around that fast but SHE DID.

The next morning we posted the photos on our blog and loaded them onto Facebook and asked y’all to help us find #BabyTex, wherever they may be.

10498044_10152530895002451_8442908554591532152_o-1

While we jumped on a 5am flight to Florida and had no internet access, you guys practically broke our blog that morning with your shares. When we landed in Florida and saw what the heck was going on because of YOUR sharing, we were stunned. There were several situations that we were being alerted about that day. When my head hit the pillow that night, I heard a Facebook Messenger ding, and I felt my tummy do a flip. Another¬†possible situation and before I even looked at the message I knew it was special. That conversation was the one that led us to Miss Josie Rosie’s amazing first¬†family.

Unbelievable.

We could have simply gotten on a list or kept our search to ourselves but we felt a call to be vulnerable. To let you all into this area of our lives. Because of that, you led us to our daughter. 

Our lives are not our own.

Fundraising for Adoption #1

Y’all led us to connecting with a birth family and practically in the same breath came to assist us in coming up with the necessary funding to be ready for the adoption.

However, it was hard in a few different ways.

Some may think it was due to disliking fundraising but that’s wasn’t it. I mean really…we’d fundriased our entire income for nearly 6 years at that point. What was humbling was that we couldn’t have children – biological or adopted – by simply just deciding to. This is typically a very intimate decision that families have the privilege of keeping behind closed doors. Certainly with biological kiddos but even in most adoption situations, while it’s¬†usually¬†public knowledge the couple is adopting, a majority don’t fundraise. Perhaps they will ask for help finding a match but that’s where request for assistance ends…and that wasn’t an option for us. We were invited to lay ourselves at the mercy of others’ generosity in an insanely vulnerable aspect of life.

We designed an adoption puzzle and so many of you joined us in that. We raised about 70% of the overall costs and when combined with what we’d been scrimping and saving we had¬†juuuuuust enough to cover everything.

We also had people give us free flight vouchers to California as well as arrange a lovely family (whom we met when we showed up at their house!) to stay with in Sacramento while we waiting for legal documents needed to fly home.

Our lives are not our own.

Ready to Adopt Again

When Josie joined the Teixeira clan we were and still are OVER THE MOON to have the honor and joy of being her parents. She is simply just a delight – so warm, affectionate, silly, and social.

As we watched her grow (and become obsessed with playing with other children LOL) we knew it was time to multiply the love within our family again Рto be touched by the beauty of another child and sibling.

In all honesty, we sat on this desire for a lot longer than we should have. Partly because of the cost of the adoption process but partly because I wanted to try for biological kiddos again and didn’t know how others would perceive us if we were open to conceiving AND¬†adopting at the same time. I stopped taking Domperidone (medicine I used to induce lactation) last Fall and soon thereafter got my cycles back. Month after month after month and no pregnancy (damn you infertility for not miraculously healing yourself while I was nursing) and I knew adoption was the next step.

We took photos again with our awesome and talented friend, Alzbeta.

textwocollage

But then I stalled again.

She sent us the images and I couldn’t bring myself to do anything with them….especially when I realized my hair made me look like a Conehead.

But then I had a dream about adoption (which can’t go into but will in future blog post of its own) and it was clear we needed to get those pictures up. That very same day, we launched the blog posts and shared it on Facebook. You all came to the rescue as joyful as last time, ready to send the smoke signals out in the online world and help us make a connection with a birth family.

While nothing immediately came together like last time (Really, how many times could a same day match happen?) we had about 25 people share a specific adoption situation with me from a blogger who occasionally shares situations and asks others to get the word out. While we were interested in that situation, we had this gut feeling like it wasn’t the one to pursue. Can’t explain it more than that.

BUT fast-forward a few months and I saw a new blog post from this blogger (that I only started following because of YOU GUYS) and there was a baby due in December 2016. We inquired, submitted our profile, and were chosen.

Our lives are not our own.

Fundraising for Adoption #2

While we had confidence that God would provide and that y’all would come along side us in raising funds for this impending adoption, it began with a lot of worries¬†due to fearing others and their perceptions of us. I am a sensitive gal with¬†super¬†thin skin and if someone has judged me incorrectly, it weighs severely on me.

We couldn’t afford adoption the first go -round so why couldn’t we just “get it together” and be able to afford it the second time around?

People were excited last time but now they’re tired of you.

Why don’t you just take on debt, liquidate your house or retirement, sell an organ etc. to do this ON YOUR OWN?

We submitted our profile on a Friday and ALL WEEKEND LONG I panicked and freaked about how we would afford this without doing something really extreme and unwise, as mentioned in above ideas. I was afraid of fundraising and just wanted to be done with needing others to do life.

That same weekend I got a Facebook message from a friend I haven’t seen in years. She had gotten a raise at work and when praying, she felt that the tithe should go to our family for our next adoption situation.

fundraising-fears

WHATTTTTTT?

Yea. When literally no one but Jonathan and I and our immediate family knew about this situation and my fears, God providentially asked a sister in Christ to speak to me through her actions: I’m asking you to fundraise again AKA trust me in this super vulnerable way once again.

So we’ve launched another puzzle and so many of you have once again joined us in raising these adoption costs.

Believe¬†me when I say we’re doing a LOT behind the scenes to scrimp, save, and find extra income (just like last time but on steroids LOL) and I am sure we will come into our deadlines with¬†juuuuuuust enough¬†once again.

Our lives are not our own.

The Future

I have no idea what our future looks (although we have no plans to ever enter a Facebook contest or fundraise for adoption again) like but I am finally convinced of two things:

  1. God will take care of us no matter what comes our way
  2. Our lives are not our own.

Our lives have taken an EXTREME form of dependence on others’ generosity. This ain’t normal folks, LOL. It’s not because we are special, it’s just how God’s will has shown itself. There are times when I feel blessed and honored by this life God asks us to live but also times I want to¬†know¬†why he’s trying to slowly kill me with the non-traditional¬†things he regularly asks us to do. I doubt this trend will stop today but I’m not afraid anymore.

While we have gotten a huge dose of realizing our lives are not our own, it has taught me ultimately that no one’s lives are simply their own.

We all need each other. No one exists in a vacuum. Some will have needs that are obvious Рfinances, food, shelter, transportation, sharing a contest photo on social media, winter coats, etc. But others will have needs not seen by the naked eye Рfriendship, kindness, a listening ear, invitations to outings, meals delivered in stressful seasons, a few hours away from kiddos, a latte when their newborn was up hourly the night before, a neighbor to check-in, etc.

Not one of us exists to live simply on our own. We are all needy and it’s not a bad thing. We¬†were all created for relationship, as we were made in the image of a Triune God. He exists in an eternal relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Because we are made by him, he created us to need one another because being in relationship with others is at the core of who we are and what brings true joy in life. When people are cut off and starved of relationships, it creates hardships, massive burdens, and holes left unfilled.

This life wasn’t meant to be done alone.

I hope I am a person who continues to boldly believe that I need you. But not just that. That you need me too. And as someone who’s been blessed by countless lives, I want in turn to be as generous as possible with each and every person I have the privilege of encountering this side of heaven.

No one’s lives are¬†their own.

Adoption

Just When I Thought Things Couldn’t Get Crazier…

September 23, 2016

Remember how we recently updated you on The Summer of 2016 and celebrated that I was still halfway sane?

If you hadn’t caught those, Part 1 and Part 2 are here for your reading pleasure.

In the end of my last post, I explained that I just KNEW the changes weren’t over. I’m a freakishly¬†intuitive person. Whenever Jesus is about to do something big, he gives me this vague pit-in-my-stomach thingamajig as a warning.

I’ve had that feeling since May and it still hadn’t gone away…hence me knowing change was still a comin’ round the mountain.

And let me tell you. This one was a mic drop.

Before I drop the atomic bomb news on y’all, let me back this train up for a hot minute.

In May I had an insanely clear dream that we were supposed to pursue adoption again. We put some photos here and on Facebook, not really knowing how things would shape up. We got several leads in those first few days. An OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of them were links to an¬†adoption blogger who had posted about a baby due in August 2016. At that time, we had NO idea we’d be moving cross country this summer but we did know that the August baby wasn’t our baby. (In hindsight, it would have been impossible for Jonathan to have made a career move had we pursued that sitch.)

I started following that blogger’s RSS feed¬†because of YOUR referrals.

This brings us to this past Thursday night.

All Jonathan and I had planned was to do was Netflix and chill. And as a 31 year old woman, I mean we planned to literally watch Friends on Netflix while drinking wine.

I had to check one more thing on my computer and that’s when I saw the¬†blog had an update. There was an Momma looking for an adoptive family for her baby and the agency wanted traditional married couples to submit their profiles.

We don’t have a profile. We don’t even have a home study done.¬†We just moved states and live with my parents while we wait to move into our home.

Why would I even THINK this would be possible?

As these doubts ran through me, the same exact feelings¬†that came over me when I found out about Josie hit me. This wasn’t just any situation. We had to get a profile done and¬†FAST!

We stayed up until 4 am working on the profile (while Fixer Upper played in the background)¬†and sent it to the agency. They said expectant mom would be looking soon and they’d¬†be in¬†touch.

The weekend felt like an eternity. I tried to keep busy and not think about it but that was basically impossible.

I had mostly happy and hopeful thoughts but a few times I started to panic about the fundraising.

When Josie joined our family, we raised around $18,000 of the total $25,000 to cover the adoption expenses. We vowed to start saving for the next adoption as soon as possible and we have. This situation is going to cost over¬†$37,500 in agency and legal fees…which is¬†slightly¬†more than we’d saved (kidding, it’s A LOT MORE)…so fundraising is again vital. And of course we just moved to a new state and need to start our home study from scratch – meaning we can’t apply for¬†grants (since they require a completed study).¬†

Lies crept in. 

“People don’t want to donate to your adoption fund again.”

“You’re annoying.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t adopt if you can’t afford it.”

That’s when I got a message on Facebook from a old friend I hadn’t spoken to in¬†several¬†years. She said she got a bonus at work and was praying about where to send extra tithe money…and Jesus pressed us on her heart for our next adoption – whenever that would be.

snip-of-fb-convo

WHAT???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’M DYING.

I’M DEAD.

Talk about God just cutting those fundraising lies down with a lightening bolt.

My jaw was nearly on that floor in pure awe. It was then that I remembered who God is – a loving Father who provides for his children. (And sometimes shows off a bit while doing it!) OF COURSE God had someone who wasn’t aware of the situation come in and dispel those lies to set the record straight about fundraising.¬†He’s so in control that even before I asked for his help or realized I’d gotten tangled in lies, he moved into the situation in an undeniable way.¬†

Inviting others into the story through fundraising was so very special last time around and I don’t want to rob us or others of that grace. It was too beautiful.

Fundraising again it is. God left no room for argument. 

OK, back to the profile.

We submitted it over the weekend and Monday night I was again on the computer getting auto insurance quotes. (If you don’t shop around every year, they will gauge your eyeballs out¬†people!)

So there I am minding my own business when I see an email come in from the adoption agency.

I opened it and didn’t even read it straight away – I just panned for either positive or negative language. That’s when I saw the words, “She has selected your profile as the prospective forever family for her baby!”

OHHHHHHHH MYYYYYYYYYY GOSHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (In Janice from Friends voice)

I dropped the computer and sprinted to the kitchen to tell Jonathan, JoJo, and my mom. Jonathan thought I was joking¬†at first and had to go read the email. WHY WOULD I JOKE¬†ABOUT THIS? Women who’ve battled 5 years of infertility NEVER joke about babies.

For real though….

Wednesday night we had a phone call to talk with Birth Mama and it went really well. Of course we were nervous but she was so sweet. What struck me most was her selflessness and thoughtfulness. We look forward to getting to know her better these next couple of months.

Curious as to when Baby Tex #2 is coming on the scene?

josie-sign-change

Christmas will be a blur this year (since I don’t even remember the Thanksgiving the week after Josie was born) but that’s just fine by me! And yup, the¬†next several weeks will be controlled chaos but they will be glorious. ūüôā

This is where YOU’RE HELP¬†comes in.

Like I mentioned earlier Рthis situation is going to be over $37,500 in agency, legal fees, background checks, travel, etc.

What we have saved doesn’t hold a candle to that and realistically what we’ve got saved will cover our home study and a few other things.

We’ve decided to do another Puzzle Fundraiser because we absolutely LOVE Josie’s puzzle hanging in her room. We love the reminder it is of how she came into our family and we enjoy being able to look at the back of it and see how many generous people cared and donated.

You can help by:

  1. Donating towards our puzzle fundraiser. Pieces are $25 and there are 1,500 pieces in the puzzle. You can buy one or more and you’re name will be written on the back of your piece(s).
  2. SHARE this with your family, friends, and neighbors who you think would care and want to be involved.
  3. Pray that God will provide for not only our needs but for all of Birth Mama’s and baby’s needs. Adoption is not an easy choice and we want¬†to pray for her and her growing little one.
  4. Join Our Novena. We’re running this fundraiser as a novena to St. Therese (today through her feast day – Oct 1) and we’ve got a prayer to say each of the nine days. Check it out on our Adoption Page.
  5. SHARE our posts and pages about this adoption. I’ve listed it again because it’s so important to get the word out. There are a lot of people out there with generous hearts and your sharing our posts give them a chance to get involved!

Thank you all for your support and encouragement in advance. You guys are the best. ūüôā

Infertility

What We’ve Learned After Almost Five Years of Infertility

April 25, 2016

National Infertility Awareness Week is upon us and we’re joining¬†the conversation here at¬†True Good and Beautiful.

Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples at some point during their child-bearing years. While it’s the minority of couples, most people have a friend or family member who’s battled this painful disease.

Jonathan and I have been trying to conceive (TTC) for 4.5 years and we’ve learned a whole lot in that time. Struggling with infertility has hands down been the hardest battle in our marriage. As you might guess, it¬†has the ability to bring couples closer together or tear them apart.

Personally, experiencing infertility cemented us together in a way nothing else could have. We are stronger, more deeply¬†connected, and more compassionate towards one another because of this battle we’ve faced.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t ups and downs. Trust me, there were many! Through the struggle, we had to learn how to fight together.¬†We also learned¬†¬†really powerful lessons along the way ¬†and that’s what I¬†want to share with you today!

In fact, we’re hosting a webinar¬†(more details below!) to spill the beans on the biggest lesson we’ve learned.

Without further ado, here are a few lessons we learned in the hard knocks school of infertility:

Infertility Touches EVERYTHING

So you thought the negative effects of infertility were relegated to the brief moments of seeing another negative pregnancy test or the start of another period?

Think again.

Infertility has a sneaky way of weaving itself into every single aspect of your life and marriage.

Thought you were safe drinking beers and watching the Olympics at home with your spouse? Wrong. One of the commercials sponsored by Visa will be about Mothers of Olympic athletes. Thought infertility would be the last thing on your mind while shopping for groceries? Nope! They sell baby food at the grocery store and every pregnant woman in town will bum rush the store the second you walk in.

Those are extreme (and real life!) examples but it’s still shocking to me at how infertility pain will pop up in the most random of ways. I’ve learned to roll with it at this stage and have developed the ability to briefly acknowledge it and ¬†move on with life. The really painful situations? Those I lean on Jonathan and really good friends to talk it through.

Learn More & Sign Up for Our Webinar

You Need Outside Support

Hopefully, your spouse will be your rock in the infertility journey but they won’t be able to give you everything you need. This is where friends with similar experiences or online buddies come onto the scene.

I’ve unfortunately been blessed with close family and friends who know the pain of infertility. While I hate the fact they too know this pain, I am so grateful I’m not alone. I’m also in a pretty stellar Facebook group for other women battling infertility. They’re a source of comfort, laughter, encouragement, friendship, and inspiration.

Find these essential people in your life ASAP and I promise the weight of infertility will lessen. Joining that Facebook group I mentioned above seriously pulled me out of an ugly depression. I felt so alone, misunderstood, and judged that I was sinking into a dark place. Those friends were the lifeline I needed in addition to Jonathan’s support.

Men and Women Experience Infertility Differently!

This is the biggest and most important thing we’ve learned.

If you asked Jonathan and me separately how the last 4.5 years have been…you would get VASTLY different answers!

Jonathan is a massive supporter to¬†me in the trenches of infertility and we’re closer because of it. However, that doesn’t mean haven’t had¬†some blow-out arguments. We absolutely fought about infertility the first couple of years. Heck, we’d still be arguing about it had we not learned a few vital communication tactics¬†to help us have more productive conversations.

Our arguments found their root in these 3 things: how we think¬†about, address, and experience infertility.¬†It’s not rocket science to realize men and women are different in their responses to emotional situations but we were ignoring that basic¬†concept as we argued.

Once we honed in on that principle, we developed ways to stop the fight dead in its tracks by trying to understand the situation from the other’s perspective. That’s when we started making progress as a couple in this battle.

Since this is our BIGGEST lesson learned on our infertility journey, we want to take a¬†deeper look with you at those differences. Check out the webinar we’re hosting during National Infertility Awareness Week:

How Men and Women Experience Infertility Differently: Turn 3 Common Mistakes into Your Most Powerful Secret Weapons

This webinar is going to explain fundamental differences between men and women while also examining those differences through the lens of infertility.

We’re going to show you some stellar strategies to overcome those challenges and get on the same page with your spouse about infertility. Not only that, you can then use these mindset shifts to your advantage and eliminate the frustrating tension that so often dominates infertility conversations.

Sign up to grab your seat today!

We’re excited to see you in the webinar and hear more about your story!

Infertility

Autoimmune Paleo: Our First Three Months in Review

March 23, 2016

Some of you may remember us mentioning that in 2016 we are going Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) in hopes of addressing possible underlying infertility issues.

Well, we’re nearly twelve weeks into the diet and wanted to share with y’all how it’s going.

Of course on the first day, we had a dinner guest, so it really put the pressure on. Making all new recipes to try out on guests? Not my typical style but it’s how the cookie crumbled.

That evening we served Bacon Wrapped Asparagus as an appetizer, Steak, Sweet Potato Fries, and Roasted Brussel Sprouts for dinner, and Apple Pie as dessert.

Yup, it was a very safe AIP meal to serve but I didn’t think serving our guest a hearty helping of Liver Pate, roasted turnips, and cauliflower rice was the right thing to do.

applie pie

And yes, the pie was de-lish, topped off with coconut whipped cream For a grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, everything-free pie, it hit the spot but let’s not act like it was the real deal since it wasn’t. Very close though!

Since that time, I have basically lived in my kitchen.

We can’t eat anything processed so every. single. meal. is made at home. I’ve undoubtedly cooked more in the last few months¬†than in all our years of marriage…which wasn’t that hard to beat since I’ve never loved cooking. It’s growing on me though and becoming quite therapeutic.

I’ve found a few favorites that I basically make weekly. Chicken and Acorn Squash Soup, Carrot and Sweet Potato Chilli, Cherry Pie Bars, Carob Cupcakes, and Bacon are my go-to foods and for good reason.

pie bar

It’s become obvious that I’m bacon-ing and sweet potato-ing my way through life while in fact I am actually supposed to be vegetable-ing instead. EEP! But this next month I am making a more concentrated effort to focus in on the veggies and get my 8-12 cups per day.

I haven’t noticed too many drastic changes yet which is slightly disappointing when other seem to have a night and day difference immediately. I’ve seen subtle changes¬†in my energy levels and my 15-year-long constipation battle has completely resolved…which is a VERY welcome change. I got my hormones re-tested and they’re still trash…but I am holding out hope that as my body heals, those will respond in time.

Hats off to Jonathan, Mr. Supportive Husband of the Year for doing this diet with me although he has no reason to health-wise. He’s begun the re-introduction phase of the diet¬†¬†and is more or less back to a normal diet with no difficulty.

I on the other hand? One day I was brave and tried an egg…and ended up almost vomiting and passing out immediately after eating it. Then I had a raging headache for a day. So not ready to reintroduce eggs apparently. Another day I ate¬†homemade popcorn and my thyroid was swollen and throbbing¬†for 48 hours straight and I became an insomniac. No corn either I guess. AGH! I am coming to grips that this will take some time and as I heal, I will likely tolerate these foods I am reacting to but not right now.

The plan is to give it several more months and then see what my hormones and thyroid levels are doing and then I will likely begin reintroducing food once again.

Anyone else doing this diet? If so, send your fave recipes my direction! ūüôā

Infertility

Why Infertile Women Sometimes Get Mistaken for Drunk Psychopaths

January 18, 2016

Each day I’ve been fighting to spend time alone with God in prayer.

Part of this time is spent reading the daily Mass readings and last week happened to be about a fellow woman battling infertility named Hannah.

I’ve read the story approximately one billion times before but some aspects of the story hit me in a new way…specifically how her grief was so severe that she got mistaken for being drunk. That’s serious yo. I’ve never seen someone praying and mistaken them as a drunk person and I am betting neither have you.

Let’s take a peak briefly at her story:

He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Penin’nah. And Penin’nah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phin’ehas, were priests of the LORD.¬†On the day when Elka’nah sacrificed, he would give portions to Penin’nah his wife and to all her sons and daughters; and, although he loved Hannah, he would give Hannah only one portion, because the LORD had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her sorely, to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. And Elka’nah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”¬†After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD.¬†She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD, and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thy maidservant, and remember me, and not forget thy maidservant, but wilt give to thy maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard; therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. And Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunken? Put away your wine from you.” But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman sorely troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD. Do not regard your maidservant as a base woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” 1 Samuel 1:1-16

First off I want to say that I’ve had many hysterical ugly cries throughout our infertility journey that, if witnessed, would have probably had me institutionalized…so I get it, Hannah.

What I want to look at specifically in this post is how a woman battling infertility can get to that point. I think most would understand that it’s a sad thing to not be able to conceive and bear children…but being distressed to the point of not eating, looking drunk, and being borderline psychotic?

In reading Hannah’s story, I just want to go give her a big hug because she had an rival who¬†made fun of her¬†for being infertile. That would be so very hard. Penin’nah actively rubbed her blessings in Hannah’s face year after year.

Daaaaang.

I cannot claim that anyone has directly made fun of me or provoked me (I would have throat punched them) about infertility but I think¬†social media¬†feels like a modern day version of this taunting. It’s the place where people offer up snapshots of their lives to invite others to share in the moment. When battling infertility, Facebook and Insta feel like bragging sites. It’s where women, often unknowingly, post about their pregnancies and children in such a way that leaves anyone experiencing infertility feeling mocked and irritated.

This wears a woman down over time and begins to create an extremely fragile emotional state. I had to leave social media altogether for a season just so I could have days I didn’t cry. Seeing dozens and dozens of others’ blessings day after day left me feeling like the biggest loser on the face of the earth. And when one is feeling completely and utterly forgotten by God, eating is not a high priority either. Sinking into a despair hole and trying to Netflix binge¬†your way through life is more likely.

Then her husband comes along and tries to comfort her but only makes it worse. Bless his heart. He essentiaIlly asks if he is not enough to make her happy…which as anyone who’s battled infertility knows is not the point. You can be so happy with your husband but at the same time terribly sad about the fact you cannot have children together. This seems to be her breaking point. Even though her husband is trying to be there to comfort her, she is still feeling alone in her struggle.

This drives her to go to the Lord where she reaches rock bottom…a place I’ve been many a time before. It’s a place where you are praying¬†so hard that it feels like even your toe nails are praying. It’s a prayer that only extreme suffering can bring about. It leaves you wiped out and in an exhausted heap on the floor before God with nothing left. Drunk is probably a conservative word to describe the hot mess she looked like.

If someone approached me in that state and tried to correct me about being drunk? I don’t even want to know what I would’ve been capable of…but Hannah handles it graciously. She simply tells him she’s been praying out of great anxiety and vexation.

Again, a nice way to phrase it.

One definition of drunk is, “being overcome or dominated by a strong feeling or emotion.” I completely understand why Hannah was mistaken for being intoxicated. She’d been worn down, prayed out, made fun of, lonely, and desperate.¬†That’s enough to drive any sane person completely mad.

So Hannah, thank you for setting such an honest and raw example for the rest of us carrying this cross. I know I am not alone in how I feel so often. I will keep throwing myself before the Lord in prayer, even if I resemble a drunk psycho, and allow him to do with those prayers what he wants to.

Hannah and all you holy women who’ve done this before, please pray for us in this battle!

Marriage, Mission, Money

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2015

December 31, 2015

It’s been an awesome year around True Good and Beautiful.

2015 brought exciting and new opportunities our way, such as guest posting for Dave Ramsey (!!!!) and Mama Needs Coffee among a few others. We also branched into some new content since we were parent newbies (still are, who am I kidding!?) at the start of the year. All in all I am happy to say we continued to blog after Josie’s arrival and I know¬†2016 will be an even more exciting year around these parts…more to come so stay tuned ūüėČ

Without further ado, here are your favorite blog posts from the past year:

10. The Adoption Puzzle is Here

I cannot tell you how many times we’ve received emails from couples wanting to make an adoption puzzle like ours to help offset adoption costs. Jonathan is in the process of setting up an Etsy shop for this very reason so our puzzle can be ordered in a much easier way! We never thought it would bless so many people! ūüôā

9. 3 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill in 2015

Groceries continue to be the one category in our budget that we bump up against monthly. Following these three tips helps our family stay on track and not bust the budget.

8. How Motherhood Changed My Infertility

Praise you Jesus that I got to write a blog post like this…I thought I would never get to while we were battling infertility for years on end.

7. New Here? Allow Us to Introduce Ourselves

Our Dave Ramsey blog post brought nearly 25,000 people to the True Good and Beautiful blog in only a few short days! It was exciting and such an honor.

6. Teixeira Debt-Free Scream!

And oldie but a goodie! Here you can follow our debt-free journey on The Dave Ramsey Show and hear about how broke we were when we got married! Hahaha. Even on a low income we were able to obliterate debt…sometimes I look back and am shocked since I don’t think we could do that now.

5. My Favorite Catholic Infertility Blogs

I am always glad to see this one in the top blog posts for the year. We write about a LOT of topics here on the blog but really infertility is probably the closest to my heart. I am thankful to provide a resource for couples to find quality infertility bloggers to help them in their journey. It’s how I stayed afloat in our battle and I’ll do anything to throw a lifesaver overboard to others in the same fight.

4. The Husband’s Guide to Breastfeeding

God. Bless. Jonathan. Seriously this past year I had some serious breastfeeding anxieties and he stepped up the plate in a big way. He truly had the heart of a servant and supported me every step of the way. I don’t think Josie and I would still be nursing at nearly 14 months if it wasn’t for him.

3. How and Why I Induced Lactation

Another one I have gotten LOTS of inquiries about from fellow adoptive Mommas. I am so glad that my breastfeeding journey has inspired others and given them confidence to try!

2. God Spoke to Me and I Didn’t Believe Him

Hands down my favorite blog post from this past year. We have a father who keeps his promises and I only wished I trusted him far more.

1. I Was About to Leave The Church and Then THIS Happened

Jonathan’s conversion story from his time in college. He was apathetic in his faith and God put a new fire in his heart through some quality friendships.

Happy New Year True Good and Beautiful family!

Tex112

Much Love from Jonathan, Amanda, Josephine, and Wrigley ūüôā