Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dealing With Infertility

In a previous article, we mentioned that we’ve added two children to our family in the past two years. They are an incredible blessing from God and bring so much joy to our lives. But to get to this joyful place, we’ve had to travel a long, hard, painful road. For six years we dealt with infertility. It can be a very difficult thing to explain, when you’re 24 and can’t get pregnant.

Month after month we were disappointed. Year after year Melissa went to the doctors and underwent tests, shots, and procedures. We lost our very first pregnancy at eight weeks and it was devastating. After four years, we gave up on biological children and decided to foster-to-adopt. And that was a crazy-difficult experience as well—thankfully ending in July after the adoption of our 1½ year-old son. (We also had a baby girl in June, who is our miracle baby.)

To read more about what we've learned over the last few years dealing with infertility, click here:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Does Your Spouse Need to Serve?

Whatever you call it: volunteering, serving, a two-for-one, ministering, or just plain old helping out…the spouse of a youth pastor is often expected to jump into the ministry world with both feet. Sometimes this works well for a couple, and their marriage thrives in this type of environment. But there are also plenty of spouses who feel forced into youth ministry roles that don’t mesh with their personalities, talents, and/or spiritual gifts.

So does the spouse of a youth pastor have to serve in the youth group?

To find out our thoughts, check out: http://www.morethandodgeball.com/simply-insider/does-your-spouse-need-to-serve/#sthash.qhe7HtNW.dpuf

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Myth of Permanency

It goes without saying that this blog is slightly overdue. For those of you who are friends with Melissa or I directly on Facebook (don't blame you if you aren't!) you saw that two weeks ago our foster-to-adopt situation finally reached its conclusion when we officially welcomed Sean Dawson Kircher (no longer Voldemort) into our family one day before he turned 18-months old.

It is humbling to consider that literally a year-and-a-half ago from Sean's adoption, we were mourning not being able to have natural children, especially after a miscarriage and numerous attempts with fertility treatments over a four year period failed over and over again. We had been rejected three times for a foster child already and were honestly terrified about what we were getting into. Even after Sean was placed in our home at 7-days old back in January 2012, it was a massive roller coaster of emotions, with more lows than highs, as we dealt with a daily fear of someone taking him away from us. Honestly, we had a panic attack every time the phone rang and it was a number from Hartford, CT (the location of Sean's Department of Child and Family Services social worker).

Throughout it all: the stress, fights over nothing simply because of how tired we were, a rough and unexpected pregnancy (that we are obviously grateful for but that doesn't guarantee ease and comfort) and the overall uncertainty of life we sit here today truly blessed to have two beautiful children in our lives.

Since Sean's adoption, a word that keeps being thrown out to us is "permanent." Many people have observed how good it must be to finally have Sean as a permanent part of our family. And believe us, it is! However, as I reflect on what I have learned throughout this process it's that this element of permanency that we all desire in marriage, family, jobs, financial security or other aspects of life simply does not exist (not in earthly standards anyways...more on this in a moment). It's a myth right up there with the loch ness monster, big foot and Santa Claus.

We've had people mention to us, "Wow, I could never do what you guys did and live in the tension that a child could be taken away at any point." The truth of the matter though is that we all live in that tension everyday. Cancer, car accidents, shootings at elementary schools, heart attacks and other things can all strike at any moment for any of us. And it doesn't matter who you are: a good person or bad; adopted or naturally born into a family; black or white, male or female, etc. Even in the best case scenarios, permanency ends for all of our relationships when death rears its ugly head after a long, full life.

I have been finding myself thanking God more for the gift of life and for each day I get with my family; whether one more or thousands more. And the only reason I can be thankful in general is because of the hope that comes through Jesus as the only source of permanency in this life and the next. Every day for each of us is a gift from God and I know that even if God were to only grant me, Melissa or our kids just one more day, I can look forward to the eternity we will get to share together through Christ.

Jake
Our goal of this blog is to share stories (both good and bad), thoughts and insights about our marriage and we would love for you to jump into the conversation.

The goal is to provide three things:
1) HOPE for struggling couples that they are not alone.
2) GROWTH in our marriages and our understanding of marriage.
3) ENCOURAGEMENT to keep loving your spouse unconditionally.