Miracle Miscarriage

 

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This summer, something that we thought was impossible happened. If you know us personally or have read our story page, you will understand the incredible shock we experienced when we learned I was PREGNANT.

I’ve never been pregnant.

About 10 years ago, I was told that my fimbriae around my Fallopian tubes were so damaged from endometriosis that natural pregnancy would likely NEVER occur. When my period was 2 weeks late in July, my first reaction was, “well, here we go… I’m starting early menopause!”

I had let go of the dream of carrying a baby many years ago. We weren’t trying for a baby.

We were happy as a family of three.

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It’s a MIRACLE!

I will never forget the way I felt seeing the word “PREGNANT” on that digital pregnancy test. Rich and I screamed with joy. It felt like a thousand butterflies were flying inside my body. I was on top of the world. My childhood dream finally came true!!! How did this even happen?! It was a miracle! I wanted to shout the news from the rooftops. I wanted everyone to know about our miracle baby!

I finally went in for my first OB appointment when I was about 8 weeks along. There was complete silence as the doctor looked for a heartbeat.

Nothing…

My heart sank.

“There is a beautiful amniotic sac, but no embryo.”

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Anembryonic Pregnancy (aka: Blighted Ovum, Missed Miscarriage)

The doctor told me I had an anembryonic pregnancy. Somewhere along the line, the embryo stopped developing (most likely because of some kind of chromosomal abnormality), but my body still thought I was pregnant. I waited another week to do some additional testing to confirm that this was true. Once confirmed, I went in for a D&C to clear out everything.

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Empty

My body has finally healed, but I’m still processing my emotions. Grieving will take time. I’m struggling to find the words to express my feelings, so I will wait on that. Many women (and families) experience miscarriage, yet we rarely hear about it. I share my story in hope of helping others to not feel so isolated. If you’ve experienced loss, I’d love to hear from you.

Your story matters. Your baby matters.

You are not alone.

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Los Angeles

 

After much prayer, our family has decided to move back to Los Angeles. We feel called to “adopt” the city and be around the beautiful people there. We will deeply miss our family and friends here in Jacksonville. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we make this transition.

Happy Family Day!

Two years ago, today, we became a family. Enjoy this video full of memories in celebration with us. Thank you for being a part of our journey. Special thanks to Danae, Kelsey, Liv, Audrey, and Jen for the photos and video footage.

Celebrate!

A quick update:

Overall, things are going well in our world. We’re still slowly settling into parenthood.

(Ha! Does it ever get easier?!)

Liam is continuing to grow and thrive. He has become very chatty, spouting off the cutest phrases. He loves pre-school and has surprised us this month by showing us that he is ready to learn to read. We are incredibly grateful to be his parents and watch him grow.

Liam Turns 5

Liam turned 5 in November.

This was his first birthday celebration in the U.S., so we wanted to make it special. If you’ve spent time with Liam, you know that he is all about firemen, firetrucks, policemen, playgrounds, sprinkles, and most importantly–PEOPLE. He LOVES people.

And so, we decided to celebrate his birthday with all of his favorite things.

Cupcakes with Sprinkles

Police Car

Fire Truck

Fireman Liam

Immediately after his birthday came the holidays (which were wonderful).  Then, 2016 began… and suddenly it’s now March?!

Wow. Time flashes by!

Even though I’m extremely late, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to post about his birthday.

We have so much to celebrate!!

Liam’s 1st Gotcha Day Celebration

It’s been a crazy week, but I wanted to take a minute to write about Liam’s 1st Gotcha Day celebration.

First of all, I cannot believe it has been a year since we first met our son.

Time has flown by!

go Liam!

At Liam’s request, we went out for pizza and cupcakes with family to celebrate his 1st Gotcha Day.

Mr. PersonalityHappy 1st Gotcha Day

While he enjoyed a cupcake, we each took a moment to shower him with love –telling him all of the things we love about him and all of the reasons we are thankful he is in our lives. You should’ve seen his face. He soaked up each and every word while we all shed tears of joy. It was simple yet oh-so-sweet.

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Our Liam Kakooza Painter…

He is such a gift. A gift that was totally worth the (nearly 9 year) wait.

Liam Walking Forward

Finally, I wanted to take a moment to thank you ALL for the way you’ve shared in our adoption process. It doesn’t matter how you’ve supported us… whether it’s by following our journey on social media, by praying for us, by encouraging us, or by supporting us financially… WE ARE FOREVER GRATEFUL FOR YOU!!!

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank YOU.

xo

Mindy + Rich + Liam

Parenthood and Self-Care

Photo by Jen McDonald : www.jenmphotography.com

Photo by Jen McDonald : http://www.jenmphotography.com 

Okay, I am finally coming out of hibernation. Hibernation due to motherhood.

Motherhood is amazing and beautiful… and oftentimes… exhausting. It has taken me a few months to adjust to life with a child, especially jumping in at age 4. We have found a good rhythm now, but I sometimes find myself in an interesting space.

I ask myself questions like:

“Who am I, again?

What do I love to do for fun?

How should I be creative in this season?

What brings me life/recharging?

How do I care for myself?”

Ha! It’s like I have to get to know myself all over again post-motherhood!

After talking about this with some other friends, I know that I’m not the only one asking these questions. I thought I’d take a risk and open up about this with the hopes that maybe we could encourage other parents out there who might be struggling with something similar.

I would love to hear from any of you experienced parents out there. How did you care for yourself once you became a parent? What are some practical, life-giving ideas that have worked for you?

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.

xo

Our Journey Home

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We took this photo minutes before our plane left Uganda on November 15th, 2014. We were thrilled to be heading home after being away for 3 months. We were also incredibly nervous. There were so many questions in our minds…

How will we settle into parenthood at home? How will our family and friends adjust to our new family? Will they embrace our son, who is going through so much transition? How will Liam adjust to life in a new country?

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We flew from Entebbe to Brussels to Washington D.C. to Jacksonville (Florida) which was about 35 hours of travel in all.

Liam was a champ. He loved watching movies and eating snacks on the flights. He only had one meltdown— on our last flight. He was so tired. As soon as we got in the air, he fell asleep. We had to wake him from a deep sleep when we landed in Jacksonville so that he could meet our family.

We decided to keep the welcoming party at the airport small as to not overwhelm Liam.

I would’ve loved having loads of people there because I felt like we were returning home from some kind of battle. After being away for 3 months, we were exhausted and really missed our family and community. (In fact, I am still processing and recovering from our time away. Crazy!)

I’ll never forget the way I felt, as we walked off our plane. Such relief! We took a few minutes to hug each other and thank the Lord for bringing our family safely home. Then, we tried to help Liam wake up and prepared him for the family welcome.

We were overcome with emotion as we walked down the hallway with our family in sight.

WE WERE HOME!!!

This was their view….

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And look at our view….

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There were signs, balloons, and beautiful souls standing in front of us. Just look at those kids!

So sweet! (I tear up every time I look at this photo.)

THIS is a moment I will remember FOREVER.

  Family and friends, who’ve journeyed alongside us for years as we’ve prayed for God to give us a child, were celebrating our return home with our son.

So thankful for answered prayers & a dream fulfilled!

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

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{ Btw, I have to thank to my friends, Grace and Lex, for capturing these special moments. }

This was Liam’s first kiss from his grandma (my mom).

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My husband, Rich– hugging his parents.

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Liam meeting Jja-jja and Grandad.

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Liam was very clingy and quiet as I chatted with our friends.

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But eventually, he flashed a smile.

photo by Lex Buckley

Something that surprised me: I anticipated being more emotional than I actually was.

I thought I was going to be covered in tears and a blubbering mess.

Nope. Not at all.

I think by the time we arrived home, I was so emotionally and physically exhausted that I was simply too tired to cry. I was running on fumes yet incredibly grateful to be home!

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A photo of our parents and my aunt and uncle (who happened to be in town during our arrival).