Saturday, December 29, 2012

From bad to worse

After all the holiday drama we have been back home and all that could go wrong has happened.

I had not been feeling well and I attributed it to the stress of the last days, but yesterday I woke up feeling all dizzy with terrible nausea and JM during breakfast started throwing up.  He in his whole life never had thrown up so we were very worried.

My DH had to leave home  early for his annual family breakfast and to celebrate with his brothers and sister his parents 50th wedding anniversary that had been in the plans for months.    So he left all worried, but I encouraged him to leave as I saw JM better.

The next hours were terrible,  diarrhea and vomit on my side, a very active 20 month old who had been able to eat breakfast finally, etc. Never in my life have I been so sick from the stomach, I could not move without feeling like falling.

My DH arrived later and luckily I had been able to put JM for an early nap and maybe since he did not  feel himself he slept for 3 hours, very unusual for him. So I had this time off.

I could not hold anything down, not even a drop of water and things were getting worse by the hour.  Thank God JM was doing much better and could eat normally.

By 3 p.m I was very weak, could not move from the couch and decided to call the doctor who said to not drink anything for 2 hours and then start slowly with ice cold water and later some kind of drink to replace the salts I had lost and a vitamin injection. He also said that if this did not get better then I would need to go to the hospital ASAP since I would need an IV.

How we were going to manage with JM and a hospital stay I had no idea.

Well I ended up also not being able to take the water as he told me  and called the doctor for new instructions.  He said he wanted to try something first, an anti vomiting medication via injections, before heading to the hospital.  

Thank God DH had recently learned to give injections and so an hour later the medicine arrives from the pharmacy and immediately I start to feel less dizzy and like I can hold some water.

Later I can drink from the other medicine, but I am still very weak and cannot eat anything.  By then I am trembling and having 3 covers over me did not stop it.   So we go to bed and even while feeling sick I can sleep some hours.

Today I wake up very weak (I have not had food in over 36 hours and limited water) with a throbbing headache and a body that hurts everywhere, but thankfully no nausea.   I will need to take the rest of today very easy while seeing a very messy house and JM for some reason has been crying a lot, very unusual for him.  Arghhhh!

DH seems to be OK but has been complaining all day of his stomach.

And  all our vacation  plans are now on hold.

In all this drama my dad called me today to see how we were doing  (he had no idea I had been sick), but instead of making things better we ended up having a discussion.  I told him that my mom words were out of line and he said he could not take sides and that it had been my mistake telling my mom private things.   He said my mom was this way and that I needed to be wiser.

My dad was very,  very sad that we would not spend New Years with them  and the rest of the days with my nice and nephew and I ended up crying again.

 I feel like such a bad Christian for not being able  to forgive my mom,  but her words have hurt me deeply many times and every single time I have had to be the one to ask for forgiveness when it has not been even my fault.

 I think I need some time away from her to establish some boundaries and make clear that this is not acceptable.  I cannot change her, but I need to protect my heart.

Still it hurts tremendously.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday triggers and drama

This Christmas has not gone as planned and as I write this I am very sad.

Working like crazy before the holidays trying to close everything in order to spend time with family, big family expectations on both sides, being pulled into many directions and then Christmas day and yesterday.

My DH and I had planned for a very long time to spend many days (almost 2 weeks) at my parents house with the rest of my family, yet today we are back home with no plans for the next days and very sad.

My paren,s when my dad retired,  built their dream home 45 minutes from the city in a beautiful location near the woods.  Instead of downsizing they grew by a lot  (we 5 family members lived in a very,  very small house all our lives)

 Their plan has always been to have space for their children and grandchildren so we could stay and have also a lot of space in terms of garden and trees.

 We were to spend with them at this beautiful place since last Sunday to celebrate Advent until early January, right before Ephifany which is a very important holiday here.  My sister and her family would come and go since this year Christmas was at the inlaws and leave 4th of January.   My brother would arrive on the 30th spend the rest of the days with us.

 The cousins, my sisters 2 children, and JM could spend a lot of time together and get to know each other now that JM is older.    All seemed perfect and specially compared to my DH side.

On my DH side things have been tense in the last weeks.   There were 3 out of the 5 children spending this year at home on the 25th.  (my family celebrates Mexican style dinner on the 24th and DH side has lunch on the 25th)

Participating would be one  brother who is divorced and has no family (who is always grumpy and is very controlling, yet is striving to be more easy going and making great strides), his other brother with his wife and 2 children and my FIL.  This second brother  is very nice and good hearted, yet has a very,  very difficult wife that puts my FIL on edge each and everytime  and neither of them help in any way, shape or form unless you give them clear instructions and push them.  

My FIL since becoming a widower has had to take the reins of an enourmous house (far too big for 1 person) and the holidays overwhelm him.  My MIL did a production of them using her 5 children as  help and expectations are always very very high.    This one was no exception.   Basically my SIL and my DH take the reins, but this year she was not home so all fell on my DH and I .

For weeks he had been nervous since he would be hosting these 2 not easy sons and had relied a lot on my DH to listen to his worries.  My DH is the one always helping and the peaceful one.   A few days ago I had asked my FILwhat was missing and found out that he needed more help than expected.  So my DH and I set out shopping at the very last minute for food items so we could prepare the eggnog, salad and desserts for 12 people, while preparing to leave all ready to be out of home for 2 weeks.

Since my FIL was nervous about these 2 sons   he decided to invite my parents to lunch on the 25th to make things less tense.   I knew all along that it was not a good idea, but since he was hosting I did not have a say.

We spent the 24th at my parents very nicely and then set out early for my FILs house so we could help.  The appointment was for noon so we could open presents and then prepare the rest.

When DH and I arrived we encountered a disaster.

My FIL told us that a lot was missing and you could see anger and fear in his eyes,   the girl they had hired to help out  was pouting since she said it was too much work,  my BIL still in pijamas after trying to find tons of things and no sight of the other brother.

Well my DH and I had to start giving instructions, working like crazy and we began to sort everything out, so when the other brother arrived 2 hours late all was ready.

His wife acted all surprised that all was ready and said she had been prepared to help out, yet had had other important things to do and time had passed.  The look on my FILs face was priceless.   Lets say this was expected and it was even more clear when my DH and his brother started serving the tables, cleaning around and  she, her husband and children did nothing.  NOTHING!

Later my parents arrived and you could feel all of us very tense.  We tried to make the most of things and had a pleasant time, yet it was not easy and my parents were in shock of this attitude of the wife and brother.   I decided to sit still at the table letting my DH do the work so  I would not leave my parents alone at this very formal dinning room.

My parents left not very late and we left soon after.

When we arrived at my parents house my sister had arrived and we experienced an amazing night playing with the children , etc and the same the next day.   JM was laughing like crazy and he could not stop kissing his cousins.  Later my dad commented to me how surprised he had been about the attitude of this brother and his wife, but left it at that.

During all this time my mom had been also very tense.   She is not an easy person, is not sociable at all,   gets overwhelmed easily and all three of us at one time or another have had major fights with her, well into adulthood.    She is a very good woman, yet had many times very harsh words for us and even more so when stressed.

My dad on the other hand is easy going, very sociable and practical.

So all day  yesterday I see my mom in a bad mood, yet I could not pin point what was going on.  Maybe it was having all of us there, maybe the scene of my FILs house, no idea.

I spent the morning with her at the farmers market buying the food for the next days and helping her carry tons of vegetables and fruits, etc. and she seemed to relax.  We had a chat about the wife of the brother and how shocking their attitude was and left it at that.

Since it was late we decided all (my sisters family, us and my parents)  to have lunch at a restaurant that my parents knew well and had enjoyed, but we had never been to before.  The whole thing was horrible.    The food, the service (took forever etc).   We were all tired after waiting hours  around for bad food.

So I come back to the table from walking the children in the gardens and out of nowhere my mom tells me I am exactly like my DH´s SIL.

The wife of this brother who is so very difficult and never helps out.

   My mom said she had been observing me the other day  at my FILs house and I was slowly becoming like a little her.

If you knew her, you would know this is the very worst thing a person can say you are.  She is neurotic, lazy and in general not a nice person.  

I have no idea why she said this, but it hurt me profoundly and I started crying.   Well one thing led to the other and we started fighting and I left making the decision to leave my parents house and return home.  

 I simply could not deal getting hurt this way.

My sister called me a few minutes later and said she agreed my mom had been completely out of line and that the comment was meant to hurt and while it hurt her deeply she agreed it was best to leave.  She would make sure that we see each other next week and that the children get to spend many hours together.

She said that this is why she keeps my mom out of her inlaws lives since the exact same thing had happened to  her  years ago.  My mom mixing her worry for us  (I am sure she is worried about my inlaws situation) with very harsh judgements without reason.

My DH was also supportive and agreed this was a comment completely out of line, perhaps out of stress, but that it was meant to hurt and that he could not see us spending the rest of the days with my parents.   This coming from the most peaceful man ever.

My dad has been silent since then.

We arrived home last night and my heart and head hurt so much that I could not sleep,.  I am hearbroken my son cannot spend more time with his grandparents and cousins, yet truly I cannot forget these very harsh words from my mom.   Why in the world would she use them?

What we will do the next days with no plans whatsoever I have no idea.   My first vacations in over a year and this happens and worse,  much worse during Christmas.  

So so sad.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Helping the Pope Paul VI institute and Naprotechnology


I just received an email from Dr. H  stating that a donor had offered to help  the institute with 5 USD for each like they had on

Right now they have something like 1,000 likes, but thousands more are needed.

  Building a Culture of Life In Women’s Health Care
Dear , 
One of our donors will donate us $5 if you like Pope Paul VI Institute's Facebook page.
Please like us today! Just one click.
Please forward this email to your family and friends and ask them to like us as well. 
Thank you, 
Thomas W. Hilgers, MD Director
P.S. If you haven’t made your Christmas gift to the Pope Paul VI Institute, you can do it here

Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction
6901 Mercy Road * Omaha, NE 68106 * (402) 390-9167

Please please share this with your friends, family, via FB or email.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Healing questions

I have a million posts on my mind. On adoption, Advent (which is huge in my part German family), on IF, on conversion, but today I want to ask for advice on an seemingly  non important topic.


Yep, but not only to lose weight, but to feel better, to be a better mother, etc and if God wills improve my fertility (I got pregnant the month I had been on a perfect diet and felt amazing).

In Chinese medicine you cannot get your fertility back on track or your health in general if your do not heal from the gut.  Great digestion is the basis for health and after all my poor digestive system has been through I need to give it the attention it so badly needs.

It has been a lot on my mind  each day for the last 2 months where I have felt so bad  and the doctors have confirmed I need to heal it.   Amobeas, candida, inflammation, low sugar, etc

I eat pretty healthy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

Normally for breakfast is a protein shake with some almonds and fruit and a bunch of greens  (its much better than it sounds).

Then problem starts.

I also drink a few minutes afterwards either coffee with a horrible creamer or an energy drink with vitamins.  I need it to wake up.

I later arrive at the office.

During the morning I do really well.  Eat some almonds, drink green tea and tons of water.

Then lunch I have a huge salad bar to eat from and I fill up a plate with salad and some nuts, there is always soup which I eat almost every day (when its not cream based), then some vegetables and some protein such as beef or chicken or shrimp.   (I cannot stomach the white fish they also serve). In Mexico lunch is the main meal of the day and I make the most of it.  There is many times cheese in the salad or in some of the vegetarian dishes and while most of the time I can stay away there are times I cannot resist.

Then I need to have my coffee with creamer.

and more trouble starts.

My office is filled with candy.  FILLED!  they also have many healthy options,  but temptation is always  there.  There is even a refigerator filled with Hagen Dazs ice cream.

While I can stay away from the ice cream with ease and I only have dessert once a week I need some sugar in the afternoon.  So I tend to go to the candy corner and have some candy and while I am getting better at having each day less and less its still not in control.  

Then I leave to get home and there I normally have for dinner some beans with chile, a tortilla with some  mushrooms or whatever was for lunch.  Mostly home cooked vegetarian Mexican food.

Well it has been working so far in terms that my energy is better, but I need to get off the coffee,  the creamer, the energy drink, the sugar in the afternoon and also manage my portions so I can lose weight.

Well last week the doctor ordered for me to take medicine for my amobeas and I felt instantly better (after 2 days where I felt like dying) and slowly I have been feeling better with also the candida medications, both of which I truly needed.   The functional medicine doctor also ordered for me to stay away from milk, the creamer, any wheat or gluten and told me to go on a healing journey for my gut.  

And to lose 8 kilos (about 16 pounds!)  Arghhh!

So I am open to any sites, books, diets you  can recommend to heal my gut and also as a added value lose weight.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The feast of our Lady of Guadalupe in Her country

Today I was driving through  one of the main streets in Mexico City and while waiting at a stop light I saw a whole family crossing the street. I could not keep my eyes of them.

 They were clearly pilgrims heading to Tepeyac, here in Mexico city,  the place where Our Lady appeared hundreds of years ago and where Her image is still.

They were carrying only woollen blankets and an image of Our Lady.  Walking dozens, in some cases hundreds of miles to sing to Her and celebrate Her on  Her birthday.    Traffic stopped to let them pass through and I am sure they will spend the night out in the cold near the Basilica  waiting to sing to Her Happy Birthday.  Such faith that you cannot be but moved by it.  

This is part of everyday Mexico and despite all the challenges we face as a country, we are very blessed  to have Her here, so near and also that so many millions of persons still have such a devotion to Her.    Nowhere in the world I have seen this.    

A few hours ago the fireworks started and they will go on for the next day.    You cannot forget whose birthday it tomorrow.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims are walking through the city streets tonight in freezing cold, sleeping where they can and this family was just one example.  Some say in a couple of days over 2  millon persons will visit Her and that Tepeyac is the largest Marian site in the world, only competing with Lourdes and Fatima and the most visited Catholic one after St Peter.

 I can only say its a very,  very blessed place where one cannot be,  but moved by the faith of the people visiting and Her.

Today in the early morning thousands of people will sing the "Mañanitas (our traditional birthday song)  Here is a link to it and its very impressive if you have never seen it.   Mañananitas

Today and tomorrow very specially   I offer my prayers in Her land to all of you that are suffering, mourning, waiting or  have a heavy heart.  

Like a true Mother She has consoled me time and time again and my prayer tonight is that She also consoles you.

Please remember these words that She said to San Juan Diego and that She tells all of us:

“Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything"

¡Señora de Guadalupe, ruega por nosotros!
¡San Juan Diego, ruego por nosotros!  

Friday, December 7, 2012

So so tired of IF....and doctors

Today I am fed up.  Completely and absolutely tired of IF, doctors and medical exams, having to battle the medical establishment, not having Napro here,  etc.

Its been a long 5 years of battles trying to be true to my faith while curing my body and they seem not to be over.

Dead tired.

Today I went to the hospital to get the results of my annual medical exam.

Since I had been under the care of Dr H and my local gynecologist I had not done one in years.  Still  I had not been feeling myself for a while and decided it was time to do it and my local doctor had recommended one a few months ago.   I was sleeping well, eating healthy, yet could not shake the feeling that something was off.

This exam part of the compensation of my company and they offer a full medical exam a year at a top hospital  to every employee.  So last week I went since I had not done one in at least 5 years and during one full morning was checked for everything imaginable:  X-rays, U/S, blood work, urine and stool samples, mamography,  pap,   nutrition, heart rates, etc.   It was intensive to say they least since it was 7 hours of tests.   I wanted to do it since I  want to be as healthy as possible for JM.

After 1 week they make you come back to receive the analysis by the doctors and with their recommendations.  

So I went today.  I had a feeling I would not receive good news since they had sent my preliminary progesterone exam which was on p+8 40 and the only time it was this high was when I was pregnant.  

Plus I had been feeling off for several weeks, tired, without energy, with very bad digestion.  

 While I did not expect to be pregnant (after 5 year you learn) it was a rollercoaster  5 days until AF arrived and  also my cramps were bad for many days, something that I had not had in many months.

Well the results are:

  1.  Hypoglycemia for which the doctor recommended going to the endocrinologist.  I have a history of low sugar and low blood pressure, but its seems to have increased in the intensity.   He also said it could be that I had not eaten for the tests.  So.... what to do now? He said I could try to cure it via eating often for the next month and seeing what happens. Maybe this will be the route I will take. 
  2. Amoebas in the stool sample for which they recommend medicines (they could also be the cause of my tiredness of the last month).  They need to be treated since amobeas can cause all kinds of bad things.  And the medicines to treat them are nasty. 
  3. Then my liver has some very  high proteins which are a result of years of medicines so they recommendation was to take as little medicines as possible, but then he told me to treat  the amobeas with medicines?????  I told him it did not make sense and he said, well you cannot leave amobeas in your gut like this and  its  better  to harm your liver??????.
  4. Then high percentage of fat vs muscle and while my BMI is normal, this is not healthy as well as my cardivascular recovery was low.  The summary go do excercise and lose weight, but if you feel like !"·Q·%·$%? how in the world?? and with my sugar cravings due to the hipoglucemia?
  • Then and this is the very frustrating  IF part.... 
  1. No explanation for the high progesterone other than it could be the result of a cyst.  Then he goes over to the page where an hemorragic cyst was seen in the U/S,  borderline in size, so I need to do now an U/S to see it if has been resolved or I had a LUFs cycle or something like this.   The doctor that was doing the U/S told me right then and there she was seeing it and that it did not seem normal.   The doctor in the end cannot say the cyst caused the high progesterone, but told me to go to my gynecologist ASAP.   This is the last thing an IF person needs
  2. Endometrial polyps when just 4 months ago I had a very expensive hysteroscopy done where 2 doctors, TWO, did not see a thing. One of them Napro. Well the report says many....  This made me shiver since I ended up in the hospital with a D&C  2 years ago to the date thinking it was a miscarriage with extremely heavy bleeding, but  all was due to polyps. (I have a previous history of them and Dr H and my local doctor though it was a possible cause of my IF). The recommendation is to monitor them often due to this risk.   

So here we are... I called my Napro doctor friend here (who is not a gynecologist, but a general doctor) and she said:

  • Have an U/S now to see if the cyst is still there, then  we will discuss next steps. 
  • Do an U/S series this cycle to see how you are ovulating
  • For the polyps I would say the lab made a mistake, still I would double check with a gynecologist and then consult Gianna or Omaha for the high progesterone if it continues. 

So... here I am.

My local Catholic gynecologist has retired a few months ago and none of the doctors he left in his practice understands Napro or are as Catholic as he was,  my local napro doctor is no gyngecologist and is just starting with Napro so she is still learning and still co consults everything, then PPVI is overwhelmed and working long distance with them is such a pain  (plus translating everything into English not being a doctor)......

Now I have to seek answers from many different doctors  and the most frustrating part,  my body continues to tell me it has not been cured  in the gynecological part after traveling  thousands of miles for treatment, visiting and consulting with several doctors trying not to do anything against my faith.

Maybe I am having a very bad day,  but today it seems it has not been even worth it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A vist to our son´s past

Today JM visited the nursery where he lived the first months of his life. It was an amazing experience.

As part of our second adoption process we had an interview with our agency founder that included both my DH and I and also bringing JM so she could see us interact.

As we entered the building some of the office workers got up to say hi and tell us how happy they were to see him again.  It was such an amazing welcome.  My mothers heart just melted.

I know they have hosted hundreds of babies, yet somehow I felt JM was special for them.

Then we went into the office of the director and she mentioned how handsome our son was and started playing with him.  I was beaming.  This was the woman that  during prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament had made the final decision that  he was our son.

But what almost got me to tears was a vist to the nursery.

Outside her office is a big patio and on one side of the patio is a huge window overlooking the nursery.   It was filled with babies, maybe some 15 most very tiny just born or at the most 3 months of age.

Due to the time of day  I was able to see the nursery in full working more.   I held JM in my arms  so he could look in and to see if he recognized it.  This is an important part of his history and I want him to we a aware of it.

This is where he lived the first 3 months and 3 weeks of his life.  He was born at a highly specialized  women´s hospital in Mexico City and then transferred to our agency nursery during the wait period until his parental rights were finalized.  In his case it took somewhat longer than normal since it was a very difficult decision for his biological mother  and she canceled the final hearings several times.

The nursery is beautiful, full of light,  with classical music playing on the background,  very modern, with a play area,  a kitchen, etc.  Truly state of the art, yet homey.

JM was signaling and smiling  looking through the window when a woman came to say hi.  She recognized him and was blowing him kisses and telling him sweet words in Spanish.

 She was one of the volunteers that comes every morning to hold the waiting babies in her arms, rock them to sleep, play  and sing to  them and in general offer the love these babies need.

An amazing woman that loved my son for these months while he waited.  

There are several nurses each turn, but our agency is very famous for these women that volunteer most part of the day in doing the more motherly things.    Such a crucial thing for these babies while they wait.

Then another woman, now a  nurse,  comes to the window and looks lovingly at JM.  She also recognizes him and cannot keep her eyes from him.  She is also very excited to see him.

We knew he had been a favorite there, but this blows my mind. More than a year later and they still remember him and I see the love they had for him in their eyes.

They held him when he was crying, rocked him to sleep, kissed him good night, and so many other things mothers do.

Later we see the mom in the hall and she tells us how wonderful its for her  to see him again. That she loved him so very,  very much.    I see her love for him so clearly.

I have no words, how can I say what this means to me, his mother, that did not get to hold him these very precious months?  When he came to us we could see clearly how loved and well taken care he had been.  Our pediatrician even said that he could not believe how healthy and social  he was.

How can every repay these amazing women that come to hold and take care of  babies that they know so badly need it  and then give them to their forever families without even meeting them, without even a word of thanks?

This is true love.   Whoever said the prolife movement does not care about what happens to the  women and babies has no idea of what its truly like.  No idea.

I am forever thankful to these saints on earth.  There is no way to repay them,  no way.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The other side of the adoption coin

I have not been able to put into writing  what I lived last Tuesday.   My heart and mind have been processing it, but I need to share it somewhere where people will understand the enormity of it.

On Monday I traveled to Guadalajara, a beautiful city in the Western side of Mexico and where I spent a couple a couple of days for work.  My team and I had a very large event there to launch a marketing program and I left Monday afternoon after spending lunch with DH and JM.

This city is  where my maternal grandparents lived most of their lives.   Just landing there brought some of the happiest memories of  my life, still  Monday was a very difficult day  on many aspects and I could not wait to come back home on Tuesday night.

When the national director of our adoption found out I was traveling there  they wanted to meet with me urgently.  Their national offices are there and she wanted to meet me for the very first time, despite having crossed several emails by now.

  Time was very limited so they arranged to come pick me up at the event venue, drive me to their offices  hava lunch and from there to the airport.  They understand that with JM, my work and a second adoption I have very little time and just wanted to ask me for marketing advice.

The house and offices were  beautiful.  Brand new and just designed for them.   A very large space for the chapel (it will take some months still to be finished but it looks like it will be amazing).

  This place is both their national headquarters and  the house where they  house the girls and women that are facing a crisis pregnancy in their state.  They are completely separate areas for both.

15 women  were staying there right now, with a couple more, very,  very young arriving this weekend.  They can house up to 30 now so they are trying to get more women to find out about them.

So I meet with  both the national communications director also an amazing,  amazing woman and the national director.  Their passion, commitment and openness to hear advice was outstanding.

Basically they  told me what they are facing.

 They have more than 30 locations opened (some are houses and some are just referral centers) in all of Mexico. 70% of the women that come to them come via internet, but they do not have a strategy for this.  They know they could help hundreds more, but do not even know where to start.

Several people had offered to help them and  have caused more damage than helped and even one case saw this for political gain.  They explained that You..Tub.e and their site were crucial to helping hundreds of women who did not know where to turn and as more Mexican states grant permission for abortion the need is even more urgent.

They explain to me that it not only offering a way our of abortion, but this is only a small part of their work.  It breaking the cycle of violence towards women, but also breaking the cycle of children on the streets and abuse.  Early intervention is key and their success rates are outstanding. So far they have housed over 8 thousand women and counting and in each ones of their lives made a difference.  Adoption is also part of the equation.

So we go to lunch.    Due to time we had to eat at the crisis pregnancy center dining area.  Once a week the office workers eat with the biological mothers.    Well Tuesday was such a day and they invite me to lunch..  So I reach a very large room with several tables and I see some  filled with pregnant girls.

Me an adoptive mother among biological mothers.   My heart is pounding.

I sit at one of the tables and I see a very,  very young girl, that looked like 12  pregnant and right beside her another girl sitting right in front of me.

They are very shy and hardly look up the whole time.   We ask them how long they have been here and both say one month.

And the other girl says: "We are sisters and we came together".

I think maybe the older is there for her sister  or maybe there is a family crisis and the agency is housing her also to protect her. I ask them how they found this place and one of them says: "My mom looked via internet".

This only confirms the urgent need to do something.

Well  I learn their ages: one 14, the other 17, both looking much younger and looking sooo scared.

Its obvious they come from very,  very humble backgrounds.  The older one even struggling with  how to cut a piece of meat with a knife and fork and probably having tasted broccoli for the very first time.  The love and attention they receive from the house mothers is amazing.

Such patience, such care.  Christ was truly there.

I compare my mind  the women taking care of them to Jesus washing the feet of the apostles.

The older girl at the middle of lunch begins to feel sick and I learn  then she is also pregnant.

Oh, my God!

She is not showing so I had no idea.

Both underage sisters and both pregnant.  The 14 year old 7 months along and the 17 is 3 months along.

Their desperate father brought them to the house both a month ago not knowing where to turn.

 I do not know more about  the story:   if it was rape, abuse,  just ignorance, but it does not matter.

A family destroyed.   Also 2 young lives and 2 babies that will be born to 2 mothers that are in no way prepared.

I leave the agency speechless.     The pain of what I just saw stays  in my heart.

I come home that night  at 8 pm and since I always give JM his bath, dinner, I am  very sad to have missed it.

 He goes to bed at 7, but my DH tells me he has been jumping in bed for the last hour which is not normal.   My DH says he has been waiting for me.

I go almost running into his room and he shivers from the excitement of seeing me.   He just learned how to kiss and he covers me in kisses.    He is soooo excited to see me that he applauds and does not want to let go of me.  Its perhaps the time in his whole life where he has been most excited to see me.

Maybe he knows his mom needs it after what she has seen.

 I also cover him in kisses.    He then goes placidly to sleep after we read a while and pray.

This heals my heart, yet seeing this side of the adoption coin has broken a little piece of my heart forever.

On Wednesday I talk to my boss about what I had seen.  He grants me permission and budget to hire one of the best agencies we can find  to help them.  All that is needed and some more.   Thank you God!

 He says we have a responsibility since we have been given so much in our work and  this labor is crucial to save children.  Break the cycle of poverty and ignorance.   I am truly blessed.

I write the agency and they cannot believe this.  It has been needed for years now.

  Since my time is so limited I will need to outsource most of the help , yet the opportunity is amazing.    As one priest told me one day, God put me where I am working right now for a reason.  I am starting to see it despite being many times sad of having to work full time.

Please, please keep this in your prayers and also both of this girls and their babies.

 They truly,  truly  need them.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

how to find the time?

The last weeks  pulled into so many directions and I am not sure  how to make the time for important things or not feel so bad about not having the time for them.

I know I am very tired right now and there are only so many hours in the day.  Between JM and work there isn`t time for anything else, yet I feel like its not enough and feel so bad for letting other things down.

I leave every morning before dawn.  My office is very near a construction area and traffic has become impossible.  It will take some months still for this to be resolved and until then  I need to work around this.

I much prefer not facing traffic than spending an hour stuck in it so I am leaving home between 6:45 a.m and 7:00 a.m and arriving at the office around 7:30 a.m or before.  I am usually one of the very first in the office together with my boss.    I also see this as the best way to be home earlier.

Before I was able to spend several days a week home doing home office,  but I am training right now my 2 new reports and my presence is needed until they feel more secure.  They should be able  to take a large work load of me, but they are very young and I have to spend countless hours training them and supporting them.  Our work is highly specialized and it took me years to learn, not I cannot ask a lot more of them.    We are still missing the 4th member of the team and with the very strict criteria my company has its seems that it will take far more time than expected. .

 I thought their coming would ease things, but some things take double the time since I am also teaching them.  I am hoping this is temporary, but until then its an incredible draining thing since we are implementing like there are 4 people 100% on board, but  we are only at maybe 2 full time persons in terms of their and my  capacity to take on projects.   To say this is stressful is an understatement.  

On other aspects of work things could not be better, yet the mental challenge is huge.  The level of my peers is very high and every day I need to be a the top of my game.  My team has done great in our annual review and we have become an international focus area due to our success and large potential.   All eyes now are on us since they have discovered now our department.   Mails from people all over are pouring in.

As I have blogged here I need to work, as basically right now I am the sole support of our family  (an added stress to be sure).   My DH has still not found a job and we will need to pay our way with the adoption and we do not want to close the biological door yet with the very expensive medicines.  

My DH has taken most of the load at home, specially JM and  this gives me great  peace since JM is with him a large part of the day and he is an amazing father.

Still I run through the day to leave as early as possible to be home with both and since most people are way younger and single  they have all day to get things done even into the night and many times do not understand why I focus so much on getting all done as fast as possible.

  No meetings in the afternoon (so my morning is booked solid with no email time) no personal emails, no FB, almost no time for personal calls.    My hours there are fully dedicated to getting work done in as little hours as possible, but as much as I try it has not been possible.  

 The idea was to leave at 3 p.m, but I am able only Monday´s and work from home Friday which has happened only once.  The rest of the week I leave between 4 and 5 and travel home in 20 to 30 minutes and  spend until 8 p.m with JM.   Then its some house pendings, time with DH, sometimes a little email time and I collapse into bed.

The last weeks have been extra hectic : the largest event of the year with over 3 thousand participants and then a series of trips to launch a marketing program.   December looks much much better thanks God.

  I have a very priviledged position in a great company (my boss continues to fight for 5 months maternity leave for our second adoption which does not exist in any other company here) and I see  also that from there I can do a lot of good.  2 crisis pregnancy centers have gotten support from our company  NGO program  with me helping them on the  process and my team has been given permission to support 3 additional NGOs in their marketing and web strategy (via agencies so minimal extra work for us) .  I look so much forward to this and thank God its part of the things that I can do at work.

I really thank God that my job is not only  a way to support our family, but it also has a meaning beyond the paycheck.  I really know we can make a difference.

So this is in summary my week, all my time is dedicated to work and my family.

Weekends are to catch up with housework,  my parents, brother and my political family and to go to Mass.   Time with friends  and mass during the week has been extremely limited, yet I know I can only do so much for now.  

At the same time  I feel very bad for not dedicating more time to  3  other crucial things  (apart from daily mass and friends):
My health, to Napro and to  help our adoption agency.  

Regarding my health:   I went to the functional medicine doctor last week and it became painfully clear that I need to focus on it,  not only for fertility, but to be a better mother and wife.  I barely have energy these days and my digestion is getting worse and worse.   We have snack areas all around the office with tons of yummy stuff, plus my boss is a terrible snacker , plus the added stress and the lack of time for excercise and the combination is lethal.

The doctor believes that I have developed full blown milk and wheat allergy as well as leaky guy syndrome and disbiosis  from all the antibiotics taken during and after my miscarriage  (I have been given 4 rounds of extremely high doses of antibiotics in the last year and a half).

We spent over one and a half hours talking and after many tests and questions this was his conclusion.

I had for years perfect digestion,  but now most days I feel bloated, I cannot digest things that I could in the past, I have not excercised in many months and  have gained weigth.   I am an older mother and I need to be there for JM so this needs to be part of my life.

Also he explained there is no way to get pregnant (even with "perfect" hormones)  if digestion is off .  He reviewed all my tests and said that he thinks fixing digestion and lowering inflammation could help us get pregnant again.   For TCM, which he also practices,  digestion is key for fertility   In summary if the digestion is bad you cannot get the reproductive house working.

So he sent me to the nutritionist for a very strict diet.  No milk, no wheat, no sugar, no caffeine and so it goes, plus very strong probiotics  and l-glutamine and medicines for candida.   I will have to make time, not only for my sake,  but also for JM sakes.   I feel so bad to  have slacked of on my health, but now I need to make the time.  Nutrition, excercise and relaxation.... not sure how I will manage.  

Tomorrow also is the day I will have my annual check-up at the hospital.  Seven hours of tests, yikes!!!!  have not done it in years and what better time than now where  I need to really  to restart a healthy routine, plus at no cost to me so I needed to make the effort

Western medicine will probably say all is normal and only  to lose weight, but I have come to be a believer in functional medicine and the check up  will help see if there is anything else to do.  

On the Napro side the bishop continues calling me very excited about everything,   just a few days ago he called referring to us one of his nephews and he continues to be there all the time.  To have this bishop in love with Napro is God sent, yet I feel so torn right now, like I am failing him personally .

On the client side I still have  many active clients and each day I receive new referrals and some even say they want to wait until I have time,   yet  I am  not accepting any new clients.   I truly have to make a major effort to see my first  clients at nights.

  I get several emails a week on this and I feel like I am failing every one now that we have some money, but I have less time than ever.   And lets not go to the development of Napro here or the constant emails by PPVI, who has zero resources to help here.   I do not see how I can  manage this on top of everything else

I also feel very torn in terms our adoption agency.    They gave us the biggest gift of our life and I have seen time and time again how they have saved so  many lives.  With our second adoption on the way, I will spend many nights in courses in the next months, but they also are asking me for added help.

A few months ago I was able to guide them in their application process  for a very large grant and they won it and since then they asked me to join their  national  communications advisory committee.  Its a very large agency with houses in over 25 cites and I told them  that I could only advice and spend a couple of hours a month  on this  and that was the plan.

I attended several meetings and it was very clear that they are lost when it comes to marketing.

 Completely and absolutely lost.  

 I have been working in marketing now for over 15 years and one thing that I specialized in years ago was Social Marketing and now online marketing and its very painful to see that they do great work, but in this part are so lacking.

70% of the women they help come through online media and they know they are not helping hundreds because their  bad strategy.  They have capacity to help many more women and babies, yet they do now have this expertise.

The numbers of women and babies  that could be helped with a good online strategy are staggering, yet the more I advise them on the next steps, the more needs appear and the more time it requires on my part.    I am trying to find them a good agency, but they have no idea how to manage it and it becomes more and more tangled and more time on my part is needed.  

Three very, very important things, yet I know my health should come first and the rest  I will need to focus on later.

Still  I truly cannot help,  but feel terrible about it.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

when you see others suffer due to IF

A person near and dear to me is suffering from IF.

I cannot go into details in case somebody IRL is reading this, but I really love her and her DH.  They are an amazing, devoted couple.

They have done everything right.  Got married in Church, prepared themsleves for the sacrament and did not live together prior to marriage,  used NFP always and when they felt the time was the right one decided to start a family with a lot of hope.

 It took them a few months then, but she got pregnant and then at 11 weeks miscarried completely unexpectedly as everything had been perfect so far.

 My heart weeped for them then and continues to weep for them.

Well they tried on their own for a while and then went to the doctor (my own gynecologist) who said just to relax,.

Months and months passed and one day her DH  came to me filled with desperation and asked me to teach them Creigthon as they thought they needed to move forward and were clear they could not do IVF which would be the recommendations of other doctors .

 And so it started.

Front row view of the pain of loved ones.

Soon her charts showed some hormonal issues and so I refered them to the only doctor I could that would understand her charts.   The doctor was just learning Napro,  but decided to take the case and consult if needed .

Me guiding them and knowing full well the difficult road ahead doing Napro in a country where its just starting, with limited knowledge, many medicines and test protocols  not available.

Still   I just did not know how hard their road would be.

Well a few days ago her  parents came to visit and will be staying with them for a month due to a medical treatment her father must have here .

I knew her mother kept comparing her to her very fertile sister (6 children and counting), but I did not know the extent of her lack of understanding and even cruelty.

A few days ago in front of several friends including me she said:  I want to go home to my  other daughter since she has given me grandchildren and I do not have anything to do here as there are none.  

My heart broke and could see her dying inside. .  

What can I  say to heal her heart?

The local doctor has begun giving them medicines  a few montgs ago and told them to use them up to a year and only then consider a lap.  I want to help them move faster since I know they need it, but at the very same time we have  such limited resources here that I cannot refer them to anybody else.

And her mother continued saying many other idiotic things, even one refering to adoption and biological mothers  that I had to stand from the table and walk away in order not to scream at her. (it had to do with the need to "neuter" them after they gave up their child for adoption).

Complete and absolute ingnorance. I am still fuming days later.     

My friends went away this weekend  to  travel as they had planned a few months ago  (and most probably escape this woman)  and her mother said:  " Bring me a grandchild or do not come back"  

All of this in front of several of us.  Her DH just looked at her mother trying not to scream also at her.  

How my heart aches for her.  

I truly cannot fantom suffering from IF and having this mother.

My own mother who heard this cringed.   She knew from my own suffering how deep this would hurt her.

Her DH is livid, but these are her parents and going into a gigantic fight while her father is fighting an illness would not be wise.   He just mantains as much distance as possible.

They continue to hope in Napro, but have not been successful and they are becoming more and more despondent.

Since my story has not been successful  I truly do not know what to do to tell them to still hope.  

Next step is probably PPVI, but they are not ready yet to do international treatments.  

Still  I see the suffering in their eyes, and now increasing each day due to her idiotic mother.  

How can I help?  I cannot tell her what I truly think about her mother, but I want to make her feel understood.

What would you do?  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Update on biological motherhood and adoption

Its been over a month and a half since I last wrote here.   I think it has been the longest I have been without writing since I started blogging.  

 Life has been hectic and also my thoughts have been all over the place. I feel many major decisions are coming our way: Trying again biologically, a second adoption, the sale of our home, etc

 I have started many posts in my head both in my private blog and this one and when I wanted to write I finally had not a clear idea and then later all was old news.  I am way behind also in personal emails and  returning phone calls and I feel terrible.

My last post spoke about the group from Latin America that was to attend the educational phase 1 in PPVI to become practitioners and Napro doctors.

 It was crazy, but we pulled it off with the money that was donated and in less than a week: a priest, a Brasilian doctor, a family educator (who will support with the promotion of the system)  and 3 practitioners from very different backgrounds (1 from Venezuela, another Brasil, another Mexico)  were able to attend.  It was nothing short of a miracle.

We are still finishing some of the payments and paperwork which has taken a long time to fix, but we are getting there and working towards now having finally decent Spanish materials.

Our second adoption proceedings have also started in earnest.   We have delivered our file and the  follow up of now 18  months for Jose Maria has been also done.  We are only missing the 2 year one  follow up and we are done.  We have been inundated in papers, yet I am trying to focus on having another baby at home next year to make time pass faster.

One thing  that has changed now in terms of our adoption  is  all the changes our agency is implementing, adding many courses to the mix that are now mandatory and now a set fee and  it has been tough.

 I feel like its a second or 3 rd job and this is the reason I see clients less and less in CrMS.

Well our agency has started not only charging the lawyers fees,  but asking for mandatory  donations from each adoptive couple according to the socio economic level.

The agency in the past only charged the cost of the adoption courses, asked us to pay directly the lawyers fees and asked at the very end of the adoption for each couple to discern and do a donation.

This donation to adopt  is now is mandatory and set to a specific amount and I cannot help,  but feel we are being charged for a baby.  In our case its a large amount since we rank high in their table  of income  and  do not get any discounts like most of our group (still nothing compared to the USA), but still around 1 or 2 months salary per adoption.

I know many people that adopted and did not later help  and the situation of the agency has become very hard in terms  of fundraising.  Less and less biological mothers are giving up their children and the adoptive parents there fore are no match for all the services the agency offers,.   We know we are the exception and most people do not do this and that the agency needs the money, still I think another ways should be found.

We now have to pay all of the fee months before even receiving the baby  and also ask friends and family for donations.    While I would gladly give the money as a donation, I truly feel terrible about the mandatory and set aspect of it.

 The Hague agreement  which  is the international agreement on adoption  says that no money can be asked from the adoptive parents in order not to promote child trafficking (what is done in the USA and many other countries is contrary to this international agreement),  this means that the adoption agencies should be completely free, non profit and only ask for minor charges like paper work and offset all other costs via fundraising and governement funds.  

 The money specifically should not come from the adoptive parents since they are also beneficiaries and then a bid war can start which is the last thing adoption should be.

A few days after we received Jose Maria we donated a large amount to our agency and decided to continue donating each month a set amount for life in order to thank them and continue promoting their work.   We know we are the exception and most people do not do this and that the agency needs the money, still I think another ways should be found.  If I knew the money we are about to give them was not linked to an adoption by us I am sure I would feel differently, but since its not I have this naggingaised it to the highest level in the Americas (not only Latinamerica) and now my case is a global benchmark  and my story is being used to change global adoption policies.   It has become a hot internal topic and its being decided next week what will happen.

 I do not know why I get into these situations  (just like at my former job where they also gave me 5 months as a first in the whole company and also Napro treatment in Mexico I have been the first)  , but if it will help me be home for 5 months and  promote adoption so be it.  =)

On the other hand biological mother g genrous by doing it this way, but in many other countries is always as long as normal maternity leave.

   I had my annual review (which went amazingly well and was very motivating) last week and told my boss of our intent to adopt again and what had happened and he was livid.

 He told me he could raise this to the highest levels of the company since he found it discriminatory against adoptive parents (5 months is normal maternity leave).  He said that he would make sure I got the full 5 months and  that my case was easy since I had very good reviews and a high job level, but  he thought it was the opportunity to fight for something important.

Well ,  my boss did as promised and  raised it to the highest level in the Americas (not only Latinamerica) and now my case is a global benchmark  and my story is being used to change global adoption policies.   It has become a hot internal topic and its being decided next week what will happen.

 I do not know why I get into these situations  (just like at my former job where they also gave me 5 months as a first in the whole company and also Napro treatment in Mexico I have been the first)  , but if it will help me be home for 5 months and  promote adoption so be it.  =)

On the other hand biological mother hood continues to pull at my heart and its becoming louder each month.   I cannot explain it and I feel it might be misunderstood as seeing adoption as a lesser good which is not at all.  Actually for some reason I see children still in my prayers coming from both to our family.

My cycles continue to be perfect despite being 41.   I still have 1 day or 2 of TEBB which is not worrying the doctors. but the rest is text book, regular, perfect luteal phase, perfect CM even on low dose Clomid.  My FSH is below 9 and my hormones are now optimal since they lowered the HCG.

 Dr. B even said I would have a very late menopause from the look of it.

Since the miscarriage and even more since the coming of Jose Maria we have been open to life, but my attempts have half hearted and instilled in fear  or internal fights between adoption and biological motherhood.

Most months we have used 1 or 2  days of fertility and I continue on most of the cocktail of medicines when I got pregnant and still no pregnancies.

Yet I feel my efforts have been infused in fear of going again through the terrible  miscarriage experience I had and also feeling torn between adoption and biological motherhood.

Still deeply inside of me something tells me not to close the door completely and its becoming louder each month.

While wantig to be pregnant I  have at the same time returned to old habits which I know are not good to fertility  like drinking an energy drink in the morning (its sort of a vitamin guarana infusion which I crave and one or 2 strong coffees with this horrible creamer full of terrible fats during the day), I have gained weight from lack of exercise and a bad diet, I restarted eating milk and wheat which in my case are very inflammatory  and not done all that I was doing before .

And well the other thing is the stress, such as:  my job, my DH lack of work and an 18 month old very,   very active baby, adoption proceedings and my work with Napro here.

I have been to 2 TCM doctors and both have told me that my kidney energy  is weak and that this is the reason behind our lack of pregnancies, but that it can be fixed with diet, exercise and rest. Both said the same thing, now there is nothing really clearly wrong with us, but its a matter of delicate balance now.

 I know that taking this advice this would upper my chances dramatically on top of Napro, yet in the end I have been  too exhausted to do it and even scared of it, but the clock is ticking.    

At the very same time in FB and in RL in the last 3 weeks I know of at least  8 women over 40 that are pregnant at this time and I cannot help but wonder to give it another full try, and not half hearted attempts

From  my high school class  3 or 4 women are now pregnant for the first time, one even the 3rd.   All working women,   all 41 like me .  While I suspect a couple did it via IVF, it still gives me hope and  then the last 3 days I found out about 3 others from other places which really  got me thinking to give it another full chance.

Healthy  mothers, healthy babies, nothing about these terror stories that you hear from regular RE and  doctors.  Even Dr. H and Dr. B told me in no uncertain terms to continue trying until I was 43.  Two years to go from now.

So in the last 2 weeks  I have restarted reading all that I did when I got pregnant and I can see a clear pattern that it happened  when I was the healthiest (diet, exercise, Napro and relaxation)

 I have my annual check up in the next days (6 hours of tests at a top hospital ) which was optional by my company, but I decided to take  it now and I also booked an appointment with a functional medicine doctor.

I  also reread the book Clean that I had in my Kindle and it really got me excited about getting healthy again.   When I got pregnant I was working with a functional medicine nutritionist and I have decided to go back full force to this which focuses a lot on lifestyle, nutrition, exercise and food allergies, plus TCM which  I love.  

I will post here my findings in case somebody is interested.  

From Napro the only thing missing has been the U/S which I have not done and  I will discuss with the doctor the next steps.  Dr. B wanted me to go with a couple of cycles of HCG shots near ovulation and even Femara.  

I did not want to go there, but it might be something to look at when I get healthy.  I truly think it would be wasted now that I am do not feel healthy.

Please pray as we restart this path.   I still have deep set  fears in me that I need to conquer, but I also know that God does not put a desire in your heart that he will not give you the strenght to handle in case something  bad happens.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Days full of miracles

I almost have no words.  

The last 2 days have been one Godincidence after another.

Since the donor told us she would help us with some funding things have started exploding here.

Still we need prayers as we scramble to make it happen in hours! And my office is collapsing from work!!  

Two bishops totally committed to bringing Napro to their countries.  

The lands of Guadalupe and Aparecida.   The 2 largest Catholic countries in the world.

On Sunday we only had 1 doctor from Mexico and one practitioner and that was it.  After  months and months of hard work.  

Yet God had other plans!

  From Mexico we now have for this EPI in PPVI :
 One doctor (gynecologist, laparoscopist and young!), THREE practitioners with amazing amazing profiles  and probably 2 priest attending Love and Life which is the conference to help support this work and it might be even possible that another person joins.

I feel like the parable of the loaves of bread is happening right before my eyes.

 I am receiving calls from our bishop all excited scrambling to send priests now! He is soooo excited!  amazing amazing amazing.  We are beyond blessed with this bishop.

and Brasil....    A miracle right before our eyes.

A doctor will attend very last minute willing to commit to this work, but the bishop of Ri.o de Jan.eiro, who happens to be a doctor and a member of the Latin American commission for life, decided this was not enough and called a couple to ask them to become practitioners and they have accepted.

 Both specialist of theology of the body, Billings instructors and responsible for marriage prep and teachers!!!!!

And  he sent a personal letter to Dr. asking him to accept and Omaha has!   My God!

And now its just a matter of funding.... a minor detail, hahaha.  But I am sure by now God will find a way.

Please continue praying,  you are truly helping a miracle to happen!   From 2 persons now we could have 10!!!! TEN from Latin America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Only imagine how many people can be helped with this!   dozens and dozens of women and couples facing IF, with no options, marriage prep, young women remain chaste.

 Amazing, Amazing, Amazing!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Answered prayers and one very, very happy day

We just received  the most  amazing news,  a dream of mine for years and years .. and no I am not pregnant, nor are we having a second child via adoption.

But I feel another baby has been born today.   One from the heart.

Today day of St Therese of Lisieux  we got the support of an amazing woman who wants to bring Napro here.

Funds that we have needed for years and years, but in addition we have her prayers and emotional support.  A person that is fully committed to this.  Fully.

Right when I was about to quit for good.   I imagine God laughing now!

Several amazing persons now will be able to travel in a few days to  PPVI to become practitioners  (we just  need to have them accept them as they are full now and we are very very late)   so please the prayers coming!  And a doctor from Brasil will be able to go!!!! Brasil the country with the largest Catholic population in the world.     I cannot believe it!!

but not only this. ....   we got the  money to produce brochures, internet sites and all the client materials in Spanish. My dream for the last almost 4 years  has come true.  

The need  for this is huge.   Hispanics in the USA, people in Latin America and Spain that for years have had only  had materials with mistakes in language and form.   A  mess.

But now they will be able to have materials in correct Spanish for the very first time! With nice branding ( a pet peeve of mine!). with great content etc

I am now sitting in a restaurant with my friend B.  almost crying tears of joy.    In utter shock.

We need now to call the amazing bishop here and PPVI and begin to work like crazy to bring these people to Omaha and begin all the work for the materials.

I cannot believe it!!!  Napro will  now truly come to the land of Guadalupe and a lot has to do with this blogging community!!!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Prayers needed for Mexico and Brazil

There is so much to write about the last weeks.   I actually wrote a long post about my lack of hope about many things,  one of them Napro here.

Well God showed me today that its His project and He will open the doors when he sees fit. As he has done countless times, but I seem always to forget.

The story is that a  small group of amazing women from Mexico had been thinking for some time to go to Omaha to become practitioners, yet all of them lacked the funds.  Amazing, amazing women.  

One an entrpeneur and  a  top student  in Mexico with a honors degree from a top MBA,  another a youth leader for Latin America that has defended life in front of the UN, then a mother of four that specializes in family counseling.

Really the cream of the crop in all aspects.

Well,  all willing and able to go, but no money.    Hands that are urgently needed here.    

The bishop  that has been our main help here had a meeting some days ago with a donor that had offered to help us, but the meeting was canceled last minute.   Once again.

We have planned for this meeting many times during the last year and it always is moved or canceled.   And again we had hope and it faded.

There was no way we could get money fast and with so much work at the office and my son I could not focus on this as I normally could have.

On Sunday, Father Pio´s feast day, for some reason I decided to write last minute to a woman that the bishop had introduced  us to  many months ago.  

A mother of 5 that in silence has backed up many,  many pro-life causes.    When I presented Napro to her she go the from the get go and has always been interested.   Actually loved it.

I somehow remembered she has a deep devotion to him  (even naming her last son Pio)  and decided to put it in his hands.  I actually asked him to deliver the message to her and open her heart to Napro.

Well she always answers very fast  so I grew discouraged when I did not hear from her Monday, nor Tuesday.  And time was running out.   Yesterday PPVI actually wrote that if the practitioners did not confirm yesterday they would give their spaces to others.  

Well today while I was in a meeting I see her name in my inbox.  She wants to meet Wednesday and discuss how to bring Napro here.  I am almost sure she will help, at least in part.  If we can only get them to the first part, then we can look for the rest of the money somehow.

But Wednesday it too late.  The course starts Saturday of next week.  

But it does not stop here.   I have a client in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil that I have blogged about HERE.

A medical doctor who is one of the most amazing women I have ever met

We have a follow up tonight after not hearing from her for many,  many months and she tells me she wants to go to become a practitioner,   she feels this yearning, but they did not accept her as one since this years class is packed,  but told her that she could go as a doctor.

Since she is an eye doctor she had never considered this, but somehow sees this as a sign and she decided to go.   She actually got vacations from her medical practice.

But again no money. Zero.

The  recently  faced an adoption that went wrong and ended up spending all their money on lawyers. Yet she feels this yearning.

Well she had been praying a novena to Father Pio that ended Sunday.   The same day I sent the email.

She had asked Fr. Pio for a sign.   And then I tell her the story of my prayer also Sunday and then I receive another mail from the donor telling me to move up the meeting to this Monday.


And  so we agree  we  will ask this donor Monday also for money for her.  The doctor wants to  bring Napro to Brazil and I am sure the donor will be interested in this

The country with the largest Catholic population in the world. And zero moral options  in cases of IF.

Please,  please we need all the prayers we can get.

So Omaha still accepts all of them  and that we get the funds Monday.   Five days before the start of the course.   Its truly and totally crazy,  but  4 amazing women are willing to do it.

I think Fr. Pio wants to help and who am I to tell him no?   =)

Padre Pio Please help!
Lady of Guadalupe, please pray.
Our Lady of Aparecida from Brazil,  please pray.

Monday, September 10, 2012

JPII on adoption

I have been reflecting a lot on adoption as we embark on our second one and also when met with the case of the six African orphans that were going to be adopted by a community  that I blogged about a couple of day ago and their uncle, a priest,  in a desperate journey to save them.

I found this which I had never ever read and found it beautiful I had to share.

I have marked in bold those chapters that stirred my heart deeply.

Tuesday, 5 September 2000

Dear Cardinal Laghi,
Dear Missionaries of Charity,
Parents and children of adoptive families,
Friends and collaborators of the Work of Mother Teresa of Calcutta,
1. I am pleased to meet you in such numbers and I thank Sr Mary Simon for her kind words expressing your sentiments.
You have wished to celebrate your Jubilee on the third anniversary of Mother Teresa's death. It is a very significant way of expressing your desire to follow Christ in the footsteps of this remarkable daughter of the Church, who devoted her whole life to charity. How can we forget her? As the years pass, her memory remains more vivid than ever. We remember her with her smile, her deep gaze, her rosary. It seems that we still see her traveling the world in search of the poorest of the poor, ever ready to open new areas of charity, welcoming to everyone like a true mother.
2. It is not unusual to call a religious "mother". But this name had special intensity for Mother Teresa. A mother is recognized by her ability to give herself. Seeing Mother Teresa's manner, attitudes, way of being, helps us understand what it meant to her, beyond the purely physical dimension, to be a mother; it helped her to go to the spiritual root of motherhood.
We certainly know what her secret was:  she was filled with Christ, and therefore looked at everyone with the eyes and heart of Christ. She had taken seriously his words:  "I was hungry and you gave me food ..." (Mt 25: 35). She therefore had no trouble in "adopting" her poor as children.
Her love was concrete and enterprising:  it spurred her to go where few had the courage to go, wherever poverty was so great as to be frightening.
It is not surprising that the people of our time were fascinated by her. She incarnated that love which Jesus indicated as the distinctive mark of his disciples:  "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (Jn 13: 35).
3. Among the works that flowed from Mother Teresa's heart, one of the most important is the adoption movement. For this reason so many adoptive families are here today.
I greet you with affection, dear parents and children! I am pleased with this meeting, which allows me to reflect with you on the path you are taking. To adopt a child is a great work of love. When it is done, much is given, but much is also received. It is a true exchange of gifts.
In this area, unfortunately, our time knows many contradictions. Despite the numerous children who, because of the death or inability of their parents, are left without a family, there are so many couples who decide to have no children for often selfish reasons. Others let themselves be discouraged by economic, social or bureaucratic difficulties. Still others, in the desire to have their "own" child at any cost, go far beyond the legitimate help which medical science can offer procreation, even having recourse to morally reprehensible practices. Regarding these tendencies, it must be said that the norms of moral law are more than mere abstract principles, but safeguard the true good of man, and in this case, the good of the child with respect to the interests of his parents.
As an alternative to these questionable means, the existence of so many children without families suggests adoption as a concrete way of love. Families like yours are here to say that this is a possible and beautiful way, despite its difficulties; a way, moreover, which is even more feasible than in the past, in this era of globalization which shortens all distances.

4. Adopting children, regarding and treating them as one's own children, means recognizing that the relationship between parents and children is not measured only by genetic standards. Procreative love is first and foremost a gift of self. There is a form of "procreation" which occurs through acceptance, concern and devotion. The resulting relationship is so intimate and enduring that it is in no way inferior to one based on a biological connection. When this is also juridically protected, as it is in adoption, in a family united by the stable bond of marriage, it assures the child that peaceful atmosphere and that paternal and maternal love which he needs for his full human development.
This is precisely what your experience shows. Your decision and commitment are an invitation to society as a whole to be courageous and generous, so that this gift may be more and more esteemed, encouraged and legally supported.
5. I thank you for your witness! As we celebrate the 2,000th anniversary of Christ's birth in this Great Jubilee, let us also remember that every person who comes into the world, in whatever condition, bears the sign of God's love. Christ was born and gave his life for every child in the world. There is no child, then, who does not belong to him.
"Let the children come to me" (Mk 10: 14). Mother Teresa echoed these words in a way when she said to mothers tempted by abortion:  "Give me your children". Following in her footsteps, you have put yourselves with Christ on the side of children. May the Lord fill you with every consolation and sustain you in the difficulties of your journey.
I embrace you all and bless you in his name.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Six orphans and a priest

My heart is absolutely broken and I know I must help, but I am not sure how. 

Its at times like this that I look at  Josemaria and cannot help,  but hug him very,  very tight.

I have an adoptive son and since then I cannot sit and cross my arms when I hear about the suffering of orphans .  I cry at reading the RR orphan reports, and pray hard for them, but now a case of 6 orphans has struck close to home and I am not sure how to help.

 I am great at giving money, but terrible at fundraising.  Arghhhh!

This is the story of six (actually 8 orphans ) and a priest.  A true story that sounds more like a drama for TV, but all of this is true.

I go to church in Mexico.   I do not have a particular spirituality, but in this church I have found my home.

 I have been close to the Jesuits in university, the Opus Dei due to later studies, the charmismatic renewal,  but where I feel most at home is the  Brothers of St John.  A french order founded by a dominican that was very close to JPII.

Its a modern order of brothers, sisters and priests.  Filled with hundreds of vocations.  Its very contemplative, intelectual with a great sense of community.

This order has been key in my spiritual development and was the one that opened the door to Napro here at the very beginning when most people thought I was crazy.

Well one of the priests  of this order comes from Africa, his name is Fr. Louis Lam.ah (   Since its a French speaking order they have many vocations from French speaking countries in Africa.

I will put a picture of him in the next hours when they send it to me.

This brother spent  a year in  Mexico city   and I had the pleasure to get to know him and was then  reasigned to Saltillo in the  north of Mexico. The city where my grandmother comes from.

A city of amazing people, hard working, deep Catholics in the desert .   Amazing, amazing people, some of the best I have ever met.

The brothers there have a  monastery and a convent and thriving community.

Well this  priest left his family back in Guinea to follow God´s call  and has been  giving his life to helping others for the last decade.

And tragedy after tragedy has struck his family while he is working for others.

His brother had 8 children when he died 2 years ago.  The children remained with their mother who died last year.   Both completely unexpected deaths in  a very Catholic family.  

 Well then the 8 children went to live with their grandmother who struggled to save these 8 grieving children and tragedy struck again. She died this year, and as the priest says,  it was of exhaustion.

She left  8, yes 8,  orphans. Eight children alone, without any food.  Only 2 close to 18, but the rest children.   Due to security issues and visa regulations I cannot put a picture of them here.

I just cry when I write this.

They went to live with their uncle as in Africa the social security system is your family,   but this brother has also a large family and cannot even feed some of these children.

And so Fr. Louis has been struggling to help in any way he can, while being a priest and not having any money of his own.

I cannot imagine having a religious vocation and knowing full well that your family back home is  going hungry,  does not have a place to  put their heads at night.  Children suffering.

The community in Saltillo  has been amazing.   Well they found families in a matter of weeks for each of the six children and has come together to bring them here.

Six families in weeks committed to  six children who are grieving, that do not look anything like any other children in Saltillo, that do not speak Spanish.  Brave, amazing, loving families.  

 The body of Christ coming together .

The 2 older children who are close to the age of 18 will remain with their uncle and help the rest of the family back home.

And so began the process to bring these 6 orphans to Mexico.   To save them.

Getting 6 visas,  plus one for the brother of the priest who is now their guardian and all the paperwork.  The children are in Guinea  and in order to travel to Mexico they must travel first to Nigeria where the Mexican consulate is and where the flights to America are.

 But doing it by bus could cost these children their lives so it must be by plane.   They could be murdered during this journey so they must fly.

 All unexpected expenses for the families that have committed to them.   Nothing has been as expected. Hundreds of details to sort out.   God guiding the way.

Then when they arrive in Nigeria they must have an translator since they are French speaking and need to be interviewed.   Also unexpected.

And then getting them their visas to Mexico.   Well their visas were granted, but they expire today and if they had waited another day it would have been another year to get them out.

Its so significant that the visas expire today, day of the birthday of our Lady, but also the 100th birthday of the founder of the brothers of St John:   Fr Marie Dominique Philipe.

They are now traveling, Guinea to Nigeria, Nigeria to a city in the USA and then to  Mexico city, Mexico city to  Saltillo.  I cannot imagine the trip these children are going through.

Children that  have lost everything.

Since time was of essence these parents to be have gone into deep debt and so has part of the community.

 And so 6 orphans arrive today, the birthday of our Lady to a city in Mexico that has committed to save them, but they still need help.

These families owe now thousands of dollars, but had to do it to save these children from another year of hunger, disease, etc.   I do not even know where to begin

I have no idea how to put a pay pal button on my blog, nor how to raise money (this is not common in Mexico, we do not do this normally), but I need your advice and help .

So far my DH and I have committed to matching up to 500 USD.  

I only know that as an adoptive mother I cannot cross my arms  to both help a priest whose community I owe so much and 6 grieving children.

If you have any ideas or can help please let me know.    Also all prayers are welcome.

The journey to save these children has just begun and as  a Catholic I must help.

And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.
Matthew 18:5

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Counting the blessings

I will not lie.

The next weeks (until end of October) will be very challenging professionally, so challenging that I have been sleeping badly and having a constant headache.  I have tried to do all kinds of things to worry less, but I know what is ahead.     Lets say the pace we will be asked to keep since the human resources for my team are still not in place is not healthy and I am preparing for the worst.  

In trying to prepare myself   for the weeks ahead in last days I have decided to count my blessings and slow down as much as I can so at least I can keep up with the the pace.

Looking at the bright side of things there are 3 things that stand out of the last weeks, which all are amazing, but when you are in the midst of running from one place to the other sometimes you fail to notice.

In order not to forget them I will write them there and put them also in a place where I can see them each day:

The top 3 unique  blessings  of the last days are:
  • Finished a new round of 21days antibiotics,  plus antifungal medicines given to me by Dr.  B from Ireland.  He considers this combination works much better than alone.   I think this greatly contributed to me feeling really bad the last weeks.  But guess what?  No more TEEBB!!!! I truly hope it stays away, but for now I will count it as a great,  great blessing. 
  • During this time of crisis at work DH has also  been a true blessing.  Taking extra good care of Josema, doing all the adoption paperwork, buying groceries (you can notice he has done the shopping as we have more than 9 varieties of granola, tons of different fruits fit for a family of 8, etc!) and doing a lot of the family errands.   Most of the time I do not have to  even ask him, he just goes and does it which is amazing.   He even does things I had completely forgotten and most of all he is the prayer warrior of our family.    And most errands he has done  many times better than I have been able in the last months!
  • A few weeks ago our adoption agency won a grant by my company that they had applied a long time ago for.  I reached out to my boss asking him for advice  for them  in implementing the grant and out of the blue he  offered to teach them the ins and outs of online marketing.  This way the agency could help more women in distress.  The agency leaders from both the local and national offices  (some 9 people including the founder) spent 4 hours in our offices a couple of days ago.  It was  inspiring, humbling, etc.   I could not believe it was taking place and saw this as  such a unique gift.   Having such an amazing boss is a blessing and being able to help women and babies through our work the most amazing thing ever.  I will never be able to repay our agency for  the enormous  gift is our son is, but if through my work I can I will more than gladly do it.   I have been asked to join their marketing and communications national committee and although I know its a lot to do now and probably will not be able to join all their meetings,  I also know that I am in a unique position to help them through what I am learning each day  and God will provide a way if he wants me to help.   

What are your blessings?