Pregnant

Pregnant

Friends and family, today I would like to officially announce that I am once again pregnant.

Yes, again.

Danny and I are expecting.

But thankfully, this time around, I will not have to go through the agony of morning sickness, the back aching days of hauling around pounds upon pounds of extra weight, nor the emotional roller coaster leading up to and following birth. Oh and best of all, I will not be battered by a single torturous contraction in the pangs of labor.

And this is why.

Danny and I are indeed expecting, but the child has already been born.

We just don’t know where he/she is or even who he/she is.

Almost three years ago, I’ve been impregnated with a dream of fostering and adopting. It started small just as all fetuses do, and it hardly felt real because it was mostly just a thought in my mind and nothing substantial was in my hands. Yet over the weeks, months, and now years since that moment, we have nurtured this dream in our hearts, talks, and prayers, and it has grown so big and real that you can say I’m pretty much full term and ready to blow.

Of course this dream I know is not from myself nor a product of me and Danny alone. Rather, similar to the way the Lord knit together each one of our three beautiful offspring inside my womb, I know the Lord has also very intricately knit this dream within me, and this dream that has been conceived is now coming to life.

Now, after years of waiting for the right time to make a move, we are finally moving forward, and the first step for us is to move. When we had done our initial research and application into the whole process of foster care a few years back, we were told there was legally not enough rooms in our home to take on foster children (please refer back to my most previous post about my very full house) and so we were disqualified immediately.

Simple enough, or so we thought, but who knew it could be so hard to move. Financially, we were not in the position to move then, so we had to wait. But we have been actively preparing, or shall I say “nesting” every single day with the dream in mind by taking steps to get to a place where we can have a home big enough to welcome him/her/them in. Then just a month or so ago, we got some great news and are about to put our house up on the market. That’s one step closer to the birth of a dream I hope to see come to life in the very near future.

So you can say that I’m pregnant, or you can say that I’m not. Ok I’m not. Still, please pray for our family as we prepare a home for someone very special out there waiting for us to bring them in. We think of them as we move boxes, we think of them as we store away savings, we think of them as we see the empty seats at dinner. And again I am wrecked because I know that in all things, God has thought of me and you to make a way for us all to come home too and what an honor that we can do the same.

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To Love Another

To Love Another

Almost every day, I have this thought: How on earth did I have three children?? It honestly amazes me because as much as I love children, I am not one of those people who have dreamt of having a big family with five, six, seven+ children. No, with “just” three, I have already exceeded the golden number two which I had always pictured for my family, and my plate is more than full…it’s overflowing.

But of course, I’m in love with #3 , so it’s all good, but there are many moments I zone out just thinking about how I got to this place because I could have sworn it was just yesterday that Danny and I were taking long walks after dinner, peacefully holding each other’s hands rather than our children’s, and dreaming about what our family would look like. I am in disbelief of how far we have come from that point in time. All the while, these little ones, ones I once could not even imagine the faces of, are running amok through my life, and I can’t imagine life without any of them.

And I can’t believe there were days when we just had one and I wondered if I could possibly love another. I can’t believe there were days when we had two, and I felt that my hands, my heart, my schedule, my everything was so full that I had reached my absolute limit. But that wasn’t true either and what if we never had our precious #3? Or #2? I don’t even want to think about it because they are here and in my life now, and each one is so unexplainably dear and special and cherished that I would not have it any other way.

And now, sometimes I sit back and wonder, could I love more? Could I give more? Hypothetically speaking, could I “make room” for one, or two, or three more children?

I would normally be tempted to say NO WAY JOSE, but last week I was given the rare opportunity to take care of a three month old foster baby. When I was first asked to do this, for a split second, I immediately thought about how hectic my house already was and flashes of more chaos thundered before my eyes. But my answer was automatically yes, simply because it has been a long standing dream of mine to be a foster parent one day.

So I welcomed this baby girl into my home and allowed her to join our family’s crazy life for a few days. At first, she was just another baby. Very cute, cuddly, and adorably chubby. However, between running back and forth from baby to baby, warming up bottles of milk, and trying to keep my two older children entertained, I hardly had a moment to really sit down and connect with this girl the way I wanted to.

And then it was naptime and both my baby and this foster baby were crying inconsolably. At first, I alternated between the two, doing my best to comfort each of them for short increments at a time, but that wasn’t helping either of them. So eventually, I gathered both of them into my arms and holding them tightly, I wondered how moms of multiples do it. Then after several minutes passed, I was not sure how much longer I could take before my arms could quite possibly break off, and with each passing second, I became more and more certain that three was REALLY my max and I could not adequately take care of any more.

Thankfully, they both calmed down soon enough and I was able to finally lay them down on the bed for a diaper change. When I was all done, it was just as I was snapping up the final buttons on their little onsies that I caught a glance of their faces and paused to see two pairs of innocent eyes staring intently up at me, one pair brown and the other pair blue. And even as I could feel the beads of sweat trickling their way down my crown from the previous moment’s frenzy, joy took over and overwhelmed me. Both their gazes were so intense and full of longing that almost instinctively, I felt the need to respond. I had to engage.

So looking back and forth from one baby to the other, I spent the next several minutes singing the first made up song that came to mind while they took turns smiling each time my eyes locked with theirs. They were bursting with delight, my son delighting in the love of his mother and this little girl delighting in me just the same. And it was during one of these times I looked deep into those newly acquainted blue eyes, both full of wonder and full of loss that I wasn’t sure she even really knew of, that my heart broke, burst, and became filled to the brim with compassion all at the same time.

How could this happen to a child?? It was an absolute devastating tragedy to think that this baby or any other baby in the world for that matter should be without mother or father. I could not even fathom this happening to the one laying next to her, my beloved son, and I suddenly felt a new measure of love to make room for her in our home, to care for her, and to give her everything I had. She could be like one of my own.

Yet I knew very well that this compassion, this feeling, this urge to love, was not something that spontaneously sprung up from myself nor was it based on any of my own goodness,  “goodness” which had been tested so many times before only to fail and even just a minute ago could not imagine caring for a single child more. But as I sat there suddenly weeping over this girl and her poverty, I thanked God because He was showing me His heart and His capacity to love not only His own one and only begotten son with a perfect love, but to ALSO love each of us orphans in the world with such burning compassion that it moves Him to respond and welcome us all into his home, every single last one of us.

I then knew I could do the same….maybe not for all of creation, but at least for the ones He brought into my life and the ones He might continue to bring, to both extend and to taste for myself a small portion of God’s infinite love.

I am so thankful for this grace. It is the grace to be loved and a grace to love freely with a love that never runs out.