What the...

Right now I'm supposed to be preparing for a meeting about the theme for Student Life Camp 2009. That's weird because I feel stuck in the mire of Student Life Camp 2008. Regardless, my mind is elsewhere. I know that there are people who check out this blog and loathe long posts. If you're one of those, sorry. However, if you are one of those people then you might not know what exactly this is referring to anyway since you probably didn't read any of "The Philippine Chronicles."

In one of those posts (Volume 3) I wrote about how I was struggling with the fact that I was in the Philippines while Liza was back here dealing with the culmination of our journey in infertility. Well, I misspoke (or miswrote as it were), that wasn't the culmination. Yesterday was the culmination when Liza went for the pregnancy test. I'll save you the suspense and go ahead and tell you that it was negative.

Below is the email Liza sent out to some friends about her feelings and reaction to his crappy news:

Unfortunately, our first round of IUI did not work for us. We appreciate each of you covering us in your prayers. Right now, I find peace knowing that I serve an ALL KNOWING God who has our journey to parenthood laid out before us and continues to prepare our hearts and minds for His plan. Honestly though, that is about the only thing getting me through the ache I feel inside. There are a lot of questions, decisions, and unknowns for what happens next. My doctor really wants us to try at least one more time. Honestly, Chris and I just don't know if we can go through the financial, emotional, and physically strain of it all again. We wonder if this is even God's plan or if we should begin another route. We want to be good stewards of financial resources He has provided us and are beginning to question what to do next. I also am unsure of how much longer my body can wait before a hysterectomy will need to happen. I am hoping my doctor will let me wait until next summer, but we also don't want to take anymore risks with my health than we have to. When? How? What? Where? Why? -all questions I am processing through. All questions I am trusting my Savior to continue to reveal in His timing. For now, we will enjoy a month of not thinking about this, not having to make decisions! I will enjoy no doctor's appointments and no shots. I will rest and find peace in my Comforter! I appreciate you continuing to pray through this with us. Chris and I are really open to how God chooses to put a family together for us. So, all I know to do is to continue to faithfully seek after Him with all that I am, looking to Him to fulfill desires He has placed in my heart to be a mom and recently instilled in Chris to be a dad! That excites me! Thank you again for letting us share each step of this journey with you-the good, the bad, and the ugly. We feel so blessed to have a community that takes time to pray over us. We feel your prayers so much and are grateful for each one of you. All my love, Liza Kinsley

Let me first say that my wife is absolutely amazing. A lot of husbands take time on their blogs to express this sentiment about their own wives. This statement is the only example of relative truth. If I say my wife is the most amazing person in the world, and Bush or Aaron or Taylor or whoever says that their wife is the most amazing person in the world, we are all correct. Don't fight me on this. Just accept it and move on.

Liza's strength, grace, and depth never ceases to challenge me. I don't let her know that enough. I don't live up to it enough. But I'm not going to whine about that here.

Liza refers to my "recently instilled" desire to be a dad. Let me say that I have always wanted to be a dad. I just wasn't in a hurry for it, and my timing for when it might be right certainly wasn't lining up with Liza's. However, her health and some other life circumstances (Roger, maybe you're right, maybe it was the addition of Alfie in my life) changed my planned timing. I don't know what the exact moment was, but since then I have been fully engaged in this journey.

Now is this journey over?

Certainly the journey for Liza and I to become parents is not. Even if it doesn't work out this way, we know that there are other avenues. Even before we got married Liza and I had both been open with each other about our wanting to adopt. Even if we have children on our own, we know that God has a child (or children) elsewhere in the world for whom He wants us to be their parents.

But should we move on from trying to have one "naturally?"

And that brings me to something else. Nothing about this process has been "natural." There's a lot of drugs, a lot of shots, a lot of pills, cups, catheters, machines, ice, chemicals, etc., etc., etc. Excuse the frank language but there wasn't even sex involved. So, I find myself asking, "is this what we're supposed to be doing?" We know that there are procedures involved in infertility treatment that aren't for us. For reasons that are both practical and ethical, we just don't want to go there. But where is the line? Where is the point beyond which we have taken matters into our own hands (and those of our doctors and bank) and left God out of the equation except to ask that He bless our human efforts?

I don't know. There's not an easy answer to that.

We've spent a lot of money on this, thousands of dollars. Some of it has been our's. Some of it has been other's. Some of it is pretend money on a little plastic card for which we are now paying ridiculously exorbitant amount of interest. Are we being good financial stewards? And that's just one issue. I don't think that the money has been wasted. If nothing else it will hopefully give us an answer to the "what if" question that we could have potentially been asking for the rest of our lives. But it's an expensive answer.

Our doctor and the nurses at our infertility program have seemed to assume for us that the first attempt wouldn't work anyway. We've tried to ignore that and think positively. But they kept letting us know that Liza was on the lowest level of dosage and that we would up it the next time around. That is extremely frustrating for me. I know I'm not a doctor. I'm sure they had to see how Liza's body would react to things, but why not jump forward to the second attempt or something and skip the first? Why not at least fake for us that we would have a chance?

This whole thing has not been a good experience for me for a number of reasons. The program seems cold and impersonal. There are millions of children in the world for whom we could be caring for a few. Like in ICU's and at funeral homes, it has become increasingly evident that people just don't know what to say to you in this situation. So, you're left having to realize that they all mean well when what you really want to do is yell at them about how you've been praying and crying and screaming as much as Hannah did in the Bible but that still doesn't mean that God is going to miraculously give you a child. Maybe that story is more for the purpose of telling us how Samuel the prophet and last judge came into the world than it does that God grants infertile women children if they pray hard enough.

Sorry. I'm not talking about you.

So, now what?

I don't know. We'll see. And we'll let you know as soon as we do. So, don't feel pressure to ask. I'll bring it up if I want to talk about it.

In the meantime, thanks. Sincerely, thank you.