Category Archives: children

The Resurrection of Hope

In our previous blog, we wrote about our visit to an ob-gynecologist and how we felt that our hope was crushed when she told us that there wasn’t anything she could do about our case and it was hopeless to undergo work-up.  We were strongly advised to go for IVF.  The doctor even volunteered to personally call our former surgeon to set up an appointment for us.  We respectfully declined, telling her that we needed to pray about our next step.

After the visit, I (Joan) poured out my heart once again to the Lord and reviewed every infertility story in the Bible.  I recalled a scene from the movie, “Faith Like Potatoes”, where Bro. Angus Buchan declared that the condition for a great miracle of God is impossibility.  I also hung on to the verse in Luke 1:37, “For nothing is impossible with God!” which was an angelic proclamation over fertility issues (Mary’s virgin conception & her cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy in spite of old age and barrenness).

Another promise that I held on to was a personal conviction in my heart that at the age of 37, God will make me a mother.  If anyone would ask me what’s my basis for believing this, I could only say that it’s a divine impression between me and the Lord.  I never attempted to share this to anyone because it may come across as presumptuous.  I only shared this to Reuben since I wanted him to trust God with me for the fulfillment of the promise.

As Reuben and I processed the ob-gyne visit, I reminded him about this promise as well as the faithfulness of God through His revelations in the Bible stories I’ve studied.  My husband’s heart, however, was now leaning toward adoption.  He has seen four years of tears and frustrations from me.  It’s with compassion and conviction that he felt that it was time for us to consider opening our hearts and home to an adopted baby.

In my desire to submit to my husband, I agreed with his choice.  But I asked that we start the adoption process by January 2015.  I told him that God might still intervene in our situation as we waited.

We began telling our family and friends about our decision to adopt so they can start praying with us.  We praise God that many were very supportive and helpful about the things we needed to know and prepare for.  An excitement in our hearts began to grow as we started embracing our future as adoptive parents-to-be.

But God had a different plan.

During Holy Week I started noticing a delay in my usually-regular period.  I initially thought that I must be stressed.  The one day delay turned to two, then three…and reached up to ten days.  By the time we were in our annual missionary conference in Caliraya, Laguna, I was experiencing vomiting and headaches on a daily basis.  These symptoms made me think of the possibility of being pregnant, so I became very careful with my movements and decided to skip sessions when I was feeling sick.

We came home from the conference on a Friday.  I asked Reuben to buy me a home pregnancy kit.  I decided to wait four more days before taking the test.

But something happened during Saturday.  I bled.  Once again I felt my hope being crushed.  I also felt betrayed.  Bawled before the Lord and Reuben.  I poured out all the grief in my heart.  But in spite of the grief, I forced myself to see my situation from God’s perspective and thanked Him, by faith not feelings, for His sovereign goodness in my life. I claimed Habbakuk 3:17-19, where the writer says:

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even through the flocks die in the field, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD!  I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!  The Sovereign LORD is my strength!  He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.”

This passage comforted me.  I started calming down, and the bleeding abruptly stopped.  I was able to sleep soundly afterwards.

The next day, Sunday, we decided not to delay any longer and took the pregnancy test. Lo and behold! I'm Positively Pregnant! You can imagine our elation!  For the first time in many years, we saw two stripes!  Reuben can’t help crying the whole day and the days following this discovery.  Another wonderful gift from the Lord was seeing our baby’s heartbeat and healthy condition during our ultrasound the following day.

Here is my personal prayer as a mother-to-be:

“Father in heaven, I cannot fully describe the joy and thanksgiving that I have for what You’ve done on our behalf.  We really don’t deserve this beautiful gift of life.  This is only by Your grace and sovereign will.  You are so good to us, Lord!  Thank You for fulfilling Your promise to me.  Thank You for being a God who is fully alive and resurrects the hope of His children who put their trust in You.  You are victorious and glorified in our circumstance, Lord.  This is entirely about You and we take no credit for the miracle of life that You’ve given us.  Deepen our love, knowledge, understanding and faith in You as we continue on in our spiritual journey.  We love and worship You, Lord, our God and Savior. In Jesus’ name we commit our lives and the people who read our story for Your glory and purposes, amen!”

7 Comments

Filed under children, infertility, Joy

My Infertility Journey: Hope Crushed Again

For three years after my back-to-back surgeries (2010 & 2011), I was able to successfully avoid ob-gyne visits.  But there’s this little belief that I shared with the Lord that finally gave me that inner push to have myself checked again.  And I’m sharing it here, in a very public post:  I believed in my spirit, against all odds & doom-sayings of medical science, that I will become a mother at the age of 37.

So there! My little secret is out in the open.

I am now less than three months shy of turning 37.  It’s time.  I was so excited for my miracle!  To prepare myself, I decided to go for work-up.  Went to a Chinese acupuncturist whose clinic was conveniently located near our home.

Image

Pins all over my body!!! With electrical heating lamp. Aaaargh!

Image

My complaining face…drinking Chinese Herbal Drink for a week, twice a day.

After this week-long regimen, Reuben & I visited an ob-gyne.  We opted for someone who is a Christian & was able to help other women in CCC with their pregnancies.

In the clinic, I began describing my last diagnosis from my surgery. The doctor was kind, but brutally honest.  I had a closed tube. My endometriosis was profound.  Her recommendation was for us to go back to my former surgeon, who was known in ob-gyne circles as the father of reproductive medicine & surgery in the Philippines.  She encouraged me to ask him for a very charitable discount for an IVF procedure.  Or to raise support for this, pointing out to us on her wall a picture of a missionary family who was able to raise P6M for their child who underwent liver transplant.  In my mind, “raising support” for IVF was out of the question because it’s not the kind of cause that ministry partners would consider investing in.  Plus, I have already made the decision three years ago not to pursue IVF out of personal convictions.

With heavy hearts, Reuben & I left the clinic.  There was a sense of loss that started welling up from my discouraged heart and found its way as tears in my eyes.  That afternoon, I reviewed every infertility story in the Bible to revive my hope.  I still wanted my miracle.

But Reuben was determined to move on. He has witnessed four years worth of waiting, tears & disappointment on my part.  He’s had enough. It’s time for us to consider other options.

(To be continued…)

3 Comments

Filed under battle with ovarian cysts, children, Dealing with imperfections, infertility

Travails of A Mom Wannabe

Two years of battling ovarian cysts through surgeries have taken their toll on my emotions.  The last operation came with a verdict from my surgeon, Dr. Delfin Tan (Philippines’ renowned infertility specialist): my right fallopian tube is blocked and the only way for us to get pregnant was to undergo several tests and surgeries, ultimately leading to fertilization through test tube and in-vitro.  It would mean a costly half million peso procedure, various hormonal manipulations, and a 20% chance of success.  It wasn’t so hard to say, “No, thanks.”

Infertility is never easy, especially to those like me who envisioned a future as a mom raising her own children and nurturing them toward godly living.   I understand now how certain biblical women felt about their own infertility:  Sarah with her incredulous laughter, Hannah with her desperate prayer & vow, and Elizabeth with her quiet surrender.  As I reflected on their lives and how God answered their prayers, I sensed the Holy Spirit gently persuading my heart to remain hopeful.  A child will come, someday.  Whether through a miracle of an opened tube or adoption, that child is already divinely hand-picked for us.  All we need to do now is relax, pray while waiting, maximize our time and gift of being a couple, and enjoy other people’s baby blessings.

We praise God for the grace to walk through this season in our lives as a childless couple.  Sometimes it’s difficult; other times, we feel blessed by the tremendous freedom from being child-free.  We still see our home being filled with children someday, by faith.  It’s only a matter of time…we are waiting on the Lord.  Please pray with us.  😀

16 Comments

Filed under battle with ovarian cysts, children, infertility, sufficiency in Christ