Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord (Psalsm 31:25)
I'm a 34-year old Catholic wife, (unmotivated) artist, (sometimes) documentary filmmaker and (most importantly) stay-at-home mom. I'm married to my wonderful husband, Ryan, a recent convert to the faith, who's in the t.v. news business and gets to do pretty cool things for his job every once in a while. We actually used to be co-anchors, in another life, although you sure wouldn't guess it now since I rarely get to blow my hair dry. I'm just waiting for the day our kids get a good laugh out of our old video tapes when they're older. Although that's if there are still VCRs around to play them.
I might now be a mother of three, but I'm here because of infertility. In the fall of 2007 we had just moved to a new state and I knew no one. I remember lying in bed, begging God to provide me with a supportive community of friends to help me through the greatest struggle of my life. I had no idea how my prayers would soon be answered.
The extent of my blogging knowledge at the time was making fun of my husband's political blog. So imagine his surprise when one day I announced I would be starting one of my own. I had found a blog online - someone who was Catholic and infertile, like me - and I needed a blog of my own to comment on her blog. All You Who Hope was born.
I longed to connect with others who were, specifically, Catholic and dealing with infertility. Secular, or even Christian, resources weren't helpful to me since Assisted Reproductive Technologies weren't an option for my husband and me because of our decision to follow Church teaching. There was very, very little out there online from a Catholic perspective. But soon the two blogs I had found became four, and then six, and eight. Women without blogs would send me emails, and then would soon start blogs of their own. This community grew, and now has dozens upon dozens of members. Many are mothers now through adoption and pregnancy. Some, like myself, even twice or three-times over.
My daughter, Clara Therese, is a blogger baby. A beautiful woman, and fellow infertility blogger, I'd never so much as talked to on the phone at that point let me know of an adoption situation and we jumped at the chance. It's not an exaggeration to say that if I hadn't started this blog, I wouldn't have known my dear sweet daughter existed.
We became parents on Dec. 31, 2009 (the day we first found out about Clara) after five-and-a-half years of marriage and infertility. And after three surgeries, countless medications and doctors visits, I conceived for the first time three months later (I was on no medication other than maintenance drugs) and Luke Kolbe was born the following November, a week before Clara's first birthday.
Soon after Luke was born we began hoping for a third, but nothing happened. That is, until God surprised us once again and chose to make us a family of five through another adoption. And another adoption through a connection from a fellow blogger, I might add! We met beautiful, little Esther Grace Therese on her birthday, Dec. 23, 2012.
The pain of those excruciatingly difficult years is something that will always be a part of me but, to be honest, it's not something I think about too often. I like to say I spent way too much time angry with God to not spend all my time praising Him now (I should have praised Him more then and, truth be told, now as well). I pray constantly for my dear friends who are still waiting, though. They are never far from my thoughts.
My life as a mother of three babies - three and under - is crazy at times, but I've never been happier. They are the loves of my life and it's nuts how I just can't get enough of them. I had no idea how God would answer that prayer of mine back in the fall of 2007. How He must have smiled up there, keeping that little secret.
Oh, and one more thing. I'm anonymous, although you'll find I freely use my husband and babies' names on here. That's because their names - or rather spellings - are more common than mine and I used to fear someone googling me (kind of self-centered of me, now that I think about it!) and finding my depressed rantings on being infertile. I'm not ashamed of anything I wrote, though, and one day may take the jump into total openness. Although I don't mind being less-than-open for safety reasons, which is probably why I'm still anonymous.