September 9, 2009

2 Shades of Pink Story: Part 5

Oh, my precious Cati. How all the details, all the grief make sense now. Of course they do. If Anthony stayed longer, we would not have had Cati. If we had not opened our hearts and home two days later for that precious boy, we may have never been ready. If J had not gone through those 2 weeks of episodes and delays Cati would never have been part of our lives.

Here are some other little facts that cause goose bumps. When we held J in the NICU...ready? Cati was a few beds away. Can you stand it? Here's another amazing thing. Cati was born when they called us for J. It all was timed so perfectly that only our God could have orchestrated it; all so that I could put these words here now. Because God gets the glory. All of it. And here is a final bit of info that may make you sad. Five days after Cati came home they called to ask if J could come to our home because he had been released to regular foster care. Although Cati was embedded in my heart, it was the hardest "no" I ever said.

Guess what? Her name was not Cati. Not even close. It was actually another first and last name. I so wish I could tell you what it was but I need to protect her in light of all the specifics regarding her foster care and adoption. I would also love to share with you her name that was finally told to us a few days after she came home. Again, I must protect my daughter. The first part of that name, the first 4 letters is spelled C-A-T-I which is why her name is Cati and why it has such an unusual spelling.

That night when she came home, it was late at night and there were 4 other children in the van on the way to their foster homes. I remember peering into her seat and seeing her. Oh, she was so teeny, tiny in that car seat just sleeping so peacefully. But the woman transporting all these kids was on a schedule so I got her out of the seat and kind of held her one armed like a football. I was carrying her folder in my other hand and as I carried her into the house I was shocked at how comfortable I was holding her like that. My other shock was that the moment I held her I knew that letting her go would make Anthony seem like a cake walk. She was the child of my heart.


I wish I could explain to you every minute detail of those first few weeks. The fact that we experienced everything a parent experiences after bringing their baby home from the hospital still astounds me. Because we did it all not yet knowing she would one day have our last name. I laugh remembering as I looked at her for the first time, my first thought was, "Oh this bun is so not done. She needs to be put back in!" She was frail and her skin was transparent. Her cry was this small squeak and hardly audible. One day when I was feeding her and moved her I saw her ear bent in half and it stayed that way! I almost hyperventilated myself into a dead faint before I could fix it. You should have seen me. It was like playing hot potato with her teeny weeny little ear. I kept jerking my hand back afraid to touch it or hurt her. But I put it back and no damage done. Except for my heart palpitations.


Ah, but then the fertility fairy sprinkled me with her dust and I began the quest again. Around October of 2006, I looked into a fertility study being conducted. This study would test an ovulation inducting drug through the use of artificial insemination. I had to go through a series of tests beforehand as did my husband. Not a thrilling experience. But we both got the clear and we began the first of 3 attempts to get pregnant.

Here is the time to tell you something. God had been speaking to my heart for a very long time that I was going to get pregnant naturally. No, I did not hear an audible voice boom from above that I would be barren no more. I just had this knowing, that still small voice telling me to stop all attempts and believe Him. He was calling me to radical faith. My holy response?

Nope. Got it covered. You are so my plan B. But I am getting this womb filled and if all systems fail, theeeeen I will try the faith thing.

Understand that this was not me being flippant with my King. It was UNBELIEF. It was years of seeing nothing happen. I desperately wanted to believe this knowing. But I was still reluctant to believe that nothing was impossible for God.

So, onward Christian soldier Jessica moves herself forward with a highly embarrassing process of artificial baby making. I have no issue with anyone who has done infertility treatments. Insemination. IVF. God has blessed many of my friends this way. I think it is wonderful that there are options. Heck, I tried those options. But no one dreams of having an internal ultrasound with a doctor, nurse, and THREE INTERNS in the room staring at my ovaries. But I could only blame myself for signing up for this research study. I will add that the main doctor was ridiculously hot and I truly wondered if all of this was really worth this kind of humiliation. They treated me like I was being prepped to be a dissected frog. Awful. What made matters worse? The first cycle failed. Meaning an egg was developing to be released (definition: ovulation) but it stopped. I would have to wait another month to try again.

ARRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!

During this time I wrestled so much with my intense desire to be a mom. One day, I was walking Cati through the neighborhood, praying about her. I wanted her. With everything in me I wanted to be her mother and I felt guilty telling God this and praying to adopt her. As I prayed I kept vacillating between being totally honest and trying to almost carefully choose my words to pray like a good Christian should. As I foolishly tried to appeal to my God He spoke so loud that I thought I suddenly went crazy. I feel crazy telling this part but I make myself feel better that I do not have to make this huge boat after hearing it. Anyway, I distinctly heard God tell me...I am so being serious here..."She will be your daughter. But believe. Believe Me."

God? Is that you? Because if there was ever a moment in my life where I want that voice to be yours and not mine it is RIGHT NOW. Please. Let this not be my hope masquerading as your voice. Will Cati be our daughter?


"Believe me. Because there will be times where it will seem like you will lose her. Believe me."

I literally trembled as if on holy ground. But I knew I had never had a moment like that in my entire walk with God. So I decided to take Him at His word. And His word rang true because seasons of doubt and uncertainty did come.



So by now its Christmas. And celebrating my Savior's birth got me a tad introspective. Well, let's call it what it was. I was humbled. Ready to listen to that small voice. The one who had been getting louder. The one that has been saying...


STOP! BELIEVE ME.


So I did. That Christmas we went to North Carolina and visited our old church where we attended before moving to Florida. The message was amazing for a Christmas service and it talked about waiting. During the service they passed around this paper asking for prayer requests and the church promised to pray for these requests until Easter and then send it back to us. Here is that piece of paper...

I am a little panicked that it has her full name on it but I am counting on the fact that you are not a super hero and can't read it. But here is what we put as our prayer request...

1. To have radical faith

2. To adopt Cati, our foster child

3. To overcome infertility and conceive a child


Now at this point, I was seriously trying to figure out what I could do to be the naturally impregnated girl God was telling me I was going to be. So I decided to stop the infertility study and lose weight. I had been struggling with my weight most of my life and I was close to 200 pounds...the heaviest I had ever been. So at this infertility clinic, they had a weight loss clinic. Drastic means to lose weight but with drastic results. I lost close to 60 pounds. Here are my before and after pictures... Lord God, help me to remove the idol of vanity so that this testimony can bless others...



Whoa. So hating that I am posting this pic of me but whatever. Glory to you, Lord!



How mad do I look here? I lose weight and gain an attitude. Geesh, simmer down skinny chic.


Must tell you I so don't look like that now. I was a running fool then and consumed next to nothing. Now I run occasionally and enjoy an occasional donut. Much more chipper now.


My cycles regulated and after considering buying stock in ovulation kits, I realized I was ovulating. God is so good.

Then, around June of 2007, we find out that Cati's birth mother is ready to do her case plan and bring her daughter home. She wants a visitation, the first one since she came into care. What a punch in the gut! She had so many issues but a few months back we had heard she received Christ as her Savior while incarcerated. My prayer had been that if it was genuine then she deserved her daughter back if she would love her and give her what she needed. I prayed for God to make this come to pass if that was to be the case.

She had her visit with her and it went fairly well. I made her a photo album of Cati and told her how we prayed for her every single day. The following month she did not show or call for the visit. We never heard anything again.


OK. If at this point you were thinking of taking a break you must not. If your spouse's hand is stuck in the disposal, the damage is already done. So sit tight. The children may look pale and grayish from lack of food while reading this post for the last 30 minutes but just throw them a piece of gum and keep reading. It is too good not to...


Oh, alllll right. I will write about it in the next one.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, so hard to be thankful for the journey, but so easy to be thankful for the place God brought you to. Kudos to you for being gracious to Cati's birth mother in giving her the album and showing her pictures of her daughter. She saw Jesus in that, whether she realized it or not. I'm so thankful that God gave you that word to believe Him. What a gift. I'm just enthralled with all of the details of this story. . . get writing!! I want to read more!

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