I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Gosh, aren’t you done yet?” or “Your hands must be SO full,” or “There’s just no way that I could EVER do that,” said with an eyeroll and as if “THAT” was akin to licking pond scum.
Sometimes, it’s from family or friends…and even, strangers. And, while I’ve got some pretty awesome witty one-liners ready to go, it pierces my heart even so. And, I wonder if my children feel like they are something that should just be “tolerated,” rather than celebrated for the blessings they are to us.
You see, what you don’t know about us is this:
There was a time early on in our marriage when we thought (and were told by medical doctors) that it was VERY LIKELY that we may NEVER have biological children due to some fertility issues I have. I was crushed. Since I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a MOMMY. And, a teacher…but, mostly…a MOMMY. It was just a “given.”
Many diagnostic and blood tests, fertility medicines, charting, and disappointments later…we stood heartbroken, picking up the pieces, wondering what we should do next.
After so many crushingly negative pee sticks, we finally got our first positive. It was SO faint. I had to ask someone else to verify that I was indeed not just imagining a second line. And, in the days to come, we faced much uncertainty as we almost lost our sweet daughter.
We went on to birth 2 more precious miracles and lose 2 more. I clearly recall how HOLLOW I felt, knowing that the life that was inside of me was no more.
Our 2nd son, came to us from across the world through international adoption. We were in process to adopt again from Ethiopia when God shut those doors. We decided we would move into foster care so we could still love children as we buried another dream of what would be and healed our hearts.
Soon after “opening” our home as a foster home, I became pregnant. And this baby, too, went home to God. I was SO brokenhearted, having just buried the dream of one baby (via adoption) and then literally, the death of our baby…It was so so hard. Months and months of unimaginable hard. A few faithful friends stuck by me and allowed me to grieve when the world demanded that I “shake it off.”
Over the next several months, we welcomed two precious babies into our home through foster care. One left, one did not. Both forever have a piece of my heart.
And so, here we are. Pursuing adoption for our youngest member…a “family” of 7 (5 kids, 2 adults). And, as we walk through the grocery and the kids are helping (quietly and sweetly!) put what we need in the cart …or, as we walk, holding hands through the parking lot …and, we get those stares. And, those comments… What they don’t know or understand is that there was a time when we ached at the thought that we may NEVER have children. Adoption seemed out of our reach and my fertility seemed to be a death sentence to those dreams. (But, God!)
What you may not know from looking at us is that we CHERISH these (and any) children that God entrusts us with. Psalm 127:3-5 tells us that children are a gift from the Lord. And, that a man whose quiver is full of arrows is BLESSED. And, that’s how we feel…BLESSED.
I know that this bucks everything that society infiltrates our minds with… that the American dream is summarized by a picket fence, a lot of STUFF and 2.5 kids. But, really… picket fences require way too much upkeep, STUFF drains us, and 1/2 a kid? Really?
I can’t imagine not having these precious children that we call ours. They bring so much magic and laughter to our home. Do we get frustrated? Tired? Overwhelmed? Yes. Sometimes. But, we got like that when we had 0 kids. And, 1 kid. It’s just life.
I can’t imagine not having a home that can be instantly turned into a smoldering land with castles and dragons …or a shimmering lagoon with mermaids and the occasional pirate!
I can’t imagine a home without their precious laughter and cuddles and the way their hands fit into mine.
And, so, the answer to those questions…
Are we done yet? Not yet…unless God says otherwise. We ADORE these kids. We don’t just LOVE them, we also really LIKE them and enjoy spending time with them.
Yes, we know what causes it. We are very aware
And, even on our HARDEST days… I’m so very THANKFUL. I am SO BLESSED.