Hope, arise.

Hello! I hope this post finds you well and full of hope for the *good* that is ahead for all of us despite the challenges that we are all facing in this time. This year Joshua and I have been stretched and challenged to keep holding on to hope for our family to someday grow despite five previous failed fertility treatment cycles. In January, we met with our physician, Dr. Bopp, and touched base with him about where we were at in our fertility process. As usual, he met our anxiety and disappointment with kindness and reassurance. He talked about potential options and the available medications that we had left to try.  Months prior to this consultation, Josh and I had family friends who asked us our thoughts about the possibility of adopting embryos from couples who no longer needed them for their own family building. After doing some research, we found that this process can be somewhat lengthy and costly, involving legal fees and home studies. Initially, we really did not consider it as a feasible option for us but it came up during our consultation. Dr. Bopp shared that our fertility clinic actually has their own embryo adoption program that they manage within their practice which allows us to bypass a home study, legal and travel costs. However, the package for this treatment was still costly. Our appointment was encouraging and we left the office feeling like there was light in our darkness.

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Following this appointment, we went home and prayed about our available options. WE knew that our bank account was feeling the weight of our previous tries and we didn’t want to make an unwise decision in moving forward prematurely. So we did some research on available grants and programs that help couples who have struggled with infertility. A google search led us to a non-profit called BabyQuest. This non-profit was started by a brilliant woman named Pamela Cohen-Hirsch, whose own daughter went through a fertility battle. She wanted to help other families to be able to move forward in their quest to build their families. Pamela and her team now award grants twice a year to couples & individuals who are struggling to cover the costs of their infertility treatments. Sometime later this year, they are anticipating the arrival of the 100th!! “Baby Quest Baby” born with the help of the funds awarded from their organization.

Joshua and I moved forward in February in the application process for BabyQuest‘s spring grant giveaway. We were holding on to the hope that we would receive financial help to continue to move forward. During this time, the pandemic began to ramp up in the United States and time seemed to slow way down. This was such a gift to Joshua and I. Being forced to slow down gave us room to breathe, room to process.  In this time, we were able to connect with the fertility clinic about the process of choosing & reserving embryos. Our conversations led us to a beautiful set of embryos that we were able to reserve and sign over to our name. There is nothing like choosing your future children, marking them as our own. A moment I will never forget. Our world lit up with hope.

Months went by and we anxiously awaited the news of the recipients of the spring grant through BabyQuest. Daily we found ourselves surrendering in the waiting– We were held up and supported by the prayers of friends and family waiting with us, believing that God would make a way. This month we were ecstatic to learn that we were chosen, along with eight other couples, to receive grants through BabyQuest. Because of the generosity of Baby Quest and their mission to make family building possible, Joshua and I will be able to move forward in the next portion of our journey towards growing our family. Our grant will cover most of the cost of our procedures and medications which leaves us able to move forward very quickly. Our hearts keep pondering on our two beautiful embryos.

Before we can be ready for the transfer, I had to have a procedure called a Saline Infused Hysterography (SIS). This checks for any polyps or fibroids that invade into the uterine cavity. Unfortunately, when I went in today (May 20th) to have this done, Dr. Bopp found two potential polyps that are invading my uterine cavity. Dr. wants us to have a procedure to remove them prior to us being able to move forward with our embryo transfer. We can’t help but wonder if these polyps contributed to us not having success in our previous five IUI’s. However, the outlook seems fairly positive for moving forward after they are removed.

We want to encourage anyone out there who feels stuck or consumed by the weight of their infertility battle. Never could we have imagined the paths that God brought us down that led to this point. We’ve learned along the way that sometimes it takes getting acquainted and accepting the “new normals” of infertility. At first we had to accept the “new normal” that we may not have the ability to carry our own children. Then we became more comfortable with the different avenues available to us to build our family and these came at just the right times. We felt led to move forward down different paths at the best moments possible. We can confidently look back and see how it all worked out for our good, even when we did not understand it in the moment. So don’t let go. Let hope arise.

“There are far greater things ahead…” – C.S. Lewis

The Vires


BabyQuest FoundationBabyQuest Foundation

Within the next few months, we hope to move forward with our next fertility treatment. This would not be possible without the help of BabyQuest. Thank you Pamela & team for all the hard work you’ve put into seeing it through that families can grow with your financial gifts. During our next treatment, I’ll be blogging along the way and we encourage you to follow along. We would also be honored to have your prayers during this process. Although this is not our first “rodeo”, we are walking into new territory with this new type of treatment. We are choosing to walk in hope and confidence that there is GOOD ahead for us.

If you or someone you know is battling infertility and need help with paying for fertility procedures/meds, please take a moment and check out The BabyQuest Foundation and share with those in need. They are always taking new applications for grants and recipients are announced twice a year!

The link below will take you straight to their website and give you more information about their grant application process:

BabyQuest Grant Application Link

Curious about donating to the cause? Click the link below to find out ways that you can partner with BabyQuest in continuing their mission in helping families move forward in their fertility journeys.

Donate to BabyQuest

Abundance

This year… Wow.

It has been one full of beautiful little (and BIG) moments of God’s faithfulness in Josh and I’s story. I’ve filled journal pages with details about how GOOD He is. I could fill a million blog posts. From the very beginning of the year Josh and I felt that our word for 2019 was “ABUNDANCE”. He has been abundantly good and this year has been abundantly hard.

In March of this year, Josh and I decided to try our 4th round of fertility treatments. Our specialist was totally on board. The medication did exactly as it should have. We had three beautiful follicles ready to go. Our procedure was a little difficult but none-the-less it went ok. Our hearts broke with a “negative” pregnancy test in early April. We were heartbroken and exhausted. Our spirits, bodies, and finances were all telling us that it was time to slow down. So, we decided that it was time for a break. During this time, we were abundantly loved on by God in so many ways. He honored our desire for rest and brought blessings to us at just the right time.

Mother’s Day was really difficult for me this year. My heart was broken from the pain of disappointment. I wanted nothing more than to be able to celebrate the day as a mom. The evening before Mother’s Day I was reading some Scripture and found myself clinging to the words in Job that say: “For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.” ( Job 28:24 ) God simply spoke to my heart- “I see you, Bre. I see the pain. I know your brokenness. I see it.” Right then my phone buzzed and there was a text from an amazing friend and mentor explaining that she had left something on my front porch. To my surprise, big beautiful daisies waited for me and a card expressing abundant love and care during Mother’s Day because she knew it would be a difficult time for me.

This summer we were given an opportunity to make a ton of memories with sweet littles that God has so graciously put in our lives. We had some family situations that allowed for us to spend some much extra time with our 3 year old nephew and 4 & 9 year old nieces. God TOTALLY lit up our darkness with the little ones he asked us to love so fiercely. A million moments of smiles. A million laughs. A million dances and cuddles. A million prayers and songs to God. They were all a million bandages that eased and soothed all the wounds in our spirits.

We ended our summer with a massive garage sale to raise funds for us to be able to try a 5th round of fertility treatments. We had to kick it up this time around and use injectable medication- the kind you have to buy at a specialty pharmacy because it has to be specially made and the kind that insurance doesn’t cover. We had an abundant need. But, that was matched with an abundance of donations from wonderful friends and family (THANK YOU!) and we had so many people come by willing to help with setting up, pricing and preparing (THANK YOU!). We simply prayed that God would be glorified by the sale. Day 1 of our two day sale we raised more than we did our whole garage sale last year. It was nothing short of abundance. During the sale, we had three people tell us testimonies of God’s faithfulness about successfully getting pregnant after infertility. We had a group of five pastor’s wives wrap their arms around us and pray with us for an “abundant family”. Yes. There were tears flowing during that prayer. In the middle of all of it all, we had faithful friends prayerfully donate money to us (love you!) AND we found out that we won a $1,000 grant that we applied for from an organization called “The Gift of Parenthood”. Between our garage sale, the donations from friends, and the grant we were awarded we had exactly enough money to the dollar amount to pay for our entire try for try #5. Talk about abundance.

We decided to try for a fifth time in October. We went in for my baseline ultrasound and the nurse said that there was cyst on my ovary and that she was not sure if we would be able to go through with the cycle. The injections I was going to take could make it grow and burst. Great! After the doctor reviewed my hormone levels and the ultrasound he gave the “all clear”. We started nightly injections a few days later. They monitored me daily. The cyst actually dissolved on its own. Daily we watched as follicles grew bigger and bigger until it was time to do an injection of HCG which triggers the eggs to release. My procedure was scheduled for 36 hours afterwards. An ultrasound showed us that we had three potential follicles. Our procedure was so difficult just like every procedure we have done in the past. The physician tried what seemed like a million options before he said, “We are taking you back to our embryo room.” This was the room usually used only for IVF and but it had an amazing quality ultrasound machine and equipment which led to our success in being able to go through the the procedure. After two and a half hours the nurses, doctor and ultrasound tech all cheered when we had success with completing the procedure!

Our two week wait was brutal this time. I felt nothing. I actually felt amazing with no constant vomiting like the attempts in the past. During our wait, a friend of ours from college texted me. “I had a dream that you were pregnant.” She said that in the dream I told her that I had success with IUI and that I was pregnant. But she had no idea that we were in our two week waiting period and that we had just tried another round of treatments. We also had a friend who we asked to pray for us. To our surprise he was literally in the middle of traveling to Israel and asked if we could write him out a prayer for our situation so that he could take it to the Western Wailing Wall to pray over us while he was there. *Cue the water works here people* That’s my God. In the midst of our waiting, he brings these beautiful people to us to keep showing us that he is an ABUNDANT God and that he SEES us and He will fulfill his promise to us. Even when we experience disappointment and heartbreak.

Fourteen days later, in early November, we found out that our 5th and most recent try of fertility treatments ended with yet another negative pregnancy test. I had some suspicion during our wait and an overall “feeling” that it wasn’t going to be that time but I held on to the hope that He can do all things and anything is possible. It was difficult. We grieved yet again the child that we had not even created yet. Our friends and family immediately surrounded us with prayer and love. They held us in our brokenness and prayed us through the dark valley. Our closest friends got us all matching bracelets that said, “God’s Got This” as a reminder that He can. He will. He is ABLE. They stood with us believing for the abundance of what is yet to come.

Recently I was spending time with God. Very clearly and kindly he spoke to me, “Do not be afraid to carry the unmet hopes and dreams that were birthed in you this year to the new year ahead of you. There is more ahead.”

We have prayed about what 2020 looks like for us. We have scheduled a consultation in January with our fertility specialist to talk with him about what might be next. We aren’t sure what that looks like exactly, but we are choosing to stand on the belief in the ABUNDANT goodness of God. I can tell you one thing, friends. When that day comes that we are finally holding our beautiful babies that we have waited so long to meet, they will have a lifetime full of hearing all the little miracles and examples of God’s goodness that we experienced along the path to them becoming ours. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we venture forward to what is ahead for us and believe what is ahead for us is full of ABUNDANT goodness!

I am praying for everyone who has a dream and a hope that they are carrying with them into 2020. You aren’t alone. God sees you and he knows. And it will come to pass at just the right time. He is never late. Keep holding on and be expectant for the ABUNDANCE of goodness that comes in your waiting.

Happy New Year and much love,

The Vires

Tony Evans

Surrender

From Bre:

Hello all!

We have intentionally fallen off the “digital” map for the last 6 months & it has been incredibly refreshing to unplug and disconnect. I highly recommend taking breaks away from social media, friends. It has been glorious to invest in REAL life by investing in real connection with other people, face-to-face, heart-to-heart. Also, living a life without filters or timestamps. We have found value in being honest and real with ourselves about where we are at in life right now. I could write a whole blog just on the valuable things that I’ve learned about life from being disconnected– but that’s for another day. 😉

Josh and I have so many caring friends and family all over the world who have been asking us about an update with our current fertility journey. This blog site seems to be the most efficient and user-friendly platform to do just that.

So here we go!

If you remember in our last update, in the fall of last year, we decided (with our doctor’s suggestion) to try an HSG test to further look into why our first two attempts at IUI failed. To our surprise and JOY, everything looked completely fine on that test, indicating that there was nothing blatantly wrong with my anatomy. Shortly after, we decided to attempt our third round of IUI. Given that I had just had this testing done, the odds of success were so much greater than before. Everything looked great and was great on paper; my labs indicated that everything was happening just as it should. Our doctor felt it was a good time to try and kick things up a notch with a new method of medication for our next round. So, the next try we planned to use an extra *punch*– a medication injection that forced me to ovulate at the right time which was coupled with oral hormonal medication to prepare my ovaries for that task. The regimen did exactly as it was supposed to! (It definitely punched my ovaries in the face.)

On October 23rd of last year, a few days after I started the oral medication, we had an ultrasound to evaluate the status of my ovaries. To my surprise, we had two *beautiful* mature follicles (potential eggs). This date was exceptionally tender as it marked the one year mark of my cousin, Jared, being welcomed into Heaven after a brief/intense battle with colon cancer. A few days before Jared passed away, we had a chance to talk. It was in a random blurt that he said to me, “It’s ok, cous! I’ll be up there in Heaven with your dad and we will be watching over you when you have MANY, many sets of triplets!” The memory of that conversation was on the forefront of my mind when the ultrasound tech smiled at me and told me that our 2 follicles looked “Ready and mature!” A few minutes later, the nurse gave me my HCG injection and our procedure planned for the next day.

That HCG medication did a major overhaul to my body. Basically, it was telling my body to display all the signs that would be considered normal with a pregnancy. I was so, so bloated, angry, hungry, and extremely nauseous. The nausea began immediately after my injection. I had a very important work luncheon that day and I called my mom on the way to work after our appointment– dry heaving the entire time. At lunch they served sandwiches, fruit, pasta salad. Everyone knows I LOVE pasta salad… but I found myself literally gagging the entire time I was in line waiting to get food. I choked down one piece of pineapple with a smile on my face and spent the next week literally throwing up every few hours. It was difficult. Fast forward through all that to a week later when we found ourselves in our bathroom at 5:30 a.m. staring down the barrel of yet another negative pregnancy test.

We wanted to enjoy Christmas and the holidays together and really focus on quality time with our families. But after the beginning of this year, Josh and I felt ready to try one more time. We began our planning with a consultation with our physician. He called us over the phone at the end of January and the first thing he said was, “Hi guys. So you’re getting really frustrated, huh? Listen, I completely get it. You must be exhausted! Here’s your options…” He laid out a number of directions we could go. One would be to try again like we had with the injections and oral medications. The next would be to try a completely injectable medicated cycle, and the third option was IVF.

We decided to try one more round like the previous one. (Poor Josh…he really is a saint!) Early March we stared at a screen as the ultra sound tech, Jenny, counted my mature follicles after five days of oral hormonal medication. The smile on her face was so comforting. “Op! There’s one…..two…ohhhh THREE lovely mature follicles!” I literally almost fell off the table. Josh looked at me and we both said in unison, “Jared!” (Jared did say that he would be watching over me while I have TRIPLETS!)

After they did some testing, we went to the room next door and I got my injection of HCG in order to force my body to ovulate again. Our procedure was planned for the next day. This time our procedure day fell over a weekend, which meant we had to travel to the Indy office location to have it done. We were nervous about being in a whole new office with whole new staff in a whole new city. We really find comfort in the staff at the Fort Wayne location. They knew us. They have held my hand, listened to my tears, and have comforted us in our frustration. But we had to trust. We decided to make a weekend away out of it. The doctor who did our procedure said, “Maybe we will be your good luck charm! Let’s make a holiday baby out of this! (a successful try could mean a baby being born in December).

This time around the wait was a little more brutal. I was having different symptoms than before. The nausea was definitely still there, although not as bad. But the mood swings and the anxiety were super intense. Seven days later we found ourselves yet again, staring down at a “Negative”. I hated myself for buying the expensive “digital kind” so that it makes it “quicker and more direct”. All it did was hit me in my heart a little faster.

It was hard. So very hard. We faced the reality of our dreams being prolonged yet another month with no real understanding of when that might change.

From Josh:

All I have been able to think about lately is how much I want to feel peace. Peace for all the things that I let myself worry about. Peace for my family, peace for my friends, peace for my job, peace for my home, etc. And often times I recite this scripture asking God for peace that will surpass my understanding.

7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:7

When life’s circumstance are overwhelming, I shrink back in my fortress of solitude and try to pray this prayer. It’s been such great truth to know (in my head), but I wasn’t experiencing God’s peace surpassing my understanding (in my heart). And that’s when the panic sets in, to which I respond in one of two ways: 1) I perpetuate the chaos by continuing to overwhelm myself thinking about all the details of the situation I am experiencing or 2) I choose to ignore how I am feeling; pushing my thoughts and emotions down through some kind of distraction to get my mind off of it.

The other day I had a moment of revelation while trying to slow down and allow God to do whatever He needed to do. I just wanted to be still and know He was God. I felt led to read Philippians 4, but this time verse 6 AND 7.

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:6-7

This time it hit me. And it hit me hard.

I was worrying about everything. I would try to tell God what I needed but it was shrouded in worry. I wasn’t approaching Him with what I was thankful for. I was trying to hide from my pain…

The pain of trying to get pregnant two more times. The pain of the fertility drugs causing Bre’s body to feel and act like she is pregnant only to find that it was yet another unsuccessful attempt.

Pain. Just Pain.

I am finding that often times our pain feels heavier when not dealt with then it does when we actually acknowledge it and take a step towards dealing with it. The threshold for overcoming that burden feels like such an obstacle. Yet again I am reminded that in my own strength, many things are impossible. But with God, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37, Matthew 19:26).

Finding the balance of acknowledging life’s difficulties while not letting them consume you is an art form only possible when we surrender. When we let go and let God (handle it). There are too many stories I could share about how God has been faithful, how in the hardest of times He came through. And while I don’t fully understand the path Bre and I are on in the journey towards Fertility, I (we) have the opportunity to thank God for the things He has already done and declare His promises over what has yet to come regardless of the understanding we may or may not have in the process.

And the process is ongoing. It always will be in some form or another. But I know that some day, we will be writing another post declaring the things that God has done which will include the reality of our children.

From Both of Us:

We are now in the place of needing to choose a more intense method to continue on towards becoming a family. Unfortunately, with four failed attempts behind us, the process only becomes more expensive the higher up the “complicated scale” that you go. The injections that I will be on for our next attempt will have to be made and processed through a specialty fertility pharmacy and, therefore, do not qualify for us to be able to use drug saving plans and they definitely are not covered by our insurance plan. This procedure that we want to move towards is also a little more risky. The medication is known to do what it is supposed to but sometimes it can work **too** well and there can come a point when it has to be stopped and to take a break for a while. We pray that is not the case with us, but we know that all of this is in His hands.

We are not shy about the need for financial help during this journey. Insurance companies decline and refuse to help pay for infertility treatment because they know just HOW expensive and risky the procedures, medications and processes are. To me–that’s a crock of crap. But, hey! Anthem doesn’t care what I think. Ha!

We will be doing some fundraising in the next few months to help raise some of the money we will need to continue our fight to becoming the Vire family. Honestly, both of us are tired and are very much looking forward to the day when we can look back at this entire process with our babies in our arms and be proud of the way that we trusted God through everything. We have been blessed with the greatest support system! We have some very close and dear friends who have walked along side us every single step of this process and are committed to walking with us until we see our blessings on the other side of this. We have family that has given up time, money, and so much love for us to gain strength to continue fighting this battle. We have planted our feet in a church body and feel supported as we reach out to mentors and leadership for advice and prayer for us along the way. And we have each other.

This summer we plan to focus AND relax–to focus on each other, to focus and truly grasp onto the Lord’s goodness, to focus on our friendships and on the blessings that God has given to us and to continue to lay down every moment of anxiety and fear as we face the future together.

If you’d like to partner with us as we continue on our journey to becoming a family here are some tangible ways you can do that:

  1. Pray for us: We would be absolutely honored to have you praying with us- specifically believing with us for the impossible to become possible, and praying that we would be full of LIFE.
  2. Fundraise with us: We plan to have another fundraiser garage sale on August 16 & 17! If you have things you would like to get off your hands, out of your house, or just would like to donate to our journey, please feel free to message me and we will be glad to come by and pick up whatever it is! (As long as it doesn’t have legs or fur 😛 )
  3. Ask us how we are doing: Although this is a “sensitive” subject, we are WAY passed “sensitive” and we feel honored when people take the time to ask us how we are doing in this journey. Just be prepared: we will give you an honest answer!

Thank you friends for you support along this process! It means so much to us to have your support. Please know we appreciate you from our hearts.

Looking forward to what is ahead,

The Vires ❤

To the woman who longs for Motherhood:

I see you.
I know the years of waiting and how you’ve worn out a path to Heaven with your prayers and petitioning to hold that precious baby in your arms.
I see you.
I get it…how your heart aches when you see moms who COMPLETELY miss the opportunity to fully embrace and appreciate their calling as “mom” or choose to walk away from it all together.
I see you, beautiful.
I understand the deep sunken pain every time you flip over that pregnancy test and it stares back at you with a glaring “negative”.
I see you, and you are known.
I get it…when that bitter root starts growing deep in your heart as you watch what seems like everyone else around you become pregnant and announce their joy to the world. Your heart longs to be genuinely happy–but you struggle. Oh boy… do I get you.
I see you…one who is dependent on hormones and medical intervention to reach your goal of “Mama”. I know how those hormones have effected you–in every way– from your pants size, to your friendships, to your relationship with your husband and your body’s natural rhythm. I get it.
I see you… woman who has sacrificed so much and watched the money be sucked into every aspect of the infertility war–I know the sacrifice and the anxiety that comes with every penny–with little to no guarantee of positive results.
I see you.
The woman who has begged God through tears of frustration and questioning to finally experience the desires of your heart.
God sees you. He knows.
I see you- woman whose heart aches because there’s always the, “So… how many kids do you have?” and the, “So…when are you planning on having kids?”. Why do we HAVE to go there?! I get it!!
I see you as another Mother’s Day has come and gone and you feel a sense of emptiness that not many understand.
I know the way your body tensed up every time you heard, “Happy Mother’s Day” today.
It’s ok. You’re understood.
I see the endless nights full of tears cried as you long for your family to be complete and whole.
God sees you too, my friend. He hears every single word. There is not a prayer that’s gone unnoticed and there is not a moment that you’ve gone outside of the view of God.

This Mother’s Day and every day may you know that you are known, seen, loved and heard.



Pain: The Welcomed Guest

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WHAT IF: you heard a “knock” at your door and you opened it to find a big bundle of painful moments,grief, loss? Would you open it and welcome it into your house? Would you invite it in for coffee, let it put it’s feet on your coffee table and stretch out on your sectional?

Why not?

Have you ever thought about the fact that there are so many people groups in the world– so many ethnicities, cultures, races and nations and one thing that we all have in common is a fear of feeling pain?  We hate pain. We run when we think of it. I know my own walk through a painful past, painful loss, and extreme pain with our battle with fertility. I’ve walked through so many forms of pain in the last few years. It has taken me years to realize that my “door bell” was ringing and I knew that what stood on the other side was extremely painful. Instead of opening the door and inviting the pain in to “stay a while”, I so often just ignored the ringing. But pain can be relentless and so can our escape methods. We have become REALLY good at dodging pain, friends.

Here in the United States, our culture works to relieve pain as soon as humanly possible. We hate to actually FEEL pain. Think about it…we have built a monstrosity of a pharmacological battle with overly-prescribed narcotics and opiates. We have the worst opiate epidemic going on right now than EVER before in history. And, on average, America spends over $19.9 BILLION dollars on liquor in ONE (yes, one) calendar year (thank you, Google, for that info). That is absolutely insane.

Keep thinking with me about this for a second. There is a mentality that if you just pour yourself another glass of wine it will wash away whatever pain or stress that has been incessantly knocking at your “door”. Does it bother anyone else that it i’s now acceptable for moms to joke about their excessive need for booze just to get through one day of caring for their kids?? Hmm…Soooo…What does this say about what we are teaching our children about ACTUALLY dealing with a difficult day?!  And how often does our culture self-medicate with smoking whatever plant brings some amount of “peace” to our pain?

And think about our constant need for technology. I recently have found myself buried in my phone from sun-up to sun-down— watching Facebook, watching Insta…checking a million e-mails. Really?! What are we scrolling through so much for–over & over again?? What do we think is going to happen? And do we really post our TRUE and realest selves on social media? Or are we living in a fantasy of what we wish we were? By utilizing my phone so much,  I knew I just wanted an escape and I wanted to distract myself from that nagging painful *knock* at my “door”.

We all have our ways of tuning out that knock…

Guess what I have found? That pain standing on the outside of your “door”? It is not going away simply because you do not answer the door. It is not anything like the annoying sales person that comes knocking at the front door at 6:00pm and leaves shortly after you ignore him for a minute or two.

Writing from my heart and from experience here guys–

Most recently Josh and I have walked through the pain and heartbreak of infertility. But, we also know the pain of grief and saying “good-bye”, the pain of watching people we love make destructive choices and tear their entire lives apart, the pain of dysfunction that was never dealt with from our childhood wreaking havoc as we approach our 30’s, the pain of our hearts’ greatest desires not met yet. For the entirety of our marriage, we have marched on with broken hearts through days and days of pain and searing loss.  For years, I  sprinted as far away as I could as soon as I heard the “footsteps” of pain making its way up to my “door”. No way was I letting it in! I certainly was not going to sit and face it. I could never look it in the eye– my heart was full of fear.

And I got to the point when my pain beat my “door” down:

After the doctor said that we were never going to have children of our own or on our own, I literally had absolutely no strength remaining to keep the “door” closed. The pain came barreling in like a flood. Without asking, it invaded every part of me– my heart, my mind, my bones. I couldn’t tell you how I functioned after that day, because I felt like a zombie. I tried so hard to ignore it and I tried so hard to push it out, but there was no shoving this pain back out the door and locking it out. I had to deal. I had to face it. I had no choice. I found myself talking to the pain as if it was sitting in front of me. I acknowledged it, finally came to a place of welcoming it and spelled out SHARP boundaries that the pain had to go by:

It could not steal my joy and it could not steal my peace. 

Shortly afterward, I realized that my pain had some majorly deep roots.  In all this crap, there were roots that had the word “disappointment” written all over them. Each time I let myself feel comfortable in the same “room” with my pain, it became easier and easier to lift out the roots of disappointment and throw them away. I stripped myself of distraction, of self medicating, of trying to numb myself and I forced myself to feel. I survived and it was absolutely beautiful. Each time I gained courage and strength, each time I felt like a part of my wounded heart was healing. We’ve sought counsel, confided in friends, and our support community lifts us up on their prayers so often. Most importantly, I’ve learned to keep the “door” open. I have learned that pain that I feel does not define or control me. It does, however, help me to grow stronger in faith and plant deeper roots of PEACE when I face the pain and work THROUGH it instead of ignoring it.

I’ve written about the pain that infertility brings before.  It’s layers and layers of hurt from the negative lab reports from a fertility specialist, to the disappointment. From negative pregnancy tests over and over again to the hurt of a “not this time” or “it is not ever likely to happen”.

The pain continues to be real.

Our journey has had so many unexpected turns. We’ve gone through a looong season of “no’s” and a season of “negatives” and we have finally reached a place of surrender. Whatever happens from here, happens, painful or not. We welcome it because we know that our pain is a catalyst that sets us ablaze with courage and hope.

Speaking of hope, if I haven’t lost you yet (kudos if you are still reading), I had an HSG test this past week and the doctor found that every part of my body that is supposed to contribute to a healthy pregnancy is doing what it is supposed to do. He encouraged us; he held my hand and looked me in the eye and said, “Until I get worried, you are not allowed to be worried. Don’t jump this ship yet!” He showed me my test results and pointed out how perfect everything in my body looked. The positive news almost made my heart explode!! In the midst of this pain, we have something to celebrate!!

I encourage all of us to be brave, unlock our “doors”, and welcome in whatever pain is standing on the other side. The best news is, you get to give it boundaries. You can dictate what it is and isn’t allowed to touch.  Think about this for a moment: With your pain sitting in front of you, you can essentially do whatever you want with it. You can work through it, or tell it that it can’t stay. You can give it to Jesus (1 Peter 5:7) or you can even cuss it out if you want to! You do not have to lose your peace and  you deserve to face your pain and grow from the things that you’ve gone through. Let the pain you feel be what gives you bigger wings to soar in freedom.

Answer that door!! Make your pain your welcomed guest !! Freedom awaits, friends!

 

 

Green grass and pink lines.

Finally! There are so many beautiful blooms in our backyard. The grass is finally every shade of green and, as if over night, our peonies are standing tall and almost ready to burst open in full bloom! The sweet birds serenade us from the trees and even the rainstorms are smelling like “spring”. I think of how badly I’ve longed for the Spring season to be here. Did it not feel like the LONGEST winter ever?! I felt like a little kid on Christmas when I went outside and saw the tulips and daffodils popping up from the ground for the first time. ( And, yes… I cried. Ha!) I find it so amazing that after months of a harsh winter and bitter cold,  a plant can not only find its way through the dirt into the sunlight, but it slowly strengthens its roots and eventually stands strong enough to hold a giant bloom. The timing of each bloom is so precise. Almost overnight, our blooming cherry tree blossomed and showered our front lawn with beautiful pink petals. All I want is to have the windows open and the sun pouring in. This Spring has been one like no other. Not only is the beauty that surrounds us reminding us of the precise timing and order in our lives, it has exploded LIFE in abundance in a season when we need to see LIFE all around us, the most.

This post is brutally honest, vulnerable, and open… Just a disclaimer. ❤

In February, Josh and I spent time praying into what it would look like to try our first round of fertility treatments in March. I wanted to be intentional about letting myself fully feel the anniversary of my dad’s death at the beginning of the month, and we had planned on going forward with things with the timing of my cycle– which happened to be on the first day of Spring. If you know me, you know how much I love what some call “coincidences”, but I call “divine timing”. We loved the idea that our first round of IUI would be on the first official day of Spring — the season we’ve spiritually, physically, and emotionally been waiting for. After a little bit of complication, the first procedure went well, and the next few weeks of waiting were KILLER. “Just go home and try not to think about it for the next 14 days”…. Rigggghhhht. No. That’s not how this girl works. It’s been on my mind 24/7 for the last 4 years and you want me to just “try not to think about it” for two weeks. Anyway– we prayed every day that God’s will would be done and we tried to find rest in knowing He was ultimately in control.

A few days after our first IUI, the doctor ordered a lab to check my Progesterone levels to make sure that my lining would be cozy enough for a little baby to call home and to make sure that I ovulated as strongly as I should have. Normal level is above 10. The nurse called  and said, “Hi Bre. The doctor is a little concerned with your level. It is at 7.4 and he would like you to start taking Progesterone right away to make sure that you keep the embryo, if one develops. You’ll stay on this for the next 12 weeks.” My heart sank to my toes. All I could think about was the safety of an embryo inside me (that is…*IF* there was one)…and there’s THAT part of it…not even knowing for SURE. Then there was the cost of the progesterone supplements, and the side effects, and the fact that my body isn’t normal….This was not the way we wanted things to go, but I accepted it and thanked God for a solution and we moved on. Fast forward two weeks to a very early morning pregnancy test…and one pink line indicating it was, indeed, negative.

After calling to let them know how things went and fighting back falling apart like a little baby on the phone with the nurse, I took the day off work to make sure I was allowing myself the space and time to grieve…. grieving something we never even had in the first place. It is such a weird concept….and yet, it is so powerful. The doctor wanted me to turn right back around and start a medicine called Clomid before my next go around- Clomid helps thousands of women ovulate successfully and strongly enough to get pregnant, but it comes on the scene as swiftly as an elephant in church, and takes charge over your hormones like a jail keeper. The timing came and went, and each day we placed the situation in the Lord’s hands, knowing that what he wants is the best outcome for us.

Our next try of IUI was in April. This time we felt pretty positive. The procedure, however, was pretty difficult. After THREE nurses and a physician couldn’t complete it, they moved me to an ultrasound room. Nothing screams *VULNERABLE* like this moment of my life. The nurses were so kind and quickly saw beyond the fake smile that I was nervous and upset that this wasn’t as simple as it normally is. Yet again, my body wasn’t normal. The physician stayed with me to make sure I was ok and the ultrasound tech gently rubbed my arm to assure me that it was going to be “ok”. Then I hear, as she looks up from the ultrasound screen,  “This happens all the time… don’t worry!” … Uh huh, sure.

My next progesterone level lab came back a few days later. ( Normal at 10, my level was 21!) I will never forget the excitement in the nurse’s voice when she said, “Way to go on that STRONG ovulation!” If it was possible to hug my ovaries, I would have done it right then and there. Again, we were told to wait another two weeks to test. This time the symptoms began almost right away. I started having nausea and horrible mood swings. (So sorry, babe) and… oh my gosh, the tears! I naturally cry all the time, but this was out of control. I felt bloated and crampy and I definitely felt like this could be it. Fast forward to a very early morning pregnancy test… and it was one pink line…indicating, yet again, I was not pregnant.

I can’t say it still doesn’t make me come to tears. That feeling of being punched in the gut, mixed with having your heart ripped out and torn to shreds. That feeling of wanting to punch out a wall and yet be held by everyone in the world and soothed with a hug. Yep. That feeling.

The doctor returned my call later that day and said that he would like to perform a test called an HSG to get a very clear picture of my anatomy, and to be able to tell for certain if the Fallopian tubes are fully open. He explained that there is no point in going forward with what we are trying if the pathway is blocked completely. The good news ( like this is “good” ) is that during this procedure, the dye they use flushes out the fallopian tubes and allows them to open up… most of the time. And the best time to try a round of IUI is RIGHT after an HSG because everything is open and ready to go. After praying and talking with the doctor, we asked him if he was ok with us taking a few months off from trying, so that we can regain some strength and have time to process our journey in full.

Right after us finding out that we were not pregnant we had our water heater give out about 50 gallons of water throughout our house. Josh and I can (somewhat, lol) laugh about it now and we joked that we had a flood to cleanse our house and start fresh. But in the hassle of demolishing walls and tearing out damaged flooring, I started to realize how this same situation mimicked what I felt like on the inside. I felt flooded with emotions and we felt as if our very foundation was being ripped away from us. Thank goodness for Homeowner’s Insurance…. but I honestly hope we never have to use them again.

We are…exhausted. Yes, I’m aware that some people to back to back rounds of IFV or IUI for years and never see results. BUT-YES, I have found that this journey is so much more taxing emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually than we ever imagined. All of me feels like a puddly mess of all kinds of emotions. (I may *slightly* blame the hormones and the medications that just toss my emotions around like baseballs).  It is the encouragement in the PROMISES of God that picks me up and puts me together again. Even in our weakest season, we still feel so supported by our family and our closest friends who have walked with us every step of the way…. checking in with us and constantly cheering us on. We are so thankful for the timing of texts, calls, and cards in the mail encouraging us to KEEP BELIEVING. It’s amazing how God provides things at *just* the right time. Like providing the beauty in our backyard and the beauty of this Spring season to remind us that we are surrounded by LIFE every single day, even when it doesn’t feel like it. I am reminded of how long I waited through seriously the LONGEST winter season ever for spring to finally arrive and how often I missed the beauty around me in winter because I was just longing for what was ahead and not being fully present in the moment… I just wanted to move on and forget about it.

I can’t say that we still don’t currently feel that way at all. Honestly, I tell Josh all the time how much I just want to fast  forward through all of this awful, awful heartbreak and just get to when we get to be a family. But, I would be doing myself a major disservice if I didn’t stop to see the beauty in our brokenness and notice how much this season is teaching us. We literally are depending on the Lord for strength every single day. We’ve been to this place before, especially during the season of saying Goodbye to my daddy. But this is different. What better way for Josh to learn what it means to be an excellent father, than to learn how to be comforted from his Father in Heaven. What better way for us to learn how to truly appreciate each other, than to be stripped of every comfort and being forced to realize how much we truly are FOR one another in our marriage. What better way for us to learn how to APPRECIATE our future children, than to have to wait for them and pray for them to arrive.

It is JUST like God to have orchestrated that during this season of grieving, we would wake up every single day to the sound of birds cheerfully singing right next to our window. It is JUST like him to make sure that every time we look outside, we see the GREEN so deep against the blooms so bright. He is inside every detail and I know he has a plan for us.

Would you partner with us in praying for our family and our babies over the next few months? We would be SO honored to have your prayers. Especially as we navigate through the testing and the next few rounds of IUI. We would also feel honored if you felt led to donate financially to our “Baby Fund” in order to help make our dream of becoming a family a reality. We SO appreciate those who have given to us already. Unfortunately, in the state of Indiana, most, if not ALL, insurance policies DO NOT have infertility coverage built into their packages. (In the state of Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan it is a possibility, but not here… a real crock of crap). Anyway–the financial burden of infertility is SO ridiculous. There is nothing like it in the world. Because of the precise timing, the nature of needing tons of lab work done, and the cost of the procedure—it  is a MAJOR expense. This test that they are recommending has an astronomical cost as well. We would be honored if you felt like giving and the link you can use to do so is listed here:

https://www.youcaring.com/joshuaandbrevire-1105925

Thanks for taking the time to invest in us by reading all of this, friends. If you stuck it out to read it all, I applaud you and I thank you. And thank you for supporting us in prayer and encouragement during this time. It really is an honor and we love you.

Believing in faith and standing on hope,

  • The Vire’s

Multiple Sclerosis won’t win.

 

This week is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness week around the country and this topic is so important to our family. During my senior year of high school, my mama was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis after a horrible bout of symptoms that took weeks to recover from. During that time, the optic nerve behind her eye had swollen so much that she went temporarily blind- a moment that was, no doubt, extremely frightening for her and for us as a family as we navigated the best way to help her get back to normal. Doctors ran a slew of tests for what seemed like weeks and put her on a heavy round of steroids to help reduce the optic nerve swelling. A few weeks later, my mom regained her vision in that eye, but was hit with the words: “We think you may have Multiple Sclerosis”.

According to Healthline.com Multiple Sclerosis affects between 110-140 out of every 100,000 people in the northern states of the US. More people are diagnosed on the northern half of the country than the southern half. Multiple Sclerosis is diagnosed when doctors see weakening or destruction by one’s own body of the myelin sheath that surrounds nerves. Without this myelin sheath, the “messages” that are being sent through nerves become extremely slow or non-existent. This means that someone with Multiple Sclerosis may experience lack of movement with limbs, lack of the ability to concentrate, inability to walk with a normal gait, joint pain, neurological pain or depression. It also means that the disease can cause extreme disabilities and abnormal ability to function on a daily basis.

Treatment for MS involves utilizing what they call “MS Modifiers”. These medicines typically fight back against ones own body to protect the myelin sheaths from being destroyed. There is no current “cure all” available, but the medicines being used to slow down the progress have been proven successful for many people. Due to the nature of the medicine, it’s extremely expensive and it also can cause some nasty side effects. Doctors typically like to watch a patient carefully and examine how the medicine is affecting them in all areas.

Battling MS is costly, strenuous, exhausting and sometimes debilitating, but my mama has battled against this nasty disease with so much power and strength. She has utilized the help of her neurologists and the team of physicians that all make sure that her symptoms are managed well. She’s been on some MS modifiers over the years– at times, you have to out weigh the risk with the benefit. She’s seen some nasty side effects, she’s been in several “experimental” categories, and she’s researched every medicine there is out there.

At the moment of her diagnosis, my mom was a full-time working nurse in an Alzheimer’s unit of a skilled nursing facility. She was loving her job and we were in a place of financial stability. And..suddenly this diagnosis and disease comes barging in like an unwelcome guest. She had to step away from her position, as she focused on healing and finding a new normal. But her strength was/is so inspiring. She never gave up hope and she knew that, somehow, it was all going to work out. For years, I have watched her put her faith in a loving God above all of her challenges and all of her weaknesses.

These days she does not let her disease stop her. She volunteered for Parkview Hospital and American Red Cross loving people through her ability to shine God’s love to them even through her  darkness. She has taken up volunteering her time to sew for a company called Little Angel Gowns- they use used wedding gowns to make bereavement gowns for still born babies. Personally, she has been such an amazing example of unconditional love. She held me at my best friend’s funeral. She was right by my side the entire time that I cared for my dad. She came to the most difficult appointments and she held my dad during intense, awful pain. She has helped Josh and I immensely in our fundraising and the products she has made are professional level.

More importantly, she’s kept her faith and her dependence on God. It has never wavered. She is full of light and love. She gives her strength to praying for others and she is always available for a friendly phone call or visit. Even 10 years after her diagnosis, she’s beaming with LIFE. I’m so thankful for the ability to have a friendship and relationship with her even through everything she faces every day.

MS won’t beat her down and it won’t win. Research has come so far over the last decade to provide ways to better manage symptoms, but also to keep the disease from spreading. Breakthrough discoveries have taken place on how the disease could be linked to certain viruses or environmental factors. My hope and prayer is that through awareness, research, and donations, we will one  day have a cure for this awful disease and be able to beat it down once and for all.

 

We love you, mama. ❤

Reaping joy.

13680119_10208227733308662_4851610872238949341_oHello there! Bre here, currently writing from the couch while relaxing with a “De-stress” mud mask on my face. I am not sure what it is doing for my current stress levels, but my face has now dried and it is stuck in a classic “grouchy old man at a busy grocery store” expression.  How lovely!

Anyway….anyone else feeling the itch to leave this wintery, blustery, yuck behind us and finally wake up to the sunshine and some temperatures above freezing? I’m so antsy to move into a new season, especially one full of life and greenery, sunshine, and flowers. If I am honest, I think it is that I’m just antsy to get through this part and into the next season in our journey.

We have had a very busy few weeks in this journey of fighting back against infertility And… let me tell ya, it is not a simple or easy fight, folks. I know that, unfortunately, there are so many couples in our lives and around the world that know what I’m talking about. Just being real– there are some days that I have to willingly stand up and knock out the lie that we will never become parents. Everyday, we willing choose to believe that God’s promises for us are “yes” and “amen” and that he will fulfill every promise that he has spoken to us. But, it is a minute-by-minutes process of throwing down the lies of impossibilities and clothing ourselves in the truth in the promises. There are days when the emotional side effects of the supplements the doctors have me on make it feel like Josh and I are literally living on the set of “This is Us”… those are the days  when we have literally run out of tissues in our house. There are days when the anxiety that I feel about all these unknowns knocks at the door of my heart and threatens to choke out the hope that I have, but I will not let it in.

The fight is ugly. It’s marked with tears and heartache. For us it has been three years, but for some it’s been decades. We know the pain of bitterness and the fight to feel genuine joy for others when they are celebrating pregnancies or new arrivals in their family. We know the pain of not being able to face certain people who you know will greet you with questions about, “Sooo…when will your family be growing?!” or “You two having any kids yet?!”… Boy. If I had a nickel for every time we have been asked those two questions…

We also hold on to the hope that some day soon we may face the very real possibility of holding a sweet baby in our arms. Josh will someday know what it is like to kick a soccer ball to our child. I will someday know the joy of being celebrated on Mother’s Day. Josh will feel the tiny hands of our baby wrapped around his finger, as he rocks them to sleep. We will have our promise fulfilled. I know we will.

And, if you know the searing pain of infertility… we are believing along side you that YOU TOO will have your  promise fulfilled. Although I know it does not soften the heartache and feeling incomplete, we firmly believe that His plan is not a “no”, but a redirection.

We have started a fundraising site to help with the expenses of the next part of our journey. Doctors have monitored my hormones to make sure that my body is where it needs to be. Each visit, each lab draw, each appointment heaps on to the pile of expenses we are accruing during this journey. Our insurance, like most, refuses to cover any part of infertility treatment or testing. It’s a crock of crap, if you ask me, but that’s another topic for another day.

Below is the link to the site that we are using to help raise us to our goal of $3,000. This will help us be able to complete the diagnostic testing, and the procedure that the fertility specialist has recommended to help us have our babies. We hope to have as much of the funds as we can to continue on in our journey to see our promise fulfilled.  Thank you for all who have been so faithful in praying with us and fighting along side us. Thank you to all who have messaged us, and written us letters and sent us encouraging notes. And thank you to all who have given or will give financially to help us see this dream fulfilled. We can’t tell you enough how much we appreciate your generosity!

https://www.youcaring.com/joshuaandbrevire-1105925

“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy! They weep as they go to plant their seed, but sing as they return the with harvest.” Psalm 126:5-6

 

The journey to Baby V

Mountain Rise

I always love this time of year. There is excitement in the air. The new year brings forward new possibilities, adventures. But, if Josh and I are honest, a new year also brings a slew of other emotions. The arrival of 2018 means that it has now been three years of the pursuit, waiting, praying, tears, and planning for our family to grow. It is often explained that a couple battling infertility can go through something like the five stages of grief as they endure the struggle of finding answers, trying procedures, redirection, disappointment, loss….etc. We can attest to that. For a while, it seemed like the five stages a grief were happening almost simultaneously– if that’s even possible. Towards the beginning of the process, every month that we were not pregnant was a time of grieving and each step towards figuring out what was behind our struggle, was consumed with the emotions that were evoked.

We have been through all the feelings, and now find ourselves in a place of peace. We got here through the power of God’s grace, his constant companionship and his love for us. There has been a shift in our perception of where we are. We’ve gone from seeing our placement in this valley as being stuck in the lowest place, surrounded by the biggest challenges, to embracing and learning to love the season we are in and be expectant for what is to come.

Over the past two years, this process has led us through countless tests and appointments. The doctor’s suggested focusing on our individual fertility one at time to make conclusions on what is going on. If you have been following along with our infertility journey, you know that we have traveled as far as the Cleveland Clinic to visit the best infertility specialist in the Midwest. We’ve developed relationships with a slew of physicians in our city (my OB-GYN as well endocrinologists, oncologists, urologists, and general practitioners) Not all of them have been kind, caring, and subtle with sharing their opinions about what is going on, as well as what our next steps can be. Some of them have had the bedside manner of a bed pan. Seriously. But! Our options have been made clear–we can look into exploratory surgery to see if our chances of pregnancy are higher than they thought, just hiding. Or we could do another type of procedure here in Fort Wayne using a new fertility specialist. Of course, we also always have the option of adoption. Our hearts have always skipped beats to the idea of adopting children, but we feel that it may be later in life, further down the road.

So…we march on. We took a leap towards marching towards one of the two options above. This last week we met with a fertility specialist in town. I don’t know about you, but I do not enjoy first time visits with new physicians. I despise having to go through explaining our story, what we’ve tried, and trying to get a word in edge wise to let them know that… yes,we know what we are facing. We walked into our consultation with the new specialist, and on his wall is a picture of a newborn baby that says, “God’s no is not a rejection, it is a redirection”. Immediately, we felt confirmation. The physician explained that the procedure available to us to try and get pregnant is VERY possible. He supported our decision, led us through what it would look like, and encouraged us. He first would like to do some more labs and a work up on me (Bre) to make sure that my body would be ready for receiving help in getting pregnant. This would mean that I would do some more tests (my least favorite part about this whole thing), BUT! if those labs come back in normal ranges, we would be a GREEN LIGHT GO!!!

I can’t put into words what it means to have a physician say, “2018 is your year for a baby!!”  In that moment, as many times before, the aching parts of our hearts felt the warm soothing kindness of God. I could feel His presence wrapping us up, as if to say, “I’ve got you!” I could also only imagine the smile on my dad’s face from the Heavens as he saw the joy that exploded in my smile.

These next steps are available to us at any time. Of course, we are super excited to make everything happen. However, due to the testing and the nature of our appointments and procedures falling under “Infertility” coding, our insurance will not cover the next steps that are available to us. The cost for everything depends on how many procedures it takes for us to achieve pregnancy. One of the tests that they are encouraging us to do is about $800. If all of the testing that occurs comes back “fine”, and we only have to try one time (which I am believing for), the cost will stay between $2000 and $3000. But, in the case that my labs aren’t normal, and they have to intervene OR we attempt to try, and we have to try multiple times, that cost increases by an unknown margin, all of which will not be covered by our insurance. (I could go on and on about how messed up the lack of infertility coverage is, but that’s another story for another day)

We have been in prayer every day about what these next few steps look like. We keep hearing the Lord say to us that he will bless us immensely. We also felt the urge to create beauty from our ashes. So… in a few weeks, Josh and I will be hopping on here again to present to you several handmade pieces of artwork, accessories, clothing items, and projects that we are in the works of creating, in order to raise funds to be able to move forward in our pursuit of expanding our family. Several have asked how they can help us. If you feel led to donate financially, we will be setting up a webpage in order to make that simple and easy for you to do. We also would love items that you would want to donate in hopes of creating more funds by sale. We are humbled by how much support we have received already. So many have been praying for us, so many have checked in with us about how our hearts are doing. Our families have been amazing in holding us up when we are too weak to stand.

And! We appreciate YOU. We are honored that so many are invested us and are cheering us on during this difficult time of waiting. Thank you, thank you! We will be keeping this blog up to date as we continue on with updates on our process, as well as use this platform and others to help us gain financial support to be able to continue the pursuit towards our babies! We would be honored to have your continued prayers.  The prayers of many have carried us through for so long, and we feel humbled by the love we have been shown. We are believing for GREAT BLESSINGS in 2018 both for Josh and I AND for YOU!!

Thankful for your support and expectant for what is to come,

♥ The Vire’s

 

“Write for me.”

 

A few months ago, I had a dream. I was sitting in the doughnut shop that my dad and I used to go to when I was a little girl, a little tiny shop called Tom’s. I ordered my dad’s favorite kind– the chocolate frosted ones with the fluffy whipped sugary middle stuffing. I sat down and, soon after, my dad walked through the door. He walked straight to me. He was smiling in the way he would when he was laughing. His eyes would get lost in his smiling cheeks.  He spoke and then came the words:

“Hey, Bre! Wow. I did it all. I did everything I wanted to do before I left, except one thing… I need you to write for me, because I didn’t get the chance to do that before it was time for me to go. Write it all out.”

Then, as if he had come to see me just to say that one thing, he turned and walked out the door.  I’ve been moved ever since. I’ve explored pages and pages of his writings— pages of books that, at any given time, you could find him buried in nose deep trying to gain every spec of knowledge he could. He was so passionate about learning and gaining knowledge.  But, I’m finding in his years of journal writing that he was also passionate in sharing knowledge.

Tomorrow would have been his 68th birthday. Never in a million years would I have thought that he would be absent for his birthday at such a young age. But, my focus has been on the legacy that he has left behind for me to carry on. I came across something he wrote that was so powerful it shook me which is odd because I’ve heard these stories many times– they are the accounts his first and third visits to Heaven during his time on Earth.  For some reason, reading them after he has been welcomed Home for eternity has made his accounts of the events that happened seem so much more real.
So, dad, this one is for you. Every day you’re on my mind. All the time you’re in my heart.

The following is an account of the first time my dad went to the other side:

Written on April 4th, 2016:

“November 1981- I wrecked my car. I left my  body and went into a tunnel. I came out in darkness. There was a faint yellow glow off to my near left. Two angels came out and said I couldn’t come here now. They told me that I needed to go back. At this point, I was blaming God for all of the bad in my life and I wanted to meet with him and discuss the issue. There was a tube of the darkest darkness. The blackest black. The emptiest empty. One of the angels said to me, ‘Put your left arm in there.’  I put my hand in it and it was a tube of darkness so dense it felt like grease.  I knew it was a godless zone. One could not move once in the tube of darkness. The angel said that because my name was not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life that I had only two choices– to go into the darkness in the tube or to go back and get my name written in the Book… I went back. I woke up in the hospital the next day. The doctor and nurse were making sounds. The doctor was swearing at me as he was reading my chart. I asked the nurse why he was swearing at me. She told me, “Do you see that chart he is holding? That  chart says you are dead and you are here talking with us and he is struggling with that.”

I have not come across any entries from my dad which tell in detail about his second trip to the other side. But, I do remember every detail of that trip he made because he shared in detail with me about the occurrance on multiple occassions. In February of 2003, my dad was driving to work at Parkview Behavioral Health in Fort Wayne. He was T-boned on the passenger side of his truck by a MUCH bigger truck who ran a red light and was pinned his the truck for more than 30 minutes before they could get him out. He has given the account of leaving his body for a second time. This time he stood at the gates of Heaven— light was all around him. The father stood before him– the brightest light. My dad told me about the multitude of colors the beauty of the flowers and LIFE that was surrounding him. I remember specifically arriving to the Emergency Room as a 13 year old to find my dad bleeding profusly, glass empaled in his forehead, tubes everywhere, his clothes torn to shreds his eyes shut and he was not responding. I held his hand and squeezed as hard as I could. “Daddy! I’m here!” No response. “Daddy! It’s Bre! I’m here!” It took a minute but I got a slight squeeze back and his eyes barely opened. “It’s going to be ok, hun! It’s going to be alright! I’m going to make it, okay?!” His memory of that time was totally different then mine. He remembers standing at the gate. He asked, “Am I staying this time?” My dad said that it was then that my face flashed as if on a screen next to him. The Lord replied, “You can stay if you’d like, or you can go back to take care of her.” He chose to come back to me and bear all the pain that he had to face once he woke up. He faced weeks of rehabilitation, healing a broken back, a punctured lung, and a fractured collar bone.  He came back.

The next entry was written about his third trip to the other side. This occured in June of 2014:

“June of 2014 I was on the other side while the medical team and my family were here on this side praying and fighting for my life. In this time, I was fighting five evil spirits all at one time. They all had swords drawn and I had a sword of my own. My Lord Jesus was standing with me. He was encouraging me to fight them all at one time. I complained that this was not a fair fight, and he agreed with me. It was not a fair fight because they do not stand a chance. We fought for a long time when one of them snuck around behind me and slashed me in the back. Down I went, in great pain. I cried out to the Lord and he gave me strength and lifted me onto my feet. After a while, all five spirits left. The Lord took me to Zechariah 3 and put me through removing of my dirty clothes and turban and giving me new ones. On the third day, the Lord and I were walking by the sea of glass talking about my new mission. The Lord spoke. I listened. He said that after I returned to my body I would forget most of the details. He said I was to go back and rest and prepare for what was next.”

The final account of my dad’s journey to Heaven has yet to be written. I can’t wait to one day hear about all of the beautiful details about his journey to Heaven on the spiritual side during his last few days on Earth. I have been amazed at the experiences that he has faced over his lifetime and the constant flow of grace and protection from the Lord over my dad’s life. There seems to be countless stories of the Lord directing my dad over his 67 years.  It is so facinating to think about the eternal timeline– oxymoron I know, but what an amazing thought. What is he doing in Heaven today? And how extravagant will the celebration be for his birthday tomorrow? I imagine the singing and the dancing and the fullness of joy in the presence of God.  So much excitement and happiness!

He may not be here on Earth to celebrate, but his legacy lives on and will for many years to come!

Written for you, Dad. Love you always.