T-Shirts! Get Your T-Shirts!

Hi!  I know it’s been quite awhile!!  Life has been a little crazy!  But guess what?!?!

We are officially homestudy approved for adoption!!  YAY!

Thus begins another fundraiser!!

Through a GREAT website, I’ve designed a t-shirt (well, with the help of J and A, and after some voting) and officially launched our campaign!

The way it works it is – starting today, you will have 17 days to choose between a t-shirt, a woman’s fitted tee and a hoodie!  You will be able to choose between direct delivery, or if you live close to us, free pick-up!  You will “pay” for your t-shirt, but won’t actually be charged unless we reach our goal!  I know that the direct delivery option can add up depending on how many products you purchase, so if you’re going to purchase quite a few and it might save a few $$’s to set it up as free pick-up and sent to us, we can work out a way to get it shipped to you!

We’ve set the goal at 50.  Once that goal is reached, they will begin printing t-shirts and they will ship about 2 weeks after the campaign has ended.  Unfortunately, if we don’t hit our goal, the t-shirts won’t be printed…  but the upside is, you won’t be charged!  Whether or not we hit our goal, we will likely re-launch it when the campaign ends, and we may even change-up the colors a little bit!

We will receive a great percentage of the profits that will go straight towards our match and placement fees!!

So, if you’d like to help us and get a cool t-shirt in the meantime, please click below to check it out!!

T-Shirt Fundraiser to Bring Home Munchkin McNabb!!!

Thank you all SO much for all of your love and support!!  Not to mention patience with me being such a non-consistent blogger!

Thirty One!

Hi all!!

I know it’s been a LONG time since I’ve written anything! SORRY! I’ll share all about what’s going on soon, I hope!

BUT!! We’ve got another fundraiser in progress!!

If you – or any women in your life – are fans of ThirtyOne purses, here’s a chance to get something cool AND help us out!!

Please visit www.mythirtyone.com/tatum. Select ‘My Scheduled Parties’ and then click ‘Shop Now’ beside the event name ‘Jon & Dacina {month} Fundraiser’!

Each month on the 1st, the event month will change, but the process of finding the event to shop under won’t! Orders can be placed online under the event each month until the 25th!

There’s LOTS of cool stuff on there, so GET SHOPPING!!!!

If you have any questions, you can email me at munchkinmcnabb@gmail.com!

God Knows

Last week, I wrote a blog about how J & I feel like God is leading us down the path of adoption. The amount of support, encouragement and love I got from that post was overwhelming! As tough of a decision as it was, we feel peaceful about it.  Which is a sure sign that we are doing what God wants us to do… Lately, I’ve felt the need to clarify that through this entire journey, J & I have trusted God to work things out to His will.  We know that God’s ways are not our ways and that sometimes, He doesn’t answer our prayers the way that we ask Him to, but that doesn’t mean our prayers have gone unanswered. God's Plans A couple of years ago we went to a church when we lived in Louisville that we always felt so comfortable at.  We’ve been searching for a church home for a while and now that we are back in Louisville, decided to go back. The preacher that was there before is no longer there, but we still very much enjoyed it.  A very friendly man came and introduced himself to us.  He’d only been with the church for about 3 weeks but was a new ministry partner and was trying to meet as many new people as possible. The gentleman that usually does the music ministry for the church was the guest preacher on Sunday.  He spoke of avoiding distractions and using interruptions as opportunities to grow closer to God. And then…  he began to speak about how him and his wife are in the process of adopting a child.  They have grown children of their own, but they feel that God is leading them to be a miracle to a child that needs it. **Cue the waterworks** I feel that God knew we needed to be there and hear what this man had to say as a way of encouraging us. I filled out a “Visitor Card” and dropped it in the offering plate, and received the pleasant surprise of an email today from the man who introduced himself to us on Sunday.  He spoke of finding time to get together to speak of connection opportunities, learning more about the church and possibly finding a church home.  He even mentioned coming and having dinner with his family!  It was really nice to have someone reach out to us so warmly and quickly! On the adoption front…  I was disappointed to learn that the agency we’d chosen to pursue adoption with wasn’t accepting adoptive families at the time. It was hard to not be discouraged and feel completely deflated.  But I’m no quitter! I asked the woman at that agency if she had any suggestions of other agencies in the area and she gave me about 6 or 7 names.  I went online and perused through a few of them and one kind of stood out. I sent an email and received a VERY prompt reply!  I was able to talk to a woman from the agency today and we have a consultation on Thursday night!!! She works in a city that is about an hour away and is even driving here to Louisville to meet us and talk with us!  I was very impressed with her as she was so patient and personable with me as I was asking questions.  She made me feel very comfortable and I am VERY excited to meet with her and learn more! I asked her if she was ok with J’s mom joining us, because I know that we all have questions and I want to make sure that our bases are covered…  She seemed so truly excited that I had asked her that.  She said that she LOVES when whole families are involved in this process and feels like it’s so important. Today, I feel more at peace about all of this than I think I really have since we made the decision. I’m not going to get too excited, just because …  well, because I’m probably more of a realist than I should be and always feel the need to keep the “what-if’s” in mind so that my heart is protected. But at the same time, my heart is absolutely flip-flopping with joy, excitement and anticipation!! We are truly on our way to building our family!!! And it is so comforting to know that, above all else, GOD KNOWS. Blessed-By-Adoption

One Day At A Time

Families are funny things.

We grow up believing that they will always be there.  And sometimes they are.

But sometimes – they’re not.

Being the oldest of four, I was always the ‘little mommy’.  I always had extra responsibility.  (And blame.)

It took me until I was well into my 20’s to realize that I needed to start taking care of myself, because no one else was going to do it for me.

The rest of this blog is somewhat difficult to write, and even harder to share.  I won’t go into great detail of the pain & heartbreak, but it shows my raw underbelly and makes me feel seriously vulnerable.  Part of me worries about the reactions I may get, but it’s something I’ve been rolling around in my head and have to get it out…  So, here goes.

When I had just started my freshman year in high school, my mother and father decided to get a divorce.  My mother moved a couple of hours away up to this little mountain community that was BEAUTIFUL and took my 2 younger sisters and younger brother.  I stayed behind because I had already started a school year.

After they moved, my mother and some of her friends took a trip to the beach for her birthday weekend and as the story goes, she was roller skating and the wheels were loose and she fell and broke both arms – wrist on one arm, elbow on the other.

As you can imagine, trying to do ANYTHING with two broken arms is nearly impossible.  So, I packed up and moved to Big Bear with my mother and siblings to help (High School #2).  Little mommy to the rescue.

Cooking, cleaning, helping with homework.  All things I did.  Showering & bathroom trips were on the Top 5 list of “Things I Did But Did NOT Look Forward To”!  Needless to say, my mother and I got pretty close.

There were a lot of things that happened in the following years that forced me to grow up rather quickly.  All of them left memories I’ll never forget – good and bad.

Big Bear is an AMAZING town.  It’s charming and peaceful and enchanting.  It’s a great place for children to grow up.  But there’s a side to it that a lot of people don’t see.  Because there isn’t really much to do, sadly, a lot of people turn to drug use.  And it seems fairly easy to obtain those drugs.  I’m sure that’s the case in most towns, but only more recognizable there because of the size of the town.

I NEVER found drugs as a temptation.  I think after the first or second time someone asked me if I wanted to try them, word quickly spread that my answer was not one that people would willingly put themselves in a position to hear.

Unfortunately, the situation wasn’t the same for my younger sister.

I moved to Florida for my Junior Year (High School #3) and there is still a part of me that wonders if I hadn’t, how different things might have been.

Long story short: my younger sister became involved in a LOT of detrimental activities.  She went from an honor roll student to a high school dropout.  She got pregnant at a young age and straightened out – for a while.

But addiction is powerful.

She became involved in drugs again after having back surgery.  She had a doctor that prescribed pain pills like candy, until she was red-flagged at many pharmacies.  Apparently, the street price of prescription narcotics is MUCH higher than the more deadly drugs and they spun their web tightly.  I had tried to get the family to do an intervention YEARS before when I saw red flags waving strongly.  But for reasons I have never understood, my sister is quite good at convincing people to believe what she wants them to.  She quickly lost her footing on the slippery slope of serious drug use.

A few months after my miscarriage, I learned that she was pregnant.  The baby was born a few weeks before my husband and I would have been due and faced a rough road to get beyond the withdrawals.

A few months ago, I learned that she was trying to get custody of her daughter and I wrote a letter to the courts asking them to carefully consider all the facts.  When I wrote my blog about it,  I specifically said that I knew that what I’d done wouldn’t be received kindly by some.  And I was right.

My mother is the kind of person that is ALWAYS looking to help people.  To some, it could be perceived as a “fix-it” mentality.  She has a soft spot for those that are in a bad way and sometimes even puts herself in rough situations thinking that it will help that person come around.

I learned that my mother had been helping my sister with many things – including moving in with her and helping her try to get her daughter back.  When she found out that I’d written a letter to the courts, she took it pretty badly and I was accused of being bitter and jealous.  A lot of hurtful things were said.

And we haven’t really talked since.

It is so weird to me to have so many great things going on in my husband’s and my life and not be able to share it with her.  I know my mother loves me, but I feel like she’s chosen my sister over me.  And it hurts.

I know how short life is.  I know that not forgiving someone doesn’t hurt the offender.  In fact, it sets the offended free.  So, I’ve done that.

But I have to protect me and my husband and the family that we are trying so desperately to have.  So, I’ve chosen to let go of relationships that can feel unhealthy at times, regardless of how difficult that may be.

I don’t claim to be perfect.  I know I’ve said some hurtful things before.  And I can only hope that they can forgive me for them.

I firmly stand in my belief that tough love is often not only the right way but the BEST way.

So, while it’s difficult and often painful to not be able to pick up the phone and share my excitement over J’s and my new house with someone I used to be so close to, we are going to move on with our lives and thoroughly enjoy every moment.

One Day At a Time.

3 Days And 4 Letter Words

I did something today that I do every day.  I looked at my phone.  But for some reason – about the 1,893 time I looked at my phone today – I could only see one thing.  The date.  Sunday, December 22.  SERIOUSLY?!  Surely my phone was lying!  I’ve even changed the mouse in our Countdown Calendar every day and it STILL didn’t hit me… THERE ARE ONLY 3 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS.

3 days til Christmas

My life isn’t counted by days or years anymore.  It’s counted by months – 25 to be exact.  25 long months have come and gone.  Some brought more pain than others.  Some have been bearable.  Some have been good.  Some have been miserable.  We’ve been waiting for one to be great.  I’ve ALWAYS dreamt of giving a card that said “Merry Christmas, Daddy/Grandma/Grandpa/Aunt/Uncle”.  Oh, how I prayed this year would be it.  But instead, in some cruel twist, I’m supposed to receive a “gift” that I dread on Christmas Eve.  Of all the family coming to town, this is the one that I would like to just skip this holiday all together.  My dreaded aunt.

dear tampax

You know how when you have allergies, you go in for shots to desensitize you?  I’ve been practicing that concept since the day after Thanksgiving, with Christmas movies and music.  I figured – the more I exposed myself, the less I would feel.   Part of me has wanted to fake some kind of illness to get out of the family get-together we have every single year, so I don’t embarrass myself in some sobbing, messy display.  (Although at the rate my husband and I are going with illness, I may not have to fake ANYTHING!)  Today, I realized that my desensitization process may have worked!  While I haven’t quite hit ‘happy’,  ‘numb’ is going to have to do.  Although, I feel the emotion building as I think about it.

Apparently, infertility is an invitation.  People come out of the woodwork with advice, ideas, opinions, diets, exercises, etc..  I appreciate the intentions behind (almost) all of them.  We’ve gotten support and love.  Recently, I’ve also gotten chastisement and scolding.  Some of it was directed.  Some of it was indirectly directed.  Some that know of our struggle, yet post about how people who complain or whine about not having kids not knowing how good they have it.  People are just plain mean.  And then there’s those who are supposed to be the closest to you that, no matter how many times or how many different ways you try to explain it, still just don’t get that just because THEY think that it should work a certain way, doesn’t mean that it WILL.  ‘Relaxing’ and ‘letting go’ works just as well for getting pregnant as it does for curing cancer.

nothing worth having comes easy

And then there are the days that my husband tells me that not everything has to be about that 4 letter word – “baby”.  I try SO hard not to make every day about that!  I wish I could explain to him just HOW hard I try not to make every day about that!  I know that he just wants his fun-loving, spontaneous, confident wife back.  I wish I could wrap that up and put it under the tree for him.  I wish I knew where to find her.  I miss her, too.  I had a friend that I’ve met through this journey tell me the other day that she feels like 2014 is OUR year.  It’s the year of the 4 letter word.  OH, how I pray she is right!!

2014

One Down, One To Go

Well, I made it through Thanksgiving!  The biggest accomplishment of it all?  I didn’t even CRY!!!  I had to pull myself together quite a few times, but not ONCE did those little moist menaces blaze a trail down my cheeks!  While a large part of the suckiness is that we are facing another holiday without a baby, the other part is that – I MISS MY FAMILY!  Yes, it was my choice to move to Kentucky.  Yes, it’s my choice to STAY in Kentucky.  But that does NOT make it stink any less!  ESPECIALLY when I go online to look at the price of plane tickets!

Stack Of Cash

I’ve been watching people do the “Thankful” posts on Facebook…  You know, the ones where they take a break from complaining about EVERY. SINGLE. THING in their lives for 30 days to express the things they should be thankful for every day?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT saying that they’re NOT thankful for those things all year-long, it would just be nice to see Facebook flooded with posts of thanks and love all year, rather than just one month.  I started doing them at the beginning of the month.  First – I’m not very good with keeping up with things like that.  Second – while I can be as gushy and sentimental as I feel here, I almost feel … uncomfortable … doing it on Facebook.  (Weird, I know.)  Third – I’ve NEVER been one to follow trends.  Fourth – after watching both my mother and my mother in law battle cancer the last two years, I’m thankful every day.

This is the 3rd year I’ve spent Thanksgiving with my husband and his family.  Part of his family was missing also, as his sister and her husband and children are in Florida and couldn’t be with us.  Every year, they go around the table and everyone says what they are thankful for.  I was thankful that every time one of them said they were thankful for family, I felt like I was included in that.  I KNOW that they all consider me family.  I consider them family as well.  It still just touches me in a place I can’t quite describe to be reminded that they do.  Although, as much as I loved being around the table with them, my heart was hurting to be home in California with the other half of my family.  My side of the family hasn’t had a Thanksgiving together in probably 8 or 9 years, partly because I moved away, but also for reasons that are another blog entirely.  I still remember little traditions that we had and I seem to miss them more when the times come around that those traditions were carried out.  As I read through a blog earlier by A Hundred Affections, I was reminded just how much traditions shape us as we grow.  Those memories NEVER fade.  Though, it seems, the ones that dull suddenly come rushing back when presented with a mere vision of how life WAS.  I will forever be thankful for those memories.

As we all migrated to the living room to stretch out and relax after stuffing ourselves, conversation flowed freely.  The kids were running in and out and up and down and all over, like they always do!  At one point, my nephew came in to tattle on his sister.  I have never been a fan of tattling.  When I owned my child care, they KNEW that I simply wouldn’t tolerate it.  I feel like children need to figure out how to resolve conflicts as early as they can without having to resort to some kind of interference on an authority figure’s behalf – as, if they don’t, it will only transform them into those people who run to management or whoever when they have issues later on in life.  Anyway!  As JW insisted that he “wasn’t tattling, she just won’t do what I want,” I imparted some of my “wisdom” on him about what tattling really was.  No matter how long I am on this journey, I am NEVER prepared for the question that came from the friend of the family – “Dacina, why aren’t YOU a mom yet? You seem to have ALL the right answers for these kids!”  “Uh.  Um.  Well.  Uh.  Yeah.  We’re trying.”  (not so wordy now, huh?!)

The temperatures out here have been on a steady decline the last month or so.  It even SNOWED the other night!  There is just something about snow that is so peaceful and magical to me.  Having lived in a town for a large part of my life that would bring snow storms to dump amounts as tall as I was, watching the snowflakes fall automatically takes me to this peacefully reminiscent place in my mind.  I know people think I’m crazy when I say this, but I LOVE the sound of the falling snow.  “Snow doesn’t make a sound”, you say.  I say, listen next time!  That quiet whisper you hear in the air when it’s snowing are those magical flakes touching everything and blanketing the world around you in newness.  I can’t think of anything else that can completely transform everything in my view as efficiently and beautifully as snow.

This picture taken by Me

This picture taken by Me

I’m REALLY hoping for a White Christmas this year.  More than that, I’m hoping that I can make it through Christmas as tear-free as I made it through Thanksgiving!  I’m prepared for it to NOT be as easy, however.  Even just thinking about it I can feel those bullies tugging at my ducts!  But, I’m going to put on my big girl panties, wrap the presents, decorate, play Christmas music, buy presents and generally put on the performance of a LIFETIME.  If I leave the room for a minute unannounced, just know this – I may not be ok at that moment, but I will be.

im okay

I’m still here

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written.  If I’m being honest, it’s kinda been nice.  It’s nice to step back for a while and just be me.  To not worry about exactly when I’m ovulating or if this is going to be “our month” or if “that symptom” means something.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s always in the back of my mind… but it’s been nice to not have it be the ONLY thing on my mind.  I guess there has been a part of me that has thought “Maybe, even as much as I HATE hearing ‘just relax’, is exactly what I need to do.”  And then one cycles passes.  Then two.  And I remember – it’s a medical condition, not a mental condition.

November 4th was my husband’s and my 2 year wedding anniversary.  We made it 2 whole years without killing each other!!  We had talked about taking a small vacation – Lord knows we needed it, especially after the last few super emotional months – and after talking with his parents about it, his mom actually decided to purchase plane tickets and even go with us!  I know, most people would think that In-Laws on an anniversary vacation would be a major buzz-kill, but that wasn’t the case at all!  I’ve been very blessed with the in-laws that I have!!  We went to Ormond Beach, Florida and it was AMAZING!  I knew that we needed a vacation, but I didn’t realize just how much until we actually got there.  Surprisingly, I didn’t think about work at all!! Tough to imagine, I know.

waterfront

While we were there, we spent 2 nights at the Royal Floridian Resort RIGHT on the water.  The weather wasn’t perfect while we were there but it by NO means ruined our time.  There was quite a bit of rain, but we got to enjoy the sunshine as well and one day, as we sat on our balcony, I noticed that a break in the clouds had the sun casting a ray in a direct line onto the water.  My mind started to wonder about what was going on beneath the surface of the water in that spot.  Were the animals that lived there basking in the gift of warmth that the sun was offering, or were they content in the icy waters?  I often find myself wondering what is happening beyond what my eyes can see when I stand in front of the majestic sea.  Life scurrying about.  Animals seeking shelter and food.  One of the days that we were in St Augustine, I was able to sit and watch about 10-12 dolphins jump and play and toss fish back and forth – and I can’t remember a time I felt more at peace, even with all the emotions I was feeling at that moment.  I’ve always possessed a great passion for the ocean.  There is just something about it that is so peaceful and calming.  Strong, unrelenting, ever-changing – yet remaining the same.  I could sit and listen to and watch the waves roll in for hours and never get bored.

ray of light

The last couple months – like the many before – have been filled with pregnancy announcements, news of loss and all the other happenings that comprise our daily lives.  I can’t quite use the word “normal”, as our normal is so different from most.  I’ve had some time to search my heart some in the last couple months.  My heart still hurts when I hear of a woman who is pregnant or see a woman with that telling bump, but accompanying that ugly green monster lately has been a new perspective – Did she struggle with infertility? Did she get pregnant naturally or have to deal with medical procedures also?  For most women I see, I may never know the answer, but it’s made me feel as though I’m actually making progress in the war against bitterness.

think positive

The emotions that I felt after learning that my best friend was pregnant still shock me beyond belief when I think about them.  A friend of mine called it an “a$$-kicking surprise” and I can’t think of a better way to categorize all the emotions!  But lately, a new feeling about it has been creeping in…  a feeling I expected to feel right away.  I’m excited!  I’m going to be an aunt again!  I’m going to have a precious baby to spoil, and then send home!  I’m going to be able to kiss and hug and love and overall smother this child!  But as strong as those feelings of excitement are, they still wage war with the emotions I’m trying my best to tamper.  I haven’t told her about the excitement yet, and I hope that she will forgive me for having to read it here instead of hearing it from my mouth – although I did warn her (again) that I was blogging in part about her.  I guess it’s easier for me to keep my emotions in check when they’re shared in a broader range – plus I’m sure she’s TIRED of hearing me trip over my words in an explanation of what I’m feeling and how it isn’t her fault!!

We started a YouCaring account a bit ago in hopes of lightening the burden of IVF, and have had some wonderful people donate.  We are saving and adding to it as we can.  My husband has an amazing talent for woodworking and will be selling the projects he’s done, and is going to do, in order to donate to our fund.  I also have discovered a passion for photography that I am going to be using to donate to our fund also.  God is so awesome that He already had something lined up for me before I even knew it!  We also started a Facebook page that tells a little about us and references to this blog and our donation account.  If you are interested in checking any of them out, the links will be at the bottom of this blog!

piggy bank

Speaking of this blog – what an amazing outlet this has been for me.  I love that I can write what’s on my heart for all to see.  People always say that think I’m “amazing” and “so strong” for dealing with this… and I know I am.  I may not feel amazing and strong as much as I do broken and discouraged, but what I want people to take from this more than anything is HOPE.  We know that God has a plan for us.  He reminds us every day.  His plans are better than our dreams, and that is what keeps us going.  Thank you for being a part of this journey.  And this blog.  And my life.

hope

www.facebook.com/munchkinmcnabb

www.youcaring.com/munchkin-mcnabb