Saturday, May 28, 2011

Brazilian adventures

I am finally home after a week of intense work, a very bad trip back (almost 24 hours of travel), a jungle spider bite, but also many blessings.

My work meetings were very succesful and in a beautiful place by the sea, crossed by a river and surrounded by mountains filled with the most beautiful nature possible. I was so sorry that I did not get to enjoy the place more as I had to spend it working from dusk to dawn in my event for 230 persons from over 15 countries plus. I am so very tired, but also so happy from this and my meeting with the bishop.

I left the resort for my meeting with the bishop yesterday at 1:30 p.m Rio time. I was eager with anticipation. This was to be a crucial meeting.

On our way back our bus received a call from the bus that had departed earlier that there had been a very bad traffic accident and that they recommended we reroute.

I had plenty of time still to arrive for the meeting, but I started panicking specially when we went into a unpaved road in the middle of the jungle and very high mountains. We lost phone coverage and it took forever to cross several small villages. It really was out of a movie.

I was really reminded that we were in the Mata Atlantica of Brasil, really the jungle which covers the south of Rio de Janeiro State and goes right into the sea and islands, beautiful, but not something that I needed when the meeting was less than an hour and a half away.

The night before I had been bitten by something (they think it was a spider) and my whole leg couldn´t move and they had to call the doctor in the middle of the last party of the whole sales meeting. My whole anke was swollen, red and the pain was intense. I could not walk, not even a few steps.

There I was without even able to move with my leg up a table on ice with many people around dancing discussing in my very bad Portuguese with a very young doctor who only told me:
we do not know which animal it was. I have no idea really, and but be at peace we have an ambulance here!!!

In the end it got better and now I am home resting and waiting for the inflammation to decrease and see if I will need to see a local doctor.

I thought how in the world will I be able to go see the bishop if I end up in the hospital!

So when we started going into the jungle for the detour I again truly felt in the end of the world and not being able to call when I knew the doctor was already waiting for me.

I knew then these were trials that are normal in this work and that I needed to be at Peace that God would fix everything

But I am a true Martha and I am a worrier. This was really, really hard for me specially after an hour and a half of jungle and my brazilian counterparts saying we are really very far away from Rio at exactly the same time of the meeting.

But then I started to relax and think:

This meeting has been planned by God and if He wants this to take place, no spider, no jungle and no accidents will stop it and if the time is not right, then He will stop it.

Later a person from my company loaned me a Brasilian phone, we did some changes to the settings and in the end I was able to call the doctor that was going to take me to see the bishop. She had been very worried about me and thought I had gotten lost in Rio. I was a whole hour and a half late, but the bishop was very kind and accepted to see us.

As we went into his office I was so very suprised to see this very, very tall man, around 50 plus, with inmense kindness in his eyes and that surprisingly in his office had an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe and St. Anthony.

I knew then that She had arranged all of this and that St Anthony also (my family as I have written here has a very, very special devotion to him)

Here I was many many thousand of kilometers from Mexico and the Virgin he was in his office is the virgin to whom we consecrated this project. The Virgin from my country, instead of Aparecida (the Virgin from Brasil) and I was reminded that the whole continent has been consecrated to Guadalupe. I could not help but smile

We had over an hour to meet and he listened intently, asked many questions and in the end said we need to continue this conversation.
I will keep in touch, this is just the beginning

Then surprisingly he said:

I invite you to present Cr.MS and Napro at the Brazi lian Congress of Natural Fam ily to take place in October in Brasilia (Brazil´s capital) and to organize a congress just to present this with the directors of the Fami.ily and life movements of Rio. A whole congress.

Never in a million years would I have thought he would move so fast.

Then I told him that I did not speak Portuguese and he joked that I had several months to learn ... or that I could to it in slow Spanish and most people would understand with the 2 languages being so similiar.

I asked him then if English would work, thinking about bringing somebody from the US instead for this and he said it would not as most people do not speak it. So we will need to learn Portuguese or find several Spanish speakers willing to help.

Then he mentioned he knew of several possible women and doctors that might be interested.

At the end of the meeting we asked him for his blessing and in Portuguese he blessed again the whole project so it would come to Brasil and to all of Latin America. I had tears in my eyes since it was so so beautiful.

As we went out the doctor asked me to go into the chapel to give thanks and as we went we could hear the 6 o´clock bells from the big Church nearby. Then I see another big portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the only image in the Chapel of Our Lady and the doctor tells me: the bells are tolling at this time since in Brasil is the time of Our Lady. And there I was lookig again at Her image. I still am so very moved by this.

Thank you all so much for your prayers. They truly moved heaven and earth so this meeting could take place.

No spider, no accidents, no bad roads stopped it and again we have a bishops blessing. Such a gift. Now from a doctor who heads the Epis.copal life commission of La.tin America.

I am still so in awe from Our Lady and God

Saturday, May 21, 2011

UPDATE!!!!Prayers please!!!! =)


I am now in Rio de, well 1.5 hours south of it ready to start my meeting which I have been planning for 4 months now,. yet my heart is somewhere else. Its thinking about how God moves things and lives when the time is right!

My meeting with the bishop has moved to Friday right before I leave for Mex.ico since he had more time that day . I will probably have 2 hours with him at his office. I spoke with him today. Such as nice man! He was very, very interested!

I am simply in love with bishops!!!

And I have more Bras.ilian intro sessions (4!) lined up that day. Not sure I will be able to make them. The need is inmense.... its simply amazing.

The bis.hop is a pediat.rician, studied medicine in Sp.ain so he speaks Spanish (Portuguese and Spanish are very much related and Portuguese speakers normally can understand Spanish speakers but normally not the other way around and my Portuguese is at the level of a young child. I can order food, find a bathroom etc, but no way do a CrMS presentation and more in front of a doctor and Bishop! )

So God is so good! He even fixed the language issue. Today as I was walking on the beach towards my meetings I could only say: Thank you, thank you....

Please keep praying! I really need them! I have no materials here other than the intro session and I am swamped with my normal work, yet I want to really make the best of this opportunity that God has placed as a miracle basically from nowhere.

I cannot even believe it and the more I think about it the more unlikely it seems: I come for work only to Br.asil and end up meeting with the Bishop heading the Li. fe commision of the Episcopal Comi.sion of all of Lat.inAme.rica.

The body that regulates ALL bishops/ countries of the region and he heads the life commision. Something like the USBCC. but from all countries and he writes all the time against IVF and not only this, heads all catho.lic doctors in this country.

Even with plans it would have not turned out so right.

I just hope I do not make a fo.ol of my.self. I will start praying to my guardian angel to help me... =)

If you would have told me how this buiness trip would have turned out to be I would have told you you had been kidding me.

It was not possible for so many events to turn out so right.

Well, when God decides something its possible, he just moves things around to make it possible...

Today I met the most amazing brasilian couple ever. Faithful, searching for God, she a doctor with a Phd in research, him a man looking for God....

They are looking for answers to their IF.... and want to be faithful in a country where does not exist..... so difficult. I know their pain and struggles so well....

After 3 hours of non stop talk she tells me:

"She wants to become a NaPro doctor and a practitioner, the first ever in South America and in Brasil, the largest Catholic country in the world".

I cry as I write this.....It was such as priviledge meeting them...

Totally unplanned.....

Totally in God´s plans....

I have no words.... God is doing everything to bring to my dear Latinamerica the wonders of Napro which is so greatly needed by the "Continent of Hope" as JPII called Latin America, the most Catholic region in the world....

but this is not all....

she tells me she wants me to introduce me to a bishop, a friend of hers...

the bisho.p auxliary of de Jane.iro.

my God...

he is a doctor....

not only this.....

I google him.....

he is the head of the section of li.fe a of the bishops of Latin America.... the top bishop in all of latin america in terms of life and bioethics.... the one that would be the very best contact in the whole of the Church for

just a few minuest ago he writes to me....can we meet urgently tomorrow when you are in Rio?

I have tears in my eyes...

I need to move heaven and earth to move him with my work,.... but I know God is asking this.....

Tomorrow I will present to him... in Rio....

We did not plan it at all....

God is so good....

I could never in a million years asked for this priviledge...

I am scared... this is huge.....

Can you please pray for me? I am sitting right now in a hotel in Sao Pao.lo asking God what he wants from me. and preparing for perhaps the most important meeting of my life..

I have so many emotions. I am crying, smiling, thinking how to make this work....

My computer is brand new and does not have my old presentations.... I have no, no info here... yet I must trust that if God is arranging this is because he wants something...

I need just to say yes... I know it...

Its just my humanity makes me scared...

Can you please pray?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

the unlikeliest intro session of my life...

Tonight I leave for Brasil. I will be working in Sao Paolo and Rio the next 9 days which will be very, very hectic. Me and my team are responsible for a 250 person sales meeting south of Rio de Janeiro. 27 nationalities and counting will be there. I am quite tired from the last days and have been working on this for months now and together with bringing Creig.thon i have had very interesting days to say the least. .

I have not been to Brasil for at least 5 months and in the last 2 years perhaps 3 times tops. I used to travel far more before, but since getting married I scaled quite a bit.

Well as I am packing I receive an email stating only on the title Dr. H.... . I open it and its a girl from Brasil refered to me by Dr. H. She wants to speak to me about Napro. She is from Rio. Rio and Sao Paolo are one hour flight away, some 6 to 7 hours by car.

I tell her I will be in Sao Paolo the next 3 days and then a few hours away from Rio de Janeiro in a resort.

She answers me right back. She is leaving tomorrow morning for Sao Paolo. I write back that I will be there until Sunday, these are the exact days she will be there.

I tell here where I will be staying.

She writes back:
I will stay at your hotel in case you have time to meet. I need to take this opportunity

I ask her should I bring anything and if she wants only to learn more about CrMS or Napro. She answers: I want to chart and I am a doctor. Bring anything you can think of so we bring this to Brasil.

I am speechless. This is the most amazing opportunity ever.

So Saturday I will do the first intro session of my life abroad. A 9 hour flight away from me (Brasil is farther away from Mexico than Europe) in English since my Portuguese is not good enough and she speaks no Spanish. Never in a millon years could I have imagined it.

I see God´s hand so clearly in this. I almost never travel to Brasil and she will be in another city from her own city the same days and is able to stay at the very same hotel.

She wrote to me just in time for me to take the needed materials with me.

she just wrote to me:
This is the mercy of the Lord! I will have the opportunity to share with you my moments waiting for making the willing of God in my life! And you are the angel he is bringing in his wings to help me! Thanks to the Lord! And also to you who is opened to help me! Have a safe and pleasant flight!

She is the angel actually, she is the one that is showing me so very, very clearly that all of this is in God´s hands.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

St Anthony, Sacred Heart and adoption

Today, my very sick with a bad flu, DH went to our adoption agency to leave the last of the documents that make up our adoption file which must be right now over 100 pages long. Sigh!

He delivered this afternoon our drug testing results, blood work for HIV and other ilnesses, general health report by a doctor, our legal records (its a document that states that we do not have criminal records), etc.

This is the last part of a very long process and we are both very tired, yet today we received a tremendous sign from God. A true God-incidence.

We have arrived to this date after many months of tests (12 hours plus of psychological tests and interviews), tons and tons of paperwork and legal documents, 12 four hour training sessions for adoption over the course of 4 months, some 8 interviews, a 4 hour vist by a social worker and 1.5 years of waiting since we started the adoption process.

Our file was going to be approved by the agency first this week and on May 16th presented to the governement adoption agency to be approved.

After this day we would be legally approved to be adoptive parents and we could any day become parents. A very very important day. The most crucial in all of this and one of the most crucial in our lives.

If approved our baby could arrive the very next day to some 6 months later.

Well the governement moved the date due to Mothers day here and the monthly meeting was one week ago. We did not know about this, nor our agency and we did not have our paperwork ready then so the agency informed my DH that we needed now to wait a month longer to find out the outcome.

So we are back to waiting and now the meeting will be the second Monday in June.

I was at the same time relieved and mad that this happened. Relieved since I will be travelling in a week to Brasil for 2 weeks and I did not want to get the call with either good or bad news 18 hours from home and mad due to more waiting.

All of this is so nerve raking. All seemed like a cruel joke.

I have not blogged a lot about it, but in all of this waiting I have been praying specially to my grandmother, my very devout grandmother who taught me to pray , to have faith and whose name my mom and I both have.

She prayed all the time to St. Anthony of Padua (specially to find lost objects and parking places) and to the Sacred Heart. Daily rosaries to the Sacred Heart, one after the other for each family member. Her rosary, which my mom now has, is so worn from use that you can see clearly in the color of the wood where her fingers touched the beads.

I have told the story before that these 2 devotions are very strong in my family not only because she was very devoted to them, but also due to some God-incidences later.

My parents got married on June 13th, the day of St. Anthony, in June the month of the Sacred Heart. And they did not plan it this way, it was the only date open at the Church that that accepted my newly converted father to marry my mom.

25 years later on their 25th anniversary my grandmother died that same day. All of us saw this as a sign that my grandmother was with God. It gave us tremendous peace. I still remember the staute of the Sacred Heart filled with flowers in the church where I received the news of her passing.

13 years later that very same day my grandfather passed away. We knew she had taken him to Heaven. Also gave us all great peace.

When I heard that our approval date for adoption had moved to June I immediately went to my phone calendar. I hoped that the date would be June 13th... and it was. The second Monday of June.

I almost cried when I saw this. And felt tremendous peace.

I called my mom a few minutes later and she could only laugh and say: "See, trust that your grandma is watching over you. What else do you need to know that she is with you?"

And she is and for sure watching over her great grandchild which we pray will come soon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The nicest gift on a very hard day

Today May 10th is Mother´s day in Mexico. Its always celebrated on this date, instead of the 2nd Sunday of May.

We are a very Mother centric culture. Today practically the city stops to celebrate mothers. The cementeries are filled with visitors, large families gather around the grandmother, restaurant´s packed to capacity, etc. Its really huge and a day that a woman like me dreads.

This is my very first Mother´s day in which I can say I am a mother, but to most of the world I am still childless.

Most close people to us that know we lost a baby do not know how to behave around me today. Most remain silent. Its a hard topic to bring up.

I never met my baby, but I know in my heart he is with us. Our angel Miguel, named after st. Michael.

Today I got the very best Mother´s gift from the most unexpected person.

We have a cleaning lady that comes three times a week to our house. She is around 35, a mother of 2, a devout Catholic (she is always decorating my house with the stamps and statues she finds and always placing them in the most important places of the house. For example the one sent to us by JBTC is sitting today on the fireplace with flowers), loves plants and nature.

My orchids after she came to us have always been blooming. She talks to them, sings and worries when they are sad. One day she took some tomato seeds and planted them in a large pot. We have now tons of tomatoes in our garden.

She did not get to study after 7th grade, she comes from an area of the country that is very poor, very indian and very close to the earth and the seasons. Women there get pregnant very young or start working without fininshing their studies.

She had to start working at 15. She works extremely hard so she can give her 2 children the chance she did not get. She slowly has become part of our family.

Today she arrives and I tell her I had forgotten to tell her she had half a day off so she can celebrate Mother´s day with her 2 children.

I am home trying not to get sick from the flu. My DH is quite sick and also I dread going out today.

She smiles at me and asks me if she can give me hug.

She says she wants to congratulate me on Mother´s day.

She comes over and my eyes water. She hugs me, she is barely 4 feet 9 and I am 5 feet 7. We make quite a picture.

She tells me : Happy mother´s day to you Señora. She remembers.

She tells me that I am a mother with an angel in heaven so I need to celebrate.

No need to say more. I remind her my baby´s name is Miguel , she smiles and says of course. An angel.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I graduated!!! I am a practitioner!!!!!!!!!!!! =)

Yesterday I received the long awaited letter from PPVI. The one that I have been hoping to receive one day after 1.5 years!

It was the letter stating that I approved the exam to become a practitioner of Fertilty.Care!!!!!

I can only thank God that this day had come.

The journey has been 100% inspired by these bloggers and members of the Catholic Yahoo group. Via them I learned about Napro, about what a practitioner did, what Fertility.Care was, that a Catholic had options etc.

My very special inspiration since the very beginning have been: TCIE (she was a practitioner and reading her journey was my inspiration) , JBTC, AYWH, Little Joann and later a big one has been Simone from with her dedidcation to spreading the word about Napro (I am sorry I do not know how to link to your blogs!)

6 hospital stays later (between DH and I), one miscarriage, a deep depression, anger at God, in a language that is not my own, with no medical resources and no other practitioners to help, but with the help of this amazing community, the prayers of so many and for sure the protection of our Lady of Guadalupe the day has come!!

I am the first in Mexico and Latin America after some 10 years of nobody graduating (2 Mexican doctors had graduated some 15 years before as practitioners and medical consultants), but now we have a list of 3 practitioners in training, 8 doctors interested, many more practitioners, etc. Its just a question of telling the world that this exists. I am sure that its just a question of telling people that many will see in their hearts the truth.

The contrast when reading the blogs and catholic IF group journey´s and what I could find online here was so strak as night and day.

I had joined the Mexican infert.ilty. association online group which was filled with IVF, ICSI, donation of sperm, the works. Only one section was dedicated to adoption and nothing else. The members called their embryos my little eskimos.

The only doctor that specialized in IF and was Catholic was 83! I felt so utterly alone that I spent many many nights crying myself to sleep.

Then I googled the words "cath.olic infer.tilty" and spending many nights awake found the most amazing women and couples ever. I kept hearing a word that I did not understand: Napro.

And my journey began to understand what this was. This was over 2.5 years ago.

One day in summer of 2009 I sent an email to the catholic IF group asking if I should study this . That I felt a calling, but did not know what to do and was scared and the response was overwhelming! yes yes yes!

And without even knowing where Omaha was (I had to look at a map!)I called the institute 3 weeks before the course was about to start and they said yes come and I was on my way.

I will blog more about this journey but I wanted to thank you all for this. That you all made this possible with your example, support, advice and prayers.

¡Muchas gracias!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Gifts among pain

Last week on the day of my anniversary many things happened. Great and horrible at the very same time. I did not have the opportunity, nor the heart to blog about them until now., but I did not want to forget to do it. Also I wanted to blog about them when I was calmer instead of just hurt and mad.

One important note first: I am on CD 3 now. AF arrived on time despite my funny symptoms about which I blogged a few days ago. I was sad, as always, but this gives me the opportunity to really focus this month on my health. We will not be TTC since I will be 2 weeks in Brasil for work, so I am going into full detox which you cannot do if TTC. I need to look at the bright side!

For our anniversary last week we had not planned to do anythiing that day. It had been a hard week and I was so very tired.

On Monday of last week a person (not really involved in the project, but that had wanted to take power) sent a letter summoning me and several other people to an urgent meeting in his office to tell them of what I was doing to bring Napro here. he started giving instructions left and right and I really did not know how to handle it until it was too late and things grew out of proportion.

I was asked by several people to keep many things in silence and since I did not inform them several things he was suspisious that I was keeping things for myself and my own benefit.

Monday, Tues and Wednesday mails were going back and forth and the situation was getting out of hand.

Just FYI: have been asked to keep quiet about most things (I do not even blog about most stuff going on here and when I do I change details so the real persons are not easily identifiable) and so I could not inform them of the details, nor that meetings with possible donors or prolifers had even taken place.

On Wednesday 27th I receive the nicest surprise ever, it was from JBTC. It was a Birthday card in Spanish!!!, but the thing that really, really moved me was a that had St Gianna Molla and the Virgin of Guadalupe bookmark with both of them in the same picture. I could not beleive it and I was so very moved. TKS JBTC! you made my Day and week!

It came on the perfect day. On Wednesday the inner struggles had reached a very high point and people had different ways of thinking how to go about it. Even people that did not have to do anything with the project gave opinons making all very hard. There were even interests to do this as a business rather than a service.

On Wednesday with the advice of several people I decide to write an email stating how things needed to move forward. Dr. H had given very clear instructions and I needed to inform them officially and also that I had been given the responsability after 2 years of work to establish things officially here.

So when JBTC gift arrived I felt so much peace. And the gifts came exactly one day before we consectrated this to Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Gianna Beretta Molla. I loved the Godincidence. Is as if they were there with us and preparing me for what was to come.

On Thursday the 28th I sent the letter( after asking for advice from several key people and even having them read the letter) and the reaction was not good by 3 persons. In fact it was horrible. Two posted in FB nasty things directed to me and one person sent a letter filled with irony copying many people.

I was so stunned. These were good people or so I thought. By their actions their level of maturity was that of a 2 year old.

If they did not agree with what Dr. H had asked they could have sent an email to him or even before this to me, but never do what they did.

I decided to keep silent, yet I was so very disappointed in them and my heart was broken from teh attacks.

When I arrived home from work dead tired from all the emotions I receive a card and a small gift from AYWH my prayer buddy It was a small statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe. I had tears in my eyes. We had consectrated our marriage to Her 4 years before and on the very same day the statue arrives and also on a very hard day gives me so much consolation. I truly saw it as sign from God. Thanks AYWH!!!

Later my DH and I went to Mass and Adoration. I needed it and also to give thanks for our marriage. I went to confession since I could not shake my anger at these 3 persons.

I spoke with the priest that has been the closest to this since the beginning. He consectrated the project one year before and also had been giving us advice.

He told me to take this as a very, very good sign. That he was not surprised at all that the attacks came on the very same day we had consectrated this one year before.

That always among wheat there is evil and that the Bad guy likes to create division. But that I needed to do what my conciense directed and follow the bishop´s and Dr. H instructions even if people did not like them.

And to keep quiet in front of the attacks. To me that I am a very active person keeping quiet is extremely hard. But I did.

Later with him, a nun friend, my Napro friend and her husband (they had come to give us support during this extremly hard day), a couple of friends and my DH we went to dinner. I felt surrounded by love. It truly was a gift in the midst of adversity.

Thanks again JBTC and AYWH!