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Never Be Ashamed of Your Story

Year after year I would read posts on Facebook each April of brave women sharing their story and experience with infertility. I would often sit in silence, reading their stories, with tears streaming down my face and millions of questions. “How can these women so openly share their story? What do other people think? What would they think of me?”

Three years ago, I took a leap of faith and shared my infertility in a Facebook post. I publicly shared that I was one of the 1:8 women that face infertility. Was I scared? Absolutely! However, the outpouring of love and support I received from my family and friends was something I never expected. They didn’t judge me or think less of me, they supported me and many shared their own story.

Why is it that as women, we are ashamed and embarrassed of our infertility? When a woman conceives naturally, we talk about it; we celebrate it. We talk about morning sickness, cravings, swollen ankles, and the list continues. But when a woman is experiencing infertility, it’s less talked about. We don’t talk about what it’s like meeting with a Reproductive Endocrinologist for the first time, the millions of questions, the tests, blood work, etc. We also don’t talk about the fear, the sick pit in your stomach, the sadness, guilt and shame that many women facing infertility experience.

I’ll be honest; I was ashamed of my story and outside of my husband, did not share what we were going through. No one knew the highs and lows that we were facing, the struggles it created in our marriage, our friendships and in our finances. Looking back I realize how supportive my family and friends wanted to be, if only I had given them the chance.

Last week was National Infertility Awareness Week and I again saw post after post of brave women sharing their story. I am so grateful that I broke my silence two years ago and shared that I was 1:8. I was the face of infertility. I am so lucky to have a husband who has been by my side throughout my entire infertility journey. He’s seen me at my best, my worst and loves me just the same.

Many reading this may think that our decision to adopt is connected to our infertility and in a way, you’re right. Adoption has been in my heart since I was a little girl and something that I shared with Joe very early on in our relationship. We both knew that we were planning to grow our family through adoption, but had no idea what that would look like. Would we adopt through foster care, would we adopt an infant or would we adopt internationally?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

God has a bigger, greater plan for our life than we can ever imagine. He knows the plans of our future and we trust in Him as we continue through our adoption journey.

Infertility is part of our story and for that, I am grateful. It is no longer something that I am ashamed of. Infertility gave me the strength to be who I am today. I am blessed to have an incredible and loving husband, a marriage that many dream of, and faith in the beauty of the future. Whether it’s infertility or something unrelated, never be ashamed of your story. It’s yours and only yours.

ScriptureNIAW

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Baseball and Me

Hello all, in honor of the baseball season starting I thought I would let you all know a little about me and my love of baseball.  I have loved baseball since I can remember, playing catch in the front yard, years of going to the local little league fields to practice, and watching my favorite team the Minnesota Twins try to win every season.

I spent many summers of my youth practicing and playing games with my teammates.  Those summers were some of the best days of my life.  I can remember the smell of the concession stand food that was dinner on late nights at the fields, and the long days helping maintain them.  Many people don’t know this but I spent a whole summer building a new baseball field at my local Little League.  I was also fortunate enough to continue to play in college and impress my girlfriend at the time (Erin).

As you may already know Erin and I have a tradition of going to every Opening Day Minnesota Twins game but you may not know that I have been a Twins fan my whole life.  Football teams may come and go but the Twins will forever be my team.  I remember when they won the World Series in 1991 and “may” have a box of unopened Wheaties at my parents house.

I love baseball and all of the wonderful life lessons that it has taught me over the years and hope to one day my love of the game with a child.

-Joe

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National Puppy Day: Brooklyn’s Story

In honor of National Puppy Day we knew that we had to share photos of your favorite (ok, our favorite) dog as a puppy! As many of you know, Joe and I have a little Maltese, Brooklyn, lovingly called Brooker. He is 11 years old and has been with through moves, job changes, the loss of loved ones and the list continues. He is the sweetest member of our family and will make the very best big brother.

The Story of Brooker:

Joe and I graduated from college, were engaged and living in Bismarck, ND. One afternoon I was online looking at a local classifieds website and saw the cutest ad on the side of my screen. It was a fluffy little white dog, “for sale!” I clicked on it and couldn’t resist. Before I knew it I was showing Joe and calling the phone number to go look at puppies. Keep in mind; we had not previously talked about getting a dog. I called the number and set up a time to visit the puppies later that day. It was about a 20 minute drive from our house and as we were driving Joe kept saying, “we’re just looking.” I smiled and nodded, not really sure what I was getting us into. We arrived at the home and met the breeders, Tim and Deb. They introduced us to the puppies and we even got to meet Brooklyn’s Mom and Dad, which was neat. I really wanted a girl dog and was sad when Deb shared that the only girl they had was already sold. I was ready to leave when she started to share….”we do have this one puppy. He’s the runt of the litter. He’s going to be smaller than the rest and need a little extra love and attention.” That was it, I was sold! I couldn’t say no. Brooker and his siblings were so small that day that we couldn’t hold him, but Deb was very thorough in explaining information about the breed and also shared that we could come out on the weekends and visit him.

After Joe and I got in the car he looked at me, not surprised, and said “we just bought a dog.” Yes, yes we did. And if I remember correctly my excitement drove us right to Pet Smart so that I could begin preparing to be the very best puppy Mom.

We visited Brooklyn a few times and before we knew it, he was 12 weeks old and we could bring him home. Our first visit was our apartment in Bismarck before we headed to my hometown for the weekend. There was one glitch in our plan to get a puppy, our apartment didn’t allow pets. Thankfully, Joe’s parents agreed to watch Brooklyn for a few weeks while we packed and moved to Billings, MT. He loved spending time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, along with their German Sheppard, Cassie. B and Cassie were quite the pair and loved playing together.

Before we knew it we had moved to Billings and Brooker was home. The rest is history and will be saved for another time. Stay tuned for more adventures of Brooker!

-Erin