A few months ago, I came across a beautiful jewelry company– one that specializes in handcrafted pendants (among other lovely things) featuring scripture and encouraging words. It stood out to me- something about this company stuck with me and made me explore further. As I began to read Caley’s words, I discovered that her business was born out of an infertility journey- and her heart for women to be able to share their stories.
I reached out to Caley and asked if I could share her beautiful work- and the story of her company, The Porterbox– with you, and I was thrilled when she said yes! Caley is real, encouraging, kind, and generous. I’m so glad you get a chance to meet her today! Here’s our chat:
KARLI: Tell us about yourself a bit, Caley! What’s the most important thing someone should know about you? The most interesting?
CALEY: I currently live in Texas, where I have lived the past 3.5 years with my husband of 10 years and little three year old miracle girl. We moved to Texas (from Florida) just after finding out we were pregnant for my husband’s job. He is the Life Groups Life Missions Pastor at Life.Church in Keller TX. We have fallen in love with Texas and the precious community we have found there among our people. We absolutely love that our little girl is a Texan!
Our sweet girl is three years old but her story started long before we found out we were pregnant. In 2010 Jay and I decided we were ready for a family. After a year of not really paying too much attention to the time lapse, we realized something must be wrong. We soon realized it was a male factor as well as some assumed female factors and IVF was our only option. As many of you know though, the cost became a massive hurdle. We kept going back to our doctor for more tests hoping maybe something would change and we could do something more inexpensive. They kept patiently telling us, IVF is it. We had only a 3% chance of getting pregnant with IUI. So we started saving pennies. About the time we realized we would never being able to get there without a financial miracle, I decided I wanted to go public with our journey. I was tired of getting wounded because I was walking around with a wound no one knew was there.
We started a blog and started selling jewelry with a direct sales company. People quickly rallied around us in prayer, support, and booking jewelry parties. We were making progress but still slowly. During this time we started the process to get licensed to be foster parents with the intention of fostering to adopt. Adoption had always been something we wanted to do even when we were dating. We got licensed in January 2014. At the same time my husband applied to Life.Church but he always told me if we had a placement we would not move anywhere for a job.
The end of February we got a call to interview for the Keller campus and had to fly out the first week of March. I was devastated, I couldn’t imagine if we got the job we would have to start all over with a new infertility doctor, new foster licensing process and to leave our support system here that was consistently hosting jewelry parties for our #bringingbabyporterhome campaign. When Jay told me I was actually lying in bed with what I thought was the flu…
The weekend before we flew out for our interview I was so sick. Jay was preaching at our church and I couldn’t even get out of bed. I decided to get there just for his message and I stopped at Hardees on the way to get a biscuit because I couldn’t imagine eating anything healthy for breakfast. I told my trainer at church how miserable I had been the past few weeks and confessed to eating a buttery delicious biscuit on the way to church. Right there in the lobby at church she said “Caley- go home and take a pregnancy test. I know it’ll probably be negative, I know. But just go take one.” I thought she was crazy. And I was a few days late for my period and there’s nothing for me like a sure way to start my period than to take a pregnancy test. (Normally I test and start my period within an hour each time, lol) But that next morning at 5 am when I took the test, it wasn’t what I had expected at all. It was positive. Four years later, no treatments, no medication, but a miracle. Beat that 3%!
Four days later we flew to our interview with saltines and a barf bag stuffed in my purse. We would be able to move to Texas and start over but not from where I had feared. We got to start a new journey, a journey with our miracle baby on the way. I am so forever grateful for God’s timing.
We are now on round two of infertility, two years in. The time has involved lots of medications, a couple IUI rounds, a bio-chemical pregnancy, surgery for my husband, and surgery for myself where I lost an ovary. The second time around isn’t any less painful; it’s just a different pain. I have good days, and really bad days. We are currently on a break from treatments; we just needed a break financially and emotionally. But I’ve seen God perform miracles; not just for us but for so many people we’ve met on the journey. I trust Him and I trust His timing more now than ever.
KARLI: How did Porterbox begin? What is your vision/goal for each woman who receives one of your pieces?
CALEY: A few months after Emma was born I couldn’t shake the desire to encourage women still walking through infertility. The Porterbox was born in July 2015.
My desire is for each Porterbox piece to help women not only wear their story so they can share it with others, but for it to also be a tangible reminder of God’s word and promises to them as they walk some of life’s greatest struggles; whether that be a bad diagnosis, the loss of a child, or parent, even struggling with their identity in Christ. Porterbox’s are designed to encourage you and help you encourage others.
KARLI: What’s something you’d like to say to young mamas, perhaps even mamas who are experiencing infertility or loss?
CALEY: For your Momma’s in waiting- sweet friend, I’m praying with you. I know things seem bleak when you see the mountain in front of you, but God loves you. He sees you. And He is good. Choose to trust Him each moment. Give Him your desires and let your desire for Him be bigger than your desire for your baby.
I’m also very passionate about you sharing your journey. If you are trying to walk this journey alone, it’s so, so much harder alone. I was one that didn’t plan to share, but girls, when I did it changed my life. Not because I received the pity I was looking for or more advice (because we all need more how to get pregnant advice right?). It was because I was no longer walking around with an open wound. God was able to heal me when I uncovered it and allowed Him to use it for His glory. And ultimately that’s what our lives are about- to bring Him glory in everything we do and everything we go through. How can we bring Him glory if no one knows what we are walking through? Sharing is scary at first, but its so life giving.
I’m so passionate about encouraging women walking through infertility and helping them to see they aren’t alone, I am actually launching a podcast in January 2018.
It’s called the Joy + Infertility Podcast and its designed to encourage women walking through the ups and downs of trying to conceive. Infertility is hard; so how do we face this journey with hope faith & even joy? I believe with God, there is beauty to be born from this journey.
You can follow me at @joyandinfertility for updated on when the first interview drops!
KARLI: SO EXCITING. I can’t wait to listen! And finally, I ask everyone…What are you reading/listening to these days?
CALEY: I’m reading Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty. Y’all- this book is a must read if you are walking through infertility. She perfectly captures the emotions I felt/feel walking through this. I find myself in tears finally reading what I’ve felt for years but not able to verbalize.
For any momma’s out there- I’m obsessed with The God Centered Mom Podcast. She’s from Dallas and her interviews are incredible. They make me a better mom when I have her in my ear buds!
KARLI: Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us, and creating such beautiful pieces for us to share our stories with, too. It’s been a pleasure!
Hey hey- lucky for you, I am giving away one of Caley’s pieces over on Instagram! Go check it out! And one more note: both of Caley’s recommendations- Every Bitter Thing is Sweet and God Centered Mom Podcast– are ones that I find myself recommending just about weekly! Go grab them ASAP- you won’t regret it!
YOU CAN CONNECT WITH CALEY HERE: