Thursday, April 28, 2011

4th wedding anniversary, St Gianna´s day and our love story

Today is my 4th wedding anniversary and I have never written how I met my DH and and how it came to be that we married on St Gianna´s feast day.

She has become the patron saint of our marriage and has been so very close to us during our IF that I can only be amazed at God´s wisdom.

I have been blessed to be married to an amazing man. A man of profound prayer (he is a 3rd order Carmelite), of deep faith and my Mary to my Martha.

We met in Church and all our anniversaries are linked with the Virgin. My church had at the time many young religiuos brothers, sisters and priests, but is located in an area that is very Jewish and also filled with mostly older Spanish refugees.

They had planned to do a youth festival which they normally do in France, but they only had 4 "young" persons to help. I was one of them, over 30, but they looked at us for help.

The festival was going to be for Pentecost and filled with all day activities for people in their late teens and 20´s.

One of these young persons was also working with another parish and this parish had a very large and active youth group. So she offered their help.

So one day we set out to present our plan in this other church.

We sat in a very large table, me between 2 priests from my parish and I see a very handsome man at the end of the table. He kept looking at me as if he knew me, but I did not recognize him.

The meeting ended after 2 hours and they agreed to help us.

At the end of the meeting outside in the Church foyer this handsome man turns to me and asks me in German totally out of the blue: Are you single? Bist du ledig?

In German???

I still cannot belive my DH did this.

Well he had heard my last name which I pronounce in German and since I look the part had decided to ask me in German the question he had been dying the whole meeting to ask me. He had been studying German for a few years and knew this phrase.

I began to blush and laugh and said in Spanish that I was. So right in front of a Church between priests he asks me this.

Later we did the festival together, he doing the TV part (he had a TV program to promote the Divine Mercy a few years back and had been asked to promote the festival on Catholic TV) and me running as always around organizing logistics. We kept bumping into each other, but never spoke alone.

The festival included a night of Adoration in which people would take turns praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I had never done it before , but i felt called to pray all night. And he also did.

I kept thinking: this is an amazing man of prayer and handsome also!! wow!

We joke that we spent our first night together praying.

We were both older, had had several relationships, but somehow we knew that if we got together it would be serious so we took a very long time to start dating. I felt always so very shy in front of him,

I kept seeing him in Thursday Adoration, but he was always surrounded by other girls and I did not know how he felt for me. He had a couple of "fans" and I did not know which type of relationship he had to them.

One day we had the invitation to the Ordination of my priest friend and later there was a dinner in Church.

A very good friend decided to step in and she elaborated a plot so we would finally talk alone without even consulting with me. She asked him to join her in taking me to the airport.

It was pouring and there were no taxis. I was to fly to Chile that night and had to be in the aiport in a few hours. She lied to him and said that she was afraid to drive with so much rain and then out of the blue I found myself in her car, with 2 other girls and him.

During the whole way to the airport they kept asking him the most embarassing questions ever (at least for me): What he thought about love, what his ideal girlfriend would be like etc? He was 36 at the time and me 33 and yet we were blushing like 2 teenagers!

I felt once again like i was 16, making plots to meet boys!!

We arrive at the airport and when we were all sitting down to drink some coffee, the 3 girls got up suddenly and decided to go to the bathroom at once. So we were there in the middle of the airport finally alone.

And he asked me out and we started dating a few weeks later when i returned from Chile.

Then 3 months later on the 31st of December he asked me to be his girlfriend (this is still done here) and I said yes and on January 1st he asked me again so we would have this date with the Virgin as our official strating date.

Three years later he asked me to marry him on the Feast of the Assumption in the same Church we had done the Festival and in front again of the Blessed Sacrament.

During Adoration we sneaked to the back of the Church and the same brothers that had played such an important part in our meeting gave us their blessing just a few minutes later as well we asked the sisters that were there to pray that night for us.

When it came the time to decide the day to get married I wanted it to be in the day of St. Patrick, a saint from a country that I have always loved. We wanted to get married in the forest and it just seemed appropiate to me. But it was impossible. It was during Lent and no weddings were allowed where we wanted to get married. So my brother took this date and got married a few weeks before me.

So we had to choose another date and the only one available was April 28th.

I was so sad. I did not know any of the saints that were mentioned in my books.

I told one of the sisters of St john this one day and she said: You are very liucky!

Its the day of St Alphonsus Maria Liguiouri . She said: He is one of the most important Marian Saints and one of the patron saints of our congregation.

I was then happy!

A few years later when we started to face IF I began to read more and more about a great saint. St Gianna Molla.

Somehow she kept appearing to me through the blogs and then through St Gianna´s center in NY.

Then I began to feel a calling to study to become a practitioner and she kept appearing even more.

And one day I notice that her feast day is April 28th and I felt a tremendous amounth of peace. Wow!

Unknowingly we got married on her feast day. None of the saint calendars here mentioned her, but I felt so very happy.

So today we celebrate God´s and St. Gianna´s hand in our marriage.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Prayer buddy reveal and I am sooo happy for her!!!


I had the pleasure of praying for My Heart Exults . I had been a long time reader of hers and was very happy to have been able to pray for her and her intentions.

and then... today!!! I read the most amazing news ever by her!!! She is pregnant!!!!

I almost fell over from excitement! I thanked Our Lady of Guadalupe and asked Her to protect Her and Her baby.

I was so very happy and I will continue to pray for her and once the baby is born I will personally go to the Basilica of Guadalupe to give thanks.

I offered my daily masses for her intentions, prayed to Our Lady of Guadalupe, prayed in Adoration and my DH and I are praying a Novena to the Divine Mercy also including her intentions. We will finish this Sunday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sometimes the pain of Holy Week starts early

I have very few words right now. The waves of grief from my miscarriage came right back today. Holy Thursday has started early for my family.

Its really hard to understand right now why some things happen.

Today I was sitting with my amazing gynecologist and the bishop discussing next steps for napro when the doctor receives a call. Never in a millon years would I have imagined what would happen next.

Out of the blue he tells me:
its regarding your sister in law.

I look at him not understanding. He says:
she felt ill this afternoon.

I begin to worry, she is 11 weeks pregnant.

Then he takes the call and signals sadly that she miscarried.

Right there I sit with the bishop and my doctor and I begin to cry. All comes back to me.

I have just heard the confirmation from the U/S doctor that my nice/ nephew has died.

Why? why?

They had waited a long time until the doctors gave them permision to get pregnant. She had some medical issues that needed her to take medicines where a pregnancy would have been at risk. They followed all the doctors instructions for a long time and only until several doctors gave the go ahead to get pregnant they did.

This is their first baby.

Then the doctor receives another call. Its my own brother calling him for next steps. I hear what the doctor tells my brother and all the instructions to follow.

Such a hard Godincidence. I am hearing on the other side all the instructions my own brother is hearing. And feeling his pain.

My parents have now lost 4 grandchildren to miscarriage and have only 2 living ones.

My sister has 2 living children and 2 in heaven.
My brother one in heaven
Me one in heaven.

Why did this happen to a family that absolutely and completly adores children? what are the odds of this happening to one single family ?

My parents would make the best grandparents ever and we are asked to bear this cross.

If you can spare a prayer for all of us I would be very thankful. My sister in law will have a D&C tomorrow. Of all days Holy Thursday.

This brings so many painful memories for all of us. My whole family is grieving right now.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Words are not enough for what happened today.

We were completly lifted up in prayer during the whole day by all of you and I cannot thank you enough. I felt so very much the power of prayer that its was simply incredible!

So many signs from God that He wants this project to succeed and come to my country, a country in dire need of authentic Catholic healthcare for women and families.

Now its in His hands and He is guiding it.

Its very late and I still need to do my taxes so I cannot blog all the details, but this is what happened today in a few words:

The prolife donor fell in love with Napro. Truly and absolultely.

Over 2 hours non stop talk about it. She never ever gives projects this much time and attention. Made tons of questions and was completly in love with the idea that this actually existed. And to top it all: she remembered me from morning mass!! and smiled at the Godincidence! In a city of 20 million people we met a few hours before the meeting at 8 a.m mass and without knowing who I was told me she had seen me!

Then we spent the rest of the afternoon until 9 pm having lunch and later coffee with the bishop. He gave us spriritual advice, advice on the obstacles we might face with the project and proposed a whirlwind of activities in the next two days:

Tomorrow meeting with key priests to inform them of the project and start to promote it among their flock.
A prayer meeting with my church community
Wednesday meeting with my gynecologist (my amazing Catholic 83 year old doctor!) so he can guide us in the medical part of this.

And the most special part of the day. My DH and I asked him for a blessing for us and the project and he said: I will bless you both for something far more important: as adoptive parents.

So he gave us a blessing so we can be parents soon as God chooses. My eyes water just thinking about it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

40th birthday and change of heart

A few weeks ago I wrote that I dreaded turning 40. I could not mention the number out loud even.

I have dreaded it for years since I always that I had failed at several personal things and this age made me feel even more of a failure.

I have had a very good professional career, but on the personal side I always thought I have failed.

I had a plan for my life that was anything, but the one I followed.

Finish university at 24, work for 2 years, get married at 26, start to have children soon after and after they got to grade school return to work and have teenagers and a part time work by the time I was 40. Married after 30 was simply too late in this picture and motherhood also!

But you know: Tell God your plans.....

I married later in life at 36 and I actually as very embrarrassed by this fact.

An older bride in a culture where people still marry in their mid 20´s.

I was also teased a lot about this: That I was the runnawy bride (I was in 2 very serious relationships that I ended)

I blamed myself for this in part due to my bad choices in the past regarding boyfriends.

One in particular I stayed with for 5 years eventhough I knew he was not the one. I felt too bad about breaking up with that I continued on and on and evaded myself by working too much.

So for years I have been blaming myself for this and for the fact that my age might be the reason that I haven´t gotten pregnant, but I am now certain that God wanted me to marry my DH and all that happened before was part of the plan.

So 40 was a birthday that I did not want to reach childless and one that reminded me of my mistakes or what I saw as mistakes. And I dreaded it for many years.

But a shift ocurred within my heart that I can only say that has been achieved through the prayers of others (thanks prayer buddy and other bloggers that have prayed for me!) and because there are so many many signs of the hand of God in my life.

So on Tuesday day of my birthday I woke up happy!! Like it all made sense.

And I saw God´s hand in my life. Perhaps like never before.

Had I not had the relationships I had before maybe I would have never married my DH and I am sure he is the one that has always been the one planned for me.

He is patient, full of virtues (many of which I do not have, handsome, will make a great father, faithful, prayerful, very close to Mary, a great son, etc. He is my Mary to My Martha.

If I had not had married later maybe I would not have been as aggresive in seeking treatment for my IF or even strayed from the Church´s teaching since I did not know its stance on these subjects when I was younger.

My birthday also turned out to be one in which I received an amazing outpouring of love from many unexpected sources. Over 80 FB congratulations, many from long lost friends with whom I have reconnected with since, unexpected calls from DH family (including one from his very difficult brother with whom, I do not have a good relationship with, directly from Iran where he is an expat. I was completly speechless and the olive branch has been extended by him which is a miracle on its own), several different parties organized by my team and DH and family, etc.

An outpouring of love that was so very healing after months of grief.

And my IF started to made some sense.

Without it I would have never encountered Napro and this amazing group of women and grown so much spiritually.

If I had faced IF younger I would probably had not the guts to do all testing for my IF on my own, fly to PPVI and knock on the door to beg for a diagnosis. Only with age I am sure would I have had this courage.

Had I also faced IF younger I would not have even thought about becoming a practitioner. I was too busy and happy with my marketing career.

Had I faced IF younger I most probably would not have met the amazing adoptive families that I have met in the last years and not opened my heart towards adoption.

So I do not know how other that by a miracle my eyes were opened to the fact that God always has a plan, but we many times do not see it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Back from Omaha

I just came back from Omaha.

So many emotions.

So many things that happened that I have a hard time believing all is true.

Amazement at God´s hand in all of this, inmense grief, meeting with another blogger and feeling as if I had known her forever
I left Sunday to Dallas and stayed over night there with my Napro buddy, an amazing woman that has been supporting me and this project selflessly since year 2 of this project. She also had decided at the last minute to travel to Omaha.

We left very early on Monday for Omaha. As our plane touched down and was heading towards the gate I opened my phone and guess what?

I receive a call from the bishop himself, just seconds after I opened my phone. I could not help but smile. Wow. This was an amazing sign.

Well he was calling me since he did not remember well when my trip was and was setting up the appointment with the famous pro life donor. That same week for lunch. wow.

He then gave me very encouraging words and said he would make sure this would come. He was personally making sure. ASAP.

Then we arrived at the hotel and began to meet again with the amazing PPVI people. I was so happy to see such faithful people.

Then classes began. It was intensive, but amazing. Every day mass at 7:30 am and ending the days with conferences at 9 or even 10 p.m. Theology of the body, Humanae vitae in depth, the person according to JPII, amazing stuff. Lunch and dinner were spent working, discussing, sharing.

During the week I experienced extreme grief as my due date was nearing. Tears came at the most inappropiate and surprising times. My emotions were completly raw.

Things were not helped since I received news about two births very close to me this same week. I was inundated with new born photos the very same week Miguel should have been born.

My feelings were at the very same time inmense sadness since I could never ever hold my baby in this life and also so very happy to be there among many good people.

One episode was specially hard. We had a talk about the effects of abortion on women and discussed how grief resurfaced much later in some cases. The sheer numbers, the enormity of what we were doing to inocent babies really got to me and I began to cry (acutally several of us cried) and I was asked then by the teacher what was going on and I said that my due date was near and that I could not imagine how anybody would do this.

After the talk I went to the bathroom and a girl came up to me and began to cry inconsolably. She would not stop and I could barely understand what she was trying to say to me.

She asked me how many children I had and I said none here, only Miguel in Heaven.

She cried even harder.

After a while I could make out what she was saying: she told me how sorry she felt for me. She did not understand why God was punishing me this way.

Her words made my heart sink even further.

She then began between sobs to tell me that she had 6 living children and 2 abortions. I could not belive what I was hearing. I had never ever met somebody who had had abortions and told me directly.

She said she had not valued life before her conversion some years before and while she had confessed to the abortions she could not help but wonder if she had been forgiven and also why she was so fertile and good people like me unfertile.

I could not even think.

why? why? I kept hearing in my heart.

She had said what I have always asked: why?

Then another person came in and she told this also to her and this person was then consoling her. I left completly hearbroken and shaken and for the rest of the week I could not shake this inmense sadness from my heart.

Here I was fighting with all my might to become a mother and people were given the gift of fertility and discarded it. I saw right in front of me the effect of abortion on women even many years later and it made me even sadder.

I knew this existed, it just had never hit me with such brute force and with my emotions being so raw the impression in my heart was so very deep.

After this I was very blessed with a ray of light on a dark day.

Meeting Hebrews!!!!

She picked me up at the hotel and we went to dinner to a delicious Italian restaurant. She gave me the most thoughtful gifts: a prayer card to St. Michael, a stamp of Pope JPII and a scapulary with an image of the Sacred Heart. The St michael card touched me very, very deeply.

She is both beautiful inside and out. An amazing woman and I was sorry to see the time with her end.

She was such a light in a day of sadness.

So this was a week of pain, surprises and intense feelings.

Friday, April 1, 2011

More miracles.... i truly cannot belive it...

I have tears in my eyes.... I am barely able to write...

As I mentioned in my last post we are going basically with our credit cards and own funds to the "love and life" conference at PPVI. At least 5 of us really, really struggling.

All going with pure hearts and a complete trust in God.

Today I received a completly surprising email from an amazing client couple. One of the one dearest to my heart. The got pregnant right after coming back from PPVI after 5 years of IF. They had suffered greatly and had found finally an answer.

They sadly lost their baby a few weeks afterwards. I felt it so very much and have seen their pain directly after being completly faithful to the Church.

Today out of the blue I receive an email from her saying that they wanted to donate to the project. I was so amazed. We had never asked them for anything and they did not know about the trip.

I could not believe my eyes. Right when we needed the money the most.

I gave her my bank info and 5 minutes afterwards I receive a large amount of money (at least for us having nothing). One that can help us inmensely with the trip covering some hotel stays.

I have not mentioned that next week when we will be in Omaha is also the week when Miguel, my baby, would have been born. It still hurts way to much.

I am now shure he has something to do with all that is going on, plus all of the people praying for us. He truly has become our angel

A week that I have dreaded since losing him. And 2 weeks from my 40th birthday another dreaded day.

A week full of pain, my own Holy Week that is turning, into an Easter week.