{Tenderness} Tuesdays

Welcome to the first of what I hope to be many more Tuesday posts on the subject of tenderness. Specifically tender moments on my heart that I want to share with you.

Now I know that this is primarily a craft/sewing related blog, but it’s all MY blog. All the parts of me that make me passionate about creating and color and design are also the same parts of me that make me passionate about a lot of other wonderful things too. So, I hope you don’t mind getting to know me and what’s on my heart a little better, every Tuesday … or every other Tuesday … or some Tuesdays through 2013.

First let me remind you of the definition of tenderness: sympathetic concern for the well-being of others.

Synonymous:: benevolence, compassionateness, good-heartedness, humaneness, kindheartedness, kindliness, kindness, softheartedness, tenderheartedness, tenderness, warmheartedness

Today’s tenderness post shares two different stories with a similar ending. The story of two very tender mama’s hearts::

The first story, is Joy’s story. It’s a story of completing a family through adoption … except the story isn’t quite complete. As of today, Joy and her family are working with all their hearts to finalize the adoption of their little girl, ‘Pie.’ Legal expenses are, well, expensive. You can read all about Joy’s story on her blog. I know you’ll want to help … and to sweeten this experience, a wonderful giveaway has been put together to help spread the word about this one last push to fund Pie’s legal expenses. YOU can be a part of completing this family’s adoption story.


The second story is Emmy’s story. It’s also a story of completing a family through adoption AFTER a long road of infertility. I can’t help but be touched by Emmy’s story. There are many parallels to mine {which I will start to share more of next Tuesday}. Emmy has a tenderness for the infertile and has created a one day conference called Choose Joy. Here is Emmy to tell you more about it::

I’m Emmy, I’m 35, and I’m infertile.

Wait, let me back up.  I’m Emmy.  Andrea has been so sweet to allow me to invade her space for the day.  I own Much Ado About You {where I used to sell printed day planners, and now I just sell printables}, I occasionally blog {Confesstions of a Paper Freak}, and I incessantly Instagram {@itsjustemmy}.  I am married to my high school sweetheart and as of this year we have been together for more than half our lives.

Almost 11 years ago I got pregnant for the first time.  Nathan and I were so excited, and immediately started planning that child’s future.  We were thinking of names… wondering if it would be a boy or a girl… hoping its due date of December 26th would not mean we were going to have a Christmas baby.

But just a few days later I started bleeding heavily, and knew in an instant that that baby was gone.

We had only just begun trying to get pregnant, but I had so many friends experiencing infertility and I begged God to spare us from that roller coaster.

Our doctor told us that since we were so early in the pregnancy I would not need a D & C, and that technically I could get pregnant as soon as my next cycle.

Which I did.

That pregnancy was such a relief, and I vividly remember thanking God that I was never going to have to walk that long and painful road of infertility.

A year after Beau was born we decided to start trying for a second baby.  We wanted four, so we thought we’d better get going!

God had different plans for our family. 

The next six years were spent going from one doctor’s appointment to the next… from one surgery to the next… all in an effort to figure out why my young and seemingly healthy body was not working.

I have Endometriosis, a condition that basically destroys your body from the inside out.  During my final surgery my doctor made the painful decision to remove both of my non-functioning fallopian tubes, hoping it would increase the chance of my third and final IVF {invitro-fertilization} treatment being successful.

The next month we had our final IVF procedure.  It failed.  We were done.

We were physically {well mostly me on that one}, emotionally, and financially spent.  The chance of a natural pregnancy was eliminated with the removal of my tubes.  I was officially STERILE.  It is still strange to say those words.  I am a woman that cannot do what I was created to do… bear children.  That is a very strange reality to be faced with.

I spent seven dark years in the thick of my infertility {I say “my” infertility because the issues were mine… with another woman my husband could have had more children… more salt in the wounds}.  For some of those years Nathan and I were not on the same page.  He didn’t understand my desperation for a child when I already was a mom.  Those years I struggled with a deep loneliness that I had never known.  It is so hard to explain what infertility feels like to someone that has never experienced it, but the bottom line is… IT SUCKS.

However, God also used those seven years to challenge my character and bring me to a place of total trust and reliance on His plan for my life.  I came to a point where I had to say, “God, I love you and I trust you, and I know that {while very different from mine} Your plan is the best plan for my life.  So even if I never have another baby I will praise you and be thankful for whatever it is that you call me to do.”

And I really was at peace.  Without tubes I no longer had to live in two week cycles, wondering if each late period was the one.  I had an incredible eight year old that was the joy of my life, a loving, supportive husband, a thriving business… life was good.

Now since I have already babbled on for quite some time {and probably lost most of you} I will leave this next part of the story short and sweet {if you would like to read the whole story, you can find it here}.  Through miraculous circumstances, in March of 2011 we brought home the most beautiful baby girl that looks nothing like us.

And in the instant that I met her I understood every no that God had placed in my path. 

If you are in a season of not understanding the circumstances of your life, please be encouraged that someday you may understand and even appreciate the painful path that you are walking. 

Since experiencing infertility and adoption I have a heart for encouraging hurting women.  Several months ago I felt a calling on my life to do something to help other women that are experiencing similar trials, and the Choose Joy event was born.

Choose Joy is a one-day conference in Southern California for women and couples that are experiencing infertility and/or desire to grow their families through adoption.  I have somehow convinced several other women from all over the country to come and be a part of this event.  We have speakers on topics such as “God’s Heart for the Hurting; Waiting Hurts, Waiting Perfects”, “Having a Heart of Hope: Overcoming the Hurt of Infertility”, “The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly of International Adoption”, and much, much more.  My desire is for this to be a day of connection and community, and for women to open their minds to the plan that God has for their family.     

The event will include a luncheon and a dessert, and at the end we will be raffling off a cash prize to help someone grow their family.

Tickets are on sale for $30 through the 25th of January.  {After that the price goes up to $40, so don’t delay!}  Please visit the website for all the details on the location and schedule, bios on each speaker, and to register for the event. 

If you aren’t experiencing infertility, statistics say that someone you know is.  Please pass this website on to your friends or family that could use some support. 

Thanks for reading my story.


Beautiful right? Two women on opposite sides of the country who both share a connective thread of love and adoption … and both have ADORABLE brown beauties!

I trust that through me posting this, someone might be touched to attend {what I know will be an incredible} the Choose Joy conference or moved to give to support the love and sacrifice of adoption. 

I look forward to sharing more of my heart next Tuesday!


  1. You know these stories touch my heart. Each in a different way, for different reasons. I think I’m going to like these Tenderness Tuesdays.

  2. Thank you for sharing this on your blog AND for donating to the giveaway!

  3. My sister is battling her own infertility and adoption issues and so my heart is very tender toward this topic. Thanks, Andrea!

  4. Both such touching stories. Thanks for sharing these Andrea.

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