Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hi everyone, I couldn't figure out how to type in the post with the video, but in the previous post you will find the video from our Both Hands Project! This past Saturday we prayed that the rain would hold off and that we would be able to help our widow Mary clean up her yard and spread stone in her driveway. We began at 9 am and the day was warm, windy and the sun will still shining! Everyone worked really hard to rake her leaves, clean up her flower beds and the biggest project of all, spreading all of that stone! As the morning progressed, the wind picked up, the temperature got a little bit cooler and as we were finishing up the sky began to get dark. The last of our volunteers left just as it began to pour! We were so blessed by this day, everyone who came out to help us and Mary and the beautiful weather! I hope you enjoy the video as much as we enjoyed the work!

Both Hands Project-Zehr Family

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Serving the widow and the orphan

This Saturday, Elias and I, along with a number of volunteers, are going to be heading to Martinsburg (for those of you not from NY that is about 5-10 minutes outside of Lowville) to work on a widow's house for a day. We are going to be completing what is called a Both Hands Project and I am so excited about it! Our volunteers have sent out letters asking people to sponsor them for the day much like one would for a golf tournament or a 5K. The money that is donated to sponsor them to work on the widow's house then goes to our adoption. When all is said and done, both the widow and the orphan have been served.

Our project will consist mostly of yard work for a local widow who lost her husband back in 1995 and then had her leg amputated last year. This wonderful, 73 year old woman always kept her home in immaculate condition and took pride in her yard work and landscaping. While she is making every effort to become more and more independent since her surgery, she hasn't been able to maintain her yard and flower beds this year. Our team will be going up to her home to rake, clean up the flower beds, mow for the last time this year, move some crushed stone, and surprise her with a couple of beautiful mums donated by O'neils Garden Plants in Croghan. We will be taking pictures and making a video to show everyone what we did that day. We feel so blessed to have this opportunity to serve a local widow in this way. If you would like to sponsor us or one of our volunteers you can donate here:

All donations are tax deductible and 100% of the funds will go to supporting our adoption and providing a child with his/her forever family! If you can't donate please pray that we will have good weather and be a blessing to this amazing woman!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Hi everyone, I have been wanting to write for a little while, but with the craziness of moving, there are very few things that I have actually accomplished that I have been wanting to do. However, we are moved into our new home in Croghan, and while we are still unpacking it is so nice to be able to drive 5 minutes to work, or even have the option of walking if I don't have too much to carry. Elias is still attending school in Herkimer to become a computer network technician, so that's a 90 min drive 3 times per week, but it's so much closer to be able to work with his dad and just drop in and see our amazing parents! We were incredibly blessed to have the help of all of our parents for the moving out portion and to have amazing friends on the Lewis county side waiting to help us carry everything into the new house. We are incredibly blessed!

No onto the actual post. There is a topic I have been wanting to write about for a long time, but I have wanted to do it with gentleness and love. However, in the meantime, there was a an article that came out that covered one of the sub-topics, I guess you might say, that I would be covering in this post and I decided to dedicate a post all of it's own to talk about this article.

Basically this was an article by two parents who are pregnant with twins as a result of IVF and the title was "I'm Expecting Twins- and I Feel Like I Ruined my Family. As you can imagine, this title did not sit well with me at all, maybe I shouldn't have even read the article. But I did. Frankly I was angered by this article and this couple, I was also saddened for the babies who may someday read this article and feel as though they "ruined" their family's lives. I need to back-track to explain a bit. This couple has a 3 year old and wanted one more. So they turned to IVF. Due to the low success rates of IVF, they  decided to transfer two embryos. I need to stop right there. They made the CHOICE to transfer two embryos, no one told them they had to, they could have transferred one and froze any remaining embryos for a later transfer. But no, they transferred two, which means that they knew that they could get pregnant with twins. Now I can empathize with the fact that they are scared and unsure if they can financially provide for two extra children and that they were not expecting both embryos to take. But the mother goes on and on about how horrible the pregnancy is and how awful she feels and how she can't play with her son the way she used to.

Here is my issue, I'm not going to pretend like I know what it's like to be pregnant, but I would love to know. I know that some people love it and others hate it. Some have it easy, some have really difficult pregnancies. However, one of my biggest pet peeves is people complaining publicly about their pregnancy. I can guarantee you that no matter how much you hate being pregnant and how horrible you feel, there are thousands of women, just like me, who would take your place in an instant. I can empathize with someone who says, this is hard, harder than I ever I thought. I can even empathize with women who don't enjoy being pregnant. I have a hard time empathizing with women who publicly complain about their pregnancies whether it be verbally in groups, on Facebook, or in this case, a very public article.

Please understand that every time you complain publicly, there may be people around you that are hurting in a way that you can't understand. There is even a chance that you could lose a friend over this, I have heard of it happening. You don't need to walk on eggshells around women struggling with infertility, but please be mindful of what you say when around them or on Facebook, which is the most painful place to be exposed to pregnancy whether it be announcements, pictures or complaints. Also, keep in mind that you may not know that a woman around you is struggling. No, we can't understand the discomfort and emotions that you are feeling, but you also can't understand the gut wrenching sobs that we have cried over the fact that we cannot become the one thing that we want more than anything in the world. The thing that many of us feel we were created to be.....a mother. Also, please understand that your children may some day see or hear what you said, and they may not be able to understand your emotions in that moment. The last thing anyone should want, is for their child to feel as though he/she were unwanted.

Please know that I am not condemning anyone, and if you have been on of those that complained publicly, that's okay. My goal is to raise awareness and help everyone be more mindful of the pain that other's may be suffering around them, not just in regards to infertility, but in life in general.