Friday, June 7, 2013

A moment of weakness

Sometimes I still can't believe I have three kids. I begged God for sooooo many years for just one. Just one! I would have done anything for just one. And then he blessed us in ways unimaginable. We have been able to experience adoption (twice!) and that always illusive positive pregnancy test. We've traveled the country to meet our sweet girls, lived through a pregnancy and birth, watched a 30-week baby grow into a healthy and advanced little girl, and had the amazing experience of meeting a birth mom and family.

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?"

Understandably, Ryan was concerned about finances. I get it, and I don't blame him. It's a fact that we can't afford another adoption right now and probably won't be able to for a while. But sometimes it can frustrate me that finances must be considered when we are deciding to adopt. If I happened to wind up pregnant we wouldn't contemplate whether we could afford it. We'd just be planning for Baby #4. And, of course, the cost of prenatal care and delivery after insurance is nothing compared to the cost of adoption.


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.

30 comments:

  1. I just sold all my baby stuff over the past week. All of it. Every last bit.
    It was entirely because I needed to say "God, I trust in You and Your guidence in letting us know our family is complete"
    It was not easy to accept this (because I offen want something that is NOT God's Will), but I am choosing to obey Him and His direct calling to Andrew and I to parent the 2 children He chose for our family and use our time, talent and treasure to make our whole family saints in the process.
    I know most people don't get that clear sign that their family is complete. But hey, I had no clear sign for 9 years of marriage that I would ever be a Mama, so I guess God has blessed me in this way...giving me peace and joy in knowing His will for us now.

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  2. I am still waiting for just one child. I've been waiting for almost six years.
    I'd love to adopt, but hubby and I don't think we can afford it.
    My arms and heart ache for a child!
    K, you are in my thoughts and prayers!

    Love,
    Maria

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    1. Maria - my heart aches for you. I am an adoptive mom - we could not afford the traditional adoption route and our family grew through foster-adopt. Our sons are all grown now - ... I pray that you will be able to have a child.

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    2. Me too - still waiting for our one - going on 7 years now. I know how you feel.

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    3. Maria, I am praying for you! Have you looked into foster-to-adopt? I know I've inquired about it in the past where I live and was told they don't ever have babies as part of the foster-to-adopt near us, but I do know some friends who have adopted babies this way in other parts of the country. Of course, there are many older children that need to be adopted too, and I need to pray more about that; I think it's something I might do when my kids are a little older. I hope and pray you become a mother soon, Maria!

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  3. Beautiful reflection! And laughed a little at the end :)

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  4. Beautiful post, and I imagine it's very true for all of us in some aspect of life. I've been having difficult emotions relating to my cycle too, so I can totally understand being overtaken by the mama hormones! And I LOVE the pictures of your Essie :)

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  5. Thank you for sharing. Beautiful.

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  6. I love your honesty here in your writing. Our stories are different, but I still am amazed that we are raising three boys. I always had a heart for adoption and here we are raising my two cousins and chasing after a busy toddler when I always worried our house would be quiet and beds would be empty. Now I complain I need more space beause we have run out of bedrooms...... Never thought that would be a challenge. I still want more too, I think it's natural.
    Your three babies are beautiful and how God keeps writing your story is just fascinating!

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  8. I wrote "Okay, so ummmmm, just HUGS" but in reading it, it sounded curt ... I do mean hugs and I can so relate to what you went through. Our hormones sure do play havoc with us! HUGS!!!

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  9. Thanks for sharing! We are hoping and praying for that "one" adoption, after wanting a large family. It is beautiful how the Lord blessed you with three, and who knows maybe more someday too?! But I can understand the desire to adopt or have more children, it is probably just wired in us as women. We are so blessed to have such a good God who accepts us, even when we doubt him. God has blessed me in so many ways, especially by my husband, but yet I have so much difficulty trusting him in our desires for a family, and I'm sure after we adopt I will have a strong desire for #2.

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  10. Thanks for sharing! We are hoping and praying for that "one" adoption, after wanting a large family. It is beautiful how the Lord blessed you with three, and who knows maybe more someday too?! But I can understand the desire to adopt or have more children, it is probably just wired in us as women. We are so blessed to have such a good God who accepts us, even when we doubt him. God has blessed me in so many ways, especially by my husband, but yet I have so much difficulty trusting him in our desires for a family, and I'm sure after we adopt I will have a strong desire for #2.

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  11. Thanks for sharing! We are hoping and praying for that "one" adoption, after wanting a large family. It is beautiful how the Lord blessed you with three, and who knows maybe more someday too?! But I can understand the desire to adopt or have more children, it is probably just wired in us as women. We are so blessed to have such a good God who accepts us, even when we doubt him. God has blessed me in so many ways, especially by my husband, but yet I have so much difficulty trusting him in our desires for a family, and I'm sure after we adopt I will have a strong desire for #2.

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  12. And isn't that the beauty of embracing the Church's teachings on NFP? We don't let fleeting emotions dictate. When our emotions tell us we're done and couldn't possibly handle another child, we don't sterilize. And when we feel we need a little more space in between children we can still cooperate with Our Lord's plans for us. So beautiful! We trust and we're open. That's all we can do!

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  13. You're not alone Karey! We have two boys through adoption and one daughter through a miracle pregnancy and my heart still longs for more babies. We're not in a position to adopt again right now and we've been trying for years for another pregnancy. Some days I feel very peaceful and "full" with our family size the way it is and other days it's just hard. I feel anxious and unsettled. My husband teases me that no matter how many babies came our way, when the time came for them to stop coming, I'd feel the same way. He's probably right. But after begging God for years and year to fill my womb, just one time, I'm surprised at how quickly I forgot all those lessons I learned and how soon I was day dreaming about one more....hugs to you.

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  14. I struggle with this too. I've wanted more since N was merely weeks old. I get anxious over the details of how it will all play out. Why can't I just trust God with those details, right? It doesn't help that I have this idea in my head of the # of kids I hope for. Ugh haha. I so rarely quantify like that, and yet when it comes to this topic, that's how I feel... and I feel like I am setting myself up for a "lesson" from God on His plans vs. mine. I love your family's story, though... it gives me hope that our family can grow to 3 and hopefully more.

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  15. You make me think you get just that perfect shot the first time! :-D Kidding! I know it takes hundreds. Or at least mine do. LOL
    Its ok to struggle & ok to want more. Its ok to talk to God or even complain. It is human nature. I know you're satisfied and beyond happy with your three kids. I don't doubt that. And I know that I would long for more babies if I were you too. Your story isn't done yet. Just like the miracle of the clover (I've never seen one myself!), God has worked with and through you to show the rest of us that miracles happen every day to people we know.
    Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your beautiful Essie!
    You need to enter these photos in contests! Magnificent!!!

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  16. I meant the photos ... Getting the perfect photo the first time you take the picture-reading my comment makes it sound kinda dumb. :-)

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  17. I want more too! But I also want to sleep. ;) And if complaining to God is what you call weakness then I am supremely guilty! It seems like it's all I do these days in my sleep-deprived state! :) But you're right...he has it all planned out for us and he knows what's right even when we can't begin to see it.

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  18. Hey, none of us are good enough Catholics. Don't fret. your babies are beautiful, no wonder you want more!

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  19. I totally, totally understand this!!! Thanks for the beautiful post! And UGH Luke!!! Go to sleep!!!

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  20. Beautiful reflection and photos! <3 I have those moments of weakness as well - and I have two biological children that we've been blessed with. We all have those moments.

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  21. My husband and I were talking the other day and in order to afford another adoption, we'll probably have to sell the house and rent somewhere for a couple years to save up money. He told me that Jackson could be an only child, or we'd have to think of another way to free up the money. While I can't imagine selling the house, our goal as a family is to have at least two children, so the house may have to go. I cried. I pouted. I gave him the really mature "silent treatment." Then I got over it and realized that at least we are in the position to even attempt to adopt again. So, all this to say, that I totally relate.

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  22. This is one of the best posts that I've ever read in my life! I just LOVE it. And oh, oh, oh the pictures of Essie...I just can't believe how cute she is and you did a great job of capturing her little faces on film!

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  23. How did I miss this (I say that a lot lately)? Beautiful, honest reflection! I am so honored that I was able to watch these miracles unfold for you, one of them up close! God is so good.

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  24. We all have our moments, and are entitle to lose perspective occasionally. The difference in you is, you are open to that perspective changing. Beautiful. I loved your last sentence too - I do that all the time when I'm so tired and overwhelmed: THIS is why I can't have more lol! It's me trying to be ok with my husband's insistence that he is done lol.

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    1. T, I can completely relate. I heard crickets for a long time too. And then I didn't, and I can't explain why. And then for me to see signs and feel God so close in seemingly mundane moments, while others feel like He is so far away, it doesn't make sense. I will pray that you feel God close to you because there really is nothing like it to ease the pain. And thank you so much for the reminder of how blessed I am :)

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