I should never ask God for anything else, right? But the problem is that Essie is just so incredible - sleeping through the night, astonishingly good-natured, easy as can be. She's the kind of baby that makes you want more. Immediately.
And so, a couple weeks ago - probably when I was ovulating and hormones were exaggerating that feeling of really, really wanting a baby when my baby isn't even six months old - I really wanted more.
We were wrapping up our third and final post-placement visit to finalize Essie's adoption when I told our social worker that maybe we'd work with her again when we adopt in the future. That's when Ryan remarked that we won't be doing that for a very long time. But, somehow, I heard that as "we will never, ever, ever adopt again. Ever. Ever."
And that's when that old, familiar desire to control my family size started bubbling up in me. Someone's telling me I can't do something? This might be my last baby? Ahhhh!
|"What do you mean you want another baby?"|
So, in my weakness, I sort of fumed about it for the rest of the morning and into the afternoon. Did it matter that money seemed to drop from Heaven for our two previous adoptions? No. Or that I have been pregnant before and have a two-year-old to show for it? Uh-uh. I just focused on the fact that I hoped to have more than three children and an off-handed remark my husband made to our social worker suggested we may not (never mind that he meant nothing of the sort).
As I always do in times of stress, I headed outside to take some photos of my kids in our front yard. But nothing was going right with that either. It was sweltering outside, Essie wouldn't look in my direction and I grew frustrated. That's when, in my completely self-absorbed state, I said, "God, can you just help me out here?" I was saying it, in that moment, about my little model, but what I really meant was, "God, I'm frustrated today. Can you give me a sign that everything is okay?"
As I said those words to myself - which were technically a prayer, in the sense that I was talking to God, but was actually more just me being hot and annoyed - I glanced down and immediately saw a four-leaf clover. It was huge and my eyes landed directly on it. It had probably been twenty-five years since I'd thought much at all about four-leaf clovers, but I immediately remembered looking for them as a child and the excitement I would have had at finding one. And while I don't place some magical stock in them, I do believe God can use anything to speak to us. Especially something He created.
So I took it as an answer to my prayer.
And then I immediately felt like a complete jerk. Did I really just reach out to God because I couldn't get the shot I wanted? Have I really been sad today because we may "only" have three children?
It's humbling to realize that God is with you even when your problems aren't as big as some others. And that He can reach out and touch you, with a feeling, through the words of others, or even with a four-leaf clover.
Don't get me wrong, I do not give much thought at all to secondary infertility or wanting more children. But I had a weak moment that day and I think that's normal. I talked about it with Ryan and he was very direct to me about it, in a way he wouldn't have been during primary infertility. But I needed it. He reminded me how God has blessed us SO much that it's crazy. He has given us not one, not two, but THREE beautiful babies. When everything seemed bleak and that we may never be parents, we found out about a baby girl and money literally came from out of nowhere allowing us to adopt. I conceived Luke when I was on no medication and had never been pregnant before or since. We found out about Essie when we hadn't even begun thinking about adopting again, and everything worked out just exactly like it needed to for us to bring her home. We have three little miracles under our roof.
God has provided time and time and time again. During our years of infertility, we never, ever thought we'd have three children at this point. But we do. Every time we thought it couldn't happen, it did.
And how terrible is it that I haven't learned this lesson by now? I get so worked up when my kids make the same mistake over and over, and they are only toddlers! I'm an adult, I attend Mass, I call myself a Catholic, yet I somehow cannot seem to learn the lesson that God provides, even after He has given me incredible experiences that should have solidified the concept for me forever.
There is absolutely no reason for us to not trust God. And that doesn't mean we'll definitely have another baby. But it means we have living proof that God has our best interest in mind and will always provide. I wash their faces and clean up their messes every single day.
So, the next time I'm ovulating and feeling the intense desire to grow our family, I have decided to focus on my sweet Luke, who has been in the habit of going to bed around 1 a.m. lately. He reminds me that not all children are as easy as Essie and maybe three is just fine for now.