You’ll Never Guess What Happened

I promise I have a very good reason for not having written here in about 9 months. And I promise I’ll tell you what it is. But you’ll have to wait a minute or so.

We’ve had so many new and different experiences since last year. You can see the highlights on my Instagram (trips to Texas, Rome, Panama, Chicago, etc.), but I’ll focus on the big stuff.

I spent the entire month of October 2018 living in Rome at the North American College, covering the Synod at the Vatican on social media. Some really cool stuff happened:

paul and pope

But it wasn’t all papal greetings and gelato. As the month wore on, I felt more and more uneasy about something. The scandals, the clericalism, it’s hard to stomach for anyone, but when you work for the Church, it takes on a new level of intensity. The Church is made up of humans, and sometimes those humans can be horrific cesspools of sin. Theoretically I’m supposed to know that (I am one, sometimes, of course). And I was already starting to feel demoralized over all of it before my trip. But while in Rome, I snapped.

I ran into a chapel and said to the Lord directly, “If this is your kingdom, I don’t want any part of it.”

Bet you’ll never guess what he did.

Somehow, through some connections, I was invited to go to Eucharist with a community of the Neocatechumenal Way on a Saturday night at a parish in Rome. I couldn’t resist – I just had to see what this was about. I won’t go into detail here but suffice it to say I was floored. This is someone who likes singing in Latin, who loves incense and solemn worship spaces, who prefers silent Adoration to the praise and worship version… and yet, at a little parish in Rome, I fell in love with the liturgy of the Neocatechumenal Way.

When I returned home in November, James and I joined a community here in the DC area. It’s hard sometimes, especially since we hover between two parishes now, but the way that the Way celebrates the Eucharist is what holds me there. And the fact that we’ve met more people in just a few months with the community than we have in years at our other parish.

Outside of this massive shift in the way we experience Catholicism, everything else in our lives was also going crazy. Work was hard. I stopped going to choir because I felt overwhelmed. I began feeling like I had to just tread water. But also, something else was going on all the while.

Last June, when I chaperoned a bunch of teens at a LifeTeen camp in Georgia, I said that my life had been changed forever. I meant it. I couldn’t yet say what it was, because my family reads this blog, and I was keeping this a secret until I was ready to share with them.

My husband and I have a wonderful life. A wonderful, awesome, sometimes challenging, but very fulfilling life. And infertility is a big part of that life. We had attempted adoption about 3 years ago, but we knew it wasn’t where God was calling us, at that time. So we stopped trying to adopt, and we focused on life.

When I went on that trip to Georgia, something happened between me and God. I felt like my heart had been stretched. And… at the end of the week, I decided I wanted to adopt.

We researched international adoption all summer long, and in September 2018, just before I left for a month in Rome, we started the process to adopt a child from China. The entire paperwork process was fraught with many ups and downs, and many, many moment of me wanting to give up. There was even one period of time (December 2018) when our social worker told us she wasn’t going to approve us. I wanted so badly to call my mom and cry but James and I had decided that we weren’t going to tell our family until we were matched, because we wanted to do this on our own, and make these decisions with just us and the Lord.

Throughout the whole process, never once were we at a point where we were “craving” a child. It was more that God had placed this on our hearts and we knew that, if it worked out, it meant that somewhere in the world, there was a child he wanted us to love. And we knew that if it didn’t work out, that would be ok too, and we had often resigned ourselves to that kind of suffering.

But, it did work out. And we will be traveling to China to bring home our 3-year-old SON in just a few weeks.

I’ll share more about the way God has been leading us through this, but that’s a long enough blog post for now. ❤
GabesRoom

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It’s 2017! And I only have 12 months left until…

It’s 2017! And I only have 12 months left until…

Hello, 2017! And Merry Christmas, Day 12.

I have so much to share with you all, but I need to get this out of the way first.

I’ve now entered the last year of my 20s.

Yikes!! I know that sounds so young to many of you, but I have a history of freaking out before important milestones:

  • I was terrified of 1st grade because I didn’t yet know how to read. There was nothing my parents could say to convince me that reading wasn’t a pre-requisite for beginning school.
  • I had a panic attack the night before I turned 25. My life was a quarter over and I thought I had nothing to show for it. Nevermind that I had already bought a house, traveled to Europe, and gotten engaged to the man of my dreams.

So, my New Year’s resolutions are also a bucket list of things to do before turning 30. Um I did not just type that number, did I? Ok, here goes:

Personal:

  1. Go to Fatima. (Portugal and Spain trip is happening!!)
  2. Learn image editing and graphic design skills.
  3. Finish the draft of my memoir.
  4. Stop being a perfectionist and just publish stuff.

Spiritual:

  1. Keep up First Friday and First Saturday devotions when possible and totes get to Confession at a minimum of once a month.
  2. Stop worrying about other people and be more confident in my own life.
  3. Forgive those who have hurt me in the past.

Bloggial:

  1. Write more mini-posts (150-200 words).
  2. Share YOUR stories (more on this to come!).
  3. Do more guest-blogging.

I have NO idea if I’ll actually be able to keep most of these. It’s more of a wish list, but I’m putting this here so you all can keep me accountable.

Now, enough about me.

What about you? Does anyone else have milestone freak-outs or major bucket lists for this year? What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Looking forward to a wonderful 2017 with all of you!