Grateful.

When trying to describe yesterday’s events at the Baby Steps 5k, I can only come up with one word, grateful. Grateful for winning a free IVF from Dr. Dunaway, grateful for family/friends/coworkers that signed up to support us, grateful for family that flew in from Chicago & Kentucky, grateful for The Forbus family and all of their hard work, grateful for Sarah’s Laughter, and most of all grateful for one amazing God.

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Most of you already know but 2015 was filled with lots of disappointment and pain for John and I. After 3 negative IUIs, and 2 failed IVFs we were near our breaking point. The thought of going into another Holiday season, a New Year, and another birthday without a miracle baby was overwhelming me.

We couldn’t take anymore disappointment, so I’m going to let you in on a little secret we had been hiding. John and I had decided a week or so ago to start the adoption process. A social worker was scheduled to come to our house on December 4 to begin a home study. And I have been very busy on Pinterest finding different adoption T-shirt designs to sell, and searching for ways of how to raise money since adoption is very expensive. The night we decided adoption would be our next step I had a very honest talk with God. I told Him I was laying down my desires to be pregnant, and my desires to have a tiny human that looked a little bit like my Husband and a little bit like me. And I asked him to continue to guide our steps through our journey. After this prayer I felt a wave of peace come over me. It was almost like God was saying “Dear child, your story is already being orchestrated the perfect way.” Little did I know that I would understand exactly what this peace meant in a few days.

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Fast forward to the morning of the Baby Steps 5K, my house was full of family that flew in to support us. We gathered up our tent, the signs we made, and the tickets. The tickets that had been labeled, and double and tripled checked to make sure they were all there. I knew our chances of winning would be slim. I hadn’t won anything since Elementary School when I won a free bicycle via a Scare Crow coloring contest. I won because I drew patches on the clothes of the Scare Crow and no one else did. It was a really cool blue bicycle that had pictures of Oreos all over it! But that was the end of my winning streak.  But nonetheless I really, really wanted to win, as did every other deserving couple there. It was a cloudy and rainy day, so I was excited that I had so many people to support team Hoping for A Best!

The drawing was moved to before the race since the weather was bad and Beth announced she was about to start the drawing. The crowd of 2,000+ people was silent while a cute little red headed boy (Dr. Dunaway’s son) drew the ticket for a free IVF. When I heard the names “Lauren and John….” I immediately started crying and turned to hug my Husband who was as still and stoic as a statue. He was not going to get excited until he heard “Lauren and John BEST”! When he realized we were the chosen couple he finally hugged me back and got excited! Another sweet couple won the Family Building Grant and they were just as excited as we were!

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I don’t know if the fact that we won has really set in yet. We are just so grateful for everything that happened yesterday. We also won a giveaway for a professional video to tell our story, how perfect is that?! Beth likes to describe the Baby Steps 5K as an Ephesians 3:20 day, and boy it is!

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all that we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20

So many lives were changed yesterday including ours. Before the 5K I think God had led us up to this point in our infertility journey to show us how important adoption really is, to make us realize that one day in the future we will adopt. But for now, God has given us another chance for the pregnancy that we so desired in our hearts. We couldn’t be more ecstatic. 2016 brings renewed hope for Baby Best. And we pray that sometime in the New Year we will have another announcement of a miracle baby given to us by God, and the Baby Steps 5K.

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Dear John

Dear John,

Happy 4th anniversary to us! I love you! I love you! I love you!

There is no denying that this past year was hard. Maybe the hardest we will ever have to endure. But we have clung together and are becoming stronger because of it. Thinking back on our wedding day, I keep remembering the lyrics to our first dance. The lyrics to ‘Steady As We Go” by DMB ring truer now more than ever.

“When the storm comes

you shelter me

And I don’t say a word,

And you know exactly what I mean

In the darkest times

you shine on me.

You set me free.

And keep me steady as we go.”

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Even though 4 years ago, it seems like we were kids dancing to song we thought was a cool love song, it really does rings so much truer today. This season of life will eventually pass. One day we will hear the pitter patters of tiny little feet running down the hallway. So I thank you for being such a rock for me to lean on this past year. Through all the nights I cried myself to sleep, you were there to hold me and to whisper that it would be ok.  When I asked you if the pain would ever go away, you assured me that day would come. When our world was falling apart, you were somehow strong enough to hold us both together.

The 2nd thing I remember about our dance is that you sang every word to me. But when I realized I couldn’t remember the next dance steps you guided me. “Slow, quick-quick, slow, quick-quick” you said, just like the dance teacher taught us. You helped me get back on track. You’ve always been there to help guide me. This year I’ve wanted to rush through one treatment after the next just trying to get the end result quicker. But I thank you for reminding me to slow down and to take a breath.

For two kids with only a few dance lessons under their belts, I would say we nailed the ending of our first dance. Miraculously, between 30 pounds of dress (which didn’t get bustled), 4.5 inch heels, and a Bride that kept forgetting the dance steps, you dipped me and caught me! We nailed it! And as corny as this comparison may be, I have a feeling our infertility struggles will end in much the same manner. Miraculously and beautifully. We just have to keep steady, keep praying, and keep believing. But until then I will continue to thank God that he gave me you, and that we can navigate life together.

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Happy anniversary! I love you. I love you. I love you.

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P.S. This is where I will once again shamelessly plug the Baby Steps 5K. Even if you can’t come to the actual race, you can help us win a $10,000 family building grant. We need more people on our team! Team Hoping for a Best! Join by clicking this link https://runsignup.com/Race/Register/RaceGroup-168605?raceId=11519image