Sunday, February 22, 2009

Don't Forget!!!

Davis County FSA Couples Game Night
Saturday February 28th 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Fort Lane Chapel 1402 N Fort Lane, Layton, Utah
Here is your chance to get away for a fun cheap date.
We will have pizza and lots of fun games!
Bring a treat to share, and come and get to know lots of other really awesome couples.
Please RSVP to Criscell by Tuesday, February 24th.
(see the side bar for her email address)

Dealing With Infertility Problems Part 1

This article is taken from an AMCAP convention in october 1984.
(AMCAP is the association of mormon counselors and psychotherapists.)
Robert Taylor
I am a physician, an internist, not an infertility specialist. My wife is a social worker at the Primary Children's Medical Center. Both of us have done some work with infertility groups with the Salt Lake Agency of LDS Social Services. In the next hour, we will outline a number of aspects of infertility and discuss how it affects the LDS couple. I would like to open with a scenario that may be familiar to you:
When Ron and Brenda were married they assumed many things. Both had been raised in the Church, attended Church universities, gone on missions, and always planned to raise a Church-oriented family. As time went on, Brenda did not become pregnant. They consulted medical experts who indicated that their chances of having children were slim. Their initial reaction was one of shock and disbelief. How could what they had always desired in righteousness be denied them? Despite continuous fasting and prayer, Brenda did not become pregnant. The medical tests were humiliating, tedious, and expensive for the couple.
Brenda developed feelings of depression, helplessness, and isolation. They intensified as her friends became pregnant, gave birth, and mothered little ones. She felt a special sense of isolation as the topics of pregnancy, the birth process, and children were discussed among her friends.
She found very few empathic friends and relatives. Some were insensitive, and many shared advice and folklore freely. Occasionally she would go home from Relief Society or other gatherings feeling depressed and even bitter toward those who were pregnant or who had children. As she attempted to explain her predicament, she thought of past mistakes and sins she thought she had repented of. She felt guilt, unworthiness, and spiritual inadequacy.
Ron experienced similar feelings. He dwelt on past mistakes and questioned his worthiness and even his manhood. At church meetings he was taught the importance of being a good father and he felt frustrated about being excluded from this role. In this state of despair and disappointment, communication between Ron and Brenda was difficult, and their ability to comfort each other was seriously impaired. They were in the awkward position of blaming themselves, each other, and the Lord.
This fictional situation may actually occur more often than we realize. An estimated 10 to 15 percent of the population are infertile in some way or another. In the Church this would come out to about five people per ward.
The American Fertility Society defines an infertile couple as one which has been unable to achieve a successful pregnancy after one year of having sexual relations without using contraception. Sterility is the appropriate term when a person's reproductive capabilities have been judged irreversibly nonfunctional.
When we first attempted to learn about infertility, largely because of our personal situation, we wrote to Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, and LDS Social Services to see if any studies had been done on infertile people in the LDS culture or the LDS Church. All responses were negative. We wrote to an LDS leader and psychologist in California who responded, "My observation, based on a great deal of vicarious experience, is that this must be the toughest culture in the Western world in which to have that problem." Now, why would that be? Why is it so tough for Latter-day Saints to deal with infertility?
We think there may be a number of reasons, the first being Church doctrine with its emphasis on birth and families. We are taught that we come to earth to gain a body. A woman's role in the birth process is given great emphasis and is an important part of our doctrine. We hear about it every day and every week in our Church. If you are Mormon and a woman, you must bear children.
The second reason is related to what we believe our role will be in the eternities. Our eternal role--and goal--is being parents. We believe that Heavenly Father is a father and Heavenly Mother is a mother and that we will eventually, if we are righteous, have an opportunity for eternal propagation. This doctrine puts incredible pressure on someone who is infertile, who is willing and ready, but unable to have children. The pressure is exerted in hundreds of simple, subtle ways.
In the Old Testament, Adam and Eve are instructed to multiply and replenish the earth. In Old Testament times, this is emphasized in innumerable ways. A woman who was unable to bear children is compared to barren ground. Jacob's wife Rachel implored, "Give me children or else I die" (Genesis 30:1.) In other words, she felt she would rather be dead than barren. An interesting section in First Samuel describes another infertile woman named Hannah.
...The Lord hath shut up her womb. And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret... therefore, she wept and did not eat. ...And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore (1 Sam. 1:5-7, 10).
In our day strong emphasis is given to pregnancy and birth, not just to nurturing and mothering. N. Eldon Tanner said, "One of woman's greatest privileges, blessings, and opportunities is to be a co-partner with God in bringing spirit children into the world. What a glorious concept, no greater honor can be given." Those who are infertile have a hard time dealing with such messages. Many kinds of material can cause pain. For example, Boyd K. Packer's outstanding pamphlet written for the youth about the importance of keeping clean morally contains some interesting statements. Listen and imagine yourself infertile.
The power of procreation is given to virtually every individual who is born into mortality. Someday you will hold a little boy or a little girl in your arms and know that the two of you have acted in partnership with our Heavenly Father in creating life. Our Heavenly Father has bestowed his choicest gift upon you, this power of creation. I picture you with little children about you and see your love growing with them.
In Church one day, our daughter said, "Someday I will be a mother." We didn't tell her that. It's something she absorbed.
Perhaps we ought to think about teaching our youth that 10 or 15 percent of them may not have children biologically, and other options may need to be explored.
For LDS couples, a real crisis can be the struggle of faith versus acceptance of infertility. Very few infertile couples have not pleaded with God, trying to have enough faith to bear children, especially when many are given blessings that tell them if they have enough faith they will have children. This creates and interesting and painful paradox. If you have enough faith you will have children, and yet if you are trying to have faith to have children, you may have difficulty in accepting infertility and trying to resolve it.
Another point is closely related and deals with the cultural aspects of Mormonism and infertility. The priesthood holder may not be as affected as a woman, but indirectly there is an underlying sense that the more children you have, the more "arrows in your quiver." Some men communicate the idea to an infertile man that his virility is somehow questioned. In fast and testimony meeting, the infertile couple see a father bless a baby and the mother afterwards stand and bear her testimony about how wonderful it is to bring this child into the world. Much of Relief Society teaching assumes motherhood in examples used even if the topic is not motherhood. An infertile couple must frequently deal with pressure from their parents who desire grandchildren.
that's all for part 1. stay tuned next sunday for part 2 by his wife, jayne e. taylor

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ensign Article

If any of you missed the Ensign article in this month's issue about adoption, you need to read it. It is an incredible article about adoption from the perspective of the birth parents, birth grandparents, and an adoptee.
Read it here.
It's well worth your while.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Couple of Things...

We have 2 items of business that we wanted everyone to be informed about. So let's do the nitty gritty first, and then the fun stuff second.

First of all a change has been made regarding the Utah adoption tax deduction for 2008 taxes that everyone should know about. It came to our attention by Donald Nelson. He and his wife Amy are an adoptive couple and current education chairs for their FSA group. Donald is a former IRS tax auditor and current accountant recently informed me of changes that have occured regarding the adoption tax credit here in Utah. Donald is not looking to drum up business, just found this out and wanted all of us to be informed. You can read more about the change here. This is something we all need to be aware about as this will effect all of us at one point or another.

The second item of business...

Davis County FSA Couples Game Night
Saturday February 28th
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Fort Lane Chapel
1402 N Fort Lane, Layton, Utah
Here is your chance to get away for a fun cheap date.
We will have pizza and lots of fun games!
Bring a treat to share, and come and get to know lots of other really awesome couples.
Please RSVP to Criscell by Tuesday, February 24th.
(see the side bar for her email address)